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Discussion: Compare the Senior Softball World Tourneys

Posted Discussion
Nov. 16, 2005
jah#4
Men's 55
551 posts
Compare the Senior Softball World Tourneys
I would like to have fellow softballer to help on the disscusion of the World Tournament of the different organization. We have played in the SPA, ASA, SSUSA, NSA, WSA, and the WSL. The better one one our team was the SPA . the fields was good, we had 2 umpires and a scorekeeper, Directions to the fields, each division had there own supervisor. The softball were good and they made sure they were got back when they were hit out of play. we also had scoreboard that were on. Some of the other tourneys had some of the same but some had none. just put this out to see where others teams played and maybethe leader of some of the organization will read this post and will improve there tourney for the players. What is your ideas or feeling on the tournaments your team has played in.
Don Ward
Miken/ Old South/ STW
Nov. 16, 2005
The Pro
81 posts
Glad you asked. There aspects to be considered in responding. Each of us I imagine have different points of view as to what constitutes a good touenament, for instance for me it's the bat and ball standards and format. One umpire is not a problem for me IF they hustle. I've been to many World's where they used two umps and niether hustled or understood the senior game. Having said all that my favorite Worlds are (in no particular order) the LVSSA, SSUSA, SPA. Least favorite all that use the ASA rules.
I hope you get a lot of responses.
Nov. 16, 2005
The Pro
81 posts
Glad you asked. There many aspects to be considered in responding. Each of us I imagine have different points of view as to what constitutes a good touenament, for instance for me it's the bat and ball standards and format. One umpire is not a problem for me IF they hustle. I've been to many World's where they used two umps and niether hustled or understood the senior game. Having said all that my favorite Worlds are (in no particular order) the LVSSA, SSUSA, SPA. Least favorite all that use the ASA rules.
I hope you get a lot of responses.
Nov. 16, 2005
The Pro
81 posts
Glad you asked. There many aspects to be considered in responding. Each of us I imagine have different points of view as to what constitutes a good tournament, for instance for me it's the bat and ball standards and format. One umpire is not a problem for me IF they hustle. I've been to many World's where they used two umps and niether hustled or understood the senior game. Having said all that my favorite Worlds are (in no particular order) the LVSSA, SSUSA, SPA. Least favorite all that use the ASA rules.
I hope you get a lot of responses.
Nov. 16, 2005
rabbit
Men's 65
296 posts
Hi Don, I agree with you SPA is the best in my opinion, we always feel welcome there in Plano and that is why SPA is about the only trouneys we play in, except maybe NSA , which is ran ok but doesnt draw many teams for some reason??, ISSA is not a very good tourney in my opinion, balls, no mat and teams are not in the right bracketts, too many sandbaggers,they could care lees if you are not from the east caost, The Eastern Nationals ?? did not have many teams at all (4) in the 50 AAA , the rest are too far out west(money) for my team or they dont screen the teams and a lot teams play down in Iowa.
I do know a lot of these tourneys really try my soul sometimes, and I am easy to get along with ? maybe I am just getting older, ??

Happy Holidays to all and will see you all in the spring,

Rabbit, coach of the Indiana Classics AAA 50's

Nov. 16, 2005
crusher
Men's 70
388 posts
This is a different approach. My experience at national tour's have been good, could there be improvements? Yes. Here is the way I look at your question.

