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Discussion: West Coast Aftershock -

Posted Discussion
Aug. 11, 2014
Believer123
4 posts
West Coast Aftershock -
Does anyone know anything about this incident that occurred this past weekend at the Men's 50+ Senior Softball - Western National Tournament in Lincoln, CA (Foskett Park)?
Aug. 11, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1284 posts
Cornerstone (OR) was awarded a forfeit victory over West Coast Aftershock (CA) in the 50-Major Championship game when it was discovered by the plate umpire that West Coast had introduced chilled softballs into the game while they were at bat ... The balls had (apparently) been "stored" in the ice water cooler in the dugout ... This action constituted a violation of Rulebook 3.4(4) ALTERED EQUIPMENT ...
Aug. 11, 2014
Believer123
4 posts
Will any sanctions be filed against them?
Aug. 11, 2014
Brownie
24 posts
Thats interesting we also played a team from CA and they had their balls on ice, we didn't make a big deal of it.
Aug. 11, 2014
Believer123
4 posts
I could not care one way or the other what happens, just curious
Aug. 11, 2014
buttercup
3 posts
They will be put on ice too and chillin for awhile Im sure
Aug. 11, 2014
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
In the past, when one of my teams were playing in the Major division, a team through in a ball that was iced. I informed the umpire and he said the ball was good to use. He obviously did not know the rules. I asked where the Director was, and he was quite a distance away. By the time he would get to the field, the ball would not be so chilled. I told the idiot umpire, to get behind the plate and lets play ball. My first pitch, I threw the ball as far as I could out of play. I looked at the umpire, and said ball one. The other team just laughed and threw in a legal ball. Did the other team think in 100 degree weather, that I would not know that an iced ball was thrown into the game.

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO CHEAT AND POSSIBLY HURT SOMEONE IN THE PROCESS??

Just My Opinions,

Andy Smith,
R & R Strokers
Aug. 11, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
Duke, I have two opinions on this! First, if a team or person is willing to throw in an illegal ball, you have to wonder what they have done to their bats also? Next opinion, I think it is silly that we have to supply our own balls... I think we pay a few dollars more and balls are supplied by the sanction.. I also think that in these 100 degree tourneys, they should supply a ball that will hold up and not the ones we were using in Lincoln at the Western this past weekend.. I think if they are worrying about returning the HR balls they should have a SB-12 back there and if they don't retrieve the balls they get that pillow.. problem solved.
Aug. 11, 2014
Tim Millette
498 posts
I am friends and have been teammates of many of the Aftershock players.

If they got caught cooling the balls I would think those involved should come forward and except being suspended for at least the remainder of the season.

I would think??? SSUSA most likely has run across this before and I hope? They didn't just slap the wrist of the cheating team.

As for them Aftershock adding an illegal Out of state Plus player....

I am pretty sure Bass played with them before they were dropped to Major...and...his still being on the team was a SSUSA Staff over site...being that Aftershock was the second team he played with this year....maybe? He should be allowed to join another team that meets his state requirements.
Aug. 12, 2014
Mark 44
Men's 60
56 posts
Bass did play with them before. I saw him play with them in another SSUSA tournament, earlier this year. Not sure what Major+ team he ever played for? I played against him in Portland, when he was playing 55 Major. Didn't Aftershock just get dropped to Major? Wouldn't he get moved with them? Or maybe is that where the problem lies?

Aug. 12, 2014
So Cal Z
Men's 50
15 posts
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the rule states for any altered equipment it's a 1 year suspension. I'm sure SSUSA will do the right thing...
Aug. 12, 2014
Mulewhipper
68 posts
This is unacceptable.

What is it, that makes someone have to cheat to win softball games...seriously?

This team was also made up of primarily Law enforcement officers.

I know a few guys on this team and I can't believe they would have done or allowed anything like this.

I have to agree with Tim, I think the ones who are responsible for this need to step up and take responsibility for their actions.
Aug. 12, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
I have been studying softballs for my rec league. I do not know why the senior leagues are still using the 44/375 balls, but I think the reason is greed and the sale of senior bats.
The 44/375 can crack skulls the 52/300 can't. The 44/375 works by indenting the bat so a trampoline effect is achieved. The 52/300 works by the rebound effect. Temperature affects the 44/375 severely.
A chilled 44/375 can attain a compression of 600. 44/375 is deadly and more deadly if chilled. Conversely, over 80 degrees it loses compression so it is really dead in high temperatures. It loses more compression as the temperature gets higher.
Doctored bats which are springier, do not work on s 52/300 so shaving
is a nonissue with the 52/300.
The 52/300 does not make the crack sound when the ball is hit. Hitters think the ball is not going far because they don't hear the crack. The distance on the 52/300 is comparable to the 44/375 and hits better than the 44/375 in high temperature.
Perhaps most interesting, the 44/375 doesn't bounce when a grounder is hit, it hugs the ground making it very difficult for infielders to backhand the ball and make the throw. The 52/300 is bouncier so infielders are fielding more balls higher up and making more plays with less chance of injury.
If you want science and facts about the danger of the 44/375, read this link:

