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Details for DD


Real name:
DENNIS DALTON

Location:
PHOENIX, AZ

Division:
Men's 60

Messages posted by DD »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

Feb. 27, 2009
DD
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: REPEAL THE PPR-TAKE ACTION HERE

Here is a plan to mobilize player/team support for repealing the PPR (Pitcher Protection Rule).

If you support the PPR as it is...just pass on by this thread. It is not for you as there are other threads already on the board for expressing your feelings pro AND con about the PPR.

If you want to see the PPR repealed, this thread is for you.

Those interested may request a copy of the petition being circulated to repeal the PPR. Names will be collected at tournaments all over the country during the next 60 days and the completed petitions will be sent to SSWC in Sacramento at the end of April.

It's quite simple. Get or make copies of the petition. Circulate the petitions at all tournaments in March and April to team managers...managers have players print their names and ID card #s on the petitions and then send the completed forms to SSWC in Sacramento. The address is right on the petition.

If there is sufficient interest in repealing the PPR, it will be done. If players do not communicate their feelings, or if there is sufficient support of the PPR, it will stay in place for a good portion of (if not ALL) this year and, I GUARANTEE YOU, your team will lose a crucial game because of this rule and your pitcher will remain as much at risk as he ever was.

Attempts to enforce the PPR have become ludicrous. We have witnessed every conceivable interpretation from calling automatic doubleplays on balls that did not even touch the pitcher; to calling DBOs on balls that ticked a pitcher's glove when he made a leaping stab at the liner; to ignoring a pitcher who was hit squarely on the kneecap by a bullet that the ump said he didn't see...and so on. We had an ump so thoroughly confused he called a DBO, then changed his call after the players howled; then reversed himself again and called a "do over"...all of which took too much time and resulted in the inevitable inning-shortened game.

If you want a copy of the petition, post your email address or send me yours privately. My email address is daltons11@cox.net

Here is the text of the petition:


WHEREAS, the recently adopted Pitcher Protection Rule (PPR) will do nothing to prevent injuries to pitchers during competitive senior softball tournament games sponsored by SSWC/SSUSA and others, and instead only punishes hitters, and;

WHEREAS, the PPR has been so wildly misinterpreted by umpires and Tournament Directors that a clear and consistent application has been impossible to achieve, resulting in subjective calls, unnecessary umpire arguments, verbal abuse between players and teams, shortened games, and wasted time, and;

WHEREAS, the only true protection that can be obtained by pitchers or any other fielders overly concerned about sustaining injuries during competitive slow pitch softball games is the wearing of protective equipment;

We, the players named below, do hereby petition Senior Softball USA to repeal the current Pitcher Protection Rule before the Rock-in-Reno Tournament scheduled for May 27-29, 2009, if not sooner.


Thanks for helping,

Dennis Dalton




Dec. 29, 2008
DD
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Looking for a team in scottsdale az area

Larry-

Players from several teams in the area (50 year olds all the way up to 62 year olds) are practicing this Sat, Jan 3 at Desert Horizon Park, 56th St./Paradise, just south of Bell Rd...9am. Although not the only teams around, this will introduce you to some players and can begin a possible network that might eventually get you placed in a comfortable fit...although any team can ALWAYS use a good pitcher.

Give us some contact information---email preferred...and I'm sure someone will get hold of you separately.
Aug. 20, 2008
DD
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: New team in Phoenix

For anyone interested, several senior softball players from various teams around the Phoenix area (including 50/AAA CJ&S Express--but other teams as well) are working out this Saturday at 9am at Desert Horizon Park...56th St./Paradise, just south of Bell and north of Greenway.
CJ&S Express has been a very competitive, successful 50/AAA team in the state for the past 3 years, ( 3 Championship rings including the Florida TOC in Feb 2007, 22 first place finishes, and in the money 64% of the time over 72 tournaments since Apr 2005) but is looking for solid, complete players under new field management for the 2009 campaign.

