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Discussion: RULE CHANGES...COMMENTS

Posted Discussion
Dec. 15, 2008
udaplaya
91 posts
RULE CHANGES...COMMENTS
I expect there to be a number of people with comments on the new rules, but at face value, I agree that the Major+ division had become farcical. Whether these new rules will help only time will tell.

My two cents worth on one issue....

Even more that being allowed to use the Ultra, the most popular aspect of SSUSA for our players was the ability to swing freely again. That does not necessarily mean swinging for homeruns, but rather taking a good, hard cut each and every time up...just like when we all played back in our 20's and 30's. Many of us quit playing tournaments ball because of limitations and got tired of playing ASA senior ball becauise of these same limitations. We were oh so happy to see that an organiztion, SSUSA, separated itself from the pack by removing that limitation. Now, my fear is that you are becoming part of the norm again.

If i understand it, next year the Major divsion will have 5 homeruns per game period, any after that will be outs, correct?
Dec. 15, 2008
DesertDave
Men's 60
74 posts
I can't speak for the 50 and 55 divisions, but I don't remember more than 1 game all last year in the 60 age group that there were more than 5 over the fence. I don't have the scorebooks, but that is how I remember it.
Dec. 15, 2008
turn2
484 posts
We are in the 60 major plus division and why would you have the major plus hit 6 home runs and the majoe hit 5. This is too close of the same rules between the divisions. '
If we can't hit the 6 in the 60 m+ division could we drop down and play in the major where we can hit 5? How will you get teams to move up like that?
Later,
Donnie
Turn Two
Dec. 15, 2008
Swampy
24 posts
First a little background. This year was my first experience of senior softball after a decade of not playing any softball. My only tournaments were in Phoenix and Ft. Myers. I played in the 50 Major devision and watched many of the Major+ games as well.
My first impression was several of the Major teams should have been in the upper bracket, with a couple of teams hitting over a dozen home runs in our games. In Ft. Myers, I realize the 325' fence will not contain the true home run hitters, but the Major+ teams should not have been moved to the 300' fence on Sat. With the home run change being made, I think this will open the pitchers' spot for more balls being hit up the middle to conserve the home runs for later in the game. With that, the pitchers rule needs to be addressed before the 2009 season and everyone from the board, players, and umpires need to have a uniform undertstanding of the intent of the ruling.
Thanks--Enjoyed getting back into the competition!
Dec. 15, 2008
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Terry and SSUSA staff:
I applaud all of the proposed rule changes except one, as I think combining divisions does the most good for the most amount of teams and players. Imagine no more two-team ring tournaments!! I just spent six years in the 50 major division where we could compete with M+ teams when we didn't have to worry about being homered to death or 45-minute unlimited run innings.

My only disagreement (strongly) with the new is with calling an out after reaching the home run limit. That rule does not level the playing field, it only serves to send more missles up the middle. That just creates more risk at a time when we are debating how to protect pitchers. That's for another discussion, but please do the right thing and allow balls over the fence to be singles. A single is a single whether it travels 350 feet or takes six bounces to reach the outfield. Once the home runs are used all teams will have to scrap for runs one base at a time. The equalizer comes in the form of limiting the home runs, not forcing HR hitters to change their swing. All rules are trade-offs, but this creates way more harm than good. JMHO

Don Newhard
Manager
OLR Nighthawks 55
Dec. 15, 2008
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
I do not like the rule changes but understand the intent. I would strongly suggest though that you make a homerun over the limit a single and not an out as otherwise there will be some pitchers "lit up" for no other reason than a dumb rule.
Dec. 15, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
Homerun gone then outs. What was wrong with 1 up and singles. In every division in every age group, there have always been the elite teams and other teams of varying skill levels.

By moving a number of Major teams to Major + to get smoked then more players and teams will quit than continue.
Dec. 15, 2008
angus73
Men's 50
97 posts
Here's my 2 cents worth. Theres a reason there are to few Major + teams. I believe that there are a hand full of teams when entered will win just about any tournament. Teams who feel that have no chance against Major+ play Major, and the same goes for Major and AAA.
Teams who DECIDE to play with these new home run rules will poach other players, then making the weaker teams ( complared to Major + ) weaker.
I believe that not everyone playing Major will want to play Major + and AAA play Major. This to me seems that the lower divisions are going to be the sacrificial lambs for the Major + teams.
I agree that this will only increase the balls hit up the middle.
Limit the number of home runs as you will but leave the one up rule and allow them to be singles.
And finally-- who or whom decides who gets moved up.
Dec. 15, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
From a friend of mine

What happened to smashmouth softball? Why not flip a coin to c who wins. Or better yet. Wii softball ?
Dec. 15, 2008
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2618 posts
I agree with Tate22, Audie and others. When hrs are gone many will aim up the middle, putting the pitcher more at risk.
Can anyone give a good reason why to make it an out after the limit?
Dec. 15, 2008
Brett
Men's 55
239 posts
There are 228 50+ teams listed on the ratings page, of which there are only 19 major+ teams. Six of the 19 major+ teams were automatically bumped to major+ at the end of this year. The 19 teams only represent 8.3% of all the 50+ teams. It seems very odd that such drastic rule changes would be adopted strictly in consideration of such a small percentage of the population. I strongly urge the rules committee to reconsider and only implement rule changes that are in the best interests of everyone at every age level and every level of play.
Dec. 15, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4318 posts
What would be interesting is to learn who is on the Rules Committee, or are they the same ones on the Advisory Committee.
So airing concerns could go to them directly.
If the advisory committee can only advise and not vote, I'd venture to say the rules committee would be the same. If true, I guess it boils down to the four paid employed.
I also feel any changes made should be geared towards the masses as opposed to the minority. That being said, I'd venture to say it's not a majority or minority but rather the bottom line in the end.

No matter what is done on most any issue regarding the game we play there will always be those ok with it as well as those unhappy. Finding the middle ground is the real job.

For me, I don't think it's right for the number of HR's be dependent on an age bracket as well. I see it as discrimination, in age brackets.
Dec. 15, 2008
GeHall44
Men's 55
92 posts
SSUSA Staff - Wow, you have made a MAJOR change to home run rules for all of the divisions and effectively blamed it on the Major Plus Divisions. What does changing the best rule in Senior Softball for all divisions have to do with just Major Plus? I agree with Bruce, Audie and the others that after limit home run outs can only be bad for all divisions of Senior Softball. While it may be effective in moving some sandbagging HR hitters up from the lower divisions, I would be willing to bet that a majority of Senior Softball players DO NOT want to be penalized for hitting a ball over the fence. Equalizer plus one up works great. Singles after the limit works fine everywhere. Worst case please reconsider and at least make them foul balls. I think you will lose players to other interests if you instate penalties for over the fence hits. You also put the pitcher at greater risk, which is a whole other debate. Please reconsider by taking a vote, poll or other method of finding out what your customers value.
GH
Dec. 15, 2008
F.O.G.
Men's 40
105 posts
Interesting comments.

Something that hasn't been mentioned here: This could call for teams having to be revamped. How many AB's in the average game...4-5? If you're allowed, let's say 6 HR's, then you need guys that can basehit and hit them out. The design here seems to be the elimination of teams that only hit HR's. This rule will make the selection process for these manager's change a bit.

I like hitting the longball as much as the next guy but I see this as more of an equalizer.
Dec. 15, 2008
gary#27nor.ca.storm
Men's 55
58 posts
we the players pay to play we should be able to vote to see what is best for all of us not what is best for a few.every senior softball player with an national i.d. card should have a vote before any rules are changed .without us you have no senior softball think about it thanks
Dec. 15, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
I welcome these changes in hopes that this will expand the M+ division. I will remain cautiously optimistic as I believe sand baggers will still maintain their status quo.
A few observations...
1) It seems to be a popular theory that once HRs are gone, the only other option is to hit the middle. To me, these are mutually exclusive. But the 5 man infield strategy could be explored if you really are concerned about your pitcher.
2) I find it odd that the 40s can work with the HR rule (8 then an out) but seniors cannot. Why does the game need to evolve toward the less athletic? Softball has always been a game of adjustments... great teams can do so, average teams cannot/will not. I've watched perhaps the best all around player in senior softball take BP and he hits the first 25 balls to the opposite field... just because his team WILL run out of HRs or because he wants to preserve them for the next guy or two. Apparently someone forgot to tell him that he was supposed to hit the middle.
3) Does it really make a great deal of difference as to 'who was on the committee'? The rules are the rules regardless of who voted on what. But for what it's worth, it wasn't an advisory board event... nor did it involve the Major Force Task Force.
4) Yes, this does give rise to making personell changes within a team. A roster full of Tom Dempseys may not be a good idea any longer. And this is mid-December so we all have the chance to modify our teams.
5) '1 up' rule... I would have liked to see that included as, IMO, it would infuse more strategy w/o really impacting the time of the game. After the HRs are gone and there is no '1 up' opportunity a ball hit over the fence would be an out.