http://www.gosoftball.com/52cor300-compression-softball/
Aug. 12, 2014
Sparky.1
Men's 55
105 posts
Been alluding to the same fact of "greed" for the past few years that the "powers/leadership" of the senior associations are and have been in bed with the bat manufactures for the $$$$$. Your facts are strong HJ but like most statements & results regarding this continued financial greed, falls on deft ears!
Aug. 12, 2014
DOLFAN
38 posts
Very informative post HJ!!! Thanks
Aug. 12, 2014
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
All players that were registered and signed in for this tournament on that team, should be suspended for one year. You cannot tell me that most or all did not know about the iced balls in the dugout. I would definitely not let that team play in the Vegas Worlds, Winter Worlds, or the February TOC.

On the flip side of this, if you use an altered bat, I believe the player is suspended for 5 years, and the manager is suspended for one year?? Most people, including the manager, do not know when a player or substitute player is using an altered bat. Why should the manager be suspended? I know altered bats are out there, because many guys have told me so, and asked if I wanted my bat shaved. Bats are even sold shaved in advance, and league bats are painted to look like a league bat, but are actually an Ultra II underneath. Just cannot understand that when playing against 70 and 75 year old players. I even asked one guy why he has so many Ultra II's(6). His response is that they do not last long, because they are all shaved. What an idiot for telling me that. This is why I mostly purchase new bats, and sometimes a used one from someone I trust would not resort to that.

I think a more reasonable penalty for an altered bat, would 5 years for the player, and suspend the team for 2 months for the first infraction, and whatever for the next one.

Either one of these issues could be deadly for a fielder. Come on guys, we are not getting paid for this. In fact, we are all paying to play at our old age, and hopefully are having fun. Love being on my team. We have fun, win or lose. Great bunch of guys and all great attitudes.

JMHO,

Andy Smith,
R & R Strokers
Aug. 12, 2014
db14
91 posts
Hi Dave...just wanted to clarify what was previously posted. The offenders stored the balls (apparantly) in the same water cooler in the dugouts that we players use to obtain our drinking water from?
Aug. 12, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
Duke, why not just change to the 52/300 so a shaved bat gives you no advantage? Why not use a ball that doesn't become livelier when chilled and which will actually outperform the 44/375 in the heat? In addition it will make playing infinitely safer.

http://www.gosoftball.com/52cor300-compression-softball/

Aug. 12, 2014
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
db14, you wonder why guys are getting sick from drinking water from the supplied coolers. If it is not sirty rags, it is dirty softballs or hands in the coolers.

HJ, it is unfortunate that we might have to resort to changing the balls, because of cheaters. I will say that it is probably a sensible change.

JMHO,

Andy Smith,
R & R Strokers

Aug. 12, 2014
Critter20
Men's 50
3 posts
I think the 44/375 ball is a fair ball. No need to ice. Hard to believe the manager of West Coast Aftershock (whom I know) would have condoned this.

As for the 52/300. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
Having been involved in the demo of this ball for SSUSA a few seasons back I can say the overwhelming reviews were not good. Negative comments included but not limited too, sound, distance, and performance (bounce),
One of the strongest statements for a team manager/sponsor was " no way in hell am I paying 5-600 dollars to hit that piece of crap".

For those that advocate the 52/300 maybe you should run a bracket of SSUSA teams and get feedback.
Aug. 12, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
Duke, nice to see an open mind. Resort to implies having only bad options and picking the least bad choice. I actually think this is a win-win on many accounts.

Critter, I note you are a Californian. My guess is the demo was done in CA with beautiful 70 degree weather. Many of us play spring games in the 50 degree range and summer games which can be in the 90's. In extreme weather the 52/300's are clearly better.

