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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Sun Dec 08, 2019, 07:53pm
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Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
USA technically never 'moved away' from the step back. That has been the men's rule for as long as I've been around (circa 1997). I think this is just a matter of not writing two separate preliminaries for genders. And to my knowledge, NFHS has not required two feet on (well, since 2000).
1936 - Both feet need to stay in contact until the delivery
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 09, 2019, 11:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
USA technically never 'moved away' from the step back. That has been the men's rule for as long as I've been around (circa 1997). I think this is just a matter of not writing two separate preliminaries for genders. And to my knowledge, NFHS has not required two feet on (well, since 2000).
...
It really isn't that big of a deal.
I have a different theory that may be totally out of whack. But maybe USA made the move to attract more fast pitch players to participate in USA travel ball. By allowing the step-back, there may be more pitchers who opt to play travel because they now can pitch as they would during the high school season.

Seriously, this, to me, was a fix to something that wasn't broken. I've never heard anyone in any USA-related event (tournaments, clinics, meetings, etc.) clamor that they wanted the women's fast-pitch rule to align with the men's rule. So if that's really the only reason why they went that way, I think it's dumb. My suspicions tell me there's another underlying motivation that may be related to attracting more girls to the organization, now that there's so many other options out there (USSSA, PGF, NSA, USFA, etc.)
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 09, 2019, 02:17pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I have a different theory that may be totally out of whack. But maybe USA made the move to attract more fast pitch players to participate in USA travel ball. By allowing the step-back, there may be more pitchers who opt to play travel because they now can pitch as they would during the high school season.

Seriously, this, to me, was a fix to something that wasn't broken. I've never heard anyone in any USA-related event (tournaments, clinics, meetings, etc.) clamor that they wanted the women's fast-pitch rule to align with the men's rule. So if that's really the only reason why they went that way, I think it's dumb. My suspicions tell me there's another underlying motivation that may be related to attracting more girls to the organization, now that there's so many other options out there (USSSA, PGF, NSA, USFA, etc.)
It has everything to do with aligning rules across other organizations and nothing to do with men's FP (I would venture to say that a high percentage of players, coaches and umpires in the travel ball world have never watched a MFP game, much less know the rules are different for pitching). The change at the WBSC level (2018) influenced NCAA, with the coach of team USA lobbying for international pitching rule in NCAA (as you might know, leaping was a proposal for NCAA this year). The rest of the world plays WBSC rules, so I think it is a competitive disadvantage to have a pitching rule that is different.

NFHS has always been a "lone wolf" if you will, as they do not consider themselves as feeder programs for either NCAA or summer ball.

But it is curious why the change happened at the same time as NCAA. Knowing how submitted the proposal would probably shed some light on the subject (and I do not know that answer). I would like to know how close the vote was.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 09, 2019, 03:53pm
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Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
It has everything to do with aligning rules across other organizations and nothing to do with men's FP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
I think this is just a matter of not writing two separate preliminaries for genders.
Okay, maybe it's just me, but it sounds like you're providing conflicting arguments. And USA admits in their press release that this rule change was made to align both the male and female pitching rule.

Whatever the real reason, I was okay with the first rule change that allows the pitcher to set up for the signal with the non-pivot foot on or behind the plate. It does bring USA in line with NFHS, NCAA (which also changed to this for next year) and WBSC. I like the consistency. But then to throw in the step-back to align only with NFHS (I doubt NCAA or WBSC will ever allow that) just seems like, well, a step back (no pun intended) in their thinking.

Claiming that they did it to align male and female play is not a compelling enough argument for me. If that's their rationale, they should've just gone all in and allow leaping as well, in my opinion.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 09, 2019, 04:29pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Okay, maybe it's just me, but it sounds like you're providing conflicting arguments. And USA admits in their press release that this rule change was made to align both the male and female pitching rule.

Whatever the real reason, I was okay with the first rule change that allows the pitcher to set up for the signal with the non-pivot foot on or behind the plate. It does bring USA in line with NFHS, NCAA (which also changed to this for next year) and WBSC. I like the consistency. But then to throw in the step-back to align only with NFHS (I doubt NCAA or WBSC will ever allow that) just seems like, well, a step back (no pun intended) in their thinking.

Claiming that they did it to align male and female play is not a compelling enough argument for me. If that's their rationale, they should've just gone all in and allow leaping as well, in my opinion.
Be careful how you quote. What I said is not conflicting. One, the person who proposed this rule change was (IMO) not thinking about men's FP. It was more "the others are doing it, so let's not be the odd one out." That's my first statement.

