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Discussion: Batters Box Rule Change

Posted Discussion
Feb. 11, 2024
Enviro-Vac
Men's 65
489 posts
Batters Box Rule Change
Regarding the batters box rule change: “The batter must take an initial position with his back foot no further forward than a line defining the front edge of home plate. The batter will be called out if he hits the ball when the back foot is completely further forward than the line defining the front edge of home plate”.

A question as to how the new rule might be applied. Is it meant to be applicable at the point of contact with the ball or where the back foot eventually ends up at the completion of the swing. Some batters forward stride with the lead leg at contact will cause the momentum of the stride and hip rotation to drag their back foot forward of the plate after contact, also some left-handed hitters often slap the ball toward 3rd base and are already running at contact.
Feb. 12, 2024
B.J.
1105 posts
E-V.. the way I read the rule is that the back foot cannot be COMPLETELY forward of the front edge of the strike mat/plate when "CONTACT" is being made with the ball.. so then if in the batters follow thru of the swing his foot moves forward of the line I would still have a legal at bat..

what I don't like about the new rule is the wording they say when he hits the ball and no reference about follow thru
Feb. 12, 2024
DieselDan
Men's 75
600 posts
Then you have a possible discussion with the umpire when the ball is contacted by the batter if the ump was quick enough to see if the batters foot was in front of this line when ball is contacted. I'd rather see the ump move out to the right to see a close play at first.
Feb. 12, 2024
Scott Harder
Men's 60
49 posts
I am OK with this rule BUT, I need to ask about a pitch that hits the dirt and the black in front of the plate so the ball bounces straight up or nearly straight up. This means the ball was at shoe level before it got near the plate. IF a batter is to hit that pitch he has to step up past the front of the plate. If he takes it he will be called out, if he hits it, he will be called out. Please help me understand what I'm supposed to do with that pitch that seems to be very popular a one to throw when I'm in the box!
Feb. 12, 2024
MurrayW
Men's 65
221 posts
Scott Harder,it's the back foot that has to stay even with the front of the plate, not the front foot.
Feb. 12, 2024
Scott Harder
Men's 60
49 posts
Hi MurrayW, I understand that. But in order to hit a ball well, it needs to be at chest level, and you can't reach that pitch with one foot behind or even with the front of the plate, you have to step up to hit it. It just seems like we haven't thought this through. If a pitcher doesn't want players to run up and hit it, he can pitch it higher and deeper. It's a real disadvantage to the hitter if he's throwing flat and short and will get called out for hitting those pitches at his waist or higher and called out for taking it.
Feb. 12, 2024
Scott Harder
Men's 60
49 posts
I would like to see the pitch that hits the front edge of the plate called a ball. If it hits on top of the front of the plate, you would still call that a strike, but if it hits the dirt or the black of the plate (in front only) it should be called a ball. This would help avoid forcing batter to step up to hit a flatter short pitch. Just my opinion.
Feb. 12, 2024
Webbie25
Men's 70
2414 posts
Welcome to the art of pitching, Scott. The hitter has every advantage in the world. The pitcher has to throw the ball at a certain height and hit a mat a certain size. If he can do this legally and throw a pitch that is hard to hit well, he has done all he can. Good pitchers vary it up between the short, low pitch and the high deep pitch. I happen to agree that there should be a limit to how far a batter can advance in the box to hit a pitch. I've seen Murray hit that low pitch a long ways. He adjusted. It can be done.
Feb. 12, 2024
Dbax
Men's 65
2100 posts
A ball definitely does not need to be chest high to be hit well.
Feb. 12, 2024
nails
Men's 70
71 posts
At last tournament umpire told me I would b out even on a foul ball Is this true?
Feb. 13, 2024
Webbie25
Men's 70
2414 posts
Nails-Section 7.3. Yes, a batter striking the ball fair or foul is out if out of the batters box.
Feb. 13, 2024
SSUSA Staff
3487 posts
nails ... YES ... See Rulebook §7.3 A. on page 41 ...
Feb. 13, 2024
Enviro-Vac
Men's 65
489 posts
I like the intent of the rule but might we be asking a lot of an umpire? I believe a little clarity would be helpful. e.g. a batter who has a hard swing and a powerful rotation could well hit the ball with his back foot as prescribed - back of the forward point of home plate at contact but at the moment of contact the back foot for many will lift a little and move forward with the force of the rotation which could result in the back foot landing in front of home plate. That motion tends to happen very quickly. There are many videos available to demonstrate this effect.
Feb. 13, 2024
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4312 posts
We'll see how it plays out ... But for the sake of transparency, more than a little bit of the intent of the rule change was to reduce the incessant complaining by batters getting called out of the box, particularly at venues where they are unable to wipe out the permanent lines on artificial turf fields ... Have fun!
Feb. 14, 2024
B.J.
1105 posts
i don't think this rule change makes it anymore difficult of a call from an umpires standpoint than the old version.. the key here is the wording when the batter actually hits the ball(makes contact) it has nothing to do with his follow thru.. I do think it could be a problem for slap hitters who tend to shift their stance to go to the opposite field
Feb. 14, 2024
Scott Harder
Men's 60
49 posts
I know I'm whining but, I have very short legs, which causes me to have a short stride of less than 18" when I swing/contact the ball. The actual batter's box is supposed to extend roughly 2 feet in front of the plane of the front of the plate. This means I can have both of my feet in the actual box while my back foot is past the imaginary arbitrary non-line plane of the front edge of the plate. I don't expect you to do anything on my behalf, just asking to consider making the dirt in the front of the plate out of the strike zone.
Feb. 14, 2024
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4312 posts
Major League Baseball non-pitchers, ranging from 3'-7" Eddie Gaedel to 6'-8" Nate Freiman, ALL found a way to stay in the batter's box during the nearly 150 years since that first MLB season in 1876 ... This discussion has now gone from the sublime to the ridiculous ... With the clarity of 20-20 hindsight, the National Rules Committee never should have changed the batter's box rule ...
Feb. 14, 2024
Webbie25
Men's 70
2414 posts
Scott-the actual distance in 39 inches from the front of the plate to the top of the batters box. I agree with Dave. The batters box has been there, for a reason. Why change it now? I also agree on the difficulty of an umpire calling it. Do we draw a line, which will be gone in one inning, in the box? I don't think the new rule really changes anything.
Feb. 14, 2024
Webbie25
Men's 70
2414 posts
Scott, with the front of the box at 39 inches from the front of the plate, if your stride is 18 inches, then you can line up with your back foot even with the front of the plate. Set your feet 20 inches apart. An 18 inch stride will leave you 1 inch short of the top of the batters box and therefore legal, and you will be in front of the plate so the pitch will be higher for you. Good luck.
Feb. 15, 2024
TooOldToFight
Men's 60
23 posts
The average male shoe is a size 10. (I know because I polled 6 friends.) The average deer hoof is only 2 to 3". If a man is forced to have his injured back foot replaced with a deer hoof he immediately becomes disadvantaged since his margin for error of stepping out of the box is decreased 3 to 5 fold.