I agree the sound stinks but so what. I believe the "dead" sound psychologically puts these balls at a disadvantage. Did the hitters at the demo know what they were swinging at before the pitch? If so the demo was run incorrectly. They should have been pitched identical looking balls and randomly pitched 44/375's and 52/300. If they knew the 52/300 was coming they would swing differently because they "knew" it was crap because it sounded like crap. We all swing heavy bats in the on-deck circle because the bat then "feels" lighter. Science has proven that swinging a lighter bat before your at-bat actually promotes faster batspeed when it counts. Our subjective feelings often lead to bad conclusions.
Even if the 44/375 gives marginally better performance, (which I don't concede) I still think it is wrong to use it based on the clear risks involved. I am amazed that the insurance companies haven't stepped in.
Read the link referred to above and see if you still think using the 44/375 makes sense.



Aug. 12, 2014
Critter20
Men's 50
3 posts
HJ,

Actually it was a mid 90's sunny Sacramento area day. Typical here in the summer.

My point is respective of the data players like what they like. See ball hit ball. Simply said "if I have to change my swing or bat to accommodate the ball, I don't need it". These are the quotes you hear regarding the 52/300 ball.

At this point if you had an association that featured the 52/300 and competed directly with the 44/375 my guess would be the 52/300 association would die on the vine

Here in Northern Calif we have options. If SSUSA went to the 52/300 ball at 5-700 dollars a tournament, in the heat we play in, I would guess teams might spend their dollars elsewhere.
Aug. 13, 2014
glovedad
28 posts
When SSUSA is the first responder to a post, you know they received the .911 call and are on it. Their history shows a pattern of judicial thinking that leans to the side of rule following. If you break the rules, you are held accountable. If you ask for the rules to be bent, their first answer is usually no. Who puts softballs inside an iced cooler to get better pop on their hits? Well I believe it is 13 year old kids who are going on 55. 13 year old kids who I might add, have not been held accountable for their actions and choices. Impulse overrules judgement. In these cases, consequences are the most effective response. Warnings only mean you got away with it this time. Highway patrolman do not give warning tickets to speeders, unless perhaps the speeder is beautiful. Warnings mean that what you did is not serious enough to take action. Why give warnings for doctoring equipment? Who does not know that is wrong??? Just like speeding, we all know the speed limit, is it only wrong when we get caught? They knew what they did was sneaky and wrong; they just decided to go ahead and do it anyways. It will be interesting to see what SSUSA does...warning ticket or a real consequence?
Aug. 13, 2014
E6 in AZ
Men's 50
7 posts
Folks, this is not about the balls being used and who supplies them. This is about a team cheating, a 50 Major team.
Based on keeping these balls in the dug-out "on ice", this team felt they would get an advantage. More pop, more bounce, no bounce ... bottomline is that this action created a unsafe situation for the defense.
Every player on that tournament roster needs to be suspended, no one in that dugout can say they did not know.
The SSUSA has to take action or this will never stop.
My 2 cents.
Aug. 13, 2014
The real deal
Men's 60
63 posts
If cooling down softballs is a violation of Rulebook 3.4(4): Altered Equipment, does that mean it is a violation to warm up bats as well? We have all seen these sun - reflective "hot boxes" that a lot of players carry around.
Aug. 13, 2014
db14
91 posts
i believe some are overlooking the second and arguably the more significant infraction here. The action of consciously putting softballs (new or not) which may have been who knows where and handled by how many into the drinking water of others now becomes a potential significant health issue. It is only speculation who drank from that cooler and if this was not just the one game of several that they pulled this.
Aug. 13, 2014
leftyodoul
Men's 60
99 posts
I watched the loser out game between Doerflinger and Aftershock, which Aftershock won. That win enabled them to play in the championship game. The temperature was in the low 90's. Aftershock's number 3 hitter launched a ball which cleared the fence and hit the light standard in left field at least 60 feet above the ground. I wondered how anyone could hit a ball that far given the conditions. I now have my answer.
Every one of these players who are law enforcement should be reported to their agencies. These individuals are accountable for their conduct on and off duty. When you wear a badge you represent your agency 24/7.
I had a 34 year career in law enforcement. These individuals are an embarrassment to the profession.
Aug. 13, 2014
So Cal Z
Men's 50
15 posts
db14, very good point about the "health issue". In Bullhead city last season there were a number of players who reportedly got pretty sick from the supplied drinking water. What they found out was players were dunking their towels in the water to cool themselves off, this year we played out there and that brought out bottled water for you each game.

