Ghost fence

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Fairman, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    Our softball field does NOT have an outfield fence. The Boosters have volunteered to provide a temporary fence, (the field is multi-use) install it and take it down. After review by the AD, the Principal and the Superintendent the offer was rejected. Some parents are thinking about taking the issue to the Board but that will be a crap-shoot and not resolved this season. I suspect the rejection has much to do with union rules but no one will tell us exactly why. (The baseball field is fully enclosed and lovely)

    So: If I paint a line at 200' (or further say 210') and make a ground rule that anything over the line on a fly is a home run and anything on the ground is a double, would that work?
  2. Shane

    Shane Member

    We have a similar problem, the baseball field v. the softball field and the inequalities. The struggle is real. As for the painted line, I would call OHSAA and get their opinion as it will be OHSAA officials making the decision when confronted with the playing conditions on game day. Good luck!
  3. WWolff

    WWolff "Suck A Little Less Today"

    Maybe put ornge construction cones out every 20' @ 200'?? Saw that at a tournament and was better then no fence I guess, but they set at 210
  4. Pacerdad57

    Pacerdad57 Member

    We just had a couple of local companies offer to buy our JV a temporary fence with step in posts! what a great community we have!
    AD, coaches, school and everyone else is down with the deal and we should have it up for our home JV opener.
    really, it is seriously cool to have local support like this for our JV program. the AD is also having the infield reset, new plate installed, it's a good time for our JV squad.
    pics to follow!
    plus the JV squad took an 18-1 win last night. does it get any better??
    here's a game pic of the DD, fence pics to follow, it has been ordered!! DSC_3898.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  5. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    This is a tricky topic to discuss and unfortunately the option may not be what softball fans want to hear. It should be a black or white issue. "Yes" a fence or "No", no fence and while I support your effort to have something or anything, there will be people lobby against it. Everyone knows what the arguements will be. I'm not going there. I see the points the lobbyists will make and that's what makes this such a stalemate. I can only assume it is a logistical reason for not wanting it such as field matainance or a hindrance to the normal operation and flow of the location/park. Perhaps there is a liability issue the school does not want to tackle pertaining to who would actually install a temp fence.

    I think most of us will agree that at the high school level a fence can make a difference in the outcome of a ballgame. I also believe somebody should be given a reason why. Even if the reason is not legit, there has to be a reason. In our school district the order is AD, principal, Superintendent, then school board that normally will only hear you if you register before a scheduled meeting and assigned a time slot to speak.

    The one thing that might help is if the coach were to publicly get on board both beforehand and during your run to the board. If the coach is not in favor of ANY of it you might as well go bark at an empty tree cause nobody is going to listen. Be careful they don't throw you under the bus and support your efforts behind closed doors then play stupid when asked in public what they want done.
  6. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    Would the hint of this being a possible Title IX issue hold any water and carry any weight?
  7. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    Was thinking the same thing. If the boys baseball fields has a fence the girls should have a fence. Just Saying!
  8. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    This is straight out of the NFHS rule book:

    For an unfenced field, a chalk or imaginary out-of-bounds line should be established to define live-ball area.

    So, yeah...go for it!

    SOFTBALLS14 Active Member

    Or you could just go out, put up a temporary fence ( orange snow fence is cheap and easy to find) & ask for forgiveness,... What someone put up a snow fence overnight before our game ....Must have been the Easter Bunny... ;)
    IF the Coach is onboard!!
    Then if they push back, I would push with a Title IX & a line item budget on what has been spent on both program's, Baseball vs. Softball (Public records) on your visit to the board.
    But be prepared for the well talk about it later, then Season is over.... could always involve the local news ..
    School boards hate negative publicity.. JMO
  10. jt7663

    jt7663 Active Member

    Be careful with (Temporary Fencing) the posts are a hazard. We had a player lose front teeth crashing through to make a play on a ball.
  11. Sounds like a Title IX violation. Just follow the chain of command. If not resolved, you can file a complaint with the office of civil rights. The complaint can be filed anonymously. What will probably happen is once the school gets wind of "Title IX" violation, they will simply give the OK to put it up. If there is an actual investigation, they have so much time to become compliant. Again, they will simply say it's ok to put the fence up. You can't have gross differences between the baseball field and softball fields.
  12. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    Thanks for the responses......

    1. Bretman2 can you give me the NFHS reference? We establish out-of-bounds lines right and left. I guess the home run line would be the same?
    2. I am the coach and I would dearly love a fence but if not a fence would a line suffice? It would allow our players to actually hit a home run now and them, right now it is a foot race.
    3. I have also referred this question to one of our PIAA umpires for a clarification and see if there might be any objection.
    4. We use these temporary fences for tournaments year in and year out and they are certainly less dangerous than a chain link fence with a top rail as far as the player's safety is concerned.
    5. Would a line on the ground change the game or be detrimental to the home team?
    6. I also assume that I'd have to establish the ground rule for our first section game and then stick to it for an entire season.
    7. As to Title IX questions...the quickest way to shut down cooperation from a school board is to threaten a law suit. I think we are still in the 'please stage'. I don't think that this question has risen to the Board level yet. The Admin is trying to bury it. Some parents are talking about going to the Board but that would be two weeks out and then two weeks beyond that...season is over.
  13. That is why you are able to file anonymous. It's really about being compliant with Federal law. It seems quite a mystery why they are against this fence.
  14. Just curious, what do you mean by this?
  15. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    Rule 4-1-3(e). You would treat the line exactly the same as you would a fence, with respect to home runs, ground rule doubles, players carrying the ball out of play, etc.
  16. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    PA has very strong public employee unions including the maintenance staffs at the districts. If the Maintenance Staff views installing a temporary fence as 'their work' they will file a complaint with the State and the District's will run. There is no negotiation with the unions because they do not want to create a precedent for the future.
  17. Ok thanks. Whether it's the school or labor, I'd hope they'd get over it. A number of schools in our league have no fence for softball. It is a joke and changes games in unnatural ways.

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