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Technology takes another step inside the game of fastpitch softball

01/26/2024, 6:45pm CST
By Bob Tomlinson connects with National Federation - watches for signaling is coming mainstream

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Here is the newsy part of the story.

On Thursday I received an email and later a phone call from the fellas that have created this new electronic system to call out signals during baseball and softball games which would eliminate the traditional way to communicate game strategy which is course is a form of sign language. This new system could also eliminate wrist bands such as Never Miss a Sign stuff.

The two fellas were inquiring about our Poynette Fastpitch Organization's Summer Jamboree in June. They wanted to know if we had any openings and if they were to choose to travel to Poynette they wanted to know if we would allow their team to use this new electronic system,

The system requires that every player is wearing a smart watch. The coach will send the message from his watch or perhaps another device to the kids on the field or on the bases and at the plate.

You can read more about it on their website.

I told them to send the entry check and have at it here in Poynette with their new technology. 

I think they might be forgetting about other technology that will be needed by many of the coaches who might think about using the technology. 

Reading glasses. 

In the last 7 or 8 years of my stint as head coach in Poynette more and more teams were moving to using wrist bands. I did not however for many reasons and one of the biggest ones was having to wear my 3X readers. I refused to do that and I am a bit old school as well. I'm not old school because I think it takes away from the sport or anything like that. 

As a matter of fact in 2018 and 2019 we used wrist bands. However, only our pitcher and catcher wore them. Our position players still needed to learn the game in a more traditional manner. 

Many of the things that led to some success for us was the fact that at the last moment we could signal in signals verbally. Secret words or phrases for instance. We had a plethora of pick-off calls and using a wrist band or watch to get the word out between pitches would have had our kids looking at their wrists. That would have been a surefire "tell" even for softball people who have no clue there are "tells."

It will be interesting to see how the game moves forward -- and it will. It hasn't stopped moving forward since the WIAA started controlling high school fastpitch in 1976. 

Have a great day and a greater tomorrow!


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