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Discussion: Our Game vs. Their Game

Posted Discussion
Dec. 17, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Our Game vs. Their Game
I personally would like to talk about the future and what kinds of things we can do to increase participation in senior ball and improve any aspect of the game or rules. I am for fewer, simpler, clearer, improved rules. It is also my preference that senior ball continue much as it is currently. I believe most of the differences are appropriate and do work for us, though for the most part they would not work for the youngsters. I don't care to play with the youngsters or with their rules anymore and I don't think it would work for them to play by our ruless. Either scenario could lead to disaster. Our game I believe is safer in many ways, and more controlled in general, good for our age groups. The limitations on bats and some balls in ASA, NSA and USSA keeps the youngsters safer, which is fine for them but I don't enjoy it anymore.

Quoting a world-champion 75M+ manager: "Age is the great equalizer." It seems to me that as we advance through each age bracket the differences between players ability and agility naturally close.

I am grateful to be able to play. I hope to continue (55) for another 20+ years (75). I don't believe I could play 55 major but maybe at 60 or 65 I could play major, if I'm healthy and I continue to improve every year.

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
ChiPrimeMarty
Men's 55
69 posts
One good way to increase participation is to continue playing in leagues with players in their 40's, and tell them about the Senior game and get them recruited when they become eligible. This is how I got into Senior Softball. I wouldn't have known about it if not for a couple older players on my local park district team who recruited me. Even if I had known about SS, on my own I probably wouldn't have looked for a Senior team to join.
Dec. 18, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
ShaneV-I feel the same as you do. I went to the SSUSA Convention this year for the first time and was very surprised and impressed with how they conducy business to try to give us the best game they can. I was listened to, and even though I don't agree with everything, I got an insight into why certain things were voted down and other were adopted. There was a lot of passion in the debates at the rules meeting, and true concern for the players. It is $100 to go and for that you get 2 catered meals and we got CPR/AED training-well worth it. Anybody can go and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to be a true part of working to make our game better.
Shane-are you with Doerflinger or the Wolfpack? If so, we played you in Phoenix 2009.
Dec. 18, 2010
RIK56
Men's 50
120 posts
Well said shane i agree 100 percent with you.The only rule i dont care for is homerun for an out.And no drinking in the parking lot.
Dec. 18, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
RIK-I do believe the drinking rule takes precedence on my agenda for next year to get it legalized!!
I do agree that HR outs are painful. I would like to see a rule that if you are at the limit, you get 1 HR foul ball per AB. Or even 1 per person per game as a foul ball.
Dec. 18, 2010
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
I would like to compliment all of you fellas for this thoughtful, intellegent and civil post. This is the way we should communicate with one another. I've been reading this board for about seven years and it has gotten to the point that almost every post is taken over by those whose main purpose for posting is to stroke their own ego, belittle someone elses ideas, just hear themselves talk or try to antagonize others. Sometimes I would like to add my 2 cents worth, but it would be like wrestling with a pig. You'll always get dirty. Thanks again.






Dec. 18, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Marty, I made a somewhat risky executive decision last year to add the 40's to our league. It did shake things up a bit and there were some complaints but we grew and the top 50's teams had a more challenging year. We have some work to do for 2011 to address some issues created by the change.

Webbie, you describe becoming involved in convention exactly as I would expect from someone who is open-minded and truly interested in what's best for most. I've had a couple experiences in my life, having listened to so many people refer to "they". "Why do they do this or that?" "They don't know what they're doing!" "They're making a ton of $ off of us!" "They don't care!" Such references are usually uninformed, cynical and closed-minded. Only when you are willing to become involved and informed does it change to "WE". "We're not always sure what we're doing." "We're not making a ton of $ but we are passionate about what we're doing and we do care, so we will strive to provide a good product at reasonable cost."

A few years ago I noticed that truly exceptional organizers and promoters were few and far between in softball in general and they were quitting right and left. I realized that the abuse and disrespect that they put up with (just like umpires and team managers) wears on them and when it becomes too much, it's not worth it anymore.

Rik, I think the home run rule relates directly to proper classification and also to our amazing bats. If the outs seem to be too harsh a penalty then some of the home run hitters should be moving up or be smart and pickup another bat in those situations. Proper classification can be really difficult for a team and the players however I always try to remember that proper classification is not so much about penalizing a team but protecting the opportunity to win for 100 other teams. It's not easy to focus on what's best for the most when your team is bumped. Certainly no more than 10% of teams can occupy the top of a class but hopefully 80% occupy the middle and 10% the bottom. If you truly are in the bottom 10% you can and will be dropped down if you follow the procedure, or you have to find a way to get better.

