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Old Mon Jul 27, 2009, 12:09pm
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ASA 16U pitching distance

Now that NFHS has moved to 43', ASA (and the other summer ball sanctions) have some thinking to do.

I would expect that the top 16U pitchers who also play high school ball will be motivated to play up at 18U rather than spend the summer pitching from 40'.

Those of you on the inside of the ASA rules changes conversations, has any discussion been going on about changing 16U to 43' (at least 16U-A)?
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Old Mon Jul 27, 2009, 12:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Now that NFHS has moved to 43', ASA (and the other summer ball sanctions) have some thinking to do.

I would expect that the top 16U pitchers who also play high school ball will be motivated to play up at 18U rather than spend the summer pitching from 40'.

Those of you on the inside of the ASA rules changes conversations, has any discussion been going on about changing 16U to 43' (at least 16U-A)?
People tend to forget the "U" part of the classification. Many of the 16U participants are not in HS. I would think that most decent HS pitchers are already playing 18U.
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Old Mon Jul 27, 2009, 12:39pm
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
People tend to forget the "U" part of the classification. Many of the 16U participants are not in HS. I would think that most decent HS pitchers are already playing 18U.
Perhaps, especially since the starters tend to be seniors. But those contending to be the starters won't want a wasted summer.
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Old Tue Dec 08, 2009, 09:11pm
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How many 16u's are NOT in high school?

Most high school freshmen are 14 so unless you have exceptional players playing up I would say most 16u's are already in high school.
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Old Wed Dec 09, 2009, 06:40am
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Originally Posted by coachmike View Post
How many 16u's are NOT in high school?

Most high school freshmen are 14 so unless you have exceptional players playing up I would say most 16u's are already in high school.
And in some areas, half the HS seniors throw a pitch with a hump on it.
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Old Wed Dec 09, 2009, 02:23pm
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The main issue as I see it with this age breakdown is that the JV programs will be playing on the same fields as the Varsity, and many JV players are playing 14U ball. The grounds crew are not going to be troubled to move the pitching plate 3' between the JV and Varsity double-headers (or between their separate practices on the same day), so 90%+ of JV will be at 43' this spring, and back at 40' come the summer.
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Old Wed Dec 09, 2009, 03:07pm
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Originally Posted by JefferMC View Post
The main issue as I see it with this age breakdown is that the JV programs will be playing on the same fields as the Varsity, and many JV players are playing 14U ball. The grounds crew are not going to be troubled to move the pitching plate 3' between the JV and Varsity double-headers (or between their separate practices on the same day), so 90%+ of JV will be at 43' this spring, and back at 40' come the summer.
Jeffer, if your schools are using NFHS rules, then this won't be an issue at all. For NFHS, the rule merely moves the pitching distance back to 43 feet. Period. That is for anybody and everybody.

Now, for those few states and/or districts that are still using ASA rules, that will be up to them to work out how they want to administer the rule. They may want to ignore the pitching distance change altogether, though I don't feel that would be the best move. They may want to schedule double header JV games one day, and double header Varsity games another. They may want to have the grounds crew, coaches, or players, simply move the pitching plate the required three feet. It wouldn't take but a couple of minutes between games.
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Old Wed Dec 09, 2009, 03:26pm
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It isn't that big of an adjustment.

I had 12U kids pitch an entire scrimmage from a 46' plate because it "looked" right. The bases were at 65' too that was what caused the confusion. 90% of the adjustment is made in the first three pitches. The last 10% takes longer depending on how much change has to be made to get their movement pitches exactly where they want them.

I've also seen 14B and Rec pitchers work from that distance and the extra three feet doesn't make them noticably worse.

On a straight fast ball 50 mph the difference in drop height is only 8" lower on 43 ft vs 40ft.
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Old Wed Dec 09, 2009, 10:06pm
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We have quite a few multi-use fields. One fenced in field which is primarily used for women's SP is also utilized for FP tournaments.

A local HS has 3 fields to support HS Varsity/JV and 12-14 y.o. rec league.

I've pitched [FP] games from the 46' distance with another pitcher's plate embedded at 40' and found it very distracting. I kept thinking a line drive would take a weird bounce off the front pitcher's plate and break my nose or something.

I can't imagine schools or town rec departments changing pitcher's plates all the time. On some open [i.e. no fences at all] fields we use we could potentially need plates at 40, 43, 46, and 50 feet.

We'll probably be seeing a lot more of the temporary plates with the 3 spikes underneath. For the HS fields, a larger, permanent plate at 43' will probably be put in. That will cover the HS games. Rec leagues and tournaments for the 14U and below will likely utilize the temporary plate, or a line drawn in the dirt. We do the latter for some modified FP leagues which aren't too fussy about the legality of their pitchers.
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Old Thu Dec 10, 2009, 07:27am
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It is a done deal that HS is at 43' (although they do have one more year to adapt), and that ASA 16U and above is at 43'. NFHS rules don't directly address sub-varsity, so schools/conferences/states will deal with this as they see fit.