If you're looking to hook up with a great team and a terrific group of guys, come on out to practice this Saturday morning at Desert Horizon. We'll have BP, infield, and outfield practice. Nine o'clock at 56th St./Paradise in Phoenix

Everyone is welcome.
Aug. 6, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RATINGS WARS--continued

A true story: In early July 2005 our 50/AA team, Vintage Jox, was suddenly and inexplicably raised to AAA by SSUSA. We had won two relatively unimportant tournaments in May and April and were playing well. But, nobody on our team believed we were AAA and, more importantly, nobody on our team WANTED to play AAA.
Still, there we were, on the eve of the Western Nationals in Seattle, after having spent the money for plane tickets and hotel reservations, ordered to play AAA. We were steamed.
After taking an 0-5 drubbing up there at the hands of some pretty good AAA teams, I remember making a few not-so-polite comments to tournament officials. We stayed AAA for another 3 tournaments before our appeal for reinstatement to AA was granted based on the same criteria SSUSA used to elevate us in the first place.

Anyone who has been through this will understand how difficult it is. Call us "whiners" if you will, but until you have walked in these shoes yourself you might want to keep the lid on the personal criticisms.

The larger point, however, is that SSUSA showed themselves to be fair-minded in our case, and did the right thing. In our opinion, they set forth a policy and followed it fairly to the point of effectively admitting they had erred in bumping us---what more can any team ask?

I urge teams that feel they have been unfairly bumped to at least try the appeal route once you have some empirical data with which to make your case.

Rating of teams is central to the success of senior softball because it is at the root of competitive parity---for our money, SSUSA has established itself as the organization that MOST tries to keep the field level for all teams.

When I've registered our team at the pre-tournament managers meetings, I'm consistently impressed by the thorough checking of our roster and those of the other teams. Every name is checked with margin notes in red ink that track that player's presence on other rosters...they do this to spot unusual player movement or possible sandbagging. Can you think of another senior organization that expends similar effort?

Prior to major tournaments I might receive several phone calls from SSUSA staffers with questions about players---which qualifier did they play in...how long have they been with us...and the like.

While obviously not perfect, in my opinion this rating system deserves some credit for helping produce the remarkably even slates of teams we're facing in the 50/AAA level.

Let's take the good parts of it, leavened with continuing honesty and integrity from the managers and players themselves, and improve it until we have a better system.

But let's stay on the field and PLAY BALL while we work out our differences.
Aug. 5, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Interesting Topic

Quoting in part from Senior Softball News, Spring 2008 edition. The author is Terry Hennessy, editor, and CEO of SSUSA:

"...As a member of the National Ratings Committee, I can tell you that we are committed---unequivocally---to protect lower divisions. That means the standards we set are tough. That means we do not move teams down unless they prove that they are:

1) not too strong for the lower division;
2) cannot compete in their current division.

Teams must play three or more qualifying tournaments---so that we can see a clear pattern---and they must be losing to teams in their current age and skill level by an average of at least 5 runs a game. In addition, we check each player on each roster.

We feel that teams are competitive if they are generally within a few runs of other teams in the same age and skill level---even if they are losing EVERY game. [emphasis in the original]

Being competitive means teams have a CHANCE to win. It does not mean a GOOD CHANCE to win; it means on a good day they MIGHT win. [emphasis in the original]..."

"...Unfortunately, many senior teams grew up in the era of adult softball in which they felt they had a RIGHT to win. [emphasis in the original]

In true sportsmanship, it is not a right to win, but a right to compete. That is true competition.

The National Ratings Committee is dedicated to promoting equal competition. We are not arrogant about it; in fact, we spend many hours researching records and discussing team ratings to be sure every team has the same chance.

But, we are firm---we will not allow a few teams to ruin the sport. We believe that by being firm we will help senior softball remain healthy, growing and competitive for years to come...."

End quote. The entire article can be found on page 29
Aug. 4, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RATINGS WARS

Andy/Duke:

I just re-read your posts from an earlier thread...and those of Ken, your teammate who put together the appeal for Sacramento...and wanted to offer another comment that might be helpful.

While it's frustrating to think nobody is reading your communications, be assured there is great sensitivity to this issue in Sacramento. In Ken's case, though, appealing results of the tournament that got you bumped up (with all due respect) is not a productive use of time. SSUSA has made it clear they want to see how you will do at the Major level.

