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July 11, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: VEGAS FIELDS

It's not just Vegas, it is most scoreboards at most parks. Seems like there is seldom any daytime staff to work the scoreboards and it is a rare umpire who is interested in doing it himself. Even Big League Dreams often have scoreboards that are non-functional. I agree that this has little to do with field quality, but it has something to do with overall quality.
July 5, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Finally got P413

DonB, what hopeful news! The long-awaited, long-promised, long-given-up-on, GSC bat must being shipped now! Can't wait to see the reviews (I swung one in Reno in 2013 or 2012 but since the only samples were end-loaded, it wasn't to my taste).
July 1, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Which Sports Do More Americans Participate In?

Sparky.1, thanks for the information. Extremely interesting. What should be of concern to readers of this forum is the rapid decline of slow-pitch softball in the past decade. If we lose the younger ones now, I doubt if they will start to play again once the half-century mark comes around. Very troubling.

I have expressed my opinion many times on this forum that I believe the lessening of standards and conditions (particularly the composite bat and its consequences) is very much a part of the reason that senior softball has plateaued, and if you count how many more men have entered the golden years, it is actually declining as a participation sport.

I make the analogy to bowling. Back in the day, I was a top-rank bowler. Within a 15 minute drive in the suburbs where I live, I could bowl at nine establishments. Now there is one, ONE!, in that circle of 15 minutes. What happened? In order to make more bowlers think they were really good, lighter pins became the norm; sideboards were bouncier for more pin action; lanes were goosed to head the ball toward the pocket. Result? When I had the highest average in the County (14 bowling alleys), a 200 average was rare (there were about 6-10 in the County). When I lost interest in the too easy conditions and stopped bowling, a 200 average was rather commonplace. And already within 5 years, three bowling alleys closed. Bit by bit they went broke as serious bowlers lost interest due to the soft conditions. Now there are 3 establishments in the entire County! How many teams will there be in softball within ten years?
June 29, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Hitting from tee vs. hitting pitched ball

I think a major factor in hitting the ball farther in a game versus a tee, is the quality of the ball. An extreme example: I bat leadoff for my team. In some games, I am the FIRST to hit the game ball. It is brand new, just out of the box, nothing has softened it up. Along about the fifth inning, most game balls are noticeably softening. And in our local tournaments, if you foul the ball off with a long fly over the fence, the backup ball is the 7-inning used ball from the previous game!

Most guys hitting off a tee (or batting practice for that matter) do not use balls that have no more than 50 hits on them—it's too expensive! I've hit some real socks during batting practice. Doesn't bother me much because I am just trying to get my swing right and loosen up, and I can tell from the feel whether I hit the ball well, even if it doesn't reach the deeper fielders. Come game time, especially morning games, if I hit the ball on the sweet spot I expect it to FLY.
June 20, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: ARC OF THE PITCHED BALL

k man, lucky you if you were able to play with unlimited arc for a "few years". In our area, it lasted one year. Best year pitching of my life. This wasn't senior softball, so I still had to land behind the plate and make it seem that it went through the high zone of the batter, but I had more strikeouts, more low-scoring games, than ever in my 63 years of pitching! What a blast!

But, of course, there were howls from batters about how hard it was to hit, "ruining the game" etc. I was amazed at the number of players that evidently can't hit a fungo. Anyway, the rule changed back to the old limit of 12 feet after one season and the whining hitters returned to the slugfest (such as it was then with wooden and single-wall aluminum bats).

I'd love to see a rule change back to unlimited arc. Would be a great pitcher protection step. I could stroll back to second after the pitch and be ready to field any shot up the middle. But it seems unlikely to happen as evidently the young-un's are already complaining about 12 feet as being too difficult. Final step in this direction? T-Ball.
June 14, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best ball in Hot Weather

Webbie25, I know by his reputation that Steve Imlay is one of those true boomers that can clear the fence with any ball. When he said "almost no home runs" I took that to mean that there were probably home runs every game, and no doubt by Steve, just not the quantity that he was used to. Just like the Stotes that we hit in Sacramento in the afternoon. Doesn't change my opinion: Steve hits one out I admire and cheer; pipsqueak like me hits one out—time to change the bats/balls to bring some sanity back to the game.
June 13, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best ball in Hot Weather

Sacramento was 105 one day and the Stote definitely did not hold up as the temperature rose.

However, with the overly hot bats that have dominated the last 10 years, I'm not upset that we aren't seeing multiple home runs every game. The game seems more balanced and fun when outfielders are involved every game and infielders have a chance to contribute.

My suggestion would be to go to a 52/300 that holds up well, not changes as the heat and humidity rise. It seems to have less impact on a body when a fielder is struck, but travels about as well as the Stote when the temperature rises.

The Baden Fireball does hold up well as has been proved tournament after tournament in the summer in northern California where it is the ball of choice. However, it is nearly as lively as the Rock, and for that reason, not a favorite of mine for tournament play. Find a 52/300 that holds up for consistent performance and let teams adjust to a game where only true sluggers can put the ball out.
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.
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