The real deal, the rule book specifically addresses the "chilled softballs" but does not have anything that says you cannot warm your bat but only states you cannot change or alter the bat handle or put anything inside the bat or even add more than 2 layers of tape to the handle.
Aug. 13, 2014
AJC
33 posts
Aftershock is playing this weekend in the NCSSA HOF Championships in Manteca @ BLD in the top bracket against a few of the guys teams that have posted here, talk about awkward ! Hopefully not everyone on the team knew about it but even it that's true, will still be looked at as guilty of cheating. It makes you feel for the ones that honestly had no Idea that this was going on if in fact there was a few that had no idea that this was taking place. I'm sure every team will be aware this weekend of the possibility of chilled softballs being put into the game and checking for softballs that have been "chilled" as it will be in the 90's this weekend.

BLD which doesn't allow drinks to be brought into the park also has coolers in each dugout. Suddenly drinking water from these doesn't sound all that appealing.
Aug. 13, 2014
Mulewhipper
68 posts
AJC...this weekend the HOF tournament is a NCSSA sanctioned event.
Balls will be provided and kept in the umpires care the whole time.
But I'm sure the barbs and comments will be flying around.
It will be interesting to say the least.
Aug. 13, 2014
Marv19
Men's 60
445 posts
This is in response to the cooler issue. Since we have been doing this (4.5 years now) I get questions as to why we don't put coolers in the dugouts. One would only have to read the comments above to know why. However at a recent tournament in March I had a player yell out at me "You need to put coolers in these dugouts" I replied "I dont and if you want to know why meet me at the tent after the game". His response was "if one of my guys dies from heat stroke your going to get sued" He said this mind you about 50 feet from a drinking fountain. My only thought now is he wanted a place to put his sweaty towel. Speculation I know but it was only in the upper 70s last March.

My favorite and the main reason I don't put coolers in the dugout is the guy that hurt his ankle and his team thought it would be in his best interest if he put his foot in the cooler to ice it. In the confusion the cooler was left behind after the game. The team that followed lifted the cooler back to the bench. It wasn't until somebody told that team what had happened that the cooler was moved out and emptied. Another case in point. Have you ever seen anybody sterilize one of these things before they fill it?? Food for thought.
Aug. 13, 2014
jimperry19
4 posts
Okay, this morning I packed my balls in ice, kept them that way all day, I went and took BP this evening, not only couldn't I hit any further, it really hurts when I pee. What? Oh,THOSE balls.
Aug. 13, 2014
jimperry19
4 posts
On another post on this board someone said that Aftershock still got the second place trophy. Why would that be?
Aug. 13, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
I happen to know a good portion of that Aftershock team, and I find it hard to believe that all knew those balls were being chilled.

I do believe who ever did this ought to step up to the plate for the rest of the team...

I have read the rules as posted by SSUSA that the team forfeits the game.. no where does it say to suspend someone for a year!

What if the person or persons who did this didn't know they were cheating? It may be a stretch but there are a lot of players that don't keep up with everything.

Aug. 13, 2014
Tim Millette
498 posts
Swing, there are at least six policemen on aftershock...I wonder how many of them let that guy driving 70 in a 25 off the hook because he didn't know the speed limit...

Or how about this one....so you say I blew a blood alcohol twice the limit? Geez officer...if I knew I was driving drunk I wouldn't of done it....will you let me go free?;-)
Aug. 13, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
swing, I tend to agree with you. I would have to believe that they did not know they were cheating, it would be very obvious to everyone that the ball is cold when they threw it in.
Aug. 14, 2014
Fastsam
Men's 60
55 posts
Swing I agree also. I mentioned doing the same thing to my coach this weekend in Sacramento. He told me it was against the rules. I didn't know that was a rule. I canned the idea immediately. I don't expect all the players to know all the rules of senior softball. But I expect the leader or coach of the teams too!
Aug. 14, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
I am curious, did they throw the ball to the umpire first or to the pitcher? We have been instructed by SSUSA officials to throw every ball to the umpire to check out and then let them throw it in.
Aug. 14, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
jimperry19, I sure hope you didn't do that in a watercooler. That would be grounds for neutering.
Aug. 14, 2014
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Collateral damage, one action effects the rest involved. End of story.
Aug. 14, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
Reading through the rules on altered equipment, it does clearly state that chilling a ball is altering and against the rules. But in the penalty part, it only talks about altering bats and doesn't talk about the penalty for altering balls.

I have no idea who plays on either team, so not making any excuses for anyone, but it would appear that the team didn't know it was against the rules because they gave it to the umpire to check out. It would also appear that (assuming they threw all balls to the umpire to check) they never did hit any of the balls.

