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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 05:26pm
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 110
Where did my batters box go???

While I was reading a different thread I got to thinking about one of the biggest complaints that I get from teams all year. Keep in mind I primarily do SP.

Well the problem starts this way -- Every good lead off batter manages to completely remove the chalk box before they even step into the box. Later on someone "step swings" and may or may not have been out of the box. I dont know a) because I dont have a tape measure to determine and b) the lines that help me judge this are gone.

I typically dont call this unless the player stands on the plate as the make contact.

How do others here handle this situation?
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 06:14pm
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Location: Little Elm, TX (NW Dallas)
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Go to your nearest perfectly drawn field, and put your foot COMPLETELY out of the box. Look how far out of the box your foot is. Touching the plate or in front of the plate, right?

Now use that as your barometer going forward. MOST of the time, even when it looks like they are out of the box, they aren't.

(Slap hitters are a different animal... and even HARDER to call, even WITH lines!)
"Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 07:20pm
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Location: Sierra Nevada Mtns
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before the game 3-4 inches to the Left / Right side of the front of the respective boxes use the back of your brush or something and dig in a mark that probably wont get removed as they wont notice it.

when you clean the plate, smooth over the area in front of the plate with your foot.

Last edited by wadeintothem; Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 07:24pm.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 07:53pm
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Location: USA
Posts: 14,565
Y'all puting way too much effort into this. If the batter is out of the box when hitting the ball, you'll know it.

If you have to think about it, the batter wasn't out of the box.
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 08:22pm
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 92
As part of my routine between innings I always (yes, always) brush the plate after the pitcher's last warm-up toss. After doing so, I quickly smooth out the area in front of the plate, and between the "boxes" with my foot. I go out to where the front of the boxes should be. 3 or 4 quick passes and it's done. Nobody even notices. It gives me a visual marker of where the front edge of the box should be. I do this plate brushing procedure every inning, whether or not there is a speck of dirt on it. I also brush the base that I am starting at if I'm on the bases - just a superstition, I guess.
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