Similarly, a blind batter could hit a perfect line drive and not realize he's stepped 3 feet out of the box until he hears the umpire scream, "Out of the box, you're out! What's the matter with you, are you blind?!"

SSUSA, please update the batter's box rule to include these two unique but likely scenarios, as well as the infinite number of additional unique scenarios that might occur. Thank you.

One more suggestion, consider charging people a fee based on the ridiculousness of their post. Please implement after this message because I couldn't afford the fine.

Removing my tongue from my cheek, the rule seems as reasonable as anything else I've seen, so I suggest we give it a shot and if SSUSA decides it needs to be adjusted they'll do so. Just my two cents.
Feb. 15, 2024
stick8
1991 posts
Essentially this is the same rule we use in One Nation. We do allow the batter to drag the toe on his back foot in front of the front edge of home plate upon contact. What One Nation wanted to achieve was try and eliminate batters running up in the box and hitting.
And if your back foot is beyond the edge of home plate when making contact and you hit a foul ball it’s not a foul ball, it’s an out!!!
Feb. 15, 2024
Scott Harder
Men's 60
49 posts
Dave, clearly I'm well below average; thanks for the reminder. All I'm asking it to consider taking the dirt in front of the plate out of the strike zone. Balls that land on the dirt and hit the black trim around the plate are being called strikes.
Feb. 15, 2024
titanhd
Men's 60
638 posts
Scott Harder. I agree. The ball should have to hit any white portion of the plate. Contrary to popular belief the Black frame outline is not considered part of the Plate nor part of it's measurement.
Feb. 15, 2024
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4312 posts
Scott ... I wasn't trying to single anyone out ... To the contrary, I intended to be all-inclusive ... I suspect you likely fit somewhere in the height range of 3'-7" to 6'-8", which is the upper and lower limit of ALL non-pitcher Major League Baseball players in history ... I picked that group because they have one thing in common: The ability to STAY IN THE BATTER'S BOX for nearly a century and a half of play ... If you think there should be further refinement, please write it up for submission, or attend in person, the 2024 National Rules Committee sessions at the annual convention in late November ...

Feb. 21, 2024
k man
Men's 65
326 posts
BJ, you're point of hitters going opposite field and the back foot in front of the plate is spot on.
Our summer league started using this back foot rule for the last 2 seasons. When we are on the 3rd base side and the dugout is near home place is when I notice this issue the most. The obvious in this case is the right hand batter who goes after an outside pitch, pivots as he is hitting and the back foot is in front of the line. Ive seen it both for and against my team and have yet to have an umpire ring the batter up for stepping out of the box. At best they were given a warning. Also I can only imagine what the umpire is concentrating on as that scenario is taking place. Pitch is coming outside plate, ball is being hit right field, trail foot is swinging around on opposite side of plate and we only use one umpire.
I assume the intent of the rule is to limit guys running up on the ball in proximity to the pitcher and the guys opposite and ahead of the line will just have to be very conscious of their abuse of the rule.
Feb. 23, 2024
Full Count
57 posts
I don't see any rule change 2023-24 pdf.
All the rules I see are the same as 2022-2023.
Feb. 24, 2024
B.J.
1105 posts
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