Two changes proposed for 2013 Rule Book. Please discuss. If community feels that this should be implemented then it will move forward to be reviewed by the Rules Committee at the 2012 Summit in New Orleans.
THIS IS ONLY FOR DISCUSSION THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN UNLESS THE COMMUNITY, PLAYERS, CAPTAINS, and ultimately the Rules Committee approve this change at the Summit in November.
Summary of proposed changes: 1) Change the Strike Zone to ONLY include the plate as the zone (i.e., remove the foot to either side rule) 2) Change the Strike Rule to include foul tips (i.e., no more will strikes & fouls be separate)
Proposal One: A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the Head Referee, which -- (a) Is struck at by the kicker and is missed; (b) Is not struck at, if any part of the kickball passes through any part of the strike zone; (c) Is fouled by the kicker when he has less than two strikes; (d) Is bunted foul; (e) Touches the kicker as he strikes at it; (f) Touches the kicker in flight in the strike zone; or (g) Becomes a foul tip.
Proposal Two: The STRIKE ZONE to be from edge to edge of the home plate.
I don't like it. It will RADICALLY change the game as we know it. I'd be worried that some teams wouldn't have a pitcher that can consistently throw strikes. Walks will likely go way up, and the gap between the haves and have-nots will grow exponentially wider.
If I say mean things to you and it hurts your feelings, f#ck you.
I'm actually looking forward to hearing an argument FOR this, as I can't come up with one on my own.
I think that this, unlike the strike zone discussion in the other thread, would absolutely change the game...and not for the better.
I think this will just up pitch counts dramatically, and I think that walks will skyrocket (who feels good about walking?). As it stands now, you have to earn your way on base, for the most part. It should stay that way (and this is coming from the captain of one of the worst offensive teams out there, to whom baserunners are at a premium).
dp3 wrote:I'm actually looking forward to hearing an argument FOR this, as I can't come up with one on my own.
For which one? The strike zone or fouls = strikes?
IMO you would have to do both. If you made the strike zone smaller, you'd see many more balls. I think you'd need to make the fouls count as strikes to give the pitcher some sort of balance. If we made the strike zone smaller, but still give the kicker 8 pitches to work with, I think it would create an unnecessary (and massive) advantage for the offense.
dp3 wrote:IMO you would have to do both. If you made the strike zone smaller, you'd see many more balls. I think you'd need to make the fouls count as strikes to give the pitcher some sort of balance. If we made the strike zone smaller, but still give the kicker 8 pitches to work with, I think it would create an unnecessary (and massive) advantage for the offense.
For the strike zone, you'll definitely get more walks. You'll also get more easy pitches. This would allow more people to be more effective at the plate, thus boosting offensive performance (more offense = more entertaining = more people watching = more potential sponsors). Again, I'm not in favor of this rule change, but that is a potential reason for it.
For fouls equaling strikes, the game moves a LOT faster. You don't take pitches that are strikes (you can't afford to). This could allow games to add more innings (6-7 inning games in the timeframe of a current 5 inning game) and more at-kicks per game for everyone. I'm more open to this rule change depending on the particulars that I asked about above.
kim dude wrote:Stupid, why would you even want this?
Which part? I think shrinking the zone would make for pitchers always being behind in the count and more walks which i don't like.
The fouls being strikes would make at kicks shorter and get ride of intentional fouls and kickers taking strikes while at the plate. I pitch a lot and it's annoying to throw three extra pitches in an at bat to someone looking at a perfect strike then fouling one off hoping to get ahead in the count.
It's the same philosophy as playing 3 fouls as opposed to 4 (which people generally like)
I play in a league where fouls count as strikes, and you only get 3 (exactly what is proposed here). If you think the bitching about reffing is bad now, wait until you can use this rule change as a crutch when you foul out.
That garbage, waist-high ball that the ref (for some reason) just called a strike? When you have 3 strikes to work with, it's not a huge deal. When it's a foul/strike, it puts you behind the 8-ball. If it happens, I just hope people are ready for more crying about refs. Storm's-a-comin...
Does it make the game faster? Yes. Can you easily play 7 innings in 45 minutes? Yeah. Does it increase strikeouts/foulouts? Yes. Do you see more 3-up, 3-down innings? Yessir. Does it make for lower scoring games? Yup. Is that what people want to see? You tell me.
I'm in favor of counting fouls as strikes. Current rules in my opinion favor the kicker as they are able to watch strikes. The game moves too slow having to pitch to one person a minimum of 5 pitches (strikes) every at bat.
"The whole fundamental aspect of a game is that there is a winner and a loser. Everything about winning is better than losing." - Battle of the Boot
VAVi doesn't discriminate; any combination of 3 is an out. Maybe it used to be different (I can't remember). Currently, it's this way. They also kick guy-girl and don't allow you to slide, though, so anything is possible.
