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Discussion: New DBO HR rules for 2014

Posted Discussion
May 28, 2014
Tri18
673 posts
New DBO HR rules for 2014
Hey guys,
I believe there have been about 30 tournaments played so far with the new rules that make excessive home runs count as outs instead of walks in all levels of senior play. I am interested to hear comments from all levels as to how they like it, it's fairness at each level, and how they feel it has changed or not changed the game to this point. Btw.... I am not looking for " bash the association" comments just your honest opinions on the change after experiencing play with the new rules.
AT18
Team 1 Sports
May 28, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Totally against it as I have posted numerous time on here. Another example of punishing good performers likely by those who do not, can not, never will. Well never say never... lol. For the OF fence 'distance rule' may be moved up 200 feet and then the ball may go over...:>)
The game is now all about economics. How to shorten it, event at some other cost like number of innings played, however it comes about. Be it length of game times, HR rule changes, or other means by which so save time and to keep the game closer to being on track, err schedule. Though many of the used time 'wasted' is getting on and off the fields and CR changes, unexpected accidents, it all comes down to the economics bottom line, thee money in the bank at the end of the day.

So many rules have changed and the HR rules are no different. There are imo only two to use regarding HR's. Either no limits as originally used in softball or the one up rule.
A good hitting team can use that to their advantage if they think about it.
But punishing a player or team for a good hit I doubt was the intention of the originators of the game, but rather those interested in economics.
May 28, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
288 posts
Need to eliminate 1 division, only have AA, AAA and Major. The current major players would migrate to AAA or major and make more teams in both divisions (as Major plus players would now be Major). AAA & Major go to 1 up on HR rule.
May 28, 2014
B94
Men's 50
19 posts
Good thread Alan! I've found that the walk after the HR limit is reached isn't so bad - when it's actually an out then the shots up the middle seem to increase exponentially...
May 28, 2014
Tri18
673 posts
I forgot to add...it may be helpful if you each post what division you play in with your post. We may find certain divisions like the new rule and feel it's beneficial while others don't.
AT18
May 28, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1009 posts
either one up throughout game or walks after limit
May 28, 2014
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
Tri18 - Age and Division is good to add to this.

Just my experience. Playing 65 and 70+ AAA in SPA & SSUSA I have not seen ONE TIME when the homerun limit was reached. Probably 90% of the time not one HR happened.

I have not played SSUSA National Championship tournament since 60+ days where we would have 20+ teams HR's were not a problem, we used alum bats then I think.

Played SPA and every now and then an AAA will hit a HR at nationals.

Now 50 and 55??? U guys talk.
May 28, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Link to knowledgeable article on bats.

http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/compalum.html


May 28, 2014
STL0
52 posts
We play 50 major and have played 2 SSUSA tournaments so far. I have not seen middle shots increase in either of these tournaments. The only time I see middle shots increase is when a team plays their SS or 2B closer to 3rd or 1st forcing you to hit towards the middle because that is where the opening is. We play 5 infielders so we have the middle covered and that may contribute to not seeing balls hit up the middle.

I don't care for HRs being a walk...it makes for an extremely boring game in the field. I am fine with a 1 up rule though and that would seem to make everyone more satisfied (but many would still complain I'm sure).

Just my 2 cents. Have fun playing the game and don't sweat the rule changes.
May 28, 2014
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
We are an old 50 major team and are probably closer to a AAA team now. We played a major plus team earlier this year with 3 or 5 HR's then walks. We hit 2 or 3 balls over the fence and they probably hit 20-25 over. We won the game 25-23 or something close to that because we happened to have a rare game where everyone hit.

We were not bored playing this game. Their "walks" did not take any longer than our singles. It was much better than if excess HR's had been outs. If they did not adjust their swings and excess HR's were outs, then we would have won something like 25-10 which would have been boring.

Of course this was a good hitting team and they would have adjusted their swings to the rules if excess HR's were outs, so no telling if there would have been more shots up the middle. But in my opinion there certainly would have been.
May 28, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
396 posts
Hitting up the middle has definitely increased. I say go back to it being a wolk or a single just for safety sake.
May 28, 2014
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
why does a player have to hit middle when hrs are gone...this excuse is the biggest piece of crap thinking there can be...if your any good with the bat(hitting hrs at will)then you should be able to stay away from the pitcher....do you go after the pitcher when the 5th/7th run is on third...or do you try and punch one over the infield(trying to save a hr) to score the last run for the inning......i'm for all over the limit hrs to be outs..except in the M+ division...they deserve to hit them as they are supposedly the best of the seniors....like i have always said..if ya wanna hit hrs..then move your butt up and ya can hit them......for the life of me..i can't stand the talk that AA or AAA should be allowed to just hit them out be thankful ya get what ya get for limits(AA=1,AAA=3)is way more than is deserve for those 2 div's.......quit crying and move up if ya wanna hit them out....
May 28, 2014
neck10
509 posts
there s all kinds of ways to make the home run rule better.you could name three players for your home run hitters & thos three could hit unlimited hr s if you walk one of them he go's to second base.you could limit two hr's per inning,if you don't hit'em you lose um,or the first three guys to hit hr;s then they are your homerun hitters for that game.then if anyone goes middle he is out & out every time he comes up but you could sub for him if you wish & that hitter could bat more people get to play that way.

