The Strike Zone
The strike zone is a conceptual three dimensional right angle pentagonal floating over home plate which defines the boundaries through which a pitch must pass in order to count as a strike. If the ball intersects/touches the strike zone at any point, then technically that is a strike. Hey, we din't make the rules, we are just following them! Incredibly, when we surveyed baseball players of all ages and skill levels as to"What is the strike zone?", the vast majority could not accurately define the strike zone. We asked these players to draw the strike zone and we provided a front and side view of a batter at home plate. They understood that the strike zone started around the hollow of the batter's knees and topped out at around the letters. What they failed to understand was that the strike zone also went back 17 inches from the front of the plate to the pointed tip at the back of the plate. This means that the distance from the rubber to the front of the strike zone is 59 feet 1 inch and the back of the zone is 60 feet 6 inches. Most players thought the strike zone was 60 feet 6 inches away. What this means is that the strike zone is actually larger than you understood. If a baseball even barely contacts the strike zone anywhere around the perimeter then you have expanded the strike zone by approximately 35%. That is a positively huge increase in the size of your target. Now consider that there is another 17 inches of strike zone behind the front plane and the strike zone is that much larger! Conceivably a 12 to 6 curveball could actually drop down through the top of the zone without ever touching the front plane and it would be a strike. A slider could also break into the side of the strike zone without touching the front. We didn't change the strike zone. It's always been there. The 3DKZONE merely reveals it! No more guessing whether it's a strike. Now you will know immediately and you won't need cameras or computers to do it!
Umpires Have A Tough Job!
The majority of umpires serve as ethical arbiters and interpreters of the rules. Rules are written for all of us to follow, so it's very important that both players and umpires actually understand the definition of the strike zone. Any notion of what constitutes a strike that is different than the rule, potentially alters and could possibly diminish the quality of the experience. We all have to abide by the same rules and definitions to get it right! There may be instances when, for the sake of development, a strike zone may be expanded or contracted for a day, a week or even an entire fall instructional season, but the spirit of competition should always be respected by being fair. There is no limit on the amount of individual interpretations that umpires, pitchers and batters may have regarding the strike zone. Education is the key to leveling the playing field. Remember, the concept of a three dimensional strike zone is not new. The only thing that's new is the 3DKZONE and the ability to practice using all three dimensions of the strike zone. The 3DKZONE could revolutionize the way we balls and strikes. Great baseball players become champions in the off-season. This is also an excellent time for umpires to train using the 3DKZONE to visualize the strike zone to call balls and strikes. The best umpires strive to get it right. If you want to be a great umpire the 3DKZONE can help.
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