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Discussion: RATINGS WARS

Posted Discussion
Aug. 4, 2008
DD
Men's 60
75 posts
RATINGS WARS
To the managers whoíve decided to quit playing SSUSA events in protest because their teams were raised to the next higher level:
Has it occurred to you that by refusing to play in SSUSA events, such action will do nothing to change the situation and everything to maintain the status quo?
Terry Hennessy has put SSUSA's rating philosophy in writing for everyone to read, understand, and know. There is nothing secretive or arcane about it. He spells it out in print. In case you did not see it, youíll find it on page 29 of the Spring 2008 issue of Senior Softball News, the publication you receive as a member of SSUSA.
He makes it clear the ratings system is in place to protect the lower divisions, usually defined as AA but evidently it also includes some AAA teams.
The point is made in the article that lower rated teams will quit playing rather than come to tournaments with no perceived chance to win the event.
Your actions have confirmed that thinking.

Now, you might have every reason to do what you have decided to do and it may be the right thing for your teamÖI wouldnít presume to know your circumstances. But, by refusing to play SSUSA events, and making the very public protests you have madeÖrather than try to improve and competeÖyou have told your team and the rest of the senior softball community that you would rather quit than play upÖand that is precisely why the ratings policy you so vehemently disagree with is in place.

Why donít you reconsider the decision and come and play. If you take some lumps, whatís the big deal? In the world of run differentials youíll need to play a few tournaments at the higher level and then probably be reinstated to your preferred level upon appeal.

Do you really want to miss out on the unbridled happiness of competing on a softball field because somebody actually thinks youíve got a pretty good team? Heck, man, thatís a COMPLIMENTÖso why not PLAY BALLÖ?
Aug. 4, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Dennis,

Staying will produce no results. Making a stand to do the right thing, even if we were alone and we are not, has produced great results.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
AKA: Base Hawgs
Manager
Aug. 4, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
Duke- You and your team mates have made a mess of this in at least a couple of ways. Not plsying will certainly not result in any new data to base a change on. Your team will come back with the same rating it has now if you decide to play again. The public campaign made you look like whiners that couldn't take care of matters thru the proper channels. And your team mate that insulted TH the day his mother died was a disaster classic in trerms of evoking sympathy and subjective support for your cause. Good luck on sabbatical playing in substandard events of lesser organizations.
Aug. 4, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
DesertGuy,

When are you going to stop repeating yourself? I believe that players/teams are making their voices heard by the poor turnout thus far for Roseville. Sorry to ALL of the teams regardless of which side of the fence you are on, but it obvious that changes need to be made this year to fix all of this. Players Committee??

Andy Smith :-)
Aug. 4, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts
I believe the Sacto/R'ville now has about 90 teams so far from the western and other states. Not the largest by any means but about triple the amount that was in Portland a while back. It looks like we'll have 7 or more teams in our division which is a good showing.

Should be a good tounament for those that show.

Pete
Aug. 4, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
To all of our friends and some not so friendly,

Good luck to all in Roseville! Drive safely and have alot of fun!

Andy Smith,
You know the rest, lol!
Aug. 4, 2008
DMac
Men's 60
186 posts
Duke : My team, Over The Edge, has had the pleasure of playing the last three AAA teams moved up to the Major level, Old Dawgs, No Dice, and your team. Although I agree with you in principle that you did nothing to warrant being moved up, in actuality, you could compete very well with the Major teams. No Dice beat us in Reno twice, 26-25 and by 8 in the championship game. You beat us twice last weekend; by one in the round robin then you mercied us in the championship game. You have a hard team to rate because you haven't played in any big tournaments, but the information they received about your club was accurate. You guys hit as well as any team we have ever played. We can sympathize with your position but it is definitely not in our best interest to boycott the rest of the tournaments. Good luck up north,
Dennis McNulty
OTE #7
Aug. 4, 2008
DD
Men's 60
75 posts
Andy/Duke:

I just re-read your posts from an earlier thread...and those of Ken, your teammate who put together the appeal for Sacramento...and wanted to offer another comment that might be helpful.

While it's frustrating to think nobody is reading your communications, be assured there is great sensitivity to this issue in Sacramento. In Ken's case, though, appealing results of the tournament that got you bumped up (with all due respect) is not a productive use of time. SSUSA has made it clear they want to see how you will do at the Major level.

If your team has, as you say, been together for 7-8 years you can be sure Sacramento and others know who you are. They have determined from current results and the total body of work Base Hawgs/Double Nickels has put up over the past few years that you can compete at Major and have acted accordingly.