Over the past 6 months, an awful lot of people have been opining about the possible merger of M & M+... 'if only they would equalize things for the M teams'. Well, here it is... now we have to learn how to deal with it.
But I can live with these rule changes easier than playing just 1-2 other teams. There are no perfect circumstances.
BW
Dec. 15, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
I forgot to include one other point... we can vote on how we want the game to be played... we did so in June (Major + Task Force). About the time the ink dried on the memo announcing the changes, all of the naysayers bolted out of the wood work.
But even more final than any task force or general election, we can vote by our participation. Play in the assns you prefer... find the one/ones that use the rules that you like and spend your money there. If you like Buicks better than Mercedes it doesn't make sense to piss in the Mercedes salesperson's ear about it. Go to the Buick store.
BW
Dec. 15, 2008
Dbax
Men's 60
1248 posts
Gotta agree with the wood. What was wrong with the one up rule? That is definately the way to go. It does bring a strategy to the game. The committee thought this out to much over there in the hotbed of softball known as Florida.
Dec. 15, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
Bob,

1) It seems to be a popular theory that once HRs are gone, the only other option is to hit the middle. To me, these are mutually exclusive. But the 5 man infield strategy could be explored if you really are concerned about your pitcher.

Answer: The pitcher is just the closest to the action so the most likely to get hit. Any power hitter is going to hit the 5/6 hole or 3/4 depending on which side they swing from.

2) I find it odd that the 40s can work with the HR rule (8 then an out) but seniors cannot. Why does the game need to evolve toward the less athletic? Softball has always been a game of adjustments... great teams can do so, average teams cannot/will not. I've watched perhaps the best all around player in senior softball take BP and he hits the first 25 balls to the opposite field... just because his team WILL run out of HRs or because he wants to preserve them for the next guy or two. Apparently someone forgot to tell him that he was supposed to hit the middle.

Answer: That was the whole reason guys quit playing during their 40's. Once they turned 50, they could free swing again. Nobody wants to hold back on their swing and I do not know a person out there who would not feel bad if they hit someone. I also do not want to play with a player that would not hit their hardest or do their best to win the game. When i was younger I use to ask the pitcher if he had a cup, now I ask the 3rd baseman if he is on the pitcher's Christmas list or if he owes the pitcher money. I am going to hit the ball hard and I would rather hit it out or past an outfielder than anywhere close to an infielder.

3) Does it really make a great deal of difference as to 'who was on the committee'? The rules are the rules regardless of who voted on what. But for what it's worth, it wasn't an advisory board event... nor did it involve the Major Force Task Force.

Answer: If you do not know who is on the committee who do lobby to to get something changed?

4) Yes, this does give rise to making personell changes within a team. A roster full of Tom Dempseys may not be a good idea any longer. And this is mid-December so we all have the chance to modify our teams.

Answer: Most of the rosters are set at the end of November for the upcoming year. If you wait until January, the guy(s)you want or need is already committed to another team.

5) '1 up' rule... I would have liked to see that included as, IMO, it would infuse more strategy w/o really impacting the time of the game. After the HRs are gone and there is no '1 up' opportunity a ball hit over the fence would be an out.

Answer: Keep 1 up rule.

Over the past 6 months, an awful lot of people have been opining about the possible merger of M & M+... 'if only they would equalize things for the M teams'. Well, here it is... now we have to learn how to deal with it.
But I can live with these rule changes easier than playing just 1-2 other teams. There are no perfect circumstances.

Answer: You are right, there are no easy answers, but the major + is an elite group and to push a bunch of teams up just to be cannon fodder for them is wrong. If you want more competition drop down a level and play 55 again. There are plenty of guys playing in the lower age brackets because they want to.

The team I am on now is not a major+ team. We are a very good major team with a bunch of guys who like playing together. We only have one guy on our team that has played Major + on a consistent basis.
Dec. 15, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Mike, we have played M+ for the past 7 years and had been feeling good about the increasing number of teams. That is, until last season. We spent a lot of time of the task force in an effort to find the rules the the M+ teams wanted to use. Again, as soon as we made our recommendations, the BS started, mostly by folks that never played M+. But even more importantly, the number of M+ teams dropped off.
Do you REALLY know why guys that are 40 back off from playing or do you merely know what went through your mind? Some of the best M+ hitters that I have seen seem to be able to make adjustments whenever necessary... Clatterbough, Cluess, Parnell... to name a few. By the way, there are an awful lot of 40 teams out there using the current rules so apparently not everyone shares your feeling about 'letting her rip'.
You can lobby the person whose name is on the memo... he has more clout than anyone on the committee. Knowing the M+ Task Force members didn't help those that opposed the changes made then.
I like to drive faster than the speed limit but it doesn't mean that it's ok for me to do so... consequently, I spend a lot of time in traffic school. My personal likes and dislikes are largely irrelevant when traffic laws are enacted.
Take a step back and ask yourself what is best for the entire program, not what is best for your team.
When the M+ rules were changed this past June, I felt that it was done in an upright and proper manner. I also felt that our team could live with the changes... I was personally neutral on them. Now the rules are back to square one and my team will find a way to adjust and work within them or we can decide to play elsewhere.
In order to create a larger M+ division, some changes had to be made.
BW
Dec. 15, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
As always we can agree to disagree. Nobody can ever so you and I aren't opinonated if nothing else.

I believe this to be a way to combine the Major/Major+ divisions without calling it so. People can play in the associations they want to with the rules they feel comfortable with.

Bottomline is I do not feel this will benefit the group as a whole as so much as a small minority. That is not a slam against Major+, I personally would rather play Major+, but with only 1 55 Major+ in California, I would rather play with my current teammates.

Now I know I just made the case for combining the divisions, but again it would benefit a select few. We will see how it plays out.
Dec. 15, 2008
4x4
Men's 65
592 posts
Here's another vote for the one up/singles after. We are fortunate that the rules did not include a dumbed down ball and we can use the we've become accustomed to.

There is a very real possibilty that, indeed, this might open up the vunerability of the pitchers with the balls being forced down AT the defenders. Not necessarily a bad thing but the numbers would seem to say the frequency will increase the danger toward the pitcher. The discretion of the umpire will only further complicate the situation once they get rattled/reactive adding more fuel to the fire. We've already seen more than a few that have no idea how to handle the senior game/rules.

Again - the one up seems the more sensible option.

