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May 24, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: field loactions for Vegas

coop3636, if it is any help, I told my team that I wouldn't make Vegas last year, but then my schedule changed and I was able to attend. Made my reservations about 3 weeks before the tournament, got a great rental car rate, great air fare bargain, and a hotel that I had stayed at two years before for the same low rate! It's Vegas and there are plenty of options for all the above when you find out where you are playing. My hotel was about 8 minutes from the field.
May 18, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RENO WEATHER

Noah's Ark indeed! When we returned we were greeted by a "roaring lion" of a manager! Surprisingly, we played for that manager a couple of more years (and a good manager he was—we deserved the scolding).
May 18, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RENO WEATHER

Dave, my team LOVED the early posting of probable fields, seeding, and brackets. I guess this means we are a thinking team? Pretty rare with senior softball, where a boneheaded play is often termed "that was a senior moment".
May 17, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Ball B.S. In lee county

Doerbaum, the "balls in Tampa were fine, even in the mid-day games when it was HOT." This sounds like a ringing endorsement of the Trump Stote 44/375. Then they were horrible in Lee County. You go on to condemn the manufacturer and the TD. Let me suggest a few options to yours about why the Trump went from "fine" to "KRAP" in less than a month.

Humidity
Improper storage of balls
Last year's (or year before's balls)
Not just poor storage but perhaps the balls were cooked in the wrong storage area.
Bigger fields
Mismarked balls by manufacturer
Pirated/bootlegged balls
etc., etc.

Seems to me to be more potential situations than that the manufacturer went from making good balls to socks in less than a month.
May 15, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RENO WEATHER

deep14, don't ove-worry about a long range weather forecast. Nevada is a rather dry state and being rained out is very unlikely. A few examples:

One year, an early afternoon thunderstorm blew through. Play stopped. We were at Golden Eagle that year (artificial turf). The on-site restaurant was jammed as everybody took advantage of the rain delay to grab some lunch. A buddy and I went to get some food offsite (closest place with reasonable prices is several miles away). When we returned, our manager was yelling at us! SSUSA had shortened games to 5 innings, the fields dried quickly, and our team was up. The coach put us at the bottom of the batting order so we ran out to hit in our tennis shoes! No problem catching up games for the tournament.

Another year, I am standing on third in my shorts and I realize it is sleeting! I'm thinking "what is this?!" A cold front came through with little moisture, but enough! Next batter hits the ball and I take off for home and warmth in the dugout! Reno is several thousand feet high, so rain can often be snow. No game was delayed or canceled because of light sleet and we played on and the sun came out.

Before I started playing every year at Reno, they had snow one year that stayed on the ground for awhile! They played on, eventually paused because of slippery conditions, waited for the sun to come out, snow melted, game on!

So not getting in your games is very unlikely at Reno. You are in more danger of having to play in 90 degree heat some years which is a challenge for cold weather folks coming to an early tournament for them.
May 5, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Still Trying To Live It Down!

Ah, so reassuring to hear similar stories. Guys, we are blessed to play softball where we can recognize a former teammate and still "know" him by his swing, his running style, his humor, etc.

At a tournament last weekend, I was chatting with a former teammate while watching a game in front of us. I noticed an outfielder who is noted for his healthy head of hair (and consequently often plays without a cap when there is no sun problem). I couldn't discern whether it was the right person or not, and asked my conversation partner if that was him…but I couldn't remember his name. Neither could my friend standing beside me, although we both knew whom we meant. The difference was that I played on the same team with the guy for two years less than a decade ago!
April 28, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Runs Scored vs. Runs Allowed

SKings24, I believe the policy is that the SSUSA leadership does NOT take comments made on this forum into account when thinking about a change in policy or procedure or rules. They expect interested parties to attend the annual meeting for them to be heard (and perhaps, to snail-mail ideas). You should plan now to attend the meeting (I hear it is very visitor-friendly) and present your arguments for changes. Don't depend on them remembering all the arguments and suggestions made here over the year on this forum, especially when some of them contradict each other.
April 17, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

