http://www.mikensports.com/

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 1 member: Tri18; 21 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: Las Vegas Fields and Umpires

Posted Discussion
Sept. 29, 2013
DoubleL10
Men's 65
809 posts
Las Vegas Fields and Umpires
Just wondering how you guys feel about the facilities and umpires provided to handle 480 teams in Las Vegas? I' m wondering if we have reached the point of diminishing returns using sub-par fields and umpires who either are not knowledgeable about height rules in senior softball or simply do not care. Case-in-point, Sunset Park where I watched 60 M+ today; no orange safety bag and very hard infields. Games are being played in the early morning where the sun is very much a factor as well as after dark when most of us 60+ players will admit we don't see very well.

The umpiring I saw there was pretty good; however, at Shadow Mountain yesterday and Friday, there were a couple of umps who were not calling 15' pitches illegal! Furthermore, one umpire even told both complaining teams in one game I watched that " both pitcher have been pitching illegal all game, so I don't want to hear it!" I have heard many things in my 50+ years of playing this great game but that took the cake. These same two umps also had attitude problems making it appear to me that they thought they were more important than the game.

Does anyone else have experiences to share?
Sept. 29, 2013
Perl
96 posts
Our team, the Georgia-Alabama Masters, played 2 games at Doc Romeos and 7 games at Big League Dreams.

The wind Friday at Doc Romeos was brutal, however everyone obviously played in the same conditions. The fields were really nice and the umpires did a good job.

Big League Dreams was GREAT.

Our great sponsor, who led the Ga-Ala Masters for 13 years, decided this would be our last tournament. This was a very emotional weekend for our team and it's hard to believe we'll never take the field again as the Georgia-Alabama Masters.
Oct. 1, 2013
DoubleL10
Men's 65
809 posts
Update: session #2 at Sunset Park. Both days so far the umping has been relatively controversy-free. No one complained to excess about the height limit.
Anyone want to share positive or negative experiences so far?
Oct. 1, 2013
tg69
304 posts
Sunset park was a joke. No bathroom facilities or concession stand.Only porta pottys that were nasty, only 2 of those,.Construction work being done as games were played. The worst thing was the edging around the warning track and the foul lines, saw two people go down with ankle injury.Was about a 3 inch drop from grass to dirt.NOT a good place to play this year.
Oct. 1, 2013
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2614 posts
ditto on Sunset Park. The officiating was good though.
Oct. 1, 2013
db14
90 posts
Sunset Park was not ready to host a tournament. Two porta pottys never cleaned once in 3 days (disgusting). Several of our wives came a long way to support our team and left after the first day or never came at all based on the facilities. Construction in progress also made it difficult on the fans. No double bag at first caused major controversy and problems (unacceptable). Umpires.....good calls and bad. Only suggestion is...make a call and stick with it. Enforce the correct game rules. Pros: ground crew tried to goom the infields between games and outfields were nice.
Oct. 1, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
All of the umpires we had were fine. We played at three sites. Dos Escuelas which was awful. No concession stand and restrooms a long way off. More like little league fields with grass infields that had huge lips. Warm Springs which was even worse. No concessions, port a potties and the same kind of fields. Arroyo which was fine. SSUSA should be ashamed of the first two complexes that the 55 AAA teams had to play at. They were not suitable for a qualifying tourney let alone a premier event like the Worlds that cost $695.
Oct. 2, 2013
bkb555
85 posts
sounds like the tourney is more interested in getting big numbers in participants and little interest in taking care of ALL the participants and their fans....I have been to tournaments where there is one or two porta potties and no concessions....real downer for players and fans.....it should be a mandatory requirement that all facilities have a standard of playability.....double bags at first, lined fields, umpires familiar with senior rules, concessions within 150- 200 feet of fields and restroom facilities that are serviced regularly....I don't want to spends hundreds of dollars to travel and be treated poorly and the same goes for our team's fans.....THAT should be a top priority and not the number of teams that show up so you can boast about how many teams came to your tournament......it seems pretty simple especially when the dates are known well in advance.....how about it ssusa......lets see some written down standards and make sure they are enforced before these tourneys are approved
Oct. 2, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
I forgot to add that at the first two fields that there were no orange bags, we were told to hit the "IMAGINARY" orange bag, and there were no foul lines beyond the first or third base bags.
Oct. 2, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
That one point "boasting about the number of teams" instead of overseeing a well-run and organized tournament, is the main reason I decided to officially retire last month (past posting under the General and Miscellaneous section) from the game at the end of the Northern Championships.

As the sponsor of "Sparky" Mann Enterprises club, who also participated in Vegas in 55-AAA, after the SSUSA display running the Northern's in East Lansing, I was so upset that I told my club to go to Vegas without me.

