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EarlyGrayce

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Reply with quote  #1 
I watched some of the USSSA Pride vs. Chicago Bandits game yesterday. One thing that I have seen many times before, and still bothers me, is that both teams' pitchers (Cat and Williamson) are 're-planters". 

Now, this is IMHO. Watching them pitch, TO MY EYE, they both clearly leap off of the pitching plate, RE-PLANT with advantage, and then release the pitch. I believe that if a Snap-Shot was taken at the moment after their re-plants, you would see them planted, pushing off of that back foot (now in the dirt), and the ball still gripped in their hand prior to release. This is IMHO. If you disagree, and are going to tell me that they are either "just dragging their toe" or "not re-planting for any advantage", then we can agree to disagree, and the rest of what I'm about to write is probably of no interest to you.

If you buy my premise that they are re-planting for advantage, then this is very bad for our sport. Those NPF games are supposed to be the pinnacle of our sport. The best players. And both pitchers are violating a rule that pitchers at the lower levels are (haphazardly) penalized for. We all know that there are re-planters at the travel ball and H.S. and college level. When watching a re-planting pitcher at one of these lower levels, we often lament "that poor girl has been improperly taught how to pitch, when she gets older, it will catch up to her and hurt her progress when they start calling her on it", and things like this.

Another problem I see is that, although Blue does his/her best to call IP when appropriate, there doesn't seem to be an ability to manage this rule violation well. I could write a thesis paper on the rule, it's interpretation, what re-plant 'means', whether it results in an unfair advantage, etc. But I'm not that smart, or that interested, so I won't.

My proposal would be one of two things be done. Frankly, I'm not aware of the reasons/Science of why the pitching distance at the upper levels is 43'. I assume that there is science that supports that distance as being equally advantageous to pitchers and hitters, based upon human reaction times. If 43' is crucial for the game to be played effectively, then move the pitching plate back enough where the average re-plant lands at that magic 43' distance. This will result in no net unfair advantage to the pitcher. I strongly believe that if this were to happen, it wouldn't take long before all pitchers were altering their mechanics to incorporate the momentum-building technique of the re-plant.

Or, just eliminate the rule against re-planting, if the science says that pitching from 41' isn't unfair to the batters.
Either of these results is fine with me. What isn't fine with me is the continued rule violation in our sport, that is broadcast nationally, and in fact glorified by Cat and others. I suspect the young pitchers out there, who are the future of our sport, are planning on emulating Cat and other re-planters. How do we explain to them that "If you do it, we will call you for an IP"? 

Either way, we need to eliminate this rule.
(Sorry about the format of this post. I cut/pasted it from another message board.)

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3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #2 
A much-discussed topic. And, of course, that is exactly what they should do. 46 feet and allow whatever hopping/replanting. It initially hurts the legal pitchers, but this seems the path of least resistance and utilitarian fairness
EarlyGrayce

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
A much-discussed topic. And, of course, that is exactly what they should do. 46 feet and allow whatever hopping/replanting. It initially hurts the legal pitchers, but this seems the path of least resistance and utilitarian fairness


Agreed. Yes this topic has been flogged to death, but it still fascinates me that the problem remains. And the defenders claim that what I'm seeing is actually a pitcher who is remaining in contact with the ground.  That the pitcher is toe dragging across a trench, so therefore her toe 'would be in contact with the ground if the trench wasn't there'. All I'm saying is, the rule is arbitrarily and sometimes incorrectly being applied. Let's get rid of the rule. If we are all OK with a pitcher releasing from 40 feet, that's fine. If we need a release from 43 feet, then move the PP back to 46. And get rid of the rule.

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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Check out the men's fastpitch rules.  Apply them and move the pitchers' plate back a bit, perhaps to 44 or 45 feet.  
Frank

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
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