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June 4, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Throwing

rightrj1, a great question. I hope there is discussion. I never had a great arm. I never even had a decent arm! Second base or pitcher for me. I have noticed, by playing the outfield a lot more the past year, that long tossing has strengthened my arm but probably by only 15 or 20 feet. I still have a less than average arm (although it is a very accurate arm).

I can't remember a single player in my decades of softball who progressed from an average arm to a decent or good arm, never mind a strong arm. I think you are right that throwing-arm power is God-given and there is a limit to how much you can develop it.

On the other hand, I have seen players who had a strong arm lose that strength as time went by, usually by lack of use (not warming up, not coming to practice, etc.) to the point where as an older player they have a very average arm.

I wonder if there will be other opinions.
June 4, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Reno results

SSUSA, God's Sports explains some, but check out game 9 and game 11 in the 70+AA mens and game 21 in the 60+AA mens. Again, great job getting these scores out so promptly.
June 3, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Reno results

SSUSA, thanks for getting the scores and results up so promptly! It can be done!. I read the scores of all the divisions and there were a few typos where the "losing" team according to the scores posted was the one that advanced!:=)
May 30, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: thinking of retireing from tourney ball

I think Mad Dog is just bored and depressed because he doesn't have einstein to argue with any more on this site.
May 30, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Reno results

75 AAA
1. State Roofing Systems
2. Oregon Roadrunners


May 20, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitching masks revisited

Signing a waiver protects the park, TD, or association from nice guys who honor their signature. Here are some things that can't be waived because of negligence:

Guy breaks leg in gopher hole in outfield. Maintenance negligence, especially if there are many such holes in the outfield.

Guy runs into unpadded light pole in centerfield and gets concussed. Design negligence.

Pitcher slips on watering cover behind rubber and hits head. Design negligence.

Guy slides in to base and it tears loose and runner collides with fielder. Maintenance negligence.

Batter strikes defender with batted ball and results in serious injury. Association negligence since they did not check/approve all bats and it might be altered or illegal.

Player injured and never signed waiver to start with. TD rules negligence.

The potential goes on and on. This is what lawyers would look for if there was serious money in it with a lawsuit. Caveman is right.






May 20, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Unusual play

Webbie, how right you are. You are cheering the bomb that no doubt your teammate rolled to the fence, you're expecting two more runs, and suddenly—two outs and maybe the end of the inning! Part of the excitement of senior softball and why I look forward to every game.
May 20, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Tee-shirts or other prizes?

One of the best prizes I've seen recently (again this year, in fact) is a windbreaker, not only printed with the tournament name and year and designated as the champion, but also the team name! That's right, a personalized team windbreaker, and in my size!

This is the prize for Dean Perkins's Hayward, CA tournament, a $300 tournament, that draws a lot of teams from all over northern California. Of course they can't be handed out when you win, but they are hand-delivered by giving them to the manager of another local team that will be playing in the future in the same tournament in northern California as the tournament winner. We usually get them within four to five weeks this way, and with no postage costs incurred. We turn in the size preference of every player on the team to the TD, and he has them inscribed, and then gets them to us. Neat, huh?


May 15, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Golden Eagle Complex in Sparks

LS, here are a few reasons why we oldsters get Shadow Mountain instead of Golden Eagle:

Golden Eagle fields are spacious. Outfielders don't have to run as much at SM.
They have artificial turf, so there are few bad hops. What fun is that? Boring.
They have a great view of mountains and open sky. Very distracting when you want to concentrate on the game.
They have an actual restaurant, while we can enjoy the hot dogs of our youth.
The vendors tend to be there and ignore SM. No temptation saves us money.
Headquarters is there, so disputes or questions can be resolved easily. We all know how geezers enjoy arguing.
The drive to GE goes through modern malls and shopping centers. We would miss Classic Reno.
SM is close to the Sands. Otherwise you'd be stuck with Atlantis, Peppermill, Grand Sierra, etc. Too new.
There is no chance of a broken windshield parking near GE. Lots of chances at SM. Don't we all want new glass?

Just a few reasons off the top of my head.





