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Discussion: MASKS

Posted Discussion
April 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
MASKS
There's more talk about masks
than ever before.
It happened in hockey and may be
the way to go to help return balance
of fun and safety to our game,
the senior game.
However,
one of the key reflex movements
when a ball is coming directly at your head is to turn one's face away.
Even with a mask on the instinct is strong and if the mask only offers
front protection then the sides of the head would be vulnerable.
I would think that a total helmet,
front, back and side protection
would make the most sense
and offer the best protection.
What do you think?
April 23, 2009
tater9
62 posts
Just make it mandatory that the pitchers wear goalie attire.
This way the pitcher would be safe and they could lower the HR limits even more to try and bring more parity to the game :)
April 23, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
hey joe,what cha know.worth makes a pitching mask helmet.its light and covers the whole head to protect ya if you turn your head.its $60 at direct sports and softballfans softball board also had it.
April 23, 2009
ROOSTER10
Men's 60
91 posts
I have pitched for 40 years and have never wore even a cup but after having
complete knee replacement I wear a guard to protect the knee.I really do not want to get into masks and such as I feel the game is not the same!I got hit during the winter nationals in the hand when a ball was heading for my face and I stopped it. I thought my finger was broke but it was not. I know with the bats as hot as they are it is only a madman now you would not protect himself.I just feel that the protection takes away from the game that at our age we enjoy and love.I know the PPR rule is no help period !!
April 23, 2009
tater9
62 posts
Gentleman..with all due respect.. when you have to start gearing up to protect yourself from the possibility of serious injury or even death in the recreational sport we play the equipment being used has progressed to a level that exceeds the physical abilities of the particiapnts playing the game. It may be a hard pill to swallow but it is the truth!!!!
April 23, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
If your instinct is to turn your head, and not to move your glove to the ball, you are playing the wrong position. Nothing wrong with playing somewhere else, but it is as simple as that.

tater, you are on to something but few on here will agree. They need the equipment to do in their 50s and 60s what they might not have been in their 20s and 30s.
April 23, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
don't know if you guys know danny sanchez(dirty) from fresno,he plays for jonny blaze(an A team).well got hit this weekend in the face and he is a very good defender on the mound.he is now gonna wear a mask to pitch.i guess you can take this any way you want,to wear or not to wear,its up to u and your face and health.
April 23, 2009
ROOSTER10
Men's 60
91 posts
GUYS
Have we got slower as we age-probably-but with the bats nowadays it does not matter-The Miken and etc. have made a bad player better and a good player much better.I have seen people who say they have never hit a homerun in there life until they came to senior ball and used the new techology of bats out there. As long as we develop hot and hotter equipment to keep our egos alive somone will get hurt regardless on what we do.I am not saying it is bad
but do we really think we are getting stronger and better or is it the equipment? Try doing a wooden bat night in your league as we do at times!!A lot of guys have there egos busted. My take!!!
April 23, 2009
VINNY LV
Men's 50
178 posts
you guys can talk like tough guys here on the board but til you take one betwween the eyes you'll change your mind.. I hope you or your family never have to go thru something like this at our age... they say dirty is one of the top defenders of the middle in softball today and he couldn't stop that piss rod @ his face last weekend.. all the pitchers here in vegas are buying up the mask.. so old guys with our slower reflexes save yourself and your families alot of grief and at least consider the mask... tater that is the main reason to gearup now a days.. we don't want to quit doin something we've been doin all our lives but things change (i,e, hockey. even umpires are wearing a hockey type mask now adays..so gear up guys for your own safety..
April 23, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
VINNY, people can wear whatever they want but those are bad examples. Both hockey goalies and home plate umps have balls/pucks deflect in front of them at VERY close range where they have NO chance to react. That is almost always not the case in softball.
April 23, 2009
ROOSTER10
Men's 60
91 posts
VINNYLV
I do not think that anyone especially myself thinks we are tough !! We just express the opinion that the rules lately put in place will protect us.In essence it gives you a false sense of security that they will stay away from you because it is an out? They are wrong and we are seeing more injuries I believe lately. Our reactions can not keep up with the techology out there now.It is just too bad they we have to dress up in armour to pitch a game we love!!I wish I had the answers?
April 23, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Rooster, here is one answer. Get rid of the special bats.
April 23, 2009
ROOSTER10
Men's 60
91 posts
DIRTY
Remember if they make them we will come and buy!!There will always be some
company trying to outdo the other for the market share.The special bats will always be there whether you or anyone else likes it or not.It is the beast in us .
April 23, 2009
tattooball
605 posts
Joe,
As I said I am not looking for a battle. I don't agree with all of ss-usa'a rules just the same as you.
The fact remains that people are hitting balls at pitchers at a rate of speed that they cannot defend themselves.
I don't think any rule will change that. The difference between me and you is that you think the rules make the players hit the middle, I think players hit the middle because that is the easiest place for them to get a hit. Good hitters can hit anywhere and be sucessful without hitting the middle.
April 23, 2009
Davey
3 posts
Why do we have to make a mask mandatory?? The vast majority of messages here all agree that a mask is a good idea yet very few are wearing one. Our vanity is going to get us killed. What really gives me a laugh are the stories telling how 4 or 5 masks come out of the equipment bags as soon as someonelse has the courage to put one on. I've been wearing a full on helmet and cage for almost 10 years. I've been laughed at, hit at, pointed at and any other "at" you want to add. I've worn mine at the Pif, SPN Nationals, Western Canadians and the 40+ Worlds. The bottom line is everyone tells me it's the smart thing to do but admit they won't put one on. Complete and absolute stupidity for the sake of vanity and embarrassment.

