North Coast Section OKs continued use of metal baseball bats
Original post made on Apr 28, 2010
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 5:29 PM
on Apr 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm
NCS-CIF Board of Managers missed the point last night at their meeeting in which they discussed the relative safety of high performance aluminum bats in comparison to wood bats.
The Board members should have started with the concept of APRT (Available Pitcher Response Time). That is how much time a pitcher needs to defend and protect himself from a line shot, and then worked backwards to determine the actual designed safety level of the high performance aluminum bat for the high school pitcher.
Aluminum bat manufacturers as we all know have the ability to make aluminum bats even safer than wood bats, or from a reasonable responsibility standpoint at least equal to wood bat performance.
CIF-NCS board president Gil Lemmon believes that an aluminum bat may only increase the speed of the ball by 2/100ths of a second, while others believe it can be up to 4/100ths of a second.
For the sake of my argument below I will utilize the CIF-NCS board's estimate of 2/100ths of a second.
As we know, a high school baseball can be hit off an high performance aluminum bat at a top end speed ranging somewhere from 100-110mph. That speed translates to a travel distance of between 146.6 and 161.3 feet per second. Therefore within this mere 2/100ths of a second timeframe this particular baseball will have traveled an additional 2.9 and 3.2 feet towards the pitcher.
Consider that after the baseball is hit out in front of the plate, and the pitcher finishes his stride toward the plate, the pitcher is left with approximately 50 feet to react to the baseball.
The high performance aluminum bat with its 2/100th of a second increased pop over a wood bat has thus diminished the pitcher's available reaction distance by roughly 6 percent (~3 feet/50 feet).
Amador Valley High School coach Lou Cesario watched his pitcher, Will Lamarche during an Easter tournament in April 2008 lose his front teeth while suffering a fractured jaw. Gunnar Sandberg is recuperating in a San Francisco rehab hospital with a piece of his skull missing from his head.
Could a wood bat have accomplished this same unfortunate feat? Absolutely! Should aluminum bats be designed and manufactured with more performance than wood bats, considering the already enlarged sweet spot of an aluminum bat? Absolutely not!
CIF-NCS, please work backwards when considering the safety of aluminum bats in high school, start with the Available Response Time for the Pitcher, first!
Thank you for your consideration.
on Apr 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm
In the second game of a double header this past weekend at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, a pitcher for the visiting Clayton Valley High School baseball team took a line drive right back at him. Fortunately, he turned around and amazingly the ball lined right into his glove and he recorded the out. The moment took less than one second to take place. On the way back to the dugout, fans and players heard him say to his coach, "That was the scariest moment of my life."
Watching it from the stands, if you blinked, you would have missed it. If you weren't watching the ball before the bat was swung, you would have missed it. It was that quick. By the way, this was a freshman game, not a varsity game. From the stands, it was quite the scary moment. Immediately after the play was over, talks about what happend in the Marin Catholic/De La Salle began to be talked about. A change needs to be made and it needs to happen soon before we start saying, "Thank god it's only a broken jaw" or "thank god his is just blind in one eye."
on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:40 am
How many women are on the board of the North Coast Section? If there are any women on the board, how did they vote?
Just guessing...women, more specifically mothers with kids playing ball, would have been more likely to vote for the ban on non-wood bats given the dangers as noted both in the article and the comments from Backward Thinking and Blind in One Eye....just wondering....