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Discussion: Concerns for game with M & M+ separately or a merge.

Posted Discussion
Sept. 13, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
Concerns for game with M & M+ separately or a merge.
But all ages levels are effected by what happens at all levels, decisions made and all, & in every assn. All is my opinion. Could have written more BUT... -----My message and replies------
Your Concerns------
Lack of teams to play, #1
HR restrictions #2
Game Time #3
PPR #4 ?
I figure those to be major concerns.

1. Using SSUSA as a "guinea pig" or assn. target, do you feel that perhaps an off chute as they have for 40 & 45, and now that 35's has been mentioned, would it be unreasonable for a separate & distinct Major Plus entity with their (M+) own rule addendum's?
If so, would allowing M+ teams "open" rosters, like it once was, be a positive influence for adding teams or cause the problems as it did back them...? In other words would if bring in teams to play?

2-3. Allow unlimited HR's, but stay within a 1 hour 30 min game. TOTAL GAME TIME. If you are in the middle of an inning when the clock runs out of time, you revert to the last completed inning. Done deal.
No open inning, no need with unlimited HR's extra 25 minutes to half hour, should help.

4. As for PPR, chances are, it wouldn't be a concern let alone a "protective" need.

As part of that 'open' source for players, those who sign or become rostered, at the first tournament the team plays, are fixed (stuck) to that team for the year. No release.
Pick Up's, as it is now, 2 limit, but LIMITED to only within the teams state boundaries, as are now applicable.
Snowbirds would be eliminated. No need for them with open rosters.
I for see a distance problem with some tournaments, but also see many M+ teams as sponsored teams, though not all. Not sure that levels out or not.
Team numbers at events are the problem, but are they due to the rules concerns above, economy or something else?
I see it as economic, too many tournament choices at same time or within a week, the NOT KNOWING who you will actually be pitted against without recourse of opting out, and not playing same level age bracket.
The outside economics we can't control, but the others can or should be able to influence greatly.

Fees would no doubt be socked to you with the extra 2.5 hrs in the game times, but I think that can be worked on UMP cost wise. Seems they were raised lately anyway.
Personally I would not like to be a 55+- team player, playing against 40 ish teams. But that is what has been going on just to field 3-5 teams...for the most part...

I'm actually surprised this subject (Major+) hasn't come up lately given this year is nearing the end.
I hope you find a middle ground, so as your all in a "win-win" situation or at least closer to it.

If you want me to bow out of your division concerns, tell me that as well.

------ my reply info----------
If the events continue as they are, I only see one option to go to and that is the non playing at their events... You don't get to play, they don't get a big pay day. Lose - lose situation, and all really because you can't communicate and work together. The suggestion Jawood suggestion as having a meeting right after the mgr. meeting in the Thurs before, to gather troops maybe bond some working ideas and communicate often about the concerns before the next tourney after PHX.
The idea as for a merge of M & M+ hit the postings before, but there would be moves up and down within the Major, AAA and AA, also. Since you haver a higher end and lower end with each div. Its possible for each if the stats are there to back up the reasons why.
Their problem is that I fid NO written description as to which specific Q's and Major tournaments are taken and used for this determination for reconsideration for re-rating, up or down. Nor how many events over what period if time for picking these tournament out. That is not right or fair.
The recipe for rankings is missing a few ingredients in the batter to be able to make the ratings complete and eatable.
I left out the mercy rule in my original, but I think that might be good given an unlimited run per inning and longer time limit.
I love playing to win, & willing to play anyone, BUT if a championship type of tournament is where I am at means playing down to say 40 ish teams and I'm playing 60's, is that close to equal ? NO Especially when you are only playing 2 or maybe 3 other teams. That is a rip off. (I left this here, because I do feel this way)

