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Details for Gary Heifner


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Gary Heifner

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Nov. 23, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: who hits it the longest

I don't know if it is urban legend or not????? I remember on one of the SB web sites in recent years, a guy saying that one of the big name guys hit a ball that cleared the fences and pocked or plugged in wet ground. After the game someone noted the how far out it looked and when measured was around 600'. Does anyone remember or know of this.
Nov. 22, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: pitching defense

I pitched a bunch at high levels USSSA back in the 80s and early 90s. After releasing the ball, I could back peddle almost to 2nd base on a 10 foot arc ball. I know we are older, but a pitcher can create a sizeable distance between the batter and himself. It could wear a guy down with the 0-0 count, but would be OK if we had a 1-1 count start.
Nov. 22, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: New Pitcher Rule

I agree with adding the 11th defender. Not only will it really discourage hitting the middle, it will allow one more teammate the opportunity to play. However, as I mentioned to Dave Dowell, if they allow the 11th defender, he must have both feet in the dirt and be between the SS and 2nd baseman until a pitched ball is struck. If you don't have this rule, teams with very quick shortstops and 2nd basemen, might try and play with 5 outfielders which would definately encourage hitting the middle.
Nov. 6, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Phoenix-60 AA-great tourney

I don't know what you other age groups experienced, but the 60 AA was the most even-fairly balanced tourney I have ever played in. No huge ringers. Look at the scores. Many games 1 or 2 runs. Almost every game was still in doubt going into the 6th or 7th. Good job SSWC keeping the teams and tourney a fair one.
Nov. 6, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA STAFF:

I want to read about softball, the game. You guys out west just keep on dropping the dribble and pure garbage that a few post on a regular basis. The comments made by a few on this site, on a regular basis, makes my brain hurt.
Nov. 2, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: The 1-1 count

I know this topic has been beat up in recent years. The more guys I talk to and read posts on this site, the support for the 1-1 count seems to be very strong. For the 1st time in the last 6 world tournies, we didn't have a 5 inning game due to the 0-0 count and guys taking 2 strikes every time. The majority of our opponents were often 1st strike hitting as was our team. As a result, we had mostly 7 inning games which is what I want to play. The 1-1 count will encourage more hitters to hit that 1st good strike. It really sucks to travel to the World Tourney and not play full games. By saving game time, it will also make up for the teams that get up 6-8 runs and in the later innings and walk very slowly from and back onto the playing field to burn time. I hope the summit will discuss this.
Oct. 30, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: BAN THE ULTRA

Just played in the 60 AA in Phoenix. In our 7 games there was a single HR in 4 of them and none in the other 3. Don't underestimate the AA. There were at least 6 teams that the AAA and Major teams would have had to play at a high level to beat. My team has played against numerous AAA and major teams this year and I haven't seen balls flying out on command. If the Ultra is banned then go back to a 50 core ball like we used to hit. If the ultra gets banned, what's the next bat the guys who have no chance of ever hitting an HR will go after for banning. I don't want to end up with ASA equipment. My team played in two ASA tournies in recent years and talk about pinic type softball. Never again,
Oct. 24, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitcher Protection Rule

I rarely hit the middle. In Phoenix, I hit a "2" hop grounder that was not a cannon shot. The pitcher turned his back to the ball and it hit him in the butt and bounced off his glove as he waved blindly at it. I was called out. I really don't think that many umps have a handle on this rule. I don't think the ball I hit was what the rule is designed for.
Aug. 28, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: SSUSA Adopts Major-Plus Task Force Recommendations

I was hoping this would happen to encourage the big hitters to stop being ringers in the AAA level. If individuals play at this new major plus level, do they have to stay at that level or can they play in a big M+ tourney and the next week play for a AAA or AA team? Will this be monitered?
Aug. 23, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Hitting Club

The Woodlawn Hitting Club in Florida meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8-10. They divide you into 2 groups. Usually around 10-12 + guys in each group. One goes out and shags balls, wipes off the dew and puts them in buckets. The batting team lines up and each man hits five balls and goes to the end of the line. They keep rotating until all 180 balls in the pitchers buckets have been hit. They have a protective screen for the pitcher. Then then switch. They go thru this rotation twice. It takes about 2 hours. Many then go for breakfast around the corner. Pops44 on this site and on the Mohr softball site runs the show. I go whenever I am in the Clearwater area. Its a great time.
Aug. 13, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Dalton GA SPA AAA Tournament

My 60AA team along with another team had their reservations and travel plans set. Ridge didn't answer my e-mail asking if there was anyway we could get into the tourney with only one qualifer as the rules say AA has to be in "2". We only had 1 qualifer that was even close to the Chicago area. We cancelled all our plans. He then came out later and said 1 was OK after the 1 qualifer had passed. What? Not enough teams signing up. Well, he lost 2 teams. I told Fran about this at the Eastern Nationals and she said SSWC has accepted Ridge's ratings. Why can't Ridge accept SSWC ratings? We would have come.
June 27, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA Midwest Championships

Champaign was just a small qualifier a few years ago. Rudy has turned it into a big time tourney. Great fields, good umps--1st class.
June 12, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Description of a Major Plus Player.