The bracket scheduling made no sense and the umpiring was the worse I've ever seen in my entire career. A total lack of dedication to the game or "look at me" attitude, etc.

I haven't heard from the players yet regarding playing conditions, rule interpretation, organization formats and umpiring, but I'm sure I will.

I truly missed being with my club in Vegas but after the Northerns and the total lack of dedication especially with the umpiring, my heart was just not in it to make the trip out west and make myself upset once again with the overall lack of professionalism by those in charge.

Back in the 'olden days, there was respect and dedication to the game by those who administered and officiated, but now it's "write a check and play what I refer to as "WalMart Softball. Just pay and check out on your own.

Back in the 'olden days, Umpire's had to attend an annual Clinic prior to the season and be certified on the level they could officiate on, now it's pay a few bucks, buy a shirt and hope you can at least call a game and get your money!
Oct. 2, 2013
jackbrun
Men's 60
13 posts
We played at Shadow Rock Friday and the outfield was embarrassing. Weeds and uneven grass throughout. The umpire we had had no idea what the rule was for being out of the batters box or how many bases to award once the ball went out of play. Teams waiting to play were laughing at him he was so bad. BLD was great aside from playing at 4:30 with the sun directly over the pitcher. Hard to see while hitting for both teams. No issues with the umpiring crews at BLD.
Oct. 2, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
Another point of interest, back in the 'olden days an Umpire had to qualify & be certified in order to officiate in either USSSA or ASA National Tournament settings which is exactly what SSUSA purports to be in Vegas!

On a personal note, I WAS one of the those Umpires back in the 'olden days that was certified for the USSSA and ASA Nationals and worked in those Nationals as well along with being the Umpire-in-Chief for the Eaton Rapids Softball Association in Michigan.
Oct. 2, 2013
Dbax
Men's 60
1241 posts
Shadow Rock has two great fields. The two with the real grass are terrible. Luckily we only played one time on them. The finals were all on the artificial turf.
Oct. 3, 2013
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
Played for the last week at Shadow Rock and BLD. Fields were adequate, umpiring was good to very good, no problems. Early morning games made it a challenge for both teams, depending on where the sun was; but, that happens in all tourneys. We had the same situation last time in Hemet. Sun issues are part of the game.
Oct. 3, 2013
softball4b
Men's 60
720 posts
I catch therefore I interact with umpires regularly. I have found that the majority of the umpires working the Major/Major+ division are professional and knowledgeable. Even with that, they experience brain farts and unusual situations.

Like the guy making the line up card, failed to include himself. The best pure hitter on the club, now had to sit out the game and they recorded an out because a pitch was made. I thought this was incorrect, but I did not have a rule book.

1. Offense If the illegal player is discovered by the defense before the offensive manager, coach or player in violation informs the umpire and:a. After one legal or illegal pitch has been thrown while he is at bat, he is ejected and a legal substitute assumes the ball and strike count.

Stuff Happens.

I did suggest to SSUSA that they schedule this tournament over a longer period of time by splitting up the divisions further. 4 weekends instead of 2. The leagues will not budge on their schedules therefore the tourney must be completed daily to accommodate prior commitments by the park.

Lastly:

I have read a number of comments referencing that if SSUSA wants this many teams to play then they should be prepared. I agree, however try to look at it from a different perspective. I think without question this is the premier tournament of the season across all associations. No offense to the others, but considering location and time of the year, this is a great event to attend. If your team / team manager sat on his/her thumbs and did not get into this tourney on a timely basis where does that leave you the player. SSUSA is a money making operation, no question. Everyone should have the opportunity to play in this event and if the staff can make it happen, they should. With that comes challenges and I have complete confidence that SSUSA will review, what worked and what did not.

