>WHats the rules on that 16" stuff?
>Whats the feeling on the mat to call strikes?
>Personally, i like it. Eliminates the "ump makes a bad strike call with 2
>on in the bottom of the 7th" fiasco which has plauged us all in the past.
I too grew up in Milwaukee playing "standard" 12" ball with a 6' to 12' arc
limit, but since coming to grad school here in Chicago I've had to learn to
play the 16" game. In the 3+ years I've been here, I've played in 3 different
leagues in 3 different areas of town (2 in the city, 1 in the 'burbs) and in
each case, the pitching rules were the same: no arc limits whatsoever and
strikes called by where the ball hits. No mats are used, the umps go by if
the ball hits in the so called "well" behind the plate - about the same area
as if a mat is used. In addition, a ball hitting the plate is a ball, unless
it hits the "black" - the rim around the plate along the back edges of the
plate. It is then a strike. The real unusual thing about pitching in 16" is
that the pitcher only needs to start with one foot on the ***. From there
he may take one step (often a lunging stride) in any direction except toward
the plate. Thus it is not unusual to have a pitcher pitch at you from many
different angles during a single at bat. Many of the best pitchers will chang
angle depending on strike count and if they are ahead they will "make it rain"
- pitch the ball so it comes down nearly vertically at the batter, more often
than not for a strike. It really makes batting in 16" a chore.
As for other rules of 16" for those of you who have never heard of it- the
major changes are:
no gloves are allowed whatsoever in the field. The ball starts hard like a
12" ball but quickly softens as the game progresses. Most leagues put a new
ball into play for the bottom of the 4th (in a 7 inning game).
10 players are again used in the field, but instead of playing 4 outfielders,
most teams play 5 infielders, playing a "short center" directly behind 2nd
leading off is legal, but the runner may only advance if played on by the
few fields have fences. Power is really not much a part of the 16" game.
Better teams rely on team speed - hit and run and the like - to advance
runners, having the batter try to slap the ball into play
bats used seem to vary by league. In general, heavy wooden bats are employed
as the usual 12" aluminum bat will not hit the large, soft 16" ball well. On
teams with lots of speed to burn however, the smaller fast guys will use the
aluminum bats to put the ball in play and beat out a throw (or if they can get
the ball to the outfield, stretch a routine single into 2 bases or more.)
Its a different game, but a lot of fun once you get used to it. Much more
strategy involved rather than just "crush the ball" like in so many 12"
Anything major I missed anyone else from Chicago??????
Thomas C. Isabell