Now is the time to play and see what the results are on the field. Now is NOT the time to quit in protest. Many teams have been bumped, appealed, and been reinstated... my own team has had this experience twice since 2005.

Sacramento has no interest in making your lives miserable...you're a good customer of theirs and they want you happy. If you can't compete at Major, THEN appeal and see what happens. But you must have some data for them to evaluate and you don't have that yet.

Despite what you think there is still time for you to compete, appeal, and be reinstated in time to play the Worlds in Phoenix.

Don't quit and take away the opportunity to win a World Championship in 2008. We read everyday about tragedies involving players who are then unable to play again...all of us know the next tournament might be our last.

That's what makes it so exciting...:-)

Hang in there...we NEED the Double Nickels.
Aug. 4, 2008
BMoney
37 posts
DD- Respectfully this is crap. With the pitiful shape of Senior ball right now;it is only going to get worse.Because there are no 55 Teamsin Major+ ,we have to go and constantly play 50 teams. I don't mind once or so;but we are an older 55 team. We have 8 players that are either 59 or 60;there is a big difference playing some of these 50 year old teams back East. They are young ,fast ,and strong. There is a difference.I don't care if I have to play 55 Major + or 55 Major.I just want to play 55 yr old teams. So see you,I'll play in another sanction where I can do that. Haven't you heard ? The Senior Summit has fallen apart according to RB Thomas.

Money
Aug. 4, 2008
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
DD & DMac,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts on this situation. What you say means a lot to us and carries a lot of merit. We all just with this would go away and we could compete against our peers again. A lot of guys have said we should accept this change and just improve our team so we can compete with the majors. To do that we will have to add power players. DMac, you know us and Iím sure you would agree that all we are is a bunch of singles and gap hitters. If we hit two homers in a tournament, thatís a lot. To change the make-up of our team this year is just not feasible. DD, after reading your post, I feel like throwing in the towel and playing major. But then I think about the other teams that are in our predicament and I know thatís not the answer. I think we have to wait until they finally answer our questions or we would have blown our opportunity to play in Roseville and Phoenix for nothing.

DD, one thing I want to clarify is that the tournament results that were included in our appeal package were requested by SSUSA. We tried to provide everything they asked for, including TDs opinions and those of our peers. If they had said the only thing that would validate our appeal was getting creamed at major, we wouldnít have gone to all that trouble.

Desert Guy:
You seem to have misunderstood my previous post on another thread. If it wouldnít be too much trouble, I wonder if you could call me at 805-630-9918. I would like to discuss it with you. Thanks.
Aug. 4, 2008
THECAT
59 posts
One thing is for sure, this is only the beginning of the issue.
The current rating system is a idea brought about to help the issue. Its not a fix it. Teams winning will move up when falling within the system. Why not try to improve it.
Start to rely on your TD who see players and that want teams to return to be competitive tourneys they put on. We all know that tourneys costs are going up for TD's and players. Trust the input from the TD's and include them as much as 80% into your decisions
One things may be for sure the SSUSA will be amazed at their accuracy in most cases but the TD will take care of the rest.
Can't hurt and maybe thinking outside the box will help.
Aug. 4, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
DD and DMac,

Thank you for your words and thoughts on this matter. Ken expressed to you in his words how I feel about it as well and what you had to say. We are not going to abandon players, our team, other teams, friends that have joined us, nor friends that have not joined us yet. We are going to continue to play, just not SSUSA. Hope to see you all down here some time in the near future.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels
Aug. 4, 2008
Mitch
Men's 50
68 posts
Isn't being raised to the next level a way of showing progress made by the team? I would view it as a complaiment or a job well done. Obiviously, the performance of the team has been recognized by league officals as being good enough to go to the next level. Sure it will be tougher there but that just means you'll have to play your "A" game all the time. There's nothing wrong with that. Look at it as a reward for all your hard work and the fact that you're moving up shows that. Just think, if you move up and beat some of those teams, wouldn't that be a great feeling? And it can be done.
Aug. 4, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
DD,

If you are going to Georgia, good luck to your team!

Andy :-)
Aug. 5, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
DD:
I have quoted from that article but forgot about the rest of it as to being a "complete" written guideline. I do not thing it is "complete". Great as far as it takes it, but only covers some issues I feel. Thanks for the reminder.
Article stated must play in 3 or more qualifiers...How many more? ,,,Some teams may play in only one then go to one to all the rest, being only ring tournaments and skip other qualifiers. I would think that ring tourneys would be worth a higher consideration, should they do better or worse "run wise", or especially should they win it.
Or is SSUSA only basing these moves on qualifiers. Ring tournaments are not mentioned in considerations at all. Perhaps it was an over site, I doubt it.

