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Discussion: Who'd a thunk...

Posted Discussion
Nov. 27, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Who'd a thunk...
Ever since the panacea of the dumbed
down bat/ball combo has been introduced
there's been a reason around
NOT to examine or
develop other solutions
to whatever problems we might be realizing in senior if not all softball.
Suffice to say that senior ball
ain't broken and should resist being "fixed" but other 'remedies' for some of our problems are not being
explored to make way
for the steam roller
"one device fits all" approach.

For example,
we need to stop/bust guys using loaded/shaved bats.
We don't really care about bat rolling
but the proponents of the
one size fits all approach
say there's so much cheating fixing,
shaving (and rolling) being done
there's nothing that can be done about it so we all need to change
the bat and ball.

They don't want to examine or listen
research and learn
that players primarily want to use
hot bats to keep from getting screwed
at tournaments where there is meaningful investment in money, pride,
time and energy.
That the drive for lively bats
and balls which is good and necessary
undergirds all these problems
and dilemmas.

They say it's dangerous.
We say move the pitcher back,
make the plate bigger,
make the arc higher
wear pads or sign a waiver
but they say "No".
You can only solve the safety issue
by dumbing down the bat/ball combo.

We say there are not enough innings and games take too long.
Why not go to 1-1 count to move games along, have guys come on and off the field faster via time control.
NO.
They say dumbdown the bat/ball combo
and balls won't take time being retrieved and hitting less home runs makes for less scoring (time) and slide games along faster
more efficiently for ambitious TD's.

Maybe it's part of any movement
to not want to see other ways
to solve problems but I think
that dumbing down of the bat/ball combo
is a panacea that only makes sense
on paper and only to some, and
is not necessary and will kill the game
most of us love, want and
deserve to play.
Nov. 27, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
I'd like to see them keep the 1.20 bpf bats and go back to the 47\525 balls.
If your worried about pitching, catch or sit. Better yet, wear the gear.
But I also believe pressure was derived from manufacturers for the 1.21 and possibly players who can't hit hr's, likely never will either.
But in the end they control it so either put up with it and shut up about it, as they say, if you go.
Nov. 27, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Scott.
I hear a lot of differentiation
about USSSA bats at 1.2 and senior bats
and that's a paper argument at best.
Good 1.2 USSSA bats are as good as
senior bats when broken in
and takes away any meaningful difference
or grounds for any arguments.

There's an oppty for the relationship
between associations like SSUSA
and the senior community where they both come toward one another
growing, sharing, making each other
and their common identity stronger
and better all the time.
This is possible and will only come
when both sides look to/for, challenge,
ask, learn and argue with one another
to determine what's real and what's best and beneficial going forward.
So, they need and should look to help us
as we need and should look to help them
as an ongoing part
of everyday operations not un-like
what happens on the web-site.

Nov. 27, 2010
outfielder
Men's 65
58 posts
If they dumb down the bats, it will only encourage more cheating ie. shaving, rolling, or repainting and re-decaling, and if you remember back when the "restricted flight" balls were in existance, they went through the infield just as fast but died in the outfield. In my opinion, if this happens, the tournament attendance will decrease, especially in the major amd major+ divisions, in some of the age brackets, those two divisions are almost extinct now, so......
Nov. 27, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
outfielder, you make a good point—the major and major+ divisions in some age brackets are "almost extinct now" to use your words. And why is that?

Senior softball should be booming. New, excellent softball complexes being added all over the country. More seniors living vigorous lives longer. Modern medical miracles with replacement knees and hips, arthroscopic surgery, and improved lubricants are getting seniors back on the field. Better knowledge of nutrition is rejuvenating older adults. But senior softball is not booming. Why is that?

It isn't the economy, although that is a factor. Tournament attendance doesn't seem to be down. And local softball is one of the least expensive forms of recreation.

It isn't a loss of interest in baseball/softball. The big leagues are doing O.K. Women's softball is booming (although men's rec softball is diminishing for the same reason as senior softball).

It isn't a growing fad for other sports like fishing or hunting or golf. They are down in number of participants.

There should have been a 10-15% increase in seniors playing softball in the last 10 years, especially when there are more and more 70+ men able to play and compete. In other words, the top of senior softball keeps expanding.

I suspect that many, many players have lost interest in the game. Some of them played for 30 or 40 years, but no longer play. What has turned them off?

It seems obvious to me that the growth of the lively bat/ball combo of the past decade has ruined the sport for these hundreds of thousands of players who should still be playing.

They valued the balanced game. It was never true that more than 10-20% of a team were home run hitters. So defense, base running, smart hitting into the gap or through the hole were all very valuable skills. So was good pitching and strategy and wise managing. These aspects of the game have diminished in the last decade, with the advent of the composite bat. And so senior players are turned off by the sport with its unbalanced emphasis on offense. So they quit playing. What else has caused it?
Nov. 28, 2010
tinman
Men's 50
75 posts
OMG, Do you really believe the bat/ball combo ruined the game?Ask players from all divisions and age groups.It makes our game.We sacrifice some defense for offense and the balanced game is there for you act upon.Money,time off from work and family play a big role.I play SSUSA because of the good combo.I have spent thousands of dollars to travel and if you take the good equipment away I will keep my money and play locally.I fear for SSUSA,the players and all who profeit from our travel if we make major changes.
Nov. 28, 2010
curt
Men's 50
11 posts
Einstein....With good, broken in Utrip bats being as good as senior bats....just out of curiosity....what utrip bat do you swing in the ssusa tournaments you play in?....since the bats are all the same.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
See Omar doesn't need a hot bat to hit it out of the park.
BRAVO OMAR!
Nov. 28, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Hello Omar, we seem to be debating this topic once again.

There appears to be a perception on this board that only home run hitters want to keep the senior bat/ball combo as it is now.

That is not necessarily true. My 60 AAA team just won the Winter Nationals in Ft. Myers. We went 7-0 and hit just three homers(two came with a 20 mph tailwind).

We hit consistantly, singles, doubles and triples, got great pitching and we played excellent defense turning over 12 double plays.

We all enjoy playing with the senior bats. Unlike Fl. and California (maybe other states) all our leagues are basically single wall bats. To be honest it gets boring. I understand why some leagues use this because the ages range from 60-80.

Our leagues have not really grown either, so the use of senior bats plays no role. The exception being a Sunday morning league in South Jersey that does use the senior bats and it's by far the most popular league in the Tri-State area.

Again by continually reading the differing opinions of the posts on this site, there should be enough people to participate in both types (senior and non senior bats)of tourneys/leagues.

I love using the senior bats and am far from being a home run hitter.

Jose, Stahl Post 60-65's
Nov. 28, 2010
birdie
Men's 60
683 posts
Jose, Congratulations on your victory in Cape Coral. You guys beat my good friends on the VA Cavaliers in the first double elimination game. I am with you about the bats and balls. I get enough of the other in our day league and night league which uses the ASA Bats although in the night league we supply our own balls and use the Advance Thunder. I think is a great ball. Thanks Harry #20 NVFORCE.
Nov. 28, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, I don't think that only home run hitters enjoy the composite bats, although I think some of them are obsessed with hotter and hotter bats so they can go farther and farther over the fence for bragging rights.

I think most hitters like composites...until they become defenders in the field. I play with one guy that now has off-the-fence range with his Miken, but as a fielder, he bitterly complains about having to chase rockets up the gap that roll to the fence.

In my own case, both my home runs have increased and so has my batting average because of the composites. My home runs increased from zero over my first 50 years of playing to two over the fence in one game. Not bad for a pipsqueak like me.

My batting average has increased because shots through the hole are no longer accessible by third base or the shortstop because the ball gets there too fast. And I must say that my slugging average has increased as well since former singles in the gap now become doubles, even triples on some fields, as the ball zooms to the fence.

Nonetheless, my argument is that senior softball is declining and guys I know who no longer play attribute it to the changed game which is no longer as fun for them. And some worry about safety (especially pitchers and corner infielders). A few are irritated by guys like me who now are "sluggers" when we once were slappers (although they are polite enough to not compare me to my face).

