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Discussion: Ratings-div-ages & long comment

Posted Discussion
July 23, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Ratings-div-ages & long comment
The number if teams within age and ratings, provided I counted them correctly. Along with fact that some have not been rated since 2004, except for in the 75 age bracket, they are since 2007.

50's ...M-Plus: 23 teams, Major: 66 teams, AAA: 87 teams, AA: 42 teams.

55's ...M-Plus: 17 teams, Major: 30 teams, AAA: 64 teams, AA: 29 teams.

60's ...M-Plus: 17 teams, Major: 41 teams, AAA: 88 teams, AA: 57 teams.

65's ...M-Plus: 13 teams, Major: 19 teams, AAA: 65 teams, AA: 45 teams.

750's ...M-Plus: 14 teams, Major: 21 teams, AAA: 43 teams, AA: 40 teams.

75's ...M-Plus: 1 team, Major: 10 teams, AAA: 19 teams, AA: 0 teams.

In glancing over this, I think the 70\75's might be able to merge as an age group of their own. and might spark an increase in teams to compete against for them.
Since it is too hard to go through the sheets to get regions with most like ratings within ages and nothing is given other than doing it by hand like I did this, merging ANY together will be difficult. Whether you would go up or down or even stay the same to make one less division will be not pleasing to all. But it could be done if the stats were available.
But personally, I really feel it is the numbers of tournaments put on by the number of assns. out there that DO NOT WORK TOGETHER so solve problems like this. That is a LOSE, LOSE situation for everyone. If three equally good major T's (i.e. Ring or other good awards to be given) are going on at the same time all over the country, is usually good showings for teams, where are teams going to go? Well might be decided by 1. Travel\hotel cost, 2. Fees, 3. Rules, 4. POSSIBLE # of teams to play against 5. Fields, 6. Maybe even the ball\bats, (for einstein's sake & many others). Trouble is teams do not know much of WANTED information until a week or so before the date. Then it's too late to enter or bail out, both of which happen.
There are about 66 tournaments SSUSA had on schedule all over the US. Add even half that from all the others and then the local one like we have in CA with USSSA, NSA, NCSSA, ASA, SPA, ISA and many more, there are 100's to pick from, and dozens of big ones given the other associated factors on any given weekend.
TOO MANY tournaments. Yes, lots of choices, but too few teams at any one to maker it a WIN, WIN deal for all.
Everyone wants the whole pie one can not blame them, but the pie cutter is working overtime taking chunks out and harming those waiting to play or make the money, LOSE, LOSE.
No one wants to give, that has voice in what goes on here. Control is not always the essence of success, but flexibility and communications within the structure of that control. (A little something I wrote on in Bus. Admin., back in the 70's...)
Would be nice if their could be a break down within the ratings here as to these mentioned above. Perhaps even with a geographical regional number...?
Merge groups and re-define for next year. This one is a mess as it is.
July 25, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
The first order of business is to combine the Major and Major-plus divisions. The numbers you have researched shows it needs to be done, it's right there in black and white for all to see. If it was done, there would be pretty much equal numbers in each division, which is ideal. Major, AAA and AA. After this is accomplished we can work to fix the rest of Senior Softball. It needs it badly.
July 25, 2009
Dbax
Men's 60
1269 posts
If they ever combine the two divisions, I feel we should play 5 home runs and then one up. Plenty of Major teams do not hit 10 or more home runs a game. Why should we have to play with Major+ rules?
July 25, 2009
SLOBALL1
Men's 50
173 posts
I think that we should combine AAA & AA as well.No "grey" areas two divisions AAA and Major.
July 25, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Dbax, The one up rule is a very good equalizer. Even though I don't like DBO's, you would have to put a limit on the singles (walks) you could hit so all the teams in the combined Major division can compete.

SLOBALL1, I tend to disagree with you on the combining of AAA and AA. Although I haven't seen much AA, I would think you need a lower division.

Major - 6 HR's (one up)
AAA - 4 HR's (one up)
AA - 2 HR's (one up)
July 25, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
I'm surprised over 300 views and just now getting a few replies. But a voice is what's needed in order to be heard, listened to and considered.
Here is a what if in combining. I know some team abilities here, do not know others. But would an "average" a Major rated team, play in any tournament where you have virtually NO chance of winning if say:
The J.K., Inc. team was present in a combined 40's Major+/Major Division;
The Seacrest Mavericks were present in a combined 50's Major+/Major Division;
The Turn Two / Elite team was present in combined 60's Major+/Major Division;;
The Nor-Cal Bluejays were present in combined 65's Major+/Major Division;; or
The San Francisco Seals OR The Bellettini were present in combined 70's Major+/Major Division; ??
Most (if not all) Major teams would answer "No thank you"

On the other hand, if it was the only game in town, who knows. Maybe in league with a change here or there would help, like say the HR or PPR- DBO, one or more up rule. I say one or more, because 1 up for Majors, 3 up for M+. THOSE are for Major and M+ runs after the current run limit they now have.
We all have views on this as you can see,
If you wnte through the ages and ratings you'll see teams listed that could go either way or stay where at. Also teams that haven't been re-rated for a few years...say back to 2004.
All I'm saying is that this year seems to be in a transition to or from something, why not test the waters of playability and at least try to play up one lever. I believe it was said, but don't quote me , that if teams tried it it would not go against them either way. but used as a benchmark for teams that got involved in the test run. Only 4 months left to see what you could do. If your doing not so hot now, you wouldn't be any worse off. Meet and play some different players.
July 25, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
I would rather play in a tournament with 12-15 Mavericks teams and take our chances as to play in a three team tournament stretched out over three days when it doesn't need to be. What do you get for these anyway, an opportunity to buy another ring or get one of those stupid all-tournament patches that don't even say the name of the event.