While I know there were teams that played in qualifiers and lost their games by those runs mentioned but they also played in ring tournaments & won them. Tree in one year, by more than one team. They were never moved up.
So maybe there is a "game" within the actual game, teams have to "play". That might go to loose by 5 or so runs every game in qualifiers but beat the other teams in the ring tourneys to win it, and you'll stay where your at. If that's the case the qualifiers are money games, not that the ring tourneys aren't since most of the time you buy your ring any way, should you win.
The basic reasoning in the article for ratings is great, but leaving out the main tournaments or RING tournaments for A LOT MORE consideration is wrong, I feel.
Loosing by 5 is very fair, chances are those are due to errors or a mind fart. Include that in the ring tourneys.
The other problem is the age & competition lever played. Too often there are only 2 or 3 teams in the same ACTUAL same age & skill level. Other teams are mixed in to give teams their 5 games or so. That is not right and has bee complained about by many.
Aug. 5, 2008
idahoreb
Men's 50
47 posts
One issue that you are forgetting with your boycott. You are hurting teams that attend these functions with your refusal to play.
We are a 55 major team that was moved up from AAA and we continue to play. Our problem is a team like yours who does not agree with being moved up so doesn't play out of protest. You are hurting us because of the lack of teams in a tournament. We are a singles hitting team with one or two power guys but we play defense. We can play at the 55 major level because we stepped up our game to be there.
I think you will find a world of difference with the 55 majors compared to the 50 majors. Much more equal competition among the teams with more emphasis on defense and singles and gap hitters and less on hr's.
We need you back in the 55 majors for the competition at these tournaments.
Aug. 5, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
The funny thing that when this happened years ago to our team that SSWC was the only one that would listen and got us rated correctly or at least playing at the correct level; I will not share the dirty laundry here on what happened with the organization that mis-rated the team. The advice that I would give is what I gave someone here locally, who was forced to play major, and play those three tournaments that are set out in the rules for appeal. They were moved to the correct rating after following the rules that have been set forth. As far as boycotts, we would be lucky to have a tournament here with 90 teams, but if SSWC is the bad guy, why not boycott their message board also?

I hope that you can come to terms with your issues, and I wish you only the best, but it seems that SSWC is very accomodating to allow any of us to belitte or berate them here in their own house.
Aug. 5, 2008
OTE24
Men's 65
123 posts
Andy,
You have as good a team as No Dice and The
Old Dawgs. Your leadoff and # 2 hitters both played
Majors last year and your RH pitcher is as good as
any I've played. You have a good team and can
compete with anyone. We'll never know because
you want it your way. No Dice and the Dawgs have
moved up, so the complaining about where they are rated
should stop. As far as I know you haven't played
either team. We have(Over the Edge) and believe
me you can play at that level. Play, then see what
happens. Teams don't rate themselves or we all would
go to the lowest possible level. Good luck, but we
would rather see you play.
Aug. 5, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
4 X 4,

Just as a matter of infornmation. It appears that there are only 65 teams for Roseville. Unless they have not updated the other 25 teams, that is it. Only 10 in the 50 bracket and 13 in the 55 bracket. If more have signed up or will sign up, that is great for those that attend. Why don't you ask SSUSA to update their participating list, so we all know who are the 90 teams attending. Again, good luck to all, and hope everyone has a safe travel and an enjoyable tournament.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager
Aug. 5, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts
Duke - Yes - the list I had printed out earlier had 67 teams on it. Not sure how I came up with more. Thank you for noticing.

There's no doubt it's costing folks more to travel to participate. Especially if they take their spouses, (cost X2). It seems to have created an initial backlash that teams were unprepared for. This is what I think is currently affecting participation but there might be a larger problem on the horizon, the possiblity of the new softballs.

Coupled with transportation costs is the uncertainty of the possibilty of "dumbed down" softballs. This alone certainly would create a mass exodus all by itself. Doubly so if the newly design balls would need a new stiffer bat to gain results - meaning we'd all be forced to buy more/different bats.

Hopefully that day will never raise it's ugly head.
It will ruin the game we now know. As hard core as I am it would probably be time to pursue a different activity if it were to come to fruition.

