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Discussion: Should we combine 50 with 55\'s?

Posted Discussion
Jan. 7, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
Should we combine 50 with 55's?
It's getting old going to a tournament and only playing one or two teams.
What are your thoughts on combining the 50 with the 55 age group?
I know that some 55 teams will say no, thinking they can't compete the 50's. I believe that most 55 teams could compete very well with the 50's. Our 55 Major Plus team did very well against the 50 Major plus teams in Ft. Meyers last November.
Maybe a compromise could be worked out were the two age groups would play together and the highest finishing team of each age group could be awarded the championship of their respective age group.
I just think that something need to be done about the low turnout at tournaments.
Jan. 7, 2007
smooth01
Men's 50
122 posts
Maybe entry fee's should be looked at, there has been discussion in the past in regards to this as some feel they are too high for what has been returned in awards.There was a World tournament this year that awarded T-Shirt and a Hat to 2nd place finishers ,The St.Louis World gave NOTHING to the 2nd place finishers. Seems like we put up a lot of money for entry fee's travel ,hotel,meals,and ASSOCIATION CARDS with little in return other than enjoying a weekend playing ball with the guy's.
Jan. 7, 2007
jah#4
Men's 55
551 posts
Bruce
Maybe we should rate the players instead of team than group the 50 and 55. The current system teams combine and go to tourneys and then nver move up. there is a another system needed for more teams to play.
Don
Jan. 7, 2007
Tater50
336 posts
Good post Bruce: this is long, ried to break it up.
In response to your comments Bruce: “It's getting old going to a tournament and only playing one or two teams. “ After limping on both legs thru the 05’ season & after knee surgery in 12/05, then not being able to go in a pace much faster than a walk in 06’ (not a good runner anyway), I was just hoping to be able to play again. So, my input is wow! If you are in good health & get to play (especially on a sponsored team), it’s great, no matter who shows up.

In response to: “What are your thoughts on combining the 50 with the 55 age group? I just think that something need to be done about the low turnout at tournaments.” First, you will have a problem with the Nationals, will the top 2 finishers (if 50 & 55) both be National Champs in each age class. If not, then from 07’ on you could be without a 50 or a 55 National Champ. Also, what happens when these guys turn 60 & there are plenty of 65 teams, are you going to revote & combine the 60 with the 55 & negate the previous rule.

I have played mostly Major + since 99, first with a sponsored team. Sponsorship is great, but these teams get to pick whom they want & release whom they do not want; and that is their prerogative. Sponsored Major + teams, especially now with the rocket U2 bat, are pretty much HR or laser line drive hitters throughout the lineup; so whom can you pitch around? Also, ROSTERS should be frozen after a certain date and deletions or additions should not be allowed unless evidence can be shown of job or physical problems & if so, the dropped player could not join another team in the same year after that deadline.


As you & others suggested before: they may need to separate sponsored teams from the others cause if a Major + player that is not on a team tries to join a lower class team, they automatically try to bump them up. But the age group should stay as it is. The problem is: will the sponsored teams admit they are sponsored or will they jump into a tourney with a stacked house just to win a trophy? If there is a separation, then non-sponsored teams may feel that they have a dog’s chance of winning a trophy.

John Hayes
Tater
Jan. 7, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
The low turnout seems to be an issue primarily at Major + so maybe it makes sense for them to just have a 50 - 59 division & a 60 - 69 division. There usually seems to be enough teams at 50, 55 & 60 for AA, AAA & Major.
Jan. 8, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
Gary, I don't see the problem being too many associations. The nationals that we play in have mostly the same teams so it's not the problem of some teams playing with association "A" and other playing with associatin "B". The only tournament with a respectible number in the 55 Major Plus class was the LVSSA nationals.
Pete, I do see the problem mainly in the Major Plus class.

