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Bandit Sat Jan 05, 2008 01:49am

NSA Ruling?
 
Is it illegal to heat a bat in NSA softball? And if so where in the 2008 rule book are you findng the ruling?

CecilOne Sat Jan 05, 2008 09:52am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bandit
Is it illegal to heat a bat in NSA softball? And if so where in the 2008 rule book are you findng the ruling?

Don't know NSA, but in others it comes under altering the bat.

BlitzkriegBob Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:07am

I don't do NSA, but I know they have their rule book online. The preamble to Rule 3 states:

"An altered bat is considered altered when the physical structure of the legal bat has been changed in any way, or when an illegal or non approved bat has been made up in such a way as to appear to be a legal bat. Examples of altering a bat are, but not limited to the following: Painting a bat, replacing the handle, or shaving the handle or barrel or the taper changed in any way. Such as by sandpapering or applying a solvent to the surface such as fingernail polish remover or by any other means. Removing or replacing the plug or changed in any way other than factory repairs. Had the knob removed/ replaced or changed in any way or had anything removed or added to the inside or outside of the bat other than the legal way to tape the bat the specified and appropriate place as described in the NSA Rule Book."

I would consider a heated bat to be altered IMO.

Earlier in the preamble, it states that NSA apparently will impose a five-year suspension without any right of appeal for anyone who refuses to allow an NSA representative to inspect a suspected altered bat or ball. If a bat or ball is determined to be altered, it would lead to a two to five year suspension for a first-time offender.

IRISHMAFIA Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:21am

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlitzkriegBob
I don't do NSA, but I know they have their rule book online. The preamble to Rule 3 states:

"An altered bat is considered altered when the physical structure of the legal bat has been changed in any way, or when an illegal or non approved bat has been made up in such a way as to appear to be a legal bat. Examples of altering a bat are, but not limited to the following: Painting a bat, replacing the handle, or shaving the handle or barrel or the taper changed in any way. Such as by sandpapering or applying a solvent to the surface such as fingernail polish remover or by any other means. Removing or replacing the plug or changed in any way other than factory repairs. Had the knob removed/ replaced or changed in any way or had anything removed or added to the inside or outside of the bat other than the legal way to tape the bat the specified and appropriate place as described in the NSA Rule Book."

I would consider a heated bat to be altered IMO.

Why I agree that a heated bat should be considered altered, I don't know if NSA's wording goes far enough. The note above specifically states the "physical" structure being changed.

Obviously, everyone knows I'm ASA and they mention the characteristics of the bat changing. What I'm saying here is that the physical structure doesn't actually change by heating the bat, but reacts in a different manner when contacting the ball WHILE heated.

Last year I had a conversation with Dr. Lloyd Smith in Colorado Springs about "heating" the bat. If you don't know, he is the man who is charged with ASA's tests and standards out of Washington State Univ.

He told me that a heated bat would react differently (more flex) when hitting the ball. However, he also noted that presently, bats cannot sustain any additional applied heat once exposed to the air. IOW, unless the batter swings at a pitch immediately upon removal from the heated bat wrap, there is no affect on the effect of the collision between bat and ball.

However, don't look for anyone to change their rule anytime soon. Technology rarely stands still or moves in reverse and you just never know when someone will figure out a way to make heating a bat actually help their hitting.

NCASAUmp Mon Jan 07, 2008 08:30am

I wrote a response last night, but then lost my connection. Hopefully, I'll write it as clearly as I did last night...

Bear in mind that I all call is ASA, and I have no idea how much focus the NSA devotes to bats, nor do I have any idea as to how NSA instructs their umpires to handle this situation.

I think an umpire should have an easy time declaring a bat as having been altered if it's being heated while not in use, and a simple high school chemistry class would easily defend your argument. When any object is heated, the chemical bonds are lengthened, allowing for rigid objects to become more flexible and malleable. Thus, a bat in a heated state would have more "pop" than a bat in a cooler state. This is why some manufacturers state that certain bats should not be used below a certain outdoor temperature due to the increased risk that they will crack.

However, the good Doctor is correct, especially in the case of aluminum bats. Aluminum has a much higher heat transference factor, which means the energy (heat) transfers out a lot faster than other materials. The batter would have to heat the bat - a LOT - then, s/he would have to practically run to the batter's box and take the first pitch for the heat on the bat to have any effect.

Regardless, I think you can easily make the argument that a player heating a bat beyond reason (other than keeping it under a towel or covered with Pedro Cerrano's golf club covers) is an example of altering a bat. Will it make a difference in the bat's performance in the end? Maybe, maybe not. Would that matter? Not to me. Toss the bat and have a little chat with the coach.

NSABill Wed Jan 09, 2008 01:54pm

Interp from above.
 
I have attached the response from the NSA UIC.

