this is Norristown softball right? some of the best pitchers in advanced tournament play are here. these guys can defend themselves, in fact many of them what you to hit middle so they can turn the double play . . . its part of letting the pitcher pitch.
if you want to protect the pitcher . . . put a synthetic box at the plate and strictly enforce the batter box rules. it worked well at state college in 35's a decade ago. its not easy to keep your feet in the box hitting up the middle when the pitch is inside. it also limits the run up (IVO/Clarke) type hitters, that shot middle at birth.
don't get caught up in what you are doing to protect the pitcher, they determine their fate with the pitch they throw . . . but don't handcuff them.
in an ideal world, the mat should be removed . . . but given the fierce rivalry at times, the friends/colleagues, and umps safety - the mats must be used.
love the discussion, but stay focused on the task . . . don't get caught up in the projected result
when/where is that party?
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