Don, you might be right, rate the players and make the team play Major Plus if they have 3 or more Major Plus players on their roster.
Jan. 8, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Personally I don't think it would work.
Say, a new 50's team has players are turning 50 that year and or up to say 53 yrs. maybe 1 or 2 older.
the 55 team is 58-59 yrs & usually has a 60's plus player on it as well. I see a real big gap OVERALL in abilities here. Sure some will hold their own but not the numbers to make itr a viable marrage of ages.
I like playing the younger guys but my abilities are no longer at their level either.
Jan. 8, 2007
jah#4
Men's 55
551 posts
Bruce
Taits has a very good point, as we played last year as 54 year old I saw that the 50's was a better players more speed and range on defense, hitting there is not a lot change in the Major or major + level. As our team played in fall toureys just going into the 55 division I saw where we was the faster ones in most cases on defense. I know there is still alot of players like yourself that is able to playing down.But our 55' team was soundly beat by Ed Rose's 60 and over team in the winter nationals theonly reason we stay as close as we did was our defense, and they run out of HRS, If somebody was to combo a tourney it may be 55 and 60 Major and major + divison just my 2 cent from playing after we moved up. Just pitching that tourney I beleieve being a 55er now I would not want to face a 50 year old player like Baer with a Utlra 2 in his hand it was bad enough when I pitch to Davey Reed and he was pulling the ball.
Don
Jan. 8, 2007
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Want better turn out for tourneys Location location location
Jan. 8, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
Ok Corky, what location do you suggest? We do travel to Vegas but don't have the finances to there and California/Oregon also.
Are you saying Missouri or Oklahoma?
Jan. 8, 2007
Robo2
223 posts
I would suggest it be left up to each torunament. If 3 or less teams come in on any one category, then have the team managers discuss this option with the torunament director.

Nobody wants to travel and only play the same team. I've been there and it is no fun.
Jan. 8, 2007
turn2
486 posts
Bruce,
there is a big difference in the age from 59 down to 55. we found that out in 06 playing conn. sportplex. each year everyone gets a little slower.
combining is a good idea. there are not enough teams for 2 age brackets and also 4 divisions.
if there were only 2-3 divisions that would force a few more teams in ea. division. it probabaly would not help the major plus because most teams would maybe just drop the the lower divisions.
the assoc. just will not move teams up. how many championships can a team win and still not be moved up?
well i say just 2 divisions a rec league and a competive league like they have in the 40 and over bracket.they usually have 15-20 teams in ea. of 2 divisions.
jmo
later
donnie
turn two collectibles
Jan. 8, 2007
the wood
1085 posts
I agree with Donnie (Turn Two) on the age differential. There is a big difference between 55 and 59... an even bigger difference between 50 and 59. This makes it tough for the older 55 tams to compete with the younger 50 teams... but it can be done.
We (GSF) don't like to take the time (or waste the money) to attend an event that has less than 4 teams... preferably 5 or 6. Therefore, in '07 we'll attend only those events that have a track record of attracting the greater number of teams... SPA, SSWC, LVSSA and possibly SSWS.
We have zero interest in traveling to play in ASA, USSSA or NSA... We did attend the Western NSA in '06 (Las Vegas)... only 3 teams were there and it was played in one day... our guys took vacation time and reserved hotel rooms based upon two playing and one traveling day... still haven't received our rings even though it was played in June. This isn't the end of the world but it does illustrate how disinterested they are in serving our needs. We feel that they are not really senior organizations since most of their revenue comes from non-seniors.
I would hope that other senior teams support the Assns that are tuned in to our needs... ASA, USSSA or NSA are not. I'm talking about the organizations, not the rules.
We like to play against the 50 teams during the course of the season but we expect to play in our division in the Nationals.
Bob Woodroof
Jan. 9, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Consider a equalizer for 50 vs 55 or any other.
May I suggest looking at my two tourneys:
Fresno,CA's BLD privately owned, Fenway, Wrigley & SBC.
Only room for 18 teams. 50's through 70's
Divisions filled ( 6 teams ) get in. If by chance, lets say,two 55's get in, or 12 teams pay first, then they get in and boot others out who did not fill a division first. Those 12 teams would be split into a upper and lower bracket for that division. and would only allow one other division come in or another 6 teams. So it is those who send in first who are filling any one division.
Apr 21-22 and May 5-6
285 entry fee & 15 for an ASA team card, if you do not have a one. I get insurance through them so it is required,
All bats but Grey Miken and older Ti's .
Rules are run-through so it your into sliding you may want to think about what this would intail.
One up rule for HR's all.
All info can be found at: www.cvssa.org rules, award possibilities and equalizers for teams that may have to play up or down, AA to Maj+

