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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 02:03am
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Home Plate

Question concerning home plate.

In slow pitch softball, often times, the ball will hit the black rubber around home plate. At times, it hits near the top where one could argue that it also hit the plate, but other times it hits the side and is quickly deflected away from the plate.

How do you judge the pitch in, a(the ball hits the top of the rubber near the plate, b(the ball hits the side of the rubber?

I'm just curious how others call it. It seems that with the officials that I work with, some consider the rubber part of the plate, and some do not consider it part of the plate.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 06:27am
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You can generally tell by the bounce. If it goes up, it hit the plate. Sideways it's the rubber.

We've always called it as not hitting the plate. Course now everything slow pitch around here use the strike mats.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 07:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
You can generally tell by the bounce. If it goes up, it hit the plate. Sideways it's the rubber.

We've always called it as not hitting the plate. Course now everything slow pitch around here use the strike mats.
I have always been told the black IS part of the plate.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 08:02am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
I have always been told the black IS part of the plate.
Don't know about slo-pitch softball, but in fast-pitch, you've been told wrong. I can't imagine why it would be different in the "slower" side of the house.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 09:34am
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USSSA specifically defines the black edge as not to be considered as part of the plate.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 09:34am
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The black is a visual edge that is beyond the dimensions assigned to the plate, therefore it is treated as part of the river. A sliding runner that touches black is similar to touching the side of a base by a runner or fielder.

Take a softball ball, and place it on the black part of a home plate. Place it so that it touches the black but no part touches the white.

Guess what? It can't be done with a 12" softball, it will always touch the edge of the white (with part of the ball hanging over the white, meaning a strike if it didn't hit the plate), too. No matter which way the ball bounces, it touched the plate, and is a ball by rule (and a dead ball when stealing is allowed).

While it shouldn't be said it is part of the plate (because it isn't), it should be treated that way. Simple response when the pitcher/catcher argue it hit the black; you tell them it hit the white, too. Play on.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 10:17am
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Or the simple answer is that ASA states if the black is visible, it should be handled the same as the white for defensive and offensive purposes.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 11:27am
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Unless you've dug a huge trench right next to home plate, it's impossible for the ball to hit the black and not hit the white.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 11:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
Unless you've dug a huge trench right next to home plate, it's impossible for the ball to hit the black and not hit the white.
Not true in many areas.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 12:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
Not true in many areas.
It's not about the location in the country of the plate .... it's about the shape of the plate. Unless the ground adjacent to the black part of the plate goes nearly straight down, the fact that the ball is round and the black portion of the plate angles down 45 degrees makes it impossible for a ball to hit the black portion without also hitting the white portion.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 12:53pm
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Not all plates are the same, nor buried properly. I work and play fields that it's quite obvious where the ball hits black or white.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 01:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
Not all plates are the same, nor buried properly. I work and play fields that it's quite obvious where the ball hits black or white.
How is it so obvious? The plate is made of a relatively pliable material. Are you sure it has not hit the white also?
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 01:18pm
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There is more than on plate design out there and if not buried correctly, it can hit the pure black part.
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERBBB View Post
There is more than on plate design out there and if not buried correctly, it can hit the pure black part.
I wasn't asking if it was possible, but rather how it was obvious to the PU when it hits the black-only?
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Old Mon May 04, 2015, 01:49pm
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You can tell by the way the ball reacts. On a beveled plate it's really easy.
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