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Discussion: Senior bats for Senior leagues

Posted Discussion
March 8, 2011
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Senior bats for Senior leagues
Locally, the senior softball community organized to shop our entire league around the local parks to get the best deals on fees and the like...........We have partnered with a good facility that currently caters to the youngsters and is an NSA sanctioned park. The issue is that the seniors want to use their bats and the Park director has yet to find a way to accomodate them due to the liability issue. You that have local leagues AND use senior bats, HOW do you address this issue. (Please, I know most of your thoughts on senior "special" bats, so no personal comments, only positive constructive feedback) thanks
March 8, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
personally corky,unless all teams are of tourney quality,why use senior bats.in our league we have ASA rules and thats the bats we use.we have such a wide variety of ages and talent that it makes sense to use only these bats(ASA).
now for your situation,you say NSA is the norm there,they allow most all bats except senior ones,so why not go with that,otherwise your league will have to opt for extra ins to be able to use senior bats and that means the players will have to kick in the extra money for it.
March 8, 2011
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Corky, one league in my area began with a policy that only the truly senior (75 and older) could use senior bats (all composites, not just Mikens). Those 70 and over could use doublewalls; all others single wall. This evidently worked out to be a safe approach with only 2 serious injuries in 10 years (one to a runner nailed going to first; the other a chest shot to a pitcher).

Once the city saw after a couple of years that it was a safe league, and they had NO claims for injuries, an evening league began where mostly 50-somethings play and any bat is allowed. The ball is not real hot, but not a 52-275 or restricted flight either.

The other issue that cities care about is not just safety of players, but safety of traffic, playgrounds, and homes on the other side of a fence. Those hitting the ball out in the evening league park are expelled from that game and their team is penalized with three outs. This is a city rule for all leagues on this field. This does change the game a bit, but those guys live with it because there is no other park within 20 miles that allows Mikens, et al for any league.

Senior tournaments at parks in this city allow use of senior bats because of the good safety record established thus far. Only one field expels a player for a home run during a tournament and it looks like the older/weaker teams play there.

Hope this helps, but it is a longer process than your guys might want.
March 8, 2011
Marv19
Men's 60
429 posts
Keep in mind that municipalities have their own Insurance carrier where in our case we have to provide each facility with proof of our own liability carrier. Our carrier allows our players the use of senior bats. For example Temecula's senior league on Wed. night can't use senior bats but when we host a tournament there they are allowed. Every situation is different but if you provide the insurance then I would approach it that way. But remember insurance isn't cheap :O)
March 8, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Omar, it is really sad and disheartening to hear that guys are willing to play by really silly rules just so they can use the special bats.

Plus, what is the need for a special bat if you are not allowed to hit homers with them? Am I missing something in what you wrote?
March 8, 2011
garyheifner
349 posts
I play in a senior league in Elgin, Illinois. It is 1 age group 50 and over. They have several nights of try outs, hitting and fun games for the new players each year. The director spreads out the recreational players and tournament players onto different teams to try and equalize the competition. They ban the U-2, all else is legal. They put us on the 275' field. However, we use a restricted flight ball. It hurts if you take one on the shin but you really have to square one up to hit it out. The vast majoriy don't even try and go for singles which can be a challenge as the outfielders squeeze in from those 275' fences and there isn't much room between the infielders and outfielders. Once in a while a game gets out of hand, 6 or 7 runs usually can win the game. We all try and win but most play for the enjoyment of the game. Many of us, the tournament players, don't pick on the rec players. You might have a 75 year old guy at 3rd or 1st. Or a guy in right with a metal hip or bad knees. We don't hit it there. If I can eat up a tournament players with a hard grounder or liner or burn a tourney outfielder, it makes my night. Side bonus is that every once in a while one of the rec players turns out to be really good. We (my SSWC team) has picked up several and they have become outstanding SSWC players.
March 8, 2011
Omar Khayyam
984 posts
Gary19, you are reading it right. For the opportunity to swing their Mikens and Combats, these men are willing to be penalized for home runs! No other venue option within reasonable range, since most of the older parks in this area were built with shorter fences than customary nowadays, and the city is just protecting pedestrians and non-softball players from the consequences of over-hot senior bats. You know me well enough to remember that I am the one advocating for the elimination of senior bats (except for designated tournaments) and a return to single walls.
March 8, 2011
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
The park where we will be playing is a private park and has nothing to do with any municipal rules. It "IS" an NSA sanctioned park and the owner just wants to cover his posterior. I could give a hoot about what bats they use but the older guys (65+) want to use the bats they will be swingin at tournaments. I heard that SSWC has an insurance policy that might cover them? I didn't want this post to pick the scab on the "special bat" issue. I was just trying to accomodate the owners and players. If we can't, NSA / USSSA bats will have to do. They get pretty good when broken in anyway. How do the sanctioning bodies get away with it when they host tournaments? Just help, not commentary on the evil bat ball thing please.
March 8, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
like i and a couple of others have said,you'll have to look into insurance to cover your league if the park is not willing to provide it for ya's.that is the only way i see for ya's to go.

