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Discussion: Geographic rules

Posted Discussion
April 24, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Geographic rules
On a different thread there has been a lot said about going back to the pre-2000 roster rules. Mango, Ness, Einstein to name a few of the persons favoring this.
I saw what it was like in 97-99 on the 50 major + scene and I can tell you that it had little to recommend it. There were really only 3-4 teams... that's less than the 8 or so that we now see. Bear in mind that i'm in the 55s and two of you are in the 50s (Mango, Einstein) and I'm not sure where you are playing, Ness.
Those folks that really want the old rules (no borders at all) should seriously look at playing in the Huntsman Games as they are changing their format to a 3 day event. It is my feeling that they do not impose geographic restrictions at all... I could be wrong. I spoke with Dan Needy earlier this season and he's making an effort to attract more major + teams.
There is also the possibility that USSSA would be a good place for the very few teams that would be involved.
I guess the paramount question for me is simply this... if it was so good in the late 90s, why were there so few major + teams?
But, even in the absence of border rules, there would still be some rules that we'd have to follow. The suspensions that we have had over the past 4 months are based upon exisitng rules that were broken. Just because a few guys pushed the envelope does not mean that the entire major + system is broken.
Bob Woodoroof
April 24, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Because I misspelled my own name on my last thread I may lack credibility with some. I really do know how to spell it but can't see for squat and my typing is even worse.
Bob Woodroof
April 25, 2007
Hit the gap
Men's 60
143 posts
Wood is right on this one. It was the pay for players era where the team with the most sponsor money was able to get the best players available. Dan Smith Plastering was the prime example of that. Great teams and great guys but Dan was able to cherry pick players because he paid all their travel expenses. The current geographic rules help keep that in check and as a result, there are more not fewer Major Plus teams today. By the way, the Major Plus tag did not exist back then, there were only 3 divisions with Major being the top.
April 25, 2007
E. Ness
122 posts
The Wood,
Not too often we disagree but this is one time. I started playing in 1999 at the major Plus 50+ level At this time there was no regional rules except for the SSWS which allowed two guys out of the 100 mile radius for the manager home.

My team went to the ISSA worlds, the SSUSA worlds, the SSWS and I think the USSA worlds. To name a few of teams that were there the list goes something like this (I may not know all the teams names but I do know where they came from)
1. Sawtre (sp) Texas
2. New York Statesmen New York Duh
3. So Cal Mavericks So Cal Duh
4. Dan Smith Cal
5. Fl Crush Brevard Melbourne, FL Ed Rose
6. California Rebels Modesto, CA Larry Campbell
7. American Metal Recycling Aurora, OH Sheldon Hoffman
8. Las Vegas Posse Henderson, NV Wendell Taguchi
9. Fergies Edgewater, MD Steve Ferguson
10. Coasters San Clemente, CA Bob Woodroof
11. Faith Electric Cartersville, GA Winky Blackman
12. Texas Legends Arlington, TX Bob Mann
13. Grimes
14. Scrap Iron out of Col

1999 ISSA world tournament looked like this
SeaCrest Mavericks
Knox/Worth
Florida Crush Brevard
Norelco Statesmen
Dan Smith Softball
Florida Crush Gold Coast
Hendricks Sports Management
Classics
Express/Bricker Insurance
All Star Sports
Players Club
Syracuse Blizzard
Fergies
Codgers
Gents
National Associates
Carolina Cobras
Joe B's A.C.

From 2001 to 2003 we had the strict regional rules then in 2003 each major plus teams was allowed one player if he got permission and this was going well until the Old A's problem with a team who has a conflict of interest in 2004.

2001 7 teams at the 50+ Major Plus level at the worlds
2002 7 teams at the 50+ Major plus level at the worlds
2003 10 teams at the 50+ MPL worlds (one player rule)
2004 Same
2005 back to 7 and now we have strict regional rules
2006 4 teams
2007 ?