Of course, what DOERBAUM's question does not address is how bat after bat, year after year, can now be praised on this forum as the new HOTTEST bat, going 350 feet or more with a child's swing, carrying even mishit balls into the wild blue yonder. They are all tested at 1.21 maximum, right? I can understand a newer bat with better durability. But most posters are excited about how the new (fill in the blank) bat is the HOTTEST bat they've ever swung. And seniors spend more and more $$$$$$ on what is supposedly the same performance bat as those which have been manufactured for ten years. If true, obviously the testing standards have to be revised. I'd like to see how many of the composites in any team's dugout are still at 1.21 with the same testing a few months later.
April 17, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Senior bats vs. 52/300 ball

sparky.1, I think you will agree that we admired long ball hitters back in the day for several reasons—all legit. Some were gifted by God with a physique or musculature (powerful wrists, for example) that gave them a lot of natural power. Some worked out and built a physique that nature did not gift them with. Some worked on their swing and technique for untold hours to get extra distance. In every case, it was a thing of beauty to see the ball clear a 250 foot fence (the norm then) with a wooden bat. I admired them all.

But I have much less admiration for the poor technique, beer-bellied, show-up-only-at-tournament players who clear the fence because they are using the hottest senior bats. And for those who shave a bat for distance, I have contempt, not admiration.
April 17, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Senior bats vs. 52/300 ball

Sparky.1, right on. When I bought my first Miken, I, too, began to hit home runs—some over the fence and others gappers on deep fields. The difference was that I didn't believe I was a HOME RUN POWER HITTER. I had never been one (not once) in my first 50 years of softball, so why would I believe that suddenly as an old geezer I was one? It's the bat. And because hundreds, probably thousands of older players like me are now hitting the long ball when they couldn't before, it has spoiled the game a bit for me. I'd love to play in an aluminum bat tournament.

Sadly, many of my fellow players my age have left the game because of the inflated hitting, just as lots of bowlers like myself left the bowling game in disgust when grooved lanes and soft balls and light pins became the norm. It ruined bowling. I hope it doesn't do the same for softball.
April 15, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Field Assignments

tommy45, last year our team played at BLD in the Worlds Tourney. I was surprised at the lack of vendors considering the full park of eager buyers. Turns out there is a BLD hefty fee for exhibitors to bring their merchandise in so a lot of vendors didn't bother. So add that to your list.

On the other hand, I have played in BLDs all over the west and never been patted down! I also have ALWAYS been able to bring in my jug of water without objection. Food? No. Outside beverages? No. And there is a fee that has been rising over the years. But the reason my team was happy to play at BLD last year is that the fields were far superior (including spectator seating) than some others we have played at. Worth it.


March 27, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Mobile tournament schedules....

I'm with coop3636. I hate it when I read "schedules were sent to managers" instead of posting the schedule in an easily accessible site. I have played for a lot of managers over the years. Some are very responsive and a schedule sent to them is forwarded to the entire team within the day. Others might not get around to posting it until a few days later. Some are out of town and don't forward email easily. I want to see the entire schedule for all the reasons that coop3636 listed.
March 20, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Associations
Discussion: SPA v SSUSA

Have limited experience with SPA since they have so few tournaments on the west coast. Went to one in Carson City a few years ago (it was to be the first of a five-year run of tournaments…but was the only year) and found it well run (as are SSUSA) with quality umps (ditto SSUSA).

We noted that SPA was much more particular about bats, inspecting each bat individually and then certifying it with a stamp (no stamp on bat and you're kicked out of tournament). Don't have a problem with that although it sure slowed down registering by having to pull out all possible bats from your bag.

Also, SPA had some rule that allowed a short rest break for older teams rather than back to back games in summer heat. Thought that was wise. I liked the prayer for the teams and tournament. Who doesn't need more prayer? I would play SPA again, but it seems unlikely after their short experiment in the area.

Our team is going to play 4 SSUSA tournaments this year, after playing only 1 a couple of years back. That says something, although we had to up our self-sponsored tournament costs because SSUSA are much more expensive, a little less than twice as high. We might reconsider so many in future because of cost. We can play more than seven tournaments in California for the cost of four SSUSA.
March 17, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

Yes, Swing, there's nothing like seeing a power hitter slightly miss hit your pitch, turning to watch it float toward your fielder, the fielder taps his glove…and the ball misses his glove and hits him right in the face! I've seen you play outfield and you are welcome to play for my team anytime. All you need is 15-20 years more "experience" on you to qualify. :=)
March 16, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

DC Pete, I'm thinking about the injuries my team has incurred in the last 100 tournaments (about 600 games).