Pete 13
Dec. 15, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey guys and gals,
I need to digest these changes a little better
before I make full comment
but who thinks that making over the fence balls outs
instead of singles/walks is a good idea.
We've been squawking about this for years now
to insure fun and pitcher safety.
I agree with George Hall, completely to this point
and 4x4.
Dec. 16, 2008
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Its my opinion the Hr out is due to lost balls and or the way it slows down the game. During the Vegas Worlds this year we had several games delayed because there werent enough balls supplied to the Umps, balls were lost or didnt get back in the game quick enough, so we waited for someone to retrieve a ball. Is there another logical explanation? $$$$$$$
Why change something that has worked so well for so long, unless its a financial issue?
Dec. 16, 2008
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
haven't read all the rule changes,but from reading this post the hr's are going to be a real prol.like e4/e6 says most likely money is pushing it.if ya hit them go get them,unless you want to start paying extra for shaggers at each field b/c thats what it will come down to.i do like the one up rule for all div's except the lowest,give them one only and leave it at that.if you can hit them out regularly then you don't belong in AA.

now the rule that i really don't like is the middle rule,i've already informed my team that i prolly won't play in any tourney's that adopt that rule,just don't like it.if your gonna pitch you need to be able to field your position.yes i do pitch,seniors and flat belly ball.to much to interpertate for the ump IMO.

well merry christmas to all.
Dec. 16, 2008
bullet
Men's 55
130 posts
Here we go again,change the rules because we can not control teams from loading up.We all know teams that should be playing up,we also know teams that can't move down.I have no problem with a HR limit,BUT after that amount make them singles or walks.We all know,with these bats we love to use,there are many HR that are purely by accident.Is there a answer,who knows.I just hate when after the "summit"there are these rule changes,that we the players have no commits in. Sure would be nice to have some input in these changes.
Dec. 16, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
697 posts
Hey Guys,

I have read all of the comments. I really do not know what is the best way to go anymore. Our team is relatively new to the Major division. We had to change our personel a bit to try to compete at this level. We already can see and have sadly encountered the rippling effect of bumping too many teams up last year. The following is just one example that our team is familiar with. Please follow me here. By moving alot of AAA teams to Majors, caused 3 things: 1) more Major teams, 2) teams disbanding because they could not compete, and 3) Major players looking for new Major teams or combining 2 teams into one, and making them Major+ teams in a Major division. Our team has already played 2 of these overstocked Major teams and got absolutely slaughtered. Too many Major teams are really Major+ teams now, waiting for a ring tournament to get them bumped up. I would just give them their rings now, and get them out of our division. In the meantime, they are going to continue to rip a lot of these Major teams to pieces. I am not complaining, just stating the facts as I know them.

In conclusion: I would have to ask. "what do I see for the future of these actions?" My opinion only, but I see more teams disbanding and reforming. I see SSUSA unable to keep up with all of the player and team changes, thus many players fed up and leaving the tournament scene. You might want to think this one over again.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Dec. 16, 2008
stick8
1261 posts
Einstein, I just read the new rules and it seems OK to me. The HR limit in major+ & major is fine but I would like to see a one up and then after that an out just like they do in NSA. And in the bottom of the open inning the home team cannot go one up.
But then that would make the teams think about strategy and the umpires t actually have to count. That would be a real change!! lol
Dec. 16, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Andy - great comment.
From many perspectives the decision is lacking
with regard to the homerun rule.
We have fought long and hard to keep the long ball a single
instead of an out to insure protection of pitchers and the enjoyment
of hitting/driving softballs.
Where does this decision come from and who's interests does it serve?
Connect the dots, guys and girls.
The ball/bat combo is being driven down in broad daylight
with this ruling.
Once home runs are outs where will the big guys hit the ball?
Up the middle at/through pitchers
and misshits will sail over fences hurting their teams.
Remedy?
Bring down the bat/ball combo.
It's a no brainer once you make home runs outs.

It smells of ulterior motives.
TD's want tournaments to stay on schedule,
don't want to buy lots of balls,
don't want civil or criminal liability for injuries.
Ball/bat manufacturers want a new frontier
in which to do business and make sales.

If you use the equalizer for home runs
starting at 1 like we do in NorCal
and have 5 runs per inning limits like we do in NorCal
make the plate bigger like we do in NorCal
and let us use a good bat/ball combo like we do in NorCal
than all of the major players issues are dealt in
a fundamentally satisfying way to us, the players.

Keep the comments coming and let's let Terry know
what we know and think and what we want and expect
so there doesn't come an "us versus them" condition
and mentality involving the sport we all love and invest in.

Keep the bat/ball combo good to very good
even though there are those around with other interests
who don't want to.
Let the rules most directly benefit us, the players,
and not the profiteers.
Dec. 16, 2008
bigdog
Men's 70
40 posts
why are all the rule changesbeing made pertain to the 50 and 55 div. how about us old fart. don,t we count any more or we have gone through all the aage bracket so you don,t need us any more. try and do some thing so we can get some more team in 70 . thank you
Dec. 16, 2008
docswear
Men's 55
97 posts
Here is another voice heard for the one up rule. Don't really care if we add or subtract from the base number of HR's we can hit but would hate to see a ball hit out of the park an out. Not sure if our responses will carry much weight with the powers that be but hopefully if enough of us respond they will listen. I don't really believe that any sort of conspiracy within the ranks has created these changes but then I still think we will find WMD in Iraq someday and that doing you know what will make you go blind. I certainly won't stop playing softball if these rules stand, however, would encourage my team to (as the Wood said) to look for other associations and tourneys that were more compatible to my line of thinking. I have to believe that the folks running the show listen to what we have to say as they have always seemed fair and willing to compromise in the past so those of you that rarely post on this board (like me) let your feelings be known so those selling the product can be responsive to those that are buying. I personally can live with most of the rule changes but find both the "sealing up the middle" and home run out rules not to my liking.
On a lighter note... hope everyone has a wonderful christmas (or whatever else you might celebrate) and a healthy and happy new year..

docswear
Dec. 16, 2008
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
bigdog.........You didn't get left out. Your age group is included in these rules. Unfortunately, the DBO does not appear to be up for a vote.

If TH does decide to put it up for a vote, I vote for one-up and a walk.
Dec. 16, 2008
NYTX
Men's 55
13 posts
I think its a GREAT idea to make them outs rather than singles. It's either that or change the bats and balls. Watching 15 balls go over the fence and have them be singles is a joke and not softball. I'm pleasantly surprised to see the committee take such a risk but I think the result will be fewer divisions and more competitive games.
Dec. 16, 2008
DCPete
231 posts
Some of you guys didn't read Terry's comments very carefully; the reason he changed the HR limit and made extra HRs into Outs is simply to allow the Major teams that get moved up to Major+ to be more competitive.
Dec. 16, 2008
doug12
1 posts
I agree with NYTX. I think this is a great way to equalize teams.
Dec. 16, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
DCPete- Thanks for getting back to part of the meat of this issue. Home Runs as outs after a certain limit is reached was undoubtedly a factor for the changes at the Major Plus level. Take a look at some of the scores in the Major Plus at the World Championships and the recent Winter Championships. There were some very lopsided games, but not being there, I can't comment on how boring they may have been or how long they lasted. Many seem to have the 25 run mercy rule involved too, so who knows. But reading between the lines a bit, the problem of being competitive once moved up is not a problem exclusive to the Major Plus.

What's more significant to me, and for which I cast my vote of approval, is the excess HR's as outs being extended to the Major and AAA too. Having fixed limits everywhere will shut down the currently popular hobby of seeing how many Major Plus type players can find their way onto Major or AAA rosters.

I'm not sure how anyone would know exactly how many balls a AAA or Major team, or even a AA team, hits out in a tournament. But this new rule set is important because it now puts the pressure on the teams to want to move up if they can't resist hitting the ball out of the park every time instead of actually playing the game of softball again. This puts me in agreement with NYTX.

Lastly, so many people comment here about wanting larger brackets at tournaments, no matter who sponsors the event. If more teams believe the brackets will be larger, and filled with teams of approximately even talent, and teams are playing where they are supposed to play instead of spending all of their time trying to avoid being moved, this is a positive change.

Well done ssusa.
Dec. 16, 2008
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
I agree with most of what is being said here, but there are teams that have rosters designed to use the Hr as a tool. When you have 6 or 7 players who hit for average and 3 or 4 who have the ability to hit the long ball this new rule penalizes them for playing the game in an organzed and structured manner.
I am talking AAA or Majors. Everyone knows Major+ is a hitters division, with almost every player capable of hitting the ball out at anytime.
I just dont agree with taking away part of the strategy of our game.
Dec. 16, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
E4/E6- Sound like, with 3 or 4 long ball guys, you're perfect for Majors in the new scheme of things. Each can hit at least one a game, which is pretty strong for a AAA team. Give Sacramento a call and ask them for the move to Major. It's tailor-made for your team!
Dec. 16, 2008
udaplaya
91 posts
i participated in the 50 Major division in Phoenix and Vegas. The combination of 5 run limits and extra hrs being singles worked quite well. The scores were generally in the high teens to mid 20's, which is quite reasonable, and nearly all of the games made it to six innings, at a minimum.

You know the old adage, if it ain't broke.....

