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Strike Zone ?

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Strike Zone ?

Postby ARE YOU KIDDING ME » December 20th, 2010, 9:42 am

They have already moved the pitching rubber back to 43' and now seem to be squeezing the pitchers at the same time. Here's what I found looking for what the strike zone should be:

The ASA and high school strike zone for fastpitch softball is the area over home plate from the batter's armpits to the top of the knees, when the batter assumes a natural batting stance. The top of the NCAA zone is the batter's sternum.

I've heard it all before about umpire consistency and all that but I rarely see any strikes called above the batters belly button. There's about 6 inches of upper stike zone not being called. I see too many average hitters hammering the ball off good pitchers when they know they can focus on the lower half of the zone. You would also think the zone would change with the batter's height but it doesn't. It almost gets worse. Low pitchers are now too low but the top of the zone doesn't move. What gives?
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby Coach Dale » December 20th, 2010, 2:29 pm

It all depends on how the umpire sets up in the slot. If you watch the ump you will notice if they call the strike low/high. They are supposed to set up with their eyes at the armpits of the batter so anything above their eyes would be a ball. If an umpire is "leaning forward" when they set up, this could cause them to call a lower strike. It also depends on if the catcher is setting up to block any of their view, after the ump sets up. If the ump can't see it cross the plate then they can't call it. Every umpire is different on the inside and outside pitch too. Some will tell you they give two ball widths either side, some will say it has to "touch" the black. Also sometimes the zone will "change" if everyone is questioning every pitch (or making their "ohhh's and awww's" every pitch).

Knowing your umpires and how they call their strike zone can affect your game plan on how you call your pitches as well. I have seen coaches continuously call inside pitches and harass the ump for not calling it. If they don't call it where you are having your pitcher throw, then you have to adjust to where they do call it. Yelling at the ump isn't going to change it.

Yes, before anyone says it, there are umpires that are consistently inconsistent. Not a whole lot you can do about that. Just knowing your umpires and how they call a game goes a long way.

:twocents-twocents:
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby rdelawder12 » December 20th, 2010, 3:40 pm

I could only fathom all the screaming if an umpire at 14U and above actually called the "Arm Pit" a strike. I dont understand why anyone would want an umpire to truly call the "Arm Pit" area a strike? I'm sure at the NCAA level from watching the College World Series on TV they actually call the Sternum? (lol) The waist to belly button as a max, but not the sternum in NCAA.
This is JMO:
10U-"Arm Pits" to bottom of the knee", appears as one ball in and one ball out
12U- Sternum to the bottom of the knee, appears as one ball in and one ball out
14U- Sternum to the bottom of the knee, appears as one ball in and one ball out
16U- Mid Stomach to top of the knee, appears as one ball in and one ball out
18U and above- Belly Button to top of the knee, appears as one ball in and one ball out
*One ball in and one ball out is like a view in Volleyball, did the inside of the ball go over the black of the plate, not where it ends up in the glove, but where it crossed the plate? Curve balls outside will mostly appear as 2 balls out once its caught)

If anything needs addressed it's not the height of the pitch, its the 2 balls out or 2 balls in. Softball strikezone based on in and out, with a lot of umpires needs to be tightened. I get tired of watching umpires calling two balls out or 2 balls in. Nothing worse when a young lady learns the strike zone and umpires are calling strikes in the opposite batters box, do we need to send girls to the plate with 36" bats? (lol)
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby irishmafia » December 20th, 2010, 10:06 pm

Ya know, I've been explaining (not trying, but actually explaining) how the strike zone is to be called (as the umpires are instructed), but I've found that no matter how precise or accommodating my explaination may be, many just have a certain train of thought and no matter what I say, those folks would rather argue, so screw it, I'm not going to do it any more.
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby rdelawder12 » December 21st, 2010, 9:37 am

irishmafia wrote:Ya know, I've been explaining (not trying, but actually explaining) how the strike zone is to be called (as the umpires are instructed), but I've found that no matter how precise or accommodating my explaination may be, many just have a certain train of thought and no matter what I say, those folks would rather argue, so screw it, I'm not going to do it any more.



Come On Irishmafia dont give up on us now! :think:
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby Coach Dale » December 21st, 2010, 2:24 pm

Per the rule book (cut and paste) and it does not give a different definition for any specific age group. It is supposed to be called the same at ALL age groups:

"THE STRIKE ZONE is that space over home plate, which is between the
batters forward armpit and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a
natural batting stance. Any part of the ball passing through the strike zone
in flight shall be considered a strike; the umpire shall determine the batter’s
strike zone according to the batter’s usual stance"
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby crdfn11 » December 21st, 2010, 2:51 pm

So Coach Dale with that being said a strike could be from the shoulders to the ankles as only any part of the ball needs to be in the strike zone and you being a coach would be the first to have a problem with that being called in any game of importance
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby ARE YOU KIDDING ME » December 21st, 2010, 3:19 pm

Coach Dale wrote:Per the rule book (cut and paste) and it does not give a different definition for any specific age group. It is supposed to be called the same at ALL age groups:

"THE STRIKE ZONE is that space over home plate, which is between the
batters forward armpit and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a
natural batting stance. Any part of the ball passing through the strike zone
in flight shall be considered a strike; the umpire shall determine the batter’s
strike zone according to the batter’s usual stance"


Exactly Coach Dale. I don't question strikes inside or outside. Umpires are usually consistent on these during a game and if not calling the inside ones will give them on the outside or vica versa. Even some posts on here suggested they never call strikes above the belly button. Where did the upper part of the zone go and why aren't umpires calling it? Maybe I'll have to post in the Umpire Section for feedback from the boys in blue?
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby irishmafia » December 21st, 2010, 10:45 pm

rdelawder12 wrote:Come On Irishmafia dont give up on us now! :think:


Well, okay. :wink:

The strike zone is defined by physical attributes which everyone has. The sternum is ....well, let's say I'm not a fan as it is not a visible reference for an umpire. It is basically a guess and may vary from one umpire to the next. But then again, so can everything else :o I consider it as a pass for umpires to not be harassed for not calling "the book" zone.

For those who love to refer to "the letters", that is another variable that if ever documented that way, you will see players with team names on their stomach. :lol:

Umpires are instructed to call bring it down a little bit (make the entire ball be below the armpit), up a little (some of the ball above the knee-remember, the zone use to include the knees) and spread it out a little bit.

This is supposedly done because the high and low corners are not the easiest for the batter to hit. The "area" of the strike zone is the relatively the same for the pitcher, just not rectangular.

And a lot of people concentrate on the catcher's glove position, but forget about the movement on the ball. They also forget (or are not aware) that the ball only needs to catch any part of the plate (including the black), not necessarily the whole plate. Meanwhile, you have idiot coaches that teach the catcher to hold the glove even after the call. Not a smart move. The call should be made by then, so there is no purpose other than to show up an umpire.

Consistency is important, including game to game. The only issue there is occasionally you get a catcher which doesn't give the umpire a good view by jumping around and shifting at the last second and the umpire ends up moving to see the pitch and in doing so, doesn't get the same look as preferred.
Last edited by irishmafia on December 22nd, 2010, 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Strike Zone ?

Postby CowboyUP » December 21st, 2010, 10:51 pm

The zone depends on which Blue you have! Are any of them good! 50/50!

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