Sure you get 5 maybe more games depending on different factors but for a "major" T, but as a player, it is not justified, cost wise IMO. Player point of view...If I were still doing T's I would have a problem with myself.
Ratings were mentioned but those were pretty much as I laid out or not mentioned. No set structure, framework or road map to use as guide... Which can work against them or in favor of them depending on which ones they play... sandbagging still goes on, just not as obvious.
------Posting it, no one asked me not to.---
Honestly hope some middle ground is worked out and that any one involved in the bargaining can set aside any ego's that may be involved and negotiate, because that is what it will take
Sept. 13, 2009
23 posts
Taits just an idea what if you had to attend at least two tournaments a year in order to attend the nationals such as the qualifiers they have now. I understand that in someplaces there may not be as many tournaments as others so travel is hard but that could be taken into consideration. I would think by doing this that each organization would try to make an effort to put on a tournament that would be convient for the players to attend. If for some reason this could not be arranged then the roster would still be registerd with another organization so they should share so a team could not load up to come to that tournament. I know that this is probably a pipe dream but would it be nice if people would not be so greedy and take into consideration us low people once in a while. By having the two that you have to attend this would help on number of teams that would attend if they want to play in that national and I dont agree that a 55 team should be playing a younger team than a fifty major or major plus. I understand it was probably because of number of teams but I would have looked for another weekend to play and by doing this on qualifiers you should have more teams to play as it is a required rule. You talked about the higher end and the lower end in each division, but would the top 4 or 3 winners in nationals moving up help. This would help everyone for a year. If they dont win then move then down to next level this gives everyone a chance. An as I said before about teams splitting up and keeping a 5 players and picking up more just to stay down and beat up on teams again is not right and by rating players this could help the lower teams to compete.
Sept. 13, 2009
23 posts
I have just one more question? There are always people that want to play in this tournament and that but I thought that you could only play on one team unless they gave you a release and only 1 time, but it seems as if you can change teams on a whim and play at any tournament as a pick-up. I would like to know if you are picked up in the winter nationals you must be released from that team before you can play for a different team the next year is that correct? So when you are released from that team you can go back and play with your old team I guess and then next year you can load up a team and do the same thing. I just see this as another way around the system and something should be done about it. I understand that it is a new year but if you put a team together for the winter I would hope that it would be one that would stay together as most of the teams that come are putting together something for the next year but by doing the 1 time release maybe this will slow down on the people picking up players as long as the organizations really keep up with it.
Sept. 14, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
Do not believe the assns share much of any info. I believe there was a post to that effect some time way back. Rosters scores some other vital info. Most have their tourneys as close to the previous years same named, dates and cities held each year. Usually within a week. But the one which aren't chances are, it wasn't meant to be different. Example: huntsman games 1st & 2nd week of Oct each year. But that have had them mover to 2nd and 3rd week because of another marathon event that took the first week. That was a few years ago.
Many teams do attend more than one Q. But others only go to that which are also ring T's. This way they get the best of both worlds. You Q, & should you win, the right to purchase a ring as well as a spot for the TOC.
I think they try to do as best they can with those who paid to play. Big problem is by the time it's always too late to back out and get some money back, it's also too late to add a team(s) (usually) and
get the schedule done.
They still back out forgo the loss, but probably save in the long run.
Solve one problem at a time, Depending on which and how that one is worked out it may solve another. Or not.
Sept. 14, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
I believe it depends on the tournament and assn your talking about.
That is how the release "works". So if you play with the team make sure you really want to stay or that they do. Stuff happens in life Rationale for it is good but I think it's not always used the same, kinda like the PPR.
Where there is a will there is a way. That applies to just about everything.
Sept. 14, 2009
the wood
1114 posts
Scott, to your questions...
1)Many of you seem too SSUSA-intensive, as there are already M+ tourneys that happen each year. SPA and LVSSA will both have had good events (as it relates to number of teams)this season. Expecting SSUSA, with no real M+ track record, to create a separate division for us is a pipe dream... for both parties. I would anticipate their wanting to stick with what it is that they do well (AA-M).
Additionally, you mentioned 'open borders'... another bad idea if history means anything. Before 2000, we had open borders and there were few teams... even fewer than today. In this decade, things were progessing smoothly (or at least semi-smoothly) until the 1-2 player exemptions were allowed. The number of teams that actually show up to compete has decreased ever since... I recognize that this could be a coincidence... but allowing the exemptions definitely did not increase the number of teams.
2-3)As far as the playing rules are concerned, look at either SPA or LVSSA for the best answers. Reverting to the previous inning is worse than a bad idea. Damn, Scott, where do you find so many horse caca thoughts? :-)
4)PPR - without hammering this rule any further, look for this rule elsewhere and you won't find it. I know, I know... ISA has it... same fool, different hill.