May 14, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: ASA Bats

This is how those wise old codgers like Fred beat you!
May 10, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitching masks revisited

Duke, I agree with you about lawsuits. Of my many injuries over the decades, it never crossed my mind to sue somebody to recover medical costs. I knew the risks, and potential injury is part of playing softball. But this is a litigious age, and suing someone, for the most trivial of reasons, seems to be more prevalent. That said, it wouldn't surprise me that in case of a serious injury, with tens of thousands of dollars of medical costs, it might prompt some player to sue to recover, especially if the association/rec department/field/player with altered bat/etc. is widely perceived as liable. And if a widow is approached by a hungry lawyer after her pitcher-husband is beaned and killed, it would take a rare woman to say "my husband knew the risks and this is just life".

On your other topic, glad to hear that leagues with single and double walls only and dumbed-down balls are booming in your area. I've argued for years that players would continue, or even return from "retirement" if conditions approached those of the past when many of those men loved softball without having to hit the long ball, and when power hitters were proud of their ability that was earned. And like you, if I was playing with single wall bats (which a majority of players use in my league play), I wouldn't mind using the current balls (which we do in our league).
May 8, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitching masks revisited

corvette_ace and others, SSUSA is in an awkward position. They have now mandated pitchers masks for safety reasons. Why is it more dangerous now than, say, 20 years ago? The hot composite bats, which everyone agrees increase in liveliness as they get broken in, have made it dangerous to start only 50 feet away (and more dangerous for corner fielders, for that matter). The obvious solution is to ban composite bats…and any other technological design that makes the ball fly so fast and so far. But to do that is to upset the majority of older players who have become addicted to these bats. So, SSUSA takes its chances that no pitcher is seriously hurt so that a lawsuit by a sharp lawyer proves that SSUSA was aware of the overly dangerous conditions and did not take adequate steps to control the danger.

Same thing happened in a way with bowling. Bowling establishment owners learned how to goose the lanes so even the casual weekend bowler could get high scores. This did nothing for the serious bowlers who practiced and perfected their skill. The result? In 10 years, bowling went from one of the most popular participation sports to the dumps. In our area, in the 80s, there were ten bowling establishments within 12 miles from me with 300 lanes, now there is one! The sport lost its appeal as it became too easy and serious bowlers dropped the sport. Same thing, I fear, with senior softball as the participation percentage of seniors is dropping, dropping, dropping, even as more and more healthy men with softball backgrounds enter the senior years. Hot or altered bats ruined it for a lot of them, including my son who no longer plays.
May 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: pitchers mask

corvette_ace, I had enough time in unlimited arc years to run back behind second base if I wanted to!:=) Now that is protection! The strike zone with that high arc was incredibly small, but if you could put it within 3 inches of the back of the plate, the ump would give you the strike. I remember one ump, especially, a pitcher himself, who just smiled and kept calling strikes if the ball was within 6 inches of the plate. He's not the ump of my one-hitter game. And I think I pitched 4 or 5 shutouts that year. It was indeed a great year!
May 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: pitchers mask

corvette_ace, I could live with a high arc, even an unlimited arc (especially now as we pitch to the mat). But that might be tough to bring about. The year that ASA allowed an unlimited arc was the closest I ever came to throwing a no-hitter in slow pitch softball (one hit in the 5th inning). But boy did the batters scream! Unfair! Unhittable! And for the guys on your team who can't hit a fungo fly ball to save themselves, it was nearly unhittable. What a wonderful year for a pitcher!
May 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Defibrillator Need - Get One

OmahaChuck, good reminder and sorry for the sad outcome of your fellow player. Our city rec department provides a defibrillator (after the urging of our senior league) in every scorekeeper's shack. And a few years ago, several players from our league went to the local hospital to be trained on its use as well as CPR. It's time for us to do that again. Can't have too many trained as a life might be saved!
May 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: pitchers mask

fellow pitchers, there is no doubt that the current composite bat/lively ball has changed the game. It is really an offense vs defense argument. Defense-oriented players would like to return to conditions of the past, say 1999…or even 1985. Offense guys like the pop in the hot composite bats.

As far as masks, you young guys in the 50s ought to wander over and watch the older divisions in your next tournament. Not only are the pitchers masked and armored up, but so is a growing number of infielders! We play with the same hot bat/ball combo, and a lot of older players feel it is too dangerous to take chances.

