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Details for stever


Real name:
Steve Ravenkamp

Location:
Globe, AZ

Division:
Men's 65

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

Feb. 19, 2010
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How would YOU rate teams

SSUSA Staff: You probably need to save these two explanations because I know from 13 years of playing senior softball that this will come up again and again. This is the best explanation I have ever seen, though. I also know, having had many, many converstations with staff members regarding teams and players that the staff tries to do the best possible job in keeping the competition fair. In every case where I have been called (or have called) I came away feeling that the staff had bent over backwards to be fair. As you admitted, you aren't perfect, but I will take issue with anyone who says you don't try.
Feb. 19, 2010
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: TOC 50AAA

I think what you saw is the rule rather than the exception. Sure, I suppose once in a while a team that doesn't belong there may slip in somehow. But I also believe the staff does there very best to keep that from happening. Nothing is perfect, however. I have also found that most of the biggest complainers either don't understand the rating system, are not going to be happy unless they have a decided advantage, or both.
Feb. 19, 2010
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: My take on the short note on page 7, bottom right hand side of page.

You've got to be kidding! This is nothing more than legaleze that allows the paper to carry advertising without having to endorse or substantiate any of the claims made. It also allows the paper to carry opposing views without supporting any of them. To me, this is free speech. If we weren't such a litigous society it probably wouldn't be needed.
Feb. 17, 2010
stever
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Teams Being Bumped Up

Bob50...Unfortunately, there are a lot of players who don't care about the best competition, they only want to win a ring. I really get tired of the teams that win 80% of the time in their brackets and then whine when they get bumped up. There are a lot of considerations in deciding where to rate a team and winning one tournament, unless it is a major tournament, will not cause you to be bumped up. Now, if you play in three qualifiers and win all three, or if you totally blow out the competition, you probably are in the wrong classification and should be bumped up in mid-season. Considering all the variables the officials who decide the ratings have to look at I think they do a pretty good job...not perfect, but probably as good as can be done. I know from last years SSUSA, ISA and SPA Nationals I couldn't complain about teams in our bracket being mis-rated. The best teams on those particular weekends won, as they should have, but there were many others that could have won had a couple of breaks gone the other way. (No, we didn't win any of the three tournaments). And I didn't feel any of the teams in the bracket were mis-rated.
Feb. 15, 2010
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Hybrid Turf Fields

It has been my understanding that all the BLD fields forbid the use of the senior bats. Therefore, I would think it highly unlikely a senior tournament to be held at one of them. Could be wrong, though.
As to the hybrid fields, I find it a bit amusing the posters advocating against the senior bats because the balls come at the pitcher and infielders too fast would like the aritificial infields. True, you get truer bounces (although the ball stays down), but it sure goes through faster than on dirt. Plus, rug burns are a bitch and the seams can cause major problems. I liked them as a middle infielder, I'm not so approving as a corner infielder.
Jan. 31, 2010
stever
Topic: Bats
Discussion: SPA survey

mad dog - how do you come up with that idea?! Remember, only about 10-15% of all players are pitchers. From the comments section I thought they were well represented.
Jan. 30, 2010
stever
Topic: Bats
Discussion: SPA survey

Bruce, not only that, but 17 of the comments about the PPR said that they wanted SPA to get rid of it. Since SPA didn't have one, wonder what they were thinking? Also, 136 of the 685 comments said they thought the rules were just fine as they are.
Jan. 12, 2010
stever
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Team Looking For TOC Players

To finish off the above discussion, Timberworks Const (55+ AAA) can therefore add players from a 60+ AAA, 65+ AAA, 70+ AAA, 75+ AAA team as required to get their roster to 14 players (max of 4 players). Geographical restrictions still apply.
Jan. 12, 2010
stever
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Team Looking For TOC Players

Here is the official rule:

13.5 Tournament in Champions
...Teams must use the roster with which they won the Championship at which they qualified. Teams may add players according to 9.2(2). (Note: should read 4.2(2).

4.2(2)Adding Players
Players may be added under the following conditions:
1. The team has qualified.
2. Playrs being added must be from an older deivision. FOR EXAMPLE: A 55+ Major team must select replacement players from a 60+ or older Major team.
3. Players added must not exceed the 20-roster limit.
4. All Divisions: Teams in any division can add players from the next older age group and in the same skill level (FOR EXAMPLE a 50+ AA team may add 55+ AA players, but may not add 55+ AAA or Major players.)
5. The number of players that may be added are limited by the number of players on a roster:
A. Teams restricted to 10 defensive playrs may add 4 players from the next older division if their roster is down to 10 players; teams may add 3 players if their roster is down to 11 players, teams may add 2 players if their roster is down to 12 players, and teams may add 1 player if their teams are down to 13 players.
B. Teams restricted to 11 defensive players may add 4 players from the next older division if their roster is down to 11 players; teams may add 3 players if their roster is down to 12 players, teams may add 2 players if their roster is down to 13 players, and teams may add 1 player if their teams are down to 14 players.
C. All players listed on the Official Roster (not including players added from the next higher age group) must be present at the Qualifier.