If your team has, as you say, been together for 7-8 years you can be sure Sacramento and others know who you are. They have determined from current results and the total body of work Base Hawgs/Double Nickels has put up over the past few years that you can compete at Major and have acted accordingly.

Now is the time to play and see what the results are on the field. Now is NOT the time to quit in protest. Many teams have been bumped, appealed, and been reinstated... my own team has had this experience twice since 2005.

Sacramento has no interest in making your lives miserable...you're a good customer of theirs and they want you happy. If you can't compete at Major, THEN appeal and see what happens. But you must have some data for them to evaluate and you don't have that yet.

Despite what you think there is still time for you to compete, appeal, and be reinstated in time to play the Worlds in Phoenix.

Don't quit and take away the opportunity to win a World Championship in 2008. We read everyday about tragedies involving players who are then unable to play again...all of us know the next tournament might be our last.

That's what makes it so exciting...:-)

Hang in there...we NEED the Double Nickels.
Aug. 4, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RATINGS WARS

To the managers who’ve decided to quit playing SSUSA events in protest because their teams were raised to the next higher level:
Has it occurred to you that by refusing to play in SSUSA events, such action will do nothing to change the situation and everything to maintain the status quo?
Terry Hennessy has put SSUSA's rating philosophy in writing for everyone to read, understand, and know. There is nothing secretive or arcane about it. He spells it out in print. In case you did not see it, you’ll find it on page 29 of the Spring 2008 issue of Senior Softball News, the publication you receive as a member of SSUSA.
He makes it clear the ratings system is in place to protect the lower divisions, usually defined as AA but evidently it also includes some AAA teams.
The point is made in the article that lower rated teams will quit playing rather than come to tournaments with no perceived chance to win the event.
Your actions have confirmed that thinking.

Now, you might have every reason to do what you have decided to do and it may be the right thing for your team…I wouldn’t presume to know your circumstances. But, by refusing to play SSUSA events, and making the very public protests you have made…rather than try to improve and compete…you have told your team and the rest of the senior softball community that you would rather quit than play up…and that is precisely why the ratings policy you so vehemently disagree with is in place.

Why don’t you reconsider the decision and come and play. If you take some lumps, what’s the big deal? In the world of run differentials you’ll need to play a few tournaments at the higher level and then probably be reinstated to your preferred level upon appeal.

Do you really want to miss out on the unbridled happiness of competing on a softball field because somebody actually thinks you’ve got a pretty good team? Heck, man, that’s a COMPLIMENT…so why not PLAY BALL…?
July 12, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: team ratings

On page 29 of the Spring 2008 issue of Senior Softball News, Terry Hennessy details the hows and whys of team ratings.

In 4 years of playing senior ball, my team has been bumped up to AAA without warning, appealed and were then reinstated to AA; a year later we voluntarily asked to be raised to AAA, added some players and were bumped up to Major, appealed that ruling and were once again reinstated to AAA, where we currently reside.

The point? SSUSA (the only ratings that really count, in my opinion) is making a concerted effort to insure PARITY at their tournaments.

Parity of competition is at the heart of any discussion about ratings. Why? Because so many managers (myself included) want a solid shot at winning the tournament whenever they spend money to travel and play.

The article about ratings (referenced above) describes being competitive as, "...teams have a CHANCE to win. It does not mean a GOOD CHANCE to win; it means on a good day, they MIGHT win..."

The article also states the Ratings Committee is UNEQUIVOCALLY committed to protecting the lower divisions. One can easily understand this thinking, as some 80+% of the players, teams, and revenue come from AA and AAA rankings. Without that base, there is no SSUSA and certainly no such elaborate tournament structure as we enjoy, and most senior ballplayers would be relegated to playing with 30-somethings once again...or retiring from the game (for the most part) once and for all.

As stated elsewhere by others, ANY system that attempts to rate teams relies ultimately on the honesty and integrity of the managers and players themselves. In my opinion, teams should try to win their age/class championships and then willingly move up to the next division and try to compete and win there. But that's just me. Many teams have no real interest in winning any rings...they just want to play and have fun. They have the right to come and play without fear of being embarrassed by sandbaggers.