Jan. 9, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Sliding should always be an option. Saw a guy pop his patella tendon not too long ago because of the strain of stopping. Dangerous thing your advocating.
Jan. 9, 2007
mad dog
Men's 60
3936 posts
taits hate to burst your bubble but there always has been an equalizer in senior softball(at least this org).upper age,or lower div same age bracket, gets 11 fielders or 5 runs which ever one they choose.
how about a 50-59 div,your M+ will most likely get the younger and better ones and the lower div can have the older guys in the div.just don't know what we can do for the M+ guys except like everyone says and thats go to sponser and rec div's.also if you win or place 2nd you should be moved up until its proven you can't win in an upper div.keep player profiles(what div they played,and such)to place teams in divs that are equal to the players on the team.do not think there is a good clear cut solution to this problem.
Jan. 9, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
MAD DOG: The problem..... The persons that run Tournaments appear to be too lazy to send Team Rosters to SPA & SS-USA. Both organiz.'s will check team names & players for free. Both SPA & SS-USA, will check Rosters & will do this, if, asked & given a mim. of 2 weeks.

This past Nov, LVSSA, did not do this & that is why, there were several problems. But, we have New Board Members.

GOOD LUCK............ The STONEMAN......
Jan. 9, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Bob (maddog)
I am aware of that, but it's also blanket 5 runs for the most part when used. That was only a suggestion for combining divisions, which I do not think would fly anyway.
You and I both play in other divisions but we both know playing down, is tougher on the body if your doing your job 100%.
So how does your place in Tx compare to Hanford....?
Jan. 9, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
Donnie, I know what you mean, however, how many 55 teams are comprised of all 59 yr olds and how many 50 teams are comprised of all 50 yr olds. Most 50's have only one or two 50 yr olds and the rest 51 or older, some even over 55.
I would be afraid to guess the ages of other 55 teams but ours is 55-57.
Jan. 9, 2007
the wood
1085 posts
Donnie Chavis:
Please email me @ awtgroupsc@aol.com as I'd like to get an idea of where you'll be in 2007. Bruce, we'd like to know when we might see All State/Miken, too...
actually, any of the 55 major + teams: please take the liberty of contacting me.
Thanks,
Bob Woodroof (GSF)

Bruce, we added 3 guys that will be 55 this year but our average age is roughly 58. Three 55 guys and two 60 guys... the rest is 57-59.
Jan. 9, 2007
turn2
486 posts
bruce,
you are right. there should only be a 50, 60 70 divisions. a few teams would be at a disadvantage for a year or 2 but would have to recruit more younger or better players.
it would also help if there were not 4 diff. classes in ea age group. there are way too many classes with as few of teams that there are. but things will not change. a majority of the teams will be in the lower divisions when the assoc. continue to let all the teams play aa and aaa.
the rule are so close that most major plus teams could play in the lower divisions if they wanted to. but we like to play the best competition out there in our age division.
we will play who ever they throw in front of us.
jmo
looking forward to 2007
donnie
turn two collectibles
Jan. 9, 2007
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
399 posts
I have always thought that having divisions in 5-year increments creates too many divisions especially at AA or AAA. Our team is about 50/50 with some young 50 year olds and some old 50 year olds. We even have a 60 year old or two now and then. I think the age difference would be much more noticeable at the higher levels, say major or major plus.

