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Discussion: How do the other major teams feel about major and major plus in western national

Posted Discussion
July 18, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
How do the other major teams feel about major and major plus in western national
Our MTC 50 team has decided to attempt to skip all future events where major and major plus are put into the same bracet after seed games.

We understand SSUSA is still trying to figure out how to regulate the major plus divisions but.... We have decide to skip events where only major brackets cannot be guaranteed when the tournament is advertised.

How do the other majorr teams from last weekends western nationals feel?

And no.... I don't think being put into the losers bracket after game one by a major plus team made our mind up.... We were feeling this way before the tourney.
July 18, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Hi Tim. My team the Southwest Legends are in agreement with this. I hope SSUSA does read this. We were dumped into the loser brackets in both the Winter worlds in Vegas and in the Spring Nationals in Mesqute by Major plus teams. We did go to Reno and the divisions were clean which we aprreciated. We skipped the Southwest tourney in Laughlin and did not go to the Western event this past weekend for the same reason you just stated we could not guarentee the mixing and matching of teams. I've told Fran and Terry we would not go to these type of events that you just described. We also skipped the LVSSA spring event in our own backyard due to the same concern. I'm not one to duck stuff since I played Major plus for a year. Our concern is that we are handcuffed in who we can add so we built our team around different criteria than what I feel a typical major plus team would. The difference in a good major team and a major plus team happens very quickly after the top 3-5 players. We just don't have access nor will SSUSA allow major teams to stockpile players.
July 18, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Our team has also decided to skip future tourneys in our own back yard that do not guarantee when advertised that the major and major plus brackets will be separated.

The ideas to regulate the plus divisions can be argued another day.....but its obvious something other then feeding major teams to major plus teams is needed.

I have been told the norcal Barrons team will also be skipping future events where they are not guaranteed separate bracket tourneys when the events are advertised.
July 18, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I spoke with Tim about this subject
and we agree that playing major plus teams
in bracket play disadvantaged some teams
over others.
There's got to be a better way to deal with the Major/major plus phenomenon.
Again, the way we approach it in NorCal
is with equalizer home runs and 5 run innings
which go a long way to keep teams from moving too far ahead of another.
Along with Tim,
we want to know ahead of time
what the options are going into the play
of the tournament in Fresno.
July 18, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
My major team always had this policy. A weak major team with a decent outfield and depending on 3 or 4 sluggers to carry us, we avoided all tourneys where we would be put quickly in the loser's bracket by a powerhouse team, only to survive and face a major plus team for the championship. Major plus teams have blasters throughout the lineup and no outfielder nor infielder is a liability.

But what does this approach say to the oft-stated position on this site that we should just combine major and major plus determinations to have more competition at tournaments?
July 18, 2011
FOFO
Men's 50
171 posts
Hey Tim,
Played in Vacaville with the Spot. While we did not play a Major + team I'm in total agreement that in a National Qualifier Major teams should not have too at least not without being notified well in advance. I would not mind playing against them in exhibition games, but no way should any game against them count towards seeding or elimination. Let them play a few exhibitions against the Majors and then they can go play a two out of three against each other.
I also question the wisdom of planning a tournament in a known wind tunnel on poorly maintained fields, with a poorly planned schedule. I think with the money we play we deserve better.
July 18, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
OK.
The Major/major plus can be combined
if done a la NorCal with our equalizer at one
and 5 run innings and no five man infield.
What the major plus teams do against weaker squads
is go 5 man which stops the singles hitting teams
from being able to do "their thing" effectively
in putting up a 5 run inning.
Hey Fo.
That was my first time at that complex, too.
I agree that overall it was below par
for what we're used to in SSUSA as well as NCSSA.
July 18, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
So we are up to the Barrons, Spot, MTC50+ and the Southwest Ledgends all saying no more major and major plus groupings....

I agree with the exhibition only thing. Last weekend our seeding loss was to a major plus team and a game one loss to a major plus team put us into the losers bracket.

I have been told it's within the SSUSA guidelines to put both divisions together when numbers permit....

I think our MTC50+ team's new guideline rules is..... that unless the event is advertised as a guarantee major only bracket... We will be forced to sit it out... Nothing personal..... It's just our team rule.

Maybe we can allow those major plus guys to jump on with major teams, two per team, when they cannot field enough teams to have a tourney of their own.

As far as the Vacaville fields go..... They were not the beat but..... At least we could see at night...... It was alot better then playing night games in Phoenix in the dark...

July 18, 2011
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
My previous Major Plus experience was combing Plus/Major in seeding games but not bracket games. Played Plus 6 yrs on 40's and 2 yrs in 50's. This was a first as far as I was concerned. Normally after seeding Plus goes into own bracket even if its 2 out of 3.

Big disadvantage for teams that played Plus teams and were sent to the losers bracket.