Dealing with varying pitching distances for summer ball on shared fields is not new. In ASA JO fastpitch, you already had to deal with 35, 40, and 43 in either field allocation or field prep. This just makes the number of teams at 40' fewer than before and the number of teams at 43' greater than before.
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Old Tue Dec 15, 2009, 02:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
Jeffer, if your schools are using NFHS rules, then this won't be an issue at all. For NFHS, the rule merely moves the pitching distance back to 43 feet. Period. That is for anybody and everybody.

Now, for those few states and/or districts that are still using ASA rules, that will be up to them to work out how they want to administer the rule. They may want to ignore the pitching distance change altogether, though I don't feel that would be the best move. They may want to schedule double header JV games one day, and double header Varsity games another. They may want to have the grounds crew, coaches, or players, simply move the pitching plate the required three feet. It wouldn't take but a couple of minutes between games.
I think you missed my point. The girls will be playing NFHS rules from Feburary through May. Then they will be playing ASA rules the rest of the year. Just this fall, the local ASA TD's "jumped the gun" and put the pitchers plate at 43' for 16U in an effort to help the pitchers who would be facing that pitching distance in the school season. In fact, they announced, then retracted, the same move for 14U. The ASA organizers were actually the last group to announce a move to 43' for the fall. For a while it looked like we would have one 43' ISA tournament sandwitched in between 4 ASA tournaments at 40'.
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Old Tue Dec 15, 2009, 03:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JefferMC View Post
The main issue as I see it with this age breakdown is that the JV programs will be playing on the same fields as the Varsity, and many JV players are playing 14U ball. The grounds crew are not going to be troubled to move the pitching plate 3' between the JV and Varsity double-headers (or between their separate practices on the same day), so 90%+ of JV will be at 43' this spring, and back at 40' come the summer.

Somehow, I thought that the highlighted info WAS your point.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JefferMC View Post
I think you missed my point. The girls will be playing NFHS rules from Feburary through May. Then they will be playing ASA rules the rest of the year. Just this fall, the local ASA TD's "jumped the gun" and put the pitchers plate at 43' for 16U in an effort to help the pitchers who would be facing that pitching distance in the school season. In fact, they announced, then retracted, the same move for 14U. The ASA organizers were actually the last group to announce a move to 43' for the fall. For a while it looked like we would have one 43' ISA tournament sandwitched in between 4 ASA tournaments at 40'.

This IS a different issue. However, as has already been mentioned, a solution would be for the girls to play up, if that is their preference, or for TD's to allow a 43' pitching distance for the tournaments for the age groups in question, if there is enough interest shown on the part of the participants. Remember, ASA rules only apply to championship play. So, I guess the real issue for the 14U and 16U playing ASA is this; which is greater, the interest to play softball throughout the season as merely an adjunct to HS softball, or to play the season with the aim of playing in ASA state and national tournaments?!
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Old Thu Dec 17, 2009, 09:04am
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Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
Somehow, I thought that the highlighted info WAS your point.
Actually the main point was "90%+ of JV will be at 43' this spring [NFHS] and back at 40' come the summer." [ASA] To better state it:

NFHS serves girls ages 12 through 18 with basically a single set of rules, while ASA can and does make distinctions by age group and other divisions (e.g. Gold). This can lead to additional issues for the players (mostly pitchers) over and above the usual differences in rules between the organizations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
This IS a different issue. However, as has already been mentioned, a solution would be for the girls to play up, if that is their preference, or for TD's to allow a 43' pitching distance for the tournaments for the age groups in question, if there is enough interest shown on the part of the participants. [...] So, I guess the real issue for the 14U and 16U playing ASA is this; which is greater, the interest to play softball throughout the season as merely an adjunct to HS softball, or to play the season with the aim of playing in ASA state and national tournaments?!
Yes, those are certainly posibilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
Remember, ASA rules only apply to championship play.
A favorite quote of Irish, however not EXACTLY true in practice. They are a starting point before modification of the TDs, andthe TD's are, and should be, loathe to modify them. It also isn't an option on qualifiers, where the rules may not be modified.

NFHS rules can likewise be modified by the local authorities (like our state's insistance on not having appeals) and could mandate handling of middle school or JV in certain ways.

However, it all boils down to there are tradeoffs no matter what. I think the old situation restricting the 43' pitching plate to 18U Gold meant fewer girls would be "stradling the fence" and those in that situation were better able to handle it than a 13 year old.

43' for high school ball will undoubtedly increase offense and that's what was desired. ASA is following suit for 16U, which I think is a good thing given the NFHS move. I also believe that ASA is right in keeping 40' for 14U. But... there will be consequences.
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Old Thu Dec 17, 2009, 09:19am
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"our state's insistance on not having appeals"

How does that work?
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Old Thu Dec 17, 2009, 04:50pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
"our state's insistance on not having appeals"

How does that work?
As in: if the runner did not tag up or missed a base, call her out at the end of playing action. No appeal necessary.

I know this used to be in NFHS baseball, and maybe softball. I've heard HS baseball in SC continues to use the old NFHS rule.
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