With the right equalizing system, the Mavericks or any of the other teams mentioned here would not win all the time.
July 26, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Jawood,
Your not alone, & I feel that an improvement could be made regarding the patches. Maybe, event name, w\ or w\o location, All T &\or MVP w\year, would be nice.
But as for "stupid", I doubt those who earned one think they are.
Just a design not thought out well.
July 26, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
How about this regarding a Major & Major-plus merger.

Major 6 HR's, (one up)
AAA 4 HR's, (one up)
AA 2 HR's (one up)

In addition, when a team is one up, they can only hit two over the fence singles per their half inning. Any ball after would be a DBO that inning. This would prevent a very strong team from hitting 25-30 singles over the fence and thus, equalizing the competition.
July 26, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Jawood,
Most any positive change, and this is a good one, and would be an improvement. The "catch" is having this one or any other, implemented,
M \ M+, are spread our all over. In M+ the majority are in CA & FL and AZ in third place, but with out in other states having 1 team.. only half the states have one M+ team. I did not go through the Major teams because the M+ was too time consuming as it was.
Combining will likely effect teams that are close in proximity, because some teams will no doubt restructure for a wide variety of reasons to be given.
There is no doubt that much needs to be addressed, but it shouldn't come overnight either. Some things have, but those were not always (totally) correct as done.
July 26, 2009
SLOBALL1
Men's 50
173 posts
Jawood I have seen AA and there isn't much difference between AA and AAA.While there may be some issues combinig Major and Major+.Combining AAA and AA is a no-brainer.Combining those two should actually come before combining major and +.The difference between major and major plus isn't homeruns.It seems that the discussion always evolves around Homeruns.The amount of homeruns and DBO's isn't the issue.Seacrest would probably still beat most teams with 3 or 4 homeruns(one up).No matter what limits are in place there will always be a dominant 1 or 2 teams.Why are Major+ teams alowed more homeruns than AAA? The difference between the two is "skill level"-(talent if you would.Old 50-young 50).Not the amount of homeruns allowed.The teams that play Major or Major+ are the same guys/teams that played "Major or "A" when we were young.The others were playing "C"or"D".You can put a limit on homeruns but you can't put one on talent.
July 26, 2009
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
419 posts
Sloball,

It may be a matter of perspective, but there is a lot of difference between a mid-range AA and a mid-range AAA. If those two divisions were combined a lot of AA teams and players would quickly lose interest and fall out the bottom. As you can see from Taits numbers above, AA has the second greatest number of teams (after AAA). AA teams and players may not possess the greatest skill, but they are important to the business model of the organizations.
July 26, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
SLOBALL1, You are right in saying that HR's and DBO's are not the biggest issue when it comes to Major-plus, it's that there is nobody to play - 5 or 6 teams in the West, and that is if everyone was there at the same event. There are not enough teams to warrant this division.

Also there is nothing wrong with 1 or 2 dominant teams. Much more exciting when you do knock them off.
July 26, 2009
smooth01
Men's 50
121 posts
Ratings are for equalizing teams within the same talent level, not trying to get the same number of teams in each division.As the skill level decreases from major plus, major, AAA and AA ,it only is common sense their will be more teams in those divisions,there are only so many major plus players to go around.As skill level decreases ,there will be more teams in those divisions.It does not make sense to try equalizing number of teams in divisions just for the big boy's to have someone to beat up on. It is fun to win a few games once in a while.I haven't read any proposals about giving runs to the lower skilled teams for equalization.
July 26, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
"Giving runs" is not nessessary if you have the right equalizer system. There are many other sports organizations that divide up based on an equal percentage of participating teams. Do you feel good about "winning" a game by say 5 runs when you actually lost the game by the real score? Who is to say how many runs you should be given? 5, 10, 15?
July 26, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Jawood,
As I understand the "eqalizing", it's based on age OR a ratings differential, but not both.
Some games a team may get more then the usual 5 runs but I haven't seen more than 7 or less than 3 runs given to do that.
Name the sport and their method, not that it matters for this game, but you never know, it might work.
We see Major teams playing 2 ages down and giving 5 runs, and aslo visa versa 50's playing two or more ages up giving 5.
Example: (Another Assn); I see the same 55 AA team giving 5* runs in one T and then 3* in another, to the same 60's AAA team. These schedules are both posted long before either T starts...*The run # may be off, but they were different in each T. Why different?
Point is, no consistency or set policy in place where teams know ahead of time what they will get or have to give up.
I think we would rather just play straight up, but this IS the only method to "make it right", they (all) impose\set up, for us.


July 26, 2009
armiho211
Men's 70
410 posts
in the LVSSA MASTER'S TOURNAMENT last year, we had 3 MAJOR PLUS teams and 3 MAJOR teams, 5 runs were given to the MAJOR teams. the MAJOR teams won 5 out of six games against the MAJOR PLUS teams. in most cases the MAJOR teams won without the 5 runs. maybe it was a fluke, maybe not. if runs are not given then HR'S SHOULD BE 4, THEN SINGLES. i have seen MAJOR PLUS teams that are "stacked " pretty good from top to bottom with HR hitters, so HRS need to be limited. i am not sure what other equalizer can be installed to insure parity. my .02 c
July 26, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
armiho211,
I take it you have no concerns about the PPR, DBO stuff, w\or w\o the 4 run limit.
But I believe you on the results you stated.
July 26, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Taits, I was not referencing the equalizers in other sports, I was mentioning about how they place teams in divisions. Like our softball league that has 20 teams of 4 divisions. They put 5 teams in each division, they don't single out 2 teams just because they may be the strongest and have to play each other every game.