Joe Brown All Stars enjoyed their participation in this tourney and greatly appreciate the effort put forth by the SSUSA staff, the umpires, field crew and tournament directors. Now if I could get the hang of winning at the slot machines, it would be a win win.
Oct. 3, 2013
Chick50
Men's 60
23 posts
I just wanted to make a comment about Vegas in general.
I think Dave and Fran Dowell do an excellant job running these tournaments. It does't matter where you go in the country, when they are there, it's done right. My hat goes off to them.
As far as the Vegas venue goes, it's too costly. From the airfares, rental cars, hotels, monies paid at the parks. We flew into L.A. and drove back to Vegas for half of what others were paying. The rental car was less than half of what I was quoted in Vegas. Six dollars for a beer, two dollars for a candy bar at BLD, and then have to pay to get in, give me a break. I thought seniors, as we are, were supposed to get a break once in a while.
Vegas is a captive market, and they know that, they don't care. Back to Phoenix?? I don't know.
Oct. 4, 2013
DoubleL10
Men's 65
809 posts
Finished up Session #2 at Sunset Park yesterday. Nothing but good things to say about the umpiring - pitch height was well controlled unlike at Shadow Rock last Friday. Other than that, I agree with the other comments about the fields and facilities at Sunset Park. Excellent Major Plus players had a very difficult time fielding balls on those infields. Bad hops were routine. I'm sure there are several hematomas as a result. A little water between games to tamp down the dust would have been welcome. Hopefully, after the construction is done, Sunset Park will be a first-rate facility.
Oct. 4, 2013
the wood
1075 posts
We played @ Sunset Park we well and I saw all of the same things as the others... both positive and negative. I liked the umpires that we had... they were congenial, they hustled, they knew the rules.
I believe that an emphasis on quantity over quality is a mistake. I'm less impressed with the total number of teams than I am with with the product itself. For this reason I would be in favor of limiting it to a finite number. There are only so many available time slots due to the raw numbers and the local league restrictions/needs.
When the umpire has the pitchers sign the waiver forms while hardly anyone can see (early morning sun) it seems like more than an irony to me. It's definitely dangerous when middle infielders and pitchers cannot see, particularly when you throw in the condition of the infields (as Double L 10 stated).
Black out certain times on certain fields and reduce the number of time slots. From this, figure how many teams can enter. The reverse is also true... no one wants to travel to LV and bat facing the early or late sun.
We usually had to qualify for national tourneys years ago and the total number of teams allowed was usually a function of the previously mentioned things.
BW
Oct. 5, 2013
cyborg45
75 posts
65 AAA at Lorenzi was very well run. Umps were knowledgeable and fields were in excellent shape. We got moved from Desert Breeze just before the tourney started. Never played at Desert Breeze, but Lorenzi was excellent.
Oct. 5, 2013
Paul P
Men's 65
41 posts
Played 65 Maj + with Rose Enterprises at Sunset Park. The fields were adequate (cement base with a 1/4 inch of dust!!). The "lip" between infield and outfield was a good three inches causing for some unbelievable bounces and mis-drections.

The bathrooms, err, port-a-potties were embarassing.

There was no orange bag, but, at times a line, and at other times a chalked box outline that supposedly represented the orange bag. Im not sure of the "why" but I saw two games end on an umpires call of "hitting the bag". I saw numerous other calls that were missed at first base simply because of a one-umpire system being 75 feet from a runner that doesnt actrually touch the base. I know, I played first base. Trust me this isn't sour grapes, because the calls I note never went against my team.

Umpiring in general I thought was quite good, at least at the 65 Major Plus level.

The concessions stand, or lack thereof was certainbly subpar and the constant noise and movement of heavy equipment directly behind homeplate was very much a disraction.
Oct. 6, 2013
JohnBob
Men's 60
246 posts
This makes 2 years in a roll the Major+ teams have had to play in a DUMP!!
Oct. 6, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4305 posts
Doc Romo also had the orange 'cans' out for use or you had to walk about 200 yards from the furthest field to a brick building for use.
Never saw fields watered down but crews used brooms for 'level them out' in between games.
One ump wanted to lower the pitch heights, I guess the very slight breeze of about 5 mph was too hard for him to call. I sat behind the plate and didn't notice any problems pitchers may have had. He asked the director for permission to do it. It was granted. That's the first time I have ever seen let alone heard of it being done. Had it actually been WINDY it would have served the purpose.
There were 3 women umping there and all did a good job during the games I watched.
Oct. 7, 2013
bionic
3 posts
Just a note to what others have mentioned about Sunset Park. The early morning games on two fields were a joke with the sun -- one field had the sun right over the pitcher and you could not see the ball (mainly lefties). Another field left the outfielders with no chance on fly balls. Never saw so many good players turn away from a fly ball because it was lost in the sun. fields were ok, bathrooms or lack of were a joke. Overall the umpires were ok, the lack of two bases really caused some confusion - some umpires said to go over a line and others said go ahead and touch - it seemed to change every game. In our last game on Sunday (60 major +) the two umpires almost came to blows over which way to go, we as players had to step in and settle them down. We had fun overall -- see you next year.
Oct. 7, 2013
local
122 posts
Field of Dreams were great, SSUSA did a great job of running 39 teams in 60 AAA. Umpires were good with a few exceptions. You always run into those umpires that wants to make the game about them. Biggest complaint was that no umpires showed up for our winners bracket Sunday morning game. Don't every schedule a game at Dodger stadium at 0730hr. The sun is right behind the pitcher. There were at least 8k's during the game. Every team we played were class acts, Fossils, Jersey Masters, Last Call, OC Mustangs etc.
Oct. 7, 2013
ham24
22 posts
Played in Vegas for two years now and have had the lights go out on us twice , once at Cheyanne and this year at Shadow rock. We were also told we would play at a different complex each year and yet we played at shadow rock two years in a row. Also 50AAA winners bracket final this year was on field 2 which was an absolute horrible field. The teams that came from Lorenzi said there fields were real nice and when they saw the 2 fields at shadow rock they were shock they were playing there.
Oct. 7, 2013
Super V 10
Men's 50
66 posts
A show of hands here, how many players were call out at field of dreams fields for stepping out of the 7' box, Some ump's where saying it's ok, others just called you out
You go to a world tournament and get called out for stepping out of the box,
When I asked for him to get the tournament director he said you go get him.
We had ump's say hit and sit and some say next base
Rules changed every field you played at
And Local was right, there were the ump's that had that chip

