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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.
Feb. 21, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: So the question was....how to get more teams to play Major Plus

Several years back, I am playing on a AAA team that is a better than average AAA. We are in a tournament and because there are so few Major and Major+ teams, we are playing a Major+ team in the seeding rounds. What a team! Best one I have ever seen in my age group. I'm playing catcher that game and the hitters are pounding the ball. The bats whistle when they come around. They score 5 in the first inning. No one makes an out.

In the second inning, the barrage continues. I wonder if they have ANYONE on the team who can't hit the long ball. The last man in the order is up, a skinny left-hander. On the first pitch, he fouls the ball weakly down the third base side. "Finally", I think, "a guy that we can make an out on." The next pitch he powers to right field. Into a 15mph wind. Over a 310 foot fence! We are crushed in the game.

Combine Major and Major+? Not a popular idea with teams like us, legitimate good AAA teams playing over our heads now and then and at risk of being moved up to Major. We would have NO chance against the elite Major+! We had one player who would hit the ball over the fence about once every two tournaments and another player who did it twice in the year. That's why we wouldn't be able to hang with most Major teams. Combine the two levels and teams like ours will do everything they can to avoid paying high fees to get beat up by the super teams.

Needless to say, we were self-sponsored and I've aged out of the AAA team, but I don't think we are alone in realizing that we would have little chance of winning a tourney against legit major teams, and no chance winning a tournament against Major+ teams. We continue to be unwilling to break up a long-term group of guys. If Major and Major+ were combined, and we were moved up to Major, we would probably stop going to SSUSA tournaments. We would still get in 16-20 tournaments a year playing in NCSSA.
Feb. 1, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Facing one batter

SSUSA Staff, I agree with the perception that teams stop hustling as much when they see they are going to get a complete game in, but disagree with the time spent being as much as three or four innings! A bit of an exaggeration. Of course the open inning can last longer, but often the home team doesn't even bat in the last inning. Agree that teams should be ready to go, but it won't cost THAT much time that they dawdle a bit in the sixth.
Jan. 26, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What to do with trophies, uniforms, tee-shirts?

Nancy, good idea. My longtime team sponsor of many decades ended up with lots of trophies. We found that the leaders of local Special Olympics were very glad to have them and they were easily transformed into meaningful trophies, even for events that didn't involve swinging a bat as the figure on top of the trophy implied.
Jan. 25, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: weight of ball?

Igotit, you may not be a scientist, but it sounds like the NFL could use your help.
Jan. 25, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Playin in Cuba?

Bunch of guys from northern California went over about 4 or 5 years ago. They were mostly in their 60s and 70s. They had a blast touring and seeing all the old cars. They donated a lot of equipment they had collected (gloves, shoes, batting gloves, etc.) to the Cubans. The highlight was supposed to be playing another senior ball club. Problem #1: the Cuban team wasn't all that senior! Had some guys who looked to be in their 20s, 30s. Problem #2: despite the translator assuring them that he had carefully explained the rules, late in the game a Cuban came home after rounding third and ran right over the catcher who was standing on home plate, not expecting to get steamrolled! Catcher was in his 70s and had to have medical treatment for awhile once he returned to the States. Took some of the shine off of the trip. This team also flew directly from the US. I think the game was under the banner of some kind of good will "ambassadorship" and there wasn't much red tape.

Some guys weren't interested in going because of the corrupt dictatorship and prisons stuffed with political prisoners. I had a chance to go with a college-sponsored "educational" tour a few years ago but turned it down because Castro had just cracked down and imprisoned many public and college LIBRARIANS! Why? Because they had allowed the wrong political books in their libraries. I thought it was hypocritical for the college to continue its tour effort since the crackdown was part of an ongoing effort to stifle freedom as several academics were also imprisoned in that purge.
Jan. 6, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Do you use senior bats in non tournament games/leagues?

We use senior bats in all of our league games but with restrictions:

50-60 league: use of senior bats except on fields with closer fences and rec department penalties for hitting outside the park.

Pick-up team leagues (ages 50 - 90): senior bats for only women and over 74

Tournament teams league: senior bats for 60 and over

We do not allow senior bats for pre-game batting practice by under 75 men in the pick-up team leagues because of the crowded fields during the batting practice.

Our twice-a-week batting practice-only sessions allow any bats, including senior (or original Ultra for that matter)

We have had a very good safety record with these rules and no unhappy players.
Jan. 3, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Signs of Getting Old(er)

cal50, that made me laugh! So true.
Older messages »
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