Pretty cut-and-dried. Same adjacent states rules also apply.
Jan. 5, 2010
stever
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Combine Major & Major+?

Southpaw,
Two comments: WRT only two divisions - I think you would see fewer and fewer participants. I think most of the AA teams and players would stop going to tournaments because they can't compete and don't want to spend the money. In my experience the biggest gap in divisions is between AA and AAA, not the upper divisions. I think this might actually exacerbate the problem because some of the mid-level Major players and teams would be trying to play down to the AAA level which would push the AA players even further into the fringe. Something we have to keep in mind when proposing any of these changes is that there are fewer and fewer senior players as we get older and we don't want to create a situation where we "starve" our organizations out of existance because we create more obstacles for the average player. I really don't think the problem is at the Major/AAA/AA level because there seems to be a sufficient number of teams at most tournaments for those brackets. Perhaps a suggestion could be made to consolidate Major + with the top-half of the Major teams, combine the bottom half of the Major teams with the top half of the AAA teams, and combine the bottom half of the AAA teams with the AA teams. I think there is a sufficient amount of data (based on score differentials and rosters) that could be crunched together to make that realistic. Of course, the cost of developing a mathematical model that would do that might be prohibitive and I'm sure it wouldn't satisfy everyone (look at the BCS system).
WRT your second suggestion - it would slightly shorten tournaments but, in an eight-team tournament there would only be two 2-and-out teams left for the consolation tournament (4 in a 16-team tournament, etc).
Good food for thought, though.
Dec. 31, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: If the Mayans are right!

Saw a funny (at least I thought it was funny) cartoon about that recently. One Mayan was standing at the door holding a calendar and talking to another. He said, "I ran out of room on the calendar after 2012." The other one said, "That is really going to screw people up in the future."

Of course, 1984 was supposed to be the end...then 2000. Not something I really worry about. Couldn't do anything about it, anyway.
Dec. 29, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: poll:who would like

Something I find interesting in this discussion is that out of the fourteen posters who have age identifiable, 3 of the 4 people who are age 60 or older like the game the way it is. Of the 10 identifiable posters 50 or 55, 6 of them want to "dumb down" the bats, balls or both. Of the three whose age is not identifiable, two want to "dumb down" the equipment and the other one doesn't seem to commit either way. It appears, out of this very limited sampling, that the older players are happy with the equipment the way it is but the younger ones think the bats and balls are too lively. I would have thought it would be the other way around because reflexes deteriorate with age. Admittedly, this is a very small, albiet very vocal, sampling. It might be very interesting to find out what level the advocates on each side are. I would guess, although it is only a guess, that most of the players happy with the equipment the way it is are Major/Major + and the ones who want to change the equipment are AA/AAA. I can tell you my 60 Major team doesn't want to roll back the bats or balls.
Dec. 27, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: poll:who would like

I have to agree with Bruce. We went to the SPA, ISA, and SSUSA Nationals this year. We didn't win any of them, but we could have if we had played better. We didn't lose any of them because of the home run rule, the PPR, or the equipment. We lost because we were outplayed. The tournaments were very competitive and one or two more hits or one or two less errors would have made the difference in most games. I think there are too many people who advocate changing rules or equipment because it is easier than working to make themselves or their teams better. There are four different categories in senior softball. The trick is to find the right level to play at where you are not in over your head, but at the same time must step up your performance to be successful. Nobody is entitled to play Major or Major Plus just because they are 50 or 55 or 60 or, whatever. It seems like many of the proposed rule or equipment changes are attempts to neutralize the physical advantages of the better players just so others can compete with them. Everyone plays with the same rules and equipment so how can that not be a "level playing field?"
Dec. 27, 2009
stever
Topic: Bats
Discussion: altered bats

I think we all realize the choice of giving up a bat or being banned is our choice alone and nobody is, technically, CONFISCATING it. No need for sarcasm.
Dec. 17, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: divisions

I think the difference is the bottom of the order. Everybody is pretty much the same for the top 5-6 batters. It is the bottom of the order that makes the difference (in other words: the depth of players). Same between AAA and Major.
Dec. 5, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: New PPR & Middle rule

I feel sorry for the umpires. The old rule was misapplied/misinterpreted enough when the ball had to hit the pitcher. Now it doesn't even have to do that but the umpire must decide whether it was within the 24 inch rubber, which often cannot be seen from home plate, and whether it was below the top of the pitchers head. As bad as the old PPR was, I can see that this new rule will create even more heartburn. I can understand trying to prevent injuries, but SPA doesn't have the PPR rule and I don't think there are any more injuries there than in SSUSA. I would think since there is an actual way to prove - in the field and not by guessing - whether the PPR rule actually prevents injury that this comparison should be undertaken before implementing a rule that most disagree with.
Dec. 2, 2009
stever
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Winter Worlds Nov. 2009, Las Vegas.