Dave
Oct. 7, 2013
Super V 10
Men's 50
66 posts
A show of hands here, how many players were call out at field of dreams fields for stepping out of the 7' box, Some ump's where saying it's ok, others just called you out
You go to a world tournament and get called out for stepping out of the box,
When I asked for him to get the tournament director he said you go get him.
We had ump's say hit and sit and some say next base
Rules changed every field you played at
And Local was right, there were the ump's that had that chip

Dave
Oct. 7, 2013
Dbax
Men's 60
1241 posts
50AAA. 47 team bracket, so they have it split into the American League and National. Cool idea. We were in American at Lorenzie. Lorenzie is probably the best complex in town next to BLD.

So after Saturday night, they tell us the finals will be played at Shadow Rock!?
Why, no one can say. I assure my teammates there are two good fields there, so don't worry.

We get to Shadow Rock for the 8 am games. Winners bracket finals for American and National. Unbelievably the two winners bracket final games are on the two crap fields, and the losers are playing on the good diamonds.

So we win the American finals game and face off against Sluggers for the big final. Lo and behold this game is still on the crap field! Losers bracket still on the artificial turf.

Now I go and ask the director if there is any common sense used here. He says, a computer spit out the field assignments and it does not know what the good fields are. Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap!

Congrats to an awesome Oh My team.

Oct. 7, 2013
DaveDowell
Men's 60
1039 posts
Elimination bracket games, by design, are scheduled on the same field as the Championship/"If" game(s) ... Those teams may play as many as six consecutive "win or go home" games ... That is a very difficult task without compounding it by having them pack up and move back and forth between games ... Winners' bracket teams have the luxury, which they have earned, of being able to suffer a loss and continue playing ... This scheduling philosophy is intentional, supportable and not likely to change ...
Oct. 7, 2013
Dbax
Men's 60
1241 posts
That makes sense Dave, but why at Shadow Rock instead of Lorenzie which is much closer to everyone's hotel and extremely nicer fields? No one could believe we were moving there for the finals.
Oct. 7, 2013
Dbax
Men's 60
1241 posts
Oh, and last year, talking about moving to a different diamond when in the losers bracket, we played at Arroyo Grande, then had to high tail it over to Shadow Rock for our next game in 45 minutes.
Oct. 7, 2013
PrimeTime22
5 posts
I probably said this last year but I realize good Umpires are hard to find because any Good Umpire is probably still playing but I agree with whomever said it above that we need to do something overall ... I had Catchers calling Strikes in the 40's-AAA and the Umpires buying it ... A Ball would hit 2 Inches outside and because the Catcher yelled, he called it a strike ... And yes we had a Guy get called out for stepping out of the Box and it killed an entire Inning ... And they do not look like 7 Ft to me but who knows .. Same Guy later did the same thing and the Guy did not call it

And no Orange Bag at 1B?? ... This Tourney makes WAY too much money and can afford to buy a decent 1B Orange Bag to put at every Field without ruining the Ground at that Field ... I won't go into the Calls that went against us because it will sound like sour grapes even though that is not the case because we beat ourselves but I heard friends of mine in the 40-Majors hit a Ball down the line, it HIT the Foul Poul, and the Guy called it a Foul Ball and not a Home Run ... Really??

