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Discussion: Combine Major & Major+?

Posted Discussion
Jan. 4, 2010
Sisavic
134 posts
Combine Major & Major+?
To solve the problem of too few teams in the M/M+ divisions, many on this message board have recommended combining M/M+ into one division.

I suspect most recommendations are from Major+ teams/players. Are there any Major teams interested in idea?



Jan. 4, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
We are. We would much rather play against Major-plus teams than not play at all because of low numbers. The Major HR rule itself is enough of a equalizer. The difference between the two divisions is not much.
Jan. 4, 2010
cadogone
Men's 50
4 posts
Perfer to play Major Plus, but their are not enough teams at the major tournaments.

It's not about playing 5 games in a weekend if their are only 2 Major Plus teams as in Las Vegas in November.

The two teams could have flow in on Saturday and play their 2 out of 3 and jump on plane back home that night.

That was more of a 2 out of 3 challenge.
Jan. 4, 2010
wagon487
Men's 50
505 posts
I say put major and AAA together.
Jan. 4, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
It seems to make the most sense to combine Major & Major+, due to their similar skill levels and lower numbers.
Jan. 5, 2010
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2581 posts
I guess this is about going from 4 divisions to three. I propose to change to division 1, 2, and 3; or A, B, and C. What you call them doesn't matter. Now divide all the teams into three divisions, more or less 1/3 in each division.
Jan. 5, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
There are only 18 50+ Major-plus teams in the U.S. and only 6 on the West Coast. This is enough for a separate division? The Mavericks are gone, all the other teams are upper Major teams anyway. In the 55+ division there are only 11 Major-plus teams. Combine the divisions!
Jan. 5, 2010
TGIII
Men's 55
85 posts
I see a lot of different opinions but the division that comes in to play is the Major division. Since many of the Major teams are actually very good AAA teams and or weak Major+ teams, what would be the criteria for separating the division. My list in order would be Homeruns, major tournament victories, run differential,and calibur of players. Before we combine divisions, we need a set criteria agreed by a majority of the managers.
Jan. 5, 2010
southpaw
Men's 60
713 posts
I would like to see just 2 divisions: A--Magor+ and Major
B--AAA and AA

Also, only 1 warm-up game, then go to double elim, with a consolation tourney for 2 and out teams. Impractical?
Jan. 5, 2010
stever
Men's 65
56 posts
Southpaw,
Two comments: WRT only two divisions - I think you would see fewer and fewer participants. I think most of the AA teams and players would stop going to tournaments because they can't compete and don't want to spend the money. In my experience the biggest gap in divisions is between AA and AAA, not the upper divisions. I think this might actually exacerbate the problem because some of the mid-level Major players and teams would be trying to play down to the AAA level which would push the AA players even further into the fringe. Something we have to keep in mind when proposing any of these changes is that there are fewer and fewer senior players as we get older and we don't want to create a situation where we "starve" our organizations out of existance because we create more obstacles for the average player. I really don't think the problem is at the Major/AAA/AA level because there seems to be a sufficient number of teams at most tournaments for those brackets. Perhaps a suggestion could be made to consolidate Major + with the top-half of the Major teams, combine the bottom half of the Major teams with the top half of the AAA teams, and combine the bottom half of the AAA teams with the AA teams. I think there is a sufficient amount of data (based on score differentials and rosters) that could be crunched together to make that realistic. Of course, the cost of developing a mathematical model that would do that might be prohibitive and I'm sure it wouldn't satisfy everyone (look at the BCS system).
WRT your second suggestion - it would slightly shorten tournaments but, in an eight-team tournament there would only be two 2-and-out teams left for the consolation tournament (4 in a 16-team tournament, etc).
Good food for thought, though.
Jan. 5, 2010
JamesLG
295 posts
Sterver:

I think you hit it on the nose with "AAA". Take the lower half to "AA" and upper to "major". Most of the upper level "AAA" clubs have plenty of power to compete in the Major division. We only have one major+ team out here in Washington State and they are fun to play against but it is hard for a power "AAA" team to compete with them. There lineup is too strong top to bottom.

Thanks:

James
Jan. 5, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Two divisions should be plenty. For those who aren't quite good enough, work at it.

