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Discussion: level of team in 70

Posted Discussion
Sept. 30, 2010
bigdog
Men's 70
40 posts
level of team in 70
The reason why we don,t have many team is because of the way they are rated. the team i play with is rated 65major. We have been a 70 team for 3 year. we won the winter Natl tourney this year. We just recently played in the southeastern tourney in polk co. We had to play 60 aaa team with no run and no 11th man. That is kind of tough when there is a ten year difference.
Sept. 30, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
You have mixed this up.
1. play with 65m team
2. been rated 70... what?
3. played 60AAA team
A lot to try to figure out.... 4 myself at least.
I sure understand the 10 year difference and 11 man mess be think clarification is needed.
I believe the rules cover the 70's and 11 man part. But didn't read or this.
Some teams I know have won a few lately and yet still not moved.
I don't think all are great but it it what it is. Before sending in fees for specific T, get something in writing ask the right questions. Otherwise you have no recourse but to play as is.
CYA as it were before you go.
Oct. 1, 2010
armiho211
Men's 70
398 posts
i will be 70 next year, i currently play with a 60- AAA ( DALLAS SPURS ). the concern for me is the number of 70-AAA OR 70- MAJOR teams that will avail to play at any tournament during the coming year. i would imagine the nationals tournaments should have a good turnout, but in between could be a problem. in the dallas area this year, my observations have seen only 2 teams play each other during the year, TEXAS GREYHOUND 70'S -AAA and the HOUSTON TEXANS-MAJOR. i can still hang with the 60's in AAA, so i am debating splitting time between 70's,65's or 60. will have to see what manager brings the beer and go with him.
Oct. 1, 2010
Ho
201 posts
The problem of not enough 70's teams playing in tournaments is NOT the ratings nor is it a SPA or SSUSA problem, it IS THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS who do not take the time to promote their tournament.

The majority of the TD's have the philosophy of "If we build it they will come". If a TD wants participation he has to make phone calls, send e-mails and literally sell his tournament.

The teams are there, TD's just have to get off their duff interest them in their tournament.

Two years ago at the 2009 SSUSA BUCKEYE CLASSIC we had ten 70's teams and last year, even though we were an independent tournament, we had SEVENTEEN SEVENTIES and EIGHT 75's and all were either AA or AAA.

We have already had new teams contact us to save them a spot this year as we expect to increase to at least TWENTY SEVENTIES.

But to do so, we will have to continue to make phone calls and send out e-mails to promote ii.

So again do not blame SSUSA or SPA for the small turnouts, blame the TD's and if you aren't happy with the turnouts..don't go there again.

If you want on the 2011 Buckeye Classic mailing list, e-mail me at hockepuck@aol.com and we will send you info.

Ho
Oct. 1, 2010
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
In my area I have tried to put together a 70 team but it seems that as players get older they don't want to travel to all these tournaments.

The other problem I think, which probably won't ever be solved, is that there are too many tournaments. Most teams can only go to so many due to limited funds.
Oct. 1, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
In the Northern California Senior Softball Association there are 14 70s teams (including the mighty San Francisco Seals) out of 105 teams, and 5 75s. That's 18% of the senior players 50 and older.

It helps that most tournaments are within a 2 to 2 1/2 hours drive and since NCSSA rankings are on ability, not just age, many 70s teams can play 75s, 65s, even occasionally 60s teams that are of similar ability, or close to it where a 5-run handicap evens things up. There are tournaments in the area almost every weekend from middle of February to middle of October.

Also, according to end of the year stats, the 70s teams are the more active in number of NCSSA tournaments entered. They have the time and retirement savings. Recession hasn't touched them much for local tournaments. They were ALREADY unemployed!

Of course, if you look back ten years at the number of 60s teams then, there should be a lot more 70s now, especially considering better health care and conditioning. We should have about 20 70s teams, but where are they?

As I have noted elsewhere, older senior softball players are opting not to play tournament ball with the new (to them) senior bats and lively balls. Not as much fun with imbalance of offense vs. defense and ever-larger fields they say. Also, and importantly, they view modern conditions as too dangerous for declining reflexes.

All that said, Ho is right that a TD needs to promote his tournament if he wants a goodly entry of 70s and 75s teams (and maybe change conditions for the older players).
Oct. 1, 2010
Jano23
Men's 50
95 posts
Hi Omar,
I respectfully disagree with your claim that older senior players are opting not to play tournament ball with "new" bats and balls (I'm not sure why you say they are "new" to guys who have been playing for decades). I know at least 100 local guys who play tournament ball, and I'm not aware of ANY of them who would give up their Ultra IIs (except for durability reasons). These guys even use them in BP - I see it every Saturday morning.
Jano
Oct. 3, 2010
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Jano, maybe I didn't make myself clear. I am saying that lots of 70s play tournament ball in the NCSSA, but there should be many more, in my opinion.

For example, one large club has 108 70s age players who are still active, playing games, paying their dues to be part of that club. Of those 108, there are 52 who do NOT play on a tournament team. Why do almost half not play? It is not because of finances. For a few it might be their poor level of play or they would find it hard to finish a tournament weekend. But for many it is the reasons I stated—lack of fun and risk of injury.

I say that the bats are "new" because most of these men played for decades with pre-composite bats—played and had fun and enjoyed softball so much it is worth it to them to pay annual dues for the privilege of continuing to play. They just don't want to play tournament ball. Remember, the hot senior bats only became popular in 2003/2004—a mere second ago for a guy like me who has been playing since 1953.

Do I like my Miken Ultra II—sure. It has made me into a power hitter when I wasn't one before. Would I give it up to see more of my peers play in tournaments? In a heartbeat. Would I have more fun playing with a single wall? You bet I would because the role of defense, strategy, and base running would return as an important balance to softball as they were for decades before the introduction of composite bats.

In addition to the almost half who don't play in tournaments, I can think personally of dozens of 70s who have just stopped playing softball, not from injury or illness, but also from the reasons listed above. Of my whole team back in the 60s, for example, all of us now in our late 60s and 70s, only one other player is still playing softball that I know of...and he is not playing tournament ball.

What do you think has led to the loss of older players who are still healthy and once loved to play softball and did for decades? Many of them were playing tournament ball on 60s teams as recently as 9 years ago.
Jan. 15, 2011
Ho
201 posts
FYI - getting back to the discussion that older 70's and 75's aren't plaing tournament ball because of bats and balls...I still say it is because of the tournaments offered.

It is January 15 and the 2011 Buckeye Classic June tournament already has 18 70's and 7 65's signed up for the tournament.

The players are there, they just want to go to tournaments where they PLAY 70's AA and AAA teams not 65's or majors.

Ho
Jan. 15, 2011
Ho
201 posts
My mistake..that should have said.. SEVEN 75's; EIGHTEEN 70's; ELEVEN 65's and FOURTEEN 60's signed up.

Only FOUR 55's and THREE 50's..looks like I have to get to work.

Ho
Jan. 16, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Ho, here’s where I am coming from:

Go back to 2000, before the age of composites, and find some large clubs or leagues or associations exclusively for senior softball players. Look at the number of players, not teams.

How many 50-54s? How many 60-64s? How many 70-74s? Now compare that to 2010.

There should be about as many young 60s playing now as 50s in the year 2000. There should be fewer young 70s than 60s because age and injury is ending softball playing—in the stats I have studied, that’s about a 10% drop-off (would be more but a surprisingly large number of guys started playing senior softball in their 60s what with retirement). For the 80s, there is a huge decline because of age and death.

Now compare the number of tournament teams in these respective categories. You will find that the drop-off in tournament teams is large, many times larger than the drop-off in number of players. Why? Not because of age or disinterest because many players are still playing league play. Not likely because of finances—senior softball is still bargain entertainment. Maybe because of opportunity (your concern), but in areas like California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, there are still plenty of tournaments (one almost every week from March through September in northern California). My concern is that it is from disinterest in tournament play because of the hot conditions that came with the composite.