Bill

Heating a bat "DOES NOT" enhance the performance of a bat. You can go online and look at our approved equipment list and you will find a bat warmer on there. It's legal in NSA


"By His Grace"
John 3:16

Eddie Ray Cantrell
NSA/BPA National Director of Umpires
Executive Vice President

David Emerling Wed Jan 09, 2008 05:38pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bandit
Is it illegal to heat a bat in NSA softball? And if so where in the 2008 rule book are you findng the ruling?

Reading the NSA rule provided by another poster, it doesn't seem a heated bat fits any of the described categories as far as alteration is concerned.

If you think about it, how is a heated bat "altered"? Are we talking about its molecular structure and the excitation of the electrons?

Then we have to ask the question, how much heat is too much? 65-degrees? 80-degrees? 120-degrees?

How was the bat heated? Was it just kept warm by being covered with blankets so as to prevent the metal from being cold-soaked on a particularly frigid day?

Was it placed briefly in front of a dugout heating device?

Or was it placed inside a heating blanket that is specifically designed to heat bats and that are openly sold by sporting goods vendors?

http://www.batwarmer.com/


Are players required to leave their bats exposed to ambient temperature conditions to be legal?

Is placing the bat inside a bat bag considered "heating" the bat?

What if the team employs a heating system for the players and the bat rack is right next to the heating element, causing the bats not to get cold-soaked?

What if they use the Pyroflite bat heater, as advertised in the link above? Couldn't they say, "I didn't heat the bat ... I heated the bat bag"? Would heating the bat bag be illegal?

After all, some of these super-light, thin-walled bats are specifically designed NOT to be used in cold weather conditions since it makes the metal brittle and more susceptible to breaking; which, in itself could be a hazard to the players. Under these conditions, an argument could be made that either:

1) No bat can be used if the temperature at game time is below the manufacturer's recommendation for safe use of the bat. And, by the way, that temperature is about 60-65 degrees. What are we going to do - cancel the game? Or, play the game knowing full well we are using bats that are being "operated" beyond the manufacturer's specifications? Who is liable should a player be injured by a shattered bat?

2) or, allow (No -require!) the participants to heat their bats in order to make them safer and bring them within manufacturer specifications?

Truly, a conundrum. :)

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

David Emerling Wed Jan 09, 2008 06:19pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlitzkriegBob
I don't do NSA, but I know they have their rule book online. The preamble to Rule 3 states: ... {snip}

Imagine that - an organization making their rulebook available online for those who have questions about the rules. What a novel concept!

USSSA also has their rulebook online. So does the AFA. So does the USFA.

NFHS ... ASA? {crickets chirping}

I think we can all agree; making the rulebook TOP SECRET is an excellent idea.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

David Emerling Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:52am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bandit
Is it illegal to heat a bat in NSA softball? And if so where in the 2008 rule book are you findng the ruling?

Just out of curiosity, I fired off an e-mail to the maker of the Pyroflite Bat Warmer:

I asked:

Has any sanctioning body (ASA, NSA, AFA, USSSA, USFA, etc) ever prohibited the use of a bat warmer, that you know of? In other words, would a heated bat be considered illegal?

He responded:

Hi David,

I know my product in particular has not been banned by any....I can tell you that I'm a National Sponsor of the USSSA, as you can read in this press release that is attached to this e-mail! Also you can visit www.playnsa.com
and click on the approved equipment link off to the left and you well see that my PyroFlite Bat Warmer is approved equipment of the NSA!!

I know it is being used in all associations and is just a great product for protecting those expensive bats!!

Thank you for the inquiry and I hope to hear from you soon!!


To the e-mail he attached the USSSA press release to which he referred.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

IRISHMAFIA Thu Jan 10, 2008 08:45am

IOW, this gentleman doesn't even know his products marketability.

ASA has banned the icing, cooling or heating equipment. 3.7.Note.

BTW, do you like playing with a piano?

Dakota Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:09am

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Emerling
...I can tell you that I'm a National Sponsor of the USSSA, as you can read in this press release that is attached to this e-mail! ...

Wasn't it U-trip that "banned" a bunch of bats a few years ago where the issue was not bat performance but paying for "sponsorship" or some such tribute? U-trip "approval" is a commercial issue only it would seem.

I do think the ASA ruling on bat warmers is being just a bit fastidious, but it is their ruling.

Dakota Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:13am

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Emerling
I think we can all agree; making the rulebook TOP SECRET is an excellent idea.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

Perhaps we could agree on that if there was anyone who actually did that.

I do see, however, that you are completely bought into the teenage file sharing notion that there is no such thing as a copyright that should be respected, refusing to accept that it is up to the owner of the copyright to decide how to make the work available.

Anyone who registers with ASA gets the rule book. Anyone who registers with their state HS league gets the NFHS rule book (if their state uses NFHS). Anyone who is a member of the NFHS Officials Association has online access to the rule book and the case book. You can also choose to buy both of those works without registering. They are available online for purchase.

