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Discussion: Something to ponder!!

Posted Discussion
Jan. 4, 2010
Duke
Men's 60
702 posts
Something to ponder!!
I think everyone knows that I am not a fan of combining any of the divisions, due to the lack of teams to play in some tournaments, especially Major Plus. Although, I do not believe this will come about with SSUSA, I do believe it will unfortunately start happening in ALL of the smaller tournaments. Directors will not be able to avoid this. It is not their fault, so no need getting upset at them or avoiding their tournaments because of this. We are all in the same boat here.

In the future, I not only see for the small tournaments the combining of 2 divisions, but age groups as well. Why do I say all this? The facts speak for itself. Putting aside the issue of teams being rated incorrectly for whatever reason, go take a look at the number of teams listed in the 55 age group. According to SSUSA, there are only 110 teams, which is down a lot from last year. SSUSA must have cleaned up the teams that do not exist and duplicate teams listed. I went through the list and found several others that are duplicates and/or do not exist, but only the teams that I am aware. For agruments sake, I would say you can shave another 10% off and come up with about 100 teams total in the 55 age bracket. Only 11 teams are rated Major Plus, 28 teams rated Major, and 61 teams AAA/AA. To further emphasize the low numbers, there is only 1 Major Plus team for every 5 States in the USA. Again, I am not here to promote combining any divisions, but to make everyone aware of the fact in the 55 age group, that you will be playing teams out of your level/age in the future, especially in the smaller 2 day tournaments. Teams will be given runs, extra fielders, or both. Obviously, this is not too bad in the larger tournaments, but not so in the smaller tournaments, regardless of what organization you play. This leads me to believe that several smaller tournaments should be eliminated, and 2-3 more larger ones added for a possible better turnout in everyone's division. If anyone like facts, 27% of the teams are from California.

Again, not the Director's fault, so let's just go have a good time and play ball with whatever equipment Einstein finds suitable. Only fooling with you Einstein. LOL! Just my observations!!

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Jan. 4, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
andy you are right about the td's not being able to do much about team attendence.i know ncssa(norcal assoc)rates the teams by strength and not by age(well they do a little).maybe ssusa could do something similar to help even out the tourney's that have div's that are short.here in texas where i live know,the only div that usaully has enough teams,is the AAA div(and that is only in the 50,55 div's),unless its a TOC type tourney(we have only 1 of those,texas state champs).
Jan. 4, 2010
Duke
Men's 60
702 posts
Mad Dog,

You and Einstein have the same suggestions, as to the ranking of teams by performance, not by divisions or age, which is done up North. Why do you think that the 55 division is so low in numbers?

I have to say that I am glad to have moved up to 60's this season, because of the lack of teams in the 55's.

Andy Smith,
Double Edge







Jan. 4, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Andy, can we say Baby Boomers? I think I've seen something in one of the other threads about how few seniors there are below the 55 age group.
I am told they arent part of our baby Boomers generation. Seems like a pure numbers issue.
Jan. 4, 2010
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2634 posts
For the past few years SPA has been combining divisions in their qualifiers. Most everyone seems ok with that.
Jan. 4, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
andy please don't lump me in with him.
i'm doing 60's this yr myself,but over here in texas it still won't be any better for numbers.my team will most likely be playing different div's both age and strength.
yes bruce they do that quite a bit for their regular tourney's.i have played(when i was 55)50 thru 60 age teams.
Jan. 4, 2010
Duke
Men's 60
702 posts
Mad Dog,

I would never lump you and Einstein. LOL! You both just said the same thing in 2 different threads about the same issue. Also, you are way behind on posts! LOL!

Andy
Jan. 5, 2010
DD
Men's 60
74 posts
Let me weigh in here with some demographic information that might be helpful. Census data confirms the US population at just over 300 million people. Men aged 40-64 comprise a little over 14% of that number, meaning there are approximately 42 million men aged 40-64 out there.

The Baby Boom Generation generally refers to people born between 1946 and 1964. So, the oldest Boomers are turning 64 this year while the youngest Boomers are turning 46 in 2010. Prime senior softball playing age!

If we allow for an extremely generous headcount of 50,000 seniors registered and actively playing in all the senior organizations combined throughout the country, it still seems evident that there is much that can be done to recruit vast numbers of players among the 42 million prospects we have in the country.

