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Discussion: Batter out of the box

Posted Discussion
Sept. 18
wbaum
Men's 50
16 posts
Am I the only one who feels the stepping out of the box rule needs to be changed? Organizations, who don't use a mat, consider a strike to be a ball that lands behind the plate. The SSUSA strike zone begins where the front of the plate begins. This is 17" closer to the front of the batter's box. For a batter to hit balls that would hit the front edge of the mat, the same way they can hit a ball that hits the back of the mat, they need to be allowed to use the same stride length for both instances. For this to happen with a ball landing on the front edge of the strike mat, an average batter's stride will have the batter stepping out of the batter's box, causing many ambitious umpires to call the batter out. The batter has NO advantage over hitting the same ball that would land at the back of the mat, should they be standing at least 17" farther back in the box. In SSUSA, the batter's box does not get adjusted for this shorter distance from the front of the mat to the front of the box, in relation to the location of the strike zone being moved closer to the pitcher. I believe there are other organizations who will allow the batter to step 1 foot out of the front of the box, as long as they keep 1 foot behind the front of the plate.

It is time for SSUSA needs to make a rule change to resolve this issue.
Sept. 18
Enviro-Vac
Men's 65
490 posts
100% agreed
Sept. 18
Chad303
Men's 40
11 posts
With the way batter's boxes are painted on turf and grass, the front of the box size changes all the time. Do you know what doesn't change? The plate. SSUSA should use the rule that your back foot should not be in front of the plate. That way it doesn't matter where your front foot lands. Just my $.02
Sept. 18
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
SSUSA considers rules amendments one time per year ... Here's the "deal" ...

The Rules Committee does NOT take comments made on this forum into account when considering a change in policy, procedure or rules ... We expect interested parties to either [1] attend the annual meetings in person to be heard OR [2] submit identifiable written correspondence (by email to Info@seniorsoftball.com with "Rules Committee" in the Memo Line or snail-mail) ... You should plan now to attend the meetings if at all possible and present your arguments for changes ... We're very visitor-friendly! ...

Please note that ALL the arguments and suggestions made here over the year on this forum are specifically EXCLUDED from potential Meeting Agenda inclusion ... This is due to the generally unregulated and anonymous nature of the forum, especially when many of those suggestions contradict each other ... We hope to hear from you by proper channels or, even better, see you in Ft. Myers in early December ...

Sept. 18
Full Count

57 posts
Well said WBAUM. I quoted you and sent an email.
I think most players are ready for a rule
change regarding the batters box. Thank you Dave for the proper proticall.
Sept. 18
wjconnor
Men's 55
1 posts
WBAUM - Agreed! After what we saw at Big League Dreams in Las Vegas this past weekend, we've been having this same discussion with the same reasoning. Well stated sir!
Sept. 18
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts

What box????




Sept. 18
Junior2412

18 posts
Chad303........that's a TOTALLY valid point about the different size batter's boxes from field to field(batter's box is totally irrelevant, especially based on the pic the Dave posted).......that's
the reason why the U-trip rule is EXACTLY what you pointed out......the batter's back leg can NOT be in front of the plate when they make contact.........otherwise "out"............although a few years back, the umpire was ONLY calling it "out" IF the other team brought it to his attention.......I can live with that.........
Sept. 18
JohnO28
Men's 50
125 posts
It's ironic that Dave used that guys pics, it's been assumed by bascially every Midwest team that SSUSA couldn't actually see that guy to know he exists considering he plays on average of at least 6 different teams all in the 50s division every year to the point his nickname is Rent-A-Catcher... Now that there is actually video proof of him existing and was posted by someone who works at SSUSA HQ they have no argument that NOBODY plays for more than 2 teams in a season... Thanks for sharing Dave.
Sept. 19
mad dog
Men's 65
4191 posts
so lets take away a pitcher can pitch if the batter can't hit it......ya want the height lower,ya want to be able to run out to the mound to hit it,are there any rules that a batter should follow.......batters have rocket launchers in there hands quit bitching,so many damn babies out there......
Sept. 19
Dbax
Men's 65
2111 posts
Exactly!
Sept. 19
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3233 posts
Who rattled Mad Dog's chain??
Sept. 19
spoonplugger
Men's 60
95 posts
Looks like BLD has dirt infield ??

