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Discussion: Softball and hot weather!!

Posted Discussion
Sept. 10, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Softball and hot weather!!
I know this has been discussed several times but it's starting to bug me. We go to these tournaments during the summer months (normally over 85 degrees) and play with softballs that normally are very fair balls but in the heat they lose so much that they are tough to hit for any distance. What really sets me off is the tournament directors do not seem to care.

Comments:This is the way it is or it's too expensive to change balls and ect.

What we need to do is boycott some of these tournaments and let some of these tournament directors see how expensive it is to investigate a better alternative vs not having teams show up. It's just getting frustrating to swing these low performing balls in the heat and it doesn't help you improve your game when you do play with decent balls.
Sorry to rant but wanted to know if I was alone in this thought process.

SLi
Sept. 10, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Here is my take on this. The ROCK is the only ball proven to not break down under the heat. We tried them for a while. Yes they are expensive and we said if you want them we will absorb the difference. Then they went on Back Order and we couldn't get any till late June. In the mean time we hit these balls for batting practice on Wednesdays and Fridays. For several months now I have observed an anomaly in the ball. It has an erratic flight pattern. In that sometimes it will act like a knuckle ball but the ball is spinning. This happens more then I like to see it. Just yesterday at BLD someone hit a screamer to third while I was playing second. From my distance I could see that ball flutter. That ball was so erratic our third baseman barely got it.

So here is what I decided a couple of months ago. Its only a matter of time when a pitcher, third or first baseman or a runner gets nailed BAD. I have had players tell me have everybody sign a waiver. And what does a waiver do. It tells the lawyers that I knew there were possible problems with the ball (come on man!)

Sorry guys waiver or not I am the one that gets sued. If I knowingly let you play with a ticking time bomb and it goes off despite any waiver I loose everything. Im not going to take that chance. My association and your safety is worth more than you wanting to hit 400 foot bombs in 100 degree heat.

So boycott away. If you don't want the SCSSA around over a stupid softball then have at it. At least I'll still own my home and some otherwise unlucky guy will have his eyesight, teeth or God forbid his life.

As far a boycotts go the insurance companies need to boycott that ball until it can be proven a double shell ball wont distort and look like a bottle rocket as it takes flight.
Sept. 10, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Marv
I don't want you to go away. I really enjoy your tournaments and I think overall you do a very good job offering top notch tournaments with great competition. Love the ballpark and appreciate your attitudes towards the way you generally approach the teams and players.
I didn't mention anything about the Rock although I do believe it's a better alternative plus I think it would attract more teams, however I'm not in disagreement with your statement of erratic flight patterns. I do believe that you can find some alternatives to the Stote ball in the heat. This applies to SSUSA and the tournaments in the warmer weather as well I was not trying to single you out. I really like the ball and believe it's a very fair ball except in the excessive heat. Other balls compression may decrease but not as much at this ball.
Boycotting is not positive and not a path I would normally advise, but if people don't want to at least listen to your concerns then you have to get their attention. Just tell me that you understand and will investigate and then hopefully you will.
It's not just about hitting a ball 400 ft but it's not about hitting 2-3 HR all tournament as a team. By the way I sure wouldn't want to be part of the cause of you losing your house!
Seriously, enjoyable tournament last weekend and I appreciate what you do for senior softball players.

SLi
Sept. 10, 2013
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
403 posts
Steven, you bring up a great point about the ball and how heat affects it. There has to be better options. I have heard fielders complain about the ROCK but not hitters :)
Sept. 10, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Thank you Steve. Like I said its really not all about the cost. Its an obvious design flaw that I feel puts me in jeopardy. I believe that the double shell is the flaw. I also believe its the reason the ball doesn't break down in the heat. If they (Anaconda Sports) fix it or there is another ball out there that wont break down we'll look at it. If anyone has suggestions other then the ROCK as a solution right now let us know. www.socalssa.com contact info on the site.
Sept. 10, 2013
db14
91 posts
Steve both observations listed above are equally correct. Simply put the Trump Stote above 85 degrees is garbage and has become widely known for this problem. The ROCK which is our primary BP ball several days a week agreeably shows occasional severe signs of knuckling.. however holds up very well in the heat. There is one ball (and I'm sure others) on the market that absolutely will hold up in temps 100 degrees and up. This is the FIRE ball made by Baden (not the Lexum). Unfortunately Baden is not a SSUSA sponsor which therein lies the question of cost and economics. Personally and i cannot speak for others it is not a ball that will go 400' as some believe or suggest but one that will remain hard and fair in 85 degree + temperature conditions.
Sept. 10, 2013
Tate22
Men's 55
264 posts
IMHO, I agree with the stance taken by Marv on the Rock. After weighing the heat performance versus the freakish flight that occurs, the Rock is too dangerous and is not a fair ball at all. We've had the outcomes of key games in Vegas altered because the Rock behaves like a whiffle ball. A hitter is not going to complain when a shot hit straight at a fielder that looks like a sure out suddenly veers twenty feet away, far out of reach from the fielder who reacted to the original flight. Yes, even a DeBeer 212 can knuckle, but nothing even close to the Rock.

We've certainly experienced the performance issues with the Stote in the heat, including this past weekend in Hemet. No question the Stote was not flying out of those fields like it would in March. Given the choice, however, we far prefer the safer option of the Stote until a suitable, safer option is identified. The alternative is to adjust your swing to deal with the conditions, similar to when you have to adjust due to strong wind blowing in.

