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Discussion: Purist....

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Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Purist....
I have just been called a purist in another thread, which does not bother me at all, but it brings me to a question. I keep hearing how many of you guys still play for the love of the game. But what game?

The game you grew up with, or some game with run limits, time limits, mats, pitcher's boxes, pitchers looking like hockey goalies, second home plates, rocket launchers with 15" sweet spots, missing rubbers, and courtesy runners?

If you loved the game you grew up with so much that it helps to keep you playing, which is certainly a good thing, then why so many changes to it now? You either loved something for what it is, or you don't, or so it seems that way to me.

Thoughts?
Dec. 17, 2010
Capt Kirk
408 posts
Dirty, I guess their is a purist point of view and reality. If we didn't have rules on time limit, runs, and etc. I am not sure if a senior softball game would ever end. In our league we have such disparity of talent, rec teams to majors playing against each other, the rules keep the game moving (kinda of).
We don't have a draft in our league, the best teams get the best talent and everyone is scrambling just to get enough bodies to field a team. I love the game in spite of all the rules. Just my opinion, have a good one.
Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
For the first 30 years I played without limits games ended. What is so different now? It is the same game, or it should be. Though for the first 30 years we hustled on and off the field, did not waste time with ridiculous 'courtesy' runners, and did not artifically jack up scores with rocket launchers for bats.

I did not play with a draft until Seniors, yet again our games ended. Many of the changes made caused the issues that we now feel the need to make more rules to address.

Just a downward spiral.
Dec. 17, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1983 posts
Dirty-I was thinking about a thread about purists-and voila! I really do tend to agree with you on a lot of this issue. When our Diablos team got together in the late 70's, we averaged about 10-15 runs a game and won most of them. For example, we would go to Amarillo for the preseason tournament and there would be 15 ranked teams there-Port City Ford, NELCO (Nelson Paint), Chromalloy/Fluid Engineering, Shoe-o-rama, and a host of other well known and highly ranked teams. Port City Ford was ranked #1 when we played them and we lost 17-16 to them. We beat Fluid 10-8, Nelson beat us 15-13. Defense was crucial in the games-and I do not remember time limits then. When the Worth Blue Dots came around-all of a sudden the games were in the 30's, but were still fun. The year we played Shoe-o-rama was the first year of the blue dot and we beat them 38-37. Then came the T4000, TN-Poly, etc. and it got ridiculous. It has been a pendulum-first pretty dead, then way too lively, back to pretty dead (the original RF80), and then steadily hotter to where we are. The Purist in me wants the old days back without HR limits, time limits, etc., but the games would never end with this offensive equipment vs. our aging defenses. I do believe the game will 'cool down' again as local associations take matters into their own hands. You see things in black and white, Dirty, and want the game back that we had in the 70's. It's not bad. But, the game is still fun and the SSUSA has provided us a fun venue to play. I will continue to play as long as the good Lord allows.
By the way, I have written ASA and USSSA several times in the last 20 years about taking out the pitchers rubber. It does not change the game one little bit. This is not a new issue with me.
Dec. 17, 2010
MaverickAH
59 posts
Dirty: I've got to agree with you. I know that in these parts, we play it old school with strict singlewall bat restrictions. HR's still manage to be hit.

It keeps the games from being an arms race. It's all about who plays the best on both sides of the ball. It also brings strategy back into the game.

Check it out:
http://lissascoreboard.com/
Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Maverick, that is my point. Since when did defense become a dirty word in this game?
Dec. 17, 2010
stick8
1299 posts
Dirty, excellent points. Most teams are going to have guys that get their hits but for my money the best offense is a good defense. But I'm waiting for the day they come up with "senior" gloves or "cheater" gloves. Then all these guys who couldn't catch athletes foot will suddenly become defensive specialists.
Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
stick, I think they might have already. I have seen some guys playing with gloves that look the size of a bushel basket.

I think if we need courtesy runners so some perfectly healthy but most-likely fat, lazy, and slow guy can get a runner, we should have courtesy throwers who stand next to a rangy but weak-armed SS and take the ball from him and fire it to first.
Dec. 17, 2010
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Stick8: The Worth BFG (15") is a peach basket and we don't have to bend over as far. just kiddin....I love divin in the gap and taking a hit away from any batter...just gotta quit hollerin, Righ Turn......and I agree dirty but, I don't remember anyone asking my opinion on the rules so! I "just keep on playin"
Dec. 17, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Corky, I do too. I just keep hoping no more silly rules and changes to the game are put in.
Dec. 17, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1983 posts
Corky-I do think anything over 14 inches is illegal-I may just have to call the 'glove police' on you. John Reid is the Captain of that Glove Enforcement Division!!! lol Merry Christmas!
Dec. 17, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
hey i use a 14" glove to extend my range...LOL.....

also on limits(hr or time)we have been using them since the mid 80's as every league in played in had them(ASA,USSSA).

the ones with out time limits,did you have leagues that ran games one after another,or was it just 1 game a nite.now my brothers/nephews played in Massachusetts and they played 1 game a nite and played 9 inning instead of 7.
i like the before way of playing also,but i don't see anyone putting down the rocket launchers now after spending the money to get them tho,so it looks like its gonna be the ball that gets changed.
oh well damn if we do,damned if we don't.....
Dec. 17, 2010
DCPete
235 posts
Reality is all the games we grew up playing as kids have changed & will continue to change. Baseball players now use maple bats instead of ash (and metal in college) and they lowered the mound when many of us were teen-agers.Senior softball is no different than any other sport in this regard; change happens.
Dec. 17, 2010
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
I'm the one who called Dirty a "purist", but I didn't mean it as a pejorative word. A better statement would be that I "termed" him a purist.