That being said, I think the Major+ would benefit from a 5 - 7 run limit and (thinking outside of the box) maybe two open innings.
Dec. 16, 2008
taits
Men's 65
4318 posts
For me the one up then a walk works better than a one up and a single. No possiblity for a guy on 3rd advancing without a runner also on 1st & 2nd.
Perhaps the rule was brought on by non hr hitter(s) besides the other mentioned reasons.
It's bad enough the younger guys get more than the older ones. As for the different divisions difference, I can live with it as with what ever rule(s) are implamented.
As one poster put it, the game changed when business became involved. It just wasn't as obvious back then.
Dec. 16, 2008
GeHall44
Men's 55
92 posts
I appreciate the effort by the summit members to try to increase the Major Plus and Major team numbers.
What scares me with this rule change is the effect on all infielders when the really big guys like the Wood mentioned "adjust" to get singles and take the same hard home run swing while trying to hit the ball down after HR's are gone. Not too many of these guys like to dink the ball over the first baseman's head for a base hit. I see many 1B, 3B and Pitchers getting missiles launched at them and injuries will result. If that does start to happen, then what are the logical next rule changes?
I think with a 5 run limit per inning, the over the fence singles would be controlled to a tolerable level. At least it would be better and faster than the 45 minute fireworks displays we witnessed on defense last season with unlimited runs per inning.
Dec. 16, 2008
SlopitchRR
Men's 50
24 posts
I am going to address my feelings on 2 rules:

I do not like the rule for HOME RUNS, as stated, and from the way the message board lit-up on the subject, there is going to have to be some middle ground. With the ball being better and the bat being better, I do believe the middle will see more balls than ever before, but if you have a pitcher like I have (Bobby Joerg), he welcomes the balls at him and I think anyone who pitches, pitches for a reason, they like being the center of a team, always touching the ball, always in the game doing something. The PITCHERS PROTECTION RULE is a good rule for the guy that is put there because nobody else wants to pitch. I like, Bobby loved being there, I wanted people to hit it at me until I could no longer handle the position, knees got to bad, now I coach. So thats what I think about the PITCHERS PROTECTION RULE. Now the HOME RUN subject, I think putting a limit on the home runs is not a bad idea, but making them outs is. Like I said above with the bats/balls being better almost anyone can hit them out of the park. Like Tate22 says: A single is a single whether it travels 350 feet or takes six bounces to reach the outfield. So to save the middle at least make them singles, you don't have to do progressive, once the 5 are gone then they should be singles only. At least try it, cause I think making such radical changes is a mistake. I was at both Phoenix and Vegas, and I think maybe this new home run rule might have been partly based on the cost of balls, and better yet the retreivale of them, which I hated to do, or have my players get tired from chasing balls rather than from playing the game. I like most sponsors would rather just give $50.00 for a dozen balls than chase them, then there would be no slowing down of the game and everyone would be happy.

Rick Ross, owner Four Seasons Screenprinting
Dec. 17, 2008
bogie
Men's 55
146 posts
I hate to see the out rule for homeruns, but feel that homeruns in the 50s were a bit out of control. I can't say how many balls I saw on the weekend ( Phoenix 50major) alone that went 400 feet. What must the major plus have been like?
I like the fact we see less bat shaving or painting by allowing the Combat, Miken and other senior bats but I feel for the 50s age group, that its too much ball for the bats. Especially as you see the calibur of the hitters coming up from the 49-50 ages They seem in better shape, and appear to be technically more sound...just a more powerful generation coming in.
I would like to see less rules, but a slightly deader ball for the 50's. This would cut out the mishit homeruns, make ground balls on infield play more sane and increase fly balls on mishits. A ball that has to be hit with more spin to carry would be of benefit. I have hit some of the new Utrip balls (high cor, low comp) and I think a better version of it, would be great.
I think the current ball/bat combo is fine for 60s and older.
On a side note, I do not see why homerun limits decrease as we go to 60s and 70s. If you have some older guys who can hit it..God Bless em....it seems a moot point to even have limits after 65...let alone why are the tighter?
I feel SSUSA has done a tremendous job overall, but feel this rule is one that will not be popular and there are other ways around it.
Ken Van Bogaert
Roberts 50major
Dec. 17, 2008
Garocket
Men's 55
143 posts
It sounds to me like You the senior players are saying you have no talent other than just hitting the ball hard. Almost any body that is of any size and strength can hit a homerun now days. I know you say let us hit homeruns like when we were younger. Well go back to the balls and bats of the 80s and the homerun problem takes care of its self. The younger division has 20 times as many teams as the Seniors and they only have 3 teams at the Top and only about 3 more that can come close to competing. Let the Major plus teams sit at home =. They build the powerhouse teams that no one can compete with and then cry because they have no one to play, hey its their own fault. Maybe you should start a Major + Player list and not allow more than 2 of those players on any team in the
Major Division and no more than 1 in the AAA. I agree something needs to be done for these players to pla , but why sacrifice players so 3 or 4 sponsors can get off on beating everyone just don't make sense
Dec. 17, 2008
Par
Men's 50
10 posts
If this HR/Outs rule is absolutely final, teams and players will bail to other organizations that do not adopt this rule.
I played USSSA for 20+ years and was really surprised when I started playing 50+ and balls over the fence were singles instead of outs. I think that is a major reason senior ball has been successful up to this point. Don't kill the golden goose!!
Dec. 17, 2008
JamesLG
297 posts
Hi folks:

The home run rule bothers me and I am not a guy who hits 50+ HR's per year. This to me is like telling Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and JB Homes they can only reach one par five is two shots per round. Why punish a person because they can hit a ball over the fence? I don't like going middle because of how I would feel if I did hit a pitcher. What will Miken and Combat feel about this rule when there sales go down because we don't want to hit the ball over the fence? A rule like this could very well send many of us to the golf coarse instead of the ball park. We are very fortunate to still be able to play this game at 50+ years old. Let us swing away while we still can. We pay a lot of money to play this game and so what if the ball goes over the fence. Senior Softball is great but it is right on the edge of making some poor decisions that will effect participation.

Thank You:
James
Dec. 17, 2008
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
We have lost our minds!Let me understand this topic.We put in the best balls money can buy we add to that the hottest bats ever manufactured and than we hit it over the fence to often and it's an out?This is like trying to put a fire out with gasoline.If we don't want people hitting home runs than why all the hi-tech equipment?The solution is obvious.Down grade the ball to keep those that are not true home run hitters in the park and those who can really hit it will still get them over the fence.But not balls that they don't get all of. We played in the ISF World Cup last year useing ASA bats and a bad Badden ball.Needless to say the ball was not jumping out of the park,we have some good power on our team and we were reduced to a base hitting team except for a select few who could still get it over.Letting us use these bats and balls of present and than saying we can't hit it out is crazy.Changeing balls would seperate the true boomers from the rest of the field.Useing this equipment and than restricting output is like buying a Fararri with a govenor on it.I don't like were all this is going and from the sounds of it neither does anybody else.These rule changes are good for message board discusstions but not for the game. If you don't want guys hitting home runs why are all the equipment upgrades allowed.Hell maybe we should move the fence back to 350' thats what golf did to offset the new drivers etc...So lets sum this up,we develop new bat and ball tech to hit the ball farther,than make rules to restrict us from doing so.I'm baffled???????I would like to take this oppertunity to wish everyone a HAPPY HOLIDAY from the Gekle Builders Softball Team.Good Luck next year.
Dec. 17, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Over the years I have followed this message board and occasionally have weighed in with my opinion on various discussions and started a few of my own. The one thing I realize on any hot topic is that there is never a solution to which everyone will agree. On the issue of outs after home runs I would like to add the following as a recap as to why I believe the new rules are good as currently revised/written.

Recently one of the most viewed posts ever made surrounded keeping the Ultra II. Generally I think players would prefer to keep using them. From the perspective of SSUSA it seems with Miken as a major sponsor there is incentive and consideration has been given as to how to keep them. I think everyone realizes that slowly but surely most organizations that care about senior softball have now allowed them in attempt to keep senior players in the fold.

There has been considerable arguments, some heated, about the softballs that are used. While not a hot softball the Trump Stote seems to be a good softball especially considering the bats--Mikens and Combats--that can be used.