Having said all that, it was a pleasure as usual playing against Mr. Steve "HOF" Imlay in Hemet. With the Rock, he would have seeded a few of those thunder clouds!!
Cheers;
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Sept. 10, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Have you tried the :Baden Fire ball (12" poly 44/375)
This is what NCSSA uses and seenm to work very well.
Sept. 10, 2013
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
here we go again......its not the rock,but the micro cell technology (as they call it)aka MCT balls....they were built to get around the 44-375 comp testing of the ball....they are now illegal to use(MCT TYPE BALLS) in most all sanctions now.....

like i have said,we go to the 52-300 and there won't be the great fall in performance in the heat......oh and we get to protect ourselves from deadly projectiles....
Sept. 10, 2013
softball4b
Men's 60
768 posts
My brother hits the Baden Fire Ball in Ohio and he believes the ball is very effective.
Sept. 10, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Well guys... I just spent the most enjoyable 2 hours on the phone with the engineer that designed the ROCK ball. Some of may know him some may not but the conversation was very enlightening. It fortified my position about the ROCK. Read Mad Dogs post. According to the notes I took and the information given me he is correct. But more importantly the ball as well as the Fire Ball is a "cheater ball". The reason you big hitters in NCSSA and SPA players like it is because it is in reality a 47-525 ball despite what it says on the cover. He said "don't believe me test it". Both ASA and U-Trip have outlawed the ball. I wont go into detail about all I learned but I know I'm right about my position on the ROCK. What we have to do is invest in compost cover balls and get away from the synthetic and especially the double layers. I'll do some hunting but the recommendation was the ASA Approved "ROCK" 375-44. It is a single layer cover ball. The compost cover is not as affected by the way the ball contacts with bat.

"At the end of the day" as my friend Tom would say. The ball was never designed to be hit with a senior bat.
Sept. 10, 2013
Tate22
Men's 55
264 posts
And now the question is, what ball will be used in the soon to occur "largest senior softball tournament in history??? Hopefully, safety will be the answer.
Sept. 10, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Marv19,
Knowing who you refer to, as well as what could be construes as a sales pitch, as well as the other referred to as pro 52 ball, I would have to go with a players ball. be it a 44 or even a 40 cor ball. Not one that you need to somewhat modify how you need to 'cut' the ball to make it work.
NCSSA has been using that ball since Baden came out with them.
Having bought dozens of balls over years, it seems you've always been able to get stamped balls for what you'd like.
Sept. 10, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Tate22,
You talking number of teams, brackets or what... Any who, large, huge it doesn't make it all good.
Sept. 10, 2013
the wood
1096 posts
Tate22:
It is my understanding that the Rock MUST be used in the pending event in LV. Not because of popular demand but due to the merger/acquisition terms when SSUSA and LVSSA became one.
I do not recall how long this will/must be (# of years after this).
Personally, I like neither extreme... balls that are too lively and/or balls that are 'decompressed' in the heat.
Having a ball that is fairly consistent throughout the year (i.e. weather) would be more to my liking.

Safety? That isn't even on the table. Why it isn't is because, IMO, safety doesn't sell bats and it doesn't go far (over the fence). MD, no point in re-stating all of the properties of the 52/300 ball... not to me anyway. I understand where it would help as much as why it won't.

BW
Sept. 10, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
First of all thank you Marvin for investigating this much appreciated and I believe you were speaking to one of the experts with softballs and a person who I trust personally.
I have always been a big fan of the Rock (mainly because of the heat issues and yes for performance capability), however after what I witnessed in the Vegas Spring Worlds it was definitely doing tricks.
I think Bob W. nailed it when he stated - "I like neither extreme... balls that are too lively and/or balls that are 'decompressed' in the heat." As I stated earlier I think the Stote ball is a very fair ball except when it gets over 85 degrees. Hopefully we can find a ball that falls in the same performance capabilities including when it gets hot- maybe not??
DB14 a lot of people speak about hitting 400 ft but not many do including with the Rock. I believe the same people will hit the Stote ball 400 ft as long as it's not too hot.
Don as always it's great to play you guys as you have a class team of quality players and of course one of the best looking coaches around. Look forward to seeing you in Vegas.
Sept. 10, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
BW well said as always! I second the Baden Ball NCSSA uses.. it holds up well in the heat!
Sept. 10, 2013
db14
91 posts
Steve...db again. My bad i got a bit wordy. Still suffering our loss to you at the Western Worlds. What i way trying to express was... It was not necessary that a ball go 400' but one that will remain hard and fair in 85 degree + temperature conditions.
Sept. 10, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
DB14- Thanks for the response and I agree with you 100% that's what we are looking for is a fair ball that let's us play our normal game. It's really a win win for players and associations.
Look forward to seeing you in Vegas and don't be looking for any revenge. Timberworks is a great group of guys who play very competitive ball at a tough quality level and you guys hold your own!!!

SLi
Sept. 11, 2013
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts

Good topic Steve - it's something I've mentioned before also......

If you were going to spend $10,000's (which is what each team spends to travel to, lodge, and enter) to enter a - let's say volleyball or basketball or soccer tournament that might have national aspirations and implications you sure would not want to use a ball that is 1/3 deflated during part of the day but is OK at other parts of the day - especially at crunch time.

To have a ball (equipment) standard that changes the quality of the game is just about unheard of in any sport.

Although the Rock is considered the upper tier when it comes to heat I think the Baden Fire is a fair playing ball cold and hot. I don't think it is fair for commercial considerations/affliations to undermine the quality, thereby changing the game......
Sept. 11, 2013
tattooball
623 posts
Taits I am a little confused. I don't sell rock balls haven't in 3 years. Although I do sell a competitive product I respect the contract my competitor has with SSUSA and did not try to sell Marv our ball. I also did not try to sell him on a .52 ball. As he stated I told him a good option would be a rock ASA .44/375 and try to keep them out of the heat as long as he can and you will have a very FAIR playing ball.