If not the advent of composite bats, what else is causing the drop off of senior players (as well as under 50 rec league players)?
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Jose12
I am sure your team is a very good one.
Do you think the outcome would have been different with a a ASA bat?
No offense but what a lot of use say is the only people that need hot bats to be good hitters are weak hitters. If you enjoy the hot bats and balls that is your right but if your a good hitter it's not the bat but the player.
Nov. 28, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3938 posts
cliff notes for whienystein's post please,to much garbage to read thru...

jose12,your team had the help for winning by using hot bat/ball combo,like gary asked,would it have been the same without them.
i also see bunches of players not playing any more b/c of the so hot equipment we use,and this just doesn't stop with the seniors.our parks and recs kinda open up the bat rules and we have seen a drop in league teams.we went to having 5 fields playing 4 games a nite to 3/4 fields a nite for our most full nite..

so what are we to do,maybe make the equipment even hotter,nope,lets get some sanity and make our game safer for us seniors to play... the other assoc's(ASA,USSSA,NSA,ISA) are doing it for the younger set.....
Nov. 28, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Gary, I have always been a decent average hitter who looked for holes, lines etc. With the advent of senior bats (plus senior outfielders) I swing away more and just try to hit it hard, not specifically placing the ball.

I may accidently hit one or two a year out so it's not the power but the fun of hitting it really hard.

The outcome of our game may have been the same, but not as fun for me or the others.

To each his own, not putting down ASA or metal bats, but for me, it's not as enjoyable.

Birdie...we played the Cavs on the sun field, there were numerous strikeouts because the sun was directly in the batters face. I think we won 8-6 on a couple of bloop hits.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Curt.
I have swung a super freak USSSA bat
that was as hot or hotter than any senior bat I'd swung to this year and
I like many others have swung an original Freak
that took 1000 swings to break in
and than was better than any senior bat
I've swung till it broke in about
100 swings later.
I heard DeMarini makes or has made
some killer USSSA bats i.e.
RD28 and others.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
When you have SSUSA setting a record
for participation this year
along with all the major associations
using senior bats and minimum
44x375 balls you have what seniors
want, will invest in and show up for
and all the associations,
including SSUSA get this,
loud and clear.
They have no plans to dumb down the bat/ball combo any time soon.
They get it.
You can hit pillows and sponges
all day long, play 16 inch ball
all day long.
Knock yourselves out.
It's not what the great majority of us want or will put up with
and that's evident and becoming more so
all the time.
By opposing the movement to dumb down
the bat/ball combo we've learned
that we don't have to go there
if we don't want to.
It's really up to us
just like it should be.
Nov. 28, 2010
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Einstein, You are right. Players from all age groups, young and old, want to use good ball/bats. This is nothing new to the game of softball. In my 35+ years of playing this has been the case and still is.

Players have wanted better balls and better bats for years.
Omar: All of the great teams from yester year certainly did have more than 10-20% of the team as home run hitters. Not a doubt.

I found an article in the Sports Illustrated Vault from Sept. 27th, 1982. See some of the exerpts from the article. Nothing has from then to now. Read it and you'll see.

________________________________________
September 27th, 1982

At issue are a number of new, lively softballs that have hit the market. They have exotic names like the T-4000, manufactured by Dudley; the Rocket from deBeer; the Hot Dot from Worth; and the TN-Poly by Wilson. The main difference between the new balls and the traditional one is the core. In the old ball the core is cork; in the new balls it's a plastic similar to that used in the cover on a golf ball. The synthetic-center ball leaves the bat much faster and carries farther than the cork-center ball. Because of the ball's jackrabbit jump, more home runs are being hit and more runs are being scored, adding an average of 20 to 30 minutes to games in which the new ball is used. This angers the umpires, who are paid by the game not by the hour, and distresses tournament organizers because their schedules are getting all bollixed up. As a result, says Doug Bennett, sales manager at Worth, "There are people hitting home runs who wouldn't be under normal circumstances. But that's the reason they're playing. They like to hit home runs. It's a big deal for the people who've never hit one. And for the guy who hits only one in his life, that one's going to be more exciting to him than homers are to the guy who hits them by the hundred."
Fast-pitch softball is a game dominated by the pitcher. Slow-pitch came along to make the game more fun. It's a game dominated by the hitter. It gives a lot of people something to do that's competitive and still fun. The question of whether the ball is more dangerous than the standard ball is another, murkier issue. Of the 30 million softball players in the U.S., 82% play slow-pitch. Lazaro Garcia, 18, of the Miami Cuban League, died of cardiac arrest when he was hit in the chest by a line drive. The ball used in the game, however, was NOT one of the new ones. Merle Butler, ASA's national supervisor of umpires, had heard so much talk about players being hurt that he asked the local associations to document individual injuries last March, April and May. He hoped to get data to determine if the new ball really is a hazard, but the results of his survey have been so vague that he's unable to ascertain whether the increase in injuries is substantial, and whether they're the result of any particular ball or bat or an influx of new players. Says Porter, "If you get hit with any ball it's going to hurt. It's not a soft ball. That's a misnomer." "All the new balls are essentially the same in hardness and reaction off the bat," says Marge Miller, assistant to Dudley's executive vice-president, Tom Faimali. "The initial reaction to the ball was fantastic, and it still would be if some local associations hadn't interfered. The reluctance to use the ball is based on misinformation that it's dangerous. I'm sure that when the first solid-core balls came out, the players had to change their reaction time just as they do now." "The players should get together and tell the associations if they want to use the balls," said one manufacturer. "Who's the game really for—the players or the associations?" Until the ASA makes up its mind, manufacturers are holding back on full-scale production, but the players aren't holding back. They're having the time of their lives hitting the long ball and breaking out the home-run trot.
----------------------------------------
Bravo: Einstein, outfielder, tinman


Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
You had to go back 29 yrs to find an article that agrees with your opinion. How old were you guys then?
What were difference between the balls and bats back then and today. They talk about fast pitch in the article. How many men's fast pitch leagues are there around today?
I don't think the article has anything to do with today's conversation. If they wrote an article about an
1982 automobile would you use the article to buy a car today?
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Thanks to men like Gary Tryhorn,
Noel Lanctot and A/C Linde,
and Pete D'Avignon
in Northern California for their
character, consistency and effort
in maintaining their focus and energy
on what seniors really want, need
and deserve to continue to enjoy
playing competitive softball.
In NorCal or NCSSA we have:
5 run innings, unlimited HR with equalizer at 1, minimum good 44x375 balls or better Baden Fire Balls, and the six foot by 2 foot pitchers rubber extended backward
and sideways to give the pitchers
more to do to protect themselves
and be competitive.
By the way, the balls all say maximum
now when they used to mean that level or a little higher was OK if not preferred by most like with a good 47x525
Worth Blue Dot ball but
now means not higher and can be
a lot lower and still be legal
and usable.
These balls are dogs and will/would
pull down the performance and joy
of the hitting experience for the great majority of us.

So, the more we examine, question,
research, ask, experience, listen
and argue the more we can learn:
what's really going on,
what's really in our best interests
going foward,
who's hot and who's not regarding
issues and attitudes
what we have to go along with
and what we in fact, do and WILL not.

Lively bats and balls forever.
They undergird the joy in the experience of hitting and playing our game at any age level.

Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
If it was 1982 I might be agreeing with all of you but it's almost 2012? Do you really think that article means anything today ?
In 1982 no screens no armor no 1 and 1 counts and most of us playing today were using bats that would sound funny when you used them. Did anyone quoted in those articles know anything about
composite bats or the balls of today? Plus we were 29 yrs younger I think are reflexes were a little better
back then.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
The truth and world record participation
for SSUSA in Phoenix this year,
after and only after
they GUARANTEED 44x375 balls and senior
bats would be used
evidence who seniors are we are and
what we want regarding bat/ball combo.
Only a minority of people
think otherwise.
Some of them
might truly think our game needs a
dumbed down bat/ball combo
and others have real other interests
in seeing this change occur.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Please answer the question.
What are the real interests?
Nov. 28, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
gary c,
Actually there are many FP leagues and tournaments going on, At least here in CA.
All ASA I believe, but here none the less.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Where?
Nov. 28, 2010
garyheifner
361 posts
Going back to the original thoughts, I would like to repeat what I proposed several years ago. All the associations would (must) agree. If you get caught with a loaded or rolled, illegally altered bat it is a
complete and total "LIFETIME BAN" from all senior softball associations and events which would also include the hall of fame. Also, the removal of the individual from the hall of fames if already in. This might make the bat cheaters think a little.
Nov. 28, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Thanks, Al33 for the historical data.

As Al quoted, in 1982, 30,000,000 people played softball (at least once a year, if only at a Fourth of July picnic). Of this amount, about 25% were women and girls.

In 2010, 40,000,000 people played softball. The actual number of regular players, according to the U.S. Census, is just under 10,000,000. Of these 40,000,000, there are now 48% women and girls.

In other words, there were 22,500,000 men players in 1982 and there are 21,600,000 male players today. But the population has increased by 34% so there should be 30,000,000 men playing today if softball were equally popular. What has happened to the 8,400,000 men?

But it gets worse for senior softball. The percentage of adults in the 50 to 80 group as a percentage of the population has increased! And the percentage of HEALTHY males in this same group has also increased.

The result: we are missing a lot of men who once played the sport. A LOT! Why have they dropped out?

All the huffing and puffing about SSUSA TOC record number of teams is ludicrous. The actual increase from 2007 is THREE teams! That’s less than a 1 % increase. The population increase in those three years was over 3%. On that alone there should have been 10 more teams. Factor in the healthier seniors, there should have been 13 more teams this year.

Again, if men are no longer playing softball in the numbers they used to, why not? I suggest the game has gotten too hot for the above average player (not for the Major and Major Plus, perhaps), so they are no longer playing. It isn’t as fun as it used to be.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Rolled bats are not thought
of as illegal
or giving a player an unfair advantage
by most players.
Rolling just breaks in a bat
instead of having to hit it
to break it in.
I don't have a problem with it,
pitching or hitting.
Some have told me that a bat rolled
carefully and conservatively
will out last a normal bat
3 to 1.
That would save some money, too.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Omar again by a 1st round KO
Nov. 28, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3938 posts
show me 1 assoc that says rolled bats are legal...please just 1......
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Cheating is cheating even if you don't think anything is wrong with it.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Most players don't care about rolling
is what I said, Robert and it's true.
It's a non issue for most players.
Bat shaving/fixing/loading
IS an issue and should define for us
what cheating is.
Bat rolling is put in the category
of bat cheating in order to make the argument that everyone is cheating
but meaningfully for most of us
that's not the case in senior ball.

Yet, as I have said numerous times bat fixers/loaders should be busted and punished to keep everyone in line.
If not, players think they're getting punked by guys with "dirty bats"
and get their own dirty bats
to make it fair.
And remember, all this stuff
only exists to keep regular players
from getting screwed by TD's
for putting in balls that don't hit well
to save money or keep from having to lose or chase them when they get hit out.
If you start out with a lively bat
and ball standard and enforce it
across the board in softball
the best interest most players
would be served.

Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Cheating is taking unfair advantage
of an opponent.
Bat rolling just breaks in a composite
bat sooner and evenly in the least amount of time.
Not an issue for most players
irrespective of anything else.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
STILL CHEATING!
Nov. 28, 2010
truhitter
25 posts
WOW for the first time i have to agree with gary c cheating anyway you look at it it's sttill cheating
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Interesting to some degree,
OK and dazzling, always dazzling
but of little consequence
and relevance as per usual.
It matters what most players and associations today have identified almost unanimously
as fitting and necessary in order
to invest and want to continue to play
senior ball, i.e.
lively bats and balls forever.
Game, set and match.

Obesity, golf, lawn bowling and checkers, second jobs, computer games
are just a few, off the top of the head
reasons why such "stats" might exist.
Old wise man once said,
"Stats never lie and liars use stats."
That pre-existing bias you sport
against me
isn't fooling any but the preordained
and the foolish.
You did get it right a couple of times,
as I recall when you referred to how great a player and competitor I was.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Et tu, tru-hitter?
If laws were never to be broken
there'd been no American Revolution,
Civil Rights movement,
civil disobedience of any kind,
no death for all tyrants,
no Robin Hood and nothing but
goody two shoes, ass-kissing yes-men
who wouldn't mind walking off a cliff
as long as they weren't last.
Any volunteers?

They got to Truhitter.
Flipped him like a zombie.
Say it ain't so.
Nov. 28, 2010
truhitter
25 posts
SORRY einstein but when it comes to right or wrong cheating is CHEATING whether you belive it or not. there is no reason to CHEAT in softball either you're good enough or senoir bats make you good
Nov. 28, 2010
truhitter
25 posts
i have played softball for 30 plus years and when the senoir bats came along i have seen guys that could'nt hit the fence when we were in are 20's or 30's hit them out.so why cheat i don't like everything gary c post but when it comes to cheating in softball i guess im on his side
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Einstein
You have said you are an educator and you advocate cheating what a great lesson for are young. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you suggest that whatever you think is more important than the rule of law? I have a hunch people will be checking your bats from now on. I am not attacking you but I can't believe anyone can think this way and expect people to believe anything they say.

Truhitter I am as surprised as you are
that we agree but I appreciate your honesty.
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Tru, my good man.
I'm opposed to cheating,
real cheating that is and yes
I decide what cheating is and isn't
on any issue especially important ones.
Bad shaving and loading are cheating
to me and I oppose them.
Bat rolling is what those who are saying 'everyone is cheating'
use to further their cause and interest
in the 52x275 ball/bat panacea.
Most seniors do not feel that bat rolling is cheating and someday
the rule will be changed.
It gives no unfair advantage
to a competitor.

Nov. 28, 2010
truhitter
25 posts
Well then i guess we don't agree last time i looked rolling a bat was called tampering with a bat so till they change the rule it's considered CHEATING weather you think so or not
Nov. 28, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I get it's considered cheating, TH,
it's me who doesn't consider it cheating as don't most of the guys
I play with and against.

It was against the rules
to form a militia
and fight the British.
It was against the rules
to let a black woman
sit in the front of a bus.
It's against the rules
to give a hitch-hiker a ride
in most states.
It's against the rules for a woman
to kill a husband who'd been beating her for years in any state.
It's against the rules
to lead with your helmet
when making a tackle in the NFL.
It's against the rules
to water board/torture
a prisoner of war.

I heard that Hitler never broke
one rule in Germany.

Nov. 28, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
If einstein is right, and current associations will continue to allow the super-hot bats and lively ball combo, then I guess more and more senior men will decide to pursue other interests since the game of softball they loved and played for 30-40 years is no longer around for them in the major associations.

The result will eventually be TOCs with 50 teams, not 350, all filled with hyper-competitive players, all worrying that they have to cheat to compete with other cheaters, and all still lobbying for even hotter bats.