As they say on ESPN, "C'MON MAN!!" ... Get a Clue ... Know the rules and understand what 6-12' means ... Still like coming here to Vegas as it beats almost every other place but hopefully most of it can stay at BLD like it was last year in 2012 ... And for all the Money BLD makes, they could at least get the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV!!!! ... lol
Oct. 8, 2013
FOFO
Men's 50
165 posts
As far as umpires knowing the rules most the umpires don't officiate Senior ball very often it appears. It surprises me that umpires are not handed a rule sheet at the start of every day to reference should they need it. I know when I'm officiating a tournamemt in which standard rules for the organization I officiate aren't being used, our director provides us with a rules sheet. Comes in handy. Unfortunatley it doesn't help poor judgement, lack of hustle and bad mechanics.
Oct. 8, 2013
JohnBob
Men's 60
246 posts
I may had been a little harsh by saying the M+ teams played in a dump the last 2 year's in Vegas. But Cheyenne park where we played in 2012 was not used this year, lets just say it was very bad. This makes my 17th year in senior ball and I don't remember ever playing without a orange double bag at 1st base like at Sunset. A white line the runner had to step on. I was in shock when seeing this the Umps (who were very good) had to guess on close play's. I'm sure the concession and restroom construction will be done by next year but this year there were 8 teams playing, their fans plus construction workers and only 2 outhouses{that's what we call them in KY}.
Far the last few years SSUSA have been trying to protect the Pitcher and themselves with a waiver, if batter hits Pitcher while he was in a Circle a out was called etc. In our 1st game both Friday and Sat at 7:30 am the Pitcher was blinded by the sun and the last game of the day was at 1:30 pm due to local leagues. If the fields were available all day these times were Pitcher can't see can be blacked out. If the batter is blinded no big deal same for both teams, but we are trying to protect the Pitcher right
There were 30 M+ teams this year in 50-55-60-and 65 age group which make's up about 6% of the total let's just say we got dumped on the last 2 years.
Phoenix was by far a better host for this Tourney, I don't remember all this BS on here after a World in AZ.
Oct. 8, 2013
stick8
1261 posts
FOFO, as an umpire myself I echo your sentiments. Playing in 50 major plus last weekend (OKI Softball) most of the umps we had were decent but there were some that were not up to par. I was watching a game between MTC and Kevitt where the field ump was standing by first base when runners were on first & first and second. How was he going to call a bang- bang force at second? And then when the bases were empty he was standing in the middle of the diamond. This tells me this particular ump was not a trained umpire. If I'm umping with this guy I would have told him after the first half inning where he needs to stand. I did overhear other teams mention similar things about other umpires.
This being said it may not be all on SSUSA. An tournament of this size demands a lot of umpires and perhaps during this particular time frame the better umps weren't available.
Oct. 9, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
429 posts
You make way too many assumptions about orange bags. What if the park or city wont dig up their field and install the posts necessary to put them in. A lot of parks around here don't even have 65 foot single post let alone a double post or posts at 70. Ease up on the blame game when it comes to orange bags. I know first hand as I have a simular problem with Diamond Valley in Hemet. They wont put in the (orange bag) posts... period. It took me a year to get them to put in 70 foot single posts on the lower 5 fields. If it were not for a SCMAF rule for 70 foot bases we wouldnt have orange bags in Temecula. They just installed them last year. Its not always the way YOU see things.

Oct. 9, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1952 posts
Hey, Marv-We also played at Sunset. To me, it wasn't the fact that they didn't have the orange bags. We played most of our career without them. It's just really no big deal. The problem was that they came up with a ruling that there would be a line there and you were not allowed to touch the white bag-you had to step over the line. Now, you tell a guy that has hustled out ground balls all of his career, that he cannot hit the bag as he goes by. I reacted and touched the bag the first time i did that. Ok, then they decided to change it to where you could touch the base. Then the next game we couldn't again, and in our last game the umpires were actually toe to toe in a very adversarial way discussing how to call it. My gosh, we are not kids, play it the 'old fashioned way' and let us touch the doggone bag and keep the rule the same for the whole tournament.
Oct. 9, 2013
tg69
304 posts
Sunset Park ,seventh inning, bases loaded and our player beats out an infield hit only to be called out for hitting the white bag ,game over, tourney over. What a way to leave Vegas.Your taught all your baseball life to run thru the base at first. Its the natural thing to do, not step beside the bag.
Oct. 9, 2013
bionic
3 posts
The one thing about the line that i thought was really wrong was in regards to when your foot landed. The umps at all our games (that the line was used) said you were either out or safe when YOUR FOOT TOUCHED THE GROUND -- not when you crossed the line. When you are running trying to beat out a ground ball how in the heck do you judge your strides so you always touch right at the line. I thinks the umps were having a hard time with this and thats why the rule about touching the bag kept changing every game we played. I hope i never see this situation again.

JG
Oct. 9, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4305 posts
Marv19
Read rule 8.4(1)
Most assns that have senior rules have this above or words like ; if a ball that is playable at 1st...... If the hit ball is not playable at 1st he is allowed to hit the white bag and move on...