Armiho211, You must mean the spring LVSSA tournament last year because we were at the fall one (in August last year) and they had 5 Major teams and 1 Major-plus team. The Major teams played their own tournament without any run spot and the Mavericks(Major-plus) played exhibition games against the other 5 because there was no other Major-plus teams for them to play.
July 26, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Jawood,
Sorry 'bout that.
I think your right on that part. But, if they did that here, it's open season, or duck hunting.
This isn't really all that bad, but rather the LOW turn outs, in to many instances, without a way out are. imo
July 26, 2009
armiho211
Men's 70
410 posts
jawood/ taits- i should offered more info on my previous post. my age group is 65 major , and it played in sept 2008, LVSSA MASTERS. in the 3 seeding games, the major teams were pitted against the major plus teams. it was here that the majors won 5 out of six. in the double elimination, we played in our divisions. i play for the texas legends 65's ( major). since i dont pitch, the PRR doesnt bother me, but our pitcher did get nailed on the forearm with a wicked line drive, he didnt complain, he just shook it off as no big deal. even though it swelled up after the game. personally, i wouldnt mind the 5 runs, but it's not a big deal, presents a challenge to try to beat the best.
July 26, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Good discussions! Let's keep the dialog going until we get something done!
July 27, 2009
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
Combine Major and Major+,continue to rate teams as now. If Major teams play Major+ teams, use Major rules with the 5 runs and HR RULES. If Major+ play each other, they play by their rules. If the Major teams are strong and beat the plus teams they get moved up as needed. Still only 1 winner in that division. Don't know if this makes any sense but another idea.
July 27, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Yes, this is getting some thoughts out.
I'll put this to you as well...What about the T's where there is only 1-4 teams competing against each other and perhaps one or two of those 3 are not of equal age and or ability.... Is it RIGHT to "earn" (loosely put) a "ring" in that situation?
I think many of us have been there, I have.
This is another problem, I feel. It is part of this this M\M+ as well as the other divisions as well at certain times...Might be in SLC with low turn out.
Sure we see "ring" T & we go to win one or rights to, but is it really WINNING with no real competition to go up against? It is to some degree, sure, but
it's not like a full bracket of equal (age\ranking) abilities.
I hope that makes sense, or understood.
July 27, 2009
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
Been following this thread with interest as obviously there are problems with low attendance among the best teams at tournaments (partly because there are fewer best teams).

I am not in favor of combining AA and AAA divisions. I have played against some very weak AA teams. They enjoy themselves, usually because they are from a small geographical area and are already friends or even family; they seldom win games, and usually whoop it up when they do; but it is not much fun beating them because you usually win on their errors and lack of skill. Against other AA teams, they have a lot of fun; against AAA teams like mine, neither team has much joy from the lack of competition.

Maybe SLOBALL1 has seen some of the AA teams at the Huntsman, for example, who are sometimes sandbagging teams that are inaccurately rated. My point is that there are many true AA teams just like there are many duffers in golf—they just enjoy getting out on a weekend and getting some exercise with friends.

In the Northern California Senior Softball Association, age brackets are kept for teams, but they are not rated Major+, Major, AAA, or AA—the 108 teams are all rated in relation to the other teams. The results are predictable: the top rated teams are 50s for the most part, then come the 55s, and so on, with the lowest rated teams being the 75s.

When it comes to tournaments, TDs group teams of similar ratings; if there is more than a 7 to 10 rating disparity, teams have to give runs to help equalize the competition. In other words, teams ranked 55, 58, 59, and 61 in a bracket would give no runs to one another, even though the 55 team is considered superior. But in trying to build a bracket, the TD if left with teams ranked 55, 58, 59, 64 and 69 would surely ensure that the 69 team would receive runs from all but the 64 team.

This system is not perfect. Early in the year, when teams are readjusting after losing and/or gaining players, the ratings can be very inaccurate, but by June (NCSSA play starts in March in California), the ratings start to be very accurate. Another imperfection is that a very good older team gets ranked high (think S.F. Seals) but ends up in some tournaments playing teams 10, even 15 years younger. Stamina and strength then become issues, but it is hard to solve this dilemma.

It seems like it would be possible to rank all teams nationally, particularly when teams from different associations play each other, at Reno for example, and one can see relative strengths of ratings, and make appropriate adjustments for different skill levels (I would guess that Florida, California, and AZ teams with their all-year play are also better teams despite similar skills to their northern brothers).
July 27, 2009
softball4b
Men's 60
742 posts
Combine Major and Major Plus. There are too many teams that try to fly under the radar by not picking up a player so as to not be bumped up. "Bruce Walker" He could barely walk for a couple of years and no team could pick him up because they would be moved to Major+. Conversely there are always players on rosters that are role players and those players should not be "blackballed" because it will result in the new team being bumped.

Reduce the number of divisions. The best way to make a Rose Bush or a Grape Vine grow is to prune it.

Bottom Line Major/Major+, AAA/AA.

July 27, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2650 posts
I agree, Major/Major+ and AAA/AA. There are not many AA teams here in the southeast. One is all that I can think of, there maybe more in South Florida. I seen too many good teams playing AA in national tournaments.
Remember what someone posted here earlier this year, "not all teams are suppose to win a championship".
July 27, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Hey There!

"Bottom Line Major+/Major, AAA/AA" just does not work. Major+ and AAA would dominate most of the lower teams, except for a select number of teams that should be in the higher level and will be, eventually. In theory, this might be good, but it would take a 2-3 year transition period, in order to intergrate Major+ players on some Major teams, and the same for AAA/AA players.
Let's be honest here, you do not give a hoot about AAA/AA combining, it is all about the Major+ division not having enough teams at their level to have an enjoyable tournament with a lot of different teams to play. I agree with that. I would not want to go to a tournament to play 2 out of 3 for the championship. Please do not give me this garbage about the LVSSA Spring tournament either. All teams were Major+ or former Major+, and the actual Major teams stayed away. For LVSSA, it was for the money and they know it.

I do not want to use the "Grape Vine" example, because when I prune a vine, you can guess what part of the vine I would prune to preserve the rest. LOL! All kidding aside, it must be boring to be at the top. It would make me look elsewhere for another team to have some fun and play some other teams.