Hit from the batter’s box Not the playing field !!

Hi Mad Dog
Sept. 19
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
BLD has artificial turf infields (including the foul territory areas) and grass outfields ...
Sept. 19
txnighttrain

120 posts
As a person who has umpired, I would have called the person in that photo out. It is obvious that he is so far out with his back foot in front of the mat, his front foot is no way in the legal box. Even though the lines are gone (many times from players erasing and not enforced) it would be my judgement he was definitely out of the box area. The idea here is to protect the pitcher because it puts him about 5 feet closer to the pitcher and makes it harder for the pitcher to defend himself.
Sept. 19
txnighttrain

120 posts
The box is supposed to be 7ft long and 3ft wide that includes the lines. Both feet are required to be in the box when the batter makes contact with the ball. Touching any part of the box or line with your feet means you are in the box. The box is measured from the middle corner of the plate. It is 4 ft forward from the middle corner. The plate from the middle corner to the front edge of plate is 8.5 inches. This means the box extends 3 ft 3.5 inches in front of the mat. A bat is 34 inches long. So a bat length plus 5.5 inches. This guy is clearly beyond that distance with his front foot.
Sept. 19
wbaum
Men's 50
16 posts
My point is still, the box does not get moved forward for ssusa. The entire plate is now part of the strike zone mat, not just the area behind the plate. If the box is fine in "behind plate is a strike games", then why can't the box be adjusted to compensate for the repositioning of the ssusa strike zone? The box can remain the same size. I just feel it should be moved forward to compensate for this. If the lines are painted, as on turf, then by utilizing the same rule that usssa uses, this will easily provide for such an adjustment no matter where the box is painted, or for when the box is wiped away during play.

Nobody is asking for batters to be 5' out of the box, to be that much closer to the pitcher, like the above photo example. I am only 6' tall, but can't imagine how difficult it must be for a 6'4" batter to hit a ball at the front of the mat because their naturally longer stride requires them to step out of the box to hit a pitch that is 14-19"" shorter than organizations who don't include the plate as a strike. The photo above demonstrates an unsafe scenario. Fairly allowing batters to hit the entire strike zone does not put the pitcher at any further risk.

Doesn't is seem right for ssusa to create a place for batters to stand that is the same as it would be for a strike zone that traditionally starts 14"-19" back? Allowing that same distance forward because of the plate being a strike is only fair. This also eliminates the overly ambitious umpires who can't wait to call a batter out for the heel being 1" over the line.
Sept. 19
caps14
Men's 50
4 posts
Played last week in the 55's at big league dreams the ump called seven of our guys out of the box in the first game and 4 of the other team thats two innings worth of no runs in a six inning game it was ridiculous and we had the same ump the second game and he did the same thing he wanted to be the star of the game it's not right pay all that money for nothing.never play there again.
Sept. 19
Dbax
Men's 65
2111 posts
It’s not too hard to stay in the box.
Sept. 20
titanhd
Men's 60
641 posts
JohnO28. You made the statement in a contained thread. .
"NOBODY plays for more than 2 teams in a season."

When did this become a rule?
Sept. 20
JohnO28
Men's 50
125 posts
TitanHD,

I have been told by SSUSA HQ specifically Ant that no player is allowed to play for more than 2 teams in the same age group in a season. If a player is on a roster for example at 50 AAA buy never even plays a tourney for them but then is released from that team and he plays for another team that year he's not allowed to play for anyone else the whole season

The scenario that happened to a guy we tried to pick up was he agreed to play for a team in MI and they put him on a roster their team roster but he never played a tourney for them. He asked to be released from the team when he realized they were only going to play 2 tourneys all year. He got on another roster and didn't feel he was being used properly and was basically just being used as a runner. Him and that manager came to an agreement that he would he released. It was then he found out from Ant that the only team he could play for for the rest of the year was the team he was just being released from according to SSUSA rules that no play may be released from 2 rosters in the same age group and still be eligible to play for another team. Apparently it's supposed to prevent team hopping but it's rarely enforced from what we've seen.
Sept. 20
JayPar