May 28, 2014
Cman
5 posts
Know one wants to hit a homer only to be called out. Always nice to have a solid hit that goes sailing.I play in the 55 Majors, can only remember one or two games that we maxed out on homeruns an those games we needed for it not to have been an out. :(
May 28, 2014
Tim Millette
521 posts
We will be playing our first ssusa hr limit tourney this weekend in Reno.

It's going to be interesting to se the results of the new hr rule.

I am all for doing away with home run derby tourneys so....I think I will like the new rule.

It's past time to do away with boring unlimited Homerun games.
May 28, 2014
Tim Millette
521 posts
Other concepts for future consideration to give the pitcher a little better chance to throw of hitters...

A larger mat.
A smaller batters box.
1-1 count to start.
14 foot ceiling for pitches.
May 29, 2014
miken44
78 posts
we play 50 aaa to me let the major and major plus hit all they want that way they stay in the upper divisions where they should be in the aaa should play with a walk after you hit your three if aaa teams start hitting a ton of walks then that team should be looked at being moved that is where official score keepers would come in play
May 29, 2014
txnighttrain
17 posts
I agree with Mad Dog 100%
May 29, 2014
Tri18
673 posts
Excellent feedback from both sides....! Let me share with you a few thoughts that I have and then let's continue on the discussion:

First my team plays 50 Major plus. We have won and lost tournaments with both sets of rules in the past 6 months. We have not lost because of the new rules, we lost because we didn't play well enough to win. That being said I'll let you know my thoughts are not for just my teams best interest , they are for what I feel is in the best interest of the entire sport of competitive senior softball. I think we have to look beyond what just fits our wants and desires and consider what will help continue, grow, and enhance our sport at competitive levels.

AA: 1 hr and outs after that
AAA: 3 hr and outs after that
Major: 4 hr and outs after that
Major Plus: 7 hr and walks after that

I think something close to this will encourage teams who consistently hit home runs to ASPIRE to playing at the next level up instead of purposely trying to stay down. I think it will help with the safety issues associated with DBO rules at the highest levels. I think it gives the SSUSA another way of putting competitive teams where they should be playing. (Btw...I don't believe home runs are the only determining factor of a teams classification level) teams that stay together and recruit better players should be moving up the classes and should be ready and willing to do so. Teams that stay at the same talent levels and keep to roster guidelines may enjoy staying at the same level for a number of years. I really believe it will help to change the disparity in the numbers of Major and Major plus teams across the country not overnight but in the coming years.

Anyway...just my thoughts and opinions...as always, I welcome yours!
Alan Tanner
Team 1 Sports
Tricoach18@att.net
May 29, 2014
Tim Millette
521 posts
Alan, not having outs for over the limit in Plus ball will reduce the chances of Major teams moving up.

It will also reduce the chance of not homerun capable hitters being Plus players (those not powerful hr hitters outnumber us power guys so with unlimited home runs your Plus talent is a very small pool of players)

This year alone in NorCal I could name a good share of players on plus teams that wouldn't be starting if we went back to unlimited.

It's way past time these power guys swinging senior bats learn how to hit while keeping the ball in the park...