I think your chart sums it up. An exceptional athlete with all around skills that stands out in every tourney and game. He may not hit homers but anything through the infield is a stand up double or a shortstop that plays 5 feet on the grass and throws out left handed batters by 2-3 steps.
A player that everytime he comes up, the opponents outfielders stand on the warning track. From expereience, a batter who is in AA and everytime he comes up, the manager yells don't waste the homer now. When he does say out loud, we will take the HR now and the guys hits it into the 3rd row of the parking lot, thats a M+. Or, in AAA a batter who has been batting left handed the whole game comes up in the bottom of the 7th down 2 with 2 on and 2 outs, turns to the mananager and says what should I do? The manager says go ahead and bat right handed, and the guy hits it 50' over the center field scoreboard, thats a M+ player.
June 5, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA Announces Major-Plus Task Force

I believe that if you do this correctly a "BUNCH" of players will move to this level and it could become the largest division. It will encourage ringers from the AAA and Major levels to move up. I think it is important that once a player chooses to play in this newly improved division, he should be restricted to that level for all time. Will this division have unlimited boundries for forming a team or will each tourney simply show up with whoever?
June 2, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Cost to travel to tournaments anybody else feeling the pinch

In answer to the original question, Yes. My team is not going to SPA in Dalton because we are AA and can't make it to 2 qualifers. I know of a second team in the same boat. Ridge should work out something with Terry on honoring each others ratings. For me, my golf clubs are in storage. I can't afford both. We are trying hard to car pool and even triple up in motel rooms. This is my 44th year of playing softball at a high competitive level and with retirement in the near future and my taxes going up $300 a year, my ability to travel at my present rate looks a little bleak.
June 2, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Women's softball
Discussion: Pool Play Game

It makes absolutely no sense to me to make the older guys play more games. Our macho side says play as many games as possible in a tourney when the body says 2 pool games and then championship play is common sense. I can remember many world tournies with 4 pool games and then trying to find healthy bodies for when the real tourney starts. I like the current format.
May 5, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard tourney-need better scheduling

The 60s group scheduled to start their "4" games at 5:20 delayed about an hour with the 4th game starting past midnight in high 30s temps and high winds pretty much sucked. Older guys, poorer eye sight and less resistance to injury and colds. Many guys with stiff backs and pulled muscles. Maybe next year, schedule the older guys in the daylight and let the young guns 50s, with better eyes and physical bodies play the night schedule. Several umps didn't know the senior rules but the umps were OK overall. No complaints about the field conditions. The ground crews were good. Also, Make sure all teams report their rating (super major etc.) when they sign up.
May 5, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Diatance: 12" vs 14" ball

I play in a 14" league in Mongomery, Illinois. It is a suburb next to Aurora just west of Chicago. There are 16 teams with many young guns who play in high levels of USSSA 12" softball. The right field fence is 198' and lefties can it it out often along with a few righties. Left and left center is about 260' Each teams has 1 to 3 guys that can hit it out. There is one animal that has hit a few on the highway which is at least 340+. The ball seems to hang in the air longer on deep drives and the faster outfielders seem to be able to squeeze most batters and still get back. You do feel the bat rattle in your hands on solid contact. Not near as much as 12", but it is a fun game that is usually very defensive and low scoring.
April 26, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team Ratings

I agree the rating system is interesting at times. My team won the 60AA nationals in Seattle in 2006. We won "5" one run games. We moved up to AAA in 2007 as required and pretty much got pounded including 0-5 in Phoenix. We applied for a return to AA this year and as far as we can tell, are being turned down. To add to our outlook for the year, most of our guys are 64-67 years old. We just can't compete with the new teams loaded with 59-60 year olds and the teams that have reorganized combining the top players from several other teams and somehow escaping under the radar in the rating system.
Looks like we might get another year of being the cannon fodder in our tournies and have to hang on for 2009 when we move up to the 65 division and might have a chance to win.
April 26, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Has Anyone Tracked Where The Offensive Team Hits The ball

My team does scout new oponents and chart where they hit most. We often run into the same teams here in the mid-west. The humour of it now is that as each batter comes up everybody shifts slightly to different pre-pitch defensive positions without saying a word to each other because we know the oponents so well..
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