Aug. 14, 2014
SJV
3 posts
They cheated, they got caught, pay the penalty whatever SSUSA imposes, Move on.
Aug. 14, 2014
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
We had something that I found so out of the ordinary in the same vein happen that I thought that I would share it. Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with senior softball. We have a tournament here every year called the All Niter. Early Sunday morning, a team came into the office complaining that the team that they had just played against was switching out their good balls for junk ones. Now, of course after the game is over is never going to solve anything, but I just really had a hard time believing that the other team would actually engineer that unless they were also magicians, but I have been wrong before, and as some of you point out, cheaters may go to great lengths to accomplish their cheat of choice. It would not have helped in this situation, but in the BYOB tournaments here, I always ask the coaches at the plate meeting to have their pitcher and catcher help in policing the balls. Catchers can be an umpire's best friend on the details sometimes. This is not how it is done in senior softball, but this works for me here because the umpires never touch the softballs in these tournaments.
Aug. 15, 2014
southernson
261 posts
Today is Aug 15, the thread began on Aug 11. Do you get the feeling "nothing" is going to happen to the Aftershock team from SSUSA?
Aug. 15, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
Yes, I think they should get the Chair, come on SSUSA.. start the execution already! let's lynch them! ;-)!

Something already happened Southernson.. they forfeited the championship game that they were winning at the time they were caught and lost the championship! Not to mention the embarrassment factor to their entire team!

Aug. 15, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
I don't see anywhere in the rule book that the penalty for attempting to use altered equipment whether a bat or a ball is grounds to forfiet the game. It would appear that they never actually hit one of those balls as the balls went through the umpire before being introduced into the game.

I do agree that there has to be penalties for attempting to cheat. I bet that SSUSA will amend that rule to include so it is clear.
Aug. 15, 2014
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts
Guys - it's a team....they play every tourney together....room together....grab food/beer together....to suggest that the team members had no knowledge of this - how far the balls traveled - where they came from in their own dugout is ridiculous.....I'm not a betting man but I'd say it's pretty darn near certain everyone knew what was going on and they were in the know.....

Hitting at BLD in Manteca they are using a better ball and the balls always fly there so there is no reason to chill/doctor a ball....

As far as the awkward/disclaimer/brag/spin/damage control - yes - since most of the teams & umps participate in both venues it could be interesting.....but as they are playing in an NCSSA event it will probably be of no consequence once the tourney gets rolling.....

The onus is now on the SSUSA to sort and take action as deemed appropriate as it happened on their watch.....

What action do you suggest they take?

It's too easy for teams to disband and regroup so whatever happens it has to apply to the team and members themselves.....

It's August - maybe disqualify this team and it's individual members for the remainder of the year....not allowing them to participate up through the TOC.....? Certainly can't reward them.....
Aug. 15, 2014
Mulewhipper
68 posts
Let's put down the torches and pitchforks townspeople...

I'm sure that SSUSA will handle this properly and it may be that they already have.
It also may be that they don't have to make public their actions.
Aug. 15, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
It was wise of the SSUSA to have all balls before thrown in the game go through the umpire.

That rule made sure that the team did not cheat, although the attempt was there.
Aug. 15, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
The penalty for actually using an altered bat is

1. Batter will be called out and ejected from the tournament.
2. Base runners will be instructed to return to the base(s) occupied at the
time the suspected altered bat was used, providing there are fewer than
three outs.
3. The bat (if surrendered by the owner) will be held and forwarded for
testing through the National SSUSA Office at the conclusion of the
tournament

I wouldn't think that the attempt to cheat with a ball would be worse than that.
Aug. 15, 2014
So Cal Z
Men's 50
15 posts

That is the immediate penalty. it is a little more complex if in fact the bat is altered or not.