Another thought, the double bases are fairly sturdy with one post only being used, bring your own. It's not like they slide into them running to 1st, but I have seen it twice in 40 years.
Oct. 9, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
429 posts
A white line does one thing. It creates another possible error in making a call. Did he hit the line? Was the line clearly defined? Did he hit the white bag bcuz the runner instinctively went to a bag and not the line? We tried the line concept when we found out we didn't have orange bags at 70. The umpires couldn't get it right. Absolutely no consistency. AND they all were at the same meeting. Go Figure that one. So we play the field conditions as they are given us. No orange bag we play old school. Orange bag we play orange bag. That one the umpires can get correct. We have no orange bag at our thursday night league Tom Jadwin and I put on. So far it hasn't created any issues. As for a single post tandem bag. They are very expensive and I'm told they don't hold up over the long haul. You have to remember you're hitting a base at full speed without a stationary post under it. Some have told me the bag over time will move depending on who and how its stepped on. Pretty pricy experiment I would think not to mention the liability issues.
Oct. 9, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4305 posts
I see the lines in league at 2nd, 3rd but not 1st. Understand the liability issue. But have seen the single post dual base used. For that situation. Yes the dual bases aer not cheap but the Schutt dual holds up well. (Not a canvas bag.) Others may too.
If city doesn't comply go somewhere else. Doesn't take that much time to do them. I have done them. Cement or just dirt fill in. you have to abide with their rules what about the assn rules.
As for rules, At the BlD in 70's there was a mess. They had a do over cause the ump messed up and the TD couldn't get it right it seems. So he called for a do over... MULLIGAN.

Oct. 9, 2013
Dbax
Men's 60
1241 posts
Bionic, you judge your strides just as you would if you were touching home plate. Your foot needs to be down, not breaking the plane. This is not football.
Oct. 9, 2013
Graphite
18 posts
After reading these post's,I don't think I will take a team from Ga.out there.We can play on crappy fields here.
Oct. 9, 2013
southernson
254 posts
The umpire stories that come out of the Vegas tournaments are always hilarious...and sad at the same time.
Oct. 10, 2013
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
Graphite, stay home and play against who? How many potential World Champions do you have in your town? The best were here in Vegas.
Oct. 10, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
Curveball...........Granted there were some top flight clubs in Vegas but let's get real on the "best in Vegas". All you had to do is play in a tourney like the Northerns, etc. and then right a check and go to Vegas.

It still comes down to the "big $$$" for SSUSA and the more the merrier as far as they are concerned.

Where were the "best" in fields, schedules, umpiring, etc.
Oct. 10, 2013
the wood
1075 posts
Sparky:
We played there last week and felt that the top teams in our division were there. The scheduling was done very well and the umpires were pretty good as well.
Las Vegas' climate works against having really nice fields. But I've been playing there for 30+ years and its fields are improving.
I take it that you weren't there.
No, teams do not have to 'win their way in' like they did years ago. I can remember winning our way in (USSSA 'A' World, Petersburg, VA, 1982) and seeing so many teams there that it took us 4 days to complete it. We played on some horseshit fields there. Lee Park had 2 good fields but not the alternative sites.
I cannot argue with your point about SSUSA's 'the more the merrier' comment. You do know that SSUSA is a 'for profit' business?
I would prefer that they reduce the number of teams to the point that we don't play into (or away from) the sun. SSUSA isn't the only senior organization that ignores this issue. Most TDs pretend that they were not aware that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
On what basis would I reduce the number of teams? First come, first served. Quality over quantity for me.
BW
Oct. 10, 2013
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
the wood, I would allow all truly qualifying teams (those who actually won official qualifiers) to ensure a spot up to the deadline. Then I would allow all champions from last year the same privilege. After that, it would be first come, first served until the tournament filled up (and filled up would be playing on decent fields and schedules that avoid hurry-up game shortening for evening leagues and consideration for sun problems that make the games either ludicrous or dangerous).
Oct. 10, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
The Wood..........No I wasn't there but my team that I sponsored this season "Sparky" Mann Enterprises was. I was so upset with the overall tournament format, t.d., umpires, etc. when we played in the Northerns in East Lansing, MI, that I decided not to travel to Vegas with the club and it was the key factor to my announcing my official retirement from the game.

I really like the idea that Omar Khayyam just posted. This was the "Worlds" and it should be a privilege to attend not just write a check and see just how many teams we can have.

The same should be true for Umpires, Tournament Directors, etc. as well.