It isn't all that complicated. SSUSA did the M+TF last year and they received answers to these same questions and much more. Did they use it? No. Instead, in an effort to be more transparent, they put together a secret rules committee.
If you're serious about modeling a M+ division go on the SPA and/or LVSSA web sites and look at their rules... would you go in the Ford chat room and ask those readers how they ought to design a Mercedes or BMW? Again, why would Ford deviate from the things that have worked well for them?
I have used SPA and LVSSA as good M+ examples and I could have just as easy mentioned SSWS... SPA had 5 teams in the 60 M+ division... LVSSA will have 6 next month. SSUSA did have 8 teams in the 60 M+ in Reno but 3-4 of them have since been dropped back to M.
Of course, all of these are just my opinions. However, there aren't that many guys (message board contributors) that I know of that have been around the M+ level since the late 90s... I can name 5-6 of them and perhaps some of them will sign in and confirm or deny my thoughts... but no one has a monopoly on good ideas... certainly not me.
Sept. 15, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
I doubt too intensive, is what I'd use, but rather concerned. I do not like the thought of players or teams for that matter no longer playing because of some thinks that I feel could be worked out burt for possible the teams that show up at same age and level to play against at some tournaments.
Pipe dream, maybe, but they seem to have done if for 40's and word is working on 35's now. So, why not M+? You guys playing up there deserve playing teams your own age and level, We all do but doesn't always happen either.
My thought on the "open" teams were also fixed, not one time go play with them deals. I'm aware of that history and i really do not like exemptions, but I believe I the limits may may\not help there. I do not know. Just no jumping ship or forcing a player out.
Actually that revert to last inning when the clock run out actually goes on someplace. I read it here in a post some time last year or so. With the extra time 30 minutes you should finish the games and no run rules or HR limits.
PPR is a BOONDOGGLE of an idea, a real "pipe bomb dream". Nothing like having to get hit in order to be "kept from" getting hit, now that's protection. But you could go to ford about the Edsel or Pinto and the Edsel was ahead if it's time.
How the other assn's worked it could be their blueprint, but they rarely do things in conjunction with other assns, a pride thing I assume. As for the ISA- SSUSA PPR or other ball and chain linking, pardon the pun, Isn't one the shadow for the other here? I do know there is a relationship assn. wise.
I hope the team numbers you show were teams within same ages & levels and not 60\55 M+\M teams or the like. Some match ups are reasonable others are not, That's all along with more than 2-3 other teams. If you get 4 plus your self good it should be counted as a rate able tournament, less than that NO.
The 4 other teams should be used as a standard to determining if it gets counted for move considerations.
BW, I just would hate to see any of you stay away or have to travel far in order to play just because of this mess. That goes for any other age or level as well. Too much hag been lost over the years, It could be blamed on many things, from time clocks to balls that get soft in the heat... too many to list.
Sept. 15, 2009
the wood
1114 posts
Scott, 'too SSUSA-intensive' meant that this one assn involves too much of your thinking... there are other assns out there that do embrace the M+ teams. Asking/expecting SSUSA to change its corporate strategy is not a worthwhile endeavor. The M+TF proves this.
The truth is that most of the M+ teams are already looking for a reasonable alternative... I should stress here that I'm only talking about 60 M+. In many places, we are the proverbial square peg...
The title of your thread suggests both the ideal M+ characteristics and the possible merger of M & M+. They are really two separate subjects...
What would be the most obvious 'broom stick in the spokes' from the assns' perspective (against a merger)? Money. The AA-M divisions have more teams in each region and at national events. If the M & M+ were merged, many teams would be injured, 'in their way of thinking'... the previous posts on here have shown this. Would Chevrolet merge their Impala and Corvette lines to stimulate more Vette sales? Not without a struggle.
You mentioned the 40+ division... it only has two levels of play, yet we have 4. Why? Lots of reasons... more $ for the assns, greater chance of winning for teams and more.
Senior softball (generic form) has painted itself into a corner. At this time, the M+ teams are taking the beating... the harsh reality with this is that some of those teams will fold and their players will filter down into the M and AAA divisions. Before long, this will create a problem as well. No one REALLY KNOWS just how many M+ guys can be on one M team... and there are M+ guys in AAA.
We had a Summit that made good progress from 2000 to 2006... then some assns decided to totally do things their way... the game is now controlled by the assns, treating their customers (the teams and players) as chattel.
The people that just want to play ball without all of the BS are left wondering. SSUSA, as an example, could point to the numbers of teams in its events as the 'be all, end all' criteria. As in Reno, they will 'push 5 pounds of potatoes into 3 pound bags' in terms of available playing slots. Again, this is described as a salient point for us... 'there is so much acceptance of our product'. However, the end result is a morphed product and we continue to buy into this.
Gross revenues, Baby...
GSF will avoid the 3 day events next season as one of several philosophical changes that we will make. I'm talking about pre-season stuff, not national events. We'll be even more vigilant with national events... time of year, location, number of teams, rules, etc. We have learned that playing in independent events offer us as much fun without most of the negative sides. No, we won't be able to buy rings nor will we qualify for the TOC. This is ok... we've never gone to the TOC anyway.
I know, Scott, that you're making an honest effort to slow the decay of M+ in some assns. I applaud you but it seems that the die has been cast.
Sept. 15, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
Ok, I'll agree on that. 2 separate subjects, yes but seems to me that for the most part you compete against each other all the time bet argue about under which rules you'll play by. Ouch, well we know that is the bottom line. I'll agree to some extent that any merging will definately effect many teams (because it will no doubt be all levels and ages) Moves up or down Which has both negetative and positive results. They don't like a move up but love it doing down type stuff.
Heck the Corvair was really going to be the Vett originally. so anything is possible if you work at it.
The 40's are afoot in the senior door, get them hyped up and at the same time in the years to come fund the place.
I've heard of 2 teams that plan to split over this mess.
Off sub>And it is what happened to ASA. I got their senior foot in the door about 6-7 years ago and stayed there for 3-4, but I left because it was not what i felt the players deserved. < 5 GG, good bats, good balls, awards.> They wanted; 3 GG, ASA bats had the good ball and awards, last two they still have> Bats vary from place to place. (ASA to illegal)>>
The data base I have mentioned more than once should help with the who is what etc etc but it seems that it doesn't really matter because if someone doesn't allow the team to bring Joe Blow they won't come and that would lose 500+ bucks.
The summit should have been the redeeming factor between all these ego busters, but has only settled a few or agreed on to not agree on many of the crucial problems. Like you said they do their own thing. Teams are their product, suspended before the city & hotel managers, bat and ball companies, but though this crap for them, they have been able to survive giving us some good memories and some not so good along the way. a few assns all over, didn't survive over the years for various reasons.
I do hope you get through this as I do for the others, and meet you someplace down the road.
Thanks Bob.