While there are some mistakes made in ratings decisions, I have found the committee to be responsive and fair upon appeal, provided the appeal procedure was followed. And I encourage ANY manager who feels his team has been unfairly bumped to make the appeal in the correct fashion at the appropriate time.
June 4, 2008
DD
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Home Team in Elimination Brackets

I have often thought the same thing about earning the right to bat last in a championship game. Lately, however, after spending more time in the losers bracket than we did last year, it seems the accomplishment of making it to the finals by winning several more games is every bit as significant as winning your way through the victors bracket.

If the bracket contains 17 teams (as the 50/AAAs did in Carson City), the losers bracket representative might enter the finals after winning as many as 8 consecutive games. That would be worthy of at least a coin flip to determine last licks, in my opinion.
May 12, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: COACHES CORNER-DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE NOT A COACH

Let's try to keep principles before personalities, men, in the COACHES CORNER. No real names except your own, please.

To AZBALLER: While you are correct in your statement I have refused to release some players, you fail to note I have released far more than I have kept. There are 2 players I have not released in 3+ years of coaching, and many, many more whom I have. You have been misinformed.

To WOOD and WES: The motive behind the thread is exactly as stated--to share thoughts and strategies about dealing with difficult personalities and other problems. The situation described happened exactly as stated in January of 2007, the text message rang into only my cell phone, so you will have to take my word for it. If it helps you to keep your objectivity, why not treat the whole incident as anecdotal...what if this thing happened...how would you respond to the player? And, WES, it was the first time but it happened twice more before we parted ways with this player after the Worlds last year.

From the many insightful responses, I confirmed my own feelings that by doing essentially nothing, I handled this person poorly and should have been more direct at the time. Watching the team spiral downward and become a .500 team in the second half of last year caused me to second guess myself repeatedly, Hindsight is always 20/20, though, and the forward-thinking thing to do is to learn the lesson and move on.

For those of you who continue to manage, keep in mind that different skills might be required for different stages in the life of your team. By that I mean organizational and recruiting skills might be great as a team is starting, but expertise in psychology and motivation could help you more as your team tries to move up the ladder.

A Council of Advisers and team meetings are also excellent ideas for dealing with problems...I employ both concepts on our team and have been helped immeasurably by our core of players.

You need a lot of different tools in your kit to do this successfully for any length of time. I commend those who do it well. I could not in my 4th year and will not return to coaching in 2009.


Finally, to the HAVASU HAWKS: Thanks for weighing in and DB14---great to hear from you. Hope your year is going well and I hope we see you in Reno.
May 10, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: COACHES CORNER-DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE NOT A COACH

It's time to put a little relevance back into this website---after all, it is the Senior SOFTBALL website. With apologies to you Movie buffs...and you nostalgia rowdies with your reminiscenses of black and white TV shows (I confess I did contribute one of my old favorites to this thread)...but this and any future entries will be for coaches and managers to share thoughts and strategies about dealing with the petulant, prickly, personalities that perennially pepper our player pool...and other problems that we are often saddled with.

Here we go...feel free to contribute your own questions at any time...but please give the author some feedback about the one currently on the board.

THE SCENE: It's 7:30 Sunday morning of a 2 day out-of-town tournament and our game is at 9. We have only 11 players in uniform for 3 games that day. At 8 o'clock a text message from Prima Ballerina rings thru to your cell phone and it says: "Had a fight with my girlfriend and drove home last night. Won't be there today."

THE PROBLEM: We now have only 10 players for 3 games and can't find anyone else because we're out of town and we don't know anyone. Prima Ballerina is our leadoff man and ALWAYS insists on playing every inning, but we will not have him this day.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO PRIMA BALLERINA AFTER THE TOURNAMENT WAS OVER?

Again, responses from coaches/managers only please. And, please identify either yourself and the team you coach/manage...or preferably both...(depending on how patient and wise you are, I may want to play for you next year when I give this job up:-)

I am Dennis Dalton of 50's CJ&S Express/Phoenix.
April 30, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Popular TV Series from 1948 – 1979 reaches 108!