8 posts
The picture that Dave added isn't even at the correct fields, I personally played at everyone of these crap ass BLD fields and the batters boxes were NOT all the same. Some where smaller than the regulation size. I seen 1 team get called out 5 times in the same game. Front foot coming out of the box was called out. not all umpires agreed on this. We even asked the umpire to get the director and was told "you're not going to tell me what to do". We had to play 4 days here and had to pay entree fee of $8 everytime..bullcrap! These sorry ass fields shouldn't even have a tourny played on them..they removed all the turf in the outfield and replaced with grass which had huge bare spots all over..birds everywhere eating grass seeds..I actually killed 2 birds with a line drive!!! This was a circus show.
Sept. 20
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
JayPar ... That's a joke picture and you probably shouldn't read too much into me posting it just for laughs ... It's an old gag picture someone sent me years ago after we had another of these "IT'S LIFE AND DEATH 'CUZ HE'S OUT OF THE BOX!!!" feeding frenzy type message board parties ... I haven't any idea where it came from originally, but it's certainly not BLD ...
Sept. 21
caps14
Men's 50
4 posts
Jaypar is 100% correct it was a circus there the box the umpires the fueld all sucked
Sept. 21
nickname36

98 posts
"EXACTLY"

Amazing, I post the dimensions and height of a basketball
back board on a thread that was asking about 6 and 12 foot
pitching height. My post gets deleted and then I read a few
of the posts on this thread and there not deleted why is that?????

Even the guy ripping BLD's park still has his post on here mine gets
deleted with absolutely nothing derogatory just dimensions.

Sorry JayPar fair is fair.

Sept. 22
big unit

19 posts
First of all SSUSA representatives should act a little more professional when addressing the teams concerns about the batter box issues at the big league dreams complex we are not making jokes about this issue. The umpires were all saying the same thing about enforcing the batter box rule of stepping out of the box , this only happens at the BLD complex not at the other complex,i recently played at the BLD in Vegas and realized that there was one field ( Yankees)where the plate was set back further than the the other fields which I didn’t see one call for being out of box on that field. Why was this plate set back further than the other fields or was the box made bigger ???
All plates and batters boxes should be the same at all fields no exceptions !
If they are not all the same than there should be an exception in place for all fields.

The problem is that the plate was never intended to be called a strike when we were playing young guy ball which all seniors have played. Now that the organization have decided to make the plate a strike ,the organization will have to take this in consideration and give some leniency since we now have to deal with the plate being a strike and have to protect the front of the plate , the only way to do this is to move forward in the box so we can protect plate since it now is a strike. Instead of being a ball as it was when we all starting playing this game. I know Ssusa isn’t going to like this but ISSA states you must have 1 foot in box.

This has been an ongoing issue at this complex (BLD)since i have been playing senior ball, i really feel this should be dealt with in a professional manner asap not wait til the winter meetings or the rule change committee in December. This isn’t the first time teams have been concerned about this and SSUSA knows about this issue, but they want us to attend or write in comments in a email which is a way to push this issue off til then.we pay a lot money to attend these tournaments for which we should get professional representation from the governing body for issues that are concerning to all the teams.
Sept. 23
hitnrun5
Men's 70
72 posts
All you tall guys think you have problems with the batters box, try being 5'4" tall! If I stand at the back of the box, I can't reach the short strike, and if I stand at the front of the box, the deep strike is way over my head! We short guys/gals don't lobby for a smaller batters box, we learned to adjust.
Sept. 23
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 60
104 posts
My $.02:

The batter's box should enable batters to hit strikes without running the risk of being called out for stepping out of the batters box. This principle should be in accordance with a strike zone approximately from the knee to the shoulder.

A minimum arc pitch striking the front of the mat should not require a batter to violate the front of the batter's box in order to hit a ball at knee level that would be called a strike.