Seems to me the regional rules do not work for the Major Plus division. The SSWC tried the strict rules last year and found out that it does not work so they are back to allowing two players out of region. The USSA found out it was discrimnation so they have opened up the Major Plus and allow one or two players per team though out the lower divisions. Same for ASA, SPA, and the NSA. Now if only the SSWC, ASA, USSA, and NSA would have held their worlds in decent places they may seen more teams
April 25, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
From an outsiders view, the associations should find out why customers are staying away from the major plus game. Asking the fellows who are already in it and paying won't get them the answers they should be looking for. Here is one suggestion, allow teams to test the waters and play with the major plus teams without automatically going I gotcha and folding that team. Teams should be allowed to play up with no harm to their existing standing. I would bet a number of those teams would find it enjoyable and possibly moveup on their own. It happens all the time in the young mans game you always see local teams D and C filling out brackets with no harm to their existing standing. Happened to a friends of mine team they entered a higer level tournament and won it and were given the option at what level they wanted to go to their world event as. There are always teams who will accept a challenge if the conditions make sense. It would also be a nice way for the existing teams to see new talent.
April 25, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Ness:
I wrote a Leo Tolstoi-like response but it was 'somehow deleted'. Let me just say that the Coasters came into the 50 division in 2000... we played 45+ prior to that under the name of Capital Return.
The only teams that I saw in the late 90s that you listed are Fergies., Sawtry, Dan Smith, Mavericks. I'd heard of some of others such as NY (they were a 55 team in 99). I also played 50s those years but not with my own team. I'd seen Faith in the 45s when they were West GA. I saw FL in 10/99 in Orlando... I'd heard that they were a very good team in '96, prior to my turning 50. We saw both Fath and FL in Manassas in 2000... and FL in Salem, OR, and LV, NV in 2000.
Some of other teams you mentioned were not major + teams in the late 90s... CA Rebels, LV Legends.
This is my recollection of the late 90s, early 2000s... while I went through the 70s blindfolded I did have glimpses of clarity in the late 90s. :-)
Bob Woodroof
April 25, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4357 posts
Lecak, good sugestion. One can or should be able to pick up some good points or learn something while playing up. Good for the players as well as the team, unless they get degraded after a big difference in the run score. Unfortunately some guys are like that. I was able to get some very strict rules the players had to abide by for the Bandits in CA years ago. But they were a winning team.
April 25, 2007
E. Ness
122 posts
Bob I took those names off the ISSA site and the SSUSA site. At the time mentioned Major was the highest level one could play at. Major Plus came after the 1999 season for many associations as did the regional rules. The ISSA went to Major plus in 2001

Even subtracting those two teams you still have 16 teams. When was the last time you played in a 16 team world tournament? For me I have only done it twice at the senior level and that was when there were no regional rules. I am not saying lets go back to open rosters. All I am saying is the obvious and that is to do what the SPA or the SSWC is doing. Or at least do what they did in 2003.
April 25, 2007
turn2
484 posts
there might would be some more teams at the top level if all the lower teams would quit sandbagging. it seems that everyone wants to win but to do so they play at the lower level.
we want to play the best teams out there so we try to play at the top level(major plus). if more teams would step up to the plate we could get some more teams at this level.
i do not blame the teams for playing down but the assocaitions for letting some of these teams win several titles some years and still play in the same class the next year.
if you want to get better you need to play against tough competition.
just my two cents
donnie chavis
spicer properties / turn two collectibles
60 major plus division
April 25, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Ness:
I could list the names in the NY City phone book but it doesn't mean that they all actually played in 1999. The web sites have always had more names of teams than actually existed.
When did you actually play in a major / major + tournament with 16 teams?
Bob Woodroof
April 26, 2007
E. Ness
122 posts
After this post I am done with the regional rule discussions. I have been fighting it for years and have come to the conclusion that in this association, the LVSSA, and ISSA things will never change. It is their right to do as they wish because these are privately owned associations and it is my right to do what I need to do which is to retire from these associations. While I am only one person and it will not matter at least I won't get my hopes up at the beginning of each year. SPA is where it is at and where I will play.

I hate the idea though that these associations brag about how they are for the senior players. While they maybe for some they are not for all but that is JMHO.

Bob to answer your question I played in the 1999 tournament. I played against 6 different teams at that tournament and watched Crush one and two, Smith, Hendricks Sports Management, and Fergies play on Sunday. So that is 12 of the 18 teams that are on the list that were there. In 2000 I played against every team I mentioned and would not have mentioned them had I not. Fast forward to 2007 with the rules we have in place today I doubt you will ever see that many teams at the Major Plus level again. In July SPA will have it world Major and Major plus tournaments here in Missouri I guess we shall see how many teams show up. Even if it is no better at least Ridge knows this system of regional rules and the snow bird rule is flawed as it stands right now.