What is the solution here? I do not pretend to have the answers or know the answers. Just like the Major+ players, I can only speculate for a solution. I think the 60/65/70/75 should be left alone. God bless them for being able to play at this age. I am just throwing out a suggestion here, but look at the 10 year spread on the 40 division. From playing 50's and 55's the past 9 years(mostly 50's), I think we need to take a serious look at combining 50 Major+ and 55 Major+, and possibly all divisions at this age level. 4 levels of play, AA, AAA, Major, Major+ for anyone 49 to 59. Again, there will be an undetermined transition period to mix the younger players with the older players, but I see this as the future solution for those players that are coming up behind us. We can lay the foundation for the new guys coming into the 50's and 55's, but I see no current solution for the current players, other than make other teams miserable, because of the current UNFORTUNATE situation, is NOT a solution. Someone has to be the pioneers for the new players coming into senior softball. Are we all willing to do that for the good of our game?

Just my opinions guys.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach

July 27, 2009
pushin60
Men's 60
63 posts
At the risk of being guilty of generalizing, I think that most Major teams are composed of some Major players and some AAA players. The M+ teams seem to have mostly Major players, and some standouts. That’s the difference, but it’s a big difference. Also, many or the Major teams have been recently promoted to that division from AAA. Many of the M+ teams are sponsored, and use this advantage to attract the best players that they can. (Some standout players have said on this board that they would only play for a sponsored team.) So, the M+ teams are put together, by either combining two good Major teams, or waving the sponsorship hammer at the best players they can get. Now they have a top-notch team, but nobody to play. I guess what I’m wondering is, what did they expect? Do we change the makeup of senior softball for the benefit of the few, or should they reform their teams, by addition and subtraction, into a larger group of major teams, and everyone has the same chance to win. I know that eventually, competition being what it is, that better teams will eventually show up. But if you want a quick fix, this could be it. I do think that if you combine the M+/Major divisions, you would have fewer Major teams going to Phoenix, but that won’t bother the M+ teams because they will have more teams to play against. JMO, thanks for listening.
July 27, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
So I'm watching my 16 yr old nephew play the Summer Reebok basketball series. His team is a nice team but certainly not the caliber of some of the teams I saw. They were put in a bracket with some really talented players (college coaches everywhere) saw some 6 ft 8 inches and taller roaming around shoulders the width of 747's. They played in their pool and then got bracketed for elimination play with teams who finished in similiar spots in their brackets and the elite teams in each bracket got matched up. They ended up getting some exposure to the really serious player and some confidence against teams in the same talent level. How come the 16 years olds have it figured out.
July 27, 2009
JamesLG
301 posts

Folks:

It's easy to see by the daily post from many reputable people that the system is not working. Why can't we just accept the fact that the true M+ elite teams are tough to beat and you must be on your "A" game to have a shot. This year rules have been changed that have hurt our game and the issues are still on the table with no end in sight. The fix all mentality has been to punish the team for hitting the ball over the fence. This has not solved a thing but taken some of the fun out of the game. We played a NSA tourney a few weeks back with crap balls and no senior bats. This was nothing like last year senior ball but I had to wonder if this is where we are headed? SSUSA is a great organization but the ship is tilting and it is not in the right direction.

Thank You:

James
July 28, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Yes, this is getting some thoughts out.
I'll put this to you as well...What about the T's where there is only 1-4 teams competing against each other and perhaps one or two of those 3 are not of equal age and or ability.... Is it RIGHT to "earn" (loosely put) a "ring" in that situation?
I think many of us have been there, I have.
This is another problem, I feel. It is part of this this M\M+ as well as the other divisions as well at certain times...Might be in SLC with low turn out.
Sure we see "ring" T & we go to win one or rights to, but is it really WINNING with no real competition to go up against? It is to some degree, sure, but
it's not like a full bracket of equal (age\ranking) abilities.
I hope that makes sense, or understood.
July 28, 2009
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
I'm not sure there is an answer that will please too many of us. When you take the chance of winning away from a competitor, you are going to have less fun. When it gets to the point you aren't having fun, you'll go elsewhere to spend your extra dollars. Combining divisions gives an one sided advantage to the top division. It's swell for the team that hasn't put out anything out of their pocket to get to the tournament, being the elite of the talent pool and having teams to woop on, but not much fun for the average player paying his own way in fees, motels, and transportation out of his pocket. It becomes a different world. By combining, you've take the opportunity to win away from the lesser team. How many National or World Tourneys have been won by a Major team in a tourney playing against Major+? I've looked at results from numerous west coast tourneys, they were all won by the "cream of the crop", the Major+ team, the team that should have one did.

It's been said "pick up a couple of the Major+ guys" to ad to your roster. Well, what do you want, bidding wars for service? I don't think anyone wants that. There aren't alot of 60 and 65 Major+ sitting around in the west waiting to be asked to play. Basically, the most talented players are already on a roster. It's like any other sport, there are only a certain number of Major+ talented guys at the top level; and, most likely already playing. That leaves "slim pickens."

I like the 10 year age division for Major+, 40+ and 50+, leave the 60's and older alone. This gets enough teams in all divisions and keeps the talent level also seperated into competitive groupings. Should be enough teams at tourneys to keep the top guys happy and won't screw up competition in the lower divisions. No concern about HR's, or the pitching rule problem. It seems to fix the biggest problem, but at the same time keeping the most people happy.
July 28, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Curveball,
If you look at it closely, each of the four have a top and bottom. But pleasing every one in impossible. You can't even do that with one team say for T schedule, location, etc.
Bidding war is in existence it seems, their was a poster who put up something about negotiations this month. So you know something goes on.
Even w\ a 10 yr spread, their is a big difference.
July 28, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Taits I'm curious bidding war for what?
July 28, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Joe,
I'd take that as for players, but who really knows right.