Why wouldn't guys want fewer divisions, get to play against more teams, and earn a championship instead of more divisions, fewer teams in each, and less meaningful championships?
Jan. 5, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1930 posts
James and Stever, I think you have it right. 3 divisions would probably be the best. AA and lower AAA teams would make a good division without driving the AA teams away-the 'fun' teams that just want to compete, knowing they are outclassed but having fun. Then the upper AAA and lower major teams, especially the ones just moved up from AAA would make a good competitive division. Maybe up the Hr's from 3 to 4. Then the upper majors and major plus teams would make a more viable division with more teams. Maybe go to 8 hr's in that division. 2 to 5 or 6 team tourneys are not as fun a 10-30 team tourneys-more and different teams to play. We sure get tired of playing the same teams all the time. We have played a tourney here with 2 teams (part of special----I mean senior olympics)---they scheduled us at 9, 12 and 3 to play. Instead of sitting around to play a 'best of 3' over 8 hours, we played 2 and agreed to walk together-and several of us just ended up drinking beer. This game is about more than just on the field competition.
Jan. 5, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
A lot of good ideas here, all are different, but one thing is the same ... we only need 3 divisions! Is the brass listening to this?
Jan. 6, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
I agree, some of these ideas may one float. Lets rememeber, SSUSA had trouble deciding on a ball, and if we could or couldnt hit that ball up the middle, how would they ever decide on splitting divisions from lower to upper? Or combining divisions.
Who will be keep the stats to make these decisions? Etc.
Not as easy as is sounds.
Jan. 6, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1930 posts
It's never easy with teams that are borderline. Our team does not even keep official stats. Still, it is no different that classifying teams now except you would have 3 divisions instead of 4. I think it is worth a hard look.
Jan. 7, 2010
firestick
27 posts
Would combining age groups work better? 50+ 60+ 70+
Jan. 7, 2010
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
I still do not think combining Major and Major Plus is the best solution here. I do feel that making the age differences a 10 year division, rather than the current 5 year division, would be the best solution. Even something between 5 and 10. I would think that most would agree that combining the 50's and 55's would work well. At first thought, it might not work to combine 60's and 65's. After talking to some aging 60 teams that should be playing 65's, this might work very well. A lot of these older 60 teams are still playing 60's because many of the guys still work during the week and 65's play during the week. If you combine 60/65, then those teams need to play on the weekends too like the 50/55 teams, but maybe another weekend. Talking with 70/75 teams, they are already playing each other at most tournaments due to lack of teams at their age level.

If this was done, it would probably be 1-2 years before all teams would have younger and older players on their teams and still have 4 divisions and plenty of teams to play in each skill level. Just need to think this over and get some more input. Obviously, there will always be a transition period that may be difficult for a lot of teams. In the long run, I believe this may turn out for the best for all. Another thought to help out the transition period would be to spot the already established older teams combining with the younger teams 5 runs the first year?

Just My Opinions!!

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
Jan. 7, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
I do think combining Major and Major-plus is the thing to do but making the age difference 10 years is an option too. Regardless of they way it is done, there are just too many divisons for the amount of players we have. Either of these options would help a lot.
Jan. 7, 2010
DoubleL10
Men's 65
797 posts
I have played both Major Plus and Major for 14 years. I played M+ when we were a sponsored team and we played in several 2 or 3-team tournaments in the '90s. Now, the last few teams I played for recently were self-sponsored. In my opinion, if you forced Major teams to play in the Major Plus division, I know that many of us in the Major division would not spend the money or take the time - even if we were a strong Major team, which we are - to go to a National tournament and get served up to Major Plus teams. We got clobbered by them when we were a weak Major Plus team and would certainly fare no better now that we've modified our roster and dropped down to Major.
Jan. 7, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
We were forced to play Major-plus last season and didn't do too well. We hardly have any sponsorship money but given the choice to play or not to play, we play.
Jan. 7, 2010
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Looking at the posts it seems there are truly 4 different skill levels, that would seems to be the dilema when thinking of combining divisions.
The lower divisions always have decent turn outs, as does the Major Division. Ther problem seems to be with the one upper division. Why not split it by age groups and eliminate two of the existing ages. 40 masters with the 50's or even 55's. 60's and up.
Why penalize the other divisions because of one.
Jan. 7, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
244 posts
Agree E4,the problem is the major+ division. For a couple of years I have suggested on here to do away with 55 age group in M+ and go with ages 50-57 and 58-65.
Jan. 7, 2010
Gary Heifner
248 posts
I play on a good 65+ AA team. In the midwest we have four teams that takes turns beating each other. Dead level talent. In Phoenix, there were 7-8 dead even teams that all had an equal chance to win it all. I would hate to see this division altered. It might be the purest out there. Combining 60 and 65 age groups would kill this division. The midwest AA teams are made up of athletes that have played together for many years. Not to insult anyones egos, but the 60 yr. olds are simply bigger, faster and stronger. Tell me if I am wrong, but from what I have seen the AA and AAA teams are mainly made up from just a group of local guys. The Major and M+ teams, especially in the midwest, are more apt to be carefully put together from the best a manager can recruit. When a team has 11 hitters that can hit the wall, That is not an accident. For the future of Sr. SB, let the elite M and M+ find a common ground and battle it out. Leave us normal/regular players alone and let us continue to enjoy the game.
Jan. 7, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
244 posts
I should have put the 2rd age group as 58-64. This would help fix the low number of M+ teams. imo
Jan. 8, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
244 posts
Duke,I think 10 years is to much. in our local league we are the only 60+ team and playing the 50+ teams is very hard especially nite games. Its easy for m+ teams to say combine the m & m+ to fix their low # at tourney's well as the old saying goes if it not broke don't fix it and the m division is doing just fine with good # of teams at most tourney's. My purposal to do away with the 55 age group in m+ and go with 2 between ages 50-64 will help fix their problem,and do it within the m+ division. imo
Jan. 9, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1930 posts
I like the idea of 50-57, 58-64, 65-70 divisions. Heck, we played 50AAA this year and only had 4 guys under 55 and did ok. There was absolutely no 55AAA near us. It might work right through all divisions.
Jan. 15, 2010
softballbatman95
Men's 65
3 posts
Definately not in favor of combining 65's.We can't compete with the few true Major + teams that are out there. If you limit HR's they'll hurt somebody and giving runs is not worth traveling for.
Jan. 16, 2010
JohnBob
Men's 60
244 posts
W25. that's my point most players don't move up when they can anyway and this would be a easy fix for the low number of Major+ teams. The other 3 divisions have good numbers now.IMO
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