Everyone have a great season.
ENess semi retired and out.
April 26, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
There should be No geographic roster restrictions. We live in a mobile society and seniors in particular tend to move due to retirement, being near their kids, etc.
Since everyone's traveling to get to a national tournament anyway, what difference does it make where they're traveling from?
The restriction should be that a player can only be on 1 Team Roster in a calendar year and be allowed to change teams only once per year if, and only if, he is granted a release by his former team.
April 26, 2007
sjuhoops
123 posts
e. ness just to let you know LVSSAi is not privately owned. Some of us here in las vegas have been trying for years to have certain rules changed. i believe next week the new president is having a rules meeting . i was asked yesterday for my opinion on certain rules. snowbird being one of them and i suggested get rid of it and allow at least one if not two outside the region. hopefully the committee will take into consideration suggestions by major plus players who have been around. we shall see. hope you reconsider las vegas as we do have a great tourney with the best bats and great softballs.
good luck
hank
April 26, 2007
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
Gary19- I don't know about lvssa ownership, but another possibility could be a Non-profit. A softball organization would probably qualify as one because of the health and excercise aspects. PS - Do you get a gold record award now that you have 500 posts? Just kidding!
April 26, 2007
sjuhoops
123 posts
gary19 fyi lvssa is a club with about 300 members. strictly non-profit
April 26, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
sjuhoops I had some conversations with some of the LVSSA's guys at the recent tourney, very scary from my perspective. I hope better judgement prevails, seems they were grappling with brand new players into senior softball at least thats how I interpreted it. Leave well enough alone and let nature take its course. They start messing around and they will create more issues for themselves. Leave us new guys alone. Again I'm concerned with my issues as a new member.
April 26, 2007
sjuhoops
123 posts
lecak i am not a board member. i have no say whatsoever in what goes on. i have been a member since i moved here in 1994. i have played maj+ since i have been here. I have disagreed with the board since i have been here. you are now getting a taste of what we have gone through for 13 years. hopefully with the new administration something will change.
April 26, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
I found an ideal situation for myself a team that plays alot probably 25 tournaments this year, I like the fellows, and more importantly my wife enjoys the other wives company, I meet all the rquirements and someone tells me that might have to change for reasons only known to that board member.... I don't know Ness but I can emphathize. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
April 26, 2007
sjuhoops
123 posts
lecak i know youre with that arizona group. seem like a good group of guys. its great your wife like the other wives also. i do know e. ness and his situation and i have been trying to get it changed as isaid earlier for a whole bunch of years. i do hope the new board listens to some of the maj+ players. good luck this year
April 26, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
I have been told by major + players that the problem playing at that level is that once your name is associated with that level of play, it is very hard to ever move back down when your game has left you due to health etc. Over the last few years, I have seen major teams that got hot for one tourney, got moved up and a year or two later would have trouble winning at AA. I have often wondered what is a major + player?? I remember watching a Major + game between two teams. I saw a lot of 290 foot fly balls and a lot of grounders that infielders wanted no part of. I feel that there are a few out there that would load teams beyond belief if there were no borders. End result would be why even go to a national if you don't have a chance. The whole rating system has to be a nightmare for SSWC.
April 26, 2007
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
MR WOODROOF..........WHY DON'T YOU JUST START A NEW SENIOR SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION, WITH ALL YOUR KNOWLEDGE I THINK IT WOULD BE THE BEST PLACE TO PLAY!! HONESTLY!!!! YOU KNOW WHAT US SENIORS WANT!!!!
April 26, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Crusader:
I'm not sure if you're being sincere or not... so I'm reluctant to go too far... but I'm a risk taker so here goes...
If I did run an association we (you, me and the others) would know where we stand... but some folks wouldn't like me.
I have run a team for several years and this is the way I have tried to run it. In the times when the players didn't know where they stood due too my lack of communication, they have usually reacted negatively. Even at my old age, i have tried to learn from this. The same is true in larger groups, IMO.
Einstein (where has that man been?) had stated 6 months ago that the players need an insulating layer between them and the associations... some sort of governing body different than the SAB. I felt at the time that he was making good sense and, like many decent ideas, it was dropped.
I have spoken with a couple of guys that I know here in the southwest and they seem to like the idea as well.
So, Crusader, my query to you and anyone else is this... DO THE PLAYERS NEED THEIR OWN LEVEL OF REPRESENTATION? i.e,. a player's asscociation... IF SO, WHY?
IF NOT, WHY NOT?
I do not wish to turn this into a 'what's wrong with this or that association'... I'm asking for your opinion on how we could make this work to the betterment of one and all (or not).
Bob Woodroof
April 27, 2007
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
BOB........I'M DEAD SERIOUS WE NEED ONE ORGANIZATION WITH ONE SET OF RULES.
April 30, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Crusader:
I do appreciate your vote of confidence. I'm not sure what I've done to deserve it though.
I do not agree with your assessment that we need only one senior softball assn. I believe that all teams need choices of events, locations, style of game, etc. It also seems idealistic to expect the existing ones to merge into one or 7-8 of them to drop out.
In lieu of this perhaps we need our own unifying body... i.e. a player's association.
The purpose would be to police ourselves as well as to work with all of the assns to better their product.
how do you feel?
Thanks again... :-)
Bob Woodroof
April 30, 2007
chollis
79 posts
I will toss my two cents into the conversation. This being America everyone wants to see the biggest and the best. So, if we are talking Major Plus and Major Plus only, I would suggest open rosters. OK, so Dan Smith loads up a team with select players from all over the country to create a super team and say your team doesn't have the resources (money) to compete with him, then your team maybe should stick with the residency rules and play Major ball.

