While I don't think it will be something that will change in the near future, in December, on a slow day at work, I think there is merit in at least thinking about moving the bases/fences for fastpitch to 65' for the higher/older levels of play. To not even consider change is just being stubborn.
You can't compare fastpitch to slowpitch as apples to apples. The majority of slowpitch players are full grown adult males and females. The majority of fastpitch players (at least in the US) are under 18... with the greatest number younger than 14. Below 14 doesn't make sense to change it. At HS/College age/level it might be worth considering.
My DD, is still 12 so I don't have enough experience at seeing the game at the higher age groups to have any real grasp of how much different it would make the game. I can't really think of any reason to change it except for safety reasons. Frankly, I really only see negatives at this point.
For arguments sake... I'll list the "benefits" I see of moving to 65' for fastpitch.
- Defense gets extra time to make the play; means slightly less skilled/or slower fielders could play infield successfully.
- Safety of fielders; means slightly less skilled/ or slower to react fielders could play infield successfully with less risk of getting hurt.
- Speedy weaker hitters/and or slappers may not get on base as much... forced to learn how to hit "for real". Means line drive/power hitters will be more valuable.
- Power hitting teams more catered to. Small ball teams less effective.
- Bigger/faster athletes gain more advantage offensively than smaller/faster athletes (than they already had).
any other "benefits" i might be missing?
This is a kinda touchy subject. Most people don't like to see the game they love changed. I love the speed of fastpitch(I think everyone does). I also love that power hitting is starting to become a bigger part of the game(homeruns are awesome). I think moving the fences would be a bad idea(and expensive)
Tell you what I would like to see is more double plays. They are awesome to watch and take skill to execute. I think that moving the bases 5 feet would incorporate more defensive skill into the game. I don't think it would it would hurt the short game or speed of it. These girls are a lot faster than they were 15 years ago. Sure they might have to work a lil harder, but so would the defense.
I hate watching girls steal 2nd base so easily. I think it cheapens the game, JMO.
Just because you extend the bases a little doesn't mean you are trying to make it like baseball. There are still so many other ways the two are different, pitching being the main one. I think it is funny, we wanna teach them to play like baseball players but are scared to make changes cause the game might be a lil more like baseball.
Last edited by undergroundga; 12-14-2011 at 12:44 PM.
I would love to see adult women's fastpitch return! Unfortunatley, the way we teach most pitchers, these girls cant' even hold their children at 25, let alone pitch a softball. I see tons of ex-college players in the co-ed slowpitch league, but all the pitchers are injured and no longer playing ;( Luckily we're learning more and hopefully we'll stop hurting these kids so much.
Originally Posted by Screwball
Screwball I do think it was earlier. I was playing with the 11 inch at under 12s (so early 90s) and it was in before that here.
We play adult fastpitch over here. It's so much fun.
Why can't fastpitch allow leading off?
If you allowed leading off, then you allow the pick off play and a big change to the pitching rules. THIS would be interesting, and would really change the game. Would pitchers pick off underhand or overhand? It's only a 40 foot throw from the circle to the bag. I don't think this would change the game for the better, but it would change the game, if that's what you are after.
Originally Posted by SoftSocDad
Ok the lead I could see hugely affecting the game. If you can steal on a pitcher's first move you'd get on base and pretty much steal your way to score on 3 straight pitches. The effect on the batter would be that pitchers would be forced to rush their pitches, leaving a lot more mistakes or balls. I'm trying to imagine a softball pitcher in "the stretch", but I'm not sure how that would work out...
Allowing leads with the windmill simply wouldn't be pratical as you correctly point out that every baserunner would be an instant triple 2 pitches later.
Originally Posted by hen
It could be possible with the slingshot delivery though still difficult to hold runners on. With the windmill though as soon as the arm moves, runner with a lead takes off and should get to the next base, likely without even having to slide.
IMHO 70 ft bases and 45 ft pitching distance would make it a better game for this reason:
1. Instead of defense being 98% pitching and 2% fielding it would be 80% pitching and 20% fielding. Let a right fielder make a play maybe once per game.
Jillsdad just of interest what age group is your daughter in? The older they get the less of a pitchers game it is. Just at the Under 19 world championship you are seeing a lot of runs scored. Off the top countries too. (Aus vs USA 4-7) That's 11 runs. That's a lot compared to how it used to be.