It's also time senior ball gives more opportunity to defensive players instead of a bunch of power hitting pie eaters/and YES...I put myself in the pie water group.
May 29, 2014
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Mahalo for this thread Alan…looking forward to our first qualifier in two weeks. Hope it goes well with all the teams having fun and no serious injuries. I like the idea of rules that bring back defense, speed and good bat control. But haven't competed with these new rules yet. My team competes at the Major 50 division….Aloha, Fabe
May 29, 2014
stick8
1323 posts
Neck, in either WSL or GSL, maybe both, has a home run rule similar to what you outlined. Now keep in mind this is men's ball, not senior ball. As I understand it each level has an x amount of hr hitters allowed who can hit as many as they want per game. As I also understand it if one of the hr hitters is walked, either intentionally or unintentionally, another batter who is not a hr hitter is allowed to hit one in that inning.
Again this is only what I heard second hand. If someone knows the real rule please feel free to correct me.
May 29, 2014
Tri18
673 posts
Tim,
I don't think that happens. When these teams start getting re classified it also changes what we look at and what constitutes a AAA PLAYER, Major player, and Major plus player. It's a gradual change to both players and teams classification and status. No different in what is happening now in USSSA. Keeping a smaller limit of countable home runs will make the major plus teams use them carefully and also make a good place hitting high average hitter a hot commodity in Major and Major plus ball. So....we don't discourage offense or penalize the upper level for offense but we encourage smart hitting AND defense by making these changes . (Sound familiar Tim? Remember the great A and AA program USSSA had years ago?...)On top of it, I believe it will be a safer game at the upper levels. What it will take is a few years of changing how we view players status and moving teams up the food chain. It will bring some parity back to the talent level and numbers of top teams.
My opinion...of course.
Alan Tanner
Team 1 Sports
May 29, 2014
Tim Millette
521 posts
Alan, A and AA had Homerun limits then outs.

I agree Plus at the 50s is starting to look like AA when it was on its decline.

That's why I support breaking up the Plus Champions just a little (only allowing six of them on a team until they reach the next age group). I believe Donny Jr's inability to weaken the AA champions was a major reason AA died.

Allowing the same group of players to dominate a Division year after year has been proven time and again to destroy the Division they have been allowed to dominate....AA, Super, Major...they all have suffered this problem...

I believe to grow a program you must eliminate the ability of any group of players to year in and year out to be playing late into Sunday.
May 29, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
396 posts
Just to clarify my point, in 5 years I have been playing senior ball I have hit 1 ball that the pitcher got a glove on. I consider myself to have as good as bat control as anyone, but that being said we are all getting older and slower so why make the rules that could jeopardize anyone's safety. Make it a walk or a single at the Plus level and an out everywhere else. Alan was right in that analogy. My personal opion is that the gap between Major and Major plus should be at least 4 HR's. I don't know of one Plus player who is there by choice, not someone who was forced up, that wants the rules the way they are now. But as it was said already I believe this was an economic decision. Nothing more, nothing less!! I wish they would go back to aluminum bats and blue dot balls. But there again money is made on these hot sticks we get to swing. I just hope that everyone can continue to play this game we all love to play and are blessed to be able to still play at a high level. I was told that if enough guys went to the winter meeting that you could get the rules changed the way you want them. I'm starting a campaign to get as many plus players to go as possible so that we have a true representation of the Major Plus division.
May 30, 2014
Tri18
673 posts
Hey Tim,
I believe that A and AA did do that but we were allowed multiple home run hitters who could hit as many as they wanted too....so not a true limit on home runs. Anyway, I think the basis of my idea keeps rules simple and allows for teams to be moved up and to move up themselves. The entire basis of my team is comraderie....we have a great group of FAMILYS that enjoy socializing together while playing softball. We don't dominate at Major Plus, we compete. But...for SENIOR softball, the TEAM and FAMILY chemistry is a main objective as we grow older. Forcibly breaking up a team family I feel isn't correct and is destructive in its very nature. I don't think this encourages participation....I think it discourages it. And, I don't see that problem across the country or at all levels so I don't think it's a huge factor in making a new set of rules. So, let's agree to disagree there. I hope you have a great season playing, we are fortunate to be able to compete in a competitive association no matter what the rules are.
AT18
Team 1 Sports
May 31, 2014
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Alan, great time to talk about this. I have a bit different take, I think.

AA-1 home run and DBO.
AAA-3 home runs, then the next ball hit out is a walk, and then DBO after that.
Major-5 home runs, 3 walks, then DBO.
Major Plus-9 and walks after that-no DBO.

This give a little leeway to AAA and Major teams and should take a some heat off the pitchers as the batters will know they can 'make a mistake' and it's not an out right away, but it does not give them 'carte blanche' to launch for walk after walk.
The leeway increases as you move up to a higher division. I also believe that the guys who do move up to major plus and play the highest division should not have a DBO. The run limit per inning is the limiting factor. A ball over the fence does not take any more time than a batter hitting a single, unless you run out of balls.

We are all blessed to be able to play!