So, is what this boils down to is you think you should get these copyrighted works free?

David Emerling Thu Jan 10, 2008 01:39pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dakota
Perhaps we could agree on that if there was anyone who actually did that.

I do see, however, that you are completely bought into the teenage file sharing notion that there is no such thing as a copyright that should be respected, refusing to accept that it is up to the owner of the copyright to decide how to make the work available.

Anyone who registers with ASA gets the rule book. Anyone who registers with their state HS league gets the NFHS rule book (if their state uses NFHS). Anyone who is a member of the NFHS Officials Association has online access to the rule book and the case book. You can also choose to buy both of those works without registering. They are available online for purchase.

So, is what this boils down to is you think you should get these copyrighted works free?

No, I don't think I should get the book for free, I think the rules should be readily available, online, for those who don't want to purchase the book. I can understand recovering printing expenses (and maybe with a little profit) for actually selling the book.

I understand the "intellectual property" argument with regards to music, movie scripts, photographs, etc. But the rules of a game, in my opinion, do not rise to that level.

Why should only coaches and umpires have ready access to the rules? Why can't an inquisitive fan, or a parent, or a player, who has a passing interest in some particular aspect of the game, not be able to sit at home, fire up their computer, and see what the rulebook actually says about interference, obstruction, illegal pitches, base awards, or whatever? They have to order the book and wait for the delivery?

So, to address your question - I do not believe that the wide dissemination of the rules to the general public - making it easily accessible - is some silly "teenage file sharing notion" like downloading illegal mp3's. What an asinine comparison!

There's no point in arguing about this. This debate rears its ugly head at least once a year. Everybody takes sides and nothing is accomplished. Nobody's mind is changed. I simply think more good is served when the rules are readily available. Rules are not something that should be viewed as a for-profit endeavor. There are so many other ways to make money than to extort people into purchasing a book even if they just have a passing interest in some element of the game.

Which is more important, making money from the rulebook, or educating the public about the rules of the game? How is it most other sports organizations seem to do just fine by making their rulebooks readily available?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

David Emerling Thu Jan 10, 2008 01:43pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
IOW, this gentleman doesn't even know his products marketability.

ASA has banned the icing, cooling or heating equipment. 3.7.Note.

BTW, do you like playing with a piano?

I just put it out there for what it's worth. I thought it would be interesting to hear what the manufacturer of such a product would have to say.

What the hell are you talking about ... "playing with a piano"? Huh?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

Dakota Thu Jan 10, 2008 01:51pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Emerling
...I think the rules should be readily available, online, for those who don't want to purchase the book. I can understand recovering printing expenses (and maybe with a little profit) for actually selling the book.

I understand the "intellectual property" argument with regards to music, movie scripts, photographs, etc. But the rules of a game, in my opinion, do not rise to that level.

In other words, you do not believe that the owner of the copyrighted work has the right to decide how the work will be make available, by what medium, and at what price.

Quote:

Why should only coaches and umpires have ready access to the rules? Why can't an inquisitive fan, or a parent, or a player, who has a passing interest in some particular aspect of the game, not be able to sit at home, fire up their computer, and see what the rulebook actually says about interference, obstruction, illegal pitches, base awards, or whatever? They have to order the book and wait for the delivery?
Obviously, you've never actually looked at what ASA and NFHS have for sale. Fact is, you CAN do this with ASA (buy their CD) and you do NOT have to be registered with anyone to buy it. You CAN do this with NFHS, but it does require you to be a registered official with them. As to answering the question "why" is this the only way? Because the OWNERS of the copyrighted works have decided that is how they want to make THEIR work available.

Quote:

So, to address your question - I do not believe that the wide dissemination of the rules to the general public - making it easily accessible - is some silly "teenage file sharing notion" like downloading illegal mp3's. What an asinine comparison!
It is a spot-on comparison. Both works are copyrighted (music, books), and neither owner of the work wants them available online for free distribution.

Quote:

I simply think more good is served when the rules are readily available. Rules are not something that should be viewed as a for-profit endeavor. There are so many other ways to make money than to extort people into purchasing a book even if they just have a passing interest in some element of the game.
And, that is your opinion, but unfortunately, since you do not own the copyrights to these works, it is not your decision to make. Feel free to express you opinion to the ASA and to the NFHS. My only point is it is their decision to make. Not mine. Not yours.

Quote:

Which is more important, making money from the rulebook, or educating the public about the rules of the game? How is it most other sports organizations seem to do just fine by making their rulebooks readily available?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
Which of those two organizations have as their mission to "educate the public on the rules of the game?" The published rules are for the benefit of the participants in the game. They are made available to the public for purchase, but apparently you think they should be free. They disagree.


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