First off, anyone who starts rumors such as these is beneath listening to. They are nothing but jealous gossip mongers. The FACTS are that Oklahoma Turf Pro did forfeit the championship game on Sunday. The reason was they were down to nine players, and two of them were hurt. They were missing four players, including 3 of their five starting infielders, due to family issues (two deaths, 3 serious illnesses)which came up the week before the tournament. This meant they only had 11 players to begin with. One other player that was there was recovering from shoulder surgery, two had to leave to catch early fights, and one more was hurt. Further, this was always planned as our last tournament together due to private issues. The team has since disbanded. So whoever is so jealous they have to start rumors such as this should now be exposed for who they are. And thanks for your faith #6. sounds like you're one of the good guys.
Nov. 27, 2009
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Softball Players Association

I am not a frequent visitor to this site because it seems to me that it is dominated by four or five people who do nothing but complain about how softball is being run. From my experience of 12 years playing senior softball the majority of the players are just happy to have an opportunity to play competitive softball at our age. Sure, we complain about some of the rules and restrictions but, overall, we are just happy that these organizations exist to give us this oppurtunity. We acknowledge they are there for profit but realize if they weren't we would not have this opportunity because they provide the organizational skills and do all the "grunt" work that is required to run a tournament. My experience with both SPA and SSUSA is that their leadership DOES listen to us and tries very hard to balance competing interests. As with any large organization nobody is going to get everything they want. A few on this forum seem to think they can speak for the majority, but in reality are only interested in changing senior softball in the image they view as optimal. Creating a union is a BAD idea, but go ahead...I think you will find only a very small minority of soreheads that join. The correct way to make changes is within the system, for that is the way that will reflect, and have the support of, the vast majority. I believe the old adage of "you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar" applies; meaning, you are more likely to get change if you present a compelling reason than if you only complain.
Nov. 26, 2008
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Just a Little Safety to Consider.

I agree with Airbosn that the responsibility for safety in most cases is the responsibility of the individual. If the safety wonks and the ambulance chasers had their way we would be playing virtual softball. Life is not without risks...softball is not without risks. In all my playing Ihave seen more people injured as a result of a slide or diving for a ball than any other way and I hope we aren't going to legislate diving for a ball out of the game. While I don't really object to the pitchers safety rule, I don't think it is going to have any impact with regard to safety either way. People hit up the middle because it is one of the biggest holes in the defense, not to hit the pitcher. With extremely minor exceptions (that should be dealt with individually) no one feels worse if a ball hits the pitcher than the batter (except the pitcher). IMO, legislating isn't going to change the number of occurances because the intent isn't there. I think, in most cases, we are guilty of looking for a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist and Ibelieve the main reason many well-meaning safety rules are put into place is to try and short-circuit liability claims. Safety rules SHOULD be put into place where a real, not perceived, problem exists. Otherwise, safety should be up to the individual, who should also assume the risks involved in participation.
April 24, 2008
stever
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team Ratings

There are two ways to get moved up - one objective and one subjective. The first way is to win one of the 9 association national championships. These are the ONLY tournaments where moving the champion up in rating is mandatoryThis move you automatically to the next higher division for the following year. It can be appealed after playing in three qualifying tournaments IF the championship had 5 or less teams in the division. It cannot be appealed for one year if the division had 6 or more teams. The second way is a subjective evaluation based upon how you played against other teams in tournaments during the year. All new teams start the season as AAA. All combined or new names are rated based on the roster and the teams the players came from. If you pick up 6 or more players from a higher division team you will automatically gain that higher rating, regardless of the ratings of the remainder of the players. Also, players who have played on Major Plus teams cannot play on AAA or AA teams without specific written approval of the association. There are three rating deadlines: Jan 31 which reflects the rating changes from the 2007 national championships; May 15 which is the first time teams are rated on the current years performance; and, Aug 15 which is the last time ratings will be changed until after the last national championship. These rules are written in the guidelines put out by SSWC and every manager gets a copy.

By the way Llama Man, Extreme won the 50AA SSWC championship last year, not Second Wind. You can also check all the national championship winners and whether or not they are eligible to appeal their rating change on under the Team Ratings and Summit section of this board. Also, for clutch1, Winter Nationals is not a tournament that requires automatic change of rating.
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