Check out this post:
July 20, 2009
canIjack

We may each read it different but that is, ok.
July 29, 2009
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Guys and gals,
Great discussion.
The Mavericks would be the first to tell you they could/would get beat with equalizer home runs and that's how it should be.
They now emphasize defense which makes them the best team in the country.
It's not the offense but the defense
that separates them and something they started learning with the arrival of Mickey Hughes and the 5 man infield
and getting whipped by Kelly's who usually fielded
a better defensive team.
Combine major and major plus
is the way to go.
Get rid of PPR and HR's as outs.
Keep the balls from becoming funky pillow balls like 52x275 pieces of crap
they tried to foist on us in Oakdale
(and we must keep our eyes on the balls that will be used because money and greed are still pushing to get their way
with us in the form of
"safety first" mantras, self interested
marketeers and guys who claim to know
our game and never played it.
(sometimes that's all the same person
not unlike the Wizard of Oz
who in fact was just some man
behind a curtain).
Great discussion and let's all stay tuned in, together and
vigilant through these challenging
times.
July 29, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Joe,
Please don't tell me you found a flaw in that NCSSA had been doing here and there. lol
Chances are they bought a bunch of them so they will be showing up in other places.
July 30, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Another example why Major-plus has to be eliminated ... Salt Lake, there are TWO teams in 50+, and one of them is 40+. Last year there were 3 teams, one 50+, one 55+ and one 40+. At the very least, get it out of Salt Lake!

I have always hated HR's as outs at any level, but I think we are going to have to compromise on this one, Einstein. To bring some of those lower Major teams in with a Major/Major plus divsion we have to adjust.

Major (6HR, one up)
AAA (4HR, one up)
AA (2HR, one up)

If a team is one up during their half inning, there could be a limit on how many over the fence singles (walks) they could hit during the inning.

Major (2 singles, (walks), DBO)
AAA (1 single, (walk), DBO)
AA (0 singles, (walks), DBO)

This would let us eliminate DBO's to a point, and give ALL Major teams more of a chance against everyone!

Major and Major-plus must be combined for the survival of the smaller tournaments. I think the only time you could separate the two is at World tournaments such as Phoenix. Since this tournament is at the end of the year, season results would determine what section teams would be playing in for the finale!
July 31, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
At least someone is a little concerned about the "chance" a Major team might have against an onslaught of HR's. LOL! You(I assume Major Plus) teams are just not listening. We(I assume Major) teams are listening. It cannot be about you, but EVERYONE being on an equal playing field. Therefore, you might have a "chance" at defeating us. We are not the teams that are begging to play more teams and different ones. We should not have to meet you in the middle, especially on the HR issue. My team is basically a good Major team, but it is composed of about 4-5 Major players and the rest are very good AAA talent.

If we consider your plan to limit HR's to 6, that would mean about 30 HR's per 5 game guarantee. For my team, in our last SSUSA tournament, that would mean 30 HR's for our opponents and none for us. Yes, we had exactly zero HR's in our last tournament.

Now, if we want to consider a real discussion on combining, we need to get this issue resolved first and foremost. You want to give us a "chance", then consider one up on HR's then DBO. The only other option to equalizing the talents on both levels, is to go to single wall bats only and leave the fences where they are now. I am OK with either option, but I think most players love the Ultra II. If everyone cannot agree upon one of the previous options, then you are just wasting your time and efforts. Think before you answer me, because most of you know that I am right on this point. Major Plus teams may not like it. If you want to play more teams, then you need to rethink this HR issue. It is the issue that would equalize the 2 levels IMO!

Just My Opinions!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
July 31, 2009
pushin60
Men's 60
63 posts
I kind of like Curveball’s suggestion of combining 50+ and 55+. It’s been said that a lot of 55s are still playing in the 50s, so the age difference shouldn’t be that big a problem. And, you could do it for the Major division too, if that would help the turnout. But forget combining Major and M+. They are different animals.
July 31, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Pushin60,
That applies to all age divisions. Many play down. I know many that go down 3-5 levels. 70's playing 50's
But there is, imo, a big spread in those ten years with regard to ability, speed, health, and so on.
Not saying it is not a consideration, but the real concern is the M & M+, until you look at SLC and it's across the board. You still have the team count that show up for tournaments to worry about. Here, SLC I think it's two great tournaments close together that's the problem. And one, SLC, being a questionable location even though I believe last wear had a good turnout. Economics play some part in these.
Overall, even with combining 50-55 etc, you will likely still have the same teams up against the same other teams, that go to the same locations all the time. No one wants to change or likes change.
But change can be good. But no guarantee.
July 31, 2009
grumpy55
Men's 60
102 posts
I do not think you could really combine 2 age divisions and have be fair. You could literaly put a team of 49 year olds turning 50 together and go against an older 55 team for example and my money would go on the young guys if I had any. I think that could be true for all ages.
July 31, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
I am thinking. Come on, Duke, do you want a "sure thing" that you will win? I wouldn't think so. We are not a true Major-plus team either, we averaged 4 balls over the fence last year per game, but we were made Major-plus anyway to try to get the division going. I don't care where we play, we just want to have someone to play. My idea of a fun tournament is not 2 teams with one of them a 40+ like is happening in Salt Lake next weekend. If you guys can't even hit one homerun in a tournament, perhaps you should petition to move down to AAA.
July 31, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Jawood,

You said a "sure thing" that we will win. That is such a laugh, and again all about the Major Plus teams not having enough teams to play. You are coorect, our team would not like a sure thing. That would not be fun, nor fair. We barely won one tournament this season in the Major division, and did hit several HR's, only because the wind was blowing out. Other than that tournament, we have a losing record, but we have been in the hunt most every game. I enjoy the challenge and competition, because I know we have a chance to win a tournament(not Terry's definition of a chance to win a game), and also know it will not be often, and that is acceptable. My suggestions leaned towards combining Major/Major Plus, but not under the rules that you Major Plus players are recommending as an equalizer. Therefore, I suggested a real equalizer, but for some reason, you want too many HR's to be allowed more than you want to play other teams. I can see what is most important here. LOL!

