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Discussion: Should Major Plus be combined with Major teams

Posted Discussion
Sept. 15, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Should Major Plus be combined with Major teams
There are a definite lack of Major Plus teams playing tournaments this year. It appears the new rules recently adopted for Major Plus teams will not help this matter. If you are currently a Major Plus player or a Major player lets discuss the various pros and cons of combining these divisions with rules that would be appropriate for doing so. There is no sense blaming the associations for this. It is not their fault. Major Plus teams no longer want to pay the costs of traveling and playing in tournaments that lack teams in the Major Plus category.

Unless this changes there will probably be only 3 or 4 tournaments each year that would make sense for us to play. I'm sure we are not alone in this thinking. We have already decided that we will not be back to at least three tournaments that previously we enjoyed playing in each year. Until there are some changes there will be great resistance on the part of Major teams wanting to move up. I know this was a concern of ours. Recently there have been a couple of Major Plus players wanting to play with Major teams. This would make that a moot point since it would be allowed.

There seem to be plenty of AAA and AA teams so I don't believe this really concerns them but if you have a good idea feel free to volunteer same. Please identify your team and what level and age group you play in. Include your name if you wish.

I would suggest the following rules for a combined division:
5 hr with 1 up (singles thereafter).
Limit of 5 runs per inning.
Normal time limits that we have been playing.
Last inning is the only open inning.
Guarantee of at least 6 innings.
Start with 1 and 1 count.
No time limit in championship games.
Based on current ratings Major team would have choice of being home team.
No extra charge for tournament fees since we would be using normal time limits. (I believe the 1 and 1 count would basically keep the games running on time even though we are guarantied at least six innings)
Retain normal pitcher protection rules.
Allow a one player exception without boundaries.
Use the flip flop rule.

Feel free to comment either way.

Bob Schulz
Travelodge 55's
Major Plus
Sept. 15, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I agree with almost everything you said
and I love the 1-1 count.
It really picks up the tempo of a game
which I think is better for offense, defense and the fans.
Sept. 16, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
708 posts
Einstein and Bob,

I think it is a good thought to combine Major and Major+ into one division. I think the home run rule needs to be scaled down to make it more feasible for the Major teams. My team has not played any Major or Major+ teams this year, and somehow have been bumped into Majors. We were hoping to be put back into AAA where we belong, but that has not happened yet. That is a seperate issue. To stick to this issue, it is a good idea, but rules agreeable to both divisions need to be worked out. Since I have only watched those divisions play, if the 2 divisions combined, our team would probably vote to disband. Who chases all of these home runs? We will chase ours, since we will only hit 2 home runs the entire tournament, maybe. Too many of the Major teams are not capable of keeping up with other Major teams, let alone Major+ teams. As a result, teams have disbanded and players are trying to hook up with other teams, resulting in less teams showing up at tournaments.

This is really a great idea, and would boost attendence of teams and revenue for SSUSA. To do this, Major+ teams have to understand that Major teams cannot keep up with all of home runs. It turns the game into home run derby, rather than a softball game. Not trying to put anyone down, just seeing it from an outsider looking in. I know that our team would suffer, along with other teams. We are not going to add players and dump our teammates/friends for home run hitting players. It is not the game that we want to play, nor the way we do things or treat a teammate/friends.

The way I see it, 2 things need to happen here. 1) Rules need to be made to entice the Major teams to play against the Major+ teams. That may mean the home run egos of the Major+ teams need to be be changed, so the Major teams making this adjustment can feel they have an equal chance of competing and winning a tournament, not just a chance to win. This may mean Major+ teams may need to adopt the Major rules for home runs. 2) you need to weed out the teams that are really AAA teams forced to play Majors. If you do not do this and combine both divisions, then you will see many more teams disbanding and will accomplish not much. Just my opinions. Not trying to offend any of the Major+ teams, just trying to put this in perspective. Our team is here to compete at a softball game, have fun, and know that we had a chance to win the tournament. We are not interested in playing Major/Major+ softball. This is just my 2 cents and sorry if I did offend anyone.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager
Sept. 16, 2008
turn2
484 posts
Duke,
All of the major plus teams do not hit a lot of home runs. I know some do but we are a 60 maojor plus team and we do not hit that many home runs. I have seen some major teams that hit more home runs than some major plus teams.
I like playing by the major rules. We would not have a problem with that because we do not hit that many home runs.
So, if a major plus team does not hit any home runs why would a lesser team not want to play them?

My two cents,
Donnie Chavis
Turn Two / Elite
60 Major Plus
Sept. 16, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
708 posts
Turn2,

Your points are well taken and true. I am sorry, and I did make one mistake in my post. I was only thinking about the age group that I have played(50 and 55). You are absolutely correct and thanks for bringing that point to my attention and everyone else's. I will keep the other age groups in mind next time I post a message, my wrong. I agree with what you wrote.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager
Sept. 16, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Andy,
Thanks for the thoughtful, sincere and stimulating post.
I remember a time on this website not that long ago
when someone like yourself wouldn't think of posting a comment
for fear of some clown wanting to entertain himself at your expense.
I'm glad we've all come a long way and rightly so.

At the Black World's in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago
they divided the tournament into Rec and Competitive.
I think it worked out fine
and I would endorse SSUSA or anyone else doing the same thing
if you restrict runs per inning to 5 and have equalizer home runs
starting at one.
Again, this is what we have been doing for a couple of years, now
in NCSSA and it REALLY works to help keep things fairly competitive.
Sept. 16, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"clown"????

Pot calling kettle black?
Sept. 16, 2008
DoubleL10
Men's 65
813 posts
Methinks I see paranoia at its' best! I did not see anywhere in Einsteins' post that any particular person was being called a 'clown'...
Sept. 16, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4357 posts
I'd say something but lately they have been removed... lmao
Sept. 16, 2008
DoubleL10
Men's 65
813 posts
Duke, Donnie is right on. It never ceases to amaze me that there seem to be a large number of folks who post regularly on this board that think Major Plus players hit home runs almost at will. I've seen some of the great 50 Major Plus teams this year - especially the Mavericks - and, although they hit a lot of homers, not everyone hits one.

To the point, in our age group, 60 Major Plus, many of the teams we have played have not hit the alloted number of home runs in any game. I've seen Don Clatterbough go thru a tournament and only hit a couple a few times this year and Don is a premier home run hitter at any age.

Our team, Boaz ASI, has not hit the alloted number for a game in a TOURNAMENT! We have only played in Reno and Tulsa, but you get the idea. We hit 2 in Tulsa and one of those was inside the park!

Larry Lopez
Manager, Boaz/ASI
Sept. 16, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
i didn't mention a particular person either. Whoever he is referring to, what I said would apply.
Sept. 16, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Einstein, Andy and Donnie: Thanks for your posts and opinions.

Dirty: Add something constructive or step aside and find someone else to bother. This is my first and only response I will make to you unless you have something constructive to add.
Sept. 16, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
"einstein" referencing a clown was constructive?

Amazing how you guy's drink this vile man's kool-aid.
Sept. 16, 2008
turn2
484 posts
Larry,
Glad to see you made it through the storm.

