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Discussion: tournament of champs

Posted Discussion
Nov. 16, 2006
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
tournament of champs
Does anyone know about the Tournament Of Champions that is being held in Polk County Florida at end of February? Have not seen any info and was wondering if they are even going to still have it.
Nov. 16, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
Our team is planning on competing. Here is the infor that was posted in the News section on this website:

May 1, 2006 - news
TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS UNVEILED
Terry Hennessy CEO
SACRAMENTO, California (May 15, 2006) – Senior Softball-USA and Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing today announced creation of the “Tournament of Champions,” designed to bring together the winners of all 12 Senior Softball Championships.

“For the first time in Senior Softball, the Best of the Best will compete for the most prestigious honor in the sport,” said Terry Hennessy, chief executive officer of Senior Softball-USA.

Hennessy said the winners – and only the winners – of each of Senior Softball-USA’s Regional, National and World Championships will be invited to compete in the Tournament of Champions in Polk County, Florida, from Feb. 23-25, 2007.

“The Tournament of Champions is designed to celebrate the victors,” he said. “And Polk County, Florida is the perfect place to do it.”

Several signature events are planned.

Polk County Sports Marketing is sponsoring the Tournament of Champions Banquet for all of the players and their families, each player will receive a Tournament of Champions jacket, each manager will receive a gift basket – and each winner will receive a ring specially designed for the event by Josten’s.

"This event represents an outstanding opportunity for Central Florida's Polk County Sports Marketing, to promote softball's premier organization and a world class event to millions of softball players worldwide,” said Mark A. Jackson, director of Tourism and Sports Marketing. “It's truly a great partnership between two partnership oriented organizations. We will be rolling out the red carpet for the best senior softball players in the country, at a location many have called Florida's softball capital."

Winning teams from these 2006 Senior Softball-USA tournaments will be invited:

· The Senior Softball World Championships in Seattle

· The US National Championships in Seattle

· The Eastern National Championships in Lansing, Michigan

· The Western National Championships in Reno, Nevada

· The Spring National Championships in Polk County, Florida

· The Winter Worlds in Las Vegas, Nevada

· The Winter Nationals in Ft. Myers, Florida

· The Midwest Championships in Champaign, Illinois

· The California State Championships in Roseville, California

· The Northwest Championships in Portland, Oregon

· The Southwest Championships in Tucson, Arizona

More than 2 million men and women over the age of 50 play softball in the United States according to the latest survey by the National Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Senior slow-pitch softball is the second fastest growing segment of the sport, after girls fast-pitch.

Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA), the largest of the 10 national senior softball associations. SSUSA sanctions National Qualifying tournaments in 40 cities in addition to the Championship Tournaments.

SSUSA also promotes softball worldwide through International Sports Holidays, a division of SSUSA, which has brought teams to more than 20 countries over the past 19 years to play exhibition games and tournaments.

SSUSA also publishes Senior Softball News, the oldest and largest senior softball newspaper, which circulates to all 50 states and Canada.

More details will be available on www.seniorsoftball.com soon.
Nov. 16, 2006
mort
Men's 70
31 posts
Bruce:

I agree with you regarding the timing of this tournament. We(Millers 65) received a formal invitation to participate as a result of winning the Eastern National Championship and will be there in February with 15-16 players, most of which will not have played since October.

SSUSA will pay 1/2 of the $500.00 entry fee.

Mort-Millers 65
Nov. 16, 2006
mort
Men's 70
31 posts
Gary:

As always, our players pay for all expensesto travel. Our sponsor(Chuck Miller) pays for entries and uniforms which is a big expense when we go to 12-13 tournaments per year.

A lot of the guys drive together and triple up on rooms.

Mort

Nov. 17, 2006
Duke
Men's 60
720 posts
Nice idea, but if you did that with my AAA didvision, it would be teams that won but were Major teams or AAA teams with 1-3 Major/Major+ players on their squad. Is this like having fantasy football/baseball? Maybe we can pick players from a pool. That sounds like fun. LOL!
Nov. 17, 2006
Gary Heifner
248 posts
My team qualified for this. My concern is that with guys retiring to other parts of the country and guys moving to a higher age group, what happens if you only have about 2/3 rds of the roster that won left????
Nov. 18, 2006
mort
Men's 70
31 posts
Gary:

My team is turning 70 with 2/3 of the players going up. I spoke with Fran and she said that we use the roster we used to win our tournament and we play the same clasification that we won with. You can pick up if necessary but check with her first.

