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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 11:06am
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Question

In slowpitch softball (ASA/USSSA), is a pitch that lands on the black part of the plate a ball or strike? It always used to be called a strike, then it changed to always being called a ball. It is my understanding that technically the black is not part of the plate, therefore it should be a strike if it hits the black. Right or wrong??
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 11:16am
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Yup!
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 11:21am
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Even if you think the black is not part of the plate, it's impossible to prove that a ball can hit the black without hitting the white also. I know someone will come up with a plate that has a very wide and flat black, but that is by far the smallest percentage of plate designs and we have to be consistent. Of course if a pitch that hits the black is a ball, then a pitch that crosses the black is a strike.

Personally, I always figured that whatever part of the plate was 17 inches wide was the plate and the rest was support; but I have been instructed otherwise.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 11:42am
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Texan
In slowpitch softball (ASA/USSSA), is a pitch that lands on the black part of the plate a ball or strike? It always used to be called a strike, then it changed to always being called a ball. It is my understanding that technically the black is not part of the plate, therefore it should be a strike if it hits the black. Right or wrong??
Speaking ASA

Wrong. Any safety rim attached to home base, black or otherwise, is to be considered part of that base for the purpose of the rules. If the ball hits it, it's a ball. If the ball crosses it in a batter's strike zone, it's a strike. If a runner touches it prior to being put out, s/he is safe. And, if a catcher touches it while in possession of the ball to put out a forced runner or make a proper live-ball appeal at the plate, the runner is out.

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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 01:04pm
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 01:12pm
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Let's see...

The hands are part of the bat, and the black rim is not part of the plate.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
Let's see...

The hands are part of the bat, and the black rim is not part of the plate.
From 2001 USSSA rulebook online:
Sec. 4. THE HOME PLATE shall be made of rubber or other suitable materials. It shall be a five-sided figure, 17 inches across the front edge of the plate facing the Pitcher. The sides shall be parallel to the inside lines of the batter's boxes and shall be 8 1/2 inches long, extending forward toward the pitcher's plate from either base line. The sides of the plate, from the rear corner, along with the base line, shall be 12 inches long, set wholly within the base lines, where they form a square angle, with the point pointing toward the Catcher. The home plate is always a part of Fair Territory. The black border that outlines the plate is NOT to be considered home plate.


That last sentence is the main reason I inquired.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 02:06pm
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And that is correct, Texan. However, can you see that if the ball touches the black of the plate, then almost certainly it touched some part of the white? If any part of that ball makes contact with any part of the white then it has to be ruled a ball. Subsequently, if the ball in flight passes over the black almost certainly some part of that ball, no matter how infinitesimal, passed over the white and if it is in the strike zone must be a called strike.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 02:19pm
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As a USSSA ump of many years, I never concerned myself with whether the ball hit the black or not. If ANY part of the ball hit the plate (the white), then it is a ball. As quoted in the USSSA rulebook, the black border that outlines the plate is NOT to be considered home plate.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 02:42pm
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Could we clarify something?

Does "hits the black/white" mean "comes into physical contact with the black/white part of the plate" or "passes through the space above the black/white part of the plate"?
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 02:44pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Texan
Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
Let's see...

The hands are part of the bat, and the black rim is not part of the plate.
From 2001 USSSA rulebook online:
Sec. 4. THE HOME PLATE shall be made of rubber or other suitable materials. It shall be a five-sided figure, 17 inches across the front edge of the plate facing the Pitcher. The sides shall be parallel to the inside lines of the batter's boxes and shall be 8 1/2 inches long, extending forward toward the pitcher's plate from either base line. The sides of the plate, from the rear corner, along with the base line, shall be 12 inches long, set wholly within the base lines, where they form a square angle, with the point pointing toward the Catcher. The home plate is always a part of Fair Territory. The black border that outlines the plate is NOT to be considered home plate.


That last sentence is the main reason I inquired.
Which is why I qualified my response as ASA. But I'm sort of curious as to why you included USSSA in your inquiry if you already had the answer in front of you.

?

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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 03:24pm
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Cool Dirt or black

And it is for that very reason that when I officiate Slooow Pitch, I cover that back, black strip with dirt... so a pitch cannot hit the black. And I can call such a pitch that lands in the dirt at that location (above the buried black strip), having had an appropriate arch to pass through the strike zone, A STRIKE.

Covering it with dirt takes away a catcher's opportunity to argue with me about it... the pitched landed BEHIND the plate.

THREE!

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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 04:03pm
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Obviously some of you umpire where you can tell the difference between the white and black, as opposed to both being brown.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 04:18pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Texan
Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
Let's see...

The hands are part of the bat, and the black rim is not part of the plate.
From 2001 USSSA rulebook online:...The black border that outlines the plate is NOT to be considered home plate.


That last sentence is the main reason I inquired.
And you inquired about utrip because...??? As stated, in ASA the black is part of the plate and the hands are not part of the bat.
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Old Tue Aug 19, 2003, 08:29pm
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Re: Dirt or black

Quote:
Originally posted by DownTownTonyBrown
And it is for that very reason that when I officiate Slooow Pitch, I cover that back, black strip with dirt... so a pitch cannot hit the black. And I can call such a pitch that lands in the dirt at that location (above the buried black strip), having had an appropriate arch to pass through the strike zone, A STRIKE.

Covering it with dirt takes away a catcher's opportunity to argue with me about it... the pitched landed BEHIND the plate.

THREE!

The catcher isn't going to argue anything if they want to stay the catcher that game.
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