We would not petition to play AAA, since our team knows that we would rarely lose to any AAA team. We are competitve as a Major team, not Major Plus. Think about this, when we play a Major Plus team we get 5 runs or an extra fielder. Our extra fielder cannot play on the other side of the fence, so we would take the 5 runs. By combining Major and Major Plus and limiting the HR's to 6(as you have suggested being fair), we are giving up 6 runs per game right off the bat to most Major Plus teams, because we cannot hit HR's at that rate, if at all. We can generate runs and play some defense, but we cannot defend the balls flying out of the park all game long. Our team is definitely not the only team in this position.

Again, I really do feel your pain and sorrow about not having enough teams to play. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would not be a happy camper. If, "I am thinking" really hard and really wanted to play more teams and really wanted to combine with the Major division, I would play by any rules set forth by the majority of the Major teams, even if it meant no HR's, just so I can play more teams, and have more fun. Maybe we can throw in a HR contest on the seeding day? Just a thought!

We are all entitled to our opinions, and hope there are no hard feelings, and I have enjoyed everyone's comments on this board and emails on this subject. Whatever comes of all this, will not happen, till after the Phoenix Worlds.

Good Luck To all!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
July 31, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
No hard feelings at all when stating your opinions. What is your suggestion on how this can be done? I doubt that most Major teams would want to play with no HR's. I find it hard to believe that you are a 55+ Major team and can't hit the ball out of the park unless the wind is gailing out.
July 31, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Jawood,

The wind does not have to be blowing too hard. LOL! We average about 2-3 HR's per tournament, with some of those being inside the park. LOL! If most Major Plus/Major teams hit so many HR's, then one up and a single should not be an issue. I know this next thing may sound quite dumb, but I will throw it out there anyway. I just played a tournament, where we had to decide whether we would run threw 2nd and 3rd or slide at 2nd and 3rd, before each game. Every game was different, depending on who you were playing. Running through took priority. While that was not what we wanted to do, we abided by it without any agruments. Well, maybe before each game, the amount of HR's can be a choice of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 up then a single. The lower choice by any team being the one to have priority for that game only, and no agruments by either team. Therefore, one game may be 1 up and a single, and the next game 5 up and a single. This could be a good possibility. I am trying to make it work here guys for everyone.

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Aug. 1, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Andy several years ago when we had ISA in Vegas they used to have what they called Jokers wild tournaments. The format would allow them to mix and match divisions (young guys). The managers would meet at home before each game and the ump would pull a card and Ace 1 HR, 2 up to 5. Pull the joker unlimited. Lot of fun all the teams looked forward to these.
Aug. 1, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Lacak, I like that even with the not knowing ahead of time what it will be. But what about after that limit or card limit, walks, DBO's ???
Anyway what I was going to post before I saw yours logging on.
No form of combining divisions will meet total agreement on the HR rules to abide by. Just like no group of hikers can trek up the same mountain at the same pace or rick clime the same area in the same spots or way.
Not every one will happy, that is a fact.
As for Hr's available & possibly different in every game, I think that is absurd. One would not know what to expect until the coin flip. Every game could be different, but why? But it is another idea like Lacak's.
Lets say they choose 1 hr then singles....you both get your one, and you get another for a single every inning. The other team gets 5 more singles that way almost every inning...Who wins? Same deal as what is now going on.
Take the 5 or so run spot and what ever else HR limit is used and then the limit in walks followed by and DBO's after that is there and play as best you can.
Plus teams are better, that's why they are PLUS teams. Work to become one. After all you likely evolved from AA to AAA then Major. Unless you started at AAA as a new team.
I suggested the following in an email to someone but was rejected I wonder what others view it as. Say go to a 6 or 7  HR limit.  That is down 3 for the M+ and up one for M. Not bad. Then after that is gone, a 3 HR limit all being walks.  A give, and take here for both, in the long run.
After those two limits are reached then the DBO comes into play. Or you could leave it as walks. No matter what or when some accord is agreed on in this matter, some teams will not be happy.
But as was written, something like this ; No team is guaranteed a win, only to play.
We all learn to cope with what goes on around us involves us, this is another one. Overly simplistic, and a bitch.
Aug. 1, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Dice one or two might work as well, just w\o the wild card. Unless you roll snake eyes. lol
Might also use for that number after limit, to be walks before being made DBO's.(if any)
Other visuals to what Duke wrote above...all might have some validity.
Aug. 1, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
That was my suggestion a while back. The numbers can be debated.

X?? number of HR's, X?? number of singles, then outs.

We get to hit away like some prefer, and we have to keep it in the park like others prefer.

Aug. 1, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Scott,

For it being different every game and being absurd, you may be right here. It is actually ridiculous and funny, but it will work well. Sometimes you have to think way outside the box, and this is one of those times.

Joe,

Sounds like it was a fun tournament set up. A team like ours(which is many teams, since the move ups), needs to be assured that it is 1 up and then whatever is decided after that. Maybe your roll of the dice could be the whatever decision?? If you follow what I am saying, the Majoe Plus teams cannot be that disappointed, because when they play another Major Plus team(or Major team that is OK with more than 1 HR), they can have 5, 10, or unlimited HR's then whatever. Whatever meaning a single, Walk, or DBO.

Good thoughts guys!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Aug. 1, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Jawood,

We agree! As long as the team that wants the 1 up takes priority over the team that wants more, and no agruments at the umpire meeting and no attitudes, just play ball.