3.4(6) PENALTY FOR USING AN ALTERED BAT
SSUSA agreed to follow the 2007 Summit Altered Bat Recommendation:
Penalty for using an altered bat If a bat is suspected of being altered to
enhance performance, a tournament official will determine if the bat will be
allowed to be used in play or will request that it be voluntarily surrenderd by the
owner for inspection. If the player refuses to immediately surrender the bat to
tournament officials, the player will be suspended for 10 years, the manager for
one year, and the team will forfeit all games played in the current tournament.
If the player voluntarily surrenders the bat and it is found to be altered to
enhance performance, the player will be suspended for five years and the
manager for one year. The bat, if surrendered by the owner, will be held and
forwarded for testing through the National SSUSA office at the conclusion of the
tournament. A second offense may result in the lifetime ban of the player.
Immediate actions for use of an altered bat will also result in the following:
Aug. 15, 2014
leftyodoul
Men's 60
99 posts
cal50 - In your comments you are making an assumption that Aftershock did not chill their game balls in any other game prior to the Championship game. I watched their 2 games prior to the Championship game. Balls coming off of their bats had a distinctly different sound and, on average, traveled farther and faster than the other teams. Is that proof positive? No it isn't. But if I was a betting man....
All of the players on their roster, that were participating in the tournament, should be suspended. Whoever is running the team should receive double the penalty.
SSUSA needs to send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. End of story.
Aug. 15, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
I guess no one here cuts and pastes links so I will insert the language here. The real issue is that altering an already dangerous ball by chilling it made it more dangerous. Simply put by chilling it you create more ball speed off the bat. The ball at the pitcher or 3rd baseman is more lethal since it is going faster.
I don't get it why anyone wants to use balls which encourage cheating, rapidly break bats, encourage shaving bats and make effective infield play more difficult.
I'm done. Here is the language that is in the link and draw your own conclusions. Oh, as I have said before, perhaps "senior" softball should have 2 divisions- one for 60 and older and one for under 60 with different rules and balls.

.52COR/300 Compression Softball

COR and compression in relation to an impact injury. COR is the ability of a ball to rebound

COR is the ability of the ball to rebound away from the impact area. The lower the COR, the higher the impact therefore when a player gets struck by a lower COR ball, the impact drives into the body instead of wanting to rebound away from it. When a ball drives into the impact area it is transferring the energy into the impact, creating a much more severe impact.

Compression is the hardness of the ball

When high compression and lower COR are combined, the impact rises to a point that it is beyond severe levels. The harder the ball the less flex it has on impact. An impact of a .44/375 ball has the initial impact of about the size of a quarter. Now the force of the ball is transferred into the impact that spot. The ball does flex somewhat after the initial impact but the damage has already occurred.

High COR balls

A high COR softball will reverse direction much quicker on impact lessening the force transferred to impact spot. By the ball rebounding away from the impact spot the damage is reduced by a great deal.

Compression

Now lower the compression with a high COR ball and you now have an impact spot is about 2 times the size of a low COR ball. That means the energy that gets transferred does so over a bigger area lessening the force dramatically. Think of having 2 hammers. They both weigh the same but one is a ball peen hammer and the other is a roofing hatchet. The ball peen hammer has an impact spot no bigger than the head of a nail and the roofing hammer has an impact spot the size of a half dollar. Which one would has to strike a hard surface like a skull harder in order to break it? Or take a ball made of metal (hollow of course) and a tennis ball. Both the same size and weight, which one would you rather be hit by?

Scary Part I

Severity Index (SI) is the measurement of the impact on a National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) http://www.nocsae.org head form. Anything above 1200 SI can kill you. Anything close can kill you.

During my testing using an American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) http://www.a2la.org accredited NOCSAE approved test facility we performed head form studies. These tests were performed on NOCSAE head forms and impact data collected through force load transducers.

.44/375 softballs were constantly testing above 1800 SI. Many tested above 2400 SI. And some tested as high as 3600 SI. Now it is proven that SIs above 1200 will break the skull and or cause severe brain trauma. This is unacceptable in recreational sports.

Now the high COR balls using the same test and the same facility yielded impacts of less than 500 SI, we tested the balls at different weights and none of the ball that were within an approved spec tested above 500 SI that we tested.

I also tested a couple of .50/525 balls and found the less dangerous than a .44/375, still way above the 1200 SI.

Peak Gs is the G force that the Brain can take before you have severe brain trauma. 180 peak gs will cause a severe brain trauma. Anything below 170 is acceptable. With the new balls they tested around 157 to 165 balls at 165 are not being made by me or anyone else unless their ball fails the specifications. I did extensive testing on different weights. As long as the balls are made at less than 6.7 ounces they will pass the peak Gs no problem.

So a brief review we can make a ball that is safer for play. Keep 300 foot fences in play and not lose the home runs. Have a ball that is much less sensitive to cold or heat, and allow softball players to go out and have fun like we used to do without the fear of dying every time a ball is hit at them.

Scary Part II

NOTHING is safe traveling at you at 100 MPH, even a tennis ball can kill you if it hits the exact spot at the exact time. But this ball is much safer than what we have made in the past. Nose, fingers, and other bones can still be broken but the skull structure will be much less affected by this ball than before.