My second statement pretty much backs up the the USA Rationale but is separate than the first statement, because it has to do what you mentioned: why allow the step back (prior, during or after the hands come together) like NFHS but not like NCAA/WBSC? (My statement): because the rule already existed and IF making this change, not to have two different preliminaries; (USA - paraphrasing): with the rule change, there is alignment with male/female preliminaries. The change makes then alignment, but was not the reason for the change. If I were a chemist (I am not), I would say that alignment of the genders was not the catalysis; I would said that a) proposed change --> b) what should we allow JO/females to do? --> c) we already have a rule, so lets make them the same. Ergo, the rules now align.

As for allowing leaping -- My opinion (and my opinion only): I'm sure it was discussed, as it was in NCAA (I did see the proposals in NCAA). I think baby steps, one change at a time. There are a lot of traditionalists, and change is sometimes hard. Something big creates change, and I am on the front end of two big men's changes:
1. 2003, men were not allowed to leap. I got, ahem, "corrected" at my first men's national. 2004 rule change allowed men to leap.
2. 2017 WBSC men's championship: both feet had to be on the PP to start. Because of that tournament, the rule was changed in 2018.
Both of these were due to the PLAYERS initiating the rule changes. JO really doesn't have that, because the players really don't have that much say. That's more of a coach thing, and they propose things like EP's and OFFO's (offense only, which is used at the JO cup).

I think we will see leaping allowed at the NCAA level in 2022 and NFHS/USA either in 2021 or 2022. I would take odds, but that would be a conflict of interest.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 09, 2019, 10:37pm
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Well, I'm looking at it differently. IMO, it was an act meant to make the game easier for more people to play.

Not better, not more competitive, not more impressive, just easier. As previously noted, just my opinion.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Tue Dec 10, 2019, 12:05pm
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Well, I'm looking at it differently. IMO, it was an act meant to make the game easier for more people to play.

Not better, not more competitive, not more impressive, just easier. As previously noted, just my opinion.
That's always been the party line at NFHS when asked why they allow it, and it made sense to me. There are quite a few high schools where decent softball pitchers are at a premium, and any little help the rules can provide to allow for more players to get the ball into the strike zone is a plus for those teams.

It always makes me shake my head when someone argues NFHS isn't preparing pitchers for college ball by allowing them to step back. Well, for one, NFHS has never been touted as a feeder program for NCAA ball. And, two, those high school pitchers who are aspiring to play in college aren't being forced to take a step back. It's simply an option for those girls who prefer to pitch that way.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Tue Dec 10, 2019, 09:37pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
That's always been the party line at NFHS when asked why they allow it, and it made sense to me. There are quite a few high schools where decent softball pitchers are at a premium, and any little help the rules can provide to allow for more players to get the ball into the strike zone is a plus for those teams.

It always makes me shake my head when someone argues NFHS isn't preparing pitchers for college ball by allowing them to step back. Well, for one, NFHS has never been touted as a feeder program for NCAA ball. And, two, those high school pitchers who are aspiring to play in college aren't being forced to take a step back. It's simply an option for those girls who prefer to pitch that way.
In my area, I'd estimate that 95% of the high school pitchers that I've observed tend to start with both feet in contact with the pitcher's plate. I think they've learned it that way so they'd be legal for either NFHS or USA Softball.

Every once in a while with a HS pitcher who starts with only 1 foot on the plate, a coach will ask about it, thinking it's illegal. At that point I have to take my hat off to see which sanction I'm working that day.

As I've stated before, I only work the 2 sanctions. Consistency between/among the various alphabets would be most helpful. We have some guys that do college ball and try to bring some of those rules to the HS game.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Wed Dec 11, 2019, 11:12am
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
In my area, I'd estimate that 95% of the high school pitchers that I've observed tend to start with both feet in contact with the pitcher's plate. I think they've learned it that way so they'd be legal for either NFHS or USA Softball.
In my neck, those pitchers who do start with a foot behind the plate and/or take a step back during their delivery are few and far between as well. Typically, the smaller schools that have a hard time fielding teams will have pitchers that do all kinds of weird stuff to pitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
Every once in a while with a HS pitcher who starts with only 1 foot on the plate, a coach will ask about it, thinking it's illegal.
Not much of a HS coach if you ask me. They should know better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
As I've stated before, I only work the 2 sanctions. Consistency between/among the various alphabets would be most helpful. We have some guys that do college ball and try to bring some of those rules to the HS game.
And those umpires should know better as well! Geez...
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 13, 2019, 09:25pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post

Not much of a HS coach if you ask me. They should know better.



And those umpires should know better as well! Geez...
The coaches who do this fall into a couple of categories. First, they truly don't know the rule that well and are more likely sub-varsity coaches. Second, they know the rule perfectly but are just testing the crew.

As to "those umpires", don't they know everything?! That's the vibe I get frequently. Me? I'm not young enough to know it all.
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