Maybe we will see new associations arise that offer a return to the balanced game. In other words, in a world of a shrinking sport, saying all the associations still allow the cause of the shrinkage proves the point. They allow the conditions; more and more men leave those tournaments; and the remaining players blissfully play on not realizing that the end is coming.
Nov. 28, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
P.S. einstein is right. Nothing said so far, as wrong as he is, diminishes my enjoyment in seeing him passionately play the sport, and play with great ability and competitiveness. I'm disappointed that he believes in violating the rules and altering bats, but I also realize he doesn't need a hot bat to be great. That's the pity.
Nov. 28, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Hitler and softball only you!
Nov. 29, 2010
tinman
Men's 50
75 posts
I have purchased a new senior bat and taken a few hundred BP swings to break it in.Will the message board "Alter Police" be looking for me?
Nov. 29, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Al33-Thanks for finding that article. I had read it back then in 1982 because I was selling the equipment at a sporting goods store.Gary c.-It is very relevant because the game changed then in the same way it has changed now. We chose the T-4000 as our ball of choice, blue stitch for USSSA and red stitch for ASA. Same Ball. I had heard 2 people died, but USSSA officials had confirmed that is was not the 'hot balls' that killed them. Scores skyrocketed. A lot of infielders became 'OLE' infielders, fielding from the side and afraid to get in front in case the ball bounced up on them. 50, 60, even 80 runs-we scored a bunch. One game we were up 46-1 and still were not out of the second inning in a Championship game when the other team walked off. Could we have scored 100? That was the beginning of time limits on games. After 2 or 3 years they finally backed off the balls-ushering in the era of the RF80 which went the other way-too dead. Single digit games-in 1987 we won games of 3-2 and 6-5 on the way to a divisional championship. YUCK! Demarini came out with the CU31 single wall 'Ultimate Weapon' sent to you with your name on it. Then the double walls-round'em out on a light stand after they dent and they got hotter. The pendulum swings, back and forth-the manufacturers come out with hotter equipment and the associations try to balance the game. Now we have these composites and the pendulum is far to the 'hot' side. I have not hit the 52/275 ball yet (I do want to try it before commenting on it), but I have talked to a couple people that have and the one thing they say is it is 'different'. I have not seen anyone 'excited to hit it'. Everyone was very bummed by the considerable change back in '84 or '85 when they made such a drastic change in equipment. SSUSA needs to be very careful not to make that mistake again and put in too dead a ball.
Curt-I also had a Freak Plus that was easily my hottest bat-hotter than my U2- until it broke. 2 of my longest drives have been with the Freak Plus. I really don't see that big of a difference. (Einstein-if you say I agree with you again-I will lobby for a 40/144 wiffle ball-just for you!) :-)
Omar-there are a couple other factors in the fact that the game is not growing that fast-so many players retired and they do not want to come out of retirement-it has been too long for them. But, I have heard a few of my old friends say that they have heard how hot the bats are and don't want to play defense against them. I think some of it is that they don't want to put forth the effort to get back in shape. I know a couple of guys who tried and couldn't handle the diminution of their abilities.
My bottom line feeling is: a measured step back, to a game at the level provided by the EST bat and a 47/525 ball that gave us a good and LIVELY game before the Carbon Fiber Bats, is a logical consideration. I didn't hit what one of my teammates termed "stupidly long dingers" then, but still hit plenty of homers. Just my 2 cents worth.
Nov. 29, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
All right, Mark.
I won't say that you agreed with me
about how hot USSSA standard bats can be.
Don't say I never did anything for you.

First, there's politics and money
of the highest/lowest order
going on here
which is American as apple pie
sad to say but true,
and that's why things want to change.
It's not coming out of us and our game.
It isn't.
That's one point and it's irrefutable.
Not that there's anything wrong with that in strictly LEGAL sense,
it's sad for ME to say.

And yes, dialing it up or down a little
is all right but the movement to
52x275 balls is way to far in the other direction as you had witnessed
in the 80's.
It's not going to make it
into senior ball I'm willing to bet
if at all.
We have the money,
political awareness and the community
to bring it to a halt.
We just need to wake up a little more.

We don't have to agree, Mark.
You're a real man, involved, caring
and passionate about our game
and you help make us strong.
You love us and our game.
You are an insider and are seen and felt as such.

It's not the same nor will be for some
others who're trying to change our game.
You can tell who they are by the
sound, smell and feel of their
identity, integrity, language, caring,
tactics, respect and character
or lack there of.
There's always room for
"genuine" opinion
and "real" debate among equals
if not characters.
There can only be lasting peace
between true equals.
Nov. 29, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3938 posts
blah,blah,please someone cliff notes the VI's post as there is to much crap in there that has nothing to do with softball,and i don't read drivel.

Nov. 29, 2010
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
tinman......if you and einstein are on the same team and hitting the same, yes your bat should be checked. A well broken-in bat and a rolled bat look the same inside and outside.
Nov. 29, 2010
Pitcherman
Men's 50
40 posts
I try and respect everyone's opinion on this board but I do get really, really tired of this site's self appointed spokesman for all of senior softball as if they have polled every single senior player for their opinion on every possible subject. I do not remember seeing any requests for input on the subject of bat rolling but I can tell you that most of the players I have spoken to personally do consider it a form of cheating but I am not going to try and tell you that represents the entire senior softball community. That's not saying people don't do it as they may consider it a lesser degree of cheating but when they talk of it, it is in hushed tones as they don't want to advertise it as they know it is cheating and against the rules. Below are many quotes from just this one thread where someone attempts to speak for the "majority" of players instead of himself and his little softball world.

"Rolled bats are not thought
of as illegal or giving a player an unfair advantage by most players."

"Most players don't care about rolling
is what I said."

"Not an issue for most players
irrespective of anything else."

"Most seniors do not feel that bat rolling is cheating and someday
the rule will be changed."

"I get it's considered cheating, TH,
it's me who doesn't consider it cheating as don't most of the guys
I play with and against."


Nov. 29, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Pitcherman.
If there was any true interest
or concern regarding bat rolling
and whether or not most players
consider this cheating
members could be poled or vote
on issues through an organization
such as SSUSA.
There's not much interest in getting to the bottom of the controversy
or any controversy as Scott has suggested and one needs to ask why not.
Who's and what interests are BEST served
by not investigating or knowing
whether most senior consider bat rolling is cheating or even care.

Remember if it can be argued
that everything and everyone is cheating
than the panacea of dumbing down the bat/ball combo more looks like a viable
resolution.
Actually, we, seniors, don't experience an epidemic around meaningful
bat cheating
but bat shavers and loaders should be sought out and punished
if only to keep everyone else in line
for all the right reasons.
Nov. 29, 2010
Pitcherman
Men's 50
40 posts
I try and respect everyone's opinion on this board but I do get really, really tired of this site's self appointed spokesman for all of senior softball as if they have polled every single senior player for their opinion on every possible subject. I do not remember seeing any requests for input on the subject of bat rolling but I can tell you that most of the players I have spoken to personally do consider it a form of cheating but I am not going to try and tell you that represents the entire senior softball community. That's not saying people don't do it as they may consider it a lesser degree of cheating but when they talk of it, it is in hushed tones as they don't want to advertise it as they know it is cheating and against the rules. Below are many quotes from just this one thread where someone attempts to speak for the "majority" of players instead of himself and his little softball world.

"Rolled bats are not thought
of as illegal or giving a player an unfair advantage by most players."

"Most players don't care about rolling
is what I said."

"Not an issue for most players
irrespective of anything else."

"Most seniors do not feel that bat rolling is cheating and someday
the rule will be changed."

"I get it's considered cheating, TH,
it's me who doesn't consider it cheating as don't most of the guys
I play with and against."


Nov. 29, 2010
saddlebrookrick
55 posts
I've played softball for 40 years. I've seen the DeMarini, Snergy, Ultras, etc. come and go. I played ASA for 30 years and have watched them over the last 10 water down the bat and balls and all the leagues. As the years pass, I see fewer and fewer young people playing the sport and coming up through the ranks. I think that's one reason there are fewer players in senior ball. Now I play senior league and I love the ball and bat combo. I hit the same average home runs as I did with ESTs, DeMarinis and our competive league averages 1-2 home runs per game with players 50-70 years old. I know the majority want good bats and balls and the majority should rule. If a few of you are afraid of being hurt, play a lower division. Leave what's working alone and stop trying to change what we like for what you want. You already have options. Use them and let us play in peace.
Nov. 29, 2010
tinman
Men's 50
75 posts
saddlebrookrick....keep posting,good job
Nov. 29, 2010
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
Joe,

You know I have your back on the ball issue. But Bat Rolling in any association is illegal. Any action other than normal use on a bat is cheating.
Nov. 29, 2010
gary c
411 posts
Saddle
You have every right to express your opinion but why would you think because we don't agree with you we should play down. Do you think we aren't as good as you because we want to put a little defense back in the game?
You and Joe must have taken a poll we don't know about.
Nov. 29, 2010
spoonplugger
Men's 60
58 posts
I took the poll that no one knew about.
If you move to a community because you like it and than you change your mind,
why not just go back to where you came from. It's a free country, you guys that want a slower game should start your own association and play by your own rules- all 6 or 7 of you. Quit tyring to derail SSUSA. If you don't like it, why waste your time?
When other associations have the rules you seem to want, why not just play those.