As players ourselves, we are the best salesmen for the sport. If we all recruited just one player in 2010 we would have close to 100,000 registered, active players by the end of the year...that would help provide more teams in more tournaments at all age levels.

To be sure, SSUSA, SPA, and other senior softball groups could help with advertising...sports radio would be a great place to start...call your favorite talk show and let the audience know about senior softball and the various websites men (and women) can go to hook up with the sport. It's free and might generate great response.

Senior softball organizations that have non-profit status might be able to get free Public Service Announcements from local radio stations---FREE---that encourage seniors to get active by playing senior softball.

All of us love playing and want to share the experience with others who don't know about the wonderfully organized and competitive tournament structure we enjoy.

As a primary goal this year...why not commit to getting new people into the sport? There is no down side to the idea and you'll be glad you did.
Jan. 5, 2010
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
DD,

Great idea about us seniors trying to recruit new players in to enjoy our sport.
Jan. 5, 2010
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
Great ideas, DD! Few things are more satisfying than to see players I have recruited to senior softball over the years still playing and enjoying the game. Our club works hard to welcome and integrate new guys coming to check out senior softball.
Jan. 6, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
DD,i talk to every guy i see over 50 in our young guy leagues.a lot of them don't want to travel any distance to play.the 2 towns i play league in are approx 50 miles apart(i happen to live in the middle).it always yeah that sounds nice(longview,tx),but i really can still play with the kids and really don't want to drive(tyler,tx) that far for league.in tyler where the senior league is,i'll ask and some are still playing with their sons and such and don't want to commit to another nite.its like pulling teeth to get guys to come and play senior,they think we are to old and it will make them feel old,just wish they could see the 70's that play and the 80 yr old that is playing.
Jan. 6, 2010
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
I know what you're saying, mad dog. Once guys see the level of play in a tournament, they can get hooked. I didn't start playing senior ball until I was 60 and it was partially because I had watched a senior tournament in town the summer before and realized the quality of play.

Just this morning, I'm playing left field the first half of the league game and a skinny 78-year-old comes up. My left center fielder is not too familiar with him. I move back to give him room and give the LC a look; he stays put. Result, ball sails over LC's head. Some of these older athletes are phenomenal.
Jan. 6, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Andy,
You can't fairly compare "up north" to most others.
If your referring to NCSSA it is only partly fair to base on 'performance' because as you should know they allow players to play at what ever level that choose.
M+ players are allowed to play & do play down all the way. Age is supposed to be a part of it but there are a few younger guys playing in older brackets.
Over all they do a good job at putting the teams together but then it is usually the same teams going against the same ones. That could be said in other assns as well.
As for TD's, the smaller ones usually only call the same teams up because they have more than a 50\50 chance of getting them back. For some it is also a case of $$$.
The golden goose is being shot at.
Jan. 6, 2010
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
DD good stuff. It's a sore subject sometime but what we have been doing is integrating the 40's into senior ball. You get the dirty looks from some feeling they haven't earned their stripes (whatever that means). LVSSA is going to offer a 40 division in their two tourney's this year a first and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We have a very competitive over 40 league here in Vegas with most of the over 50 group that man our two major teams participating. Hook em young, keep them active and pretty soon you have leagues, teams etc. I hear you guys are doing some nice things down in Surprise AZ. Good luck.
Jan. 7, 2010
armiho211
Men's 70
409 posts
seems that most of senior softball advertising to recruit new blood comes from word of mouth. i have in the past emailed the dallas area local paper (DALLAS MORNING NEWS) to see if they advertise an upcoming local tournment, they pretty much ignore us. in my travels around the country playing tournaments over the last 12 yrs, the best tournament town with newspapers that do a great job to promote our sport has been DES MOINES,IOWA. they showed teams names, age brackets and scores. maybe the TD'S , OR THE ASSOCIATIONS need to approach newspapers, local tv stations to see if they would be interested in mentioning upcoming tournaments. the players are out there, we just need to somehow let them know that there is softball after 50. my .02c .
Jan. 7, 2010
armiho211
Men's 70
409 posts
seems that most of senior softball advertising to recruit new blood comes from word of mouth. i have in the past emailed the dallas area local paper (DALLAS MORNING NEWS) to see if they advertise an upcoming local tournment, they pretty much ignore us. in my travels around the country playing tournaments over the last 12 yrs, the best tournament town with newspapers that do a great job to promote our sport has been DES MOINES,IOWA. they showed teams names, age brackets and scores. maybe the TD'S , OR THE ASSOCIATIONS need to approach newspapers, local tv stations to see if they would be interested in mentioning upcoming tournaments. the players are out there, we just need to somehow let them know that there is softball after 50. my .02c .
Jan. 7, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Lacak,
My take on it.
Getting them (40) in, is good overall. That said, I'd honestly bet there are quite a few that are using 'altered' bats. If you are doubting that, you need to read more on other sites.
As for 'earning their stripes' ...I'd say that, that is actually them being SENIORS... they are NOT. The term for them used is 'masters', but I do not view them as having mastered the game by definition either. I wouldn't wish it on them over night either unless it is their 50th birthday.
What you are trying to do should be good for some but it is another change within the senior game. Too much of that has been going on lately.
Maybe they should combine M, M+ teams with the 40's That would be interesting.
Jan. 7, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
246 posts
It will be easier to recruit now that there is no PPR or no hit zone. How would you get a good SS or 2rd baseman to play if you have to tell him
if fielding a ball hit up middle a DBO would be called no chance to turn DP?
Jan. 7, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
joe letting the 40's in is a good idea,they do that in irving,tx at that league,each team can have 1 40-45 yr old and the league starts at 45 to play.
armiho,that is a big prol trying get some word out there for us,the only one i know of that does anything locally is st george,ut for the huntsman games.
johnbob,the kids already play with those rules in some places,what would of been the diff.i'm glad they have been repealed,but now we need to look into the equipment we use,so as not to get someone killed or seriously injured.
Jan. 7, 2010
Rip
20 posts
How about if you allowed 45-49 olds to play allowing for example 50AA 1 player age 45-50,50AAA 2, 50M 3 and 50M+ 3 or 4. This would put a bunch more player into the upper divisions at once and get guys playing senior ball before they find other things to do with their free time. Once they get another hobby its a lot harder getting them back if they haven't played in 4 or 5 years.
Jan. 7, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
While the brass is offering a 40+ division, they are not really welcoming them with open arms. Only about half the tournaments even offer a 40+ division and many times when not enough teams enter they tell them they can't play. How are teams suppose to play consistantly with this kind of treatment? They get discouraged and go back to kid's ball.