I would vote for doing away with the 55 year old divisions. I can’t assess the 65-year-old division. Maybe you need the 5-year increments there?

We play AAA.
Jan. 9, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
For that matter, is there any reason you can't do both? That is combine AA with AAA and Major with Major Plus in addition to combining 50 with 55. Then you'd have just 2 big divisions with the opportunity for teams to play a whole bunch of games in double-elimination like the old days.
Jan. 10, 2007
turn2
486 posts
i think just 2 divisons wuld be a great idea but that will not help add team to the top division. i think a lot of the major teams would try to go down to the lower division rather than play the top division. a few would stay but not a majority.
just a thiught.
later
donnie
turn two collectibles
Jan. 10, 2007
Dale
Men's 50
76 posts
I don't know if combining age groups is the answer, maybe it is. But, IMO I think we should let the Majors and Major+ teams battle it out in their HR Derbies, with the rules and limits that they currently have in place. As for the AA and AAA teams, I think they should combine and play all tournaments, all the time, with the 1-up HR rule. HR's beyond the 1-up limit are outs. In other words , if a team has homered and the other team has not, then all HR's by that team are outs until, and if, the other team homers.
That way AA and AAA could coexist in the same tournament, only we'd just have one division (maybe called AAA).
The argument could be made that it would open up the middle as a 'shooting gallery', but, isn't that what that level of play is anyway?
I realize that most of the posts on this board are from Major and Major+ players, but I would like to see this implemented to involve more AA/AAA teams in qualifying tournaments (as well as Nationals).

I'd also like to put in my 2 cents worth about 'SENIOR' bats, and 'SENIOR' rules. Why are we allowed to use all this 'HOT' equipment? Why can't we exist with the 'legal' equipment (ASA approved) that all the 'young bucks' use?
Are there actually guys out there who would give this game up if not allowed to use there U-2's and Combats and other 'Seniors-only' equipment?
We all grew up in the 'glory days' of slow pitch softball, and yes, there will always be 'cheaters', but why are we special?
There's plenty of other great equipment out there, that's legal by all the other associations, not just Senior Associations.
I don't blame the bat makers and associations for listening to the squeaky wheel (those Monsters of the Midway who feel that the longball is all this game is about), but it was just fine 'thank-you', before the advent of the 'hot stix'.
Well, that's my post for the Winter, and I'm sticking to it.
Thanks for listening.
Jan. 10, 2007
turn2
486 posts
dale,
that is a very good point. everyone out there at this level can hit with the asa bats and would if you could not use the other bats.
as for the major / major plus home run derbys, not all major plus teams hit a slew of hr's. we ( turn two / rekco / county sports ) probably hit 3-4 hr's / game last year if that. we won 4 of 7 nationals on our defense and base hitting ability. there are some major teams and maybe aaa teams that hit more hr's than us. does that mean they could play major plus?
it is not about the home runs it is hitting as a team and a good defense. with these great balls ( ha ha) that these tournaments use it is hard to hit the home run.
imo in plano last year there were probaly less home runs hit with the u2 as the year before with regualr bats.if that was so then why does everyone want the u2's?

later,
donnie chavis
Jan. 10, 2007
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
Dale,

So, any ball over the fence after being one up should be an out? Baloney. Why would AAA teams WANT to play you with those rules? It gives you the advantage if they mis-hit the ball and it goes over the fence. Why can’t it be a single or, failing that, a foul ball? Not all AAA players are refugees from the major + level, and they shouldn’t be penalized for having to play people who may not hit the ball as hard or as far.