This great game of slow-pitch softball is way too drenched in history with honor, dedication, loyalty and sportsmanship, to see it turned into a "WalMart" style of performance that if you can simply write a check, you can play.
Oct. 10, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
Great to hear from you Sparky! We had a good time in Vegas...Big League Dreams was awesome, but some of the Umps...Oh well. Calling out of the box cost us and unlimited pitching height was a concern. But we played hard, and met some cool Bruddahs! God willing we will do even better next year!! Aloha, Fabe
Oct. 10, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
Aloha Fabe........Am "rethinking" my retirement from sponsorship (not able to play any more so sponsoring allows me to be a part of the game). Glad to hear you had a great time.

If you would do me a favor and send me your email, phone, etc. I may be announcing "he's baaacccckkk" here in the near future.

grm.phd@gmail.com
Oct. 10, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
Really loved the proposal idea by "Omar Khayyam"..........and "the wood" has some solid points as well.

There has to be some "major problems" with the overall tournament system & administration if this many responses are being posted regarding this Discussion: Las Vegas Fields and Umpires!
Oct. 11, 2013
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
Sparky, as a many decade sponsor, I kind of understand some of your points thru your eyes. But, as far as the best teams came to Vegas, I looked thru the age groups and in my mind, I just don't see any of the national power house teams missing. It appears to me the best in the country were here to compete for the World Championship. I think most consider it THEE tournament to win. Please give me a few of the teams you feel were World Champion material that were missing from the teams entered list.

Oct. 11, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
67 posts
Curveball........The main point I was attempting to make was not necessarily directed to the "best teams" but to the nature that the teams get there. There is not doubt that the majority of the "best teams" do participate but the tournament format does not represent the Tournament Title.

No qualification what so ever other than "write a check and play in a tourney like the Northerns" and you too, can write another check and come to the Worlds regardless.

It doesn't matter whether its SSUSA, SPA, etc., each of these organizations are in it for the $$$$$ only and the more teams, the happier they are. The negative responses regarding Scheduling, Field conditions, Umpire quality, etc. in this current discussion is testament to the current state of affairs.
Oct. 11, 2013
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
If that be the case, it's another example of not being able to please everyone. By using the current format, those in very small divisions get the most teams possible; seems better than 2 out of 3 with the same team again! Are you suggesting teams have to play in more tournaments than just a qualifier? Perhaps like the ASA system of old.
As far as negative responses, looks like very few for the amount of games 480 teams play. Most people won't take the time for a positive comment, the angry person will for need of venting or future correcting. But, if you look at individual complaints, not that many from approx. 6750 players(15 per team).
If SSUSA wasn't working on growing problems, or trying to make the tournament better each year, I think then we should yell in mass. At present, that is not the case.
Oct. 11, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
really guys how can ya say anything about being called out for being out of the box....so many stand so far up in the box now a days that it automatically takes their foot out,rules are there for the reason....
Oct. 11, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1952 posts
Mad dog-I agree rules are there for a reason, but sometimes when there is one rule change, it may precipitate the need for another one and this is an example. With pitchers now allowed to pitch from as far back as 60 feet, I found with my former position in the box that I could not reach that low pitch that caught the front edge. I moved up in the box by a good 12-18 inches to handle that pitch and I know I am close to the front to the box now, too. Dave, I know you read this. Maybe an extension of the box toward the pitcher might need to be considered to accommodate these adjustments made necessary by the distance change in the pitches.
Oct. 11, 2013
J R
179 posts
Played at BLD Um
umpires did a great job with out and safe calls.They stood behind the catcher missed the strikes on the front, and on the strips on the side of the plate.I asked them why and one said the catcher was in his spot.First Tim I ever saw SSUSA use those type strike mats. Vegas has changed food and drink is over priced now.
Oct. 11, 2013
tg69
304 posts
Webbie, Maddog.I have a question for you.Is this the same deminsions for the batters box as it is and has been in young boy softball forever.If so, the box should be extended forward the length of the plate which is how far the strike zone has moved in Senior ball.Correct???
Oct. 11, 2013
Garocket
Men's 55
141 posts
The batters boxes that I saw at BLD was 4 x 6
that is a baseball batters box
Slow Pitch is 3 x 7