Don't forget...LAWMAN, starring John Russell and Peter Brown, from 1958-1962. Top notch serious Western.

"There was a job to be done,

The LAWMAN came with a gun..."
April 9, 2008
DD
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: AA and AAAhome run rules

To Batter 4u-

Page 58 of the 2008 SSWC Rule Book covers it:

AAA- One home run and then 1-up, extra HRs are singles and runners advance one base until your opponent catches up;

AA- One home run period, extra HRs are outs.
April 7, 2008
DD
Topic: Associations
Discussion: SPA HR rules

Well, we faced teams that hit the stuffing out of the ball---Sooner Storm and Oklahoma Mudcats in particular hit consistent gappers and had PLENTY of balls leave the park. Another team, the Texas Silverbeaks (or something like that) also pounded the ball all weekend long.

Come to find out the Storm and Mudcats are rated DOUBLE A---ouch!!---those dudes can flat out SPANK the ball all through the lineup. We tied for first place with the Storm but they beat us 2-of-3 counting the round robin. We scored 189 runs in 6 games (31.5/game) while opponents scored 172 against us (28.7/game) and if those teams stay AA both have an excellent shot at a National Championship...last year's SPA 50/AA champions, Springfield Express, was also at this tournament, but we did not get a chance to play them. Lucky for us---they put up 50 RUNS against somebody in the early DE round.

Wow, what a Hit Parade that weekend in Oklahoma!
April 7, 2008
DD
Topic: Associations
Discussion: SPA HR rules

We competed in the recent Mustang Classic Qualifier Mar 29-30 in 50/AAA and the rule was 2 HRs and then a "single"---but the runners had to be forced in order to advance. This amounted to making the extra HR s the equivalent of a base on balls. There was no limit on the number of balls each team could hit out of the park...except that the first two only counted as homeruns...and then singles for the rest of that game.
By the way, we had an excellent time there despite the gloomy weather. SPA treated us hospitably and made all the teams feel as though their presence at the event was appreciated and valued.
April 1, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team Coaches Get No Respect

The remarks posted by Enviro-Vac are absolutely priceless. I don't think anyone could have encapsulated the unique challenges faced by senior coach/managers any better. Many thanks for saving it all this time..and for sharing it again now, Jim. It could not have come at a better time for me and is the most encouraging thing I could have read as I strugglw with the aftermath of dealing with several team "cancers."

The team I manage has had a brutal time of it in the past 6-8 months. I have been insulted, defamed, and personally attacked on this website by men whom I have never met and who have never played for me, yet have been given incomplete or grossly inaccurate information from angry, immature, and disingenuous former players. They chose to publish that inflammatory misinformation and add their own bilious opinions for the entire world to read---without so much as a phone call to verify its authenticity.

Over what?

Over playing time in a senior softball tournament if you can believe that. These men know what they have done to former teammates they called "friends," and continue to do everything they can to promote their perceived "injustices" even as they try to live with the visceral awareness of their own malignant cowardice.

Players who insist to the point of physical threats on playing every inning of every game and then whose performance suffers from the fatigue they cannot hide on Sunday; players who criticize every lineup selection and every strategic decision, but do not have the manly ingredients needed to do the job themselves; players who ridicule their teammates for not having enough ability; players who boast about Hall of Fame nominations for themselves and then play like chumps when the chips are down; players who walk off in the middle of tournaments because the game times were rescheduled and they were inconvenienced...leaving their mates to contend with no bench; players who tell you at the start of the year to count on them for every tournament and then show up barely half the time; players who want to quit you 6 weeks before the World Championships for a "better offer"...all of these petulant, childish behaviors are neatly condensed in a few (former) players of ours who went very public with venomous half-truths, distortions, and outright lies about our team.

Where were they when it was time to organize the tournaments? To run the practices (which they rarely attended)? To make out the lineup? To deal with all the petty jealousies of likeminded ego-maniacs who need more stroking than a kitten just weaned from its mother.

Most players will tell you they would not do what coaches do---no wonder when there is so little appreciation of the incomprehensible pettiness and self-centeredness most (if not all) coaches endure "...for the love of the game..."