We come then to the need to keep our game of softball a balanced game that requires offense and defense. The home run rule without a strong penalty for home runs after a limit in Major and Major Plus puts the emphasis basically on offense. Certainly most of the proponents for the old rule without an out after the limit have come from mostly power hitting teams.

But the rules were only part of the problem. For us, most of the year was spent facing teams from outside the 55 major plus division in which we were required to play. In fact we decided to miss the upcoming TOC for the first time because we would have been unopposed. We have been unopposed within our assigned division of play quite often this year. So for us and other teams playing major plus it comes down to what rules make sense to encourage teams that are rated up at the end of the year to play major plus instead of playing games with team names or disbanding altogether and reforming a new team.

Now lets be honest power alone doesn't amke a good team. We had the opportunity this year to play Turn Two. A 60's team. They have nice balance and are a very good hitting team. They don't do it with power alone. It seems this is the way it should be. There is nothing more boring for an outfielder then to watch ball after ball be hit over their heads in the hot sun and not have a chance for a fielding play.

We want to play Major Plus next year--together. We will not play Major Plus and spend the money it requires to travel to tournaments and then find out we have no one within our division to play. We applaud SSUSA for recognizing the problem and for attempting to solve it for the sake of our investment in the sport and theirs. Besides, if I stop playing softball I told my friends I would play golf. And I hate to golf.

Bob Schulz
Travelodge
55 Major Plus
Dec. 17, 2008
Dillon1
12 posts
The new homerun rule is great. It allows for more defense and strategy, not to mention the opportunity for bat control for all you great hitters. It adds so many new layers to the game. Love it
Dec. 17, 2008
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
I think we have made our points, now its time for the Brass to step up with their retorts. Terry, Dave, Fran? What can you tell us about our concerns?
Dec. 17, 2008
pete13ia
Men's 50
16 posts
Iím with everyone (well most everyone) 1up and single or walk. The powers that be (which is not the players and it should be) will probably not rescind the HR out rule. Why canít we have the best of both? Keep the 1up rule. IMO one of the best rules anyone has come up with as far as limiting the HR and allowing it to be part of the entire game. No more difficult to keep track of whether it is a single or a HR or if it is an out or a HR. It keeps the HR in play for the whole game. It also increases/changes some of the strategy of the game and keeps the defense a big part of it.

At the very least give the hitter one extra chance and make it a foul ball. Allow one foul ball HR if the batter hits a second one it is an out. If the hitter has 2 strikes and hits one out then it is a foul ball third strike and an out. again just MHO.
Dec. 17, 2008
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
I agree with Pete13ia.

As a compromise keep the one up rule. It just means that two power team are battling which is what power teams want anyhow. It certainly means that both teams are competing and probably comparable in power. After you use your one up and another home run is hit it is an out.

Remember that each tournament director could conceivably modify and allow this change except for the Nationals. I believe this is the case????
Dec. 17, 2008
JamesLG
297 posts
Some of the tournaments we play in Washinton State are 1 HR per inning, the second ball over the fence is a dead ball double and any ball after that is a DBO. This is per inning and it seems to work out pretty well in AAA. I personally belive if you are under 200 lbs you should be able to hit as many HRS as you can and they all count.

James
Dec. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
HELL YEAH I only weigh 195 lbs.
Dec. 17, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
then we'll have guys lying about their wieght... Lecak is a perfect example...Galvan could say he weighs in at 198 (and show his 5th grade school picture).
There has to be a dumber rule than that... but, if so, I haven't heard it.
BW
Dec. 17, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Bob I'm prepared to do a Las Vegas style weigh in naked at home. I believe this will have Hank lobbying for a height exemption.
Dec. 17, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Joe, the 'naked' part is a bit of deterrent for me... I'll gladly take your word for it. But some of these guys could weight in with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and, on average, cause the entire group to fail the '200 pounds test'.
:-)
Dec. 17, 2008
Dbax
Men's 60
1248 posts
Lecak hasn't weighed 195 since 8th grade!
The one up rule is the way to go.
Dec. 17, 2008
Dbax
Men's 60
1248 posts
I failed to mention he was 19 years old in 8th grade.
Dec. 17, 2008
SlopitchRR
Men's 50
24 posts
I understand you are trying to get more teams in Major +, but at what expense, by destoying the game for 200 teams to make 6 happy.

SSUSA had 26 major teams in Phoenix. I believe that any one of those teams could have won the tournament, I feel they were all equal, there were a couple of games that went over 30 runs, but the majority were in the 18-25 range for all teams/games.

SSUSA has had a good set of rules for a long time, but to just crush them is insanity at its best. You had an equalizer rule in place for teams to get some playing time against teams of lower caliber, why don't you do the same thing for the major+ teams, let them play major, with major rules, give the major teams the equalizer of runs and then for the most part all it comes down to is the open inning. Just another suggestion......
Dec. 17, 2008
JamesLG
297 posts
The one up rule is much better than the DBO. The under 200lb comment was just a prop for us smaller guys who like to hit em out also. We can't miss them much and still get it out of the park. This is a great game and just want to keep it from being over managed.
Thanks:
James
Dec. 17, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
SlowPitchRR- I agree with you on the facts of trying to get more teams into the Major Plus from the Major and have them be able to compete, but you have left out the rest of the package. The rules restructure SHOULD also result in AAA teams that should be playing Major to be moved there effectively and possibly the same from AA to AAA. This is a good solution to move teams who hide down in a lower division when they, and a lot of others, know they should be playing up.

Your comments isolate the Major Plus as the only problem area, but I know the same issues exist with our division, the AAA. We may well end up being a team that gets moved to Major, but if it's done fairly, we'll welcome the challenge.
Dec. 17, 2008
F.O.G.
Men's 40
105 posts
Lecak doing a "naked" check in? That's a bad mental picture and just way to much baldness for me...
Dec. 17, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
Not perfect but something had to be done if they insist on having a Major-plus program. Don't like the DBO rule however. We have been moved up to Major-plus but will not participate in a 2 or 3 team tournament. Hopefully they will move enough teams up to make it worth while.
Dec. 17, 2008
gary#27nor.ca.storm
Men's 55
58 posts
its hard to compete with teams that have travel and rooms paid for. its easy to get good players when things are paid for thats what you see in the top major+ teams thats a big part of the problem. thats way there is not more teams at the top
Dec. 17, 2008
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
391 posts
Bob50 ...great post. I agree with your comments
Dec. 18, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
Yes Bob50 has good points. We are NOT a power hitting team so the HR rule probably helps us but I still do not like the DBO rule. I'm concerned about the pitchers taking shots. I think we can all live with the rules IF we can get enough teams in each classification to make it worth while.
Dec. 18, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
There is one thing that is being missed in the reclassification of a large number of teams. On NCI as a Major team we had a few players that were role players and are great AAA players and pretty good Major Players. They are not Major+ players. By reclassifying a number of teams, players that could have played at AAA or Major are now locked at Major+ and Major. This is really unfair to them and to their respective teams.
Dec. 18, 2008
DesertGuy
Men's 60
224 posts
softball4b- But no more unfair than the Major Plus types hiding out on Major and AAA rosters. Time for a lot of teams to step up to where they belong, on their own or with a push.
Dec. 18, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
There are no changes that can ever be made that won't impact someone negatively... it just does. But perception and reality are usually different.
I have played in the 55-60 M+ since 2002 and I must say that the two most successful teams that I have seen (in both divisions) have not been fully stocked with so-called M+ players. In fact, the number of prototypical M+ players for both teams has been a minority... or to put it differently, many of their players could have played down 1-2 levels from M+.
Both teams have trained their non-M+ players to be effective within their roles, which they have all done very well. To me, the real worth of a team is greater than the sum of its parts. This has been proven true with both of these ultra-successful teams... successful = winning many big events when all of the 'big boys' were there... and over several years.
If the underlying reason for these changes are to promote M+ growth, they can only be perceived as prudent if the ranks do increase. IF NOT, they become a double negative... they fail to achieve their intended objective and they negatively impact the game for many.
A lot of folks have predicted the future results (we all have our opinions) but it's too bad that we can't see these changes in action in the near term. On the west coast, there isn't a real test for 3 months+... the Spring World. Until then, there will be many unanswered questions... and a zillion comments... some of which are very worthwhile.
'the orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages'... some of us just don't embrace change regardless of its form ... others thrive on it.
Whether this works out well or not depends heavily on how we approach it. If we refuse to try it out, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and will fail because the M+ ranks will not increase (inject into this its impact on the other divisions as well). If we do try it and then find that it doesn't work out, we will win a small battle because we know that this isn't a viable option... enabling us to seek other and possibly more effective alternatives.
I intend to keep an open mind to the extent possible.
BW
Dec. 18, 2008
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
I am one that is happy with the rule changes if it means more teams i each division. I have read all the comments about hitting the middle when out of homeruns and it seems that we have alot of guys with no bat control. Does this mean if you have homeruns left and you hit it up the middle you should be out? I believe the pro players use wood bats and all other levels use bats of any matterial so as we use composites maybe we arent as great as we think . I have been saying for two years we should play eleven players on defense. this would speed up the games and give another person a chance to play. I know that 98% of the discussions on here have been about hitting but somewhere along the line we need to bring defense back into the game of softball. Just a silly thought.
Dec. 19, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Miaking a home run an out is akin to
making a knockout punch illegal in a prize fight.
It's still mathematically a contest
and can have a strategy but the best fighters wouldn't participate
and the fans won't pay to watch.
It's absolutely fundamental to us.
to be able to drive and hit the ball hard.