We hit 10 home runs in 6 games in tulsa and we hit 3 home runs in 5 games in burlington,n.c. for the asa.
In my opinion this is not a lot of home runs and I am sure that the 55's hit more home runs but not the max all the time.
later,
donnie
Sept. 16, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
736 posts
Dirty

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[^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^] GADFLY
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II SWAT EM
II
II
II =.=
II
Sept. 16, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4357 posts
Dead bug.
no such luck
lol
Sept. 16, 2008
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Also tired of the travel only to find 2/3 team brackets. There should only be two divisions. Major and A.

All with 1-1 counts.
All 5 run max with open ining last.
All one up equalizer, singles.
All middle picther safety rule.

Major 5 Home Runs.
A 1 Home Run.

As a 50 Major Plus player I could live with these rules and divisions. Brackets would have more/different teams. These rules make it harder for teams to run away from each other. Hitting and defense.

Palm Springs in November.....2009 season.


Hey Joe...Stick with one team you wouldn't have those roster problems.....LOL

Brian #20
MAC 11
Sept. 16, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Larry and Brian--thanks for your posts. Can we hear from other teams--Mavericks, Hollis, Ruth, Windy City, Roberts, others especially more Major teams?
Sept. 16, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Brian,
We agree on this one, big time.

I miss you and the guys.
Mike wasn't supposed to make a comeback this year
after his shoulder surgery
but he's like the energizer bunny
and I'm not going to fight him for a spot on his own team.
I'm always rooting for you guys.
See you soon.
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
My thoughts on this matter are this.The difference between M+ plus and Major teams is the amount of sponser money.Most players playing at the M+ plus level (the best players in the country) have always, since youth had a full ride by sponser money,if a team is not able to provide this players will goto the ones that can.Thus you get the George Stienbrenner affect.Team with the most money wins.Can't blame a guy for that.So what do you do to level the playing field.That I don't know.There just isn't that many players of that caliber in the country.When they're all on a limited number of teams how do you beat them THESE GUYS ARE SUPERIOR PLAYERS,NOT JUST HITTERS.tHEY PLAY EXCELLENT DEFENCE AS WELL. We have a very good hitting major team but have yet to beat a major plus team this year.There is a gap between the best major teams and the major + teams.Combining the two I don't think is the answer.Maybe offer some type of incentive for major teams to move up? I don't know.But at this time I think combining the two would create an imbalance in what is a very competitive major div.
How ya doing Einstein glad to see you made the Mob roster for Phx. see ya there.
Sept. 17, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Could an option for the good Major guys who aren't quite at the next level to work harder at their game and improve. I know we aren't talking 20 year olds here, but 50+ is NOT to old to work hard, practice hard, and get better.
Sept. 17, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Ray,
I heard Don Newhard talking about drawing the line at whether a team/players
are subsidized or not.
And your point about defense is well taken.
Good to great defense puts a ton of pressure on even the best batters
and helps win big games and the Mavericks, for example,
this year have greatly improved their defense.
I think the 5 run inning and equalizer at 1 HR will go a great distance
in removing the distance between a major and major plus team
and allow us all to play together.

Thanks for your support about me and the MOB.
I look forward to seeing you and Reedus and Jack and playing against you guys again.
Sept. 17, 2008
turn2
484 posts
Gekle,
It is hard to buy the best players when everyone can only pick up from there surrounding states. You can still get good players but you can't get the best ones when you have these state restrictions. I understand your point but every team has the option to try and put the best team together.
We would just like to be able to play more teams and the BEST competition out there.
Later,
Donnie
Sept. 17, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Donnie, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the 'buying the best players' thing. There has been, for some time now, an underlying theme that suggests that money is the only consideration for which team a major plus players chooses. We are as free to make our choices as are any other divisions (geography notwithstanding). Many people posting on here have been very free with their opinions about this even though they seem to lack true understanding of what the major plus teams and the division is really like.
But this is an aside to the real issue on this thread, which is... HOW MANY MAJOR TEAMS ARE WILLING TO PLAY AGAINST MAJOR PLUS TEAMS with equalizer rules in place? There is no right or wrong answer here... just a simple yes or no.
If this is a small number, any potential merger is moot.
BW
Sept. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Hi Bob my feelings on this are that some of the major teams may need a nudge, I wrote this on your thread and Ray the Gekle manager also mentioned incentives on this thread. Don't know what they are but probably not money or rings. Preferred seedings would work for me personally it would be nice to skip a rung or two in a bracket. Can Major teams go back to major when there are enough M+ teams to make a bracket? Or once that plank is walked always a major plus team. Within teams there are individuals who would play M+ and those who wouldn't no matter how it was presented. I think the powers to be need to ask a "Whats in it for me" question to the major teams that are deemed worthy to make the move. My guess is that you could get 4-6 major teams in the 50 age group to move under the correct scenario. Another thought is designate the 20 or so true impact players in an age group and the rest can move about fairly freely. So you play M+ for a year don't like it find another team next year. As I understand it there are players not playing because they were rostered on a M+ team and now they can't play. This would take some of the sting out of playing M+ also. Major label for a player seems to be the sweet spot you can move up or down with a wide variety of teams.

There was one 50 M+ team at the LVSSA this year that shouldn't happen.
Sept. 17, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Joe, while I understand your questions, I cannot answer them. In some cases, you're asking for guarantees into the future and I really do not know who can provide them for you. Even in the absence of a potential merger, who can REALLY tell you what the landscape will look like 1-2 years from now?
A lot of folks can appear on this board but few have them that kind of insight and even less have any authority. Was there a 'yes or a no' in your response?
BW
Sept. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Bob how about a yes from this player and if I have any influence I would try and solicit a yes from any team I'm affliated with. Me personally I would rather be on the worst M+ than the best Major team.
Sept. 17, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Joe, the crying shame here is that you are very likely in the clear minority. I know where you stand personally because we've (you and I) discussed this many times.
My take on this subject (past 48 hours and the past few years) is that a lot of guys will come on here and type a bunch of stuff but won't show up to play against the best teams, no matter what the rules are. There will always be a good reason (read = excuse) but the bottom line is that they don't REALLY like competition.
To list a few of the reasons teams don't show up... major plus teams are 'bought'... not enough of them... too expensive... too many days... too far way... wrong rules... they wouldn't let us pick someone up... I'm sure that I've missed some along the way.
Are there any major teams out there that will stand up and state their position? Their position = yes, we will be there... no, we have no interest in doing so... I mean teams, not individuals.
BW
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Turn2,I was not in any way trying to suggest that M+ teams were buyimg players simply that teams with the most sponsor support are more attractive to players which is a good draw for good talent.I'm refering to lodging,air travel,entry etc.Thats not always a factor but IF I were of that caliber and I had a choice between lots of tournys with most cost absorbed or just a few paying every thing out of pocket easy choice.(option)I enjoy watching the + teams play,very impressive .Not real interested in seeing them watered down.And to that other person that replyed we do play and practice hard that can't make an apple into an orange.Players at the plus level are gifted athletes and always have been.None of these guys woke up one day and decided they were going to become + plyers that year.May I ask what level you play if not M+ why? sounds like you have the recipe.I wish I had all or any answers for solution. it's a tuff call for the simple reason that only a select few are capable of performing at this level.
Sept. 17, 2008
turn2
484 posts
Bob,
You hit the nail on the head. Maybe some teams will give an answer. Hopefully something can be done in the future if not we will still continue to play.

