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Dec. 25, 2005
Downs
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Thanks Adm. & Staff of SS-USA

From the 1.5 million men & women Senior Softball Players over the age of 50 across the U.S., we wish the Administration & Staff of SS-USA a 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". Although it is the players that gain all the benefits of your time and effort, oftentimes we forget that it because of you that we can all enjoy this great game of softball. At our age, we seem to forget that probably less than 1% of the nation's seniors can meet the rigors required to play competitve softball. Yes, we get the physical activity, the competition, and the friendships while SS-USA does all the work.
Now that we are ready to begin a brand new year of competition, let's make sure the SS-USA is well aware of just how much their expenditures of time and effort means to all of us, the registered senior players. "Happy 2006" and thank you to each individual comprising the Adm & Staff of SS-USA.
Sept. 13, 2005
Downs
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: 65+ Player Needed for St George

Mike: sorry to hear that the Emerald City Masters - 65's are continuing to struggle to field a team. Please let Jim Turner know if your team elects to not attend as we'd love to have you and Jack Loy join us. However, for your information if you have not yet checked, go to the homepage of seniorsoftball.com and then click on Ratings under Tournaments. On the right side of the page click Huntsmans and their respective homepage will surface. The last item on the page is Team Finder. Click on Team Finder and you will locate a list of 26 players looking for a team to join @ Huntsman. Good luck and again, let us know if ECM-65's decides to not show. (Note: 65's are Oct 3 thru 7). Jim D.
Sept. 8, 2005
Downs
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: correct call ASA rules

Downs-Seattle: BillyMac & Killabrew, I know of no umpire's tests that are on any of the websites. However, the thing that has always amazed me is that the coaches and managers DO NOT attend the annual ASA Umpires Rules Clinics (not umpires schools) that are made available to anyone that pays the entry fee. (Very cheap) They go over all rules, starting at an entry level and any changes or new rules too. They teach rule interpretations and proper applications. It is the coaches and managers that are responsible for making sure the umpire is correct or for challenging him/her. It is obvious that the umpires are not always right. Also, it is honestly rather difficult to read a rule book as the items are categorized under a single heading and you lose track of that as you scroll down looking for your issue of concern. However, I always taught my new umpires to at least read the back of the ASA rule book, under th section titled "Points of Emphasis". This section breaks down the proper application of the major rules such as your "Time Call" which also applies for missed first base and missed home plate. The umpire is to "hesitate" then call safe. That play is over and only when the defense makes the required appeal by tagging the runner or tagging the base does the umpire change his call to OUT! It also addresses the NO FORCE on a flyball issue. Good reading as you are going to learn a lot of things you thought you knew to be right before, that really isn't so. Jim
Sept. 5, 2005
Downs
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: correct call ASA rules

Downs-Seattle: sorry, last sentence was supposed to read "tag:, not "rag". See what happens when you get old. You have senior moments.
Sept. 5, 2005
Downs
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: correct call ASA rules

Downs-Seattle: the majority of you have the call correct. As having served 10 years as the UIC in the Women's College World Series, it is a common question which often results in a wrong call by the umpires. Yes, it is referred to as a "Time Call" and is actually an appeal play. As the rule states you cannot have a force out on a caught fly ball, it depends on whether the run scores before the tag of the runner or the base prior to his/her return to the base left at the time the ball was hit. If the tag was made as stated, after the runner crossed the plate, then the run DOES count. The miss interpretation or application of the rule can be protested, however, the judgement of the umpire cannot be protested. Therefore it is important for the caoch to determine if the umpire is miss applying the rule or saying the rag was made before the runner crossed the plate.
July 29, 2005
Downs
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Congrats SS-USA on Western Nationals

MK, Mad Dog, Gary: sorry for the delay but had to fly down to OR. for a funeral. My wife's uncle. Now, MK, if you have the 2005-06 SS-USA Rule Book, there is now a section on Snowbird residency. My book was left with the team when I left for OR. and I won't get it back for a week or two, so at this immediate time I cannot quote the exact section, but I did read it last week when I received this years rulebook.
My concern, with the Snowbird issue is similiar to the adjoining state rule. Here in WA we only border OR. and ID. However, someone said some states are able to draw from up to 9 bordering states. Again, CA. and FL. stand alone. Anyone from anywhere can claim Snowbird status. It is not worth the expense to investigate or challenge. So, if a bordering states rule and a snowbird rule are both applicable, why have any residency rules? I personally believe the powers-to-be should either eliminate all residency requirements, or mandate that any team with one or more out-of-state players must play Major Plus. No exceptions. Honestly, the majority of team rosters are extremely flexible on a continuous basis and there is not much that can be done. (Mad Dog, thanks for the good old fashion butt kicking in the West Nat. Good games and good job) Jim
July 27, 2005
Downs
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Congrats SS-USA on Western Nationals