Finally, on the drinking issue, I had a problem and chose to quit with help in 1989. I think it's great that some states allow sales in their public facilities. Here in WA we have very antiquated liquor laws and an initiative to privatize liquor sales was just defeated. The state may never privatize or allow sales in most public facilities, or recognize that people in general are better off with more freedom of choice, something this country was founded upon. As big as the softball community is, we are tiny in relation to these big political issues. So enjoy the freedoms you're allowed when you travel. I happen to be part of an even smaller minority. I have asked concessions to stock non-alcoholic alcohol so I can have a cold one with my teammates at the end of the day and I haven't seen it yet!

Great thread by the way, not because I started it but because you participated! Keep it coming!

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Great post hombre. One of those wisdoms from the often criticized programs is "Looking up at the curb and down at the rest of the world." The attempt to elevate oneself by belittling others accomplishes little more than false pride. When enough people always look for the good in and elevate others and remain humble, everyone benefits and it can become contagious. I am guilty at times but I will continue to work at it every day.

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Webbie, I played with Doerflinger through Western Nationals in 2010 and the team reorganized at the end of July.

A bunch of 55's from various WA teams is in the process of forming for 2011.

Did you beat us in 2009 in Phoenix? As it relates to classifications I love playing in the Championship events like Reno and Phoenix where the number of evenly matched teams really comes together. Teams really have to play well on those weekends at those tournaments to be successful. Small local events are so hit and miss, depending on how many teams and the divisons. Same with senior leagues.

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
Drinking in the parking lot is illegal? I guess we've been breaking the law for a long, long time!

One way to increase participation is to eliminate 40+ and replace it with 45+. The main reason there are so few 40+ teams is that many of these players are still playing the "kids" version of ball. The 40+ teams are too strong for most 50+ teams and certainly 55+ teams to compete with anyway. If a 45+ division was added, 50+ teams and even some higher end 55+ teams could compete. 10 years is too much of an age difference. Call it 45+ Seniors! Incorporate it into senior ball instead of calling it Masters. Give it some "pub", half of the tournaments don't even offer a 40+ division, how is it expected to grow when there is nowhere to play.

The HR rule needs to become at least progressive, 1 or 2 up. That would be the best for all involved, if two teams could bang away at each other, they could. If a team with no power was playing against a power team, they could stay in the game because the other team would not be able to hit them.

Dec. 18, 2010
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
i don't mind the hr rule as progressive,maybe like this

1- up for AA
2-up for AAA
4-up for M
8-up for M+

just some suggestions,not sure except for the 2 bottom divs what would be fair.anyone else.
Dec. 18, 2010
smooth01
Men's 50
122 posts
As far as parking lot rules go, some rule are meant to be ignored, just like the rule of wearing your hat backwards ,which is never enforced .
Dec. 18, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
Shane-we played you the second pool play game.Some lefty with a blue knee brace hit a grandslam in the seventh and we beat you 18-14 (I looked it up). That was such a special tournament for our team, because we actually had a winning record after 3 years of 1-5 or 2-4 in Phoenix. We went 6-3 and came in 3rd. Look forward to catching you guys in the 55's now.
Dec. 18, 2010
Marv19
Men's 60
444 posts
Hey Guys that play our tournaments or plan to. Please note! In Temecula the fine is $250 for open containers and there is a cop assigned to Parks. Most of the time it's a she and she will site you in a N.Y. minute. She doesn't have a visible badge and looks like an ordinary person. No Smoking in the park as well.

When in Diamond valley it's not a city park so they really don't bug us as long as we clean up after. Have had a few Pizza tail gates there already. No one has said anything so far. Everything in moderation as they say. Motor homes park for free in Hemet. BTW 1 up and a single in all divisions with us. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Dec. 18, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Progressive HR rule makes sense to me. At least if two teams are hitting them, they can continue. Seems to work reasonably well for youngsters. And if you reach the limit and your opponent does not, change your strategy.