Mark Weber
60 Major Plus
May 31, 2014
Hammer22
20 posts
Mario,
You don't know me but I for one love this DBO rule. I like the fact that it puts strategy and defense back the game. If you can play at the plus level you should be able to get base hits anywhere on the field not just the middle and be able to play defense. To me those that don't like the rule are the ones unable or unwilling to make themselves and senior softball better. The best softball and players in the world (USSSA Major)has a DBO rule why should we be any different?
May 31, 2014
Duke
Men's 60
729 posts
Hey Guys,

All good comments above. I wanted to say 2 things too. First and foremost, I welcome anyone to hit the ball up the middle, but would be better protected to field the ball without a mask. I know that is really not the topic here, but had to throw this in again. BTW, I am tired of all the sorries for the batter hitting the ball at the pitcher. I refuse to acknowledge that anymore. If the push is to not hit the ball up the middle, then you might as well put a screen there, but I am not in favor of that at all. You should be able to hit the ball where ever you want.

More on the actual topic here. Secondly, as far as batters hitting up the middle, because their team has reached the home run limit, that is so far from the truth in the games that I have played. Since 2010 to present, I have played 60 AAA and Major and 55 AAA and Major. In over 200 tournament games, only 1 game has our opponents ever reached the MAX home run limit. The DBO, walk, or single just has not played any significant factor in our games. In fact, my current 60 Major, we average about 1 home run every 3 games. With our main home run hitter out for the season, that will diminish further. Our opponents seem to be averaging about 2-3 home runs per game.

JMHO,

Andy Smith
R & R Strokers
June 1, 2014
Conman
Men's 50
72 posts
Guys .... If the NFL has rules limiting touchdown passes, only 2 per game and then a team has to run the ball the rest of the game and you have a running clock with a one hour 30 minute time limit.

If the NBA has rules saying after 4 dunks a team can only shoot jump shots the rest of the game and a running clock.

If baseball can limit the number of HR's per game to one and then all are outs and a 2 hour time limit.

If golf rules say if you're more than 4 stokes ahead, the leader cannot use a driver the rest of the round and you have 2 hours to finish your round.

Then why can't we play with home run and time limits??? I really don't see any problem.
June 1, 2014
Tim Millette
521 posts
We just completed playing our first dbo Ssusa tourney in Reno.

At least for the 50 division the dbo rule did not increase the amount of balls hit at the pitcher....every team in bracket play used the five man infield as far as I saw.

Games got to seven inning often.

Many players tried to turn down their swings to stay in the park, which meant less rockets through the infield.

More strategy was incorporated.

The better defensive teams had the best chance of winning...not just the best power hitting team.

Speed was more important.

Once again....I believe the only guys complaining about the dbo rule are power guys that don't want to work on learning to get its without having the ability to mis hit a walk/extra Homerun.

As far as breaking up the dynasty groups that dominate any one Division....if ssusa doesn't start to do that...the Plus Division is going to continue to have issues with team numbers.

Not doing this in the top division is guaranteed to do exactly what has happened time and again to every top Division that has not had player regulations....elect unregulated it Esther kills the division or reduces it to the point the top Division has to figure out ways to get a lower level program to play against.
June 2, 2014
southernson
261 posts
We play 50 Major, but I have played AAA as well. IMHO, be consistent within all the divisions, walks for everybody after the max number is reached.

Why? I've seen AA or AAA teams get hot and hit out 6-8 home runs. Are we going to penalize them? What for, for getting hot and having a real good game? It makes no sense for some divisions to have excessive HRs as outs and some as walks.

Be consistent, pick a number for each division, make the excess walks for all. End the madness...
June 2, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
396 posts
Hammer22, read my last post!!!! 1 ball in 5 years that the pitcher has gotten a glove on.

Tim, why do you keep going on and on about Dynasty teams when the World Tourney in SSUSA has 4 different winners in the last 4 years?
June 2, 2014
JamesLG
305 posts

I have no input for the younger seniors but for the 60 and above teams there should never be a DBO except in AA. Let the older guys who can still play this game at a high level swing away and don't punish them for hitting it out of the park.

Thanks:

James
June 2, 2014
Hammer22
20 posts
Mario, What does that have anything do with what I wrote!!! My response was to your comment about players not force up not liking the DBO. Again I think the rule is better for the game. The DBO help makes senior softball a much better and more exciting game. I don't care how many of your balls the pitcher touched in 5 years.
June 2, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
396 posts
Hammer22 I'm sorry you said "If you play at the plus level you should be able to get base hits anywhere on the field not just the middle and play defense." I agree with you that the top level in USSSA has DBO's. There's is 12 when they play another Major team. I believe it would be better if we had 12 as well. But hey, thats just my opionion!!!! Just curious Hammer22 who are you and what team you play on? My name is Dale Mayo and I #10 on OKI 50 Major Plus.
June 2, 2014
Hammer22
20 posts
Dale,
My name is Doug Kett #22 and I play for DLB. I played with Line drive for 3 years before they folded.
I'm not against whatever number of HR's they give but IMO the DBO is what makes a team play a softball game.
June 3, 2014
PJ3P
Men's 50
77 posts
One thing not mentioned in this discussion is playing conditions and how much easier it is to hit the home runs at altitude. Dry conditions and altitude add up to huge home run numbers. In the southeast, with heat indexes in triple digits and high humidity it is a little more difficult. While for some of us it is still pretty easy, for most it is not. As far as USSSA goes the major division limit is 16 and the A division is 12. If you want to insist on run limits and home run limits the current number needs to be higher in Plus. I think maybe the problem is trying to make the rules equal with vastly different playing conditions across the country.
June 3, 2014
Mario
Men's 50
396 posts
Doug, your right I don't know you but I do know who you are.

PJ3P, I stand corrected. 16 is even better!!
Either way the difference between Plus and Major should be 4 HR's not just 2 or 3. Just like young kids ball.
June 3, 2014
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Mario, you and I agree on some more separation for M+ over M. I guess nobody likes the idea of limiting walks after HR's are gone.
Hammer-if you were on Line Drive 60 M+, we played you twice last year including that 45-38 classic in Dalton. If memory serves, we did both hit our limits and I think you had 2 or 3 walks and we didn't have any. I thought we were going to catch you in the open inning. I'm the lefty with the blue knee brace batting after Imlay that game. But--I have a question for you. How many other games did both teams hit the limit in your games? Our answer was none.
One other comment about some guys insinuating M+ players don't know how to get base hits-baloney. If a team is averaging 25 runs a game and averaging 9 home runs a game, that makes 16 other hits at least every game, and there are usually a lot more hits. But the defenses are quite often better, too. We could not outhit our own defense last year, so I contend that defense is already super important.
June 3, 2014
jerrytodd01
10 posts
50 AAA player here. AA-2 HR and out AAA-5 HR and out. Combine major and major plus-8 or 10 HR and 1 up with no walks.
June 3, 2014
Jawood
Men's 50
800 posts
Combining Major and Major-plus would be possible only if there was a relatively low HR rule with DBO's, 5 runs an inning and elimination of the 2 players out of the bordering states exception that Major-plus currently has. An 11th defensive player for everyone 50+ on up, like 70+ has would help protect the pitchers to some extent.

Another alternative would be to let teams at the Major-plus level play unlimited everything ... unlimited HR's, unlimited runs and unlimited players from anywhere. However, if this was the case, SSUSA could not MAKE any Major team move up to Major-plus if they choose not to, provided they play within the restricted participation rule of no players outside their bordering states.
June 4, 2014
Hammer22
20 posts
Webbie,
No I didn't play on the 60's team. I played on the 50's. To answer your question I have played in quite a few games where the HR limits were met by both teams. That being said if in your age group that doesn't happen very often than how is the DBO going to matter anyway?
In my post I am not insinuating PLUS players can't do both. Just the opposite! They can do both but when given the choice some want to take base hits, game management and defense out of the game.
My choice obviously is not too. Why should the game of softball be changed to a HR derby just because technology has made it possible for pretty much anybody to hit HRs (at least in the 50's where I play).
June 4, 2014
garyheifner
370 posts
Maybe Hr rules should vary depending on age groups. So far in our 3 tournaments this year at the 70 AAA level--winter nationals in Florida, The Brickyard and Milwaukee haven't seen a HR yet. And, we have had a few games against M teams. Might see a few this next tourney in Quad Cities. I think their fences are 285.

I still think the M Plus guys should be unlimited HRs as long as they are willing to chase and return the balls. If you did this, I think you would see many more M+ teams. However, once a player opps to go to M+, they should be stuck there forever.
June 5, 2014
Robo2
229 posts
I am of a different opinion. Have unlimited HRs at all levels.
Benefits:
1) 5 runs per inning are reached faster
2) allows teams with power to move out of the level they are currently in
3) Stops the discussions of power hitters going up the middle

I play 55 Major. Yes, there is a big difference between Major teams and the Major plus that I have seen. However, I do not see that much of a difference between Major and AAA.

I agree that another possibility is different rules for different age groups. I believe once one is in 60+ that their is a huge difference from 50s. The team I play on has a mix of players over 60 and upper 55s.

All in all, the teams I face seem to be mostly at the same competitive level (except for those High Street guys - just kidding boys)
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