Equalizer and run rules allow anyone to play/compete/beat anyone else.
Any of the very good teams in 50 major could beat the Mavericks
if you play 5 run limit innings and equalize from one
just like we do in NorCal,
all the time.

Why doesn't SSUSA poll us or ask us
the whole of us
what we want and need.
Great questions will yield great answers
and patterns.
I don't know of anyone who wants to play
with a lesser bat/ball combo.
I've never met one guy or girl who does
and if they exist I know they are in the minority.
Dec. 20, 2008
rikbat
Men's 60
1 posts
Why do HR limits drop as you get older? The older you get, there are fewer players that can still go yard. It seems that HR's that you can hit should go up...not down as you get older.
Dec. 20, 2008
bogie
Men's 55
146 posts
Joe,
your my man but I am one who would rather leave the bats alone and tone down the ball for the 50 and 55 teams. I think changing bats would encourage the shaving and painting that we see in the young mans game. But the ball is easy to change.
i would ONLY change the ball for the 50s. I think the current ball/bat combo is okay for the 60s and up, but homeruns are so cheap in the 50s that rather than limits, I would like to see less hr limits and have a ball that the true power hitters would be hitting out. ....and you are one of them. That old lady in Seattle is still trying to locate your phone number after you bombed the roof of the ice rink.
I think a slightly less hot ball, will bring back more defense and balance out the homerun dominated games.
The younger guys coming in from 49, seem to be stronger, in better shape and technically better... The ability to hit the ball hard, seems to be the last of the softball players gifts to leave him or her. So I am all for a simple adjustment of the ball and less need for rules to counterbalance.
I would be for a rule that once we get snow in Wisconsin, all you cali and florida boys have to stop playing like us. We can never catch up to you.
kenvan bogaert
roberts 50 major
Dec. 20, 2008
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Joe..........SPA sent out a survey .............home runs were included. I'm sure that players want to know if Ridge is going to go along with SSUSA.
Dec. 20, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bogie, you animal.
How does it feel to be one of the best long ball hitters on the planet?
I'd love to know.
Glad you had a great time in Florida.

This home run as out rule is very disturbing to the main of us
and implicates those who are making decisions about us
and our game as out of touch, at least.

Our game is being decided by those who no longer play our game.
Why don't they poll or truly ask us, the players?
Connect the dots
and follow the money.

I'm lucky and happy to be in NorCal where thanks to great player
representatives like Bob Sebring, Gary Tryhorn, Noel Lanctot,
A/C Linde and Bob Ruth just to name a few,
we get to play with the rules that make the most sense
and make happy and eager to play ball.
All these guys still play Senior Ball and I think
that's quite telling.

5 run innings,
equalizer homeruns from 1,
very good bal/ball combo
and the largest selection of the best players in the country.

If the Associations that claim to be about and for
the seniors and senior ball
can't/don't care to make us happy
you all can come/move to California and play with/against us
anytime.
Dec. 21, 2008
Jawood
Men's 50
788 posts
Wouldn't it have been easier just to do away with the Major-plus program and put them into the Major division? How many Major-plus teams are there anyway? 15?, 2 or 3 in the west? They are making it much more complicated than it has to be. The field in Phoenix was GREAT competiton, like SlopitchRR mentioned. If the few Major-plus teams didn't like it, they could have desbanded and made two Major teams. The program would have been that much stronger.
Dec. 22, 2008
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
Have not been on the board lately and never read this thread completely. But as a 62 year old, AAA player, once in a while a Major player and even a Major Plus player several years ago, I feel I understand most levels. I also understand that the U2 has made more players a HR hitter, me for one, It makes it more enjoyable for me to play. I understand the Major teams not wanting to move to Major + or AAA teams not wanting to move up also. But after winning a couple Major Tournaments that need to move up, but most just fold, regroup and rename. I know because a team that I use to play for did just that, I no longer play for them just for that reason. As a younger player we always wanted to play the best to be the best, I guess as we get older and we decline in ability(damn that was hard to say) we now play for the fun of this game we all love.
I know nobody hits the middle with the intent of hurting the pitcher, accidents do happen and I hate to see the results. The fields we play on don't make it much safer but if we want to play we do play where ever we can.
Sorry about the jabber, HR Rules? Just make every division a 1 up HR rule or maybe even better, a 2 up HR rule, a single after the HR's are gone. Home run hitting teams that play each other will almost be able to hit as many as they want, a single hitting will only have to allow the HR hitting team 2 HR's as long as the single hitting team don't hit any HR's. (after that over the fence in a single,) That will level out many differant teams. If you make the HR an out it will bring the pitcher into play, not what I would want to see. I don't pitch but even at 3rd or 1st the U2 makes it tough. This makes the very good Major teams that are required to move to Major + have a more lever playing field and maybe make the move up easier for them instead of folding etc.
Several very good players above posted many good suggestions and the powers to be should listen. There's a world of playing smarts on this board. Listen to ALL, not just the HR hitter or just the single hitters.
Several tournaments I played in this time of the year (Winter Nationals) had the new box for the pitcher, I seen 8 pitchers hit and the rule was never called the same, super bad rule, better off putting up a screen to REALLY protect the pitcher, not making it an out AFTER the pitcher gets hurt. I play in a weekly league with a screen and it's not that bad.
Stay with HR's and then singles, listen to the players, these are the guys paying the money, playing on bad fields, trying to ahere to these rules and trying to enjoy and have fun at something that have did most of there lives.
At 62 my body is now telling me that softball is coming to a close in my life, truly I don't know how I will adjust, playing from 200 to 300 games a year to, maybe a low class league ball, it don't even sound good. Let us enjoy the time we have left playing our passion, listen to what the players want, have fun watching us have fun, knowing you are the reason many of us keep playing. You are one of the top 2 senior organizations out there, make up proud to be playing with you.
Sorry, I just can't stop talking softball,
You all have a Merry Christmas and a great 2009 of softball.
BTW, Bruce, enjoy 60 ball this year.
See you all on the field
Charlie Pope
"softball wantabee"
Dec. 22, 2008
jwo-9
Men's 60
14 posts
Although this is my first post, I have read all the posts and It seems to me that c pope has the best solution. Let all divisions have one HR then one up. This seems to be the best way to make things simple and easy. I only play AA but the idea of making HRs an out does not help anyone enjoy the game. Our team probably has not hit over 5HRs all year. I seldom hit a home run but don't enjoy it being an out because one of the guys has already hit one. With the U2 onyone could accidently hit a HR(as mine would be) . The idea that HRs should be less for the older divisions is nuts. If you are still able to find the fence, then it should count as much as if you were 50+. The DBO rule protects no one. If you must mess with the rules make the use of protective equipment the rule. Then you really have a protection rule. I don't pitch but play 3rd base and have taken some U2 shots that were just as hard as any pitcher that I have seen take.
Dec. 22, 2008
cutty
42 posts
He is my two cents, I agree with combining the two divicions, but the HR rules need to be 5 a and a single. A home rule hitter likes the fact that he can swing away, that is their mine set. The reson senior softball was better that the young ball was because of the very fact. Our equipment is better so let us use it. Another thing, the young guys just turning 50 would allso like the fact that they can swing away. I watch softball all the time, and It just do not agree with me to see so many player cutting down on the swing to hit seed throught he in field. That is a part of the game, but so it Home Runs. I know it,s tough making rules and trying to keep the game growing, but remember everybody does not have the same talent level, but don,t take the bat out of one hand because he maybe be a little stronger. If so, let,s play all singles out of the park. Good luck with what ever you come up with.
Dec. 22, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
697 posts
Cpope and jwo-9,

I liked what you both had to say. I have been thinking about this the past week. Now that you said it, I want to agree with you both. I was trying to think about what would level the playing field for all teams, regardless of their talent, and you both are correct(IMO). I will share my thought on both issues that I was pondering.