A maximum arc pitch striking the back of the mat should not require a batter to violate the back of the batter's box in order to hit a ball at shoulder level that would be called a strike.

Of course, one size does not fit all. Generally, a taller batter is at a disadvantage in the first example and a shorter batter in the second example.

If SSUSA is going to have a batter's box at tournaments, I suggest:

1. Biometric geometry accommodating a range of tall & short batters in relation to pitch arc within the knee to shoulder strike zone should determine the dimensions of the batter's box, relative to the strike mat. This is not rocket science, but it is science that can be applied with a fairly high degree of accuracy and fairness.

2. Ensure the batter's box is consistent at every SSUSA tournament. Where a hitter stands in relation to the strike mat is a key part of his game. Having to contend with inconsistent batter's box dimensions which render some called strikes nearly unhittable (changing from one field or tourney to the next) can be a negative factor in our enjoyment of this sport, and possibly affect the outcome of a game.

This is very much a hitters sport, so we don't want to take away whatever edge pitchers might have. However, the mat covers enough area so that well placed low arc & high arc strikes can be difficult to hit. When a pitcher makes that perfect pitch, I'd rather have the batter tip his hat to the pitcher than curse SSUSA because he was constrained by an unreasonable batter's box.
Sept. 23
Guppy7325

15 posts
I have a simple solution. Why not take batting practice with a batter's box like BLD. A little prevention for what's coming so you can prepare. Don't blame BLD for you not being prepared and besides this is not going away. I umpired at BLD back in 2016/17/18. NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!!!!! You have the solution, stop whining.

Remember to follow the rules of the game. 90/10 rule. If you want change come to the convention with your proposal.

Good work Dave, Terry, and Rick!!!
Sept. 24
JCColorado

25 posts
The issue at BLD is that not all the plates were in the same place relative to the batter's box. The field mentioned above where there were numerous guys called out the plate was significantly up in the box.
Sept. 25
USAMTZ
Men's 55
20 posts
IMO, the main issue is that there is not a unified approach from all the umpires. We played multiple games at BLD last weekend with different umpires behind the plate and they all addressed the batters box differently. 1 was strickly u step out n ur out, 1 was u can step out as long as it is part of ur regular stride, 1 was u can step out as long as ur heel still touches white on contact, 1 was u can go out as long as u don't take an extra step(s). 1 was non specific.

Things like 6-12' arc, a pitch that hits the mat, pitcher has to have 1 foot at/inside the rubber, presenting the ball before pitched are all things that are set for the umpires n can be slightly subjective. But the batters box is not and can make an umpire become too much a part of the game, when they should not be.

Wbaum is correct in his analysis, at BLD they are set for an over plate strikezone. If ur under 6' may not an issue, but being 6'4" n trying to stay in n take a normal swing is tough.

Teams including my own, were affected by this and changed the course of some games. We would have finished nearly the same, but it definitely diminished our overall team experience this year.


2 possible solutions, 1. Head Umpire n TD have a pre-tournament meeting to set a unified approach for the games. 2. Raise the pitch heights, so a front edge strike is more hitable without moving forward.

Learning from past experiences can help evolve the game n improve future tournaments.

Sept. 25
HAT MAN
Men's 50
230 posts
My take from this past weekend.
I don't mind the rule as it's been there since I started playing seniors. You learn to adjust just like you do if you play utrip or asa.

The problem is once the tournament starts no one is checking up on the umpires to see if they are consistent.
Friday I played at Cheyenne and the chalked box was even with back of the mat and chalked way forward. No one came close to stepping out of the box.
We move to bld and I'm called out of the box for the first time ever. I'm 6'4" dodger field. Box was close to 40"wide (not legal)
Saturday we play at sunset boxes are wider and longer then regulation

Lastly I watched several 40 major plus games Sunday and no box whatsoever and 70% were way out in front. Not 1 single call made.

