The Goal of this site is to help explain the benefits of the TRUE 10-Man Modified Game. Or as it was called back in the 1960’s (MEDIUM PITCH). There is a lot of confusion on the pitching rules. So in order to understand the benefits of the 10 Man Game, you must understand the pitching rules
The Pitching Rules section of the site illustrates the rules including videos of different styles. You can also check out my You Tube channel (10manmodified). Over time we will post more snippets of the different styles.
This section will give you a little background on myself and a history lesson of Modified (or Medium pitch as it was originally called).
My name is Sal Guerriero. I starting pitching on Staten Island NY in the New York City Park League as a teenager back in the 60’s. Yes, I have now been pitching for 50 years. I have played on many teams in New York, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. I still have a passion for the game and as of this writing I am still competing on Staten Island and when time allows (and the body willing) – tournaments.
Back when I started pitching, the only style that was allowed was the 10 Man Modified style (it was not called that then – it was called Medium Pitch). I grew up watching my older brother Ray play Medium Pitch (he now pitches on Staten Island in the Alumni league). The pitchers for his team were Nick Amodeo (the father of the figure 8 style) and Jim Fallucca (unbelievable knuckle ball with a High Noon style). Paul Minucci ran the team and put together the best players from the area. It was Paul who lobbied the New York ASA commissioner (Vin Scarmadella) to start an ASA Modified Division. Up until that point there were no ASA sanctioned Modifed leagues. So Staten Island holds the distinction of having the first ASA Modified league in the country. Their team, Trio Licastri/Depompo’s won three of the first 4 national titles in Modified. Silvestries Service Station from Staten Island followed DePompos to become a dominent Modified team. Teams from Staten Island won the first 5 National titles. On any given Sunday more than 90 Modified games were played on Staten Island.
Over the years, I have seen most styles of pitching and can tell you that the 10 Man Modified style of pitching is probably the hardest to become proficient at. In order to throw strikes with any type of velocity or movement requires years of practice.
What Happened in the 80’s?
As the game grew in popularity, Windmill was dwindling. You guessed it, the windmill pitchers came over into the modified game. They altered their style and were allowed to pitch (sling). In a short time, they dominated the game. In addition, pitchers were being imported ($) from Canada, New Zealand and Australia and pretty soon you realized that in order to compete, you needed a top notch former windmiller. This was destroying the game because these pitchers were throwing in excess of 70 MPH from 46 feet. Equivalent to close to 100 MPH in baseball and most teams could not afford to pay their pitchers.
Who Saved Medium Pitch?
Guy Demaio, ASA commissioner of Western PA, decided that enough was enough. He lobbied with the ASA to create two separate divisions of Modified. So in the mid 80’s 10 Man Modified was created promoting the Original Medium Pitch rules. A separate division (9 Man Modified) was created to allow the former windmillers to continue to pitch sling.
What is happening now?
For a variety of reason, the 9 Man Sling game has all but died on the national level. There are Leagues that allow the sling style of pitching but few tournaments. However, 10 Man Modified is still alive. But a new issue has arisen. Most umpires do not know (or are unwilling) to call illegal pitches. This has allowed some slingers to pitch and spoil a tournament. In addition, former wind miller’s can easily take advantage of a loop hole (no height restriction of the backswing) in the ASA pitching rule. A perfect example is the 2012 ASA National 10 Man Major championship game. The pitcher for DeGrodt’s (Steve Platt – pitching legally by taking advantage of the ASA loophole) struck out 10 players from the 2011 National Champs (Secory’s) in the finals. Unfortunately the National ASA Modified Committee has not closed the loophole. What did they do? They put Steve Platt on a banned pitchers list (the only pitcher in the nation on a 10 Man banned pitchers list – but he was pitching legally according to the current ASA rules).
What have we done in Pennsylvania?
The ASA of PA has eliminated the loophole by restricting the height of the pitchers backswing.
“on the backswing, the ball cannot be above a right angle created by the Hip-shoulder-ball”
This simple rule change eliminates the loophole while not affecting any current “legal” pitchers who bend over and bring the ball above shoulder height (high-noon style).
Value of 10 Man Modified Game
The 10-Man Modified (with enforced PA 10-Man Pitching rules) game gives most teams a chance at competing. All four elements of the game (Pitching, Defense, Power, Speed) come into play. No one element can dominate. That is the beauty of the game. A balanced team effort.
No pitcher can dominate a game in 10-Man as opposed to the 9-Man Modified Pitching game. It also gives players with little previous experience in baseball a chance to hit the ball. If both teams have good pitchers, there will be few walks, few strikeouts if any, and a lot of action. There will be very few strikeouts (if any), which means you better have a good defense. Hitting for power can help but since there is bunting, stealing and 60 foot bases, speed can offset a lack of power.
To be successful your team requires:
Very few teams have all four elements. If your team is proficient in 2 of the 4 elements (including pitching) you will be competitive with most other 10-Man Modified teams. Being proficient in 3 of the 4 elements (including pitching) and you will do extremely well.
If you have never seen a true 10 Man game, check out the Leagues and Tournaments tabs of this site. Watch a few games. Once you see the game, you will understand its value.
A new issue has surfaced over the last 3 years: Slow Pitch bats in Modified.
The ASA now allows the use of the Bats designed specifically for slow pitch in Modified. They were initially NOT ALLOWED in modified in 2013. However, in 2014 the ASA reversed itself and allowed them to be used in modified. These bats are designed to hit the ball further and faster. This is especially true this year as the bats have had a few years plus to “break In”. The result is a significant increase in hitting. These bats are tipping the balance of the game away from speed, defense and pitching to hitting.
Some leagues have gone to a softer ball such as the Clincher (F12) or Clincher Gold (F12G), or only allow single wall one piece aluminum bats. There are even some wooden bat leagues.
Read my blog on Pitcher’s reaction time to get more information on this issue.