The equipment we have now is sufficient if we can have balls that stay constant hot and cold retaining the same pop we now have cold. It's been said there is no increase of accidents so it should be left well enough alone. ASA is finding out the hard way what tinkering with the game has cost them in diminishing participation and increased bat doctoring. <> It's not a healthy approach except for the marketers that believe the PT Barnum addage which would make us the "suckers" while they introduce us to a "new" game. <> It's been rumored that some new bats are being held off the table/development/production due to fear of the new balls rendering them unmarketable.

It's a trend-concept-cancer we cannot afford or allow to take root.

The travel costs we'll all have to learn to adapt to in some sort of fashion. Leave the rest of the game alone and we can figure out how to keep participating.
Aug. 5, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4395 posts
4x4
You might think of it asthe low number playable teams within same age\ratings. By the time you break down these 10 or so teams into ivisions, only a few age brackets might get 5 teams, others 2 or 3.
The teams, actually players, have stated they are tired of the low team turn out, to actually compete against. Though on the brifght side, they'd have a better chance of "winning" a ring you end up buying. la tee da.
some new additional participants always seem to show up after the initial posting. chjances are they wait to see who's going and take an educated guess who they will be stacked up against.
Aug. 5, 2008
jim16
Men's 65
173 posts
I akways think it interesting to listen to the biggest whiners when it comes to ratings. We have four classifications. That means that AVERAGE is about halfway between AAA and major. There is no way a team that is rated as AAA tells their wives, co workers, neighbors or friends that they are below average players. Just the opposite. They brag about how good they are and then complain if they have to play any team that is rated as possibly above average. A team moved to Major should be proud to be considered slightly above average...but no....they just whine and complain because now they cant beat up on below average players. If you dont want to compete, why even go on this board. There's no CRYING in baseball. Grow up, stand tall and play the best you can.
Aug. 5, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Jim16,

Hmmm! How should I respond to this. I guess that I will not entertain you too much. Whether you are a Major/Major+ player or not, gives you no right to say nor judge any of my friends on AAA and AA teams as "below average players." The teams may not be as good as yours, but they are by means to be belittled. I am proud to play with any of these guys and have with many. This is why players from all levels need to be represented on a player's board, if it comes to be.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
AKA: Base Hawgs,
Manager
Aug. 6, 2008
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
Almost everybody keeps missing the point. It isnít that we donít want to play major or think we canít compete. Itís that they moved us up after we played 11 games against AAA competition this year. Of those 11 games, we played the same 2 teams 7 times. We want to know how, after being AA or AAA for the last 7-8 years, they suddenly insist that we are major. Nobody from SSUSA has answered our questions or will return a phone call, and itís been 2 freaking months. We feel they at least owe us an explanation. Truthfully, can you say that you would feel any different from us on this? Itís not whining to ask for accountability on their part. To the people that canít understand this, well, I guess weíll just have to agree to disagree.
Aug. 6, 2008
idahoreb
Men's 50
47 posts
I would venture to say that you are missing the point with moving you to major from AAA. SSUSA surveyed the teams and saw your team as being far above the existing AAA teams in competitive games played and future AAA games and moved you to the major level to make all playing fields more level. They know the teams and if you added two major players to your existing strong AAA team from last year then they determined that you were well above the skills level of esisting 55 AAA teams and moved you to majors. What is so hard to understand about that logic and reasoning? They were protecting the 55 AAA teams from being blown away by a far superior team.

That should be the end of the story and just get out and play the game we love but spend a lot of money and time on. Complaining is easy, playing the game at the appropriate level for your team should be a challenge we all should love and anticipate.
Aug. 6, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
Ken- Actually, many of these posts are by people that do get the point. Your team was moved. Don't know if you should have been or not because we're 60s and don't play the teams you talk about. You appealed and ilost, so you took your case public instead of doing what others have done that had the same thing happen to them. I hope you do play, and I hope your results give more clarity. That's about the only sensible way to see who was right, you or the ssusa. But don't count on the other associations you play in sharing your scores. For our money, ssusa runs the best tournaments, publishes the most info., especially scores, and it's where the best competition is. Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
Aug. 6, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
To Whom It May Concern,

Ken, I will leave the 2 Major players that we have per Idahoreb, one added this season and one has always played with us, for you to comment on, if you care to expand on that. Ken and Idahoreb both have relevant points. What Ken left off was that we traditionally beat those 2 teams that we played 7 out of 11 times the past 7-8 years. There are teams up north that we were going to play in Roseville, that tradionally beat us the past 7-8 years. We have only played 6 different 55AAA teams this entire year. When it suited their purpose ($$$$), SSUSA let us play in the 55AAA bracket in our last tournament in Menifee, although we were classified Major and were told that was NEVER going to be allowed. We did not have to spot any team runs or an extra player. As of this date, we have played 19 55AAA games and 14 against those same 2 teams(4 SSUSA tournaments and one private). We still have played only 6 different 55AAA teams. Sure we looked good in several of those tournaments, because we won against 50AA/55AA/60AA/60AAA teams. I know this is NOT the case, but one would think that we were set up by playing so many teams in lower divisions. LOL! One 4-team tournament we played was against ONE 55AAA and TWO 55AA teams. It would have been nice to play in Roseville against some northern 55AAA to see how we would have faired. Obviously, that is not going to happen.