as for the scab,there will always be someone who just has to pick it.....
March 8, 2011
jim16
Men's 65
169 posts
This past weekend I played NSA sanctioned senior tourney and we used senior bats and the 52 300 NSA Sanctioned ball. NSA can allow this combination. The ball traveled well. We are a 65 team and quite a few out on a 315 ft fence with wind blowing out. The ball definitely bounces higher and more infield defense. I liked it
March 9, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
jim,glad to hear you guys got to play,we were there at 8 am and the weather was terrible.team took a vote and said the heck with.

also glad to see someone else likes the 52-275/300 ball.
March 9, 2011
neck10
488 posts
we do the same in out leauge asa bats sure makes the bats seem like more pop in the tournements we go to that allow senior bats
March 9, 2011
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Thanks for your input Jim and mad dog...Park director said he would put our NSA sanction fees towards an insurance policy if thats what it takes......If not we'll just have to break out the Freaks and Mayhems.
March 9, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
neck10,it is the reason i don't have a prol using ASA bats in league,besides the overall talent level in league being as it is,it makes for a safer league for those players who do not do the tourney circuit.

corkey no prol,hope you all have a good time in your league,we start ours on the 15th of march.
March 10, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Maybe people are just speaking in generalities, but does everyone on here believe that every player who does the "tourney circuit" (and all you have to is be willing to pay to go play) is better than every "rec league" player?
March 10, 2011
ju25
Men's 55
139 posts
Tourney players are not necessarily better than rec players, but without age groups and classifications there can be a huge difference. Our rec league(50+) has Major+ and Major players going up against AA and 65 & 70 year olds.
March 10, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
ju25,and there you have it,we have 50-83 for ages,and the talent is from M+ to just starting out to play with no clue as what they are doing,just wanting some exercise.that is our reason for ASA bats only.works great for our league.we are a fun league and by doing a draft for teams,we keep them pretty even.last year we didn't decide the league winner till the last week of each session(we had 4 sessions).one of the session we had all teams(we only have 4 teams) tied in the last week.
March 11, 2011
Corky
Men's 55
446 posts
Mad dog: Just an update; we contacted SSUSA and I quote "SSUSA is happy to include insurance coverage, offered by National Certified, Inc. as part of our 2011 packeage of products and services available to league and recreational tournaments" they list all things covered and amounts paid for each occurance. The cost is about what you would pay in sancion fees so that's a wash. Looks like we're on our way.......Just a side note since the discussion veered off to the difference between league (rec) and tournament players....when polled, the league players were the ones that seemed more adamant about using Senior Bats than the tournament players. Only speculation on my part, but it seems the league players goal is to win the T-Shirt and the tournament players just want to get the swings in for tournaments. (The rabbits will run with this one 8-)
March 11, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3935 posts
corky,no doubt about just the league players wanting to use senior bats,or being the ones pushing it.they will think it will bring them up to a higher level to be even with the "tourney players",not realizing it will also make the better players even better.

good luck and have fun.
March 12, 2011
Corrupt
3 posts
If a bat is illegal, it's illegal, end of story. I know there are a few people in the local area softball leagues that play with altered bats only because of their ego. A lot of the players need to realize that with the altered bats they can seriously hurt someone. The pitcher is the most susceptible to getting hurt as they are the closest to the batter. As a batter, put yourself in the shoes of the pitcher. I played little league for 1 year. I can still remember the saying my little league coach taught us.

"Doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game."

we won the B major league championship that year.
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