This is the problem, inconsistent enforcement of the rule and physical dimensions. I had 4 different batting stances based on boxes and umpire enforcement

Vinny
Sept. 25
mck71
Men's 60
345 posts
And that is why Vinny I personally like what was proposed by wbaum (OP), make the rule simple and it travels to ANY field. Simply, a batter can not make contact with a ball with BOTH feet in front of the mat/plate, if they do they are out. So basically as an umpire, I am looking to make sure one foot is behind the front of the mat when making contact and I could care less if there is a box or not or even if is it the correct dimensions, right? We are old guys, making things simpler is always better (IMHO). Sounds like Full Count already submitted the proposed rule change in email as suggested, should be an interesting discussion.

Of course, someone will say, "what happens to the player standing 4 feet away from the plate?" Great question, but I would probably just throw him and outside short pitch and see what happens! :-)
Sept. 25
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
Hope the folks that want to change the rule listen carefully to Dave's guidance. This forum isn't the place to get rules changed. You need to submit something in writing (email)...or better yet, attend the rules conference. Other organizations have altered their batter's box rules. If you want SSUSA to consider it, please follow the proper channel. Suggest you state the rule...your argument...and your suggestions to improve it above....but through the proper channels. "Info@seniorsoftball.com with "Rules Committee" in the Memo Line or snail-mail"
Sept. 27
Turning2
Men's 70
204 posts
The batters box dimensions as currently used by SSUSA and most other softball organizations are fine as currently stated. Box is 4' forward from the first angle on home plate, thus 4' less 8.5" allowing 3' 3 1/2" for stride. Box is 3' reward from this same measuring point and typically never an issue. txnighttrain earlier spelled out this same forward stride length

The problem is twofold - first problem is bad enough by itself, the second problem happens entirely too often and is much more serious.

1- grounds crews many times just chalk in a rectangular box, no measurements are made at all, fix this and 95% of the problems go away. Managers should include a tape measure in their travel bag and simply measure the box before the game begins, show any errors to umpires and tournament directors and if necessary erase any forward lines that are erroneous.

Example: I'm 5'10", right hand hitter, stand with my right foot in line with the front edge of the plate and impossible for me to overstride and clear the front line of the batters box IF its chaulked in properly. Possibly a 6'4" or taller guy could overstride? Maybe

2- Umpires not trained properly or "you know the umps i'm describing next" The ump that wants to be a central focus point of the game, call outs anytime that he can. Any and all attending a game and are subject to an umpire continuously calling batters out of the box and becoming too much of a focal point know what i am referring to and that something is wrong.

An umpires primary job is to use good judgement and knowledge of ALL the rules to render a fair and equitable game to both teams. Address the batters box BEFORE the first pitch with the umpires and other officials and the problem goes away.

Sept. 27
nickname36

98 posts
"EXACTLY"

Everybody seems to have a excuse or remedy but nothing is getting done on a web site.
What needs to be done is contact BLD and get this problem fixed quit bitching about it.
Somebody from Vegas needs to take the bull by the horns contact BLD and get something
done your tax dollars and entry fees are paying for this problem. If I lived in Vegas BLD would
be hearing from me not senior softball they have nothing to do with the mistake or mistakes
BLD Vegas made on the fields..
Sept. 27
Full Count

57 posts
I believe most umpires don't appreciate being put in the position to call out a batters for being out of the box. Many times only an inch or two. We all know hitters don't like being called out on such a ticky tack calls. Friends and family members watching the game don't appreciate it either. Let's just put everybody at ease and adopt the USSSA conference rule. I have already set my email to SSUSA and I suggest everybody else do the same.
Sept. 28
TimMcElroy

961 posts
I'm going to disagree with you Full Count.

Are you okay with umps calling strikes when a ball is just an inch or two from touching the mat?

Are you okay with a ball down the line being called fair because it was just an inch or two from hitting the chalk?

Are you okay with runners being called safe at home because they almost beat the throw?

Who gets to decide which of these calls are ticky tack?