Good luck at worlds.
Sept. 11, 2013
ALLPRO
43 posts
We have used the ROCK for many years twice a week 52 weeks a year in our Senior "scrimmages" in Las Vegas. We have a mixture of all age groups and all levels from AA to Major Plus. Normally we have 30+ players on 2 separate diamonds participating. On an average of 4 at bats per player each Tuesday and Thursday that we play, that would translate into 480 at bats each week and 24,960 per year!

We have had maybe a half dozen minor injures caused by a "batted" ball using the ROCK in all the years we have been using it! I'm sure that ANY ball would have caused just as many or few (depending on whether your an optimist or a pessimist).

Once again (like the bats) lots of opinions and speculation, but no facts, documentation or studies to substantiate them!
Sept. 11, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
The question is which ROCK? The one we are having the erratic flight issues with is the ISA version. Apparently not all ROCKSs are the same.

Kinda like the X wife. The rock I gave her when we were married wasn't the same as the the bigger one she got 3 years later. Probably one of the reasons why she is referred to as the X :O)
Sept. 11, 2013
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
403 posts
The ROCK ball they used in the Worlds in Vegas last year hit very well in the heat and was fine fielding. I would take it anytime.
Sept. 11, 2013
PJ3P
Men's 50
78 posts
In my experience the sick knuckle balls that take off in odd directions happen when a good ball is hit square on a soft [broken in] bat. I have 2 Yellow Combats that compression test under 100. They both hit the scariest knuckle balls. My USSSA bats tend to do the same just before they break. The micro cell balls are harder than 375 compression with a cushion cover. When squared up they flex the walls a lot and would be more prone to knuckle. As far as the Trump Stote being mush over 85 degrees, welcome to my life in South Florida for about 10 months of the year. LOL
Sept. 11, 2013
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
jim,the rock used in vegas is the illegal MCT ball...its the reason it flew so well......

pj3p..yep any ball hit dead center will knuckle,doesn't matter what ball it is.....
Sept. 11, 2013
tattooball
623 posts
Pat I would much rather play in Vegas at 105 than Fl at 96 with the 98% humidity.
Some just don't know how good they have it.
Sept. 11, 2013
DCPete
243 posts
At the ASA Nationals in Burlington 2 weeks ago we used a 44/375 Tattoo ball in 85 to 90 degree weather & it seemed to be OK.
Don't remember anyone complaining about the ball, but then again how could they when the "fences" were over 330 feet (looked more like 400)?
Sept. 11, 2013
PJ3P
Men's 50
78 posts
I agree Kevin. My sister lives in Tucson. I have seen them have 110 degrees and a 93 heat index while it was just the opposite here. 93 with a 110 heat index.
For all you guys whining about hitting a Stote in hot weather.... I hit the longest home run of my life in a Florida Half Century Tournament. 83 degrees, super muggy and a $39 a dozen 44-375 ASA Trump Stote with a synthetic cover.
Sept. 11, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Kevin great hearing from you especially on the subjects of softballs. How and when is the new bat coming out? Maybe we all would have been happier if you had tried to sell your ball to Marv and SSUSA although I understand why you didn't and would expect nothing less from you.
This discussion was started to look at viable alternatives to the Stote ball in hotter weather.
Dave Winslow from Las Vegas called me and suggested a Dudley Thunder that they use in league play. Mad Dog has brought up the 52/300 which performs the same in the heat. Kevin has brought up the ASA rock as a alternative, possible some of his won softballs and hopefully other people will suggest some other balls-several people like the Baden ball. Hopefully we can find some alternatives for tournament directors to at least look at.
PJ3P I'm happy for you hitting a long home run with the Stote ball in tough conditions and it can be done. You should be talking about it because it doesn't happen very often. However I don't really see this discussion following in the category of "whining" just wanting a fair and consistent ball in hot weather. It costs all of us a lot of money to attend these tournaments and I believe it's fair to expect a fair ball in exchange.

SLi
Sept. 11, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
I brought forward a discussion I started after Vegas this year in the General category. The reaction of the Rock balls there had me questioning what limited ability I have left as an outfielder. I felt like I was cross-eyed at times out there. I see now I am not the only one that sees this.
Steve, seems like you faced what we did in Sacramento again. The ball just was dead there. It is not the fact that the balls are dead as much as it is that we are used to a ball flying a certain way and we expect that when we hit it that certain way it will go. We practice batting based on that expectation. When it doesn't go it causes problems. What we are really looking for is consistency-a ball that will be pretty much the same in any weather.
The Baden Fire traveled well in Dalton, in 95 degree heat and the humidity that Georgia always has. Our 45-38 slugfest with Line Drive Salsa was in the heat of the afternoon on 315 fences. I hope the associations address this. Marv-thanks for your research into this.
Sept. 12, 2013
tattooball
623 posts
Steve the bat is done, I head west on Monday for a meeting. So far Boo and myself are getting 3000+ swings out of them.
Sept. 12, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
So Webbie, I like the Baden Fire as you say.. I would take that ball instead of the Rock if we had to make a change! What do you think?
Sept. 12, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Remember guys youre hitting a ball that is illegal in ASA and U-Trip. The ISA Rock and the Fireball have a 525 compression center. I have cut one in half. Its definitely harder and pink in color. (The 44/375 Stote is beige and softer) That is why the ROCK holds up in the heat. I think Keven said all balls loose 5 lbs of compression for every degree over 75 degrees. Thats is the reason it holds up. At 100 degrees its really now a 400 compression ball. The problem with this ball is the flight characteristics. So do I buy balls 3 weeks in advance for the weather? Lets say I buy a case of 47/525 for 100 degree weather and when the weekend rolls around its 80. Seriously? Then what do I do? I have you guys throw in a 375 44 when you loose one? Try telling 450 guys that "we are using a 47/525... but they have degraded already so don't worry about it". The majority of you guys wouldn't buy that and you know it. About the best we can do, as I see it, is put a good composite covered ball (synthetic adds to the problem) on the field. Make sure its stays at room temperature (which I do) before I take them to the park. Its a delema for sure. But Ill tell you this I don't like the possible liability potential of the ISA ROCK. For sure I'll be discussing this with Jim and John at NCI