Mort
Nov. 27, 2006
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
Our team is planning on going to the TO CHAMPIONS and am curious how many teams from the 50s -4 divisions are actually going to go. I am with a 2a team.
Nov. 27, 2006
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
I agree that the timming of this is bad, but given the other tournaments that go on all over up to that time, I ass-u-me it was the only dates available. Hopefully those that go stay fit in the mean time, to avoid those injuries that will definately occur from using those parts of the body normally injuried from both lack of use and too much, when playing. Too bad it couldn't be in the 1st half of Dec. cutting down downtime between Nov and Feb.

IMO.The teams that won one of those tournaments and are eligible to go, should have 90-95% of the same players that attended the one that got them there. Might cut out some ringers. Or just call it by another name.
Nov. 28, 2006
rabbit
Men's 65
297 posts
Hi Gary, the real reason, it is another way to make more money , you should know that? Rabbit
Nov. 28, 2006
rabbit
Men's 65
297 posts
Hi Gary, yes we are still going to play 50-AAA , we are hoping for a very good year with three new 50 yr old players that will be playing full time this coming year and with all other players returning, as long as we can stay injury free, we should be in very good shape, Rabbit, Indiana Classics
Nov. 29, 2006
TotallyRec
Men's 50
32 posts
TOP GUN III (50+ AAA) team from San Diego will be traveling to Polk County Florida and look forward to participating in the Tournament of Champions. See you in February

Kevin Evans...Manager Top Gun III
Nov. 29, 2006
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Other than a REAL burden to change and costly back to back or close to weekends, ( from the one already scheduled for the southwest region) why not consider the week of Monday DEC 10 through Sunday the 16th OR even the one after that for the Tournament of Chamipons?
Letting the vast majority of players still in shape & more prone to consider it over playing after a two month absence form playing.
Food for thought anyway.
Dec. 1, 2006
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Travelodge 55's (Major 55) are planning to attend. Right now I'm looking out at a snowstorm in the suburbs of Chicago but wishing it was time to play. We will be a little rusty come tournament time but we will give it a go anyhow.

Has this type of tournament (of only Champions) ever been tried at any level for any age group before? I can't remember if it has but this is one of the reasons we want to play in this tournament.

Bob Schulz
Dec. 1, 2006
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
Bob, if you look at post from Bruce up above it gives the info for this tournament.
Dec. 1, 2006
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Grumpy,

I know this is the first time there is a Tournament of Champions in senior ball. I was curious if there has ever been a tournaments of champions for the younger guys between the various softball associations, i.e., USSSA, ASA, SPA, etc. for A, B, C, D, 18+, 35+, 40+. For the guys who have played softbal tournaments since they first began can anyone recall an attempt to put something like this together?

Bob Schulz
Dec. 1, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
In the 70's, didn't we have to win or place 2nd in the ASA district and regions before we played in the nationals?
I remember placing second behind BBQ Kitchen in Marietta, Ga. and then advancing to Athens, Tn. Once there we saw teams like Dave Carroll and Howards. I don't remember if this was the nationals or maybe regions.
Dec. 1, 2006
DoubleL10
Men's 65
834 posts
Bruce-
You had to WIN your region back in the early '70s to advance to the Nationals. We (Federal Wrecking out of Maryland)came in second to Greenbelt Shell, perennial Regional champions back in those days. Greenbelt went to the National tournament while I went and watched!

LL
Dec. 1, 2006
the wood
1086 posts
LL, that's the way I remember it as well. But we played mostly USSSA in So Cal until 1978. Then we played in Elk Grove, CA & Norman, OK to play in ASA events. That's the first time we met and competed against B Meade and Nelson Painting.
Back then, there were only USSSA teams that were invited tio play in the National Tournament... we either won the region or we didn't go.
in Norman, we played against Clatterbough and his team, Howard & Carroll. We had already seen Campbell's Carpets a few times before we got to Norman but we played then there, too.
Those were the good old days as they say... but other than being 30 years older, today is the 'good old days', too.
Aside from the softball, the common denominator for me is that I can't wait to see my teammates and compete. We had a lot of opponents that we enjoyed seeing, too. Such as Russell Bradley (one of the smartest players I've ever met), Ray Fleetwood, Richard (Little Boog) Powell, Mickey McCarty, several Snyder's guys from Detroit, Ricky 'The Crusher' Scherer, Clyde Guy, Herman Rathman and many more. These are guys that you'll remember, too.
The stories get larger, the players become more mythical, etc. i still have all of the old Slo Pitch magaine issues and look at them occasionally. I miss those guys more than I miss those times...
Bob Woodroof
Dec. 2, 2006
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
At this point it looks like my guys will be at the Tournament of Champions also. February in Penna is not very exciting anyway! Good Luck to all!
Dec. 2, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
Bob, I still have a 1979 issue of the National Slow Pitch Conference (NSPC). It's funny how styles of uniforms were back then. At the time we thought they were cool.
Dec. 2, 2006
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Bruce,

When I look at pictures going back to the 70's I have to laugh at everything I wore that I thought was cool.

