The Great Female Walk Debate

BaseballIn our slo-pitch league, there is a rule regarding female batters which has caused quite a bit of controversy. The rule is applied when a female batter bats after a male batter is walked. The female batter in this instance would have to choose between batting and taking an automatic walk.

I've always believed our female batters should take the walk if it's offerred to them. Swinging away gives you a 30% chance of reaching first but taking the walk gives you a 100% chance of reaching first. To me, it's a no brainer. Take the base, advance the guy ahead of you and help your team accumulate runs. That's the objective, right?

An unnamed member of Raging Storm, my slo-pitch team in this league, took the offer of a walk as a slight against her gender. Game after game I'd watch the opposition take the walk each and every time, yet when I encouraged our women to do the same, an unnamed teammate would snarl at me and accuse me of being a he-man woman hater. This became such a sticky subject that a league-wide vote was recently cast to determine whether the rule should be scrapped. The results showed the majority wanted to keep the rule so we'll have it again this season. Personally, I think it's a necessary evil. In a big game, who would pitch to a larger, stronger male batter when they can walk him and look for a double-play grounder from the female batting next?

If you're wondering what my unnamed teammate thought of the vote results, it doesn't matter. She quit the team this winter. She's gone, but the great female walk debate will most likely continue.

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Comments (6 - click here to join in!)

twins from bolton

A stupid rule. Therefore, you put your weakest female batter behind your strongest male batter & she automatically gets to 1st every time. That's NOT baseball. I don't blame the person who didn't beleive in this rule. SHE WAS RIGHT. SORRY. You play for the fun of the game & if you know you will probably get a VERY fews strokes at the plate being a female, I'd quit too. Absolute bullshit.

twins from bolton

April 11, 2006 @ 3:45 PM


Why not have the males hit from their OTHER side after a female hits - That makes as much sense as your leagues rule. Come to think of it - have them hit with the wrong end of the bat!

April 11, 2006 @ 5:24 PM


I don't know if I would go as far as call you a he-man woman hater but you do seem slanted in your views regarding the differing genders. Where does the 30% figure come from? I agree with the Twins......Scrap that rule.

April 11, 2006 @ 5:31 PM

hells kid

What kind of rule is that. Your league seems to be male dominated & let the "weaker sex" suffer. My sister can outhit me & I'm proud of it. She's also 1 year younger playing with kids older than her. I have played REP baseball for 5 years & my sister is better than me.
P.S. I'm 13 years old - we have a female on our team for the last 4 years & SHE is one of the GUYS. SHE is my sister.

April 11, 2006 @ 6:37 PM

Mike Boon

Firstly, the female batter only gets first if the batter ahead of her is walked. This is to prevent pitchers from pitching around the theoretically stronger batters.

Secondly, I'm not suggesting every male batter is superior to every female batter. Generally speaking, this happens to be the case. You can check out our 2004 stats and 2005 stats for a frame of reference.

Thirdly, I wrote the commissioner myself and suggested we scrap the rule and give the male batter who was just walked an extra base instead.

And finally, I don't see this as a girl/guy thing. If they offered me the walk, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Getting on base is more than half the battle, it's everything. According to the rules, I don't get offered the base so I can't take it, but sometimes, a female batter gets this chance. I say take it.

April 11, 2006 @ 6:55 PM


I think the rule has merit (I do prefer the 2 base suggestion, though), it decreases the incentive of walking the male batter (who you would only walk if he was in fact a good hitter). Besides, if the female batter was in fact a strong batter, why would the pitcher walk the man in front of her? Its like walking the hitter ahead of Barry Bonds.
I think the rule protects the integrity of the game for the reasons Mike stated.
By the way, I'll be a Slo-Pitch rookie this summer. The first time I've played organised ball in 12 years.

April 11, 2006 @ 11:46 PM

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