Take the 45+ idea further. I never played or witnessed much over 30 or over 35 but I know it did exist. It would seem to make sense that if a softball career now typically spans 25 to 65 for many and that playing with 25 year-olds becomes a challenge at 40 and very difficult at 45 (did for me), maybe 45 is a better starting point for true senior. Hard to say. One of the complaints I heard in league this year was "you're going to allow the 40+ guys to swing senior bats? Are you nuts?!?" The issue for me is if anyone at any age can really crush the ball but struggles to control where it goes (middle) they need to be cautioned and be accountable for accidents (middle) they cause, even if truly unintentional. If you get behind in the count and a good pitcher paints a corner is it really his fault if you seriously injure him. How about take the K and congratulate the pitcher, and ask him to make a note that you choose not to risk his life. And then ask him to please wear a mask and other protection.

I have a cousin who killed another hunter in a freak accident and never hunted again. He was in no way negligent or careless but it was devestating. Are we willing to risk ever playing the game we love again for one at bat?

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
truhitter
25 posts
I just had to comment on the parking lot. I can remember after the tourneys in alhambra on memorial weekends we would sit in the parking lot and drink beer and laugh about who won and who lost it did'nt matter when it was over we always had a good time
Dec. 18, 2010
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
Webbie, that was a pivotal game for us in 2009. I take most of the responsibility for losing that game for not making a pitching change sooner. I was focused on a number of things including an ASA umpire that was confused about more than one rule. We got down and by the time we made changes it was too late to dig out and finish on top. We battled hard all day Saturday and missed Sunday by a run and an ejection that the same umpire was afraid to execute. Managing effectively and playing outfield is really a challenge. I can't say I was a very effective manager and don't intend to try again in the forseeable future.

And congratulations on your success!

ShaneV
Dec. 18, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
What about just being a baserunner at first or third with one of those 40+ guys with a senior bat? You don't even have a glove there for a little protection. Another reason why the bases should be 70'.
Dec. 18, 2010
DRob
34 posts
Well fellas I gotta' say this is one of the more civil posts I've seen here, so far. I don't post much because I don't need the argument. Heck, I can argue with somebody I like right here at home.

Jawood. We're contemplating lowering the age for league play here in Indy. We have a shortage of players at the top and bottom of our age groups. We've got a lot of guys between 55 & 65 but the 70s have nobody to play against and the 50s can't get enough guys for a full 4 team league. Not much we can do about the 70 yr olds but seems to me the future of our game, at least locally, hinges on getting guys involved as they approach 50 rather than waiting until they turn 50. I suggested we drop down to 45 but the suggestion was made that we go clear to 40. Most of our 50+ guys are playing in other leagues against the "kids" anyway. We wouldn't want those 40 yr olds playing against the 60 and older guys though.

As for the drinking, in Indiana it is against the law to bring your own alcohol onto the property of a facility which has a liquor license. It's done fairly often but I don't think most guys realize they are putting the license of the facility owner in jeopardy. In the Indy City Parks, it's a ordinance violation to drink but it's not strictly enforced as long as it doesn't get out of hand. We do have one park where a neighbor lady videos guys drinking after ballgames and calls the police. I personally don't know of anybody getting busted but a police car cruising through the lot has caused more than one beer to be spilled. I hate that!

We'll know the bases are too far when the third baseman needs the pitcher to relay his throw to first!

Dec. 18, 2010
Tater50
336 posts
HRs as outs!!!
If the HRs are used up & a HR is a single, it takes 4 to equal a run under "some" rules, whereas a dbl & a sgl would equal the same.

You do not punish a guy for being fast & stretching a dbl out of a sgl, where I can easily stretch a sgl out of a dbl.

This HR as an out should be repolled in all classes, AA-Major +

Tater50
John (Member of SSUSA for 10 years)
Dec. 18, 2010
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
As much as I would want a HR not to count as an out, I think excess HR's need to be outs at the AA level.
Dec. 19, 2010
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
Jawood-I do like the progressive rule, but like we talked about in our emails, it may be something we have to continue to bring up to get something done. I have changed my mind a bit about the rule and would personally like to see the excess HR's in all divisions as foul balls. Then there is nothing to gain by hitting it out and you are not penalized for OOOPSES! unless it is the 3rd strike. In AA you don't want to penalize the guy that never hit one in his life and then when he does, he is out.

--------------------------------------
Shane-I coached a couple tourneys this year when our coach had surgery-It is an unbelievable challenge to play and try to keep ahead of things while coaching on the field. I would prefer not to do it again, either. I do remember there was poor umpiring in our game. You hate to see that in Worlds.
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