Coach, you NEED to work on this (TMIB's Points of Emphasis)

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Jan 25, 2022
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There are so many parents (and coaches now) who never played, that they don’t know what to respect.

Had a coach ask me about a rule this weekend, then say “sorry, I didn’t grow up playing so I don’t know all this stuff” and all I could think was 1) holy crow, 12 other adults agreed to give somebody $2,000 (or something) to have you teach these girls and 2) that explains a lot.

Even things like “please” and “thank you” (what’s the count, please?”, “ok, thanks”) are getting rare.
At least he was willing to admit it. Sometimes it's all they can get and would rather have a team with an inexperienced coach than to not have a team at all. I've seen it numerous times here at the school level.
 
May 29, 2015
3,851
113
There are so many parents (and coaches now) who never played, that they don’t know what to respect.

Had a coach ask me about a rule this weekend, then say “sorry, I didn’t grow up playing so I don’t know all this stuff” and all I could think was 1) holy crow, 12 other adults agreed to give somebody $2,000 (or something) to have you teach these girls and 2) that explains a lot.

Even things like “please” and “thank you” (what’s the count, please?”, “ok, thanks”) are getting rare.

... and he started that team because he knew more than the coach his daughter was playing for. :oops:
 
May 29, 2015
3,851
113
Tell me what tournaments DD will want to pitch at them. Lol
The rule strike zone for softball is huge. Any part of the ball over the plate top of knees to armpit. The ball is 3.76” in diameter.
Very rarely see a strike called on a ball centered with the bellybutton. By rule the zone is 6-8” higher.
What I typically see is giving 2-3 inches low a strike ( bottom of knee) to bottom of ball at the waste. Width I see center of the ball has to be over plate.
I think the zone is too big but by rule it is almost any pitch that completely disappears at the shoulder and completely inside the lines.

The height of the zone depends on the code. I did a pretty comprehensive write-up on that a while back.

The width of the zone is the same everywhere ... The plate is 17" wide and the ball is 3.76" wide. That's roughly 24" of width over the plate for a strike.

I would go out on a limb and say most low pitches aren't "given." It is one of, if not the, hardest spot to call. I hate calling low strikes, but I know I do on some days.

The top of the knee is the standard (NCAA, NFHS, USA, USSSA) for the bottom of the zone. The average woman's knee height is 18" ... drop that a few inches for a teenager, so let's call it 16". Also keep in mind the batter isn't usually standing straight up, so drop that zone another couple of inches. We'll say 15" off the ground for an older batter. With the size of the ball, the top touches the bottom of the zone and the ball is about 11" off the ground ... that is at the front of the plate, so it can continue to drop as it moves the additional five feet or so before it gets to the catcher ...
 
Apr 14, 2022
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The height of the zone depends on the code. I did a pretty comprehensive write-up on that a while back.

The width of the zone is the same everywhere ... The plate is 17" wide and the ball is 3.76" wide. That's roughly 24" of width over the plate for a strike.

I would go out on a limb and say most low pitches aren't "given." It is one of, if not the, hardest spot to call. I hate calling low strikes, but I know I do on some days.

The top of the knee is the standard (NCAA, NFHS, USA, USSSA) for the bottom of the zone. The average woman's knee height is 18" ... drop that a few inches for a teenager, so let's call it 16". Also keep in mind the batter isn't usually standing straight up, so drop that zone another couple of inches. We'll say 15" off the ground for an older batter. With the size of the ball, the top touches the bottom of the zone and the ball is about 11" off the ground ... that is at the front of the plate, so it can continue to drop as it moves the additional five feet or so before it gets to the catcher ...
I think the top is the same for usa usssa and nsa.

My theory is strikes called based upon where the catches it based upon baseball. In baseball a ball can drop 10-12” between the plate and the catcher on a low strike and 6-8” on a high strike. In softball you get about 4-6 on the low strike an 0-3” on high strike.
In baseball a strike high strike is caught below the waist and a low strike just a few inches above or even almost to the ground called. This assumes decent pitch velocity.

I rarely see a ball that crosses at a bellybutton still caught above the waist a strike. I do see a ball a few inches low caught just off the ground called.

I just assume most call where the ball is caught and are used to baseball. Due to the angle that gives a few inches low but can take 6 inches or so on the high side.

I sit off to the side where elevation is easier to tell. You can see where the ball disappears, I am not going off where it is caught at all. Really stands out in 12u where velocity varies a lot. A slow pitcher will get a higher pitch called due to the added drop in that 4-5’.
 
May 29, 2015
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113
I won’t say there aren’t umpires who incorrectly call the mitt, I will say that strikes happen at the plate.

You keep mentioning the belly button … are we talking MLB or youth softball? I have never seen a youth umpire use that standard, even accidentally. We would be on the same game all weekend if that was the case.

If you want to call strikes, stop watching the catcher and the batter, watch the ball.

NCAA has the tightest top of the zone: the ball must be completely under the top (which is weird since it can scrape the bottom).

I would say that “slow pitcher in 12u” is getting that call not because of their pitch, but because the umpire is trying to find strikes to get the game moving. There is no room to do that at the bottom of the zone.
 
May 27, 2022
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I think the top is the same for usa usssa and nsa.

My theory is strikes called based upon where the catches it based upon baseball. In baseball a ball can drop 10-12” between the plate and the catcher on a low strike and 6-8” on a high strike. In softball you get about 4-6 on the low strike an 0-3” on high strike.
In baseball a strike high strike is caught below the waist and a low strike just a few inches above or even almost to the ground called. This assumes decent pitch velocity.

I rarely see a ball that crosses at a bellybutton still caught above the waist a strike. I do see a ball a few inches low caught just off the ground called.

I just assume most call where the ball is caught and are used to baseball. Due to the angle that gives a few inches low but can take 6 inches or so on the high side.

I sit off to the side where elevation is easier to tell. You can see where the ball disappears, I am not going off where it is caught at all. Really stands out in 12u where velocity varies a lot. A slow pitcher will get a higher pitch called due to the added drop in that 4-5’.

If I am doing my job right, it doesn't matter where the catcher catches it, only where it was when it was over the plate.
 
Apr 14, 2022
609
63
I won’t say there aren’t umpires who incorrectly call the mitt, I will say that strikes happen at the plate.

You keep mentioning the belly button … are we talking MLB or youth softball? I have never seen a youth umpire use that standard, even accidentally. We would be on the same game all weekend if that was the case.

If you want to call strikes, stop watching the catcher and the batter, watch the ball.

NCAA has the tightest top of the zone: the ball must be completely under the top (which is weird since it can scrape the bottom).

I would say that “slow pitcher in 12u” is getting that call not because of their pitch, but because the umpire is trying to find strikes to get the game moving. There is no room to do that at the bottom of the zone.
Almost all umpires call the mitt to some extent. Mlb keeps a stat on pitch framing.

Belly button is just a reference for height. What I am saying is not only do they do not call a pitch at the armpit they do not always call one that is 4-6 inches lower.

What makes you think I am not watching the ball? When you sit in front or behind the batter and you watch the ball you see where the ball crosses the batter.

BTW I am not complaining just stating what I have seen in countless hours of softball. Sit to the side sometime and observe. I do not care as long as it is reasonable and consistent players have to adjust. With the high strike (at arm pits) they have already adjusted that it will be called a ball.
 

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