The ever debatable home run rule. What I was thinking is that one home run per game(over the fence), then a ground rule double. This should be a challenge for those Major+ teams, they can hit an unlimited amount of balls over the fence and have it count for something more than an out or single. LOL! They used to have a program called home derby on TV back in the 50's and 60's, where baseball players would conpete by hitting home runs, sort of like the all star break in baseball now. They would have the premier home run hitters compete against each other, and they were paid too. It is a nice exhibition, but not as good as a baseball game. Does this sound like Major Plus? Try and have a sense of humor here guys. LOL! This just a softball game. There should be a player committee in effect for every level of play. Why would you have less than 3% of the players(Major Plus) making suggestions for the other 97%?? Let's be honest guys, the fences are just too short with the modern technology at hand.

The pitcher rule! The screen is the only way that may be better than using protective equipment(optional of course) or use both screen and protective equipment, as most defensive pitchers, they will want to field the ball some where else on the field. The reason the screen is better, because I got injured pitching, and the screen would have prevented it from happening. A hard ground ball was hit right back to me, and hit one of those 2 or 3 mounds in front of me, whch took an unusual skip and change of direction. The ball hit my arm opposite of my elbow, and it torn the tendons in my right arm. I could not even lift a bat after that. I was out for 6 weeks, and it still has not correctly healed, unless I have surgery. I kind of like what some else suggested about pitching all the way back to 2B. BUT, there we ago again, trying to alter the game.

These are just my opinions and from talking with many players and teams, NOT JUST MY OPINIONS, except for the part of a ball over the fence being a double.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Dec. 22, 2008
DesertDave
Men's 60
74 posts
How about we move the bases back to 90ft just like baseball? enough time to make plays from short outfield. (some very SLOW runners).
The pitcher moves back another 15 ft. too.
Enough time for everyone to get out of the way, so they don't have to get hit with the ball.
ALL hits over the fence are singles.
now we can force those SLOW guys at second,every time some guy can't get it over the fence.
:) :) :)
Dec. 22, 2008
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
Andy,
Those mounds in front do cause problems. They're
are my biggest fear on the mound. I try to
get some of dirt on them,but I'm sure it has little effect.
take care ,get healthy, see you next year.
John
Dec. 22, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
697 posts
OTE24,

Thanks John, I feel OK now, but can feel something not in the right place or not healed correctly. My strength is back, but arm just healed differently on the inside. Better than getting surgery.

Holidays to all and a Happy New Year!!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Dec. 22, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
697 posts
"Happy" Holidays to all!! LOL!
Dec. 22, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
A point of clarification...
The characterizations done by several of you (Duke, DG, etc.) that M+ players represent 3% of the senior population is essentially correct.
The part where we are 97% of the problems on this MB and elsewhere is not accurate. Unlike the AA, AAA and major players, we typically do not comment on the issues facing players that aren't in our division. But everyone else seems to really have lots of input on what problems we face, perceived or actual.
Duke, it wasn't that long ago that you were led 'kicking and screaming' into the bottom of the major level but now you want to offer us your input on how we (M+) ought to play. When the M+ Task Force was convened last summer, most of the MB advice came from non-M+ players.
DG, you ordinarily seem like one of the more sensible folks on here. If you're content with the new AAA/major rules, fine. If you go back and read the posts on these new rules, you'll see that 97% of them aren't coming from M+ people.
The MB is basically a chat room... SSUSA has changed their rules 3 times in the past 11 months. We're not talking subtle changes either... these type of things tend to generate MB dialogue. Which division has been impacted the most with each change (there is only one real answer to this question)?
With the first 2 changes, the only impact to the non-M+ players has been the PPR. In truth, it was only after the task force that the PPR was implemented into the non-M+ levels. This was not a function of the task force's recommendations as SSUSA decided on its own to make this a global rule.
Now with the 3rd change (December 15) , the HR rules are changed throughout all of the divisions, resulting in lots of input from lots of folks (AA - M+)... yet we receive credit for 97% of it.
I could care less if many of you resent the M+ players, etc., but I'd like to see us portrayed in a more objective manner.
Duke, this seems to be your standard M.O... DG, I totally expect better from you.
BW
Dec. 22, 2008
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
I for one have suggested that they combine Major and Major+ together to everyone including ss/usa and spa. Suggested they take Hendricks, Hollis etc make the Sponsored teams a complete different division with their own rules and costs. Make the Major division the highest that any team can be forced to move up to. I have also suggested they use 11 fielders to help protect the pitcher. This will give eveyone a chance to compete and keep it fair for ALL teams.
Dec. 22, 2008
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Indianapolis has a senior tourney each May where they combine Major and Major+ teams and anything out of the park is a double and it seems to work very well. They also use 5 runs and an open inning.
Dec. 22, 2008
Duke
Men's 60
697 posts
Hey Mr. Wood,

Sorry that opinions are not always what you want them to be, but we are all entitled to state ours, and if you note, I did not pick on you personally. I am happy to listen and consider any of yours and anyone else's. Your ideas are just as relevant as ours. Maybe we can sit down some time and discuss some of our ideas in a civilized manner and an open mind. Have a pleasant holiday!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Dec. 22, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Duke, with all due respect, I'm more interested in opinions about M+ from people that have some real experience in M+. I didn't/don't take it personally...
I don't offer my views on AA, AAA or M issues (unless it's about merging M & M+)... please give us the same courtesy.
Civilized? I felt that I was being civil... cordial, but not overly warm.
I'm happy to sit down with you and discuss almost anything related to softball but our needs in M+ isn't one of them. As you and others have astutely noted, we only represent 3% of the senior population so it follows that some of our needs are different from the overwhelming majority.
But I have worn somewhat thin on unsolicited advice from folks that are more than a short cab ride from us (mind set-wise). I apologize if I seem less than cheerful in the process.
BW
Dec. 22, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
Bob has never been one to mince words. There is something to be said for always knowing where you stand with someone. He and I don't always agree, but there are no hidden agendas around him.
Dec. 22, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Thanks, Mike,
You're even more right today than had you stated that 10 years ago. I was more of a 'people pleaser' back then... true story.
I've learned some hard lessons along the way... 1) it usually doesn't pay to be 'overly diplomatic' to folks that you don't know... and 2) no level of diplomacy works with my wife as she seldom adopts my views regardless of how valid my views might be. Therefore I choose to avoid deep discussions with her (to the extent possible) on important matters such as kids, grandkids, money, etc... strangely, she is one person with whom I CAN discuss politics and religion... subjects that I know little about.
:-)
BW.
Dec. 22, 2008
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Bob in a round about way the major guys might have an opinion. I'm new in the major plus, but the major and AAA need to ask themselves if they want to wash their hands of the M+ division and let it dwindle. Where do all these 3% go. I am pretty comfortable that the major managers would be first in line to pick up the spoils. Sometimes 3% of a problem can be big. It's the quality of the problem not the quantity. If you had a bank teller make 10 one dollar mistakes a day versus a teller that made one $10,000 dollar problem it's only 1 mistake. MY energy this year is going to go towards the teams that want to play Major plus in the 50's and make sure we stay in touch and share information. If I'm in it might as well enjoy it. If SSUSA is going to throw a party and I stay home I'm fairly certain the show will go on with or without me, might as well go.
Dec. 22, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Joe, I agree with you... M players do have a stake in this... as such, it pays for them to be diligent in this process.\BW
Dec. 22, 2008
softball4b
Men's 60
723 posts
Let's compromise.