From the comments it appears that there has never been the equivalent of a Tournnament of Champions at any age. I hope the Champions from this past year bear this in mind when they decide whether or not to make the effort to participate in what may be the first time for this type of event. There will only be one team who will ever be able to say in each age bracket and rating that we won the FIRST Tournament of Champions. Come on guys make an effort to go and provide competition for the other Champions.

Bob Schulz
Travelodge 55's (Major)
Dec. 2, 2006
the wood
1086 posts
Bruce, we wore purple coaching pants at times, gold shorts at times and the other times long baseball pants. For the teams from the southwest, T-shirts were not part of the lore as we wore Sand Knit mesh shirts. No one wore T-shirts out here... never saw them until we played the southeast teams. We didn't use to wear caps (maybe visors) and that's probably why so many of us have had skin cancer.
Looking back, most of the other teams wore solid color coaching pants.
Today we see the striped Boombah pants which I'm liking more and more. They look damn comfortable... at this age, comfort is huge.
BTW, what is the name of your All State/Miken teammate that was in LV?... he smoked a cigar in and around the dugout... 5' 10" slim guy... great sense of humor... kind of reminds me of Ron White of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour... except that he isn't fat.
Dec. 2, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
In the southeast most of use wore coaches shorts with three button tees or just regular tee shirts. I never wore a hat, too much hair back then. Very few of us wore long pants.
As for the guy smoking a cigar, Jimmy Lyle is the only one that comes to mind. He lives in Naples, Fl but no longer plays with us because of a disagreement. We are trying to talk him into comming back. He was a one man comedy show!

I hate to hyjack a thread but have to tell everyone. I went to watch a young guy's 2 pitch tournament today. Unlimited hrs, hit any ball and any bat except Ultras. Your own teammate would pitch to you so there weren't many shots up the middle. I was sitting with a guy that used to pitch for us in the 80's and he was telling me about the bats they were using. He usually umpires now so he knows most of the players. I would guess that of the bats used by the better teams, 90% were in some way doctored. No one was saying anything as it was a swing anything tournament.
Dec. 2, 2006
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
Gary my understanding of the rosters is that you have to play with the same one that you won 1 of the qualifing tournes with. also if you lost 2 players you may add i from only the upper age bracket and of the same class. Maybe someone from staff can shed some light on this before 2 long. It sure would clear up the confusion and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Dec. 2, 2006
hornachec
Men's 55
50 posts
Talking with Fran, you use the roster that you won your berth with and if your roster drops below 14 you can add players to bring roster up to 14. SSUSA MUST okay your pick -up players.
To me that doesn't quite seem right. The right couple of players can really change the dynamics of a team... If you have 10 healthy players, that's what you play with. Another thing, Winners of Winter Worlds of 2006 should be invited to the 2007 tournament of champions. Aren't you using your 2007 roster? How can you judge what division a team should be playing at before they even play a tourney? The tournament director puts a new team in lets say AA and they really should be AAA or major, win the winter worlds or winter nationals and get to play in tournament of champions? Doesn't seem fair! Also think tournament should be in November and winter worlds, should actually be played in winter, not middle of fall.
Just my opinion would like to here from others
Dec. 11, 2006
MikeC
Men's 60
38 posts
"Polk County Sports Marketing is sponsoring the Tournament of Champions Banquet for all of the players and their families, each player will receive a Tournament of Champions jacket, each manager will receive a gift basket – and each winner will receive a ring specially designed for the event by Josten’s."

I noticed that they are no longer talking about Jackets - in fact when I spoke to a employee of SSUSA he said he didn't know anything about jackets and was unsure about the Banquet. Does anyone know if they are still offering these items.

Thanks

Has anyone talked to them about what if they only get 3 teams in a divison will that divison move up or down and give or get runs? Asking because we are considering going but as a 55 AA or AAA (have a identiy problem) not real interested in playing a bunch of Major teams.

Mike/ Fossils Softball
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