After almost 13 yrs of play Masters/Seniors I must say that Al Patch Park is one of the worst venues Senior Softball has ever used.
July 18, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
I agree with you Tim. I will be asking our coach to do the same. I believe if I am going to be playing for a ring I should be playing againist a fair and level field of competition. I don't believe that the out come should be effected by factors such as early losses to a major+ team. It's sound like some of the major teams never even played a major+ team.
July 18, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
einstein is right that the NorCal system of ranking all teams allows major plus teams to play in bracket play (no seeding rounds in NorCal) by playing usually younger major teams or much younger AAA teams. Doesn't solve the problem of the 50 major plus who can't play younger teams, but that affects very few. As he points out, five run innings, equalizer steps (runs or extra player), and HR one-up rule all help keep the competition fair.

The challenge nationally, of course, is accurately ranking teams from different regions/associations. In NorCal, the rankings are very accurate by this point in the year, since most teams have played in several tournaments (we have 2 or 3 a weekend) and there is good data for accurate ranking.

Which complex at Woodland was poor? I have played at the one in the city limits (with the moveable fences) and found the field conditions very acceptable. Was it the other one in the area that was dusty and windy?
July 18, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
So what do you want to do with the two Major-plus teams in the tournament, play a 4 out of 7 or a 3 out of 5 series against each other? They deserve a place to play too! I'm surprised by the comments out of certain people given your history in softball. These little western, northwest, southwest, cal cup tournaments are just "tournaments", a place to play and there are not enough teams to split everyone up. That's the problem here in senior softball, too many divisions and too many age groups. When it comes time for the world tournament in Phoenix, then that's the time to split up the divisions.
July 18, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
Yes in vacaville. Very low maintenance or grounds keeping during the day. I never once seen them water the fields in 2 todays with a 20-30 mph winds.
July 18, 2011
Marv19
Men's 60
445 posts
The way we are handling this on a regional level is a 5-1-1 rule. 5 HRs then 1 up with a single. Also the deficit team gets a 7 run equalizer. 2 in the first and 1 after that. Its worse on the regional level as there are not that many teams to draw from. That being said I have a lot of 50 and 55 major teams showing support so it must be working so far. You guys have to play somewhere or you'll get rusty right? Well 60 guys do :O)
July 18, 2011
green rocket
51 posts
All good points stated gentlemen. Your concerns certainly are not falling upon deaf ears. Terry, Dave, Fran, and the rest of the SSUSA staff reading this will explore all options available
to try to remedy the situation. You guys are a good chunk of Senior Softball and it would be a shame not to have your teams in any tournament that is within your participation.

As far as the fields are concerned, you have to understand the politics involved with the different organizations. Maidu and Meheany fields in Roseville are very good and have been used for the Cal Cup in the past but are run and maintained by people with close ties to ASA softball. In the past they have tried to cut into SSUSA action with disasterous results so they in turn make those fields unavailable to SSUSA in spite.

Davis is excellent, Woodland is good, Patch field had to be used due to the vacinity of the others. Senior Softball has no control on how Vacaville maintains their facility.
July 18, 2011
Longhorns
39 posts
When i first starting reading this forum i was confused but i understand the feelings of the major team players especially MTC. These played a Major PLUS TEAM in the seeding then had to play them again in the first game of the bracket games. They went to the losers bracket an thats really hard to go all the way though the losers bracket unless you have some guys to help give players a break. When the brackets came out for the Tourn. i was happy they let the Major Plus play a 9 team Tourn. instead of a two team. The competion was good no blow outs the field conditions were tough wind blowing in an 11 players on the field made it harder to get a hit at times unless you hit it square. Tim there is a problem nobody wants to be classifed as Major Plus due to the fact no MP teams ever go to the same Tourn. an there are not that many. Its no fun to go to a three day Tourn. an have 2 to 4 teams in the Major plus Division an see 10 plus in the Major playing in the same Tourn. Congrats to the East Bay Oldies they have played some good ball the last couple of weeks.
July 18, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
I guess all our MTC50 team is saying is..... We will no longer be the answer to what do we do about the major plus teams?

Senior softball has to decide if they want to see the major plus level decline or...... Start ranking players instead of teams once teams reach major plus status

In our younger days once you reached the top you classified impact players so not more then a few of them could play on the same team.... As an example what's the Mavericks record over the last few years...112 and THREE?

Maybe after you win major plus worlds not more then a few of your roster players can play on the same plus team untill your into the next age group...
July 18, 2011
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
I believe that spotting runs and or defensive player is just as bad as being spotted runs. I'll do all that I can to convince our team not to play in tournaments where we won't be playing teams of our own age/class.
July 18, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Jawood I'm with Tim on this one we also do not want to be the answer especially when we cannot add the appropriate players. They maybe just tournaments and I agree but they are expensive to attend. We were looking at probably $7,500 dollars in flights, hotels, meals etc all out of our individual pockets. The answer is not to give the major teams who do not play the major plus teams a huge advantage by not having to play them at all. I played against the Northwest Legends too many times to count good stuff, great bunch of guys but and a big but the team I currently play on would not fair well against that team. Until Terry comes up with a better solution that is fair for all including the major plus teams we will use our money wisely. Terry has big issues to deal with to address the major plus division and we do not want to be involved while he sorts them out.
July 18, 2011
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
We Barons also had to play a Plus in the seeding and bracket. Put into the losers bracket by The Longhorns a Plus team. The loses the Major teams had in bracket to Plus teams falsely restructured the Major portion of the tournament.