I understand where he is coming from. He wants to maintain the game as he knew it in the 70s. But it all depends on your perspective, doesn't it?

The game I remember earliest is from the 50s. I am not arguing to retain everything from that era! If I were a "purist" I would bemoan the following:

Pitching distance used to be 34 feet. Are guys sissies now for pitching farther back?

All bats were wooden. Good enough for grandpa, why not you?

Pitch was fast, not looped. Anyone can hit a slow pitch. Some could never hit a 100 mph zinger.

Played with three outfielders, not four. Can't guys run anymore?

Catchers were armored with huge face masks and giant padded gloves. Are pipsqueaks now playing catcher?

Bases were 60 feet, not 65 or 70. Why give more advantage to infielders?

My glove was about 11 inch, with a tiny pocket/web. Sure it hurt to catch a shot, but aren't guys tough anymore?

No reentry substituting. No more than 9 guys in lineup. Runners only for injured players. Don't we have iron men anymore?

If you had 250 foot fences, that was a big field. Some fields were smaller. Only true sluggers could put one out with a wooden bat.

Which purist wants to go back to the mid-50s? Not me.
Dec. 17, 2010
Airbosn
Men's 65
321 posts
A trip down memory lane...LOL. The below is from a 1965 rule book,
1. For rec players; Arc 3 to 10 ft.
2. For the pro; Arc 3 to 12 ft.
Never knew that there was a difference.
Dec. 17, 2010
armiho211
Men's 70
410 posts
i must be the only oddball here, i enjoy the game the way it is now. it is much more fun now compared to the way it was. i think i would still be playing even if equipment and rules had not progressed ( regressed ? ) to where we are now. i have played softball since about 1965 , and i can honestly say that i am still having fun and enjoying every minute. maybe i have a left-wing purist attitude ? the day they come out with VALCRO BALLs and VALCRO gloves is the day i quit and take up cricket.
Dec. 18, 2010
stick8
1299 posts
Dirty, I remember growing up having runners stand next to the plate and run for the batter after he hits. One time that actually was proposed in a rules meeting I was in. I thought the guy was joking but he was dead serious.
Dec. 18, 2010
stick8
1299 posts
Armiho211 I guess I'm also an oddball because I enjoy the game and the comradry that goes with it. As long as everything is on an equal playing field I'm good. The issue I have is every so often a small minority will vociferously complain about a lack of a rule or some rule and lobby for that rule to change. There are times they'll get their way whereas the overwhelming majority see no reason for the change. It's like tyranny of the minority.
Dec. 18, 2010
stick8
1299 posts
Can you shave a glove? Can you end load a glove? Can you roll a glove? Perhaps someone will fill their glove up with stickum (no pun) so balls can't pop out.
Dec. 19, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1983 posts
The Trumpus Flytrap Glove, Stick8? Are we going to have to contend with ALTERED GLOVES now, to go along with altered bats, altered hats, and altered uniforms? :-)
Dec. 20, 2010
stick8
1299 posts
Webbie, it wouldn't be a shock if there are those trying to come up with a cheater glove of some sort. But I have witnessed more than a few horrid looking team uniforms that NEED to be altered. lol
Dec. 20, 2010
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
Omar and DCPete...You guys are right on that the game has changed many times over the years...I have heard the same complaints as long as I have been playing(40 years). Change is not a bad thing and people will always disagree about in which direction the Game should go....I still enjoy playing it and hanging around some great guys....
Dec. 21, 2010
Tater50
336 posts
Dirty: Changes!!!
SSBers have been use to having Sweet N Low on their toast; now they have gotten honey & they do not want to go back to SNL.

I have never liked the SBats; but I will use them since it is the norm. Would rather use metal & 44/375 bats to even out the offensive/defensive game.

I have never liked the plate/mat; I think it takes away from the art of the pitcher (I do not pitch BTW.)

I do like split Home Plate & dbl 1B to prohibit injuries.

I do like CRs, even if it is just for someone to be the rabbit on the team; cause SSB is an elixir to most all of us & I would hate to see someone be taken out of the game.

I do understand time limits, but i hate the RP inning; you get beat you get beat!!

I hate HRS in any class to be outs; should be limits, but singles.

Pitchers: if they want to cover themself w/a metal covering from head to toe; it's their body; can understand why SSB assoc. are asking for it due to insurance.

Tater50
John

PS Do not think the game will revert!!!
Dec. 21, 2010
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Tater50,
I see the 'pitcher' part as hypocritical is using insurance as rationale.
Why get started with the better bats then for one. Why do nothing about the illegal bats for another.
Saying pitchers need to protect them selves because conditions are 'dangerous' up the middle, is reversing course by allowing better bats. And they are saying 'dangerous' because of being forced to wear gear or not play, issue.
Insurance cost as far as I am aware hasn't risen. If rates did increase, there were claims that were not made public which many are under the table. And chances are the rise was not much.
Dec. 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
John, I am sure we will never go back. But I just hope we can at least stop this movement in the wrong direction.
Dec. 21, 2010
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
For whatever it is worth :
I started playing senior softball about 2003-2004. I didn't understand some of the rules then, and still don't.
I am not a pitcher, but never have liked the mat, you pitch either strikes or balls and work the batter.
I don't like the committment line, if I am that close I am either going to be safe or out.
I like to play the game the way I learned, you get 3 outs, I get 3 outs. we play 7 innings unless were tied, then we play until someone wins.
I can still run pretty good, so I am so , so on the CR.
Just some of my thoughts.
Dec. 21, 2010
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
#6, you are spot on. We grew up having to earn our ups, not getting to bat because we sucked and couldn't get three outs. Heck, now we don't have to even get one out, just be bad enough to give up 5 runs and let's go hit.

Ridiculous!
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