Gekle,
I do not play because I am not old enough. I help coach / sponsor Turn Two / Elite 60 Major Plus.
Thanks,
Donnie Chavis
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Joe L sorry didn't mean to leave you out of my post.I think there is probably 8 major teams in the country that could compete at the plus level.Your team and ours included.Don't think either of us would win many or any of them but competitive,yes.I think our down fall is sacrafice defense for some extra offence.Plus players are great both sides of the ball.opinion.Gekle will go with the flow so Wood I'd say that was a yes .We haven't ducked any one or made any excuses.My reference to teams with money was simply stateing a fact.Our team has descent sponsor help which has helped me recuit considerably. Wood I don't know who you play for but if it's awest coast team how many times have you traveled east of the Mississippi to find more competition.Check our record we will travel to play best teams.Last year we played USSSA WORLDS showed up in Wis. to play when we discovered that they had mistakenly put us in the M+ div.we didn't complain (much) we played had fun,where competitive and went home no big deal.We come to compete.
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Turn2 the last part of that post was not directed to you but to the board critic (Dirty) suggesting we didn't try to improve with hard work and practice.
Sept. 17, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I agree with you Ray that Gekel, Evolution, MOB and Goodmans
are 50 major teams that can compete in Major plus
and there's nothing like being the Major plus champion because
you're literally atop the softball world when you get there.
You got to beat the best to be the best.
But due to lack of numbers and there being not much difference
between them anymore
which mostly translates to defense more than offense, anyway
I say combine 'em, limit the runs per inning and use the equalizer
and it will all just work out fine.
Joe L- you can play/hit with anyone I've played with or against
and there's no better guy or teammate on the planet.
See you Phoenix.
Sept. 17, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Ray, Joe, Bob and Donny,
What if we combined them and awarded the highest finisher the Major Plus championship
whether Major or Major Plus
and the highest Major contender, the Major championship.
That way everyone gets to compete and no one gets shorted or penalized.
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Einstein I think alot of teams could live with that as long as the brackets paired all the major teams against the M+ teams equally.Similar to what went on in Vegas tourny.I think with enough positive input by people who the out come acually affects, this could be resolved to benifit everyone.Good suggestion It's not to far from what goes on right now by combining the two divisions except for the dual champs.
Ray Morgan/Gekle Builders
Sept. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
To Ray, Einstein, Donnie from Evolution, and anyone from Goddman Racing. Ray you would have to help with any additional teams you've seen, how important is it to win. There seems to be some consensus from some of the 50 major teams that this is doable. My question who blinks first and volunteers and if one goes would the others follow. The 50 major division would sure take on a different look if Goodmans, Evolution, the MOB, Gekles and a few others made the jump. What actually would the harm be if 6 or 8 teams volunteered up in the 50's. Would it be a safety issue? Probably no more than usual. Would we win? Probably not most of the time we don't win anyway. Would we play better? I would contend yes. Would we be able to draw better players? Even without money I would say yes. If one goes to M+ we should all go.
Sept. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Joe I think if 4 or 5 of the top ten major teams moved up it would be a matter of time before the rest followed do to the lack of competition left to play.We would follow the herd or lead it if needed.I would be willing to disguss this with staff for next year.
Ray
Sept. 17, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Ray, you seem well-intentioned and you're willing to stand up and say 'yes'. I respect both. But, with all due respect, you also seem naive to the general trend of the major division. Bear in mind that I cannot speak for the 2008 50 majors as we're 10 years older.
Over the years I have seen major teams that have sand-bagged in the 'drop downs'. I have seen them determine just how high the radar is and make certain that they fly under it. I've seen teams actually throw games in order to get beat badly enough to be 'moved down'. One of them was beating us (legitimately) when their manager removed their pitcher, who was really doing a great job... it was a SSUSA qualifier.
The point of all this? I do not believe for a moment that the other major teams will 'get tired of the lack of competition'. Quite the contrary, they'll relish being the big man on campus. This is why I have been as persistent as I have about the yea or nay question.
You asked about our willingness to travel east of the Big Muddy... we have traveled to VA twice (50, 55), Alabama (45), Mississippi (45), So Carolina (40)... we'd go to Bangor, ME, if we knew that there would be somebody to play... meaning more than 2-3 other teams. We also went to Des Moines, IA, in 2002-2005, MN last year, and to the Dallas area from 2003- 2006.
Thus far in '08, we've been to Reno, NV; Tulsa, OK' Lincoln, NE; Phoenix, AZ; Prescott, AZ; Tucson, AZ; Palm Springs, CA; and Las Vegas, NV twice... every one of them is a road trip for most of our team... and we'll be in AZ next month.
In one of the LV events (April '08) there were two 60 major teams that refused to play us... so this forms part of my thinking as well. Not to mention that this also happened to the Mavericks at the same park, same weekend.
It is my strong feeling that many major teams want no part of playing the major plus teams even if HRs were an out from the 'get go' ... even though they swear up and down that they would. These type of teams are not the type that we really want to play anyway.

Joe R. - I am not sure that I can do justice to your question at this point. In my view, anything involving a drop down will invite sand bagging. Perhaps you weren't advocating that. If you're merely saying that the highest team from each division gets hardware, I have no real opinion on that as we don't play for that. We play for right to beat the best, which we have done at times... we've definitely taken a few beatings along the way.
I'm in the same ring as Donnie from Turn Two... we'd like to see the major plus division grow but we'll continue to play even if it doesn't. We will not hold out much hope that the sand-baggers will ever do the manly thing... even with equalizers.
BW
Sept. 17, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Einstein: I think your idea is good and since I started this thread I would like to add to my rules/suggestions that the top Major Plus team as well as the highest finishing Major team be awarded a championship in a combined division. This of course would result in any Major team who wins a national moving up to Major Plus in the following year.

A lot of guys so far think this can work. Even those who don't think the idea will fly, would give it a chance. The change to combining the divisions would be better than playing only one or two teams in your division and it sure the hell beats being unopposed.

Once again thanks to the various players who have voiced their opinion. Please continue to add to the comments voiced so far.
Sept. 17, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Our team would play in a combined Major+/Major division. I like all of Bob 50 rules except the one player outside the boundary rule. The flip/flop rule is not needed if you can only score 5 runs an inning. Our team also is mostly funded by ourselves, so we would not travel anywhere but the west coast.
Sept. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
I spoke with George Robinson the manager of the 50 major Arizona MOB team and George I hope I get this right, we would move into the combined 50 upper division. George mentioned that he would enjoy the opportunity. He also mentioned that structuring a roster to compete without all the do's and don't of major would allow him to put the best team he can on the field which is all he can ask for.

Jawood if my memory is good you're team is Goodman from the Northwest.