Why doesn't defense like composites? Pitchers are vulnerable and wear masks. Corner fielders are vulnerable as well. When is the last time you saw a third baseman playing at the bag on a hitter, which was the norm 30 years ago? Shortstops and second basemen are irritated that so many batters can zoom the ball through the hole that they knew they could get to with the previous conditions. Outfielders are playing much deeper than they like to try to stop the more frequent bombs, and with the larger newer fields to accommodate the hot conditions, they run a lot more than in the past with less satisfaction—the ball still get through and goes to the fence. The catcher? He doesn't care.

The problem, of course, is that when defensive players get their turn at bat, they reach for their Miken. They are conflicted (who isn't?). All that being said, I would like to go back to single walls, lively ball or not. And I'm saying that as an old geezer who hit a home run in my last tournament—me, who didn't hit a single home run in my first 48 years of playing rec ball!
April 16, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: cor and compression

We have been playing with the Dudley 52/300 in league play and then for batting practice the next day before league play. So far, the Dudleys hold up real well. Sometimes a ball that's been hit for a couple of months of batting practice will be tossed in when the game ball is over the fence. Still firm, some sheen to its cover, and hits about the same. One consideration, though, our league play is in the mornings so we don't have much experience with temps over 65 so far.

Ball hits well for true sluggers. They notice little drop-off. Also works well for those few who cut the ball. Regular hitters notice the drop off in distance with the 52/300. We went to it for safety since our league has a wide age range. No one's complained yet, in fact some didn't even notice the different ball, and boomers are happy as long as they can hit the long ball now and then.

I agree with wagon487 that the 44/375 is the better ball and flies farther and the Baden Fire holds up well in the heat of a tournament afternoon. Of course, there are many who would rather see the game dimensions reduced to the vast majority of parks available, returning to the old days when a home run was rare and earned and not due to hot balls or bats. Sadly, a lot of those guys no longer play and thus part of the drop off in senior players considering the booming size of the over-50 male population.
April 2, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Introducing the latest technology

Webbie, I think I remember hearing about the water bat, but the guy who bought the bent-handle bat for the team (yes, about 10 of us used it, some for much of the season) evidently was tapped out and didn't purchase any other innovative bats. Steve's three-sided bat sounds interesting. I was using a thin-wall single wall that was badly dented when I first started playing senior softball but a teammate told me it was illegal. Don't know why since it didn't do much for me.


April 2, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Introducing the latest technology

Webbie, of course we caught the last line. It was our April Fool on you not to mention it! On a more sober note, I'm going to rummage around in the garage to see if I can find my old bent handle aluminum from the 80s. I'm nostalgic for it and need to swing it again for old times sake.
March 21, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: pitchers mask

Donny, I agreed with your first post completely. It was "?" responding to me who somehow thought I was saying that long ball hitters of decades ago could not hit one out with a wooden bat. Not even close to what I said. In fact, I acknowledged that teams often had a slugger or two that COULD hit it out. Since softball began there have been powerful men, who work on their skills, that could hit a softball a mile. As a pitcher, I was always cautious with these titans and would back up after I pitched to them. But they were a rarity.

Proof? When softball began to erupt as a popular sport, rec departments by the thousands all over the country were carving out land to build new ball parks to accommodate the need for more fields. They surveyed the sport, asked experts, and decided that 250 foot fences would contain the vast majority of flies to the outfield. As proof of that, they sometimes put children's playgrounds, picnic areas, flower gardens, etc. on the other side of the fence, or even roads with cars going by. Any rec department that would commission a short fence like that today could be sued for negligence!

What changed? Not the balls particularly. Not the hitters significantly. But the bats, and not even the single wall aluminum, but the double walls, then the triple walls, then the composites! Some of those bats were so hot they were universally banned as dangerous or uncompetitive. And now you have the situation with batter after batter, in their fifties, sixties, even seventies, who never hit one out in their life, capable of clearing the fence with their composites!

Vance+50 makes my point. I'm a prime example. For 50 years I played on the same field with 260 foot fences and NEVER reached the fence in hundreds of games. I never even reached the warning track. Then I get one of the early Miken II bats, am at a tournament with older fields at 265, and hit two out in the same game! Did I suddenly become that much stronger in my sixties, even though I'm not working out? Nope. It was all in the bat. That's why I wear a mask when I pitch, mandated or not.
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