Makes the batter move in closer to the plate and hard to handle the inside pitch but lets you stand up in front of the plate and hit that low short pitch
Oct. 11, 2013
DaveDowell
Men's 60
1039 posts
The batters boxes at Big League Dreams are 4' x 7' at the outside dimension of the lines and are correctly located relative to home plate. I measured them with a tape measure in anticipation of this issue. As such, they were exactly to specification as to depth and are 1' too wide. The only other difference is that the first couple of batters were unable to "wipe the lines" in the carpet to create even further room to roam while at bat.
Oct. 11, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
dave lets let the pitchers be able to do,fake pumps and any gyration they wish to do to even it out.....do what ever you want batters,but lets be fair and let the pitchers do their thing........oh and includes the height limits lo and hi....we have to pitch to a specfic spot/mat....batter knows where it has to hit.....
Oct. 11, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
Not the size of the box but the consistency of the call is what concerned us! Some were calling outs and many just did not appear to care about it...Still was fun!!! Aloha, Fabe
Oct. 12, 2013
CurtfromKY
38 posts
As a still new member to SS, I read through these posts to learn more about the rules, play and locations around the country. What I read (esp in this thread) disturbs me and since I have not experienced Vegas, I have to ask questions. Many of you have the same feelings and great ideas for changes or improvements for this venue. Has anyone considered forming a committee to sit with SSUSA to discuss these ideas and offer solutions that would benefit players and SSUSA? I see several of the same people post on this site so I am sure this committee could be affective. Surely SSUSA would be open to the idea of a meeting with a group instead of individuals that want to make this sport the best it can be. Of course it will require players from different parts of the country and opinions from many, but I feel it could be done. Just my 2 cents....
Oct. 13, 2013
SSUSA Staff
1118 posts
CurtfromKY ... The Annual SSUSA/ISA National Convention, this year at the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC, from December 3-6, 2013, provides significant Agenda time for membership input on any issues and topics the attendees may deem important for consideration. The SSUSA Executive Board will be in attendance and is accessible during and outside of normal meeting schedules.

The convention is open to the entire SSUSA membership. There are also open meetings for public participation in the Rules Committee sessions prior to the actual Rules Committee working sessions, which are open to public observation, but not participation.

We value membership input and encourage and welcome anyone with a desire to contribute to consider making the trip. Several regular contributors to this Message Board have attended previous conventions and may be able to share their thoughts. For more information, please call the SSUSA office at (916) 326.5303.

Oct. 13, 2013
CurtfromKY
38 posts
Thank you Staff for your response and the information provided. It is refreshing to know that the "members" have this opportunity to be heard. However, my comment on this post was more directed to the players that any suggestions or ideas that they think important enough to discuss would carry more impact coming from a group instead of individually--similiar to the Exec board or SSUSA committee. I know that each player has his, or her,ideas on solutions for some of the problems mentioned above, but not everyone is able to attend these conferences nor do most "members" feel as if it would do any good. During open sessions, individuals may not address many of the issues that concern the majority of the players or would only pertain to certain areas. I, myself, would have a difficult time making this Conference, but I could definitely pass on any helpful ideas I had for making this organization grow and become better than it is now. From what I have heard and participated in, there are many problems that need attention--and since you took the time to reply to this thread, I can only feel it is because you have the same desire to make SS better than the other organizations available to us "members".
Oct. 13, 2013
bkb555
85 posts
I agree with Curt from KY....I wonder if there is a standard for hosting tournaments all over the country for SSUSA...I didn't go to Vegas but teams from my area did and most of the complaints were similar...some were field conditions, some were no orange base, some were no bathrooms, no concessions, sun right behind the pitcher, sun right behind the batter, umpires unfamiliar with senior rules and changed schedules after making reservations, accomondations etc......I think these issues should be discussed in NC convention without being able to attend....I am sure there are some standards but no matter what they are, it seems like the same complaints arise......I think the major issues are player safety and taking care of the players and their fans.....just about all of the above mentioned seem to fall under that umbrella...I will not attend the SSUSA convention in December but I think if a copy of this post is somehow brought to the attention of EVERY tournament director and SSUSA official, a lot of issues will be resolved.....set a standard and enforce it...pre tourney inspections will verify conditions and accommondations etc.....nothing worse than spending hundreds and thousands of dollars and playing in sub par facilities.....thanks
Oct. 13, 2013
Super V 10
Men's 50
66 posts
Fabe is right, I videoed all game we played in Vegas and I was called out for being out of the box as were two other players in the same game, when looking back at the videos there were alot of guys out of the box in all 9 game we played with no call, one game was hit and set the other was next base, on the game with Fabe's team it was unlimited ark, it's the consistency that alot of players are looking for just seem like alot of ump's had a chip,
Fabe, I have the game where we played you guys on sat night on youtube.
Mag Dog, we are at a world tournament and ump's are calling out of the box, kind of ticky-Tack call to me And when have you stepped out of the box with your 5'2" frame

Dave Velasquez
Oct. 14, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
Mahalo for your input Dave,,,was a great game! Just expected better umping...but no sour grapes we played hard and had fun! Aloha, Fabe
Sign-in to reply or add to a discussion or post your own message and start a new discussion. If you don't have a message board account, please register for a free nickname. It will only take a moment.
Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
2701 K Street, Suite 101A
Sacramento, CA 95816
Send us e-mail
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts International Softball Tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook

Partners