Bob Woodroof I hope we get a chance to put your thoughts to the test. If these 4,5 or 6 teams make this move I hope the 50 major plus teams see this as a good thing. Living in Vegas and if I had to place a bet on this happening I'm not sure which side I would take.

Maybe we can get together in Phoenix and discuss.
Sept. 18, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
JaWood, Lecak:
This is indeed encouraging... I'm hopeful that spirit like yours won't be confined to the 50 division... anyone from the other major divisions willing to step up? 55s? 60s?
Jawood, I'm with you on the flip-flop thing... never liked that rule.
GSF played in the 55 major + division for 2-3 years before we ever won anything meaningful. Taking 2nd or 3rd was the best we could do for a long time. Our forward progress could best be described as glacier-like... I have a feeling that you'll improve much faster.
But even when were creeping from ineptness to adequacy we took absolute solace in knowing that no one could mess with our roster, our rating, etc. There is a certain strength in that... and we were certain that we wanted to play against the elite teams.
BW
Sept. 18, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
609 posts
Bob50, your coach said (I will paraphrase out of respect to BobW) that he thought that if anyone wanted to play MP that they should be allowed to do so and pay $1000 extra a tournament to play under rules that he never agreed.

I definitely do not play major ball although I have friends that do, but I have been around softball in many capacities over the years. The only thing wrong with soliciting information from only the divisions effected is that they are all part of that group, and I think Wood has a good point that they do things because of their own slants and agendas if you will. This is the very reason that negotiators, arbitrators, whatever have to sometimes come in and resolve differences. I like to think that some impartial members might have kept this from a lot of complicated rules. Simple is better. I agree with Einstein (except for the one point that we will never agree on - the 1-1 count) for the most part. If you do things to equalize the play, such as a finite set of runs per inning and limit homeruns in a way that hurts neither group such as 1 HR and then singles (I would think that 3 HR would be a little better incentive, but anything that keeps the HRs down and then keeps the batters out of the middle) is simple and fair. If you combine the 2 divisions, then the concept of one team being Major or Major + needs to go out the window and just treat it as upper because you want to keep this simple.

I know that I have said this too many times before, but I have a great respect for the upper divisions, but I do not want to see it just go away as it has in NSA and ASA just because of complications and controversy. We all only have so many years to play, and playing and having fun are the basic tenet of softball.
Sept. 18, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Hi Nancy, I tried reading your post it got too complicated for me. I saw $1000 extra per tournament and something about rules. That would make sense if this becomes an across the board change dictated by the associations. Separately there is some chatter about a small number of 50 major teams volunteering which would not impact any change to what the M+ committee and SSUSA changed. Hopefully we the 50's get this done and maybe 55's and 60's major teams would see some merit to this volunteer move also.
Sept. 18, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Nancy, I now how Butch feels but I would never appoint him to be our ambasador to friendly countries. Although his approach is a direct one my approach is a more diplomatic one. For those who don't understand the message--it is that the new Major Plus rules were not favored by all on the committee.

The purpose of this thread is to gain the opinion of those who play in the Major Plus and Major divisions to see if we have a general consensus that the idea of combining divisions with different rules would appeal to both divisions in all age groups.

I am proud of the fact that I was a member of the Chicago Classics in 2005 when we won the Triple Crown in the 50+ Major Division. I am also proud of our Travelodge Team that won the first Tournament of Champions in the 55+ Major Division and followed it up this past year by winning the TOC in the 55+ Major Plus Division.

The point of all this is that as the years go by those accomplishments will mean less and less unless we get more teams involved. A perfect example will be to look on the home page for the link for the World Championships in Phoenix and go to the teams that will be playing in the National Championship games. For Major Plus in all ages only one game will be played because most teams did not consider it worth the time and money to play in the Eastern or Western Championships this year.

I believe we should fix something only if it is broken. Well, if it isn't broken it has a crack in it. I'm trying to do something about it in the only way I know possible.

If we have a consensus here I would ask Woody or any of the other members of the softball community who have a voice with SSUSA or the other associations to consider the request of the majority here.

This doesn't only matter to Major Plus and Major teams. I started many years ago by playing AAA and we gradually got better and better. This is the future for everyone who loves to play Senior Softball as I do.

I'll get off my soap box now and hopefully await additional support for the ideas being formulated here. Please respond no matter how you feel so we move forward and do the right thing together.
Sept. 18, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Bob50:
No, Butch wasn't in agreement with the rules that came out of the committee. It has been stated on the MB recently that we weren't unanimous on much of it. So what? Butch might wish to recall that our marching orders were more about creating a survey to be given to the entire group of major plus managers (50-60), which we did.
This gave him, along with all of the other managers, the chance to cast their vote. I presume that he returned the survey (as a manager) as I did... and Audie did, and Randy, Ken, Jim and Gary.
Our goal was to preserve the rules for the major plus division... not to seek a set of rules that pleased Butch, me or anyone else's personal agenda. This is what we did. But if combining the two divisions is the best move for the health of the game, I'm all for it. But I am a doubter of the of the commitment from the guys/teams that have historically played down, changed their names to fly beneath the radar, etc. Until that changes, I'll continue to be a skeptic... and a vocal one.
Bob, you mention a consensus... I presume that you mean from the folks that post on here. Most of the posts that are on the MB are like cotton candy... they seem like an awful lot and then you break it down and there's nothing much to it. People will post until the cows come home but what do you really have from it? Aside from Joe L, Ray and Jawood, who else has made any form of commitment?
Now if jaw jacking is the main idea the MB is right on course on this subject.
Where did the $1,000 extra come from? TH said that the rule changes would add about $200 to the entry fee, which seems reasonable to me.
Bob, I'm willing to take part in any meaningful study that will improve the game. If it goes against the grain of M+, but is in the long term best interest of the game, I'll give it every consideration. When it's said and done, I won't sit back and whine about the results.
I am also willing to step aside and let some of the more 'impartial' folks take part. My team would like to see more teams just like all of the other M+ teams... this is the essence of the discussion, in my view.
BW
Sept. 18, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Why would guys shy away from competition? Just to be able to win a meaningless, or less than really meaningful, ring?

Who would not rather lose to the best than beat the mediocre, or worse?
Sept. 18, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
609 posts
Lecak, sorry. My friend asked me to put something on for him, and he was a member of the task force. So the first part is what he wanted put because he is not too happy about any of this. I do not necessarily agree, but I know that he is frustrated. I do not like more rules to fix a problem myself, and in officiating it can become a nightmare if everyone has different rules. I believe in fair and simple rules, but I do get a little wordy and obtuse.

Bob50, I agree that you are trying to simplify and equalize things which I believe needs to be done if the two divisions are combined, and with numbers falling, I think that combining is logical but must be kept equalized to encourage participation. You know that in the Indy qualifier except for the rules Timmy insists on, I have tried to equalize play, and we had 12 teams of both divisions combined this year, and I did not get 1 complaint and have not for several years. While I do not think what we do is the way to go for nationals, I do know that it encourages the teams to actually play each other and keeps batters out of the middle because they are out of homeruns, but we want them to play and have fun doing it.