BTW Kevin, Nice truck!! You me and Hemi Racer need to get together sometime and talk drag racing! On that subject do you guys know that Larry Minor is the money guy behind the fields at Diamond valley. Yes Top Fuel and Pro Mod Larry Minor.
Sept. 12, 2013
PattyMac
96 posts
Guys,

Just another opinion but i will take a good ball over the stote socks here in the south where we have 100 degrees and 100% humidity. Our 60 team played in Raleigh this year and i have never hit a worse ball than the trump stote that weekend. Our team only hit 4 homeruns all weekend. All the teams were complaining. The only 50 major plus team that played hit 3 homeruns in the 3 round robin games. The balls did not even make a sound when you hit them.

Give me a good ball, rock, anytime over the stote. I don't recall any injuries in Vegas in April when we used the rock. I will take a complaint over the knuckle ball line drive over the poof of a rolled up sock, Trump Stote.

I would not travel to Las Vegas if we were hitting the same ball we hit in Raleigh. I'm just saying.

PattyMac

Sept. 12, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Marv19,
All assn's have exceptions perhaps the ball on one of them or it wouldn't be used especially in ASA senior ball. That one I know has them in many places.
Sept. 12, 2013
JamesLG
305 posts


Right now the Rock is the best choice so keep it and have some fun. They don't knuckle any worse than the day/night Dudleys did back in the 70's and we did not complain about it. We are all hitting the same ball so swing away.

Thanks:

James
Sept. 12, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
guys we still don't know what ball is used in Vegas. "All Pro" didnt respond to my request to identify the ball. As I said before not all Rocks are the same. So far until I have one cut in half, only the ISA Rock is to blame so far. If they hit it in BP in Vegas and it doesn't have an erratic flight it must be an ASA or U-trip Rock. Yesterday in BP I counted 10 Knuckles. Problem was it one batter only doing 30 swings. I lost track at 30 for everybody else and stopped counting. All Pro Please identify the ROCK you use? Nor do we know what ROCK SSUSA will supply in Vegas. Remember too the Stote has a synthetic cover. This adds to the degrading by not giving the core the insulation properties that the composite cover does. god I'm starting to sound like an expert.. better get back to what I know :O)
Sept. 13, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
I have to agree facing another tourney with the Stotes in 90 degree plus weather is not appealing. Everyone (or maybe I should say ALMOST everyone) loves to hit and wants to hit the liveliest ball. It is the one factor that I believe a vast majority of Senior Softball Players will agree with. I also love to play outfield. It is just as fun as hitting a home run to take a hit away with a diving catch or by going back to the fence to snag one, or by throwing a guy out on the bases. With all of this technology you would think they could make a consistent ball that is not affected by heat. (Probably opened it up to Mad Dog again, sorry, not a fan of his ball either). Must be getting grumpy in my old age.
Sept. 13, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
By the way, PattyMac, what did you think of the way the ball flew in Dalton? Would that be enough to get you to the West?
Sept. 13, 2013
ALLPRO
43 posts
We use the very same Trump Rock MCT ball in our Tuesday/Thursday "scrimmages" that LVSSA used in their World tournament for years and that SSUSA/LVSSA used last year and will be using again this year in their LV World Tournament.

As I tried to illustrate in my previous post I do not believe this ball is any more "dangerous" than any other ball and believe no ball better performs consistently "in the heat" (we reached 118 degrees this summer and had a stretch of over a week of 110 degrees each day).

Relax and enjoy everyone, it's gonna be another GREAT tournament full of outstanding teams and competition!
Sept. 13, 2013
PattyMac
96 posts
webbie i will travel anywhere to hit a good ball. Softball is supposed to be fun and softball is about hitting. I got hit in the head by a bad hop in Las Vegas 4 years ago playing MTC in the finals in Las Vegas. Last inning too. haha

I will never complain about a ball being to hot. I play first base on a good 50 major team here in the south and trust me there are some rockets hit down my way. I love the competition and our team loves to hit good balls.

See you in Las Vegas and For Marv quit worrying about the balls lets just hope LVSSA keeps the "Rock".