Andy
Aug. 1, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Duke,
Got to thinking, ouch, about this and reading all the posts over again, it actually might be fun to try. Quite the different approach to playing a T.
That box is meant to hold the "stuff" within, or keep some other "stuff" out. Works both ways. I consider both a part of each other. You can't drive a cat without a driver, unless remote, but the car won't go anywhere w\o a path or road to travel on. If a remote, you still need both access to the cars inside functions and a road to travel on.
Anyway, I think a pair of die (dice) might be easier, someone may not know what a Jack, Queen or King is worth. lol Or use the deck of cards so the TD can play solitaire during the games...lol
Aug. 1, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
After reading this post for over a week, here are a couple of thoughts. It's hard to LOL when a major SSUSA event like SLC is under-attended because it is over-divided by meaningless terms like M+.

Let's divide senior softball into two divisions: 1)"Bring It On" Division for teams willing to take on whatever competition shows up in reasonable age group/talent levels, and 2) "Boo Hoo" Division for all those that want to legislate,equalize, segretate teams with subjective name calling, and dilute the game into a safe little comfort zone where everyone gets a participation award.

Here is a challenge for anyone who feels compelled to use the discriminatory epithet, "MAJOR PLUS". Instead of hurling the term around in the usual subjective, divisive manor, try to objectively define it just once. When you advocate the existence of Major Plus, please make your points focused on what's good for the overall game, not what is good for you and your team.

3 divisions (not 4), five-year age groups, 5 runs per inning, 3-5 HRs, then singles; More than enough equalizing can and does exist to enable more than one style of team to compete and win.
Which banner to you want to line up behind? Bring it On . . . or Boo Hoo.

JMHO - Bring it On

Don Newhard
55 Whatever
Aug. 1, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Problem would be getting all the M & M+ teams to agree on it as a solution to coming together or merging.
But an "agreement" between all of the teams, will no doubt have to be a mandated decision.
Too many just have one thing in mind, a win.
If it were not for a lack of teams in tournaments, I doubt these conversations would be talked about or posted.
I'm fortunate, that has happened only a few times in the last 3-4 years. I usually only face giving runs or getting them and different ages.
Look at NCSSA in P-town, scroll down to see ages along thew way. One bracket has 55's playing 70's... That is as bad as 40's playing any other age div.
Go figure, but I think the box is wrinkled & no longer aerodynamic.
Aug. 1, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Tate22,
Read that somewhere before and that's another idea. But within that I do feel there is a place and should be for the M+ guys. Same for the Boo Hoo, or even less.
I think whom ever pick which team ends up where ever will have his work cut out.
idea is good but those who may be in the BIO might prefer the BH side...Few would like "worry" about whom they may play. and you know some will complain or drop out when they see the schedule. It goes on now
Watching many schedules but not for the so cal T's, I believe most AA teams play each other and many, but not all AAA teams. Rarely a M or M+ team play them unless you compare ratings between the assns, or notice numbers vs ratings.
I used to watch So Cal stuff, but I don't get schedules or have the contacts any longer. Most are not available as far as I know on line.

Aug. 2, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Tate22,

We all are focused on the game and all teams, not just mine or your's. A little tact would go along way to getting everyone's attention in a more positive manner. For example, what's up with this "Boo Hoo" garbage and condescending definition of such? Upper and lower would have sufficed for all of the friends we have out there playing at whatever ability or level. A lot of us are trying to get a feel for what would work, and when you write what you wrote, the way that you did , just turns the majority away. That MAJORITY are the friends that are trying to help the FEW for the next season beginning in November.

Sincerely,

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach
Aug. 3, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Andy:
Before you go wagging your finger at me or anyone else about tact, go back and read your own posts. For example, your comment on 7/27 in this post where you say "Please do not give me this garbage about the LVSSA Spring tournament either." I am the person who has reported the facts that I personally experienced at Spring '09 LVSSA where 4 good 55 teams competed equally in a good event without the meaningless M+ slur. Oh yeah, and the team that won that LVSSA 55 Major finished third to your team in Mesquite, a TOC/ring option event. POINT: This is actual proof that more than one type of team can win by performing well in an event within current equalizers and that M+ is unnecessary.

Later on you state "it must be boring to be at the top. It would make me look elsewhere for another team to have some fun and play some other teams." Now there is some real condesencion-free empathy,! Your not-so-inclusive solution for Major Plus teams is that they should disband and go play somewhere else.

You say you are trying to get feel for what works but your posts are full of fact-less declarations that seek to exclude teams and eliminate competition. Here is another quote from you, "We should not have to meet you in the middle" Your suggestions are definitely consistent with that attitude.

I am still waiting for an objective definition of Major Plus that clearly describes a collection of supermen that must be quarantined from the general population. Currently, the M+ label is a subjective epithet used to segregate teams and players. My 55 M+ team hits well, fields well, pitches well, but averages 3 HR's a game over 58 games this year. We compete quite well, however, because of the 5-run rule and limits on HR's. Your team can and does as well, as evidenced by Mesquite. Here's another fact. Last year in Phoenix 55 M World, your team finished higher than mine. How does that happen if this M+ label is so accurate and objective???

You called me out, so I've responded. I've said way more that I like to about me, my team, or anyone else and their team. If you want to continue a dialogue I'm happy to do so off this board. I stand by my suggestion to reduce the ratings levels to three,(M, AAA, AA), in the new M use 5 HR's, then singles, keep the five year age groups. Eliminating M+ solves a real problem for the association and all it's players. It is supported by facts from actual events. Needless subjective decisions, discussion, dissension,and unnecessary discrimination against teams will all be eliminated when M+ is gone. My suggestion is aimed at providing more, not less, competition for everyone. It isn't based on skimming off strong teams and quarantining them or telling them to disband. Bring 'em on!! How would you charecterize your suggestions?