I probably would not have agreed with the AA/AAA as a division at one time, but the AA attendance seems to get lower every year in qualifiers, and some divisions do not even have enough teams to play in championships as their own group. SSWC seems to be the one organization that draws a large number to play on a consistent basis. I think they do it better than anybody.
Sept. 18, 2008
NYTX
Men's 55
13 posts
I play Major 50 and have always felt there are too many divisions. There should be 1 or 2 at the most - A and Major. It's a major letdown to go to a tournament and play the same teams over and over. The scores for major games are almost identical to major plus scores. They should be combined. Likewise for AA and AAA. There's no reason to have 4 seperate divisions.
Sept. 18, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Bob W. good discussion here one that needs to take place in the area I'm advocating volunteering, this is team to team, player to player. Jawood, Ray and George have stated their intentions which is good. You're a businessman and you know that when you commit something to writing the chances of something actually occuring rise exponentially. We got a new year coming and all of these 50 major teams will be in Phoenix I would expect that some talking will take place and decisions made at that point. If all these comittments are made and these 50 teams move one of the unintended side benefits is that we could potentially create a pool of teams who could move up together as we age together.
Sept. 18, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
This seems to be an interesting phenomena among senior players. When I was young, and all there was only Open and A, at least around here most anyone worth their salt want to play Open instead of A. You wanted to move up.

Now it seems like everyone, well at least most, would rather hang back or appeal for the right to stay back, and play the easiest competition they can. They would rather win a ring against lesser teams than compete with good ones.

Where did the pride go?
Sept. 18, 2008
dceagleeye24
4 posts
This subject has been bounced around now for a couple of years and there was a message saying it is not the organizations fault that there are no M.P. tourns. with more then two-three teams. At the same time though those organizations are not hearing or wanting to help out so that these M.P. teams can play quality tourns. like M., AAA, AA where there are 10 plus teams most tourns. They want to take the same tourn. fee from us for a 2 out 3, they want us to play that 2 out 3 over 3 days, they don't want to work with M.P. There is not that much of a difference between M.P. and Major. I play for MAC II and sometimes with the Mavericks and I have played Major teams that tend to keep up with the power and talent that M.P. has. We had three high scoring games in Vegas with Arizona Mob, Evolution and Northwest Legends and all of them had no problem hitting the ball out as much as we did or play defense as we did and they are Major teams.
I believe that for us M.P. players to play and some of the rules mentioned in this debate are good ones that we make each age bracket that has a Major Plus division an upper and lower with the seperation being Major/AAA. Major and M.P. play upper and AAA down play lower. Then at the end of the year look at the records, winning % and tourns. won to see if a team gets moved up or down. 5-7 run innings, 1-1 count, pitcher protection, 5 HR and singles after, no flip flop, 6 innings played with an open inning. The Directors really need to sit down with the upper level teams and work with them, hear them and incorporate new rules and be flexible enough during the course of the season to adjust if there is something that is not working after a few tourns. not one.

Duff
MAC II 50 Major Plus
Sept. 18, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
I'm throwing this out there as an idea. What if teams that volunteer are given a 6 month for lack of a better word free trial before they declare major plus. An example team A says we will play in the upper division. They have six months to declare their final intent. They remain a major team for six months. If after 6 months they wish to reverse their decision they would be free to move back down as long as it was with the original roster that was used at the beginning. If any adds are made during the 6 months the team forfeits this benefit. In addition if a team decides we will stay in the upper after the 6 month period and an individual player says this is not for me they are free and clear to move to another team in the same category that they previously were.
Sept. 18, 2008
THE HI-JACKER
118 posts
Lecak: No. 1 big NO. SIR: How many teams fold, after their team gets bump into a "higher" division? How many teams, after winning a large tournament, change the teams name & or manager, for the next year?
Again, how many players must remain on a team, to stay in an upper division? Is this true or false? At the start of a new year, "NEW" teams are rated no lower than AAA?

T H-Jacker
Sept. 18, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Wouldn't it be less complicated if the Major plus teams moved DOWN to the Major division? They, or any other Major team that is deemed to be a notch above the group would play with a "plus" by their name and thus have to give up some sort of equalizer. I would like to see the upper division at 12-14 teams at a West Coast event. I have really only noticed a couple of Major teams this season that could not compete in this division we are talking about. The Major division is strong, teams are pretty equal and we could make it even stronger!

> 5 runs per inning
> 3 HR progressive (singles after)
> Pitcher protection
> 1 and 1 count (this will give us 6 innings in most cases before the open inning in the 7th
> No flip-flop rule
> Boundary States inforced (no exceptions)
> No "snowbird" rule
Sept. 18, 2008
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
lots of good stuff here,how about this.M and M+ combine,the M teams in seeding play only M+ teams,for the DE bracket they play M teams till they get to the winner bracket final(same for the M+) let the loser bracket sort out all of the other teams left as it would be some trouble to not combine them down there.u get to see how the M teams perform against M+,this would go for all age groups.over here in tx,we only have like 1 of the M and M+ teams for each age group,makes it hard to include them without them having to play down(this would be for local type tourney's only)what do u do about that.i don't know if my 2 brackets within a bracket would be a good idea,but what the hey could not think of anything else to work with.

lecak say hi to georgie for me(tell him its bob from tx).
Sept. 18, 2008
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Keep it simple.

Two divisions. Major and A.

Impliment rules to discourage sandbagging.

A = 1 hr one up single.
Major = 5 hr one up single.

1 and 1 count
5 runs per innining with open.
Middle rule.

Same bourdering and snow bird.

All 2008 teams that are Major Plus, Major, and AAA start the 2009 season in the newly formed Major division. Evaluations can be made at the mid-point of the season as to re-classification. Any team found to be purposely trying to lose a contest will be suspended for a year.
Sept. 18, 2008
THE HI-JACKER
118 posts
Jawood / Lecak: A few years ago, a major team was allowed 4,5, or was it up to 6 major plus players on a major team. A AAA team was allowed 4,5, or was it 6 major players on that team, and so, on, etc.
Today, I believe that a major team is allowed only 3 major plus players on that team. Why, this change? or is there favoritism?
As the rule seem to be, a 60 year old major plus player can play 55 major? Then why, is it that a 60 major plus player is not allowed to play 50 majors? The rule states, " .... play down 1 division per age group?
What will happen, if, the 3-5 major teams do "jump" up on their own? Will these teams be allowed to add players that have NOT qualified? (Add more major or major plus players.
In all "fairness", will players that get "bumped off or out", be allowed to play on teams that have already qualified? Or will the teams that pick up the 'dropped or forced out" players, have to re-qualified?