Why do we continue to do it? Probably because, as Full Count just learned, if we didn't the team would fold.

I know I'm speaking for a lot of coaches who have dealt with very similar situations---some years don't turn out like you had hoped, right???---and I share these thoughts and my experience with all of us who must keep silent most of the time in the hope of convincing you to stay the course because you love the game so much and you are not alone in your frustration---or your exhilaration when things are going well.

This is a wonderfully cathartic experience....thanks for the thread!!
Feb. 10, 2008
DD
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: new team

To Diehard:

You should check with the appropriate organization to be sure, but at the start of a new year, players are free to move just about wherever they want to...the only exceptions, as I understand it, are the Major Plus "impact" players.

The rule states Major Plus players may only play one level below (Major)...but I interpret that rule to mean if they wish to play for another team in another age division in the same year they have already qualified with a Major Plus team.

As Sacramento has said, "We do NOT rate players, we rate Teams." (Again, the exception being the "impact" guys.)

If the old AAA team adds 4-5 Major Plus players... it will be up to Sacramento (SSUSA/SSWC) and other associations to determine if the new team must elevate. If the bulk of the team is heldover from the previous year's AAA roster, I surmise they will likely allow that team to play in the AAA division for a few tournaments until they establish themselves through game results as a Major team. That decision to elevate the team will be a result of the number of victories they achieve, the average margin of victory, the number of balls hit out of the park, the evaluation of a representative of the National Rating Committee, and possibly some other measurements.

The process will be ongoing...as I understand it, the initial team ratings will be determined in May/June and will allow teams to appeal their rating up til August---sometime around Aug 15, 2008, ratings will be frozen and no appeals will be considered after that date. The team's rating by the end of August will determine the level that team competes at for the October Worlds.

One new wrinkle this year, according to the Senior Softball News (Winter-Spring 2007-08 edition) the job of rating teams has been given back to each individual association. What that says to me is while SSUSA may rate a team AAA (for example), SPA may determine that team is Major, and ISSA may see it as Major Plus...or some variation thereof.

This was evidently done to address the reality that many associations have different standards for rosters---some allowing regional exemptions, snowbirds, and some even open rosters. Furthermore, some associations are often unable (or unwilling) to prevent "stacking" of rosters with sandbaggers.

If parity in competition is important to your team when considering whether to spend money to travel...better make sure you know if the association you're participating in has the resources to adequately check rosters. Otherwise, you could be in for a big surprise when you take the field.

Clearly, it isn't a perfect system. For the most part, though, we have found remarkable parity in the 50/AAA Division...in Arizona, California, and just about wherever we hev played. Any system that attempts to monitor competitve balance will rely ultimately on the integrity and honesty of the managers and players themselves.

Most of us believe it isn't that much fun to be on either side of a "whuppin."
Feb. 8, 2008
DD
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: new team

Page 55 of the 2007 SSWC rule book covers this subject. A player can only be on one roster in the same age division, but he can play on two (or more) different teams if the teams are in different age divisions. Here's the rule that covers it from p. 55:

Sec 9.2 (6) B. "A player can only play on a team in the same skill level, or one skill level higher or lower. Example: A player in a 55 Major division cannot play on a 50 AA division team."

Whenever a new team is formed, SSWC has told me quite often that team enters as a AAA team and then its results over the next few tournaments will dictate its eventual rating. Sacramento (SSUSA/SSWC) has also told me quite often that they do NOT rate players, they rate teams...except for some Major Plus players they deem "impact" players. We added 5 major players to our AA team at the end of 2006 when we requested elevation to AAA and it was approved. A team is our area is doing essentially the same thing, having been a AA team for 2007 and is now competing in AAA with 4-5 former major players.

A team's results over the next few months will determine their eventual rating and where they will compete in October.

The important thing to remember when adding your new player is to be certain he does not QUALIFY--or has not already QUALIFIED--with another team because he is then frozen on that qualifying roster and will need to be legally released before he can play for you. If he does not obtain a release from his manager, your team risks losing all games in which he participated and he risks losing a year or more of eligibility. See page 20, section 5.1 (5) Double Registration under the DISQUALIFICATION section for the rules on this.