Do the right thing and do it in stages. Put protection on the pitcher. Either voluntarily or through peer pressure. Then deal with things you can control. The rules and the ball being used. That's simply putting enough pressure on the sanctioning body. Then deal with the bats. Unfortunatly the Senior Softball organization has created a demand for serious (Silly) performance bats. In the last 2 or 3 years this whatershed industry has exploded from everyone swinging and Ultra II to at least a dozen senior models. Unfortunately this is big business for the manufacturers and companies marketing thier own senior label like Anaconda. (Sorry Kevin). Unless these bats are ruled out, they will be the last thing you will be able to control.
April 23, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
ROOSTER, they might be there but if they get banned than they cannot be used. They are there for the young guys too, but they are not allowed.
April 23, 2009
tattooball
605 posts
Davey, no apologies needed. I am not in the senior bat business. If they outlaw them I will sell what is legal. I also am involved with a usssa bat that is very good. I wish we had 1 bat standard and 1 ball standard for all of softball, it would make my life much easier.
April 23, 2009
Dbax
Men's 60
1265 posts
Trumpball........

"Good hitters can hit anywhere and be sucessful without hitting the middle. "

You are exactly right.
April 23, 2009
WOW
197 posts
Plain and Simple.... Your crazy not to protect yourself. Technology gave us the bats, balls AND protective gear. Wait til you see someone get hit in the face [as I did]. I don't want to see it again....Ever
April 23, 2009
Davey
3 posts
Here and there around this board (Yes I've been lurking for a long time) there is talk about the ball, the bat, rules that don't work, people getting injured and an assortment of other comments. So, here is a..not so novel idea...

Back in the good ol days, they used the cork center balls Kevin and a few others have mentioned. These are far safer than the rocks being used today. back then only the home run hitters hit homeruns. But who cares? Around here, a home run is an out. So why not go back to the good ol days everyone is looking back on. Go back to a ball that won't cave in your skull like an egg shell if you get hit with it. Go back to a bat that still perfroms well but actually requires the batter to have some skill rather than just muscle to get it past the infielders or into a gap. You remember those days right? Back when the players were juiced and not the bat. Back when the talk was whether or not you were going to the beer garden with your friends rather than who is having surgery to repair their face or broken fingers. We could play on smaller fields because 275 was a bomb. We keep saying that it will take a death or a serious injury before something is done. Well we've had both and the problem / issue still continues... Let's be honest here, I pitch, I've been hit and I've been hurt (badly) so I think I know the score, but I am also a big proponent of bringing a gun to a gun fight. That means I will swing the hottest legal bat that I can. I would be the first one to put them down the second the rules change. But until that happens...