I would say have the Major Plus division be for the big boys with a sponsor that is willing to bring national players in from around the country to play tournaments. Yes, this probably means less Major Plus teams but it would create a nice Major division with more teams and less traveling to find good teams to play. Don't worry about the Major Plus teams that would move down to Major as long as they meet the residency requirements rule. The Major Plus teams would recruit away their best players.
May 1, 2007
Mango
Men's 50
90 posts
I agree with chollis for major plus open rosters. I don’t know how things can get any worse as far as number of teams in major plus is concerned. I know last year a California major plus team The Mavericks traveled all the way to Virginia for a “World Series” and they were the ONLY 50 major plus team. 1 team! How can it be worse than that? Something’s gotta change
May 1, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
On the recruiting thing didn't a major team in CA go under just recently and another one lose some players. Just an observation not making a judgement. I think the Major division is taking a beating also especially west coast. Maybe a 70/20/10 rule on teams. If you have 100 teams as an example 70 AAA, 20 major, 10 major plus.
May 1, 2007
Wes
Men's 65
311 posts
I have only been at this a very short time, this will be my third year. It seams like all I rear/read is that TD make many
$$$ and do not follow the rules or the rules are used how ever they need to use them to get their tournament completed, of course there are exception to all of the above.
I do not know why I need to carry three cards, and why ASA can tell me what bat I can use.
WE NEED ONE ORGANIZATION RUN BY A BOARD OF ELECTED PLAYER.
Rule One-- you would have to be active player for five years
before you could be on the board. We can vote on line.
??? is how much does it cost to run a tournament. I played
in a one dayer with 27 teams and fees came to $4,000.
How do you spend $4,000 in one day tournament???
1. As a starting point let's have one tournament per month
and make the fee at break even point. That would make the fee less than all the others and we should get a large munber of teams.
2. Get a local sponsor--start with the local hotel, we would
fill their rooms at reg. prices for on weekend. Get a bat maker/seller- If they sponsor we would all use their bat's--- I could live with that for one tournament at year.
3. Etc
It would take us two or three years and we would have control of (senior) softball
Count me in gwesarchit@bellsouth.net
Wes
May 1, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Chollis;
maybe the thing to do is to offer another division... super major, as an example... and let the teams participate that want that sort of thing. As a sponsor, I know that I do not want to be involved in it. So you were correct in that assumption.

Mango:
there are several assns that consistently have 5-6 major + teams in its nationals... I tell you that it could be worse.
We went to Salem last year (USSSA) and didn't learn that we were the only 55 major + team until 48 hours prior. We have crossed them off our list for 2007 and beyond... this is how we deal with this type of disappointment.
We had 3 national tourneys last year that had 5-6 major + (55) teams in it.
Here's an idea... why don't the guys/teams that want this create their own 'real time' experiment? Create a 'super major' team and take it to the Huntsmen Games in St. George, UT (Oct)? They have no geographic restrictions, great fields, lots of awards, etc. Everyone that I've spoken with have said that it's a real good experience. The rub with them used to be that it was a 4-5 day event but they have reduced it to 3 days now. Get your teams together and let the rest of us know how it worked out. You can reach Dan Needy (Director of the Huntsmen Games) @ dneedy@infowest.com
I have spoken with Dan and they honestly would like to build their major + exposure.
You could try the same with USSSA but I'm not sure that they would offer the same 'open rosters' as the Huntsmen.
Last year the 50 major + (USSSA) was very regional (only teams from CA, NV, OR/WA were there.. 4 total).
I honestly hope that you find what it is that you're seeking.
Bob Woodroof
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