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Discussion: LVSSA - how Not to run a tournament

Posted Discussion
Oct. 7, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
LVSSA - how Not to run a tournament
Last week's 50/60 LVSSA tourney at Lorenzi Park was a complete fiasco. After having 12 months to plan, they didn't have any lights working on Friday night so the rest of the 60 Major+ bracket games were cancelled so the tourney could start on time with the already scheduled games 8am Saturday games. So the "5-game guarantee" became a "3-game guarantee". Is LVSSA going to refund any money or give these teams free entry next year? Then when the schedule fell behind on Saturday, 1 local AAA team forfeited out of the tournament because they couldn't play that night due to work conflicts after being told that all their games would be played during the day. Then they only had 3 fields available Saturday night when the lights were working because a co-ed team had reserved 1 of the fields for a practice. And when it was determined that the lights had to be turned off by 11pm; teams that were supposed to play at 8:30 Saturday night were told at 10pm that their games had been re-scheduled for 7am Sunday.
Of course a lot of these delays could have been avoided by 2 simple changes: 1) it is absolutely time for ALL associations to adopt the 1 - 1 count. The batters don't need 3 strikes to choose from when they've got an Ultra 2 in their hands and 2) with a 51 - 50 game in the 60 Major+ division taking 2 hours to play (the open inning took about an hour during which the teams combined to score about 50 runs) there is no reason to have Major+ & AAA divisions sharing the same fields. There were numerous incidents where managers, players & their fans were screaming & cursing at the tourney directors & deservedly so. A real shame considering that there were a lot of great teams & great hitters in attendance and yet a lot of people left swearing they would never return. Get your act together LVSSA; this isn't rocket science & you have 12 months to figure it out. This was a disgrace to the game.
Oct. 8, 2007
breeze53
Men's 55
40 posts
I have to agree that is was the worst ran tournament I played in 30 years. There was numerous problems. It was as if they had never ran a tournament before.
1. They did not use sanction umpires until Sunday. There were numerous arguements over calls and strike zones.
2. The games fell way behind. I do not know why. The games were not that high scoring. Our team played only 2 games that went to the seventh inning, one was the last game saturday night, The other because the game was tied at the end of the 6th. There were alot of players that had tickets for shows that they had to miss. Our team arrived at 830 am and did not finish playing till 1115 pm. All for 3 games
3. Playing on a field with the lights poles inside the playing field. They had the winners bracket championship on that field, with the losers bracket on the good fields.
4. The concession stand was close by 2 or 3 pm each day. With the seniors there are a few with diabetics playing and need to keep eating something to control their sugars.

While we enjoyed playing Endzone, Sportsman and the Indiana Classics etc. and even though it is Las Vegas, I know that all will think long and hard before deciding to return again.
Bob CJ S 50 AAA
Oct. 8, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
BREEZE 53... BOB: Is there a problem?? Why, did ur team pick up 2 AAA players & not release players that did not want to play 4 CJ & S??

This yr I hope the SUMMIT passes a rule, (as if, SENIOR SOFTBALL, needs more rules,) that if a team picks up players from the same division, that team must give any play a release, that wants to leave that team. The team that picked up players.

Why, did ur team get player released & not released 2 of ur players?? How many players has ur team gone thru?? How many players this yr has ur team "pick up" that got released.

1) UMPS-- ISA & NSA, will not run any more Senior Tourneys in Vegas, or let their UMPs work works LVSSA. ASA's UMPs, will not do any LVSSA tourneys. ASA's Umps suied LVSSA & lost. USSSA, does not belong to the SUMMIT any more. NOT sure if, USSSA, does any more Senior Events.

2) So games fell behind, that does happen in most Senior events. Least u did not have to play in a 2 pitch inning.

3) Field 1 @ Lorinzi, is a joke. But, next yr, both Freedom & Lornizi will be down 4 two yrs. LVSSA, will meet w/ the City & go over the field needs, etc. The ball was dropped, yes, but, by who??? Move on. Most of the LVSSA CLUB Members do have the ears burn'.... LVSSA, put this event on several yrs ago, because Seniors wanted to come to Vegas, this time of yr.

4) J J's Concession Stand.... that is run by the "CITY". I believe that the concession is leased. LVSSA, can not make this Stand work. @ Freedom, that Concession Stand is ran by the Lil' League. The lil' bi...., does just whay she wants to, & she is one nasty ........