Which begs the question...which is VERY open to discussion... Why does the Senior Division, where Home Runs are not allowed or at best, not encouraged, need the sickest bats on the planet ???
April 23, 2009
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Davey.....Welcome to senior softball. This message board is supplied by SSUSA. They make the rules. They have allowed the U2 for about 7-8 years. There were tournaments in the past that had teams that would not participate is the U2 was not allowed. SSUSA gave us what we wanted. Now, we have players coming in and trying to change the equipment. I am not speaking of you. Just making the statement. The U2 has not gotten any hotter in the last few years. Many other senior bats have come out recently that are as good or better, acording to some. I agree that pitchers should use a mask for their protection because the new rule does not protect. I own many senior bats and would not like to give them up. They cost a lot of money and are SSUSA approved.
April 23, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
You tell 'em Sal.
We been playing this game for a while now
with minimum of injuries
most of them coming from strains
and tears.
When push comes to shove
there's no more injuries now
than at any other time in softball history
and truth be told
admins and some powerful others
and pushing us hard on safety issues
to change the bat/ball combo
and HR's as singles
for administrative reasons and to save money while all the time
they're making more and more of it.

Leave our game alone.
We'll sign a waiver to play our game
I'm willing to bet but it's not the safety issues that are driving this thing.
Ask questions, connect the dots
and follow the money.
April 23, 2009
JamesLG
299 posts

I believe most guys want equipment that performs like what we are using now. The simplest and least expensive way to do this would be to do what they did in the golf industry. Golf balls are much softer now and perform better than ever. Why can,t we have a softer ball with a dimple pattern (for performance) instead of traditional stitches? Make a soft covered ball that is just for seniors that will perform just as what we use now and we will have a safer game.
Is that asking too much?

Thanks:

James
April 23, 2009
JamesLG
299 posts

Hi GaHall44:

I did see your post and you are so right about the ball. I did not know what post to put this dimpled ball suggestion in.
Thanks:
James
April 24, 2009
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
Sadly, masks are the wave of the future. I find it more difficult to field ground balls with my mask on, but I'm not anxious for a trip to the emergency room. But I'll be first in line to ban the hot bats that have caused such dangerous conditions.

Seems like most who fiercely reject a ban are either those who don't want to give Dirty the satisfaction of being right, or those who don't want to give up the ego boost of hitting home runs.

I never hit a home run over the fence in my first 50 years of playing, but with my Miken I can do it. Sure it feels good, but I'm not a home run hitter. Did I suddenly get stronger in my 60s? Are my reflexes better? Did I learn to whip with my wrists? No, no, and no. I can live without the ego boost of the cheap home run rather than injure a player. So I lose a couple of hundred bucks on a banned bat—still better than causing someone thousands of dollars of medical or dental damage...or worse.
April 24, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Davey, the bats are "needed" because apparently old guys need their egos stroked.
April 24, 2009
leftie
Men's 50
41 posts
I and one of my teammates have been wearing protective gear for many years.
I personally wear a full helmet w/mask, shin guards and a heart protector.
The main reason I do this is because I don't like hospitals or morgues.
I read in these posts where some think that wearing this gear somehow detracts from the game "we all love" or makes you less of a man.
There are examples of "men" who have had to have reconstructive surgery or have ended in the morgue.
I think there is one guy right now who is on life support from pitching batting practice.
To make a long story short,armoring up is a personal choice and legislating it is not the answer.
It just boils down to how much pain you and your family want to endue for the "love of the game".
I'm sure the bats are here to stay, balls are here to stay, and guys going up the middle are here to stay.
April 24, 2009
Davey
3 posts
Maskes and protective gear are a detraction from the game???

I would be curious to know how many people who believe this to be true are in favor of No-hit zones, or using a pitching machine for games, or some other variation of the game in order to "keep it safe".

Personally I think it's goofy to see a pitcher playing in full catcher's equipment but unfortunately I see the need for protection. I am not in favor a rule that changes the basic structure of the game. 10 (or 11 players), anywhere inside the foul lines is a fair ball. No mechanical assistance. I'll quit the game before they replace me with a machine. (Wait a minute... knee bace, 4 pins, 12 screws, elbow brace on a bad day, helmet, cup and shin pads... nope...still human)

April 24, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Davey,
I must have been an exception to the soft cork ball (Dudley SB-12 LND), for this is the type ball I got hit with (about 7 years ago) that didn't cut my skin, just left many seam marks, yet ended up with an abscess form the hit. Almost lost the leg a week later. Ball was not new, so even softer than it would have been. Only is good for about 4 innings, if your lucky.
So I believe they can have a negative effect to ones body.
That was at the 48' mound distance, not the 50, but I do not believe it would have mattered.
I wear leg protection, and its down right ugly, but works.
April 24, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Guys have been getting hit/killed
in softball all along.
Why the hullabaloo now
when we're investing and having so much fun. The answer is MONEY.
We're generating enough money for TD's
and marketeers to want to be involved.
Nancy was right.
There's a risk to playing the game
that can't be removed without playing the game.
We're being driven and herded
by a juggernaut to "tame" us
and our game, tell us we're too old
and fragile to play ball
and hit it out of the park.
Poppycock and balderdash.

