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Home Office Staff

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Jan. 13, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Why are teams not rated the same in USSA SPA ISSA

The former National Senior Softball Ratings Committee, comprised of Terry Hennessy (SSUSA), Ridge Hooks (SPA) and R.B. Thomas (ISSA), used to have periodic telephone conference calls to discuss (and hopefully resolve) any differences in ratings by and between those three principal Senior Softball associations. The conference calls no longer occur, and each association is free to make their own decisions with respect to individual team ratings. SSUSA and SPA however, do have reciprocity as it relates to the automatic move-up of teams (other than Major+) that win either association's World Championships annually.

Over the past few years, the SSUSA National Ratings Database has improved with respect to the performance data of the teams, and the composition of players on those teams, to the point that we are comfortable with our own rating decisions. We do, occasionally, consult with those associations regarding specific teams, but reserve the right to make the final decision for SSUSA rating purposes on any team in question. We respect, and have absolutely no criticisms, as to whatever rating decisions the other associations may make. There are no current plans to reconvene the former multi-association process.

NOTE: For the temporary move downs since December, all of those teams are referred to in our previous reply above, and they will be moved back up following next month's Tournament of Champions.


Jan. 13, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Why are teams not rated the same in USSA SPA ISSA

Several teams that are playing next month in the TOC have had their SSUSA online rating temporarily changed to what it was at the time they won the event when they earned their TOC invitation ... That's where, ratings wise, they will play in the tournament ... As soon as the TOC is concluded, the ratings for those teams will be restored to what they were as of the end of year 2013 ratings review, which will resolve some of the apparent inconsistencies ...
Jan. 10, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: where are all the pitchers

Batter's Box enforcement is an "area of emphasis" for umpires this season in SSUSA sanctioned events, particularly the front and home plate side "L" ... We will be emphasing strict enforcement of Rulebook sections §7.3(1) • OBLITERATING THE BATTERS BOX and §7.6 C. • BATTER IS OUT ... "When an entire foot is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter's box when he hits a ball fair or foul."

The incidence rate of previous violations in this regard becomes very obvious when games are played at artificial turf facilities having permanent batter's boxes sewn into the turf ... Resultant out calls by umpires are always met with batter resistance, but are completely within the language and spirit of these rules ... There is no reason that chalk batters boxes should be allowed to be obliterated or ignored to the detriment of defensive player safety ...


Jan. 8, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 2014 • Tentative Field Assignments

The following are the TENTATIVE Field Assignments for the 2014 SSUSA Tournament of Champions in Polk County, FL. Please note that TENTATIVE means they are NOT FINAL and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Final Field Assignments will be released simultaneous with the publication of the DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets.

AUBURNDALE SPORTS COMPLEX (Auburndale) - 25 Teams
• 50-AA and 55-AAA (9)
• 60-Major+, 60-Major and 65-Major+ (8)
• 60-AAA (8)

DIAMONDPLEX SPORTS COMPLEX (Winter Haven) - 19 Teams
• 50-AAA (7)
• 55-Major (4)
• 55-AA (4)
• 65-Major (4)

LOYCE HARPE PARK (Lakeland) - 19 Teams
• 40-Major and 50-Major+ (3)
• 50-Major (5)
• 65-AAA and 65-AA (11)

SOUTHWEST SOFTBALL COMPLEX (Lakeland) - 18 Teams
• 60-AA (7)
• 70-Men - All (11)

WESTSIDE SOFTBALL COMPLEX (Lakeland) - 18 Teams
• 75-AAA (3)
• 80-Men - All (5)
• 40-Masters Women (4)
• Senior Women's Division (6)

Ratings Notes
Teams play in the 2014 TOC at the age and rating level they had when they won their invitation. If a team won multiple TOC qualifying events in two different ratings, their TOC invitation is at the higher of those ratings.

Thank you to all of the participating teams and players and Good Luck!!


Jan. 8, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Menifee Tournament

SESSION #2 REVISION • The Saturday/Sunday 60-Men's schedule at Wheatfield Park has been revised for the withdrawal of the Road Runners 60 (CA) team from the tournament on Wednesday morning ...

Changes affect one game on Saturday morning (Base Hawgs play at 9:30 & 11:00 AM instead of as previously scheduled at 8:00 & 9:30 AM) and the commencement of the bracket on Saturday afternoon ... The 55-Major bracket games are both at 5:00 PM instead of 5:00 & 6:30 PM ... The Sunday schedule remains essentially unchanged ...

The revised schedules and master grid have been posted online ... We apologize for any inconveniences due to these circumstances outside of our control and Good Luck everybody! ...