Freeze all teams at their ending level as of 09/01/08 until 11/01/09.

Combine Major and Major + 11/01/09 all age groups.

14 HRs per game Max, then outs,

5 runs per inning and open inning.

AAA

2 HR hitters per game, hit as many as you want, others outs.

5 runs per inning and open inning.
Dec. 23, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
597 posts
Butch17, in the Indy tournament we use the same set of rules for everyone. This is a qualifier, and our umpires only do one tournament a year, and this leaves them to worry more about the important things like strikes and outs to hopefully give seniors a better experience instead of all the subjective problems being described here. The HRs are doubles has been very effective to leveling the playing as do the 5 runs. We have combined Major and Major Plus every year, and this division has grown every year for 50s and 55s. We had 12 teams total last year. Sometimes a Major team wins and sometimes a Major Plus. I have asked the upper players about it before, and they told me that this made the game fun for them. Imagine that softball is fun. I learned from Bob Mitchell years ago that senior softball should be for the love of the game.

I obviously do not play men's Major or Major Plus, but I do like to think that all of my softball experiences and my lack of conflicts of interest make me pretty fair and impartial. On that note I only have 2 pieces of advice. 1) Less is more when it comes to rules - keep it simple. 2) If some teams in the upper divisions are unhappy, they might want to look at how NSA and ASA dropped the upper divisions and how the WSL was formed which caters to upper division teams.

Merry Christmas.
Dec. 23, 2008
beast
19 posts
Why do they want to change all these rules to please the major+ teams anyway? These sponsors go out and build the best temas money can buy, knowing that there are very few teams in this division. This is a choice they make on their own, why should other teams be forced to play up so that they have teams to beat up on? In general players that have been around long enough know that you can only get the players, to play for your team, that these major+ teams dont want especially now with the economic crisis. In my opinion let all these "big money" teams fight it out and play each other to decide who truly is the best major+ team in the country. In short, these sponsors make their own bed...let them lay in it.
Dec. 23, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Beast:
Perhaps you've been hibernating for a while and haven't had an opportunity to read through the posts and the original announcement by SSUSA. Let's start from the beginning...
1) January '08 - SSUSA announces rule changes for the M+ division... Beast, the hing that might help you on this part is that SSUSA made the rules changes that negatively impacted M+... and that they did it w/o consulting any M+ players, at least any south of Tacoma, WA.
2) June '08 (not all that long ago) - SSUSA decides, on its own, that perhaps their rule changes were not in the best interests of the M+ division (you think?). So they established this 'psuedo think tank' made up of M+ players/managers (now isn't that a novel concept? actually consulting the ones involved). Based upon its recommendations, SSUSA reversed its field on most of the previous changes (from 5-6 months earlier). But the turn out was dim in AZ for some of the M+ brackets.
3) Dec 15 '08 - SSUSA made changes again to its rules but they emcompassed more than just the M+ division. Beast, I hope that you're still with me on this because here's the really good part as it applies to your comment about 'changing the rules to please the M+ players'... SSUSA changed the rules on their own and, trust me, it hasn't been perceived as a positive by the M+ community at large... i.e. we weren't pleased... or... if SSUSA really wanted to please/appease the M+ division, they may have tried a different strategy.
So this should bring you current on the series of rule changing events that have transpired over the past 11 months.
Here's a couple of other tidbits that you might want to digest:
1) Not all M+ teams are sponsored... some of them are M teams that have been moved up to that level.
2) If you read # 1 then it may occur to you that not all teams went into this knowing the state of the economy.
3) 'why should other teams be forced to play up'.. again, read # 1 because that's how/why some of the M+ teams are there already.
Bottom line = the M+ teams/players are not really in favor of these changes (based upon the majority of the feedback)... so don't think that SSUSA is appeasing us.
In the interest of brevity, which never deterred me before, I won't bother addressing the other things that you stated... other than to say that if you actually read some of these posts it might enlighten you.
Bob Woodroof
Dec. 23, 2008
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Nancy.
Happy Holidays.
5 run rule and doubles instead of homeruns
are definitely in the right direction and no wonder
major/major plus enrollment is up.
All Associations need to get this right or
lose major senior participation.
Dec. 24, 2008
beast
19 posts
The Wood You make alot of great points and seem to be very knowledable so please answer me this> If so many players,managers,and sponsers are so against these rule changes,and I agree that they are,then why implicate them. Do you,me ,or anyone not have any say. Last time I looked "we" were the ones playing and supporting the program.
Dec. 24, 2008
Paco13
364 posts
I agree with most of these comments. I have a suggestion about the balls issue. Locally here at VA Beach, the balls are provided by each individual team, in other words each team hits their own balls and each team is responsible for bringing enough balls. The director just specify the compression, colorÖof the balls that are to be used. I have never being to a tourney in which a team forfeited a game because ran out of balls. The player that hit the worst on the previous game usually has the responsibility of being the ball chaser for the next game. I believe this suggestion will take the cost away from the league and put it on the Team, eliminating one of the reasons for over the limit HR to be an out. In reality unless the balls go into a lake or the woods...depending where you play...there is no loss. JMHO.
Dec. 24, 2008
the wood
1075 posts
Beast:
I honestly do not know the answer to your question and it's a very logical one. My guess is that SSUSA was/is more concerned about satisfying its own needs rather than ours. As has been stated over the past few days, other assns have taken the time to poll the managers via regular mail and some assns have even opened up their email addresses for our input.
Of the three steps that I mentioned to you previously, only through the M+ Task Force was any real effort made to poll the players. They spent an awful lot of their own time and energy toward the recommendations that were provided to SSUSA. As it turns out, their marching orders (what do the M+ teams really want?) were not in line with what they should have been. This was demonstrated by the low turn out in AZ (Oct '08) in some of the M+ divisions.
This MB has more interaction than any other senior softball board. SSUSA has typically held the largest number of events each season, particularly for the AA - M divisions. This is the bread and butter for SSUSA and M+ has generally been a bit of an after thought. Some would argue that this isn't their intent but, even if not, their M+ participation has almost always been less than SSWS, SPA, LVSSA, ISSA (before 2006)... after thought = the M+ rules are more restrictive than other assns.
I realize that the issues with these new SSUSA rules are felt in all of the levels of play. It's just that we (M+) are used to complaining about HRs, mx runs/inning, time limits... these are common noises made by M+ people. It should be noted, however, that the current people making noises about the DBO after the last HR are not just M+ players... it's from several levels.
No other assn has gone through a period of change like SSUSA has over the past year... again, more at the M+ level than any other. For the first time, the changes will be felt from A to Z.
How's this for a long-winded response that does little to answer your question?
:-)
BW
Dec. 24, 2008
beast
19 posts
the wood
Thanks for the respose....are there any other senior softball circuits out west for teams to play in....maybe if teams start playing other cicuits and stop playing SSUSA tournys then they will get it!!!And maybe if SSUSA would start listning to the teams and players they WOULD HAVE more teams playing in their program rather then less.What a concept huh???
Dec. 25, 2008
JohnBob
Men's 60
246 posts
Nancy, in the past the Indy touney has use 70' bases. I don't know about last year we were unable to attend, is it still the rule? If so it really speeds the game up. Hope we can come this year I see its still the 1st weekend in May! lol
Dec. 29, 2008
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
597 posts
Joe, and happy holidays to you. I am not advocating HRs as doubles, but it works well in a qualifier. This tournament is the first in the Midwest; so you do not know how weak or strong a team is compared to last year; so this helps keep things more even in case there is a big disparity between teams. We try to keep this first outing competitive but fun. I think for Major/Major Plus that there should be a set number of HRs and then singles after that for senior regional and national play. I think the 5 run per inning is appropriate for all divisions. It is too bad your team jet won't be coming to play in this one. Last year we had 12 Major/Major Plus teams. We combine them and play it like a round robin; so they get to play 5 teams.

JohnBob, you sure are getting a little better weather at your home the last little bit than us. Tim keeps the diamonds set at NSA dimensions during the senior qualifier; so the bases will be at 70'. It tends to get a lot more outs especially at our age. It does sort of worry guys about their endurance if they do not realize that they ran an extra 20' around the bases though.
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