YES-- LIVELY BALLS AND BATS

I won't pay good money to play with less.
Nov. 29, 2010
gary c
411 posts
plugger
Go back where you came from. Sounds like an intelligent outlook on the subject. Six or seven we no that's is a lie maybe you should go back and ask people that you don't know what the answer is before you ask.
Last but not least you shouldn't steal Joe lines.
Nov. 29, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
spoonplugger,

So I live in a community for 50 years, in a house on a quiet tree-lined street, and I'm happy with everything including the reasonable 25mph speed limit. Then, a few years ago, some younger guys move in. They want to change the speed limit to 40 mph because they are used to it where they came from.

The neighborhood resists, but these younger guys, and even a few older guys with souped-up cars, still drive 40. Of course it is illegal (cheating), but they say everybody is doing it.

Maybe it is a lot of people. Under pressure, the police change the speed limit to 40 to avoid giving out tickets for cheating. The streets are less safe. Accidents are more costly. It is riskier to cross the street and it is less fun to stroll down the sidewalk.

A bunch of older residents, perhaps the majority, want the speed limit returned to what it was 8 years ago...and what it had been for the last 40 years. And WE are the ones who should move from our neighborhood. Who changed the rules? Maybe the younger hot-rodders should move to a place where speeds of 40, even 45 or 50, are acceptable in residential neighborhoods.
Nov. 29, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Spoonplugger
You're right.
It's only 6 or 7 guys in the universe
who think our game should be
dumbed down.
Glad it's as obvious to others
as I thought it was.
Hey Smoke--
Where you going
with the gun in your hand.
Bat rolling is just breakin' it in
and doesn't give anyone
more advantage than breaking it in
in other ways.
OK. You and I disagree and it's cool.
But lively bats and balls
represents the choice of
the great majority
of players and of this there just isn't
any doubt.
Hitting lively bats and balls
undergirds the game we been playing
since we were babies and is underneath
all the problems, discussions and
controversies we experience today
in softball across the board.
Nov. 29, 2010
Marv19
Men's 60
445 posts
Actually rolling a bat does more harm to the bat than you'd think. It crushes the fibers contrary to the scuttle-but it loosens them. I didn't know this until I started selling bats from one of the premier experts in bat production. Bill Gateley. He told me the only way to break in a bat is hitting balls. The heavier the better, like wet ones. Rotate the bat each time. If you want to know more about carbon fiber bats he will be at our tournament this weekend to answer questions and dispel some of the myths attached to carbon fiber bats. It could be quite educational to those that attend.
Nov. 30, 2010
Lefty
Men's 65
485 posts
joe is right. The only reason the bat companies made it eleagal to roll bats is they break faster and they would have to replace the ones that have a one year replacement. It's not to hard to tell if it's been rolled. Most bats have spider webs equal all the way up and down. You haven't missed one yeath Joe.
Joe Lefty Falcon
Birmingham 55 Major
Wild Bunch Softball 60 Major
Nov. 30, 2010
spoonplugger
Men's 60
58 posts
C-you've been on this board for 3 months
and you are in everyone's face. You must be involved somehow with dumming down the game for your profit.

Count the people that post. It = 6-7.

I'm not stealing- I'm agreeing.


Omar Kahyyam- Do you use all your 50 year old belongings? No, you keep up with progress.
The guy doing 40 was speeding not cheating.
Were you bullied when you were a little
guy? Sure seems like it. Maybe you should fence in your backyard and play back there, You should be pretty safe.


Nov. 30, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
I have been talking to guys here in Albuquerque who took the 52/275 out to practice. It was the very strong opinion of both-2 guys who have been major homerun hitters for years, (one of them bats behind me)-that these balls are terrible. If these two can hardly get it out of the park at 5500 feet, then, Houston, we have a problem!
Nov. 30, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, Gary C, I'm not sure what constitutes overwhelming majority as some explain it.....but, last year SPA posted an on-line questionaire for the members to take. A large percentage (75-80% to the best of my memory)chose to stay with the senior bats and 44-375 balls.

That seems pretty definitive to me. Like others, I don't feel I have the right to legislate what others like to play, I just want the option to continue playing as I like it.

Someone else on this thread mentioned that any drop in senior ball resulted, in their opinion, as a result of the hot equipment. I believe it's because less young guys are now playing, thus staying for senior ball. The open leagues in my area, as well as number of players have dwindeled in the past 20+ years.

Even at my age (64) I get calls constantly, because they can't get 10 players. That, in my opinion has more to do with what some see as shrinking numbers with seniors, although I haven't seen it in my area.

This is, however, a great topic and gives an opportunity for all to view their specific preferences.

Unfortunately, there are only a small minority of senior playeers who post on this board. No one else from my teams post and only a few even follow this board. There needs to be a larger sampling of our fellow players.
Nov. 30, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
gary c,
Central cal primarily, some coastal games as well. but also some in the north and south of the state. They have championship games in either Alabama or Ark I forget which.
I think they have had them in OK though. I stopped playing that version of softball 8 years ago.
But it still lives.
Nov. 30, 2010
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Common Guys,
THERE IS NO GOING BACK
Read my lips.
THERE IS NO GOING BACK
Lively Balls & Bats are here to stay.

HIP HIP HOO RAY!

NOW
WHAT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IS THE SPEED OF THE BALLS HITTING OFF OF ARTIFICAL TURF INFIELDS.

The one hoppers are killers. The bounces would take off like a rocket. I personally didn't care for the turf. I rather have dirt infields.
Nov. 30, 2010
gary c
411 posts
The last time someone used that line he lost an election your next.
Nov. 30, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Do I love my senior softball community
or what?
You guys are the best and worth all the crap we have to go through
to get, keep and preserve our rights,
prerogatives and needs.
Ken.
Playing on the turf is predictable
if fast, just like reacting
to lively bat/ball speed.
It's something else to learn/up-date
and anticipate but once done
it's safer than dirt for me.
It's the unpredictability that signals
bad news for infielders like me.
Great point, though, and made me think.
Nov. 30, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, I agree with you that the numbers of younger players are dropping. This drop began with the advent of the double-wall bat. Even that bat made the game too hot for many, many players who did not have the skill to field what used to be routine shots.

Twenty years ago, our city fields were filled and you had to be on a waiting list to hope to play league softball. Twenty years ago, we were using metal bats. They weren't much hotter than wood (if at all), but they had more durability.

Then came the double wall, the titanium, the triple wall, and eventually the composite bats—not banned at first, but now banned in our city rec leagues for all but seniors.

The result? The game began to change. Defensive guys were overlooked for the power hitters. The Men of Steel were barnstorming and everyone talked about the big bombs. The average hitter was not honored any longer for timely hits or high OBP. It was all about power and the hot bats brought power. So a lot of guys who were average hitters, or good defense-poor hitters, or who didn't want to invest in hot bat after hot bat, just dropped out.

The loss of players (we now have dark fields some nights) is now reaching the 50s age and will eventually extend to older players. Softball is dying from the hot conditions, not because of an obese population or lack of love for the game or economic times. The average player just isn't having as much fun since he can't send it over the fence.

My grandson was a great Little League player. Not much pop but great glove, arm and smarts. He made the All-Star team on those qualities. He played until he was 16. Is he interested in softball (his father played softball)? No, like his father, he has dropped out because it isn't much fun to watch rockets zoom past and all the praise go to the muscle boys who can hit the 300 foot shot. My grandson is not alone.

