Coach, you NEED to work on this (TMIB's Points of Emphasis)

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May 27, 2022
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Almost all umpires call the mitt to some extent. Mlb keeps a stat on pitch framing.

Belly button is just a reference for height. What I am saying is not only do they do not call a pitch at the armpit they do not always call one that is 4-6 inches lower.

What makes you think I am not watching the ball? When you sit in front or behind the batter and you watch the ball you see where the ball crosses the batter.

BTW I am not complaining just stating what I have seen in countless hours of softball. Sit to the side sometime and observe. I do not care as long as it is reasonable and consistent players have to adjust. With the high strike (at arm pits) they have already adjusted that it will be called a ball.

I tell coaches that I am umpiring for that how the catcher catches it doesn't matter.

I tell catchers I am working with to reach out as far towards the pitcher as they can, push the glove through the ball, stick it, and fold it over.

I keep working on it, but in all honesty, the farther back the catcher is, the harder it is for me to feel good about my zone.

I am not a fan of moving or sliding the ball into the zone after the catch. I have seen some of the stats, but 1) if you are moving the ball after the catch - then it probably wasn't a strike 2) now I can see how far you move the ball to get to the middle of the plate (cuz you probably aren't moving one that is a strike) 3) in essence, you are trying to fool the umpire - stick it and show me it was a strike instead of weaseling your glove to try to fake it into a strike 4) for it to have a chance to work, you have to be REALLY REALLY smooth with it - the vast majority are not even close.

I would say that I don't think I have ever seen an umpire limit the top of the zone to what is equal to the the belly button. I would say that lot's of umpires seem to use the sternum as the top of the zone. IMO, very few use the bottom of the ball at the top of the armpits as the top of the zone. Of course, we are talking anatomy that we can't see so I can kind of see your point.
 
Aug 1, 2019
1,043
113
MN
... the top of the armpits as the top of the zone. Of course, we are talking anatomy that we can't see so I can kind of see your point.
To me the upper limit is the hardest part of the zone to figure out. Knees stick out and are obvious for the lower zone. Sternum-can't see. At the letters-varies by jersey. Armpits-kind of vague. Don't even go "there" for protruding female anatomy. And the batter's normal top of zone height isn't the same as when they stride/dip when the pitch comes in, so you're really trying to hold and invisible level in space. Too bad we're not unicorns with a horn growing out the base of the sternum.
 
May 27, 2022
417
63
To me the upper limit is the hardest part of the zone to figure out. Knees stick out and are obvious for the lower zone. Sternum-can't see. At the letters-varies by jersey. Armpits-kind of vague. Don't even go "there" for protruding female anatomy. And the batter's normal top of zone height isn't the same as when they stride/dip when the pitch comes in, so you're really trying to hold and invisible level in space. Too bad we're not unicorns with a horn growing out the base of the sternum.

I will say this: if they dip when a high pitch comes in, I usually wait until they stand up again. If the height of the ball was at the height of their belt, I call a strike...
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,107
113
I will say this: if they dip when a high pitch comes in, I usually wait until they stand up again. If the height of the ball was at the height of their belt, I call a strike...
Only tangentially related, but I saw one of the strangest stances I have ever seen this past weekend. The girl's crouch was so low that her left knee was only a few inches from the ground (she was a RH hitter) in her stance..odd as hell.
 
May 29, 2015
3,953
113
To me the upper limit is the hardest part of the zone to figure out. Knees stick out and are obvious for the lower zone. Sternum-can't see. At the letters-varies by jersey. Armpits-kind of vague. Don't even go "there" for protruding female anatomy. And the batter's normal top of zone height isn't the same as when they stride/dip when the pitch comes in, so you're really trying to hold and invisible level in space. Too bad we're not unicorns with a horn growing out the base of the sternum.

Two tips:
(1) Don’t go into your crouch until the batter is set and the pitcher is about to deliver.
(2) Set your eyes at the top of the zone at that point — that is what the batter is presenting as their zone for the pitcher. If they move after that, oh well, stay with the presented zone.
 

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