I'm open to discussing batter's box rule ideas but until something is formally changed, the rule is the rule. Umps that pick and choose which rules to enforce make the job more difficult for everyone else.
Sept. 28
IDon'tKnow 3rdBase
Men's 65
28 posts
A lot of discussion about using USSSA batter box rules. The USSSA rule doesn't apply to SSUSA because the pitch to strike path is very different. USSSA batters have to run up and out of the batters box to hit a low strike because of the pitcher release point rule. Running out of the box is not necessary in SSUSA rules. Leave it be.
Sept. 29
mck71
Men's 60
345 posts
IDK3B - I don't think that is why. Sure the pitcher tries to release from a lower position because it's 3 feet from release but most pitchers still release at least from their knee or higher. They have to throw from 50 in Conference, can go back up to 6 ft in Non-Conference. I have watched a LOT of Conference and almost none of them run up, they are all positioned in the front of the box with that back foot middle to front of the plate and simply stride forward. I have see WAY more guys run up in my 10 yrs of senior ball. The rule as written is fine honestly, but the batter box dimension doesn't take into account the plate being a strike hence the conversation. Trying to find a "unified" solution makes the most sense to me but if the rule didn't change I would still play! :-)
Oct. 1
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
I’ve been playing slow pitch softball for 55 years now. Being a baseball player, I set myself in the batter’s box, only shifting to go to the opposite field occasionally. In that time, I have been called out ONCE for being out of the batter’s box. I stepped on the plate going after an outside pitch. I adjusted after that.
When I started playing, we played unlimited arc. There were pitchers that could bring rain-20 feet high pitches were legal. Yes, they had to land behind the plate, but we had to figure out how to hit them. I adjusted and learned how to hit it. But, Advantage-Pitcher.
Then they came up with the arc limits. Wow, no more super high pitches to worry about. This is the level I started seeing players able to actually run up a step or two to hit on the move. Large Advantage-Batter.
Then came USSSA and the low fast pitch, the pitcher with more moves than Jello, sometimes pacing all around the infield before actually delivering the ball after 4 fake pitches. Some were even stupid enough to run AT THE BATTER AFTER A PITCH. All legal. I learned to relax and actually came up with a quicker swing. I adjusted. Advantage-Pitcher.
When I got to SSUSA, it went back to the present height limits with no mat. The ball had to hit behind the plate and, although we were at the mercy of umpire’s interpretation of the strike zone, I adjusted again. Advantage-Batter.
Then came the mat. If you consider the debate about the mat as to whether to include the plate as a strike or not, you have to envision how small the mat would be WITHOUT THE PLATE INCLUDED. At this time, I believe the mound was at 45 feet. Including the plate was, in my humble opinion, the correct move. But now there really was a confined target for the pitcher. Happily, I set up and just waited for my pitch, which was about any strike. The pitcher really had a limited strike zone. Large Advantage-Batter.
Then came the move back to 50 feet for the pitcher. It was a great move for the safety of the pitcher and gave them a bit more time to react to hits. The strike zone did change a bit, but not really a lot. I made the small adjustment. Advantage-Slightly to pitcher.
The biggest move in a long time was the move to allow the pitcher to go TEN feet behind the actual rubber to pitch. This is what has created a problem for batters, because the difference between the low pitch up front and the high pitch to the back shoulder now becomes an issue. For pitchers, this was a great move. I agree it is a hitter’s game, but taking away any advantage a good pitcher can exploit is not in the interest of a competitive game. All hitters had to adjust. But the ones that have had to adjust the most are the ones that run up to hit. We have all seen the batter that goes too far and is way out front of the plate to hit, but is not called out because there is no front batter’s box line. It is human nature to push the limits of any rule to try and get an advantage. I have adjusted my hitting again. Advantage-Pitchers.
Having said that, I was surprised to find that the only stipulation in the rule book was that the batter’s box is 3 feet by 7 feet. The plate has to be a certain size. HOWEVER, I could not find anywhere that there was any rule as to where it must be in relation to the plate, UNTIL I saw the drawings on p. 84-86 of the rule book. Maybe THIS is the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed by umpires and players. I have seen batter’s boxes that were clearly drawn incorrectly, and the umpires usually acknowledge that if brought to their attention. The correct dimensions: The inside line of the batter’s box must be 6” from the plate. By extrapolation, the front of the batter’s box will be at 39.5 inches from the front of the plate. I did not find this figure anywhere, but it seems to be the biggest concern here and would give umpires and batters a guideline. 3 feet, 3.5 inches. Hitnrun did allude to the fact that shorter hitters are at a disadvantage with this. Kenny has adjusted, though and is a legitimate .800 hitter when healthy. Taller batters also have to be careful to stand far enough back to where they cannot overstep that front edge. In my humble opinion, the batters that run up also need to be held to the guidelines to stay in the box. It does not need to be changed, but maybe the term ’39.5’ should become the standard of reference. There cannot be ‘tolerance’ of violations of the rule. Thanks for reading.
Oct. 3
nickname36