If you do not have a copy of the rule book you can download on this website.

Hope this helps
Jan. 30, 2008
DD
Topic: Associations
Discussion: 2008 National Senior Softball Summit

Mr. Tait,

ISSA sent an email memorandum on Jan 23 that contained a brief summary of the Jan 19-20 Summit in Phoenix. Quoting from it...though not in its entirety...

"...The major topic of discussion this year was the National Rating System. The team rating...system...currently in place is only as good as the control on team rosters to insure they are in sync with one another...Simply put, if the tournament roster does not match the one the team had when rated, their National Rating is no longer valid unless the sanctioning body has appropriately addressed all player additions..."

"...there was a feeing that some member organizations fail to provide...assurance that teams do not have a stacked roster...[consequently] some changes will be forthcoming for 2008 in the rating reporting system..."

"...Team ratings also become difficult to manage...when...organizations utilize different rules or policies...Two examples are the use of high performance bats and the out-of-region player exception. One of the most diffcult skill levels to administer is the Major Plus..."

"...If parity is the root basis for the National Rating System...these issues cannot be ignored..."

" One of the objectives of the Senior Summit in the future will be to promote safety...Accordingly, we hope this will manifest itself into some reasonable concern for player safety when high performance bats are allowed..."

"IT IS DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND HOW THE USE OF EQUIPMENT THAT UNQUESTIONABLY PLACES PLAYERS AT A HIGHER RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH CAN BE ALLOWED FOR THE SENIOR DIVISION." (emphasis added.)

"...If we do not address this safety issue, field owners will or run the risk of gross negligence."

ISSA is one of several (nine, I believe?) member organizations that offer senior softball events. It sets its own rules and policies, as do most if not all the other members.

The Senior Summit that recently convened in Phoenix is NOT a rule-making body; rather it is a forum for delegates from different organizations to share information and suggestions and learn from one another.

As you can see from the ISSA memo, two of the main issues on the table for 2008 are National Ratings and safety.

Hope this helps...it will be interesting to see how the other organizations summarize the Summit...if they do at all.
Jan. 25, 2008
DD
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rule changes - where are all the Major Plus players opinions?

Thanks, Joe, for your thoughtful response. On the issue of danger to the fielders and the pitcher, much has been said. I do find it interesting to note that sentiment on this message board among M+ players seems to be running decidedly against the new rule that intends to protect the pitcher. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
As others have pointed out, the "intent" to cause injury to another player is difficult to ascertain, but I can tell you I have played with M+ players (and those from other divisions) who have not been shy in the dugout (quietly) about their intent to do harm to a pitcher...and then backed it up with a rocket that hit a shin, or a knee, or a chest.
I've even read threats of physical harm to others on this very website, although we don't take seriously the rantings of the deranged, do we?

My purpose is not to criticize your division...I intend to play there when I grow up, but a 65-major Plus team will probably be more to my liking. I'm still having too much fun trying to beat 50 year olds in AAA/Major. Those guys can play. It's the best softball I've seen in the 4 years I've been around senior ball---dead serious.

I do feel, though, that many of your numbers are a bit out of touch with the economic reality of senior softball. How could an organization survive with the numbers of M+ players. You guys are a great bunch of veteran players, but by yourselves you would not have one tournament to play in...unless you organized a pick-up gathering in your own region.

Please consider that the preponderance of Homeruns, while offering a certain aphrodisiac to some, is a grave threat to your entire division. There just are not enough players who a) hit that many; and b) find anything enjoyable about standing around watching the ball sail out of the park.

Most players at all levels still want to run, throw, play defense, hit behind the runner, turn doubleplays, pitch as effectively as a slow-pitcher can, and generally excel at all aspects of this fabulous game.

While many M+ games feature a wonderful blend of all that, far too many are one-dimensional slugfests that leave everyone involved somewhat empty.

You guys need a way to attract more players to your division...I'm betting if you offer a more complete experience you'll have some takers instaed of playing the same old teams and the same old players who've switched to the newest "paid" team.

Apprecite the dialogue and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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