@ the corners of Washington & Pecos & Bonanza & Pecos, there is two 7-11's, a Food 4 Less, a Rotten Ronnies, a few bars. NO FOOD.........

O, one of the N.J. connections, tells me that u r one of the nicer men in Senior Ball & CJ &S.

Balls & Strikes.... everyone misses a call. I told an Ump that is was a ball & that Ump, did change his call ( I was catch'.)

DC PETE: How much time do u think that the 1 & 1 will save? As a Major Plus player, in 8 games, we went 6 innings. One 5 inning & one 7 inning. The 5 inning game, we scored 54 runs & hit 29 Home Runs in that game..

A 1 & 1 count saves only about 10 minutes. Save time?? Get the batter in the Batter Box w/ in 60 seconds. Get ur stop watch out & start tim' some of the innings changes. offense to Defense, back to O'.

This Tourney, was poorly ran.. The STONEMAN.....
Oct. 8, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
Stoneman; even if the 1 - 1 count saves only 10 minutes per game, it still adds up thru the course of a day/tournament so nobody would end up getting shafted like my team did. We played at 8am Saturday, then our next game wasn't until 4pm. Then we were told to be back at the field at 8pm for an 8:30 game that we NEVER started. At 10pm, they told us to return at 6:30am Sunday for a 7am game. Granted we're all there to play ball, but a little dinner and a decent night's sleep shouldn't be too much to expect.
Wouldn't you rather have played 7 innings with a 1 - 1 count than 6 innings with 0 - 0? All of our leagues at home have been using 1 -1 for years now and nobody has any complaints. Hitters of your caliber using Ultra 2's certainly don't need 3 strikes to hit a HR so what's the benefit of using 0 - 0???
As a rule, I don't really see a lot of wasted time on the inning changes and realistically when a RF is leading off & his team is on the LF dugout, it's going to take him a little time to come in and get his stick and get to the plate.
Lastly, I see that the tentative brackets for Ft. Myers in November have all the Major+ & Major teams playing together at the new complex in Naples while the AA & AAA teams play together at the other complexes in Cape Coral & the Stadium. Why didn't LVSSA do this since you're right of course that the Major+ games take longer to complete given the higher per inning run limits & all the runs scored in the open inning? This wasn't about rocket science, it was about the (lack of) common sense and respect for the player's time and energy.
As others have stated, many teams will think long & hard before coming back to this tourney again which is a shame considering all the positive aspects such as the competition, the weather & Las Vegas itself.
I just don't see any reason why all the associations don't immediately adopt the 1 - 1 count so more (not all) games can be played on time and complete the full 7 innings. Do you know something I don't???
Oct. 8, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Most of the problems that occurred the first weekend were solved by the time the 2nd weekend rolled around. I do have a couple of thoughts to share though...
1) 5 game guarantee - is this really necessary in every division? Had we only played two of them (in lieu of 3) our fields would have been opened for DE play 2 1/2 hours sooner on Sat am. This being the case, the game times could have been longer.
2) Moving the DE games up ealrier AND using the fields on Sat pm could have shortened the day on Sunday while allowing for longer game times.
I cannot speak for the other major + teams but this would work for us. Of course, I can't speak for other divisions either.
WE (GSF) would be happy with a 4 game guarantee such as SPA provides. We did play 3 seeding games in MN (SSWS) but we only had 4 teams in our division. The extra seeding game did make sense in that scenario.
USSSA used to have a reverse 4 game guarantee, which I despised... play the DE right away and then go into a consolation bracket. I hope no one ever brings that format back.
As it relates to game time lengths, I'd be ok with slightly shorter seeding games and longer DE games. CT has proven several times over the past 2 years that the seeding results are fairly insignificant.
I believe that SPA used 2 hour scheduling gaps... LVSSA used 1 1/4 hours... big difference.
BW
Oct. 9, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
DC PETE: I did some research on the 1 & 1 count. Less than 5 minutes is saved. @ LVSSA, W/ 2 strikes, it had to be fair.

Most 1 & 1 counts, W/ 2 strikes, batters get 1 to waste or foul off. So, what is the diff'?? Many have also, played in the 1 ball & no strike counts.