Aug. 15, 2014
cal50
Men's 50
284 posts
leftyodoul, I am making that assumption because all of the balls are supposed to go through the umpire and the assumption is that if they did try to use those balls earlier they would have been caught earlier. I do admit though that I do not know if a chilled ball is easily detected and could be wrong that they should be easily detected.
Aug. 15, 2014
homefry
Men's 55
11 posts
Hmm...let's review:

A Major + team dropped to Majors. Good possibility that they have very talented and experienced players.

In an effort to win a tourney at a LOWER division, one (at least) player or manager thinks it's a good idea to doctor a ball. Why--are they not good enough to compete?

To think most of the team is oblivious to the switch is hard to believe. I also find hard to believe that Aftershock hadn't pulled this stunt in prior games.

As a pitcher, I already think the current "senior game" is tilted way too far in the hitters favor. I don't mind taking shots up the middle, that's the risk I take playing the game. I DO mind when teams push the envelope even further...so I have a question to those who alter bats and balls.

When you make a mistake and go middle--and by chance you severely injure someone--are you going to run down to first with the obligatory "Sorry, Pitch" statement...knowing your actions created a more dangerous playing field? Does the apology make it "all good"?

From what I read, most (some) of Aftershock's players are ex-law enforcement? In that case, I say throw the book at them. They are the party responsible--therefore they should be held accountable...

Now getting off soapbox.
Aug. 15, 2014
Doc48
1 posts
Tim Millette, Send me an email, a voice from the past, Chris Sims DocJoel48@yahoo.com
Aug. 15, 2014
LeeLee50
24 posts
Let it go, some of you guys sound like a bunch of little kids
(tally tales). This already happened this year in Texas and the penalty was a forfeit that's it nothing else and I do believe not every guy on the team knew about what was going on. I didn't even know where are balls were in the dugout for 7 games.
Aug. 15, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
For those of you who think everyone knew the balls were being chilled... your Wrong! I talked to one of my Buddies on that team and he had know Idea why they called that game...
He was embarrassed by the whole thing and I guarantee you that he would of walked off the field and went home if he knew his team was doing that!

HJ, get it through your head, the 52/300 is not something we want to hit... and the notion of 47/375 being dangerous in that heat is nonsense even when it was chilled! made it react more like it should of than making it a super ball!

