POLL ~Umpires fudging with the strike zone area.

Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Should ump fluctuate zone pending the pitchers success rate

  • Yes

    Votes: 2 4.9%
  • No

    Votes: 24 58.5%
  • Absurd

    Votes: 12 29.3%
  • Necessary

    Votes: 3 7.3%

  • Total voters


Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
The answer to the question is complicated. The short version is that there are times when there simply isn't a choice if you want either team to gain anything from playing the game. I work some games (bad HS and some rec) in which I might call 5 or 6 strikes the whole game if I used the "book" strike zone. Honestly, it's more simple when both pitchers are bad. When you have one good pitcher and one terrible pitcher, it gets much more complicated.
Are you flucuating the zone for each pitcher?
Or keeping a consistant zone for both pitchers?

The example in post included pitcher struggling and what the batters success may be.
Nov 4, 2015
Part of the pole question may be from one of my comments on another thread. When pitchers are struggling at young ages and I hear a coach say, "don't swing until you get a strike", I'm doing everything i can as a umpire to find a strike. No one gets better because they know how to walk. Again, I will do my best not to ring a batter up on a questionable pitch, but send the kids up to bat to hit. Now i havent done any umpiring in many years so this is just my opinion.
Jul 27, 2021
Moving the strike zone is ABSURD.

The strike zone is already bigger for the younger age groups and there is already bias for rec teams.

Coaches and players work way to hard on learning the game, practices, mechanics, rules. How many times has EVERY coach, parent, grandparent, spectator told a player NOT to swing at pitches in the dirt or at thier head........ALL of US a 1000 times over.

How unsporting.....how unfair for an ump to "CHANGE THE RULES"
Aug 23, 2016
I think it's tricky. No one benefits from a walkfest but when the umpire starts adjusting the strike zone, it can get ugly.

I've never seen an umpire open up the zone for both teams. I've only seen them call completely different zones for both teams. Pitcher A gets strikes only if the entire ball crosses the plate and is between the top of the knee and the waist, while Pitcher B gets strikes called if the ball crosses anywhere between neck and ankles and is within three balls of the plate. And that's just not fair to the batters who are pretty much expected to swing at anything, and it doesn't encourage the struggling pitchers to hit the zone because they're going to get strike calls on balls that are so far out of the zone.


Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
There is no legit reason to call strikes on pitches out of the strike zone, especially in a timed game. Yes, you may have a walk-fest, but the alternative is a "K-fest" with batters being rung up on obviously bad pitches. That cheats all concerned. I don't go off on umpires for seeing a play differently than me or simply making a mistake, but those who invent their own rules will set me off. Too much goes into getting a team on the field, even a rec team. Everyone deserves a fairly called game. If the pitchers can't throw strikes, it's time for them to practice more, not be coddled by someone looking at their watch.
Aug 29, 2011
The correct answer is umps should enforce the rules, not make their own.

The reality is it depends a fair mount on the level of play, the score, and whether or not a mercy rule is in effect.

I mean a 10U rec game is going to be quite a bit different than an 18U-A game.
Jul 29, 2013
North Carolina
I could never be an umpire, cause I’d definitely be a pitchers ump…..but, I love hitting!

It wouldn’t take but a half a inning for both teams to learn a ball off the plate in the river is a strike, so you girls better swing the bat!! ;)
Jul 1, 2019
Personal opinion, strike zone should be determined by age or level of play. "A" ball is "A" and you ought to be able to find the strike zone as a pitcher, if not then you're in the wrong level. Rec ball is what it is, open it up a little, make the hitters hit, we're not teaching them how to walk (that said, I'm not suggesting the zone be 6" over their head to the batters ankles either). School ball may be a different beast for different areas, ours area is rather competitive so most schools have some pretty good pitching. Yeah there are some that walk more than we're use to in our TB games, but no one is walking in 42 runs.

Either way, it's got to be the same zone for both pitchers. I can't stand it when DD's zone gets narrower because they can't hit her and we're up a decent amount. I also can't stand it when they start calling strikes off the plate when we're batting (I refuse to teach DD to start swinging at a pitch 6" outside the plate). We've had our butts kicked before by a couple dang good pitchers who we couldn't figure out. I wouldn't want the zone shrank so that they had to put it down the middle so we could hit, that's not making our girls any better and not fair to that pitcher. Give them the corners, or don't, but don't change it for one team and not the other.