On the issue with the bats, I would be perfectly happy using ASA bats but then you end up getting screwed by the cheaters. If you are all using Mikens or Combats, you won’t have someone with a loaded bat getting the advantage. And if you think there aren’t a lot of cheater bats around, well, I think you should go on eBay and see for yourself. The local rec leagues (with the ASA rules) are full of them. I think the real reason most people want to use the Mikens and Combats is to level the playing field.
Jan. 10, 2007
Lefty
Men's 65
477 posts
I went to a tourney right at the end of the season and the old boy running it told me something that made a little sense. By going to the u2 and combat we can buy cheaper balls. Pay like $28 instead of $40 or $50 a dozen. They knew the HR's would go down instead of going up by using way cheaper balls and the U2. They're making me buy the U2 and Combat just to get a nice line drive through the infield with a real bad ball. Just give me a good ball and I'll use ASA or NSA bats.
Jan. 10, 2007
turn2
486 posts
ken
if you allow the u2 and combat what stops the so called cheaters from painting the origianal ultra or shaving the u2 to still get an advantage?
allowing these bats does not stop the cheating,

later
donnie
Jan. 10, 2007
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
Donnie,

You make a good point, but if you are able to use the U2 or Combat, you at least have a fighting chance. It’s pretty pathetic if someone would need more that those two options to hit it out, lol. I would think that most of the cheater bats are being used with ASA rules.
Jan. 11, 2007
JTS2
Men's 55
88 posts
I think the composite bats are the biggest problem with illegal bats. I think we should go back to metal bats. There was very little you could do to make a metal bat a whole lot better. I would rather swing a decent bat with a good ball over a great bat with a sock.
Jan. 11, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
I'll hijack my own thread. Metal bats can be and are doctored. I am told the PST is one of the best bats to shave. I'm sure they can be endloaded as well.
Jan. 14, 2007
claw
4 posts
As it stands now, there isn't enough motivation for teams to compete at the highest level. I believe that there should be more rewards the higher the division. Whether that means better awards, returns of entrance fees to the champs, etc. I don't know.

Also, in particular between the Major and Major Plus, in tourneys where a minimun number of teams does not exist, they should compete at a combined "Upper" level. The rules for these combined tourneys should reduce the importance of the home run and intentionally favor the Major teams, as this is the only way to encourage Major players to feel they have a fair opportunity to compete with the Major Plus. Although it may still likely be true that the Major Plus teams are better overall hitters, there might also be an advantage to the Major teams in overall defense.
Jan. 14, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Claw--dog,
How the heck are you?
You have some interesting ideas, as usual.
More rewards sounds good to me.
I hear the problem is that the Assn's don't give
a rats turd about major or major plus seing as how
they bring in the least amount of revenue.
I think letting 50 and 55's compete in the same tournament
is a good idea.
Then at the end they could separate them
for recognition.
Who you playing with this year, Claw?

Jan. 14, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
An additional idea how about some sort of reward system for the lower teams who want to occasionally move up. UTRIP does a real good job with this in their young division. C playing B for example the highest ranking C team gets extra credit and sometimes wins a berth to their Worlds. With some thought there has to be some sort of incentive that could be offered to move up at least occasionally.
Jan. 14, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Claw,
One more comment.
We both know that a singles hitting team that bats 750 for a tournament
will beat a home run hitting team just about every time.
The problem isn't the math.
It's the motivation.
Babe Ruth said that if he just tried hitting singles and doubles
he'd have batted 650.
There's something about the long ball that seduces both the fan and the player in most all of us but on base percentage and not slugging percentage
is the key stat to winning, technically speaking.
The long ball is like a hard punch in a fight.
It does much more than score behind all the men and base.
It has psychological properties that can enliven or demoralize
a team or its opponent.

Jan. 15, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
JTS2:
Altering started with shaving metal bats. It is actualy easier than with a composite because metal is uniform. Composite innards are fiberour and can rip out unevenly in the process. Look at the inside of a broken composite. Thousands of those strands of composite material. Metal is smooth. End caps are about the same and the process for attaching them to the barrel has only recently changed with a couple of companies. But there is still a few in the US that are doing them.
I use Centerfire2 47\525 balls in my tourneys and allow the U-2. Have ball will travel.
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