The Little League World Series has been on the past week or so, and it’s been fantastic. It’s one of very few things that combines my love of baseball and the sight of little kids crying. There was one thing I found rather troubling watching the games this year, however: The Strike zone. I’m not sure if part of Little League is just purposely skewing things against hitters to keep things “fair” or if volunteer umpires are really this poor, but it seems like a pretty big problem.
Here is your basic baseball strike zone:
Nothing too complicated. Shoulders to knees, and over the plate. Seems simple, no?
This is my estimation of the average Little League World Series strike zone:
It seems to have very little to do with the batter or home plate, and a lot more to do with if the pitcher threw it to the catcher and if he caught it or not. So… for those of you scoring at home, that makes the possible types of pitches:
- Wild Pitch
- Passed Ball
- Hit by Pitch
It makes it easier to keep track, but it also puts me in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Dusty Baker, who sighs loudly with every 2-foot outside Strike call…. or the pitch the kid swung at that was called a ball.
The only thing I can think of that’s even more disturbing is the strike zone at our first softball game this Fall season, which was something like this: