http://www.field-general.com/

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 1 member: jj1889; 28 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: The Game Of the Future?

Posted Discussion
May 29, 2010
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
The Game Of the Future?
Here is one scenario of where senior softball will be by 2015, perhaps sooner.

Someone will successfully sue a municipality for an injury to an infielder or pitcher from a batted ball from a senior bat. The winning argument will be that the municipality was negligent in allowing dangerous conditions.

The dangerous condition will be established by new studies which confirm what we already know: the ball speed off a senior bat has increased faster than declining human reflexes can safely handle. These reflexes will not be those of the superior athlete, but of the average male at age 60 or 65, or even 75 if the injury occurred to someone that age.

Insurance companies will become nervous and demand safer conditions. This demand will extend to associations and tournament directors, not just recreation departments in cities and towns. The demand will be to slow the ball speed down or face exorbitant insurance rates.

The solution will not be found in banning lively senior bats: there are too many, technology continues to advance, and there is a fear of cheaters if they were banned. The solution will be found with a dead ball that will have a slower ball speed, no matter the bat.

Nonetheless, bat liveliness will be capped at 1.20, and bats will now be tested once broken in, not just from the factory. Many bats will be banned. Cheaters will face severe expulsion penalties for trying to get around this limit (after all, municipalities can be held liable if they do not inspect and prevent illegal bats).

Studies will show that the new ball’s initial speed is still too dangerous at less than 60 feet, so screens will be mandated for pitchers. It won’t matter that pitchers can back up or that the arc is increased—many (most?) will not do this and the danger will be seen to be present. In addition, because screens do not completely protect, and ricochets can also be dangerous, masks and possibly chest protectors will also be mandated.

New fields will be built with 300 foot fences which can now safely contain most batted balls with the new ball. This is also less expensive in every way (acreage, fencing, turf, etc.) and will be the norm for new or replacement parks.

Fields more and more will be artificial turf: less maintenance, no sprinkler heads, no water use, truer bounces, no gopher holes, more days of play, etc. In other words, safer and more useable. The newer artificial turf products will make this an attractive option (as it already is in many places).

The use of a second home plate will become standard, even in younger leagues, just as the double first base bag has become universal. Sliding will not be banned (yet). It will be recognized that there has always been an accident risk in baseball and softball, and this will still be allowed at the risk level of the 1980s and 90s.

Comments?
May 29, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
Many of your predictions/scenarios would be positive changes.
May 30, 2010
Capt Kirk
408 posts
I would agree that senior softball would benefit by implementing these changes. Your proposals are a win win for all senior softball players.
May 30, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
Omar,
I was at the ballpark the other night in Austin, they have a "kick ball" league. Maybe that is what we all should do, if our skills are that bad.Go play kickball.

Let's see what else we can change:

I rodeo , so lets do away with Rodeos, bull riding, bronc riding and bare back riding..no more, maybe a screen would help in the rodeos..
No more race car driving.

no more golf, I saw someone get hit yesterday by a golf ball..put screens over the gallery.

Never mind football, basketball, boxing.the list could keep going.

Everyone of us who take the field to play competive softball knew the risk when we turned 50 and started playing senior softball.....keep adding chances and well the hell does this stop.
I don't want to see anybody hurt, but you can get hurt going to the stores.....And as for lawyers and sueing............That crap should stop as well.
May 30, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Good summation.
Many parks will not expand fields for obvious reasons, cost and room Lodi and Stockton are at least two you know.
The initial cost for the turf fields in more, but the maintenance cost is less until the wear and tear starts.

The bat problem is a problem. Perhaps a way around that is an initial large debt absorption via the assn's buying xxx number of bats for each dugout for all parks used. which would control the bats. NO personal bats would be allowed into a park for use. or they are suspect and removed. Thus controlling that which is used and controlled by them making an ins risk less likely.
Initial cost on something like Reno would be in the neighborhood of 32k or so, for only a few bats in each dugout at a retail cost of 200. Problem there lies in the storage shipping to and from each field for these games and so on. Not taking into consideration extras on hand for broken bats...
But it would control the bats used.
You have one of the legal argument right and it's backed up in writing going back roughly 7 years or more and with the new ruled made removed and re worked or worded as well as wavers.
When the shit hits the fan the motor will slow down or short out.
Going to become interesting to say the least for everyone that some sort of dealing with the game. That means from bystanders to manufacturers and everyone in between.
May 30, 2010
jolly52
Men's 55
49 posts
I have been playing softball for over 30 years...playing organized baseball into my late 20's, listening to all this banter about hot bats and balls, not talking about altered just advancements in technology has always been part of the game and accepted by players as part of the game and to me make it more enjoyable, be it a bat,glove or shoes I will take advantage of whats out there and is acceptable by what ever league or organization I choose to play with and the key word is "I" choose! Getting back to the point I have heard more players complain about crappy field conditions and lighting, umpires and not so much as bats and balls unless the ball are dead...heres where we should draw the line on what were being forced to play on...getting umpires in for more trainning and a rating system for them... have the fields and lighting ready for players to feel safe to play infield or outfield without fear of injury's due to poor field conditions...Heres where we need to standup and say no to this ongoing problem...If your going to sue someone lets hold the places we play accountable for what there making us play on...
May 30, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
jolly52,

Good point !
May 31, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
taits,
I am not sure, but you may have something with the tournament directors furnishing the bats! Not sure how that would all pan out, but its a start.
Also would save me $400-$600 a season on new bats !
May 31, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
#6,
i have posted before that I didn't thing it world work but given the this one or that one choice as it were, i'd go for it now.
Only way to control what is used. Assn't do not seen to REALLY look, feel examine or even hear what is being used. If they supply them at least they "should"
know what is used.
A fee increase would be a given, but the not having to worry about a rolled or shaved bat being used is or should be gone. Game should go back to hit where you hit best, if it's the middle so be it.
But if they try to make money on that as well, I think its time to look elsewhere to play.
Ins cost would also be leveled out. Who knows maybe even better balls would come back into the game.
Field conditions are on the City, assn, TD and Umps.
And there are some crappy ones out there on one end and some great places others.
Generally speaking you know ahead of time which will be used for events, what you do not know in time is where you will get "stuck" playing, in time to pull out if you don't like it.
Most every park has a field or two that someone will be facing the sun either in the am or later in the pm. That is another risky safety issue many ignore. Most have a blood, wind and or sun, as well as ground rule, but how many time are they really used... not many overall.
Umps have those calls. Then the trickle UP effect comes into play.
May 31, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, I like your passion and realize how much you must love the game. But, I'm still not sure why you want to change the current game so many of us love.

No one is forcing anyone to play in a league/tournament where senior bats are utilized. There is a freedom of choice to pick and choose where they want to play.

I've said before, if the equipment changed, I would still play, but it certainly wouldn't be as much fun.I play in enough leagues with single wall bats. Not as much fun as using good bats and ball.

If enough players disliked the equipment so much, they would quit coming to the tournaments or attend those using lesser bat/ball combos.

Let those who like the way it is now to continue to play with the current rules.
June 1, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
You take risk out of softball
you lose the game and end up with checkers or softball.
All the rest is intellectual fluff
over concern and self interest.
Why not leave our game alone
and start your own league.
You could call it Fluffer ball,
all meanings intended.
Every team will have to bring their own
doctors and support staff.
Each player will have to wear
protective clothing and dual purpose
masks to keep from being struck
or spreading germs.
C'mon, man.

We've got everyone misdirected
in our society worried about protecting
elective, voluntary recreation participants instead of solving
more important and threatening issues
like war, pollution, ignorance,
and deregulated self interest.
Does that make us,
will that make us feel better that we made senior softball safer
while the world and our children future
slime away.
Let's leave us to our game which affords us some meaningful fun
and joy and spend more time
and precious energies
on saving ourselves and the rest of the people in the world
if it's not already too late.
And if it is too late,
why the heck worry about anyone getting
hurt playing/having fun doing anything.
Lively bats and balls, forever.
June 1, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Sorry edit mistake.
That was "checkers or lawn bowling"
in the first sentence.
June 1, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
so a death or deaths is acceptable in our senior game,boy joey have you really gone that far that your disrespect for life is that much.
June 4, 2010
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Jose, thanks for an honest question. I started this thread with a speculative prophecy, not with an argument for or against the current conditions.

I, like many observers and players, believe that safety conditions, especially insurance company fears, will result in some big changes over the current conditions, affecting bats, balls, or both.

Einstein can huff and puff all he wants about the risks in life (he is much more fearful than me about crossing the street, for example), but that will count for little when insurance companies start doubling or tripling premiums because of the current lively bat/ball combo.

But as I think I have made plain in many posts, my main concern is to return to a balanced game where offense is not so dominant—a game where infielders once again have a chance to snag a ball, a game where outfielders can roam the field and not hang out on the warning track, a game where the skill and smarts of base runners and managers and singles hitters have great value.

It isn't that the current game is so sacred. It's not even ten years old, and for senior players, that should be little more than a blip in their experience. The composite bat is what has brought about the change. I had fun in the fifties...and the sixties...and the seventies...and the eighties...and in the nineties—all without the senior bats we are currently used to. So my perspective is a return to a more balanced game, where all types of skills and abilities are valued and appreciated, not just those of the long ball hitter (we have always had them and admired them).

Do I use a Miken U2? Sure, because I want to be competitive. Do I still pitch and take my chances? Sure, because it is what I am good at. What I consider a joke is that I have become a home run hitter at my age, where I never even reached the fence in my first half century of play! This is not right! Others, like mad dog, make lots of good points about safety. My point is about the balanced game that I loved and have lost with the current lively conditions.
June 4, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
omar i still am in agreement with you on the balance,i play SS for senior play and do a decent job of it,but it seems now a days unless a ball is hit directly at me now it is useless to attempt to field.i study a batter as they are hitting and can go in the direction of the ball being hit (well 90% of the time)and still can't get to a lot of balls that i used to b/c of the velocity they are hit with this hot bat/ball combo.
June 5, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
mad dog,
I have seen you play left field, if that's called playing.lol. You playing ss is a scary thought. Do you have a relay for your throw to first ? Now that's funny right there !
June 5, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
hey wasn't it your team that got our LF'er hurt.made me have to go out there,aarrgghh.hey as long as i didn't have to run to go get them i was doing ok,LOL.
by the way i am just a bit better at SS,can read a batter pretty good,and unlike you i don't have to use the pitcher for a relay to first,DOH,LOL.
hey how is the shin by the way,or was it the knee.well see ya in dallas this coming weekend.
June 6, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
mad dog,
It was my ankle and it's fine now......see you there,come have a Bud Light with us.
June 6, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
you mean coors light don't ya(ed's beer of choice),LOL.
Sign-in to reply or add to a discussion or post your own message and start a new discussion. If you don't have a message board account, please register for a free nickname. It will only take a moment.
Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
2701 K Street, Suite 101A
Sacramento, CA 95816
Send us e-mail
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts International Softball Tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook

Partners