PattyMac
Sept. 13, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Sorry PattyMac but its my job to worry. I have a responsibility to hundreds of guys on a weekend to make sure we don't as an association put anyone in harms way. Its very cavalier to say it'll be Ok don't worry. In my early days I was involved with SEMA. SEMA wasn't a car show then it was a non profit set up by the NHRA to certify safety on products. We were the testing organization for Brakes, Chassis, Bellhousings, Clutches, Fire Suits and Parachutes in the beginning. Those products that if failed could kill. I have seen way too many young men die as a result of product failure. Call me crotchety or senile or whatever. BUT you have one of the biggest and best hitters in the game just say the ball has issues with flight. You have several people acknowledge the ball has idiosyncrasies. Then you have the engineer that designed the ball tell you it was designed as a cheater ball and the specs on the cover are misleading. You have a ball manufacturer (Anaconda) that continues to miss identify the specs on the ball. Fast forward: Waiver or not a pitcher loses an eye. Gets his jaw broke or worse. AND DON'T TELL ME IT WON'T HAPPEN. Then what? Do I say well the guy signed a waiver? PattyMac said don't worry? Neither of those will keep me out of court. I'm sorry guys but I value all of you and your safety. I don't like shaved bats and I don’t like guys that say we're going middle. (I better not ever hear it) I have everything on the line when you guys come to town. I am not a gambler. You can complain all you want but this blog tells me one thing... No ISA ROCKS at our tournaments. But I will tell you this, I will try to find a ball that will be fair. I will keep the ball as cool as possible till tournament time. Thats pretty much all I can do. Thanks for everyone's input. Have a safe and fun tournament in Vegas
Sept. 13, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
What was the injury stats from last years tourney in Vegas? Decisions should be based on real evidence when possible and not mere speculations. If there were a high number of injuries due to the Rock ball, then this should be addressed by the tourney admin. people. I enjoyed playing with this ball last year and no injuries occurred due to the Rock ball in any of our games. Yet I would be open to discuss this if people were getting injured...this is a competitive sport with some very skilled players, so stuff will happen. I am definitely on the side of safety if there are proven issues which have caused injuries verses difficulties with tracking fly balls! For the record I am an outfielder for Familystones 50's Major team. Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 13, 2013
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
Marv19, I appreciate your stance on this issue. Of course your reputation and pocketbook are on the line when a sharp lawyer points out that you KNEW a ball didn't fly true because of its construction or was hotter than allowed because it was a cheater ball, yet you allowed it anyhow.

I believe that many associations are at risk from excessively hot equipment and having players sign a waiver is useless. It will only deter the good sport who isn't going to sue anyhow. I'm not too much worried about most of the senior guys I play with filing a lawsuit, but it will be hard to fault a widow or a wife who is turned into a caregiver because her man was severely injured (or killed) by equipment that everyone knew was hotter than most older men could handle (see all the many, many pitchers who get plunked every season—a bruise if they're luck on where the ball hit them, a broken bone if they are unlucky, and a potentially fatal shot to the heart or head if they are really unlucky).

I worry about Northern California Senior Softball Association asking every player to sign a waiver to use a Miken at Big League Dreams parks where the Baden Fireball is used. I worry about SSUSA requiring that a pitcher wear a mask! or sign a waiver. Doesn't that imply that the associations know that the equipment is too hot for the average player. It will be a slam dunk in court after a serious injury and a lawyer points out the culpability of the association that resulted in harm to his client.

Of course there is an implied known injury risk factor to the sport of softball. I've been taking that known risk for 60 straight seasons. But that known risk has accelerated with the advent of the composite bat and the high tech ball that can stay hot in the summer afternoon heat (back in the day, it was assumed that balls would soften in the heat and long ball hits would be few, but it was even for both sides). Unless the associations go back to single walls or dumbed down balls, their future is at risk with every tournament.

Sept. 14, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
I just heard there are going to be nine 60 M+ teams in Vegas-GREAT!! You can bet the Rock will be flying in Vegas and if I hit any out I will be smiling, for sure-as will anybody else that does. I never-in a million years-thought I would still be playing at 61.I'm very thankful for that. So, bring on the game and the Rock. I'd rather play a 52-46 game any day over a 10-8 game.
Omar-I do believe all pitchers in senior ball should wear the mask anyway-the reflexes are going for all of us and senior moments and senior type reactions (slower) occur at the wrong times.