Sincerely;
Don Newhard

Aug. 3, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Tate22:
Well put, Don. No one has been able to adequately define a M+ team, let alone a M+ player. I could mention several top notch M+ teams and the prevailing myth would be that they are M+ because they hit a lot of HRs. Invariably, this is perceived as the 'root cause'... those that actually watch these teams play know this to be 'horse puckey'.
Also, it is all too often that someone that 'wants to help solve the M+ problem' will first carve out a little comfort zone for themselves and their team. However, when that same group gets moved up from AAA we're supposed to be totally sympathetic.
Like you, Don, I've read all of the ranting on this post (and similar ones) and have taken the position of merely being amused... being frustrated only works against me. I have long felt that there are really only two different types of senior players... those that really do wish to compete and those that do not. The latter prefer to dominate wherever they can and avoid the rest. The former are willing to play anyone at any time... win, lose or draw.
But this was also true 30 years ago. We'd travel to the southeast/midwest and teams would come out of the wood work to play us in the hope that they could beat us. We didn't give them any runs or any other type of 'equalizers'. Every once in a while they did beat us... and they always 'competed'. While this lack of competitive fire isn't new, it does seem to be more prevalent than before. The ones that are mired in this the most are usually the same ones that have 53 rationalizations as to why this is the appropriate way to be.
Don, you're too intuitive to lose any sleep over it as you have witnessed it from the 40s, 45s and up. It is what it is.
BW
Aug. 3, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
how about 3 levels of comp play(A,B,C) and 1 level of lets just play(no worlds).this way the teams that want to compete can and the local boys just getting together can have their div.
set the hr limit for each level,
A = 7-10
B = 5-7
c = 3-5
with all these limits i think would be fair play.maybe let them be walks up to the hi limit and then DBO's.
for the just play div give them 1-3 hr's.i don't know. JMOO
Aug. 3, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Tater22,
When T brackets\Divisions are by ratings and\or ages are mixed, as they are in T's, what else would will make what is referred to as "equal", be equal? I do not know of many that haven't been suggested or tried.
I do have another idea I took from the "snowbird" exemption.
Allow Major teams 1-2 players to recruit from "anywhere"**, from any level (AA>M+) that are playing Major+ teams in a given tournament. **Open recruit. Each T are individual and players are automatically taken (released**) from that team when T is over. Each T is seperate however the **release will effect the same team picking up the same players if the team picks up the same player(s) more than twice in the year. If done, that team becomes a M+ team.
M+ teams cannot do that only Major teams playing M+ teams. Stipulation: if team does so, they relinquish the 5 runs.

"Defining" a M+ player hard to do in exactly, other than one who is on the playing roster, is possible. too many variables. But USUALLY the better, over the players in lower divisions. If as a team, then I'd say one in which the majority of games they play.

Teams need to play better teams. If they do not, they stagnate and really never improve. Sure they may win more playing the same teams, but do they really gain overall.

Given same ages or ratings: Would a AA team gain more respect winning as an AA team or as a AAA team. Would a 65's team earn more respect winning in a 70's or 60's.

M+teams earned their stripes but don't have a place to compete. They deserve one.

Not that anything any of us will say would make a difference. But unless you remark about concerns you have, no one will ever know
I'm broke, so no .02.
Aug. 3, 2009
Duke
Men's 60
713 posts
Tate22,

Thank you for your comments and ideas. I do not have anything else to say at this time. I think we both have said a lot here, and it is good to get our thoughts out in the open to try and resolve an issue.

I did want to clarify one item that you quoted me, which is "it must be boring to be at the top. It would make me look elsewhere for another team to have some fun and play some other teams." No condescending remarks were intentionally made here. What I was trying to say here, and you can quote me on this, I would rather be playing more teams, and that every division needs to have more teams. I would not want to be playing 2-3 teams every tournament, nor the same teams. If this could not be done, then I would prefer to play elsewhere. Disbanding was not exactly the issue for the team, but as a player. If you took that as condescending, then I apologize, as that was not my intention at all. Afterall, I thought we were trying to figure a way of condensing the teams here into larger groups with fewer divisions.

Have a nice day!

Andy Smith,
Double Nickels,
Manager/Coach


Aug. 3, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Mad Dog - well said in a couple of sentences. 3 divisions, more than enough. One more for local rec teams, why not.

Taits - always enjoy your input. I prefer less legislation and control, keep a simple game simple. We are all at least a half-century old. Let's just play as long as we can against the best competition available.

Woodie - thanks for remembering the ASA 40 & 45 days, where 60 teams showed up for the 40 world and 20-30 for the 45 world, even though there was only ONE division for everybody.

DN - aka Larry Tate
Aug. 3, 2009
Tate22
Men's 55
259 posts
Andy:
I was probably a bit harsh with my Boo Hoo comment, for that I apologize. My opinion is that a tremendous amount of energy and fall-out is spent and felt in an effort to "level" the playing field. I prefer to simplify instead of legislate endlessly. I honestly feel that three divisions will suit everyone and every style of team, with the right set of equalizers. Teams that feel overmatched in a combined M/M+ division should be allowed to play AAA, same with AAA who may want to move to AA. As it is now, teams are punished for success throughout the year and decisions to move teams are made based on gossip and subjectivity. One less division, one less thing for the brass to screw up.

Good luck for the remainder of the year, hope everyone gets healed for the Worlds. You have a tough team staffed with good guys that you should be proud of. (Also my opinion that I'm sticking with!)

Regards;
Don Newhard
Aug. 3, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Simple would be great, but it would't happen.
Yes on comp.
Aug. 3, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
I wonder how much time and effort goes into listening to and looking at appeals, I would guess it is mind numbing.
Aug. 3, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4361 posts
Lacak, I like the last part.
lol
We can only hope, quite a bit by many & without side steeping (using other issues in analyzing ) each separate issue.
Aug. 3, 2009
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
I should just have Tate22 be the voice of our team too because I agree with him just about all the time. We need to come together so we can get something done at the end of the season.

Another problem with getting dinged with the Major-plus tag -- It's tough getting into local tournaments, at least up here in the Northwest it is. When you tell some tournament director's that you are a M+ team, they have no use for you, "can't have you here". We have played 14 games this year so far.
Aug. 3, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Andy there have been instances where the stray major plus player has attempted to play at a lower level (major) and this has caused complaining also.
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