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Details for DaveDowell


Real name:
Dave Dowell

Location:
Sacramento, CA

Division:
Men's 60

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

Feb. 22, 2015
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: So the question was....how to get more teams to play Major Plus

I rarely comment publicly on issue-oriented threads ... This is an exception ... These are solely my own thoughts as an SSUSA member and do not (except maybe by unknown coincidence) represent the thinking of anyone else at SSUSA or on their National Rules Committee ...
_____

I favor, and have supported internally for several years, a previously mentioned suggestion above (by Cal50) that more than just the Champion from the World Masters Championships be moved up a rating level, especially in the larger brackets of, say, anything over 15 teams ... The process, the percentages for consideration and those type of decisions should be fairly easy to develop ...

The real issue, however, is NOT how to get more teams in Major+, but rather how does SSUSA address and cure the circumstance that too many teams in Major, AAA and AA devote substantial creative energy to "playing down" to avoid competing at the next higher level of play where, in almost all cases, they would/could/should be competitive at the higher level ... This is most commonly debated here in the Major/Major+ matriculation path, but also present for teams in the AAA/Major and AA/AAA analysis ...

I am opposed to allowing "out of rating" players on rosters ... In about 2008, SSUSA made an administrative policy change allowing teams to add those players while still retaining their current rating classification ... The allowance was initially five players ... Almost immediately, a Major team having five players with Major+ history was no longer a Major team ... They were a "Major-and-a-half" team ... The same was true for a AAA team having five Major history guys (AAA-) and a AA having five AAA history guys (AA-) ... The long-standing and clear interpretation of what constituted a Major+, Major, AAA or AA team was quickly redefined in a manner that restricted the normal upward progression by better teams ... SSUSA inadvertently created an environment that allowed teams to stockpile higher rated talent without requiring them to step up and play to that talent ... Historical Note: As late as 2007, the rule was "teams play at the rating level of their single highest rated experience player, period!" and it was a GOOD rule ...

The Rules Committee in 2010 (?), reconsidered this and structured a "phase out" period for these "out of rating" exemptions, calling for a reduced limit to three, then two, then none over the ensuing three year period ... But at the next Rules Committee meetings, the phase out period was rescinded, leaving it at the current three "out of rating" players for divisions below Major+ ... It is a fair estimate that as many as 70% of ALL manager phone calls SSUSA gets regarding roster composition have one substantially identical question in common: "Where are we in our three-count?" ... This is the single most significant inhibiting factor for assigning teams to their "proper" rating level ...

Equally important is to have a "rules package" that allows the teams that should be moved up, principally in the Major/Major+ group, and also relevant at AAA/Major and AA/AAA, to effectively compete ... SSUSA has that in place now, with maybe only minor tweaking ... I believe:

Reasonable HR limits and excess HR's being DBO's are important for competitive balance and should remain in place ... We can debate extensively whether or not the Major+ nine HR limit is enough (it is), but if SSUSA allows power laden teams to just bang ball after ball into the parking lots all day for walks or singles, the gap between the "heavily/fully sponsored teams" (be honest, nobody "buys" talent for base running or base coaching ability, or because he can dink a single to drive in a run!) and the "solid, primarily self-sponsored Major+ ball club" becomes too broad ... I would support a "one-up" HR system for evenly matched power teams, but only if excess HR's under that system remain DBO's ...
The often cited argument that DBO's for excess HR's are a safety risk is false ... My extensive experience as a field and tournament director is that the incidence rate of pitchers being hit by batted balls is more prevalent at the AA and AAA levels, and a more rare occurrence at Major and Major+ ... Generally, and non-judgmentally, "bat control" for the average AA player is many times anything that ends up in fair territory, and for the average AAA guy can be anything not hit in the air directly at an outfielder ... The Major and Major+ hitters are more skilled at ball placement and avoiding the pitcher ...
The Major+ roster composition rules should remain in place ... Prohibiting Major+ "Snowbirds" is a great rule, since all prior player suspensions for geographic residency violations occurred at the Major+ level ... I would support going step further by limiting the East/West out of region exception to only one player, not two ... This would accommodate the random individual player from a part of the country that has no Major+ teams, but not for the competitive advantage of any particular team choosing to recruit (and pay?) him ...

