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Discussion: RATINGS WARS--continued

Posted Discussion
Aug. 6, 2008
DD
Men's 60
71 posts
RATINGS WARS--continued
A true story: In early July 2005 our 50/AA team, Vintage Jox, was suddenly and inexplicably raised to AAA by SSUSA. We had won two relatively unimportant tournaments in May and April and were playing well. But, nobody on our team believed we were AAA and, more importantly, nobody on our team WANTED to play AAA.
Still, there we were, on the eve of the Western Nationals in Seattle, after having spent the money for plane tickets and hotel reservations, ordered to play AAA. We were steamed.
After taking an 0-5 drubbing up there at the hands of some pretty good AAA teams, I remember making a few not-so-polite comments to tournament officials. We stayed AAA for another 3 tournaments before our appeal for reinstatement to AA was granted based on the same criteria SSUSA used to elevate us in the first place.

Anyone who has been through this will understand how difficult it is. Call us "whiners" if you will, but until you have walked in these shoes yourself you might want to keep the lid on the personal criticisms.

The larger point, however, is that SSUSA showed themselves to be fair-minded in our case, and did the right thing. In our opinion, they set forth a policy and followed it fairly to the point of effectively admitting they had erred in bumping us---what more can any team ask?

I urge teams that feel they have been unfairly bumped to at least try the appeal route once you have some empirical data with which to make your case.

Rating of teams is central to the success of senior softball because it is at the root of competitive parity---for our money, SSUSA has established itself as the organization that MOST tries to keep the field level for all teams.

When I've registered our team at the pre-tournament managers meetings, I'm consistently impressed by the thorough checking of our roster and those of the other teams. Every name is checked with margin notes in red ink that track that player's presence on other rosters...they do this to spot unusual player movement or possible sandbagging. Can you think of another senior organization that expends similar effort?

Prior to major tournaments I might receive several phone calls from SSUSA staffers with questions about players---which qualifier did they play in...how long have they been with us...and the like.

While obviously not perfect, in my opinion this rating system deserves some credit for helping produce the remarkably even slates of teams we're facing in the 50/AAA level.

Let's take the good parts of it, leavened with continuing honesty and integrity from the managers and players themselves, and improve it until we have a better system.

But let's stay on the field and PLAY BALL while we work out our differences.
Aug. 6, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4305 posts
DD,
Unless you left out some info here you state that you only played in TWO RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT tournaments...I assume they were qualifiers....??....
The article on the how & why states teams must play in THREE or MORE...for CLEARLY seeing a pattern... am I missing something?. No mention of Ring or other tournaments other than qualifiers for making this judgement.
Seems by your account you were moved up due to two tournaments but moved back down because of 3...
Good ole consistancy.
Teams can sand bag to their hearts content, & stay away from the 5 or so run differential in Q's, just to get in a ring tournament, some do. What would a team rather win, a ring tournament or a shirt tournament. If there is no move up, as seems to be the case for winning rings, You can bet the systen has a flaw.
SSUSA has the best check in system I have seen, over NSA, USSSA, ASA, & NCSSA & WSA
Over all hough the cost is high for playing the game and I mean going to thiose 3 or more qualifiers for pattern checking, it may be better than back wash and the waiting for a reply that never comes.
But the article does say one thing that is very true, teams fight tooth and nail to get their place that gives them the advantage in their mind. It is the assn's job to TRY to make it as fair as they seem to be able to.
Win or loose, human nature takes over, we bitch moan and grown....
Aug. 6, 2008
allworld
Men's 50
19 posts
Just to give you a note: a team from the west coast got bumped up to the majors this year. The team as a whole, are a great bunch of guys. But in thier opinon they couldn't compete at the major level. Well, they won a ring in Utah, and just beat some fine 50 major teams, and 50 triple A teams. Now I ask you, do you think they have a reason to cry foul, and by the way they are a 55 team. As a manager, iI would think you'd tell your team lets give this a try and see where it goes from there. If you get your lunch and take your knocks, appeal, I bet you they do the right thing. I really believe that T>H> is not out to get anyone, he just tries to be fair to the whole playing field. Is it 100 per cent proof, no, teams slip through the cracks all the time, but in the end all things even themself out. Have I walked in these shoes, I believe at one time or another we all have walked in these shoes, and here we are still playing this game like young kids
Aug. 7, 2008
udaplaya
91 posts
This is the type of hair splitting that one would expect from the young, non-Senior types. No one, and I mean no one, can convince me that each 5 year age division needs to be broken down into 4 distinct levels of play. But, given that they are, teams still want to split hair between each level, please Each weekend hundreds of softball teams play across the country, some go 0 - 2, while other go 7 - 0 and win the prizep. Play that same tournament the following weekend and you will undoubtedly get different results.

i have spent tons of $ going out of town and ending up 0 - 2, but that didn't make me want to drop down, rather it made me work at my game to better compete the next time out.

The Seniors already get two guaranteed play-in games, then tthree guaranteed brackets games. It is almost sounds that some of these teams want guaranteed results, too.

i speak for a lot of us who are just shaking our head at this post.
Aug. 7, 2008
jim16
Men's 65
169 posts
UDADOG,
I'm glad to see that someone really gets it. You said it right.
Aug. 7, 2008
jrhunch
85 posts
ratings should be done with commonsense.prelim games should never count toward run differential.my team plays everyone in the prelims.we pay our own way so how do you bring players and tell them to pay to watch.it gives everyone a chance to rest.if your team is over the runs average for a tournie the teams you played and the td should be questioned on your ability.if you played 5 teams they should say whether you should move up or not.if the td and the 5 teams vote 60% should move you up if not you stay where you are.why should someone decide if you move up that never saw you play.we spend alot of money to travel to these tournies ,the expense is getting to be too much.3 tournies is alot of money spent to prove that you were right about where you should play.i have been on the side of a moveup that was justified because of winning a big tournie that should be expected.we proceeded to get it handed to us the moveup year as was to be expected.but to win or play well in a qualifier should not be automatic.teams should police themselves as well as other teams.numbers dont lie but they also dont always tell the truth.i cant believe that we as players have to pay for id cards and too high entry fees (young players dont) and dont have a say in how things are done.its more important who you are beating and not just the score.why have tds if their opinions dont count.run differential is wrong without the opinions of who you are playing.i dont encourage anyone to quit playing but encourage the powers that be to do the right thing.teams are always going to think they are right.if the players had more say then at least some of us will be right.keep on hitting and stay safe.#11 pace electronics ny
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