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You mean it's supposed to be just 90 feet between the bases? (UPDATED)
2008-05-28 14:54
by Bob Timmermann

The California Interscholastic Federation has upheld a protest by Viewpoint High School of Calabasas over its 8-7 loss in the Division VII playoffs to Avalon High.

As it turned out, the bases were 92 feet apart and the pitcher's rubber was 62 feet away from home plate. Perhaps Catalina Island warps tape measures.

The game will be replayed Thursday. In Long Beach, not Avalon.

The LA Times explains.

UPDATE - The Daily News explains that there was no intentional shenanigans in the layout of the field. The field had been hastily put together by a groundskeeper from a softball field after Avalon High's original field had been destroyed in a fire.

Both schools are satisfied with the decision to replay the game.

2008-05-28 15:06:28
1.   Xeifrank
I wonder if the difference in distances was that obvious to the visiting players and coaches. I would think the pitcher would notice it the most. I also wonder if they knew about it beforehand, and would then remove their protest if they won. I also wonder (I do a lot of wondering), if it's something that the home team could've protested too. Somebody really dropped the ball with the design of this softball field.
vr, Xei
2008-05-28 15:15:08
2.   standuptriple
I wonder how long its been that way and gone unnoticed. Boooo coaches! Where's Gene Hackman when you need him?
2008-05-28 15:18:56
3.   Eric Enders
Even in major league baseball, the bases are not actually 90 feet apart. Nobody is supposed to know about this, however.

If you go here and look at "Diagram No. 2" on Page 4 of the Official MLB rules, you'll see what I'm talking about:

In the 90-foot distance between home and first, the lengths of the bases themselves are included within the 90 feet. The 90 feet is marked by the back end of the bag.

Third to home is the same. Home-first and third-home are distances of exactly 90 feet. However, first to second, and second to third, are longer than 90 feet.

This is because second base is the only base which is not contained entirely within the "diamond" (actually square) formed by the four 90-foot baselines. Instead, the 90-foot measurement ends square in the middle of the bag. This means that (a) the distance between first-second and second-third is actually somewhat longer than 90 feet... maybe 90 feet, 6 inches or something like that, and (b) the bases are actually not laid out in the shape of a perfect square as most people believe they are.

Somebody who got much better grades in geometry than I did could probably figure out the actual distance with relative ease.

2008-05-28 15:22:46
4.   Bob Timmermann
To be precise, the ruling says "the baselines were 92 feet apart"
2008-05-28 15:25:00
5.   Eric Enders
The ruling is screwy, though. And I quote:

"Rules state that the pitching mound must be 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate and that the bases must be no more than 90 feet from that same point."

So in other words, second base has to be no more than 90 feet from home plate. And first base can be five feet away if you want it to.

2008-05-28 15:36:34
6.   Bob Timmermann
I would not be surprised that Avalon High deliberately tinkered with the field. High school baseball is a very big deal out there.

There really isn't any other sport that the locals do well at. Occasionally, they do well in 8-man football.

2008-05-28 15:44:37
7.   Gagne55
5 Secondbase must be no more than 90ft from home? Isn't secondbase 90root(2) ft. away from home (approx. 127.3 ft.)

The quote makes it sound like secondbase must be no more than 90 ft. from the mound. If the bases make a perfect square (which according to you they don't) then secondbase would be 66.8 ft. from the rubber. Home plate is of course 60.5 ft. from the rubber. Of course, since the bases and the rubber are areas and not points, it changes things, especially since for secondbase, apparently the defining point is the midpoint, while it is a corner point for 1st 3rd and home.

2008-05-28 15:44:38
8.   Eric Enders
What advantage would they supposedly gain, however?
2008-05-28 15:45:27
9.   Eric Enders
(That was in reference to #6)
2008-05-28 15:52:49
10.   Bob Timmermann
Psychological mainly.
2008-05-28 15:54:12
11.   ABreck
I would assume breaking pitches and a speed team...

If the drop 1.5 feet "earlier" relative to the batter, I would think it could mess up a kid. If your "ace" is mostly fastball, or is used to that difference, not so big a deal.

And if they like to bunt to get on (or chop it down), again you've got more time to nip them at the bag.

2008-05-28 15:58:25
12.   Gagne55
Ok, now that I've actually looked at the diagram and taken into consideration the size of bases, I have calculated the following:
The shortest distance from any point on home plate to any point on first (or third) base is approximately 87.4 ft. The shortest distance from any point on first (or third) base to second base is 87.9 ft.
2008-05-28 15:58:55
13.   kylepetterson
10 I could have sworn you wrote "Psychological manly". A manly psychological advantage is what I have over all my enemies.
2008-05-28 16:00:30
14.   Bob Timmermann
Also if you had good hitters and poor pitchers and knew the opposition had a good pitcher, wouldn't it help you to move the kid back a couple feet?
2008-05-28 16:01:17
15.   Gagne55
So Enders is correct that second to third and first to second are longer than third to home and home to first.
2008-05-28 16:50:02
16.   Jacob L
Too bad they don't use the Cubs old Spring Training field. It could be the (square) root of the curse.
2008-05-28 16:52:53
17.   Bob Timmermann
Updated info up top.

I withdraw my accusations of shenanigans against the good people of Avalon.

2008-05-28 17:49:23
18.   Hugh Jorgan
What that be the same declaration of "shenanigans" so effectively utilised on South Park? And then of course the resulting mayhem and assorted brouhahas that follow?
2008-05-28 20:09:56
19.   Eric Stephen
Hugh Jorgan


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