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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 11:01am
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Strike zone questions

Is a ball considered a strike where it crosses the front of the plate? Does the rule book stay anything about this? or does the strike zone changed based on where the batter is standing in the box?

I remember being taught back in the day that a strike or ball is determined from where the ball crosses the front of the plate?.?.

My problem is when kids are moving up to the top of the box and the ball is high from where they are standing but it crosses the plate in the strike zone. this is mostly a result of some extremely slow pitching. However, even with off speed stuff that sinks or drops I have struggling to be consistent. I don't know what the ruling is! So hopefully somebody can help provide some clarification or shed some light on my situation.

Thank you in advance!
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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 12:26pm
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The strike zone is the space "over" home plate.

Its not where the batter stands, it's when he assumes his natural batting stance.
Remember, it's a strike whenever any part of the ball enters the strike zone. Any strike, IMO, should not be called if the pitch doesn't at least reach the catcher.
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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 12:55pm
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I just seem to have a hard time calling a strike at a kids neck when he is up in the box but the ball is caught just behind home plate and crossing the heart of the plate.
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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 01:48pm
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My suggestion to the coach would be to have the hitters stand in the batters box at a place where they are able to hit a pitch in the strike zone (above home plate). Don't have the hitters stand at the front of the batters box if that isn't where the ball is "hittable".
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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 02:04pm
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Don't penalize the pitcher for throwing a strike because the batter can't hit it where the batter is positioned.
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Old Tue Apr 26, 2016, 02:33pm
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It sounds to me like you have a good grasp of the zone but that you are reacting too much to the batter. Are you receiving any complaints beyond the pitcher's dad who thinks everything is a strike? Speaking from the coach perspective we move kids up in the box when they are out front on curve balls and change ups and to the back of the box when late on fast balls but we don't really expect zone to change relative to the position of the batter. As a coach I would be concerned that a kid who is not even considering cutting on a high in the zone fat pitch is looking to walk. A high letter pitch that the trajectory carries down to nail the mitt gets no complaint from me. Its a darn good pitch.
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Old Wed Apr 27, 2016, 08:30am
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I have not had a lot of complaints because I have been calling this pitch a ball when the player is up in the box, but I had a kid really struggle the other night and it just made me start to think that maybe some of those pitches are strikes based upon the zone being at the plate not where the batter is. I am just trying to wrap my head around the concept and conversations I need to have with coaches to explain this and I wanted to get opinions from others.
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Old Wed Apr 27, 2016, 09:31am
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I would say as long as you are consistent, there is no room for legitimate complaint. If your zone varies with the batters position in the box, you open yourself up to being inconsistent. Once a hitter knows you always call a particular pitch a strike or the pitcher knows you see a particular location a ball it is encumbent on them to adapt. You establish the zone the teams will be playing with that night. I know coaches can be a pain some times but the truth of the matter is we prefer umpires with a firm control over the game. My favorite umpires let everyone know you are on their field and in their office.
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Old Wed Apr 27, 2016, 09:34am
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I don't throw strikes away. Establish a big, consistent zone early and keep it there and my experience is that most will be happy.
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Old Sat May 07, 2016, 12:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvsulife View Post
I have not had a lot of complaints because I have been calling this pitch a ball when the player is up in the box, but I had a kid really struggle the other night and it just made me start to think that maybe some of those pitches are strikes based upon the zone being at the plate not where the batter is. I am just trying to wrap my head around the concept and conversations I need to have with coaches to explain this and I wanted to get opinions from others.
A great visual reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike...ke_zone_en.JPG
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Old Mon May 09, 2016, 09:04am
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To answer the original question, think of the strike zone as a 3-dimensional space (not a plane), which eliminates the front edge of the plate idea. This 3-dimensional space is bounded on the sides by the edges of the plate, and on the top and bottom depending on the batter (I'll give everyone credit for knowing the limits of the top and bottom). Regardless of where the batter stands, that 3-dimensional space is fixed based on where the plate is. If the ball passes through any part of that space, even if it drops into it at the very back edge of the space, it is a strike.

Progressing from there, the theme of any strike zone discussion, IMO, should be consistency in all situations. Ideally, the only aspects of the strike zone that should ever change during a game are the top and bottom limits as influenced by the batter. The location of the batter in the box shouldn't change the zone. Realistically, I'm not opposed to a strike zone that gets a little bigger if both pitchers are struggling to find it, but I believe this should happen very early in the game and then remain that way even if a more capable pitcher enters the game. I'm not a fan of having textbook defined zone in the first 3 innings and then expanding it if a pitcher starts to struggle at that point. The reason I try to be a stickler for consistency is that I think people forget that the strike zone impacts 2 players at a time. Changing the strike zone later in the game and based on the performance of the pitcher puts the batter in a tough situation.
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