It isn't safety that is chasing guys away (although it is scaring the associations); it is the loss of the balanced game so beloved for decades that now has turned into slugfest city.

City after city is banning the composite bat, some are banning double walls, primarily because of safety, sometimes because of damage to neighbors, playgrounds, and parked cars because of the too small fields. Eventually they will figure out that seniors are not the decrepit oldsters they thought, and the composite bat will be banned for us as well.

If that happens, some posters here like spoonplugger and einstein and canljack may decide the game isn't fun anymore and drop out. They will be replaced by many guys who will return to the balanced game they loved in the past.
Nov. 30, 2010
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
402 posts
Wikipedia disagrees with you OK and I know slow pitch is growing in Canada as well. I have not seen a drop in senior ball players either, just the opposite.

The following is a quote from Wikipedia:

"Softball is the most popular participant sport in the United States,[5] as it is estimated that 40 million Americans will play at least one game of softball during a year. It is played by men and women both recreationally and competitively.

Softball is played, at some level, in over a hundred countries around the world.[41] The International Softball Federation has 113 member countries, (excluding dependent territories).[42]

In many US cities, adult softball teams are organized by bars and clubs, hence the popular term "beer-league softball". The teams can be men's, women's or co-ed, and skill levels can range from novice to elite, with league composition reflecting that. These leagues are almost exclusively slow-pitch.

Competitive fastpitch softball for girls is growing increasingly popular. All over the USA, there are thousands of teams that compete year-round at tournaments. During most of these tournaments the biggest goal is not winning the tournament, but attempting to get as many college coaches as possible to observe (a) particular player or players. Competitive teams are now beginning around eight years old, if not younger. Depending on the team they can travel all over the USA or even out of the country such as to Canada, the summer and fall for many weeks and days at a time.

There are many different sanctioning bodies of softball, USSSA, ASA, ISA, NSA, WSL, and SASL just to name a few. One of the biggest is the Amateur Softball Association, also known as ASA. It is known as the National Governing Body of Softball, was established in 1933 and has over 240,000 teams. The USSSA, founded in 1968 as the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association, but renamed in 1997 to the United States Specialty Sports Association, is the only association that still has a men's major slowpitch program alive".

Nov. 30, 2010
gary c
411 posts
PLUGGER
You seem to think your some kind of superstar talking down to people. Maybe you don't want a game with defense in it because you can't play it. Omar is a little above your intellect that's why you have to take shots at him about his skills I am sure you wish you were the player he is. I have no interest in the selling of equipment so I would not make any money no matter what happens with bats and balls. I am a
caring person so I am just trying to save you from yourself the people that most likely will get hurt with the hot bats are the ones who can't play defense. JUST LOOKING OUT FOR THE PUTTS OF THE WORLD.
If you want to be an einstein clone ID
yourself or your words mean nothing.
Nov. 30, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Plug,
You're telling the truth and
nobody can't handle it.

Here's some clown in disguise
saying anything about anyone's or his own integrity.
C'mon, man.
That's hysterical.
That's really funny stuff.
Gary the Clown, no wonder.
This guy's got real talent
for making us laugh.

And just because he says he's not selling bats/balls doesn't mean
it's true.
He's wearing a mask, remember?
Nothing he says has any credibility
or weight.

He's like some wanton modern day fan
thinking he criticize and relate
to real players
because he paid for a ticket.

He's really in every sense
a nobody and has NO believability
on anything and that would be
a majority opinion.


Nov. 30, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Enviro-Vac, it's true that is what Wikipedia reports. I also went to that site and it is there that I found the estimate of 40,000,000. You and I both know that Wikipedia is not always accurate. It seems too convenient that 40,000,000 is exactly the result of population growth since the 30,000,000 figure of 1982. My guess is that the figure is just extended from the earlier figure and not really from an authoritative source.

Nonetheless, I used that figure as the most current estimate, but combined it with a more accurate figure, from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is where I found out that a huge number of softball players are now women (because of the growth of women's softball as a universal college sport) and the growth of coed leagues.

When you subtract out all the women in 40,000,000 (assuming that figure is even accurate, which I doubt), you still find that men are disappearing from the sport and it is having and will continue to have a negative effect on senior softball.

I wish it weren't so. I love softball which is why I am still playing even though I dislike what the composite bats have done to the balanced game. I plan to keep playing for awhile yet. But I'm hypothesizing that the hot conditions are driving men from the sport, especially middle-aged and senior men.

Your Wikipedia quote only confirms my figures. There are now fewer men participating as a percentage of the population than there were 30 years ago. In fact, there are now fewer men in total than there were 30 years ago when the population was quite a bit less. Sad, but true. More thinking/research needs to be done to determine why, or we will continue to see shrinking numbers at the TOC, for example, as a percentage of the population.
Nov. 30, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, don't you think that the young people have so many more options, other sports, entertainment, etc. that keep them from softball. I find it hard to believe they don't play because of the composite bats. A lot of younger players have only known composite bats and wouldn't even know what metal bats were like. So how could they yearn for a more balanced game.

Most of the open league/tournament top players/teams use worked bats close to what we use anyway. I don't believe people wont play because of the equipment.

Just my opinion based on my experiences.
Nov. 30, 2010
gary c
411 posts
I think the only one who likes getting plugged is frisco joe. You two are alike ID your self for your man plug.
Nov. 30, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, you might be right that there are many options for young adults today, perhaps more than ever before.

Not so sure about young guys growing up knowing only composites. The Miken made the big splash back in 2003/2004. That means a guy who is 30 today played softball for probably 5 years before composites hit the scene. He knows all about double walls and metal bats.

A guy 35 played for 10 years before composites. He didn't even know about the lively double walls, just used an early deMarini or similar bat.

And in our area, composites are banned for all the young guys, so if they are just playing rec ball, they might not even own a composite bat.

But thanks for your input. It helps to have a broader picture of different areas of the country. You might ask your local rec department if the number of teams in rec leagues is up, down, or about the same compared to ten years ago. Around here they are down.
Nov. 30, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
OK.
There you go again.
The weaker player is advantaged
and not disadvantaged by livelier bats
and balls.
And if that's true and it is,
it tears your statistical reference
to pieces.
Batting averages and on base percentages
increase across the board when the bat/ball combo is good to very good.

Weaker hitters need more pace on the ball to get it through holes,
into gaps and over the infielders.
There's more reason for regular players
to play now than ever before
hit better, have more fun and do better overall.

I think the president's report
on physical fitness would say
more people are over-weight and out of shape than ever before
and this probably has more to do
with your stats being less
than anything else.
More people have less money to invest
in as expensive a sport as softball
has become and this would have more to do with guys dropping out, too.

What you said is provocative though
not like the feces your monkey buddy
throws and made us think
instead of stink.
Dec. 1, 2010
Lefty
Men's 65
485 posts
omar I live 16 miles from Nashville and the head of our parks said he is having to go to NSA bats because Nashvilles ASA went to NSA bats.Better bats so everyones is going to Nashville to play. He also said that they are fixing their bats away the city might as well go to hotter bats so they can increase the amount of adult teams. So when ASA makes the kids use crap balls they shave bats. End of story.
Dec. 1, 2010
spoonplugger
Men's 60
58 posts
Soccer has been one of the reasons for a lower softball/baseball participation in our area. If they didn't play when they were younger they don't play now.

Dec. 1, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
In Albuquerque we are way down also from the peak in the 80's. We used to have 600 teams and they would line up and camp all weekend by the office to register, and they turned away a lot of teams. Now they are about 325. Soccer is one factor-Plugger has it right. But the kids attitude is the most disturbing to me. I have heard "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't competin'" so much I'm sick of it. But that is the attitude, that it is ok. Like steroids-you have to do it to compete. Baloney!!!!! I've been asked by kids after a couple dingers--'Who 'fixes' your bat?' I just look at them and say 'I don't need to cheat!'. Kids attitude is killing the game, too.
Dec. 1, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Maybe I should have said 'Cheaters attitude is killing the game.'
Dec. 1, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bat cheating is a 'loaded' topic.
(somebody stop me).
It's a symptom and a thing.
Shoot me now but I like to get to the bottom of things and see where, what
and why they're coming from.
At the bottom I find
cheating comes when folks feel cheated
and being honest is being punked.
If someone is taking advantage of you
then you want to respond in kind
to make sure it doesn't happen.
So,
if we REALLY want to stop bat cheating
and there's a few of us who say they
do but really don't
than we must insure that the bat/ball
combo is lively and good so players
who invest meaningfully won't get/feel
cheated by their experience.
The young guys bring their wives,
girl friends and family and being punked
and looking bad don't work.

Again, lively bats and balls
are at the bottom of figuring out
what's most important when playing
organizing and defining successful
softball tournaments and leagues.
Dec. 1, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3938 posts
jose,webbie,omar,spoon:i have also seen a big decline here in my area also.in just 3 years we have gone from full fields every nite(4 nites a week,mon-thur)to partially filled nites.1 of my parks has 5 fields,the other has 4.i hear the same thing from the kids,"if you ain't cheating,your not competing",i also get tired of it.
our bats rules are anything with an ASA stamped at 1 park and any stamp at the other(only no go, are senior bats),with ASA balls.i do have a small rep as being able to hit it out so don't get question on my bats,but i am asked where to get them done sometimes,i tell them to give them to me,i'll fix them for them,LOL,yeah right upside a tree till they break,oops i'm sorry,must of broke it in to much,LOL........they haven't taken me up on it yet.LOL.....
Dec. 1, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Boys, you're singing my song. My argument is that with the advent of the composite bats and the high-tech double walls, that the home run became king. Seemed like everyone wanted to hit the long ball. Some will cheat to do it. But most players (the vast majority:=)) are tired of it, miss the role base running and defense once had (einstein is right, even pipsqueaks like me hit homers and triples), and have just dropped out.

Webbie's experience in Albuquerque is telling. From 600 teams and a waiting list to 325 in that short a time cannot be blamed on soccer or obesity. Guys are leaving the game they once loved because the game has changed too radically. Sure, the sluggers that are left, or the weak-ego guys who need a special bat to hit well, love it and want more of it. You are hearing from the minority whose desires have dominated for half a decade.

But guys who loved the balanced game, and who loved playing for years with the same glove and bat, are upset at the "new" softball and it has also become very expensive to stay with it. Those guys are gone, never to return unless the game returns back to the game they loved for years (in my case, for decades).
Dec. 1, 2010
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Omar.
Don't tell anyone but I'm starting
to like you, your tone and concern.
You mentioned money kinda quickly
could be involved with
lessening numbers in participation.
I think that, like everything else,
softball has skyrocketed
in cost irrespective
of any bat/ball controversy.

We disagree.
Our game is MORE fun now than it has ever been and the overwhelming number
of teams paying 600 plus for tournaments
and 500 to 1000 a man for a weekend
just SCREAMS it.
Dec. 1, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
einstein, ever since I discovered that the guy with a mop on his head was you, I have always liked you as a player and an encouraging teammate. Of course you are wrong on many issues LOL, but I also agree with you on many issues (for example, your adamant opinion that cheating should be punished as unmanly poor sportsmanship, if nothing else).

Yes, softball is getting more expensive. But really, take the tournament fee, divide it among the players, stay at an inexpensive motel, drive there if you can, and where else can you have as much fun for a weekend for less?

But I paid similar fees and expenses and loved tournament ball for years before the introduction of the composite bats. In fact, I loved it more because it was a more balanced game. But tournament play was a bargain then, as well.

But my worry about expense is in addition to tournament costs, since the majority of senior players in my league do not even play tournament ball. I’m talking about the always there expense of shoes and glove and playing clothes, but primarily I’m talking about the escalating expense of having a senior bat...or two...or three. I’ve got 7 bats; lots of guys have more, and I’ve spent more on bats than I did in 20 years of playing rec ball! Bats—that’s where the money goes.

And why? Because there is always a hotter bat around the corner that needs to be bought to keep up with the others. In my case, I only have one composite, my faithful Miken I’ve had for years. But when it breaks, I’ll buy another unless the associations see the handwriting on the wall that composites are leading to the decline of senior softball. But many guys are intimidated by the offense-oriented world of senior softball and feel they have to buy bat after bat to keep up with their peers.
Dec. 1, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Einstein is right, Omar is hard to dislike even when you disagree with him.

But....Omar....I do disagree that composite bats are why numbers are diminishing. I also disagree that the composite bats lessen the need to play good defense.

Even at the major+ level you don't see HR derbys. The best teams I've seen at any level also play good D., run the bases and hit consistantly.

The majority of league players (senior and open)don't play tournaments. It has always been a different breed who were willing to spend money and anger wives to beat themselves up for a weekend.

I think percentage wise a bigger portion of seniors play tournaments that the young guys. I'd like to see some studies on that.

I agree the bat costs have escalated, unless like some I play with use others bats. Our bats, however are cheaper than the young guys bats.

Until I see some scientific research I won't belive a drop in senior sofball is caused by senior bats.
Dec. 2, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, I don't maintain that composite bats lessen the need to play good defense. They increase the need...and that is the problem. Unless you are watching a Major+ team, you won't find many guys that can play defense as they could in the past because the ball is coming so fast, rolling so far, sailing over the fence (where defense is waving good-bye). It is the inability to play good defense that is discouraging to guys who prided themselves on their defensive capabilities in the past.

There are few sights more inspiring than watching the mighty Nor Cal Longhorns, probably California's best team, play defense with three—THREE!—outfielders, and this against quality teams like the Barons, the Eastbay Oldies, and the MTC 50 Plus. But such speed and competence in the outfield is beyond the reach of 99% of teams.

Whether the composite bat is responsible or not, we can disagree. I doubt there will be any scientific research since not many people are that interested. I have gathered my facts, linked them to the introduction of the composite bats, and been supported in my conjectures by reports for other states about the drastic recent decline in male softball players. I'm still looking for another explanation if it isn't the loss of the balanced game.
Dec. 2, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
The 'problem' with composite bats in general, and Ultras in particular, is not just how lively they are but that they have a sweet spot that seems to run the entire length of the barrel (only slight exaggeration there). It is very hard to mishit with an Ultra.
Dec. 2, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3938 posts
there is a site omar that has done testing and shows how quick a ball can come off a composite bat,i think its B&N.prol with it now a days,is that it is a pay to join site.its a couple of researchers who play ball that have done the testing...

you are so right on the defense,yes at the lower levels there basically is none with this hot bat/ball combo.
Dec. 2, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
mad dog, thanks for the info. I forgot that self-interest might result in scientific testing (although not the research that Jose is looking for). I don't want to pay for the information. It might change my prejudices LOL!
Dec. 2, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, the better defensive teams are simply that, whether playing with wood bats or Mikens. In fact I think good defensive players are more valuble with the senior bats as there is more ground to cover.

With wood or single wall bats, the outfieders have to cover far less room.

I'm not questioning your research, it's just that I haven't heard that from tournament players I'm in contact with (maybe league players).

Dec. 2, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, I agree that a good defensive player is more valuable with senior bats. The problem is that most tournament players are NOT good enough defensively for senior bats.

I remember the first tournament when we encountered Miken bats. We played a team whose generous sponsor had bought every Miken made (all weights and balance) for his team. They were all swinging them and no one on our team had even seen one at that point.

I had a very solid third baseman—not great range but few errors. I had a dream shortstop with great range and arm. I had a decent second baseman who was quick but didn't always make the play. The first baseman was just a good-natured lug.

We were doing fine in the tournament, winning some seeding, losing a close one. Then we played the Miken team. It wasn't just the home runs (one guy hit it over the fence every time at bat, even though it was an out in those days after the first one!) Couldn't stop himself—looked like Will Clark with his swing.