Sept. 15, 2009
the wood
1114 posts
Scott, bear in mind that, while I suggest that they are two separate subjects, this doesn't imply that I would oppose the 'merger'. I just have no faith in its future due to this not being 'in the best interests of the sponsoring assns'.
Hypothetically speaking, I could live with the current M rules as easily as I could with the current 60 M+ rules. The difference is one HR in our division. This spread is greater for 50 & 55s though. Further, if I were to initiate my own senior assn (as if we need another one) I would only have 3 levels for each age... remember, this is hypothetical.
The fact is that we all only have so many innings remaining in our softball futures and it makes sense to put them to their best use. The status quo for M+ guys is not in line with this... for the most part.
SSUSA has been generous with its message board even though the messages may not be flattering to them. They are the most progressive organization in terms of their market share, their level of organization, their willingness to provide quality info quicker than most, etc. They just don't provide much for M+ competition so we shouldn't look for M+ solutions from them.
Sept. 15, 2009
Men's 55
1012 posts
Bob an ideal year for me personally would be a few large events a year (Reno,Phoenix) and a healthy number of 2 day events within about 300 miles of where I reside. For the 2 day events Two divisions upper/lower and no age groupings. If your interested come on out 5 HR and a walk, good equipment, and some roster flexibility. 12-16 teams would make for a nice solid event. I would suspect this would not be acceptable to 90% or more of the senior softball community but for the 10% or so who don't have a problem with flexibility and just want to play some softball, I would go to something like this.
Sept. 15, 2009
the wood
1114 posts
Joe, as you know, this is exactly what we'll be doing in Fountain Valley this weekend... and it's what we'll aspire to in the future. The only caveat would be that you screw this up so bad that we wouldn't want to try it again.
We had a choice of this event or 2-3 days in Tucson. Given the lack of teams there (in the 60s), the weather (15 degree difference), the cost, the distance (for some of us), etc... it appears that we made the right decision.
Sept. 15, 2009
Men's 65
4459 posts
Whoops I forgot to hit enter, Forgot most of what I had, but here are some quotes that might just apply.
Hypoth... wise we could go back to the way it was & just go and play if you win you win, if you loose, too bad.
I agree on the last paragraph.
Famous quotes could be used if you use Labor here as being the teams, while Capital & Merchants are the assns-----------

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
Abraham Lincoln
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
Thomas Jefferson
Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.
Theodore Roosevelt
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
Theodore Roosevelt
Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
Karl Marx
The more the division of labor and the application of machinery extend, the more does competition extend among the workers, the more do their wages shrink together.
Karl Marx

It hits home taken is as would apply for this as opposed to labor in the work force. But we are the meat and spuds for the gravy train they want.

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