Teams need to: 1) hustle in & out 2) teams need to get the couresty runner, to base much faster 3) UMPs, want more money & only 60 minute games. LVSSA, paid Umps $ 23 / game. 4) open innings, can take up to 20 to 30 minutes. @ Freedom Park, 2 yrs ago, I saw 19 & 21 runs scored in the same inning. 5) Major Plus gets 7 runs / inning & the other 3 divisions get 5 runs max / inning. I have played in a few Worlds inwhich Major Plus division had 1 1/2 hr time limit & all innings were open.

Friday, what time was the last games? Why, was only 3 fields used @ Lorzini?? Could the ladies Not have played on field # 1. Saturday, games were over w/ 2 to 3 hours left before the sun set. ( Lorzini, Freedom, etc)

Thanks, but, I do NOT use a U-2. Solution(s)???? Pay more 4 Umps... Start @ 7:30 am..... HAVE MORE FIELDS
MORE FIELDS.......PERIOD

GOOD LUCK...... The STONEMAN
Oct. 9, 2007
breeze53
Men's 55
40 posts
What is up Stoney. I realize that you have to defend LVSSA, since you were or are part of the organization. But I do not how the comments on our roster has anything to do with how the tournament was ran. I do not get involved with the politics with our team, but I know that our roster is legal.
As for the 7-11s near by. We had to scramble to come up with a candy bar etc for a player on another team that was having a sugar attach. I also a diabetic did leave the fields close to game time to go to the 7-11.
As for the 1-1 count, we laughed when they started it on sunday, because with the extra foul with 2 strikes there would not be a difference in the length of the games.
You tell the N J connection thanks and goodluck.
Bob
Oct. 9, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
I was at a meeting when the tournament director tried to change from a full count to a 1 and 1. The coaches present were very loud, rude in my opinion, on not allowing this. I personally was all for it as we play it in the Florida Half Century and it works well. My other coach was totally against it. Some very type A personalities will always resist any change even if it is good for the whole. If they wouldn't let their raging emotions over ride their common sense they would see that the tournament would have run smoother and quicker. Nope, in their minds the opposition was getting some unfair advantage. What, pray tell, could that advantage be?
Oct. 9, 2007
Lefty64
Men's 70
14 posts
They seemed to have the problems worked out by the time us old guys played. Our Team(High Desert Roadrunners) enjoyed the competition and the pleasure of meeting some great guys and ladies from Minnesota (Forest Products) Vegas(Elks) California(California Connection) and Maryland(Hamels). Congrats to the California Connection team on their win. Hope to see most of them in Phoenix.


Ken #5 65AAA
Oct. 9, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Audie,
I've commented before
that the 1 and 1 count is the way to go for me
both for pitching and hitting.
Oct. 9, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
Our team would even be in favor of 1 - 1 Without a foul since you deserve to be Out if you can't hit a ball between the lines. This can & will speed up the games (how much I don't know) allowing more games to go 7 innings and the tournaments to run more on time.
Nothing else that I've seen or read would seem to be able to speed up the games to the same degree as the 1 - 1 count.
Stoneman & Wood have both alluded to the fundamental issue that is negatively impacting our tournaments; as Players we would all like to play as many complete 7-inning games as possible when we go to a tournament. However, for the associations, once we've paid our entry fees, they have no incentive to obtain more fields or hire more Umps since I presume this cuts into any profits they make from the tournaments. And the umps get paid by the Game, so they have no incentive to allow the games to go any longer than the bare minimum.
So we the players end up spending a lot of time, money & energy to play in "World Tournaments" that are often decided by a 5 or 6 inning game.
Of course this isn't right, and in theory, there should be No Time Limits in any tourney with per inning run limts, but again there is no incentive for the tourneys to do this.
So outside of the 1 - 1 count, there doesn't seem to be any other happy medium in enabling us to finish complete games in a "timely" manner.
Sure the associations could go to 2-game bracket play to (hopefully) allow more time for Double Elimination play, but then we'd all be playing fewer games in the long run.
We really need to try 1 - 1 without a foul to see if it improves the tournament experience before too many more teams get disgusted and stop coming back.
Oct. 9, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
Eiinstein, I agree that the 1 and 1 is the way to go. I think it gives the pitcher a little edge and may gosh, they sure need it. In addition, it makes the game more fun as it is faster. I watched my outfielders being bored until there was one strike on the batter and I watched the body language of the infielders and for many they really were not on edge until there was one strike. Granted, some of us are first strike hitters but the majority are not. I think the 1 and 1 is better for the game, but then again, I think one pitch tournaments are a blast!
Oct. 10, 2007
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
I agree. Use the 1 and 1 count. No extra foul. It means more batters therefore more action in a game with a time limit where ordinarily you wouldn't get thru 7 innings.
Oct. 10, 2007
AlleninGa
Men's 60
113 posts
Sorry guys, counter point. I hate the 1 and 1. I have never been able to get used to it, just an old dog, new trick thing I guess. It starts the batter off having to swing at the first close pitch and from a strategy standpoint is most benificial to the pitcher. A good smart pitcher must really love the 1 and 1. Hitting is what we work on the most and strive to be good at. iIt's also what most people use to determine an individuals level of play. Defense is critical but if a player is a good hitter, he's going to play even if the defense is average. Let's not penalize the hitter in order to speed up the game. Hustling in and off the field just a litlle speeds the game up plus the umps have the capability of keeping the game moving. IMO
Oct. 11, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I saw and have spoken about with Dave Dowell
at length whom is working very hard to keep
SSUSA interests and the best interests of the Senior Softball community close together.
Thanks again both Fran and Dave for all your
efforts in our behalf.
We spoke about the satisfying element of "completing"
a seven inning game and the solution that SPA uses,
namely, no time limits, once double elimination starts.
They use both the mercy rule and telling all teams to be ready to play 1/2 hour ahead of schedule
to stay on schedule.
Seems to work like a charm.
Oct. 12, 2007
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
I agree with einstein on some of the suggestions regarding how to speed up a game so everyone can play as many innings as possible. Having run tournaments before I can tell you nothing bothers me more than not keeping game times on schedule!!!!