What do you think would happen if TD's made us sign a waiver not to sue
them in case of an injury?
Do you think one senior softball player
would refuse to play?
C'mon man.

Leave us and our game alone.
If you want to wear gear, do it.
If you want to put up a screen, do it.
Let us hit a good ball and have some fun.
Otherwise, why bother.


April 24, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
You're SPENDING, not "investing".
April 24, 2009
VINNY LV
Men's 50
178 posts
Rooster

you're absolutely right,, but it's reality.. if guys don't want to protect themselves from the pissrods comin back thru the middle then I just don't know what to say..I just hope I'm not on their field someday and have to experience the blood and pain that maybe $80 could've prevented.. they pay 2 to 3 hundred for the weapon of they're choice.. why not a little to protect themselves ??? the rules are not goin to change...
April 24, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Vinny,
Why do you say the rules aren't going to change?
If I ran an association and I learned
rules I arbitrarily(without voting/polling) instated
were counter productive and made things
worse and more dangerous than before
I'd change 'em in a New York minute
or be run out of town.
More guys will be hurt by these changes.
That's enough reason to change
the Ten Freakin' Commandments.
And remember,
responsibility for Bill Ruth's injury and those of all who will be hurt
this year goes to those who run SSUSA
and every day is another decision
to do nothing.
It takes character and caring
to admit one's mistakes
as we all know.
April 24, 2009
JdL
Men's 55
2 posts
I've pitched for 7 years, last year I broke the thumb on my glove hand trying to catch a 90 mph laser heading toward my chest from a guy who always goes up the middle. The solution is simple, put a 2'wide by 6'high screen out there. Each pitcher can decide when and if they want to get behind it. A ball that hits the screen is a dead ball strike. Better than a disabled, disfigured or dead pitcher.
April 24, 2009
WOW
197 posts
Joe, SSUSA did NOT cause this injury. I think you are way off base here! If you don't want to protect yourself then DON'T, but your comments here continue to pump up the Machismo in the younger guys [to their detrement] There is nothing wrong with wanting to be safe and if ones "image" is more important that ones life then ones priorities need a second look.
April 24, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
We disagree, WOW.
When big hitters can't hit the ball out
where do they go?
Down and hard somewhere and usually
up the middle.
HR's as outs make big/long ball guys
keep the ball in the park
not to waste home runs.
That necessarily means
big swinging guys will be trying to keep the ball in the park
and down and hard is the best way,
and through the middle is the easiest way.

April 24, 2009
leftie
Men's 50
41 posts
I think Einstein and WOW are both right.
The new HR rule is probably responsible for more people than normal going up the middle.
So, forewarned is forearmed..Armor up.
As I touched on previously, everybody thinks only of the themselves in this thing.
What about your families?
After all, they are the ones who will be waiting on your sorry butts hand and foot while you heal up or perhaps writing a nice eulogy that SSUSA can publish.
One final thought.
There will never be a winner in this argument. Even if they change the HR rule back to where it was, someone will complain about it. Same with the PPR.
That's what old men do...Complain.
I armor up when I play and I don't give 2 hoots in hell what anybody thinks.
Have a nice day....

April 24, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
JDL...I liked the strike call for hitting the screen.
Joe,...I also don't "feel" SSUSA is only partly to total blame w\ just bad wording, timing and a couple rules.
That said, some, maybe all the new rules (DBO,PPR HR) are here to stay, or only until next year (NOV) for re-evaluation... Why not throw in another evaluation, add a screen. Take some stats of hits, with that Strike count. At least its better than an out for a middle shot. I think there would be fewer hit, but at least those doing so would not be out.
I personally do not like another change, but what the heck we've seen at least 3 so far this year.