The number of tournament players on teams is down. The only ones still playing are those who enjoy hot conditions, or who are so addicted to softball they continue to play, even though they prefer non-composite bats (my case, for example). What we have lost nationwide is thousands of senior players who still play, but don’t go to tournaments, primarily because the game has changed and it is not as much fun for them.

You can do the same comparison with tournament teams, but it is harder to do with guys on multiple rosters, pickup players, size of rosters, etc. The answer is the same. For example, in the TOC in Phoenix this year, they boasted of the record number of teams. But they only had three more teams than in 2007. Just a 1% increase. But in the meantime, the population increased 3% so they should have had 10 more teams. Actually, healthy older men increased by more than 3% so there should have been 13 more teams.

Where are these older guys that were playing only 4 years earlier (and most are still playing in league play)? They have abandoned tournament play because of the hot conditions. Majors and Major Plus are still dealing with and enjoying the hot conditions. Weaker teams with average guys are saying “good bye”. A few very good players on those teams are moving up to Major. But many have left tournament softball forever.

An even scarier prognosis is the number of men in their 40s ten years ago who were playing softball. The drop-off to number of men in their 50s today is enormous. Softball may be rapidly declining as a sport of choice. My analysis: hot double walls and altered bats ruined the fun for many and they just stopped playing even though their skills declined only marginally. And in their 50s, where they found that composites are legal and hotter even than double walls, they are really turned off by the hot conditions. Again, Major level players don’t mind as much, but the average or above average players have lost interest.

Congratulations on marketing your tournament. There are still lots of 70s teams out there, and you seem to be able to attract a large number of them.
Jan. 16, 2011
Ho
201 posts
The biggest complaint we hear as to why 70's teams have stopped going to tournaments and have just concentrated on playing house league ball is they were tired of driving 300 miles to be playing 65-year old teams or the same two teams or major teams. Something we have corrected at the Buckeye Classic, thus the reason for the huge turnouts.

The second reason and on this point I do agree with OK is a safety issue.

Speaking as a 70-year old, it is no problem to play against even younger players in house leagues because most do not hit the ball as hard as tournament players.

But today, with the composite bats and balls designed to get the younger guys playing, is a safety risk for the 70's because of slower reflexes. A majority of former travel team players realize that fact and have upted to stay home and play house ball.

However that said, to try and get 70-year old house league player to give up their Mikens and switch to a different ball is like trying to pick a wart off your mother-in-law's nose..it isn't going to happen.

Finally, I don't think we can put a finger on one particular reason older players are not playing travel ball as much.

It is a combination of individual issues that when put together just say,"I've been playing high level softball for over fifty years and I'm just tired of the grind."

Older senior softball players are somewhat like a 1950 vintage Classic automobile. In its day it was tops and you would take it anywhere to show it off but now with age it is starting to breakdown. Now you feel safer to avoid it breaking down all together by only driving it around town to show it off and to just be happy remembering those "good old days" when it was top of the line.

More power to the 70's that can still play at a high level and they should continue to do so as long as they can

Once you stop it is hard to get it back.

Ho
Jan. 16, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Omar, I think you are wrong on several things. If players wanted lesser bats than senior bats, wouldn't ASA be going nuts, over run with those players you refer to as looking for a place to play without the senior sticks?
You talked of why guys are dropping out of tournets at a certain age. Death, injuries that aren't able to be repaired, repaired injuries that the guy doesn't want to injue again, and you aren't considering $$$$ enough. Older retirees have gotten hit hard also. Started with the collapse of 401 K's and such. Alot of seniors got wiped out. Even though those areas have come back, alot of seniors are more conservative now. I think costs are a major factor for those on a fixed income past the retirement age.
as in the past, I'll tell you how it is in Palm Springs, and we're as old as anyone, or older than most for sure! To the man, that would be 18 teams plus subs( 8teams in the A league and 10 in the B league), I don't think you'd get a single vote to do away with senior bats. We are 49-87, from youngest to the oldest they are in agreement, they like the senior bats.
I think the only associations and tournaments that are hurt in numbers by bat rules are the ones without the senior bats
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