1. The NSA is a qualifier for SPA
2. The SPA is a qualifier for SSUSA

If I had a choice of which to play in it would be SSUSA because the competion is better and more teams are entered.
Nov. 16, 2005
the wood
1075 posts
In responding to your comparison, I can only speak for the 55 major + division. Gary was correct, there are many aspects to consider. Over the past 2-3 years, we have only participated in the LVSSA, SPA and SSWS. We picked them for many of the reasons already mentioned. We like the SPA & LVSSA best because they seem to attract the most teams (in our division). This is paramount to us... also, a quality ball, > than ASA bats, and they are only 3 days long. We like the SSWS for different reasons (have to play good defense) and we've liked Des Moines. We agree with the fellow that said that ISSA is lacking of late... short on competition, long on hype. We can't really speak for ASA, USSSA or SSWC because we haven't been to one of them in the past 3 years. We prefer more than one umpire... having just one doesn't guarantee that he/she will hustle. While we can't say that having only one has made a tangible difference, it does make us feel better about things. We recognize that this is a cost item, therefore, we'd be willing to pay a higher entry fee. Like Gary, I'm hopeful that there is a lot of feedback on this matter and that the TDs use it to make their product more attractive to the players. I do believe that a few TDs have lost track of this.
Nov. 16, 2005
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
416 posts
I played NSA, SPA and SSUSA this year and LVSSA and USSSA in previous years.

We've played NSA in Gadsden the last two years. it's been well organized and well run with decent umpires. I thought the balls were kind of dead this year. It has more the feel of a large qualifier than a national tournament. Seems like most of the draw is from the SE. We're 0 for 2 in our hotel choices in Gadsden -- I guess there's a nice place ther somewhere.

LVSSA struck me as just another weekend tournament. I have never thought the fields in Vegas were that great.

I've found SPA to be the best organized and best run of the lot. Also, it consistently has good facilities. It doesn't draw as many teams as SSUSA, but does a good job of keeping the different classes equal. Uses good balls, but some will complain about the bat restrictions. This one's in my back yard here in Plano, so it's an automatic every year.

SSUSA's big attraction is the number of teams it draws. Although it has a heavy West Coast influence, it gets a good number of teams from other parts of the country. I've not been overly impressed with the fields in Phoenix and Las Vegas. I like the format they used this year with 4 round robin games and everybody going to the double elimination. This is probably my favorite because we get to see new teams and do some traveling.

Nov. 17, 2005
BRich8
6 posts
Don, good topic, I only hope TD's are reading our comments. The SPA has consistently been the best tournament for me, great fields, good balls, fair bats, well run, and they groom the fields after a game. ISSA is the worst, poor bats and balls, grooming only once a day, and poor scheduling, i.e., in a two team bracket our game times were 9AM, 3PM, and 7PM-just plain silly trying to keep teams there an extra day. NSA was good but poor accomodation choices. SSWS and SSWC were OK and LVSSA is always fun, even though we were trounced. Have a great winter. Bob Sr.
Nov. 17, 2005
Bob50
Men's 60
239 posts
Don,
Our team has played in the worlds for SSUSA, SPA, LVSSA, ISSA and SSWS over the course of the past two years. Overall our preference is SPA. We like the groomed fields, balls, umpires, awards and scheduling of SPA. The website advance tournament information, bats, turnout, competition, winter world beaches in Ft. Myers of SSUSA. The wide variety of accomodations and fun of LVSSA. The central location of SSWS. All these things in one--its not Iowa its heaven.

Bob Schulz
Chicago Classics Red 50
Nov. 17, 2005
DoublePlay
7 posts
Great subject, Don ! - Good business would dictate that the TD's & organizations, etc., will be reading and take it all to heart for future success.
A few things I look for is - better scheduling (not a dragged out tourney), 2 umpires/game (who care), and field condition.
I was most impressed with the SPA handling of fields this year, esp. in Pensacola. They cared enough to drag the (good dirt)fields after every game (it CAN be done!). Scoreboards informed everyone and reduced confusion.