T H -J
Sept. 18, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
My guess is either the few teams per age group make the jump into an upper division whatever it is called or it will be done for us. I always felt it was in my best interest to do what is right or else you have someone do it for you. I can't imagine that scenarios like the one Bob Woodroof and the gentleman from MAC II described will be allowed to continue Most players know who these teams are why let SSUSA do what we know how to do better.
Sept. 19, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Wood naive I may be I'm only 53.But I'm thinking if we got 5 of the top ten major teams to move volenteeraly next year the remaining 5 would soon follow due to the automatic progresstion built into the format for winners of major events Nats,Worlds,TOC,etc.If 5 teams volenteer it would expose the next 5 teams.Somebody would have to win these tournys.SANDBAGGING IN MEANINGFUL GAMES FARFETCHED,ROUND ROBBIN GAME MAYBE. I hate to lose to anybody period! How can you be big man on campus if your not winning all your games.(contradiction) Wood I hope this all works out for the age groups.I think the staff and guys like Lecak are putting in the effort to improve the game.You will never please everyone.
Good Luck
Ray
Sept. 19, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Ray,

I think you stated a most important part of this process when you wrote "you will never please everyone."

While we try to make changes that are universally accepted we will never be able to please everyone with with every change. The question is whether the change on the whole improves the game and the competition. That is the goal.

I believe the Major teams will find out that they will be able to compete and this will become more enjoyable for all who make the change and support the idea.

I would suggest that these changes be effective for the new year starting with the Winter Nationals.

Bob Schulz
Sept. 20, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
But why are we talking about everyone moving UP? The Major plus division is the one that is in trouble, your guys move DOWN to us. It looks like we are talking about Major rules anyway. A few of the weaker Major teams can move to AAA. Do we need AAA AND AA? Probably so but I don't play there so I really don't know that situation.
Sept. 20, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Ray, being naive to what has gone on in senior ball isn't all that bad. In your mind's eye, no one would intentionally lose a game... especially a DE game. Most really competitive people would look it as you do. But there has been enough sand bagging in the past to make it a concern for the future.
It is my very strong opinion that most of the major teams will only move up to M+ if they're led kicking and screaming. They WILL NOT DO THIS VOLUNTARILY. Senior softball history more than supports this thought. In all fairness, some of them are not equipped to play the M+ teams and should be playing against the AAA teams.
You are totally correct in saying that 'you cannot please everyone'. Bob50 is also correct when he says that this should not be your goal. The major teams, as a whole, ought not be your 'target'... target = the teams that you expect to move up... only the teams that are in the upper one half of the major division (the exact % is arbitrary). But, as of this time, only 3 of you have stepped up and put your intentions in writing... all 3 in the 50 division.
Unless more teams follow suit, throughout the age levels, this dialogue is essentially moot... albeit thought provoking. Have you noticed how few of these posts have come from M+ players? Is it because they have no opinion or is it because they are skeptical that this will actually occur?
As it relates to the 60 major + division... or any division for that matter, where do we draw the line? At what point does this concept become fruitful? One additional M+ team? Two? Three?
In the 60 M+, there already 5-6 teams.There were 8-9 to begin the year but this is the number of teams that we actually saw at national events. A few of them had serious injury problems this year and were unable to continue. Assuming that this number (5-6) will hold for '09, should we graciously change our rules in order to attract 1-2 more teams? I realize that this question is somewhat of a moving target but it is how a lot of us think (m+ teams)?... but a few will feel differently.
The task force polled the major + mgrs (50-60) and it compiled the results of their feelings. SSUSA made the fianl determination of which of the 9 questions to enact or not. Now some folks with 60-90 day memories have been critical of this process. It is their right to offer dissenting views but it would be nice if they kept in mind the task force's stated goal and the limits of its role in the process.
As I have stated in writing before, I am for whatever is in the best interest of the game and I will support it as best I can. But let's get specific on what we really want to achieve and let's be realistic on who will actually take part in it. Without this, we are just typing a lot of stuff that has no real meaning. Goals without commitments is like a sandwich without bread... what will bind it together?
BW
Sept. 20, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I think naive is a bit too heavy a term to use for anyone over 50.
Oh, to be able to be naive, again.
What a luxury and a relief it would be from the heavy responsibility
we all bear for all that has come to pass on our watch
both inside and outside of softball.

But I think that combining the major plus and major
with home run and runs per inning modifications
will work very well.
The Major plus guys get handicapped somewhat and I get that
but it will push them to adapt to show their excellence albeit
in a more restricted context.
I don't see any major plus team running away from the oppty
or the challenge to show their superiority

Let the games begin.
Sept. 20, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
I'm with Einstein,let the games begin.Wood I agree with most every thing you said.But I do like Jawoods idea of moving M+ down. There are less teams to deal with and I'm sure they won't complain.Once there, the major div.will just have to deal with it.Some should be allowed to move to AAA.With only 3 div. that should increase team # in each div. Sounds easy enough. Sorry about my spelling la
st couple post Retired shop rat not teacher.
We just need to keep progessing.
Thanks Everyone
Ray/G-Men
Sept. 20, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Swell... perhaps SSUSA will begin this experiment in AZ next month. We'll play the major teams in the seeding games and use their current rules. Or we could just ask them to go ahead and combine the major and major + divisions.
As Joe said, the M+ teams will just 'have to push themselves'. We'll give it a shot... but the real question is... how many of the major teams will show up? As I stated before, there were two in LV in April that didn't want to play us but maybe they'll feel better about playing Turn Two or the Old A's... I will keep an open mind.
Or maybe October is too early, perhaps we should wait until Nov... we're OK either way. We'd love to have more teams to play... Donnie (TT) has stated that he'd like the same... I would think that the Old A's feel the same but I cannot speak for them...
Joe, naivety isn't age based. Ideally, Ray knows that I meant no offense about it.. in fact, it was a bit of a compliment... all things considered.
BW
Sept. 21, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
I would suggest we finish this year with our current rules and start the new year with the ocmbined divisions. This will give all the current Major teams a chance for a title in Phoenix and provside sufficient notice to all the teams of the upcoming changes.

If we do it this way are there any thoughts about the TOC games?
Sept. 21, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Bob50:
We don't know each other very well. If you knew me, you'd know that I was being facetious in my last post. There are a lot of obstacles to be navigated before any senior softball assn will make the changes as you've laid out.
I can only presume that you're referring to SSUSA because this is their board. As Tate 22 pointed out, there are some problems that could be avoided if merging the divisions became a reality... but this also creates problems.
1) No mention has been made of how this could possibly impact SSUSA. This would alienate some of the lower major teams. Unless they could be rated AAA, they may not compete. Who will replace this lost revenue? As we speak, the major teams pay an additional $200 and this would go away as well.
2) Would this cause a trickle down effect in AAA? I cannot say but if it was my organization, I'd be careful about making any quick changes... preferring instead to give it a great deal of consideration.
The rules that you mentioned in opening this thread make a lot of sense except for the 1-1 count and the flip flop rule... although the latter is an optional rule (has to be agreed upon by both teams). The 1-1 count was voted down in the task force by an overwhelming margin. The folks that like it seem to really like it... the ones that don't are in the strong majority. But the actual rules aren't the real issue at this time.
There are several people that are really behind this and the concept is appealing to me. But, in no way, has any type of consensus been reached. This board has a participation rate of about 1-2%... only 1-2% of the players take part (make posts). This is why Terry wanted to poll the major + managers before making any changes to the rules.
If you're serious about this you might want to find a way to poll the major managers (major +, too). Without this data, you're swimming up stream.
Why would SSUSA take the risk to combine the two divisions without having a strong knowledge of the likely reaction?
The primary benefactors are only the upper major teams and the major + teams. Not all of them will look at this optimistically. The middle and lower major teams are likely to be even more skeptical. No, you can't please everyone but you usually look to satisfy more than not. Would you move your home and business without knowing quite a bit about the proposed area? I doubt that you would.
Terry gave a lot of thought to the way that he handled the recent rule changes, the survey before it, the committee that created the survey as well as his choice of committee chair (Gary Tryhorn). I was/am impressed at his level of organization up front and his manner of interpreting the recommendations. All the more reason, in my opinion, that SSUSA will not react to whim or knee jerk reactions. Merely having passion isn't good enough.
Let's not gas up the moving vans just yet.
BW
Sept. 21, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
I stated that they major teams pay an additional $200 in the last post. This should have stated 'major +'...
Sorry.
BW
Sept. 21, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
The Major plus teams will pay $775 for the world tourney in Phoenix? Who is pocketing the cash here?
Sept. 22, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
The Wood, You are right we hardly know each other. The distance between us has something to do with that. We have communicated directly only a couple times. Having been involved with issues thru this message board it is obvious that you have an opinion in many areas. You obviously have a voice in SSUSA.