98 posts
"EXACTLY"
Must of been bored in marana az but then again its close to tucson
enough said, to write a novel, don't have time to read it. There should
be a word limit on here. LOL LOL
Oct. 4
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
You are right, nickname. But I had fun.LOL In a nutshell, the distance from the plate to the top of the batters box is 39.5 inches. It is 3x7 feet. It is 6 inches from the plate. The rules say you need to stay in the box. IMHO it is plenty big and positioned where it should be. And Tim McElroy is right. There cannot be any 'tolerance'. Softball is a game of inches. If you allow a few more inches forward, there will be those that push it until they start demanding ANOTHER few inches. Nope. It is fine where it is.
Oct. 6
christom10
Men's 55
19 posts
Webbie25 - there are 2 issues I see. One is Dave's attempt at humor (What Box) and boxes drawn on dirt fields. After a couple of innings, the front of the box is almost decimated. As Dave indicated with the picture "there is no box", we know there isn’t time or money to redraw the box between games. However, if you implement the rule USSSA has, which is if a batter makes contact with the ball with both feet in front of the plate the batter in that picture is clearly going to be or should be called out. The second issue is turf fields. The boxes are never symmetrical from field to field and can’t be ‘redrawn’. If the rule is changed where both feet can not be in front of the plate when contact is made it, then you don’t worry about the box being drawn incorrectly AND the batter doesn’t have to make changes from field to field on where to stand in relation to the plate. The only time I have an issue with a guy being out of the box is when they’re moving forward and shoot middle. At 55 Worlds I saw several guys called out of the box when they hit a HR. Totally stupid IMO. Also, I think we can agree that the box issue only/mostly relates to guys stepping out of the front of the box, not the back or sides.
Oct. 6
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
Christom-so do we draw a line to establish where the point is that both feet are in front of the line? That will be gone in the first inning. Do we require that turf fields draw that line? All you are doing is opening a different can of worms, as I see it. Does hitting a home run make it right to be out of the box? If you extend the box, either by writing the rule differently to move the front of the box a few inches forward, or to allow a person's foot to go over as long as their back foot does not end up in front of the plate, you are allowing the batter to advance to a point closer to the fence, and to the pitcher. I see no difference.
Oct. 8
Hank Heffner

11 posts
Why do you think the batters box is there? The box is there so the pitcher can decide how to pitch a batter by his position he is in the box. The short pitch is like a good curve in baseball. Trying to get the batter to hit a ground ball. I know the batter wants to hit the ball higher than his waist so should we allow a batter to move up on a pitchers pitch so you can make it your pitch. I agree batters boxes get rubbed out early but if they are drawn correctly an umpire knows when a batter is over the line 90% of the time. And just because the line is gone he still should make the call. If no foul lines are down je still has to make a call. Batters want all the rules to help them out. Give pitchers a chance. When a baseball pitchers throws that breaking ball over the outside corner and the announcers say that is unhittable the umpire does not let the batter step out of the box so they can hit it.
Oct. 9
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
If this is a concern for you as a batter, maybe you should carry a tape measure with you to measure from the front of the plate to the top of the batters box to make sure it is right. 39.5 inches.
Oct. 9
SSUSA Staff

3528 posts
We're going to shut this down now due to an "excessive pitch count" ... We suspect it may come up at the National Rules Committee meetings in Ft. Myers in December ... Thanks for your insights ... ** THREAD CLOSED **
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