Andy Smith,
Double nickels,
AKA: Base Hawgs,
Manager
Aug. 6, 2008
idahoreb
Men's 50
47 posts
And the reason you will not find out just how good you are, rather it be against 55 AAA or major, is because you have decided to protest and not play. You could have played Roseville against major competiton just to see how you faired. Too bad for you and everyone else who is affected by your decision.

However, I would venture to guess that if you called SSUSA and asked to get in the Roseville tournament they would be more than willing to accept your team, even today.

Just a thought.
Aug. 6, 2008
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
Everybody,

Whether you agree with us or not, I want to thank all of you for giving your opinion on this matter (except for maybe Old Wussie. I had always wondered where Sen. Joseph McCarthy had ended up). Originally, we went to the message board only to see if other teams were hitting the same stone wall that we did with SSUSA. A few did indicate, in this thread and others, that they had, but quite a few have emailed or mentioned to us in person that they agree with us and they also were in the same situation. We were pretty surprised to hear from some of the teams up north that feel the same as we do. But, I propose to put it to another team vote on whether we should continue the boycott or play in Phoenix.

Idahoreb, I see your point about hurting other teams by not having enough to field a decent bracket. The Cal Cup looks pretty bad, looking at the list of attending teams. It's too late for Roseville for us. We are in another tournament elsewhere. I donít know what team you are on, but if we ever get the chance to play you, please introduce yourself. Itís always nice to put a face on the people from the message board, whether they agree with you or not.

OTE24; Needless to say I was surprised to read your post. At the Menifee tournament, just about every guy on your team came up and said we had been screwed by the move to major. In fact we were all laughing about it. The Mustangs said the same thing. As you guys are the two teams that we have played 14 times this year, we thought you were in agreement with us. Also, you know that Gary, our lead-off, played with the Basehawg 50ís for the past few years. When they didnít play much last year he played with SoCal Gusto, another AAA that was moved to major (and now are back in AAA).

After this post, Iím done with this. Iím pretty sure you are all as tired as I am of having to see this debated endlessly. Thanks again to all the people that took the time to share their opinion, either for or against us. I hope that weíll see each other on the field.

Ken Lange
Double Nickel 55s
Aug. 7, 2008
jim16
Men's 65
173 posts
I wonder how many AA players whine when they are moved to theAAA's? I wonder how many AAA players whine when they are moved to the majors? Oh... I forgot to say "professional baseball" players, not whining pot bellies. Moving up is the goal, its not a punishment. SS-USA works diligently to make the ratings system work and it is working. If a little whining kept a team from having to move up, our game would be like the flat bellied teams. Everyone would be a AA team and everyone would be happy. The very best teams in many states are playing class E. I've heard youngsters claim to have the best team within 200 miles and be undefeated for the season. They brag and flex and spit. Everyone around them thinks they are great players and its because they tell all of the neighborhood how good they are. They however wont tell all of neighbors and co wokers that they play Class E and that all D, C , B, A, AA, AAA and major teams can clean their clock. Our game is getting to be the same thing. SS-USA is working hard to make the system work. Is it perfect? NO. But go play and prove to yourselves that the love of the game is playing, whether you win or lose is secondary. Play the best you can and you are a winner. OR then you can just take your ball and go home and pout. I wonder how many teams lose 9 or 10 games in row and then whine when the rating committee lowers heir classification? Duke and Ken, get over it and be a competitor again. Every game has a winner and a loser. Lose too much go down, win too much go up. It aint rocket science but SS-USA must be doing it right as last year over 300 teams showed up for the World Championships in Phoenix and more will be there this year. Some of you whiners will pass on the ultimate Senior Softball experience because your panties are too thight. We will miss you and you will just miss out. Its your choice, but two things are sure in this life, TAXES and DEATH. When death comes, you've played your last game and you whiners will miss what could possibly be your last great accomplishment. The game not played hurts more than the game that was played hard and was lost.
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