Mike39: quite some time ago I personally gave up on being concerned about the Snowbird issue. It has proven to be a way of life up here in the N/W. There are a large number of players that invoke the Snowbird rule and play in championship play with teams from two states. We see it in many of the teams that exist up here. Play for a team most of the year and play qualifiers and some world or national tournaments with a local team and then go play in some other softball org. championships with an AZ. or CA. team. Honestly, the majority just say to xxxx with it because they are our friends and we just live with it. The powers to be are well aware of what is going on. See ya!!!!
July 26, 2005
Downs
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Congrats SS-USA on Western Nationals

To MK39. Mike, I was not a party to any of the actual complaints or inquiries. What I heard was from the players or managers that played approximately when we did. I played in the 55's and then in the 65's. I did not hear any major complaints and it is my opinion that the issues were addressed in a logical and professional manner as none of the issues, that I am aware of, resulted in any further controversy. Play continued and at least everyone SEEMED satisfied.
The issues I heard were, Snowbird concerns whether they were committed to only one state or playing multiple states. One concern was how a team could qualify if they had not won a tournament to gain a spot in the West. Nationals. It was later learned by the Manager that to qualify a team had to play in at least one qualifier, not win one. Qestioning frozen rosters.
Teams supposedly picking up players at the tournament and adding them to a roster, from a younger age division and higher classification. And whether or not players were required to sign in prior to playing in the tournament. Finally, like I stated, I was not a party to ANY of these discussions, however, the SS-USA staff seemed to address all issues and satisfy those concerned. (Yes, Mike. I really enjoyed our conversations last year at the ASA. We won the 65 Major Plus while you young ones were winning the 50's. Just this week received the awards from ASA for winning their 2004 Nationals) I think I'll stick to playing SSWC and skip ASA . ASA won't even give out their phone number or email address. Jim
July 26, 2005
Downs
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Congrats SS-USA on Western Nationals

To the SS-USA staff, field directors, and umpires, congratulations on one of the best tournaments ever. It rained hard Thursday night and the fields were in primo condition on Friday afternoon. Used a revised, 5-inning 1 & 1 schedule and it worked great. Kept on schedule and no complaints heard. There were lots of potential problems regarding eligibility and the staff handled them all with professionalism and extremely good judgement. They listened and was fair in all their applications according to the team managers that were involved. (No, we did not win either the 55's or 65's) but we had good competition and lots of ball. Again, congratulations to all the winners and to the SS-USA and their respective staff. Thanks! Jim
March 29, 2005
Downs
Topic: Associations
Discussion: WHAT R U TRYING to do LVSSA?

Stoneman, I too had been adamantly opposed to such a strike mat until we played the last 5 years or so in Canada where this extened plate was used. It really works great, and NO, I am not a pitcher. We are a Major Plus team and it actually improved the game. It is better than the 3 ball 2 strike form or using the umpire's discretion regarding the ball passing through some imaginary strike zone. Canada's games generally last 7 innings and we see no increase in strike-outs. It reduces the number of walks and did not increase strike-outs because the batter can step in or out as the pitch reaches it's apex. I just wish we could adopt it uniformly. Of course, no one likes change, but it really is not a major issue during the game.
Oct. 7, 2004
Downs
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Help, please

Ozone, I would suggest you contact Frank or Patty Daniels. Each year they conduct a SS-USA National Qualifier and they serve as the Hawaii reps. Phone: (808) 668-9865. Downs, Seattle.
Sept. 18, 2004
Downs
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Time to play with the big boys

Dwight, if you'll give me a call at home (253) 839-4055, I'll give you some contact info based on the level you wish to play and your ability to travel. Also, info on the 25 team senior league we all play in locally. Jim D. Emerald City - 65's
Aug. 24, 2004
Downs
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: $$$$