ASA does not impress me - they need to catch up to the times.
Nov. 18, 2005
mad dog
Men's 60
3936 posts
had the pleasure of going to 4 different ones this year nsa (huntsman games)50 maj and 55 aa,spa in plano 55aaa,and ssusa in phoenix 55aa,lvvsa in vegas 50aa and 55 aaa.they all had their ups and downs. to rank them would hard.my only complaint would be with lvssa on the mercy rule they have.you can be the home team and only get to bat 4 times(mercy starts in the 5th) with no chance to do a catch up like the others that have mercy rules.
that is my only probelm with any of them
bob 55's
Nov. 19, 2005
stever
Men's 65
61 posts
Looks like I may be an exception, but of the three we went to (SPA, LVSSA, and SSUSA) I liked SPA the least. The umpires we saw were poor, and twice (not once, but twice) they changed our game times but did not notify us. Plus, it seems politics are the most blantant in this tournament (although they exist at some level in all). Just my opinion.
Nov. 19, 2005
seedog
Men's 55
28 posts
with no hesitation my vote goes to SPA i really like the way that they go out of thier way to see that we- the players are happy. great fields ,accomodations, great awards. ido beleve ridge hooks cares about senior softball. thanx jim see chgo classics 50.
Nov. 19, 2005
mad dog
Men's 60
3936 posts
stever forgot about the umps they had there,we had a couple of poor umps also.
Nov. 20, 2005
JTS2
Men's 55
88 posts
Without a doubt the SPA is the most organized, best run of all the senior worlds. The awards are the best by far of any tournament I have been to. The opening ceremonies and all star games make it seem like a real world tournament. The firelds are very good and the balls are very good.
Nov. 22, 2005
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
597 posts
Our favoirte, and the association that we do the best in is SSWC. This is the national that we go to and see completely different teams than we see all year. There are usually three times as many teams as there are at any other national that we have been to (SPA, NSA, and ASA). I also like that SSWC has a website with information (and a chat page that they let you talk about all associations). The fact that Bob and now Terry play senior softball also gives me a warm fuzzy. I like many aspects of SPA, and the ceremonies and All Star games which were cancelled this year. I only wish that it would be any place but Plano. The NSA and ASA nationals that I have been to were well run, but there are not a lot of teams. Coachie and I visited the LVSSA, and it looked like a good one to participate in. The teams that I know from here in the Midwest that have attended thought it was a good one also.
Nov. 23, 2005
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
416 posts
Nancy,

Just curious, what's wrong with Plano?
Nov. 24, 2005
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2617 posts
Texas Transplant, I am guessing that Nancy's problems with Plano may be the same as mine. Don't get me worng, It's a beautiful area but the hotels are too far from the fields. It is also hard to find inexpensive hotels nearer the fields.
These are the only objections I have with Plano. I believe that our players enjoy Plano more than the other nationals. Ridge gives his tournament a special flair with the opening ceremonies and great awards.
Nov. 24, 2005
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
416 posts
I guess that's a legitmate complaint, Bruce. My teammates, most of whom come down from Arkansas, ususally stay down on Plano Parkway, which would be about 5 miles from Heritage Yards. Of course, since the tournament has grown to McKinney and Frisco, there's really no way of being sure you're close to the fields.
Nov. 24, 2005
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2617 posts
Really, that is my only complaint with SPA. They use good bats and good balls, providing nice awards.
Nov. 25, 2005
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
597 posts
TT, since you asked, Plano is a nice place, but there is nothing to do for tourist type activities, and since the games usually end early in the day, this only leaves eating or activities that tend not to be conducive to play the next day. There is a lot of traffic, and it is just far enough away from Dallas to make that an option. It is an easy drive for us to Plano from Indy, but I just would like to see it somewhere else for a change. The ladies breakfast is a nice touch, but the one year that the wives went, it was the only thing that they liked about Plano or the tournament, and they will not return. Now I would love for someone to convince me that I am missing the high points of Plano after softball, but I hear my same issue from many others while we are all sitting at the pool with nothing to do or doing something that we will pay for the next day. We do have bad luck there, and our AA team always seems to end up on the 275' fields at Heritage Yards which gives us outs that we would never have on the larger fields. I also like the SSWC bat rules better even though I do have strong NSA ties. I also like the ISA bat policies which we play by when we do spring training in Florida. It is like Miken heaven when you see the bat racks down there. We have never played the ISA nationals, and FHC will not allow us to play in their end of year tournament because we are not from Florida; so I can not give an opinion on either of those events. So can anyone change my mind on Plano? Other than the location, I have no other negative comments on SPA.
Nov. 25, 2005
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
416 posts
I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce, so I'm not going to try to change your mind. Plano is a nice place to live: good schools, outstanding city services, etc., but it's not a tourist destination. Hope to meet you at a tournament sometime.
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