View Full Version : York vs Southampton Regional Semifinal Game
I have been looking at the pictures on HRvarsity of the York victory over Southampton in Wednesday's Regional Semifinal game. The poster of those pix can't seem to emphasize enough the issue of the incorrect distance of the pitching rubber at the start of the game. Some of the captions under those pictures are an apparent attempt to belittle and embarrass Southampton's team by someone possibly looking for a way to comprehend York's near loss. Yes, the rubber was in fact in the wrong place; but certainly the result of an honest mistake. Regardless, it did not by any means create an advantage for either team over the other. At the conclusion of one full inning (you know, the kind where both teams have an at-bat...), the rubber was moved to the correct distance and play resumed. This was a hard fought game by two very good teams and either one could have come out on top. In the end, York held on for the 6 - 5 win. Congratulations to them. While Southampton did score two runs in the first inning (as well as three more after the pitching distance correction), there was nothing unfair about this game. After all, York had an at-bat in the first inning too.
06-06-2011, 02:17 PM
Actually, There was un unfair advantage in the first inning. Anyone who knows anything about pitching would understand. If you only pitch fastballs, 4 feet would make little difference in the location at which the ball crosses the plate. However, if you pitch any change ups at an extra 4 feet the ball will most certainly drop before the plate. Think about any curve ball that is pitched. The breaking ball would not come across the plate. If the Southampton pitcher had been pitching at 47 feet, She would have had the advantage in that game. As per the Southampton coach, the pitcher plate was at 47 feet the whole season(Find it hard to believe no pitchers noticed it). If this is true the Southampton team definately had the home team advantage throughout the season. Once the rubber was moved it was a great game and both teams played well.
I get where you're coming from, but I still don't feel the distance created an unfair situation. Incorrect, yes; unfair, not so sure. I do know a little something about pitching so I understand that if the issue is the effectiveness of the pitcher, then the extra distance might actually favor the breaking ball pitcher over the straight fastball pitcher. Hitters are often instructed to move to the front of the batter's box against pitchers known to throw alot of breaking balls to lessen the distance to the pitcher in order to hopefully hit the ball before it has a chance to break much. When batters swing at change ups, they do so based on the anticipated speed at which they expect the ball to arrive, rather than the position of the ball when it arrives at the plate. Sure a change up is thrown with less velocity and therefore would likely fall more from a distance greater than 43 feet, but the damage has been done so to speak and the batter has already been fooled and is swinging anyway. Breaking balls are only going to be more effective from a greater distance (to a certain extent of course) since they have more room to move, making them even more difficult to hit. Granted, 47 feet is way off relatively speaking, but not to the point that it handcuffs the breaking ball pitcher. I too find it hard to believe the rubber was that far back all season and that no other coach, pitcher or umpire noticed it.
06-06-2011, 03:14 PM
Please take care, when discussing this, not to get personal, particularly about the coach. As g-8 said, this was an honest mistake.
It's fine to discuss whether the mistake gave one team and advantage or not. But the coach at Southampton has done a good job of revitalizing that program and is a good person.
06-06-2011, 03:22 PM
That fact that Southampton played all of their home games at the 47 foot distance and York has PROBABLY NEVER played a game at that distance is what made this UNFAIR. This is not just a pitching problem but also a hitting problem. And just changing the position of the rubber after the 1st inning doesn't make it fair. Don't for one second think that everyone was able to adapt to this whole scenario without confidence damage taking place.
06-06-2011, 04:46 PM
The extra distance indeed does favor the breaking ball pitcher if the pitcher has adapted to the increase in distance. To throw any pitcher into that situation and expect them to adapt instantly is wrong.
Most of Southampton's losses this year were at home, so the incorrect distance didn't necessarily do them any favors all year or better prepare them for one inning against York. There are arguments that could be debated for either side. You could say Southampton was at a greater disadvantage for 6 of the 7 innings since the implication is that they were accustomed to the incorrect distance, or you could say there's no way York would have allowed Southampton to score twice in the first had the distance been correct. Who knows? No need to keep beating this around. Suffice it to say it was a good game by two good teams. There was a problem with the distance and it was corrected. Both teams had great seasons. Good luck to York tomorrow!
06-13-2011, 06:38 AM
The bottom line is that the field was illegal @ the start of the game. Southampton is responsible for having a legal field by VHSL rules. What penalty did they have to serve as a restult of the illegal field. Did VHSL wuss out when asked to respond? Probably.
06-13-2011, 10:53 AM
WAS the VHSL asked to respond? Or was this taken care of by the umps?
At the conclusion of the 1st inning, with SHS leading 2 - 0, the distance from the plate to pitching rubber was measured and found to be too far. There was much on-field discussion including both coaches, the three umpires and the SHS AD. Eventually one umpire and the SHS AD went into the school, and presumably made a call to the VHSL. After a while, the umpire returned to the field, called the coaches together and informed them that play would resume as things stood at the conclusion of the 1st. The rubber was moved to the proper spot and the game was played out.
06-13-2011, 04:28 PM
I keep a measuring tape in my equipment bag at all times.... I bet you will find most distances are slightly off. I've seen umpires start walking heel to toe/heel to toe but they start at the front of the plate instead of the back of the plate! Not that walking it off is an official measuring tool but if it's that far off you can tell.
Having said that it's a shame that this happened and if noone else noticed this during the year then maybe folks need to pay more attention. Four feet is a BIG difference in fast-pitch softball. The advantage is to the batters no matter what the pitcher throws because it gives them more distance/time to adjust and pick up the pitch. If the pitcher throws breaking and off speed stuff the batter has plenty of time to see it and make adjustments. If the pitcher throws fastballs the batter had more time to pick it up and "see it".
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