Jan. 8, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA ADDS 75 MAJOR-PLUS DIVISION

SACRAMENTO – Senior Softball-USA announced January 7th that it is adding a 75 Major-Plus Division.

“Our goal is to ensure that teams in a division have at least a chance to win,” said Terry Hennessy, SSUSA chief executive officer. “The scores of games of three 75 Major teams last year clearly indicate the other Major teams did not have a realistic chance to win.”

The three teams raised to Major-Plus were the San Francisco Seals, Top Gun 75s and Joseph Chevrolet.

In his letter notifying the teams, Hennessy wrote: “We are establishing a 75 Major-Plus Division for the 2014 season because of the consistent margins of victory of your three teams over 75 Major Teams. In effect, this will mean when you play 75 Major teams, they will receive a 5-run equalizer.”


Jan. 6, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: NATIONAL RATINGS REVIEW • Year End 2013 Appeals and Performance Move Decisions

ANOTHER TEAM DECLINES PERFORMANCE MOVE DOWNWARD • At the request of their manager, Desperados (NM) has declined the SSUSA National Rating Committee's "Performance Move DOWN" from 55-AAA to 55-AA. Accordingly, they will retain their 55-AAA rating.
Jan. 5, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Menifee Tournament

SESSION #2 (Men's 50's, 55's & 60's) Game Schedules & Brackets have been posted and are available from the links below and from the event Tournament page ... The current (Sunday morning) long weather forecast for Menifee looks excellent with sunshine and temperatures well above last year! ... Good luck everyone!

Thursday: 38°/68°
Friday: 45°/74°
Saturday: 43°/75°
Sunday: 40°/72°

DRAFT Game Schedules & Brackets (PDF's)

• SESSION #2 - Men's: 50's | 55's | 60's

• Complete: All Ages & Divisions (18 pages)

• Master Grid: Field & Games Master


Jan. 4, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA shares DBO rationale Senior

Our initial reaction to each of your five questions is: "NO" ... The rationale is that an over the fence HR is a dead ball, per Rulebook §9.1 I. - DEAD BALL at page 50 -

The ball is dead and not in play:
.
.
I. When the ball is outside the playing limits of the playing field. A ball is considered "out of play" when it touches the ground, person on the ground or object outside the playing area...


We believe that once the HR ball lands out of the park, it's a dead ball situation, and unless it is a REALLY towering shot, most, if not all of the hypothetical situations you describe aren't likely of having enough time to happen before the ball is dead (i.e., comes down). After the ball is dead, none of the transgressions listed would would have any effect.

Lastly, the language of the actual rule amendment does allow on-base runners to return directly to the dugout without advancing an additional base.


Jan. 4, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA shares DBO rationale Senior

The complete unabridged article, as it appears in the Senior Softball News, has been available as the third post in the Rules Committee Priority message thread above since December 20th ... It also contains a link to the actual Rulebook Amendments for each affected rules section ...
Jan. 4, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Menifee Tournament

SESSION #1 (Men's 65's thru 80's) is available from the event Tournament Page or directly from the link below ... Session #2 will be published shortly ... (We gave the Staff a couple of days off in the last two weeks because it seemed like the right thing to do!)

SESSION #1 • 65's, 70's, 75's & 80's
Jan. 2, 2014
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rules Committee Minutes

Any tournament run under SSUSA sanction ... That generally includes any events listed on the Tournaments Page of this website ... Other tourneys and/or associations may choose to use our rules, but that's their own individual choice and something over which we have no influence or concern ...
Dec. 29, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Poll of 75 and 80 Tournament Format

There's an article in the Senior Softball News (page 7) about that. After the World Masters Championships in 2012, and at the request of many 75/80+ teams who complained about too many games on the last day under the DE format, the change was made to pool play for 2013, with top pool finishers advancing to the finals on Thursday. Well, the survey indicated a strong desire to return to the 2012 format of DE brackets, so that will happen in 2014. The only difference will be that complaints will not have any effect if they come from teams that may have to play four or five games in a row from the Elimination Brackets on Thursday! There is a complete explanation in the referenced newspaper article on its way to your home now.


