Monday, August 31, 2009

Chula Vista On The Juice?

No. Not likley. But I have a serious question for Little League: why are the fences so short? When I was 11 and 12 years old, we had a fairly novel rules structure that allowed for 70 foot bases and leading/stealing. I won't say that it's an optimal structure (you could pretty much just steal every time), but the fence at our home field was only 220 feet. Our field was known as one of the smaller fields in our Travel Select League. Honestly, it was kind of a joke. In fact, our team would have Home Run Derbies at the field at practice and put on our own show.

The fences in Williamsport are just 225 feet (and league rules state that they must be a minimum of 165 feet, which is a complete joke). Also, the distance must remain constant for the entire extent of fair territory. But why? Balls generally travel farther to the gaps (I think), so why should they be the same distance all the way around? This makes no sense, and the Little League WS has turned into a sideshow act in my opinion. Chula Vista hit 52 home runs in a span of 10 games (I believe they blasted 38 during the tourney). A lot of the time, the outfielders are standing at the fence just waiting for the ball to drop over. If they can cover that much ground, and they can hit that many home runs, why are the fences so short?

The game has become a contest of who can strikeout the most batters and who can hit the most home runs. I understand there is a wide distribution of talent at this age. But these are the best ones in the World. The Little League rules don't make any sense to me. Does anyone know WHY the outfield fences are required to be the same distance the entire way around? I'd love to hear it.

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