But the third baseman made two errors—one zoomed under his glove, the other plunked him. The shortstop couldn't get to balls in time. The second baseman also couldn't get to balls and those hit right at him ate him up (didn't hit him, but off the heel of his glove, etc.). Don't remember if anyone hit a ground ball to first (the only lefty was the home run slugger).

Did our guys suddenly lose their defensive skills? Sun in their eyes? Onslaught of bad hops? Nope, nope, and nope. They couldn't cope with the speed of the Miken-hit ground ball. We had a very discouraged team after getting thrashed (nothing new for us, the Miken team won the tournament in our division) because guys were questioning their skills. They were down because of "errors".

The passing of time showed that this was the new world of the composite bat. And it was a world that was unsatisfying to fielders. The third baseman played two more years and dropped senior softball. The shortstop plays mostly second for his new team. The second baseman also left senior softball. The bull at first is still playing but seldom fields a ball successfully in a tournament. Do we want to keep losing 50% of our players, all still healthy, all in their 60s? I don't think so.
Dec. 2, 2010
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
Another factor would be the realative abilities of the teams involved. Some teams hit the ball harder than others and consequently some players are not used to the speed of the game in the upper levels. I do think that when some teams are way over matched there is a safety issue aside from the equipment.
Dec. 2, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Mr Manassas, you are correct. Sadly, there will always be mismatches: some out of ignorance; some because a TD favors a team; and some because of a shortage of teams and resulting brackets that are too broad.

Yes, there are safety issues. In my league, where older and younger guys play together, we only allow single walls for any player under 70. Still dangerous with a few power hitters, but not as dangerous as it could be if double walls and composites prevailed.
Dec. 2, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, that is what I have been saying, that except for one Sunday league, (which is basically made up of tournament players)all the leagues around are either wood bat or single wall. That is fine because of the discrepency in age and talent levels. However if you play tournaments, the levels are more equal.

I guess your experiences are different from mine, because I have not spoken to one tournament player who left the game because of the senior bats.

I hope you find what you are looking as you seem as fond of the game as me. It's hard to play 360 plus games a year in my area. But if it's 40 degrees or more I'll travel an hour just to hit with some buddies.

Take care, Jose
Dec. 3, 2010
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
I do not have a problem with leaques using less live bats or balls to accomodate the various levels of play.
My biggest complaint as a player in tournaments is going to a tournament that decides to use a sub standard ball
that affects the game. Last year in the Burlington ASA's I witnessed two good 60's teams playing their outfielders 50 feet behind their infielders....Nobody could hit the ball more than 200 feet....I can tell you that both teams were saying that they would never come back.
Dec. 3, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Amen to that, that's why our team will only travel to tournaments where there is a good bat/ball combination. We get enough of the single wall/dead ball in leagues.

A few years ago in the Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh, they used ASA bats but very good ball (I think it was a 47 core ball) and that was fine.

I have hit the old 52-275 balls and didn't like them, but that's just me.
Dec. 3, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, having a player say he dropped out because of "senior bats" is pretty rare. You have to listen and hear what is behind the reason. Here are some examples:

"The game has become a home run derby" Translation: what changed? Home runs have always been important. What changed was that composites allowed more guys to be able to hit home runs.

"Everybody's bragging about their 350 foot home runs" Translation: how many guys hit 350 feet before composites? Very, very few.

"I'm just not quick enough any more" Translation: have his skills deteriorated that rapidly? No, the ball is coming faster.

"I don't think I could stop a shot up the middle" Translation: this pitcher stopped 'em for decades. What changed? The ball is coming faster.

"I wasn't having fun anymore" Translation: this speedy runner had a weak bat, and even with his Miken, he was dropped in the lineup from 1 or 2 hitter, to 8 or 9 because he had no pop compared to others. His base path speed was overlooked except as a courtesy runner.

"I just don't have the money for all these new hi-tech bats." Translation: he felt he needed to buy a composite or two to compete.

"The bats don't even last a year" Translation: a variation of the one above which has to do with cost.

Well, you get the idea. Bummer that fall and winter have shut down your season. I am thankful every day that living in California allows me to play throughout the year. Had an exciting game just yesterday morning.
Dec. 3, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
You are lucky living in a year round warm weather environment. I do play indoors in Jan-March, but it's not the same. Fall leagues end in November and except for a few die-hards hitting when it gets to 40, nothing until April.

Looks like batting cages for a while.
Dec. 3, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, I have no concept of what it would be like to play softball indoors. Can you give a few particulars for ignoramuses like me?
Dec. 3, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Omar,
if you want to find out there used to my one off 65 above Sacramento I believe. I have been to it but no one was playing the two times I visited.
Do a search for it on the net they have a good site.
forget the name though.
Dec. 3, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Arena softball just above Roseville. It is actually on g-maps as well.
Dec. 3, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Will wonders never cease?! I played indoor tennis once and kept calling a "net serve" on my opponent. Only after he got really ticked did I realize I was hearing the echo of his serve, not the ball hitting the net!LOL
Dec. 3, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Omar, we play in an indoor facility that also has soccer. We actually play in an arena that has three basketball courts. We use wood bats and the floor is rubberized. The side walls are in play but any ball hitting the ceiling is an out. Low scores with a lot of ground balls.

There is also a facility in Hershey Pa. that is a converted airplane hanger that has astro-turf (or something similiar). More room and you are able to swing away a little easier.

Cold weather calls for ingenuity, not like outside, but beats staying at home.
Dec. 3, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Arena sb place has regulation size infields, bade of astroturf, about a 120 foot "outfield", where as said walls & nets are live balls if not foul balls and this place also has large squares placed out there that are considered balls hit inside them are Hr's. TV Monitors keep track of scores and counts. Balls are Rif, wood bats as well, if I remember right.
The had leagues for each night.
Been 4 years since there.
Dec. 3, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Thanks, guys. Not an option for me with my occasional super high popup with the Miken.:-)
Dec. 4, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
We use old wood bats, it feels like swinging a tree. Omar it's a game that certainly brings back defense and base running. the fence (actually a plastic/material barrier) is a bout 215-22o feet. Because the ceiling is so low, I've ony seen a hand-ful of HR's in three years. Sounds like you're kind of game (lol).
Dec. 4, 2010
zonk
56 posts
Jose: Is that the facility in Dowingtown or Hatfield ?
Dec. 4, 2010
kbl
Men's 60
529 posts
zonk: downingtown. i dont know where you live, but "in the net" in palmyra, pa(hershey) is great. old hangear w/artificial turf. ken
Dec. 4, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
Zonk, I agree with Ken, Palmyra/Hershey facility is much better, but an hour further from me.
Dec. 4, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Jose, that would be the game for me, but as an old California boy, I don't know if I could get my head around playing indoors. Just seems unnatural.
Dec. 4, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
You'd like it if it was 20 degrees outside and snow piled on the ball fields.
Dec. 4, 2010
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
How about playing in the snow with a white ball?LOL Yes, Jose, if I lived where you live I'm sure I could get used to indoor softball (far less expensive than flying to Florida to play every other week).
Dec. 4, 2010
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
I actually play in a snowball tournament every Feb. with a young guys team. Last year was the first time there was actually snow on the ground. There was about a foot of it. It actually brought all the young guys down to my speed. Not sure I'd do it again, although it was fun diving to the bases.
Dec. 7, 2010
zonk
56 posts
I am near Willow Grove, Pa. Hershey is about 2 hours away. That Hershey facility sounds cool.
Dec. 7, 2010
kbl
Men's 60
529 posts
zonk--go to : indoorsoftball new jersey.com, you will find a few good places that arent too far from willow grove. ken
Dec. 8, 2010
zonk
56 posts
Thanks, Ken. I will look it up.
Dec. 8, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
We played a wood bat game in Tucson-a lot of the people down there for the Convention. What fun!! Man, the difference-I hit one pretty good and it went maybe 250 or so and one big young guy hit one about 275 or 280 and that was it. The heavier bat made a difference. I will compete in a wood bat tourney if I get the chance after that fun!
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