Pitcher hit by ball: 5-10 times
1B hit by batted ball: 8-10 times
2B hit by batted ball: 5-6 times
SS hit by batted ball: 7-8 times
3B hit by batted ball: 9-10 times
Outfielder hit by batted ball: 5-6 times
Collision injury: 4 times
hit by thrown ball: 5 times
running injury (including slip/fall): 6 - 10 times
Throwing injury: 1-3 times
Catcher injured: 1

Summary:
Hit by batted ball: 39 - 50 for average of 44 times (69%)
All other injuries: 20 times (31%)

Where did you come up with your statistic of 85% of all injuries are not from batted ball?

Also, of my non-batted ball injuries, only 1 required first aid. Of the batted ball injuries, 5 required medical treatment. Breaking a bone/nose/eye socket or concussion are much worse than a scrape or twisted ankle or pulled muscle or tendon (the other non-batted ball injures). Fortunately, all of our collision injuries have only resulted in bruises.

That's what the commotion is about. Only anecdotal for me. I would be interested in others' experiences.
March 15, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

I agree with cyborg45 that softball is supposed to be somewhat dangerous. It is part of its popularity. When I started pitching, the distance from home plate was 37 feet! Those of us who have played over the decades remember pitchers that got plunked, infielders hurt by bad hops, broken ankles by outfielders, and a variety of injuries from thrown balls or batted balls, even to the level of concussions. If we had access to the national statistics, there are probably several players a year who die on the field, most from head injuries. The risk of a broken bone was part of the game.

But that was SOMEWHAT dangerous. The current conditions, where a ball is leaving the bat at 100 mph, is not somewhat but very dangerous. Tournament players are not all "very good athletes". They are older men and with age comes slowed reflexes, diminished sight, injured or strained bodies that no longer respond quickly. It's true their skills have been "honed over many years". But they were never honed to the point that they could handle the kind of speed we see today. Can you imagine a wooden bat sending a softball out that fast? Nope, not even with a hot ball.

Protection has its limitations. Inadequate masks, lack of a chest protector, no leg guards, are leaving the pitchers, especially, vulnerable to the insane speeds of a batted ball. Watch a game with 65s or older and see how many infielders now wear a mask. How has this come about? That to play a game we love, one we have played for decades, we now have to be armored up for our safety. It's the bats!
March 14, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

garyheifner, what makes you think that only pitchers are at risk with the hot bat/ball combo so prevalent today? My infielders have also taken a beating (broken nose, elbow, etc.) and now two of them wear masks. A bad hop coming off a single wall is often fieldable (and skilled infielders have been fielding them for decades) but a bad hop off a hot bat, or a ball that hits the pitching rubber coming at excessive speed because of the composite bat also cause damage. It's not just pitchers at risk, but all infielders. Outfielders seldom get hit, they just wear out chasing balls on 300+ outfield because of the hot bats. JDub has it right—hot bats have made the game more dangerous and more taxing than ever, especially for older players. And I agree with you, that it is time to wear a helmet-mask combo if you want better protection.
March 13, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: God's Sports Company P413 Senior Bat

I wonder what the status of this wonder bat is. I seem to remember that we were promised regular status updates by the company, but I don't remember any for more than a year. Is it still moving toward production? Have they given up? It seems like they are still sponsoring a successful team…or has it disbanded? The field is still wide open for a guaranteed durable, high quality bat.
March 8, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rating Question

Swing reluctant to go middle on Einstein? That seems unlikely. Good to hear that Rinaldi is still active in softball. Always a joy to watch.
Feb. 28, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 50 MAJOR & MAJOR PLUS COMBINED

It gets even better for NCSSA. The average tournament entry cost is $300-310. Seems like guys pay a lot more in other associations. At every tournament you are guaranteed 5 or 6 games on the weekend because of the round robin schedule (no reason for a seeding round because teams are already rated). Teams that are over 60 are never scheduled to play under the lights. A guy can be on two different rosters. We use SSUSA rules with a few exceptions: for example, there is no mandatory face mask; bases are 65 feet; pitcher has a box that is 10 feet deep. It's amazing what teams can do when they organize to provide satisfying weekend softball opportunities.
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