Shrinking the strike zone to just the plate I am not a fan of. If you shrink the strike zone at all (I would be ok with 6" outside the plate), you must increase the size of the pitching stripe, allowing pitchers to have more angle options.
As for fouls counting as strikes. This is not slow pitch softball where the pitches are 1000% easier to hit then fast pitch. This is bring the heat, the spin and the movement kickball pitching. Therefore if you count fouls as strikes you must not have a limit of fouls unless one tries to bunt on 2 strikes. (it would be the same as baseball - 2 strikes and you foul a bunt, you're out; 2 strikes and you foul a kick attempt - you keep on going)
I would vote keep it the same, 3 strikes and 3 fouls.
If you shrink the strike zone at all, then you increase the size of the pitching stripe and decrease the number of fouls to 2 only with strikes and fouls counting separate.
I am completely against a smaller strike zone. As a spin pitcher I rely on hitting corners and jamming up kickers to force the foul. That's not gonna happen on smaller strike zone. I don't see any real benefit to making fouls count as strikes other than squeezing in more innings. You'd still end up throwing as many pitches, just fewer per inning.
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dp3 wrote:This went off the rails...off the rails in a very pointless way.
Aw, come on, Don. At least the thread is staying friendlier than usual.
With all the "THAT'S BOLD" and "THAT'S NOT BOLD" chatter, I keep hoping to see Ad-Rock pop in, slam a canned iced tea, yell "that's BRISK, baby!" and then run out.
And I've also decided that all the emoticons look like little yellow Thwomps from Super Mario.
Back ON the rails - still pondering the strike zone change and strike/foul count change. First instinct is that I don't like it. But I can also see some value and merit to it. Must ponder it further. I don't know if we can have one without the other, though.
Don't the two rules kind of offset each other? Maybe the pitch count per at kick goes down by having fouls count as strikes, but by making a smaller strike zone more balls get thrown. I'm not sure there's a real need for either rule, just seems like changing a rule for the sake of chaning the rule to me.
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Zak Loaded wrote:Don't the two rules kind of offset each other? Maybe the pitch count per at kick goes down by having fouls count as strikes, but by making a smaller strike zone more balls get thrown. I'm not sure there's a real need for either rule, just seems like changing a rule for the sake of chaning the rule to me.
Kind of agree.
A part of me wants to like this idea. The circuit is trying to be a competitive sport, not a social/recreational one. Softball leagues are almost all the latter in my opinion, and that is why they limit fouls. I agree with Tweasy that fouls would have to be unlimited, and this would liken it more to baseball, whereas WAKA would be softball. It would promote the circuit as only for the highest level of teams--pitchers would have to be more precise or there would be many walks. Bunters would have it tougher with combined fouls/strikes and fouled bunts as third strikes, and kicking away could potentially result in very long at-kicks with many fouls. The only problem I see with that is that you could delay the game or tire a pitcher intentionally by fouling off a lot of pitches. I think the strike zone would still be acceptable in size, since only the very edge of the ball has to be over the very edge of the plate, which means you still get 5" on each side to the center of the ball. If anywhere on the plate counts and not just the front edge, then you get even more on the inside of your curve.
That said, the masses are opposed to change, and I think at least in this stage of the circuit's growth, it doesn't make sense to do. Like Trey said, it will likely increase the gap between the best and the rest. However, I DO think it has the benefit of giving kicking away an advantage over bunting in terms of the number of pitches you have to be successful. Perhaps it is something that should be experimented with at one tournament, maybe even a smaller non-circuit tourney.
To Pullout or not to Pullout. That is the question.
I think this is an interesting proposal, and I can see why it has a lot of initial opposition because it would certainly change kickball as we know it. But before it is totally dismissed, people should really think about the affects that this change, or something similar, would do.
On one hand, shrinking the strike zone would make it very difficult for pitchers to throw strikes. Most pitchers out there now can throw strikes pretty consistently with the strike zone as is. However, shrinking would really start to separate out pitchers even more so than now and add a completely new element to pitching...control. Walks will certainly increase. The best control pitchers may give up one or two walks a game. Others may give up much more. But it will allow pitchers who don't necessarily throw gas to become very effective (like Greg Maddux). You could have all different types of pitchers.
On the other hand, mixing strikes with fouls will require kickers to be much smarter. No more letting strikes just pass. Patience and a keen eye for strikes will be key. Walks will become a big part of the game. This will also start separating talent in kickers.
I think one change would mostly offset the other change in terms of increase in defense v. offense. The outcome would be more talent, smarts and overall strategy. It will also make the games go much quicker so 7 inning games could become a possibility. I think that if this were done, you would have to have fouls equal to strikes, meaning you can strike out with a foul (the strike zone would simply be too small to do it any other way). BUT, you could switch it to 4 strikes/fouls allowed. Definitely different, but something to consider.
Are these rule changes something that "should" happen? No. But it is interesting to think about. Maybe one circuit tournament next year could use these rules just to see what it is like?
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