Our manager on the North Cal Warriors had a team meeting early on, to talk about these kinds of things! From altered bats and the fact that he would be suspended for a year if one of us got caught using a altered bat! He made it very,very clear that nobody in our dugout was to throw out balls to the umpire unless it came out of the game ball bag and to check with him. We were told we could forfeit game for throwing out the wrong kind of ball! That being said, I think this whole thing should be a learning experience for all and hopefully everyone moves on!
Aug. 15, 2014
Dbax
Men's 60
1283 posts
WTF is a "tally tale" ?
Aug. 15, 2014
DOLFAN
38 posts
Busted is Busted...deal with the Repercussions...
Aug. 16, 2014
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
teams have been trying to gain an edge ever since the game started.I remember teams microwaving softballs because we believed they would go a little bit farther back then.this is just another case of that and they got caught.I guess the next step is to give the Empire a thermometer and let him check the temperature of every ball that's thrown in.seriously, I believe that forFeiting out of a tournament is enough of a punishment for a first offense. That plus the stigma of it would embarrass me for sure.
Aug. 16, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
Well said Webbie.... but who is the Empire? ;-)
Aug. 16, 2014
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Love spellchecker on phones especially doing it verbally. That's funny. Back to typing.
Aug. 16, 2014
bigdawg
1 posts
Wow everyone is trying to get an egde its not cheating till u get Caught
Aug. 18, 2014
southernson
261 posts
Swing,
Guess you are right, they lost the game by forfeit. Pay your entry fee and chill em again....
Aug. 18, 2014
DoublePlay6
Men's 50
19 posts
This is NOT in defense of cooling down balls but what about playing games/tournaments in the Spring/Fall/Winter(Fl)when temps are low giving the ball the same affect? No games below 60 degrees for safety?
Aug. 18, 2014
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
74 posts
Can't condone cheating but when the balls are as bad as they are in Sacramento teams will do things like this.
SLi
Aug. 18, 2014
TOMAR77
Men's 55
200 posts
Steven,bigdawg it would be sad if Teams adopted your points of view. Really ! Is Winning so paramount that you would be willing to besmirch your own character and a Teams Reputation? Maybe all the players did not know what was going on with the Balls, but unfortunately the whole Team gets the Rep! Ain't necessarily fair , but so it is. I am aware that Teams have inadvertently thrown the wrong ball in, but that should be handled by the umpire whom receives the ball from the Team and puts the ball into play. But to chill the balls that is cheating no other way to put it. Last year our Team played in the Westerns, the weather was HOT, the Balls were like hitting SOCKS, we called the Games SOCKBALLS instead of SOFTBALL, but no one to our knowledge cheated by cooling the balls. You can look at the scores and see that scoring was way down, 5 to 4, 9 to 8 etc. Still No Cheating. We all get to make decisions on how we play the Games.I would venture a guess to say that over 90% of my fellow Senior Player's play with integrity. That still leaves 10% with questionable ethics, No Excuses, just unfortunate.
Tomar
Aug. 18, 2014
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
74 posts
Tomar
I agree 100% and was not justifying the action. No excuse for cheating - Period.
Thanks for the follow up.
SLi
Aug. 18, 2014
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
Maybe I'm missing something. You guys are all complaining that the 44/375's don't perform in the heat. You are right: they 375 compression goes way down for each degree over about 83 I think. The 52/300 doesn't lose compression so in the heat it performs better.
Incidentally I am told a really chilled ball, takes about 3 hours to get back to ambient temperature. So a chilled ball could feel ok on the outside and still be chilled on the inside.
We are randomly testing the 52/300's. Unfortunately, in a game today in our older division a baserunner was knocked cold by a thrown ball and taken away by EMT. It was a 44/375. As my post above makes crystal clear, if hit in exactly the same way with a 52/300 the damage to him would have been less. Our best player took a 44/375 on the finger and was ineffective for the rest of the game. There is more to the discussion than perceived ball speed off the bat.
Restated: the 44/375 can easily crack skulls and the 52/300's can't.
Aug. 18, 2014
TOMAR77
Men's 55
200 posts
Just to be clear, if, there is any question. I do not mean to imply that either bigdawg or Steven are in the 10% that probably don't have ethics. They are obviously involved in our sport to care enough to comment adding diverse opinions necessary to get a full picture of the subject at hand.
Steven,thanks for your response, Tomar
Aug. 18, 2014
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Steven is correct that the balls were not at their usual performance level in Sacramento this year. I played in the tournament; temps were in the 90s; and the air was more humid than usual because of unseasonable rain on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. But in the bigger picture, what does "not at usual level" mean?

I played thousands of games for decades when batted balls were not going as far as they were in Sacramento. Our outfielders were playing about 10-15 feet closer than normal because of the conditions, but they were still at distances that would have been on the other side of the fence in the 60s! When did expectations change that a big boy should hit a ball 400 feetor that a normal 4-hitter should consistently keep outfielders hugging the warning trackor that 300 feet was an "old, smaller park"? The game has really changed, no doubt, and in doing so many have dropped softball as a sport. Whether the belief is that the game is now too fast; too offensively oriented; too tiring for outfielders; too frustrating for infielders; or too dangerous, men are choosing to leave the sport in droves as they age compared to previous years before the composite bats.

None of this excuses cheating. To cool down a ball for extra distance (compare 8:00am games with 4:00pm for the difference) is intentionally cheating. There would be no other reason, especially as this story hints that the drinking water was contaminated to achieve the cooling. As Swing and Tomar note, it is possible that some team members didn't know what was going on, but they are tarred with a charge of "cheater". Sad.
Aug. 18, 2014
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
Had a ball come to me in Birmingham this past weekend that was obviously cooler than the rest, not saying it was iced, just cooler. Maybe the other balls were in the sun and warmer than average but I immediately noticed the coolness being a pitcher. Gave the ball to umpire and it was ok'd for play. End of Story.
Aug. 18, 2014
rrengineer99
11 posts
cheating is cheating, plain and simple..
Aug. 18, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
HJ, the Trump Fireball and the Rock hold up in the heat...Period!
Aug. 20, 2014
Dusty
Men's 60
7 posts
Rules are rules. The penalty according to the rule book is clear. If you don't follow what the rule states then there is no use having rules. Cheating is cheating and altering equipment is cheating.
Aug. 20, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1284 posts
Actually, the altered equipment penalty according to the SSUSA Rulebook is anything but clear for other than bats ... With respect to bats, the procedures and penalties are very specific, but less so as to softballs and other equipment ... The SSUSA Rules Committee will be re-visiting this issue at their sessions during the 2014 Annual Convention ... Regarding West Coast Aftershock, their matter has been resolved amicably, and fully, by and between the team and SSUSA ... We will will not be making any further public comment ...

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