I certainly don't presume to have all the answers to this issue. I also don't believe discussing this matter in this thread results in a finite opinion on the issue. I do however believe in changing something for the better if a change has merit. Sitting on my hands is not what I do best. As much as I try sometimes try to be quiet, it is not one of my strong suits--just ask my teammates.

I would ask SSUSA, as the lead organization in senior softball, to poll the Major and Major Plus teams by direct mail on the ideas for rule changes for a combined division and see how the teams respond. We have heard from quite a few Major teams that the attendance in their category has not been great the past year either except for Spa and LVSSA. Maybe this is a matter for the Summit to take up.

If anyone in a leadership position with SSUSA--Terry, Fran, Dave--has an opinion as to the merit of the suggestions in this thread, please let us hear from you. If not, we can continue on the present path and see where it leads.
Sept. 22, 2008
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
$775????????

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!
Sept. 22, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4357 posts
Bob50;
I doubt you will receive any "opinion" here, from staff members. I do not think you would be able to find any thread that does.
But you can be assured it's being read.
Sept. 22, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bob, your a monster (good) with a keyboard.
Keep up the good work.

Scott,
I'd like to see SSUSA more involved using this website to poll, discuss,
entertain, vote and teach regarding any and all important aspects of Senior Ball
that affect us all.
I think they're missing the boat, big time
past, present and future.
It's becoming more obvious all the time
that pure profit seeking WILL have counter productive even disastrous effects
when not firmly grounded by important human standards and values
and the means to discipline and enforce them.
Sept. 22, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Bob50;
The direction you are taking is the most prudent one... go to the folks that are in a position to make a decision. Using this board to affect policy is akin to using the LA Times Editorial page to influence Congressional decisions.
I'm not sure what 'having a voice in SSUSA' really means. I merely interact with them over different issues and try to be as objective as I can when the outcome isn't what I was seeking.
You shouldn't sit on your hands... if you're really passionate about something you should make the effort to follow it through. You seem to be a guy that can attack an argument/discussion without getting too worked up over it.
I hope that a position can be reached that satisfies the M+ teams and some of the major teams. It usually comes down to a 'risk v. reward' thing.
Good luck to you.
BW
Sept. 22, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
For now there will be no change along the lines I had hoped for a combined division. I asked SSUSA for their thoughts on this matter and they decided that for now Major Plus will play with the new rules proposed by the task force recently and adopted in large part by SSUSA. To do otherwise would basically ignore the work done by many to enhance playing in the Major Plus division. Some time in the future they may consider the ideas brought out in this thread but as Taits wisely commented they will not express an opinion on any ideas on the message board directly.

I thank SSUSA for their prompt reply handled directly with me and obviously will respect their wishes in this regard.
Sept. 22, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
All my opinions here. Any time a decision is made wholesale affecting a whole group a significant number will be dissatisfied with the ruling. I believe any ruling from Sacramento on this will illicit some unhappy managers and teams.
I don't believe the Major plus teams should have to accept anything less than what they already agreed on.
I also don't believe that some of the perks associated with playing at a skilled level should be available to everyone accept at the highest level of competition. Most who read this will know what I'm talking about. I'm not aware that any MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER HAS EVER BEEN CONSIDERED FOR INDUCTION INTO COOPERSTOWN there I said it.
I know in the USSSA young mans game if you win a certain type of tournament with a certain number of teams you are automatically bumped up. They did not have to win a world or whatever they call them now a days. Maybe expand the number of tournaments that a bump up applies to as long a certain amount of teams shows up. I would think 8 would be enough. If you win an 8 team event at the major level up you go no questions asked. If you want to spend the money and not win the event so be it.
Sept. 22, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
609 posts
I was at the last NSA AAA World Series. It was very sad to know that this would be the last time that there would ever be a tournament like this for NSA because of all of the controversy surrounding the division. Most of these teams went to play WSL, but NSA was never the same, and neither was ASA. Please do not allow all of this to ruin the elite divisions in senior softball also.
Sept. 23, 2008
dceagleeye24
4 posts
I don't live on this board so I see that a few messages have been added since mine and read some of the content. Some threads are saying have the M+ move down, not the M's move up. It is not about up or down, it is about combining so moving up or down is mute. You establish new guidelines for the new division by combining the M and M+ rules. AAA does not go up to the upper division they stay in the lower. Someone said give teams a 6 month "pass" so to speak. I said allow tweaking during the course of the tourn. season after a couple three tourns. You don't start with the World tourn. in Phoenix. You play out this year as is and start with the Winter Worlds in Nov. in L.V. New year, fresh start clean slate. I agree with the one thread about Senior Softball not doing anything, they won't. We as players need to voice loud and clear at an open forum with Terry, Dave and Fran. For a M+ team to go to the worlds and pay $600.00 for a tourn. fee to play one other team in their division is uncalled for and unexceptable. Then someone made a suggestion to add $200.00 to their fee...why? Itr is already enough. You take away two divisions and you have one now. Bracketing is easier, games are fewer, time slots are good. I have not seen anything or heard anything yet from this M+ task force headed up by Gary. I know my coach has not been contacted for imput...We are a M+ team.
When you step back and look at this it is pretty simple to fix. Two levels, partion line is M and above for upper and AAA and below for lower, incorporate and combine rules and go play. Adjust as you play the season. It would be nice to hear from Terry or return emails and calls so that he can hear the players that at the present time are playing his tourns. and paying his fees. I know that if this keeps up of two teams that will stop supporting his organization. Maybe that is what he wants to do to get rid of M+ teams. Kind of hear that through the talk at tourns and he seems to reinforce that by not responding.
All I know is we (M+) want to play softball on both sides of the ball not just stand up there as some have said in past and see how far we can hit it. We like playing defense as well because we are good at that to. Everybody can showcase what they got at what ever level they play because that is where they are good at.
Got to go back to work.