Dec. 28, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Prayers for Roger "Doc" Clay

http://www.affoplano.com/component/obituary/?view=detail&id=335
Dec. 27, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: STAFF question on scoring of runs

B.J. - You apparently, despite a very clear explanation above, do not understand the definition of a Live Ball Appeal ("LBA") ... Here is your fundamental error, in your own words: "...That scenario they gave is not an actual appeal play the defense made a play on a runner who had not tagged that is considered a force out if the ball beats runner back to bag..." [emphasis added]

The act of the defense throwing behind a retreating base runner who has failed to tag up is NOT a force play under ANY circumstances ... A force play occurs ONLY when a runner is "forced" to advance to the next base ... Returning to a previous base to tag up has the runner retreating and NOT advancing and, therefore by definition, is NOT a force play ... This is a very common misconception by many people, including you ... Please re-read the definition of an LBA and banish the term and concept of "force play" from your mind when you do so ...

The run(s) never score when the final out of a ½-inning at bat is a force out ... An LBA is NOT a force out, so the timing sequence of its execution by the defense, and the resultant out call by the umpire, becomes a timing play call ...If the run(s) cross home plate/scoring line before the play concludes that results in the out call on the LBA, they ARE counted ... If the run(s) cross home plate/scoring line after the play concludes that results in the out call on the LBA, the run(s) are NOT counted ...

This isn't that tough once the fundamental concept that an LBA has nothing to do with a force out is understood ...


Dec. 26, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 65 AA player playing 60 AAA

You were not playing "illegally" on the 50's team, assuming your participation was in an SSUSA sanctioned event. You are always entitled to play down in age if you wish. However, your 60-AAA Manager might have been very surprised to find out your eligibility was (and remains so for a period of two years) at risk for his team. Again, we strongly suggest that you contact the Sacramento office beforehand to get an accurate analysis of what unintended consequences may arise when playing on multiple teams in separate age groups.


Dec. 24, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 80+ Rule change

The reality of the previous rule is that 82 and 83 year old players were being put on waivers so that teams can sign the 78 and 79 year old "youngsters". The players who were cut are being disenfranchised and have nowhere to go without creating an 85+ division. The rule was originally designed to assist the limited number of 75+ and 80+ teams to actually be able to field a team. There are at least 15 active 80+ teams in the country now and probably 2 to 3 times as many 75+ teams. The original reason for the underage player exemption rule simply no longer exists.

The phase-out period of two years for the 80+ and one year for the 75+ is to prevent disrupting current rosters and any players thereon using the underage exemptions, while at the same time protecting the 82's and 83's from being cut in order to grab next year's youngsters. A change back is very highly unlikely of happening.


Dec. 24, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 65 AA player playing 60 AAA

If you are currently 74, turning 75 during the calendar year 2014, your native age group is 75's, but your current team history rating index is 3 from your 70-AAA team. You may play down only one rating index level from your highest team experience history R/I (of 3) ... Your options are:

• 75-Major or 75-AAA, unrestricted as an age 75 player;
• 70-AAA (your current team), OR 70-AA, but not at the same time since you cannot be on two teams in the same age group. If you were to get a release from the 70-AAA team to join a 70-AA team, you would not be able to return to the 70-AAA team since you only get one release per season. You will also be one of the three maximum allowable "out of rating" players on the 70-AA roster since that team has a R/I=2;
• 65-AA, unrestricted since that is also a R/I=3; or
• 65-AAA (R/I=4), but if you play 65-AAA, you will not be able to play 70-AA or 75-AAA, since they both have R/I=2, which is two levels below your highest personal history R/I of 4. If you wish to play 65-AAA, you may not also play 65-AA due to the prohibition against playing for two teams in the same age level.

Our best advice remains that you call the Sacramento office and talk to George about your options so that you make a fully informed decision that does not bring along unintended consequences for any of the affected teams.

As to your other questions ...
• The chart is not in the rule book because it's an eligibility policy tool and not a playing rule; and
• You can't play 75-AA because no such rating exists at the 75 age division.

Hope this helps and Good luck in 2014!


Dec. 23, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 65 AA player playing 60 AAA

The Ratings Index Chart (below) is not published in the SSUSA Rulebook ... In summary, a player may play one level up or down from their normal team affiliation rating index ... If that player has any specific questions, we strongly advise that they contact the Sacramento Home Office at (916) 326.5303 and ask for George to make sure that playing on two separate teams in different age groups doesn't create any unintended consequences ...

RATINGS INDEX CHART •




Dec. 22, 2013
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: NATIONAL RATINGS REVIEW • Year End 2013 Appeals and Performance Move Decisions

TEAM DECLINES PERFORMANCE MOVE DOWNWARD • At the request of their manager, Ryan's Way (NV) has declined the SSUSA National Rating Committee's "Performance Move DOWN" from 60-Major to 60-AAA. Accordingly, they will retain their 60-Major rating.
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Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts International Softball Tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

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