While again agree with a couple of the things to help speed up the games the real issue in my opinion is what can you do to make sure you are ready for dealing with the following tournament schedule killers. If you as a tournament director are not prepared in advance for these then you are just asking for a train reck to happen.

1) Not being ready to start games first thing in the morning. This one is so often happening these days. Teams either show up late and get a grace period without having that time incorporated into the schedule so you are behind right from the start. As a player I hate it!!! Now your games are behind all day.

2) Umpires not moving games along or telling players to hustle on and off the field. Umpires can control the tempo of a game! I do when I umpire! If an umpire is slow starting the game and slow in moving the along then well the game will be slow and long.

3) Teams need to hustle as much as possible on and off the field. No warm ups and extra pitches between innings. If the Pitcher gets ready and tells his defense to get ready then the batting team will hustle out if not then the batting team takes their time as well.

4) Directors need to stop trying to maximize the number of games they can put on every field. They need to keep a spare field ready and a spare umpire ready to take a game here or there when fields fall behind. I know it is hard to schedule umpires because they all want to work the most games possible and not sit around but this ain't brain surgery and it can be figured out. Spend a couple extra dollars and plan game start times farther apart with breaks so you can stay on schedule. This helps everyone including the umpires who need breaks so they can stay as fresh as possible.

5) Keep plenty of game balls and shaggers available especially in the Major and Major+ divisions. Just look at how much time is wasted waiting for balls to be thrown back in or brought to the field.

I'm tired of typing so I'll stop for now but these are just a few of the ways you can get your games in and keep the tournament ON-TIME...

Mike
Oct. 12, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Mike,
You make the "quality vs quantity"
very well and I have to tell you
that I was the screaming in Mike Kelly's ear
to walk you in your last AB.
There wasn't a speck of doubt
that you would deposit the first hittable pitch
350-400 feet from home plate.
Your openly confident manner teaches me and the rest
of us
that real excellence in achivement only comes
with true confidence in oneself.
And when you can "walk it'. like you can
you can talk it, show it, be proud and inspire the rest of us
the way you and Clatter, Burbank, Perez and Gary Richter,
just to name a few, do so well.