Ten years difference is too much to just let them in to play against the 50's. Maybe just start it at 45, join them with the 50's and drop the 40's.

Just another idea. Rip has a good idea to start filtering 45 year olds in on a limited basis to get them interested in the program.

One reason that the 55+ divison has such low numbers is that many guys continue to play 50+ until they are 56-57 because they can compete and there are more teams. Then, because there are more 60+ teams, they go to that division right away. The 55+ division ends up with the majority of their players between the age of 57-59.

Jan. 7, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
jawood,rip; you both have some good idea's.i like the idea of filtering in the 40's also,not sure about the AA level tho,maybe 1 45-50(i can see some misuse here),maybe start at the AAA with one 40-50,M with one 40-50 and one 45-50,M+ 1 40-50 and 2 45-50.hey i know its not perfect,but anything to get the younger guys into senior ball.
jawood also your right on the breakdown of the 55's,i very rarely see a just 55 yr old team.
Jan. 7, 2010
DoubleL10
Men's 65
811 posts
We have a senior league here in Oklahoma City. They tried making it 50+ but there weren't enough guys to make a 4-team league. They dropped the age limit to 43 and now we have 6 teams in the upper division. However, we cannot swing senior bats at all. We use ASA bats and a Worth M Classic ball - not a good combination! Being the oldest guy in the league, I'm glad we don't get to swing the "hot" bats. I would not like to see Larry Carter swinging an Ultra II even if I'm in the outfield. When I played 35+, 40+ and 45+, everything was either ASA or USSSA and we were called Masters division. I know if I were 50 again, I would not be crazy about playing 40s even though I did it back in the 90s. But not with the bats we have now. JMHO
Jan. 7, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
Yea, I was going to mention some of these 40 year olds with an Ultra is insane.
Jan. 7, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
yeah it can be a little hairy with the 40's and senior bats.in tyler we use ASA equipment all the way(bats and balls)and a great time is had by all.i've have been lobbying for a drop in age to maybe 45,but so far no good,we have a 3 team league here.also trying to get a age line for the older guys for the outfielders to stay behind,and also have a no throw out at first from the outfield for the older guys.our league has all ages 50-80.
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