(bring back the T4000!! LOL)
Sept. 14, 2013
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
Patty-Mac and Webbie....I have to admit...I like to hit a good ball and I am a pitcher that will more than likely have to pitch to both of you guys in Vegas. You got to love the competition!!
Sept. 14, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Mr. Manassas-it only took my increasingly feeble mind a year and a half to figure out who you are, but now that I know it will be even more fun. This is what it is all about!
Sept. 14, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
Omar, I believe it up to us to protect the pitcher... doesn't matter which ball or bat combo! If guys shoot at the pitcher he will get hurt...99 percent of the guys want a good ball to hit... nothing worse that hitting the stote in 100 degree heat as others have pointed out! Pitchers 20 years ago got hurt time to time, and as the guy who runs Vegas has pointed out the numbers don't suggest a change in the combo! So let us play ball and keep it safe by keeping the ball of the pitchers Ass! IMO
Sept. 14, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
First let me address Fabe's comment. I don't need stats to know its a matter of time. And how many have been injured using this cheater ball and just say "oh well it's softball". Let me give you something to think about. If we did things as a result (or by stats) here is what I have seen in my 55 years in Drag Racing. At Lions Drag strip in early 70s. Big Daddy Don Garletts top fuel car was cut in half. He lost the end of his foot and all his toes. Result. No more aluminum cans. They had to be high grade metal. Garletts eventually perfected the rear engine car. At OCIR one night a top fuel rear engine car blew a tire and made left turn into the guard rail that was a metal rail and 6X6 posts like the old freeway guard rails. Result: The man lost both legs and THEN they installed a guard rail you cant drive under. A byproduct of this and others is Goodyear added inner liners to the 16” slicks. The famous crash of Prudome and Jimmy Nickol at indy in 1970. That was a clutch coming out of the car and cutting the car in half. Nichol was OK (dont see how if you watch the video). Result better safety equipment and better specs on the material the clutches and bell housing were made of. 1969 I was at the US Nationals. John Mulligan was injured when the back end of his engine exploded and fire engulfed Johns face and upper body. John was only wearing a single layer fire suit. John was a good guy and could make anyone laugh and smile... I went to his funeral. They painted his face on him. Cause: hydrazine added at the staring line to the fuel. One man dead. New rule: no hydrazine anymore. Now they wear 5 layer suits. And last but there are more trust me. My good friend at the time Dave Russell (Russell Performance hoses) was in line for a round of top gas eliminator in the early 70s and behind him in the push truck was was his wife. A fuel altered lost control doing a burn out when the throttle stuck and hit her at high speed in the drivers door. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Result one dead and a new rule... no burnouts in the pits. My point is the ball is represented as a 375/44 and by now you and the everyone else that reads this knows it is not a 375/44. You might as well just use a 525/47 ball. But if they handed one to you most of the players would object. I can just hear the complaints now... makes my ears ring. Its too darn hard right? The twin layer has very little padding properties. Acording to the engineer that designed the ball its there only to fool the old compression test. Yet Anaconda to this day continues to tell you guys its a 375/44. Don’t believe me do what my friend Tom Jadwin did for me. Cut one in half and compare it to a Stote 375/44. The core should be the same but they are not. The other point is if we know there is potential exposure to a ball that is totally misrepresented on its specs AND has erratic flight issues then I have to remove it. Its no different than if I know there is a bat that is shaved or tricked up. I have to remove it or I’m the one that they will come looking for. I hope you see my point by now. Its not being overly cautious it called using common sense.
Sept. 14, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Sense is not always common, many years of training people tells me this! Experience and a groundwork of evidence assist with making big decisions. Don't know if I totally agree with your continued comparison between Drag racing and Softball, but I get your point of view. Please don't think I am not for player safety....I am. The dynamics of softball is a little different then those of racing, but I agree with you if someone is fabricating product design it should be looked at. That is a serious statement to make, but if true the decision makers should address it! Mahalo for your views they are important and insightful. Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 14, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Thanks Fabe. I guess what Im trying to say is why wait till injury before we look at the ball. The engineer that says he designed it while at Anaconda also says its a 47/525 but the ball says on the cover 375/44. On top of that he says it was never intended to be hit with senior bats. Analogy: Take Miken U11 re painted to look like a Miken Freak and used in an ASA tournament. The guys know it. The T.D. knows it and so to the Umps. But since the bat has all the right decals, graphics and specs we turn our heads and let it be used it anyway. This is a made up analogy but its the same thing only a different necessary item to the game. No one on this board would allow a repainted bat... right? So why do we turn our heads at a ball that is suspected to be juiced? Why? Because we can hit 400 foot shots in 100 degree temperature? Is the bat safe because its disguised? Is the ball...

Sept. 14, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
Marv 19 do you object to the Baden 44375 we use in NCSSA?
Sept. 14, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
It seems to me that we have gotten off track on this thread. It's turned into a debate about the Rock and that really is not what I intended for this discussion to get into. I realize that the Rock is a potential answer but it seems like it's not a very good answer from the Directors point of view which I can see their argument- not that I agree or disagree. We have other threads that discuss this topic which is a good topic but!!!!
The topic here is hitting the Stote ball in heat where it turns into a sock. We need to be discussing alternative solutions to this problem. What will happen is this will be swept away and not addressed by the associations if we don't address this issue now.
Marv I appreciate your responding to this and you make solid arguments from the Tournament Directors point of view which we should consider (I'm surprised that SSUSA has not responded.) This is a real issue and one where I have made the decision that I'm not going to participate in tournaments using the Stote ball in high heat in the future. I'm hopeful that other players and teams agree and make similar decisions about these tournaments. I believe the Stote ball is a very fair ball when the heat is not above 80-85 degrees. Why can't we find another ball that will respond equivalent to the Stote ball in normal conditions when it's above that temperature? This is not about an ego driven desire to hit the ball 400 ft but an expectation to be hitting a fair ball in the warmer weather.
Patty Mac I know you can hit any ball out but I also know you feel strongly about this topic. I also agree why travel to Vegas or any tournament if your going to have to hit a sub par ball!! (I'm not trying to bring LV-SSUSA National Tournament into this discussion because it's not an issue in this tournament.)
Mr. Manassas, I agree all we want to do is hit a good ball which you do very well- see you and Patty Mac in Vegas.
I appreciate all point of views on this subject but it's time we get this issue resolved to all parties’ satisfaction.

SLi
Sept. 14, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Swing: According to Kevin The Baden Fireball is the same ball as the ISA ROCK. However I have never hit one or better yet had the chance to cut one in half. I can only go by what Kevin says. I'd like to know if it has a double layer cover. This, the hardness and the fact it was never intended to be hit with the softer senior bats is what causes the flight characteristics. This is my main concern. (the flight) As for it breaking down if you get away from the synthetic cover you'll have less degrading in the heat particularly if the T.D.s keep the ball at room temp (which I do) before bringing them to the park. Once there however the ball is subject to ambient temperatures.

Steve, even with the precautions of keeping the ball sort-a cool you can see in high humidity and heat what the Stote’s did. Again its not the cost its the flight. If somebody can send me a Fireball I'll cut it in half and compare. I’d like to see what it looks like. I know Ridge is high on that ball. But if it is, as Kevin says, a cheater ball Im not to eager to use it. Lets see what happens. Just getting rid of the synthetic cover and going to composite will IMO make some difference. Also if anyone has an ASA or U-Trip ROCK 375/44 could you please send me one as well.