Again, I like the 1-1 count, no time limits, mercy rule,
no warm ups between innings, walk off everything,
efficient scheduling. like Mike says and no over-crowding
all to help us enjoy better the game we all love to play.
Oct. 12, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2640 posts
While reading Comparison of Senior Rules I noticed that the LVSSA rules for major plus allows for unlimited runs per inning. I understand us playing a max of 7 per inning, but how about going with maybe 10 per inning? Most games went down to the last inning. We may as well had been playing only one inning.
I like 4 balls and 3 strikes. If you want to speed up the game, have the umpire start calling balls if the defense slow taking the field.
Oct. 12, 2007
AlleninGa
Men's 60
113 posts
I agree with Bruce, 4 balls and 3 strikes. Umpires can keep the game moveing. Make certain the "on deck batter" is ready, if he's too slow, start pitching. If the defense is too slow and the batter's ready, start calling balls. Mike, you make some really good points.
Oct. 12, 2007
SouthernLeather
22 posts
I have only been to this tournament twice and it seems you guys experienced the same problems as the years I attended.

It was by far the worst National tournament experience I ever saw ....

Problems with umps not knowing the rules, 1 ump for a National Tournament, lights or lack of them, scheduling, lack of scorekeepers, poor direction....

Seems no one listened from several years ago....I know the tournament director in '06 acted like he couldn't give a crap...

The bright lights of Vegas might be visible from the fields, but the execution of the tournaments there I saw had nothing National about it, more closely it looked like it was straight out of Bugtussle USA---hustle the teams for their cash.
Oct. 12, 2007
SouthernLeather
22 posts
I have only been to this tournament twice and it seems you guys experienced the same problems as the years I attended.

It was by far the worst National tournament experience I ever saw ....

Problems with umps not knowing the rules, 1 ump for a National Tournament, lights or lack of them, scheduling, lack of scorekeepers, poor direction....

Seems no one listened from several years ago....I know the tournament director in '06 acted like he couldn't give a crap...

The bright lights of Vegas might be visible from the fields, but the execution of the tournaments there I saw had nothing National about it, more closely it looked like it was straight out of Bugtussle USA---hustle the teams for their cash.
Oct. 12, 2007
DCPete
234 posts
Einstein; your pro-active efforts in trying to improve our games is appreciated. It's too bad the 1 - 1 rule was voted down at Lorenzi on Sunday; teams missed out on the chance to try it and see the positive impact it can have on the pace of the game and actually completing a full 7 inning game on time.
We play 1 - 1 in our open leagues back home with No per inning run limit (and the mercy rule) and still complete 7 innings most of the time in 65 minutes. Granted these aren't "Major+" leagues but scores are usually in the 20 - 15 range and this is with a courtesy foul ball rule.
The biggest difference with 1 - 1 is that most batters will swing at the 1st good pitch they see, which is often the 1st pitch. So it's not unusual to have a 4 or 5 pitch inning when the defense is good. With the 0 - 0 count, batters will often take at least 1 strike and 4 or 5 pitches is the average count per batter.
If players really think about it; watching the pitcher & catcher throw the ball back & forth while the umpire calls out balls & strikes is not very interesting for any of the other fielders or hitters, or even the fans. The 1 - 1 count makes for a far more action-packed & fast-moving game.
Oct. 12, 2007
Lefty64
Men's 70
14 posts
southern leather, I've been to Las Vegas and to Bugtussle, Al, and believe me Las Vegas is no Bugtussle!!!LOL

DCPETE, you are absolutely right. The 4/3 count was brought along to slowpitch softball from baseball and fast pitch. They are vastly different games because batters actually swing and miss a lot in baseball and fast pitch. Slow Piitch is a hitter's game and nothing will change that. Take your cut and head for home.
Oct. 12, 2007
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
It's slow pitch softball with a minimum arc of 6 feet. I keep reading about all the great hitters on the board and have witnessed many of them in action over the past 10 years. I still don't understand why we need a 0 - 0 count. Change to 1 - 1. Its about more action and more hitters not about speeding up the game. Also no extra foul.
Oct. 12, 2007
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
Einstein I think you give me way too much credit and again while I don't deserve it I do appreciate your kind words. You are one of the reasons I love playing and participating in Senior Softball. You are the best! I hope you are recoverying well and that I will get a chance to see you in Phoniex.

Mike Walker
Oct. 13, 2007
Jawood
Men's 50
790 posts
DC Pete makes good points. I also play in a league that has the 1 and 1 count. It is a league with some of the best players from our area. Unlimited Homeruns, unlimited runs an inning and the 1 and 1 count. There is a 15 run rule. Typical scores are in the high 20's to low 30's. 90 percent of these games are completed in the 65 minute limit. Softball is not baseball, you don't need 6 pitches to pick out a good pitch!
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