April 24, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
I have an idea because the guys when they are out of homeruns hit the ball down and hard, lets have unlimited home runs and anybody that hits the ball down and hard is a dead ball out. Just a thought.:)
April 25, 2009
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
leftie,
Heart protector? Can you describe it?
Cost?
April 26, 2009
leftie
Men's 50
41 posts
OTE24
The heart protector is a device made mainly for little league pitchers by a company named "Heart Guard".
It's a plastic device, sort of resembles a flattened out "cup". It has straps to fasten it to your body.
Since they didn't make one that had big enough straps(to fit my body) I removed the straps and had my wife sew it in a tee-shirt.
I did contact the company to see if the had an adult version..They don't, but they sounded interested in making one.
Not sure if they ever followed through.
There may be other companies that have one. The guy sort of thought a cost would be in the $35 to $40 already in a shirt.
The way I see it, a 100 MPH shot to the heart can't do you any good. At least I have something.
Good luck...
April 26, 2009
OTE24
Men's 65
122 posts
Leftie,
Thanks for the info. Wore a mask
for the first time this weekend. I bought a Wilson batting helmet w/ a cage that works fine. I also have the
Worth helmet, but it does not have
a bill on the front to shield the
sun. I had no problems seeing or tracking the ball. Pitchers should
consider headgear. Are you going to Reno? Bought the helmet after your
response,like to say thanks.I'll
look into the heartguard.

John
April 26, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2641 posts
The pitcher/coach of Kayson's 50's bought a little league heart protector at a Play it Again Sports, and did the same modifications.
He said it is very comfortable when worn.
April 26, 2009
leftie
Men's 50
41 posts
John;
Glad I could be of help. No, I won't be in Reno.
I have the helmet with the bill on it and it works fine.
One of the things that I've found is that now I have my vital organs covered, it allows me to follow through more completely, which makes me a better pitcher. Of course, some would disagree. But, at least when the coach pulls me, I leave the game under my own power.
Glad to hear that the Kayson's pitcher has taken the initiative to protect himself.
I think the chest area gets ignored and it shouldn't be.
Hopefully, more pitchers will take it upon themselves to make sure they are safe and won't rely on SSUSA.
Hell, they can't even get tourney results posted in a timely manner.
All the best to your teams this year.

Danny

April 27, 2009
VINNY LV
Men's 50
178 posts
I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.. WHAT'S TAKN SO LONG FOR THE EINSTEINS OF SSUSA TO GET TOGETHER ON THIS? GUYS HAVE BEEN INJURED, BUT I GUESS NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH OR KILLED FOR THEM TO DO ANYTHING.. NOT GOIN TO GET IN A PISSN MATCH WITH YOU... JUST GIVN MY $.02. OH BY THE WAY I PITCH THATS WHY BUT I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYONE GET HURT OVER SOMETHING WE ALL LOVE DOIN FOR FUN..

OMAR, I'M WILLING TO GIVE UP MY U2 AND JUST GO WITH MY PSYCHO.. I NEVER HIT HR WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND THEY THEY DO GIVE ALOT OF GUYS A FALSE SENSE OF POWER.. IF ANYBODY IS INTERESTED $170 will take it... brand new, used in 2 tourn.. maybe 100 swings on it.. 30 oz.
April 27, 2009
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
VINNY LV I love my U2. I bought one of the early models and have used it in 30-40 tournaments plus batting practice and it is still going strong. Doesn't change my opinion that I am not a home run hitter historically and would bench my U2 happily if all such hot bats were banned. Let's get back to times when home runs were earned and skinny guys like me focussed on being punch and judy hitters.
April 27, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
606 posts
Joe, I do have a small confession. My daddy is an actuary; so I have at least heard of the concept of risk. What are the choices? What I learned in later years is that you can accept, avoid, mitigate, or transfer risk, but in each case for softball how does it effect the game we love? I have seen very odd things from several associations which I do not understand in new rules, but it only serves to further confuse players on what the "rules" are. Is anyone really any safer? Cheerleading is more dangerous than softball, and yet they keep on without being put in a bubble.
April 28, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Nancy,
Thanks for the intelligent comments.
When you comin' to California.
Associations need to be/live
no more than a heartbeat away from
the soul, the identity of senior softball
then and only then will they get, love
and understand us and our game.
I loved your line,
"Cheerleading is more dangerous than softball", the game that we love and play and you're right.
April 28, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
606 posts
Joe, thanks. I am long overdue to come back to California, and you just never know. Of course I was hoping that you were bringing a team to the qualifier this weekend here. ;-) I am just amazed because this year there are a total of 16 teams of 50 - 55 Major and Major Plus teams coming which is up 4 from last year. Something very right is happening here in the midwest.

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