Thanks

Address is on the site www.socalssa.com


Sept. 14, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
not true,, the Baden doesn't have that squishy cover that the Rock has... so how can it be the same??????
Sept. 14, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
and the Baden is rated at 44 375 without the MCT that may or may give the Rock 525 capability! Seems to me if they are testing the compression of those balls the Rock cheats the test as others have suggested and the Baden is fair with no soft cover to get around that test! IMO
Sept. 14, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
Steve, the Baden would be a good alt to the Rock or the Stote in hot weather! FYI
Sept. 14, 2013
Gorilla Boy
Men's 50
190 posts
Marv19 if you need any Trump Stote or Rock softballs let me know, I will take care of that for you. The Baden is not the same as the ISA Rock Ball that is for sure. I don't know what the core of the Baden ball is but it is not the same as the ISA X Rock. The Rock balls is a 44/375 cor/comp. It does have multi layers. If you have anymore questions about the X-Rock, just e-mail me at mike@bigcat844.com. I will get you any info you need... Thanks.

Mike Macenko
Sept. 14, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Thanks Mike you're right. But can you tell me if the Baden is a multilayer construction? Im advised today that the ISA ROCK has been tested at 44/470 Not as previously stated. I do apologize for the misinformation. Im also advised that the Baden Fireball has tested 47/480. However if that is true neither ball is listed correctly on their respective covers. Im also advised that NSA,ASA, and USSSA have all banned multilayer balls due to the FACT that they were designed specifically to cheat the compression test. Kinda like the guy that has a blind date and finds out she's a dude :O) But seriously why are we playing with cheater balls anyway? Who's kidding who. Or is it whom? Never got that one down. At this point it would appear the NSA, ASA and USSSA have concerns over this type of ball where ISA is either naive or doesn't want to pay to have a lab test it. Or they just don't care. Which to me is sad. Softball is a very popular sport and safety has to be one of our concerns. Shouldnt we have some kind of oversight or accountability with the equipment we use? If a ball says 44/375 shouldnt it be just that?

Sept. 14, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Interested in what facts or opinions a Vegas tourney Admin. person has...still will be fun! Train hard, stay safe and God bless, Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 14, 2013
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
Marv19, swing for the fences and I have both played with the Baden Fire Ball in every tournament in northern California for the last several years. About half the tournaments are played in heat over 85 degrees and the Fire Ball holds up very well, even after sitting in the bucket all afternoon behind the umpire getting hot.

During these years, I haven't heard about these performance issues that you have noticed and Webbie and others have seen with other high performance balls. Of course there is the occasional knuckle on a ball hit square, and sometimes a strong afternoon wind can make the outfielder look like a blind man, but in general the Fire Ball seems to fly true.

Although the Baden holds up well and has a nice feel to it, as a pitcher and a player I am not a fan of the Baden because most of the parks are too small to contain it with our composite bats when pipsqueaks like me can hit it out, but that is a conversation for another thread.
Sept. 14, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Omar nothing wrong with a 5'6" 190 lbs guy hitting some out! Hey, sounds like my description...Ha, Ha. Senior ball has been a lot of fun for me, always been a good defensive player and solid hitter, but I enjoy swinging my Ambush in Vegas! Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 15, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Marv-about the one point you brought up about cheating the compression tests. Don't the bats also cheat the tests and they keep trying to fight that? You hear about shaved bats being used-especially in the younger leagues. Isn't that just 'the way it is' any more-the old adage that 'If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin' to win'??????? It seems to be the point we have come to.

I saw a couple knuckle balls with the Baden Fire, but nothing anywhere near what we saw in Vegas with the rock, and nothing I would consider out of the ordinary with the hitters that were in Dalton.
Sept. 15, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
Happy Sunday everyone. OK which Baden Fire is NCSSA using? According to Baden's own website only the Lexum has a leather cover. All the rest ASA, U-Trip, NSA and non licenced ball have synthetic covers. From what Im told the Synthetic cover contributes to the breakdown of the core. I'll have to check with Kevin when he gets back as to which one won't pass the sniff test at 47/480. The main reason Im reluctant to consider the Baden Fire (The one that's 47/480) is its deception of the spec. Does the ball have an organization's name on it? Like ASA etc.

Lets say I were to use a ball that says 47/480 on the cover just how many complaints would I get. I can hear it now "Are you trying to kill us?" But if the ball says 44/375 on its cover then its OK? Need to know which Baden you're using up there. Check to see if its composite or synthetic? Also FYI Im told ASA NSA and USSSA are very strict about the test and specs. Thats probably because their name is on the ball and they have a standard to maintain. The only A2LA approved lab in the country is Southern Impact, they are Located in Knoxville at the university.


Sept. 16, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1010 posts
Baden Fire ball (12" poly 44/375)
Sept. 16, 2013
softball4b
Men's 60
768 posts
Any tournament administrator is in a tough spot regarding selection of balls for a tournament. If they are too soft, they don't travel well and teams don't want to hit city rec league balls in a tournament. If they are too lively then you have a liability issue.

Regardless of the situation, the balls in Sacramento (Western National) and in Hemet (Southern California Senior Softball Championships) did not perform well in hot humid weather. When a Major+ team does not hit or could close to hitting their limit then there is a problem.

A team can go flat, but not to have a homerun (by our team) in the Championship game on a 300' fence, something is not right. To play 5 games and only have 4 Hrs hit for both teams, again this is an issue.

I am not an attorney, but I would be careful about anyone labeling a ball, a cheater ball. The ball is not labeled by the manufacturer as such and any comments 3rd party or otherwise can be construed as libel if it results in loss to the company, perceived or real.

Bottom line - Team costs $5,000 to travel to an away tourney (Western Nationals for JBAS), are you going to get your bang for your buck. Hemet $75 for local guys and $350-$400 for travel guys. Either way, you have to ask yourself is this the best use of our budget.

