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Strike zone question

Feb 13, 2021
466
43
MI
How many strike zones does an umpire have? A very good question, the answer is 18 per game, (more if there are subs or if a team is using DP/Flex)

Strikes that are face high/above the hands. If you are using a code where the top of the zone is the armpits and a ball JUST catches that top of the zone, it certainly can look like it is face high, especially to the batters coach. It WILL BE above the hands. The zone is not defined at where the hands are.

A consistent umpire will have same zone for any one batter from start to finish of a game. But even umpires miss pitches every now and then.
 
Feb 13, 2021
466
43
MI
The only time I’ve had an issue was with an umpire who was calling strikes at the neck/chin.
If the center of the ball is at the neck/chin, where is the bottom of the ball? Is it catching the armpit? Was it a rise with the batter back in the box? I bet if that is the case it IS catching the armpit at the front edge of the plate.
 
Nov 20, 2020
414
63
SW Missouri
If the center of the ball is at the neck/chin, where is the bottom of the ball? Is it catching the armpit? Was it a rise with the batter back in the box? I bet if that is the case it IS catching the armpit at the front edge of the plate.
Good food for thought. Also points out I didn’t clarify well enough on the armpit. Obviously, my original post would include the whole armpit (top to bottom). I’ve always understood it as the bottom of the arm pit. But I don’t have any background on the “officialness” of that. Again, just how I was taught.

So, in that case a ball up on the neck/chin would be out of (my) perceived strike zone.

To your point....still situational based on batters position in the box and pitch thrown.

Hopefully this adds a little clarity to how I understand the strike zone. Please don’t take it as me complaining about moving strike zones. Again, as long as it’s consistent (as it can be) I’m never one to complain. Id say most umpires in our area get it right.
 
Feb 10, 2020
2
3
NFHS: 2.56.3 - The strike zone is the space over home plate which is between the batter's forward armpit and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a natural batting stance. Any part of the ball passing through the batter's strike zone in flight shall be considered a strike. The umpire shall determine the batter's strike zone according to the batter's usual stance.

USA: My rulebook is at home, but here was the definition from the ASA rulebook a few years ago and I don't believe it has changed -
(Definitions -Pg.29 - 2015) - The space over any part of home plate, when a batter assumes a natural batting stance adjacent to home plate: A. (Fast Pitch) Between the batter's: arm pits and the top of the knees. (note: basically the same as NFHS)

That being said, many umpires will not call the high strike. They will go a ball's diameter above the belly button or so. For all complaints about not calling the zone in the definitions I've given, coaches and parents alike have a fit if you actually call it at the armpits. Keep in mind the definition says "any part of the ball". That means that if the bottom fraction of the ball passes the armpit level, it is a strike. As others have mentioned, that ball would appear to be at the shoulders, but could be defended as a "book strike".

Many umpires have varied strike zones, but are usually consistent with themselves throughout the game (never call above the belly button, like low strikes, won't give the outside corner, etc). Those that aren't often have bad, inconsistent umpire mechanics that result in them seeing something different each time.
 
Jun 7, 2019
166
43
I’m not sure what age group you’re all talking about, but it’s critical to know. Yes, I know what the rule book says. 14U (let alone 12’s and 10’s) is a world apart from 18U. Best of luck to those plate umpires who consistently call strikes in solid 18U Class A play where even the middle of the ball passes the top of the arm pits, let alone the bottom, as has been mentioned here! I’m sure you’ll have a lovely day, and I’m sure coaches from both sides will just love to have you there. And for those who may answer “that’s what the rule book says”, well, as I said, best of luck to you. Keep on calling those high pitches strikes.
 
Feb 13, 2021
466
43
MI
I’m not sure what age group you’re all talking about, but it’s critical to know. Yes, I know what the rule book says. 14U (let alone 12’s and 10’s) is a world apart from 18U. Best of luck to those plate umpires who consistently call strikes in solid 18U Class A play where even the middle of the ball passes the top of the arm pits, let alone the bottom, as has been mentioned here! I’m sure you’ll have a lovely day, and I’m sure coaches from both sides will just love to have you there. And for those who may answer “that’s what the rule book says”, well, as I said, best of luck to you. Keep on calling those high pitches strikes.

This is the danger of saying that you want the strike zone called as written. How about there is some trust in the umpires to have enough experience to know what is and isn't expected to be called a strike based on the skill of the players? But then, you get different zones from different umpires on different days. So, as an umpire, the safest bet is to call the book zone and let the coaches complain when their pitchers start to live upstairs and get shelled.
 
Jun 26, 2019
140
28
I was wrong for years on where I thought the strike zone was. Until my daughter was at a 10u touney a few years ago. When i saw the top half of the ball above her head I thought that was a ball. Learn something new every day I guess.
 
Apr 20, 2015
663
93
Man some of you must have kids with really short necks. If I put the bottom of the ball at my kids armpit it is no where near her chin...

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Feb 13, 2021
466
43
MI
Maybe if she is standing there all; nice and tall, but have her get in a batting position, chin tucked near her shoulder as if she were looking out at the pitcher and tell us how much distance there is between the two. Now, go to the dugout and look at that same picture and try not to say the ball is face high on her when the umpire calls a strike that you don't like to begin with......
 
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