PLAY BALL!!!
Duff - MAC II
Sept. 23, 2008
Robo2
222 posts
I do not think that Major Plus and Major be combined but I do think that Major Plus deserves specific rules that apply only to them. Eliminate all state boundaries. Let anyone from anywhere play on a team. Let's face it. These teams are the best and it woud suck to see someone not be able to play at our age because no team wants them for fear of moving the team up a level or two.
Sept. 23, 2008
dceagleeye24
4 posts
I don't think opening up the eligibilty lines will help. I believe some teams don't think they can play when in reality you go watch some of the M teams and they can hang with the Plus division. I see it all the time. Look at the records of the M teams and who is doing what and many tourns. they are winning and the scores, homeruns, runs, etc. Those teams play in the upper.
There are also not enough teams in regions to qualify a plus division at a "west coast" tourn., "east, south or north". There are not enough teams to do a quality tourn as there is with M. You can go to any region in any organization in any given tourn. and you will have 10 plus M teams in a bracket. In Phoenix there will probably be 25 plus teams and a "possible" 4 in the M+.
Lets say it was reversed and M was having the issue of not enough teams and playing the same two or three teams over and over and over and over. It gets to be no fun. Doing an upper and lower will make for better tourns. overall and players traveling and wanting to play because they are going to get to see different teams.
Sept. 23, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Don't get me wrong I for one would like to see the M+ div. get a much needed boost with some more teams,new teams,combined with major teams what ever.One problem I do see is similar to what we have seen in the pro ranks over the years.As major league basebll expands we see watered down pitching,as football expands we see there aren't enough good quarter backs deluting the final product the same thing happens with NBA with not enough good centers,Hockey,Golf etc...M+ is the cream of the crop and should stay that way to protect the integraty of the game.Thier are only so many 50+ players that can perform at that level,and I wouldn,t want that compromised to make bigger brackets,I do agree that something has to be done 2 or 3 team tournys are rediculous.
Ray/Gekle Builders
Sept. 24, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
You major plus guys that are starting to add to the disscussion - Your division is on life support, if you want to continue with 2-3 team tournaments, hold out for the status quo. The Upper division needs more teams in it, whatever the rules and whatever you want to call it. Move up, move down, does that matter? The Major division is great as is, but could be better with more teams. Do you want to play ball?
Sept. 25, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
Jawood:
You ask a basic question... why wouldn't we want to bolster our division? Many of the major team players have been critical of our low turn out this year. Here are some reasons why the M+ teams are chomping at the bit to join the major division;
1) 2008 has been a down year but it isn't necessarily a true sign of the future. Although the 50 M+ division shows signs of consistent low turn outs... possibly into the future.
2) We just went through a process of changing the rules to the way that we want them.
3) Aside from you and a couple of others (all 50 teams) who else has risen up?
4) Do you or anyone else REALLY BELIEVE that the major teams will risk competing against the M+ teams on an even basis? It hasn't happened in the past, what would change this?
5) It's a poor business model for any assn to undertake. Even if one did, where do you think the lower and middle major teams will go? They will head toward the assns that recognize two different divisions... not ot mention many of the top dog major teams.

When it's all said and done, the middle and lower major teams will take a beating, only a few of the top dog major teams will stick it out and the M+ teams will be back to using major rules. Where are the winner's in this?

If there are major teams out there that are truly looking out for the M+ teams regarding our issue of low turn outs, how about stepping up to the M+ division w/o dragging the lower teams with you? Dreaming is great but ultimately we need to hot wire a little reality here.
Again, why wouldn't M+ teams want a merger? Because it won't happen and it wouldn't last if it did.
Come on guys, those of you that have been 'lifetime achievement award winners' in the major division... step up and don't ask the teams beneath you to join you until they've been top dawgs for a while.
Get outside your own personal needs or those of YOUR team. Think about the senior softball universe and the reality of its history and how this will impact the future.
Step up for a year... let's say that you decide that it doesn't work for you a year later. What would this say for a complete merger? I know, if you had brought the lower teams with you AND you changed our rules everything would have been ok? This is not reality.
BW
Sept. 25, 2008
the wood
1078 posts
I'm with Joncon, I'd like an edit feature. The first paragraph of my last post omiited the word 'not' when stating that 'the M+ teams are chomping at the bit'...
BW
Sept. 25, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Maybe someone can answer this question. If a team wins a tournamment that is an automatic bump up tourney and then for whatever reason either legitimate or sinister chooses to disband are the players on that specific allowed to retain their status in the division they last competed?

In this person's opinion that is wrong and is a gaping loophole that needs to be fixed. Example team ABC wins Phoenix worlds as a major team. They then are bumped to M+. Team then disbands for whatever reason. Team ABC then reforms as Team XYZ with some of the players from last years ABC team. In my opinion all of the players on the disbanded ABC team should be reclassified as Major plus for the 2009 season and any team that picks these players ups should have to adhere to the rules on how many Major plus players they can have before it flips to a Major Plus team.

I bet this is not happening and if not it should be and sounds like a great topic to be brought to Sacramento's attn.
Sept. 25, 2008
Brett
Men's 55
239 posts
Gekle (Ray), I hate to say it, but your team will most likely get automatically bumped at the end of this year to major plus for being awarded 1st place in the 'rained out' ISA World tournament. Even though there were 4 of of us left in the 50 major divsion when it was cancelled, they awarded your team 1st place (as they should have) because you were the only unbeaten team at that point. Do I agree with your team getting bumped under these circumstances, not particularly. Unfortunately, that's how things are apparently done. If it happens, best of luck to you guys. I hope to play against you in Phoenix.

Brett- manager KC Barons
Sept. 25, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Ah come on Brett why would they want to move up a bunch of little fellows like us up with the big boys.We'll see what happens after it all plays out.For me ,if somebody of theSSUSA staff feels we're good enough to play with the M+ boys I will take that as a compliment.Like they say you know your good when others boost about you not when you boost about yourself.Not than anybody is boosting about us just thought i'd throw that out there.Look forward to seing you guys in Phx.Is Randy coming?
Good Luck
See ya in PHX.
Ray
Sept. 25, 2008
F.O.G.
Men's 40
105 posts
I may not be 50 yet, but I'm not far away,so, of course I'm interested.

In the "kids" divisions (ASA, NSA, USSSA) the player is rated based on the level the team plays or at what level the team plays. If the team breaks up for whatever reason, the rating remains with that player. The player has the right to appeal the rating. The player fills out a form explaining why he/she thinks the rating is (usually) to high, the team(s) they played for, managers name(s), position, batting avg., number of starts, played at worlds, etc. Then the director of that division reviews the information provided, calls the manager(s) and verifys the info. Then the director takes this info to the board and they vote on the appeal, yes or no. The appeals are only considered from January thru June in most cases.

As you can see, this is not by any means a slam dunk....and I don't think it should be. I think that if you are rated because of a team you played for, unless you sat on the bench, kept the book and chased water for the other players that you earned your rating just a the rest did...always a team effort.

Mike Williams
Old School Masters #9
Anaheim, CA
Sept. 26, 2008
Brett
Men's 55
239 posts
Ray, yes Randy will be there. We will have our 'whole' team for a change and are now healthy for the most part, so our expectations are high.
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