This is not unique to California, I have seen the same posting regarding tournaments throughout the country.

One alternative....if you use the stote ball, then place a cooler (No Ice) on each field and place the game balls in the cooler. Switch balls every half inning or as needed. Just a thought. Another alternative play every game between midnight and noon.

Sept. 16, 2013
ffdonnie
Men's 50
96 posts
Marv the Fire Ball we use is the unlicensed one. Model #2SB550YS. The ball has no assoc. stamps (obviously) nor compression ratings on it.
I also enjoy play with this ball for all the reasons above. I, and my BP partners, have noticed serious bat degradation after every tourney we have been in with the ISA Rock. But honestly I have not seen this with the Fire Ball. What that means is for you to decide, just my observations.
Sept. 16, 2013
jim16
Men's 65
173 posts
The Baden fire ball used by SPA is labeled 44 375. Players like to hit it because if its tested its 500 lbs. The first player seriously injured by this ball will have a really good lawsuit against the SPA and Baden because they both know its dangerous but use it anyway.
Marv, You are smarter than the average bear, don't make the mistale of using a multilayer ball or a mislabeled ball. If you have doubts about a ball Kevin can have it tested for accuracy.
Sept. 17, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
We need to be giving examples of balls that will work not necessarily balls that don't work. Jim I respect your opinion on balls but I have never found the Baden ball to be a "hot" ball more like the Stote ball it just works better in the heat. Bam (David Winslow) suggested Dudley 40/400 ball that holds up in the heat in Vegas. Kevin, Jim and Mike should have some good recommendations on balls that perform comparable to Stote but hold up in the heat. We really need to give some viable options to the Directors so they can make an intelligent decision.
Thanks for all input...

SLi
Sept. 17, 2013
tattooball
623 posts
I have had the fireball tested and is was not a .44/375. When I get back I am going to try to find the results for Marv.
Sept. 20, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
I just looked at the 10 day forecast for Vegas-upper 70's Friday and low 80's Saturday?? Would be great!!! Hope we don't get COLD!!!
Sept. 20, 2013
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2734 posts
Thanks Webbie, I'll pack accordingly!
Sept. 20, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Bruce-do you really trust a weather forecast 7 days out?? I'm not sure about that but I will keep checking. (And they think they can predict global warming) I will miss again seeing that smooth swing of yours. How's the rehab going??
Sept. 20, 2013
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2734 posts
Rehab is going well. I took abut 30 swings into my sock net yesterday. I was just happy to catch the ball solidly and probably won't try it again for a couple of months.
As for trusting the weather forecast, maybe I shouldn't! ;)
Sept. 20, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Bruce
Glad rehab is going well and look forward to seeing you in Vegas.
SLi
Sept. 20, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Bruce
Glad rehab is going well and look forward to seeing you in Vegas.
SLi
Sept. 20, 2013
esemans55
Men's 50
6 posts
Guy's you want to fix the problem , change bats , no more 1.21 bats go to USSSA or ASA bat and it will slow the ball back down where us old men can still field . Don't understand how you get older and lets give them hotter bats , don't forget reaction time get's slower with age . If you work hard in gym you can still hit balls out with u-trip and ASA bats .
Sept. 21, 2013
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
with the trump stotes and 90+ degrees,doesn't matter what bat you use.....once the heat gets to those balls might as well as throw them away.....
Sept. 21, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
450 posts
For those of you that participate in SCSSA tournaments one part of this equation will be attend to. I have ordered some pliable nylon insulated coolers to house the balls during the day at each field. I hope this will keep the balls at a desirable range to keep them lively. I will order out some "ASA" ROCK balls for the November tournament as well. These have a legitimate core and compression rating on them. But not only that they have a leather composite cover. This is another factor in keeping the balls from degrading. I know its a little late for the heat but as a matter of giving you a constant (fair) ball I think this will help. We will see when the temperatures come back to So Cal and the first 90 degree day. Could be November for all I know... even December. It is SO Cal you know :O) Good luck to all in Vegas.




Sept. 24, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
76 posts
Marv

I want to thank you again for looking into this matter and making a viable attempt to address this situation. You have some good ideas and hopefully they will provide some solid answers. If your attempting to find a solution I will continue to support you and your organization any way I can.

Maddog are you going to be in Vegas? Bruce I know I will get the opportunity to see you in Vegas and Happy Birthday!!

SLi
Sept. 24, 2013
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2734 posts
Thanks for the birthday wishes! See you this weekend.
Sept. 27, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
WOW-Bruce-remember my crack about being COLD in Vegas-update, Friday, Sept. 27-it is 55 and a 25 mile per hour wind this morning at 3:30 am in Vegas-IT IS COLD!!!! Global Cooling strikes again!!! LOL
Happy Birthday-Bruce!!!!
Sept. 29, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
I have to add in this update about play in Vegas this weekend. We have been using the rock all weekend and I have seen a few balls knuckle, but nothing like what we saw in Vegas in April. Mike Adair hit one that did a loop-de-loop on the way out, but when you hit a ball that hard right on the screws as he did, any ball will do that. I will update after today's play.
Sept. 30, 2013
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
403 posts
Nothing wrong with the ROCK. We hit it all weekend in Vegas and had no performance issues. The ball hit well all weekend and was no more difficult to field than the normal SSUSA ball. Pitchers commented that it was a little more difficult to grip & control. Overall we liked it!
Sept. 30, 2013
Gorilla Boy
Men's 50
190 posts
Glad to hear that. How many balls was the SSUSA giving out to the teams in the beginning? Thanks in advance.

Mike Macenko
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