There's my personal thinking on this issue ...


Jan. 21, 2015
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: FUTURE ALL STAR MAKES IMPRESSIVE DEBUT

Thanks, everybody! ... We're pretty darn excited! ... @400 - Fran did tip a Napa wine to celebrate, but I opted for a (namesake based) shot of Bailey's on the rocks, of course!
Jan. 6, 2015
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Dave "Duke" Dukelow player/manager Roberts/Pope 60 major...passes today

Fran and I were devastated to hear the news of the passing of a true icon of Senior Softball. Duke was the ideal manager, player and gentleman, making any day spent with him better than it would have been without. To Peg and the boys, and all of his friends and extended softball family, we wish you nothing but the best under the tough current circumstances. You are in our prayers, along with the constant great, and fun, memories of a "Life Well Lived" ... Dave and "Frannie" Dowell
Dec. 4, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rules meeting?

Half a dozen or so public attendee (SSUSA members) were there throughout both 3-hour sessions ... Several others wandered in and out based on commitments to other convention activities they wanted to attend ... Eleven Committee members are present this year (two unable to attend for medical reasons) ...

Who decided the venue? ... Convention attendees from last year who voted to have an Eastern presence for the convention this year because of the generally Western loaded nature of other SSUSA events, most notably the World Masters Championships (the last World Championships that could even be considered Eastern were in Mobile, AL over 10 years ago) ... The 2015 convention will very likely be in a western venue ...


Nov. 21, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Winter National Results

neck10 ... Hilarious! ... You are probably NEVER going to let me forget about that wonderful incident!
Nov. 21, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Friday Seating Bracket Play

NYGNYY ... Your premise that these events are money driven as it relates to scheduling is incorrect ... In both of the examples you cite, field availability, as measured against the games load requirements for each division for each day, dictates the schedule ... As it relates to the most recent of the two (Phoenix), the principal factor was the matter of the 40-Masters Divisions (both Men and Women) playing only a two-day schedule on the weekend only ... I have proposed that the 40-Masters next year go to either a 2 or 3-day format to ease (or hopefully eliminate) this burden on the weekend ...

As both the Tournament Director in Phoenix and the SSUSA's National Scheduling Consultant who writes the schedules, here's how the Phoenix schedule came together ... (Las Vegas is a completely different animal, but it's more difficult there for a variety of reasons) ...

SESSION #1 had 135 teams playing a potential of 435 games that had to fit into 438 total available game slots (that were not later at the end of the day) ...
We utilized every available tournament quality facility within the control and operation of the City of Phoenix and added Big League Dreams in Gilbert for Friday after it bcame apparent we couldn't handle those 435 games without doing so ... BLD was not available to us on the weekend this year because of a preexisting tournament booked there ... By adding BLD on Friday, were were able to accommodate the five teams who were the "last five in" and had been initially placed on a waiting list ... All five of them entered before the stated deadline, so it was not a case of trying to squeeze in any late entrants to the detriment of earlier timely entrants ... We felt an obligation to get them in because of the financial commitments they had made for travel and accommodations, not the financial commitment of an entry fee ... We routinely refund those for teams that withdraw timely, and this would have been no exception, but airlines and hotels are sometimes not so generous ...
We built the weekend around the games demand of the 40-Masters, back-filling Sunday first to take as many teams to Sunday as we could, with the balance of their games being placed into Saturday ... We also back-filled Sunday (103 games) with as many teams as we could take in every other division, except the 50-AA who did their Best 2 of 3 Championship Series on Saturday ...
The balance of the games, by definition, have to fit into Saturday and Friday (in that order) ... So we filled Saturday with 170 games as late as was reasonable (9:00 PM at Rose Mofford, which was not your group location), but only 8:00 PM at Desert West for you ... Then it was simple, with the remaining 162 games having to be played Friday ...
All seeding games were played early Friday and then brackets commenced ... Although it is our preference to not play more than one bracket game per team on Friday, we did not have that luxury this time ... The only other option would have been to play more games on Saturday, but they would have been at 9:30 PM or later ...

There really isn't a lot we can do to, as you said, "...help those teams that may have an off day or not be at their best on Fridays..." since that is totally a team controlled function ... We believe that most teams try to do their best in every game of a tournament, but maybe that's not true ...

Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated ... If you have the time, maybe you could download and print the Master Planning Grid, which illustrates the overall tournament plan, play with it a bit, and let us know how you would have done it differently ... We welcome any input you might provide ...


Nov. 20, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Winter National Results

Just got off the plane from Phoenix this afternoon after the back-to-back road show from Sacramento to Ft. Myers to Phoenix ... They're on the top of the priority list and will be online soon ...
Nov. 18, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Scores

Right now, they are 800 miles out ... I'm in Phoenix with the Winter World's and the Winter National's paperwork arrived back in Sacramento after I left for Phoenix ... Will get on them late this week and over the weekend for both events ... Thanks ...
Nov. 12, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Card Renewal

The check card is in the mail .... Actually, it's in my "stuff" for PHX and I'll deliver it this week ...
Nov. 12, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Winter National Results

Bernie17: My Dad once told me a (maybe true) story about golfer Sam Snead ... He holed out from a sand trap in a tournament, and a spectator said "Gee, that was sure lucky!" ... To which Sam (purportedly) replied: "I know, and for every thousand times I practice that shot, I get luckier and luckier" ... Maybe there's an analogy there somewhere ...
Nov. 11, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: 55 AAA Losers Bracket

GREAT catch, Mike (you're hired!) ... Noted and fixed ... Thanks!
Nov. 7, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Thank you

Las Vegas = 40+ Fields Available Phoenix = 26 Fields Available (and only 19 after Friday)
We don't HAVE to play that many on Friday if you would prefer to roll those games into Saturday night at 9:30 and 11:00 PM starting times (with 'survivors' due back on Sunday at 8:00 AM) ... Do you have a preference between those two options?
Nov. 3, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Phoenix world - need field assignments

Was just messin' with you wdodge22 ... It struck me as funny that as soon as we announced no information would be forthcoming until at least Tuesday, you followed up right away with an information request on Sunday ... All the details in the world are not going to get Tuesday in line ahead of the preceding Sunday! ...

We're working on it now, having secured Big League Dreams/Gilbert yesterday for Friday, so we're down to one more piece of the puzzle from the City of Phoenix when they open for business this morning ...
Nov. 2, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Phoenix world - need field assignments

JDub ... I didn't think the first line from our post earlier this morning was all that confusing and would require a followup inquiry! ...

Field assignments for Phoenix are on hold at least through Tuesday ...
Nov. 2, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Phoenix world - need field assignments

"Maricopa County" is about as specific as we can be until probably late Monday or Tuesday ...
Oct. 31, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: List of teams and seeding games schedule

Session #2 is now being targeted for a late Sunday (or maybe even mid-day Monday) release date ... Today is Session #1 paperwork (rosters, official program, director materials, etc.) preparation day in Sacramento and Saturday is a cross-country travel day ...

Here's the advice we provide in our written information from the Managers Handbook and what we tell people who call: Plan your travel and accommodations as though you will be playing in the first game on the first day, typically at 8:00 AM, and that you will have the good fortune to win the "If" game on the last day, typically scheduled for 3:30 PM ...


Oct. 30, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: List of teams and seeding games schedule

Florida Blue: And it will be "day 2" for another 16 or so hours here on the Left Coast (home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants!) ... If your team name is the same as your username here, you are playing at Cape Coral Softball complex (exactly as predicted in the TENTATIVE Field Assignments) and you play at 11:00 AM (Field #3) and at 2:00 PM (Field #2) ... If you are NOT one of the top seven seeds in your 25-team bracket, you will also play your first bracket game at either 4:00 or 5:30 PM ... Hope this helps you with your hotel and work arrangements ...
Oct. 29, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: field locations for Phoenix tournament

Plenty of 55's in Session #1
Oct. 28, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team move-ups

LP: Not hard to figure at all ... SPA and SSUSA both have provisions to determine winners in weather-shortened events ... That TX team was declared the winner, and based on the previous post, certainly had a reasonable chance to win regardless of the weather ... I guess they could forfeit their awards by returning the trophy and rings, act like they were never there and then submit a ratings appeal ... [shrug]
Oct. 28, 2014
DaveDowell
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: List of teams and seeding games schedule

Sometime in the next day or two for Session #1 and by the end of the week for Session #2
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