Walk: I sincerely believe we seniors have lots of problems. I see Stoneman misintrepreted the suggestion of having the LVSSA contact the SS-USA & ISA's UIC for out-of-state umpires. He took the ball, but headed for the wrong end-zone. He contacted his ISA friends in NV.
As for the adversity caused by a team disregarding the classification, well it is nothing new. You clearly understand the "Golden Rule". It clearly defines that: "He who has the Gold, Rules". I believe it has always been that way historically.
It was this same situation that we blame for the death of Men's Fastpitch. Downward mobility and when classified upward, then breaking a team for one year and putting it back together as the same team the following year. It was totally legal. When there is a loop-hole, someone will put their finger in it. Downs
Aug. 21, 2004
Downs
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: $$$$

Stoneman & Walk: it is too bad that we, as concerned senior softball players, must resort to such actions in order to maintain the integrity of softball. However, LVSSA is a victim of the proverbial "Tail wagging the Dog". Last year we played the LVSSA Masters (Emerald City Masters - 65's) and came back to the N/W feeling it was a quality run organization because their Officers "asked" the teams what they wanted in the way of enforcement "before" the tournament began. In essence, they listened to the players. It is a shame to hear they lost control to "power hungry umpires". We wish you the very best in your 2004 Nationals. If it stays the direction it is headed, you can count us out!!!!! Keep up the good fight, Walk. We need people like you to maintain a public voice. Downs - Seattle.
Aug. 21, 2004
Downs
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: $$$$

batter4u: as LVSSA is now a recognized member of the Summit, I would recommend your organization consider contacting Jim Sherman, SS-USA and ISA's UIC. He has a damn good umpire's association and they do travel. They will also be in Las Vegas immediately prior to the LVSSA Master's as they will be there for the SS-USA World in the end of Sept.
(Sherman's phone number is (253) 630-8924 and email is jsherman911@attbi.com). They prove to be better than ASA umps for the Senior Divisions. Dr. Jim Downs, Seattle ECM-65.
Aug. 7, 2004
Downs
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: out or safe

Hoop, I served 10 years as the NCAA's UIC for the Women's College World Series in Fastpitch. Your question is a very simple one. First, your situation was a force out. The out is called if the defensive player has possession of the ball and makes contact with the base "before" the runner touches the base. The issue you are addressing is the common "tag play" which specifies the runner must be touched with the ball or glove holding the ball. Hope this helps clarify the issue. Downs-Seattle
July 30, 2004
Downs
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Ultra II League

Hey guys, we have a 25 team league here in the Seattle area that is made up of teams from 55 to 80 years of age. The players voted to permit any official softball bat, with the exception of the Ultra 1 and Titanium. So far no one has been killed here either. We play a double-header each Wed and if there is a make-up it can be on Monday. Game times are normally 10 & 11:30 am., using 13 fields. We welcome all teams and/or players that can meet the age requirement, so if you can afford the gas to drive each week, we welcome you;. Downs
July 29, 2004
Downs
Topic: Bats
Discussion: "Freak" broke

Mitch & Bruce: don't know why, but I personally cracked two Ultra II's in a three week period. Odd thing is they both cracked at the joint between the handle and the barrel. One was new and when I sent a note with the returned bat, I got NO response, just a new return bat with the warranty "W" stamped in the barrel cap. There were no marks or hits near either handle. I am not a home run hitter in the 65's. Oh well! Downs-Seattle
April 26, 2004
Downs
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Washington "Serious" Senior Softball

Doug: not sure how long you have been in WA., but around Seattle there is plenty of Senior Softball. If you are interested, there is a 25 team league that is looking for players. They play during the mornings & early afternoons. One of W.E. Ruth's Champion Team players is from your area and drives down to play. If you know Dale McLaughlin. Or, if you are interested, call Harlen Ward 253 833-9210. This is the Puget Sound Senior Softball Assn. and the league starts May 3rd. Minimum age, 55 yrs.
I know what you mean, I'm 67 & I play about 150 games per year with our travel team, Emerald City Masters 65's. Then pitch three fastpitch leagues with the 20-30 year olds, and play three Senior Leagues. Plus fill-in for teams on weekends we don't travel. Do it while you can. Jim 253 839-4055

March 13, 2004
Downs
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Need a 29oz Rockettech

Chris: Jim Downs, Seattle, Emerald City -65's.
Send me a personal email, downsjba@msn.com and maybe I can give you some assistance.
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