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Discussion: Trying to Play 55+

Posted Discussion
Jan. 28, 2011
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Trying to Play 55+
I just wanted to get some other points of view. I helped start and was the sponsor of a 50+ team. It began in 2006 as a AAA team. The team did well. When we played AAA in 06 & 07 I played alot.
But as more & better players turned 50
we picked them up. My playing time went to basically coaching third base with an occasional few innings played in meaningless games.

Since we did well, the team got bumped to Major and then Major Plus.

Knowing that I was turning 55 in 2011, I did not attend any functions with the
50 team in 2010. So I sat out the year. The 50 team changed sponsors and went on their way without me.

Now 2011 arrives. I attempt to join up with the only 55+ team that has an interest in me. Regardless of what their class is, they are the only team that I can find to play with.

As it turns out they are a 55 AA team.

So what happens next? The 55 AA team does the right thing. They inquire about myself with SPA & SSUSA. I have never played SPA, they say I'm OK to play with the 55 team. Take a guess what SSUSA'S position is?

You got it, they say I am a Major+ player, therefore I can't play on the 55 AA team.

I appeal in writing. Ok now they say we will bump you down to Major. Still
can't play AA though, AAA is the lowest
level I can play.

SSUSA was very cordial but I just don't
get it? If I sit out another year, then they would re-evaluate my status in 2012 and perhaps then I would be moved to AAA status.

All I want to do is play some 55 level Senior ball. I suppose playing SPA only is ok but then I would not be able to make all of the 55 team's tournaments.

I think SSUSA should re-look at individual player classifications. I really don't think that 1 player would really effect an entire team at the 55 AA level, perhaps I'm wrong. Especially one that is not a Long Ball hitter.

I'm sure SSUSA has this ruling to curtail cheating or whatever, but
each case should be judged on it's own merit.

Thanks to everyone who may respond to this post.
Jan. 28, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
have they taken your money for registering as a 55 yet,to me they just don't care to really evaluate the player.its well you played for team x and that is the rating you get.
i have the same prol here with the kids,they got bumped for finishing 5th in 1 tourney and now we have to play up,so that means if my senior team decides to play in a kids tourney,we have to play in the higher div b/c of my being bumped with the kids.
it is a real pain for the guys who are the subs on an upper div team for senior ball,when they leave that team,as most likely they are just on the team to fill in when needed,or in your case to sponsor the team.
Jan. 28, 2011
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Hi No did not send any $$ in yet. In fact my SSUSA card has expired. But you are correct about being a sub/sponsor. SSUSA should really look
at the entire picture. Thanks
Jan. 28, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
i had a prol kind of like that 5 years back,i just went and played......
Jan. 28, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
ridge(SPA) by the way is great to deal with,i had a sit down talk with him about my prol.
Jan. 28, 2011
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
2awesom, this is often a problem with guys with lesser skills, that for whatever reason or circumstances, aren't at the level of the team they are registered with. When they finally decide to move down to an appropriate level, they find themselves tagged with a higher individual ranking.

But short of actually seeing you play a few games, what can the association do? Get affidavits from your old team that you were a seldom-play, weaker player? Depend on videos? Check your batting average (if available)? Put you on probation and risk hurting your new team if you have a good tournament and they have to forfeit?

It's not true in my experience that a major or major plus player wouldn't have a tremendous impact on a AA team. Batting fourth, fielding everything in sight, running for slower guys—a high quality player can really impact a typical AA team.

Of course, you say you are not that kind of player, and I believe you, but a lot of guys have claimed this fraudulently in the past and the associations have been burned.

The challenge of ranking each player is beyond the capability of any association. My association in northern California has about 1500 players! Who would rank them? What a data collection problem!

What about those whose team is hot and wins one tournament, but they weren't even there that weekend? So you can't go by team. What if an association official happens to catch a game that you are playing in and you play way over your head—how would he know your real skills (other than the fact that you are batting 10th)?

Just not going to happen. We all know true major+ players when we encounter them or watch them, but even then there is a difference of opinion about such players who are on the margin of a team. I might say the player is Major+ because of his bat, another experienced softball player might say Major because of his slow running, a third player might even say AAA because of a weak glove.

Whew! I feel for you, but I don't see any fair solution on the horizon other than appealing again and hoping for a lower ranking. The fact that you played in few games and were valuable only as the sponsor might help since these facts can be determined from the scorebooks. But be prepared to gather a lot of data and some sworn statements from other players who know you.
Jan. 28, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
omar i had to get a statement from my previous coach for ridge to consider letting me drop down.i did carry a good BA tho,but not the power they had.he did let me drop from M+ to AAA.
Jan. 28, 2011
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Thanks for the info. Mr. Omar you make some great and valid points.
Honestly I can play 55 Major if I wanted to, I certainly feel I could hold my own. It's just frustrating not
being able to find a team to hook up with and then when you do, sorry you might be too good to play for them.

Again SSUSA was very cordial. There's
no hard feelings. They will allow me to play AAA, Major etc. That's fair.

But again the bottom line, I won't be playing anywhere. There's no 55+ AAA or Major teams looking for players.

If you know of any, in Penna or adjoining states, let me know. Until
then i'll just have to play USSSA with the young guys!
Jan. 28, 2011
Joncon
289 posts
Like most organizations, I don't think that any of the senior softball associations really give a crap about an individual player.

The logic of your situation may make perfect sense but they don't want to take the heat when some crybaby says "He played on a major team" when they get beat by your new team.



Jan. 29, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
yeah joncon,but 1 player does not make a team,we all know that,yes there will be cry babies about it,but they need to get over and let him play.2awesom,play with your team for SPA for now i guess.
Jan. 29, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
forgot to add 2awesom,i have to play up this year if i play usssa (D from E)as out team got bumped b/c we finish 5th in 1 tourney last year,out of 6 or 7 we played.north texas is anal about it also,i can't even pick up with a E team this year or they automatically get bumped to D,same goes if my 60 senior team if it wants to play E to get some playing time in.what the hell is a 61 yr old gonna do for a kids team....
Jan. 29, 2011
samg
25 posts
2awesome there is a team in Southern Ohio I think Dayton Legends that posted they were looking for a couple of players. You may check and see if they still need players.
Jan. 29, 2011
bernie
Men's 55
64 posts
Problem solved...Thanks Rick
Jan. 29, 2011
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Hey bernie thanks again! yep problem solved!
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