Again don't mind it in seeding but should not be at this disadvantage in bracket. Major and Major Plus teams are built different. Proof is that even with split awards the Plus teams finish 1-2.
July 18, 2011
udaplaya
91 posts
I have been going to SSUSA events for four years now, and the fields in Vacaville feel far below the standard they have set in their other venues over those years - i.e., they were horrible. We could all name a number of softball facilites within a thirty (30) mile radius (the distance from Woodland and Vacaville) in any direction that would have been much more acceptable to the fans and players alike. i understand that many may have been in use, but there had to be better option(s).

The "what are we going to do with Major+ teams" issue has to be addressed sooner rather than later. Senior softball is going to lose out if things stay status quo. Similarly to the growing sentiment of the Major teams refusing to play in mixed tourneys (and I empathize with their concerns above), the Major + teams are/have gone on record as no longer willing to participate in three-team, multi-day, full-price tourneys - so, something has got to give.

My personal feeling is that there should be no more than two divisions per each age grouping, so that we can get back to the 15 - 20 teams draws where winning a tourney actually meant you had to go through a gauntlet of competitive teams. As it stands now, every team feels that no matter how good(or bad) they are, they should be placed in a division where they have a chance to win - it didn't work that way in any sport I played growing up, and I don't like it now (and i have been on weak teams that were on the short end of many butt whipping over the years in lots of different team sports).
July 18, 2011
Smokey20
Men's 55
102 posts
We Barons also had to play a Plus in the seeding and bracket. Put into the losers bracket by The Longhorns a Plus team. The loses the Major teams had in bracket to Plus teams falsely restructured the Major portion of the tournament.

Again don't mind it in seeding but should not be at this disadvantage in bracket. Major and Major Plus teams are built different. Proof is that even with split awards the Plus teams finish 1-2.
July 18, 2011
titanhd
Men's 50
335 posts

All of your points are well taken and I agree on the most part.What most are saying in a nutshell is that the "equalizer rule" doesn't help. If that is the case then does the same hold true when your Major team is combined with AAA? Would you not attend that tourney? Just to also note the "flip side" .I played 50 Major in a combined division at the Midwest Championship a couple of weeks ago and the Major Plus team was the first team eliminated from the tourney.Go figure...
July 18, 2011
Dbax
Men's 60
1283 posts
Have to agree with the majority here. Seeding games no problem. Bracket games are a different story.
July 18, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1000 posts
Dbax, I agree. Playing a better team in a seeding game is a test of how good you are, how your team is coming together, if you can hit tougher pitching, can your defense handle hard hits, and so on. Valuable.

Playing a division higher team in a bracket game is not the same, especially when the higher teams come in at the top of the tourney despite attempts at handicapping.

It's a great thrill to beat a far better team, but realistically, this will not happen often.
July 18, 2011
T3
9 posts
well all you have to do is look at what happened, major + teams in the ship i play for roll w 2 we go 2-0 on fri lose the # 2 seed on the last game fri night in the last inning fall to # 3 and have to open sat against ebo, talk about the air being let out of your sail. they are major + for a reason. we beat 2 western national winners twice last week in folsom you think they would have wanted 50 majors in their divison for western ? hold on let me get a tissue...
July 18, 2011
tekdad1023
Men's 40
8 posts
I agree they should be separated as well as the 40 major and AAA should also. We got stuck on field 3 and had to give run spots or extra fielders in everyone except one of our games. It made it very tough especially on the fields that had the wind blowing in which were 5 of our 6 games.
July 18, 2011
Q19
Men's 55
48 posts
I'm 5'10" & 190 lbs. and have been playing softball since 1978 with a couple years off for a dislocated shoulder injury which relegated me to find another position other than the outfield. I started pitching and playing first and second base and played well enough to be competitive through the years. Highest civilian classification I've ever played at was ASA Class "C" Nationals. Played on base teams throughout my 20 years in the Air Force. Now going on my third year with the EAST BAY OLDIES with a TOC win in Florida last year and a 2nd place finish in the 2009 SSUSA World Championships. We got bumped to Major Plus after winning Rockin Reno in '09 and have never looked back. What makes a MAJOR PLUS team anyways? I know some old guys out there amongst the various teams have played and excelled at a higher level than me for sure. I don't consider myself a MAJOR PLUS player if thats going to be the top level. I think we should have another division called MAJOR WANNABE or go to A, AA, AAA, Major just like MLB. We've been beaten by MAJOR teams. If we win all the RING tournaments and the World Championships in one year, we'll definitely need to be re-classified as AWESOME or MAJOR PLUS PLUS.
July 19, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Ah..... We have now come to "The Question".

What does a major plus player impact player look like?

Let's face it.... Senior softball is going to have to start trying to figure that out.

I'd say a major plus player is....

First and foremost.... A player that helps his team dominate a world event at the major plus level.
July 19, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Q.
I left before the final and you guys beat the Longhorns.
Way to go East Bay.
Brownie, Jessie, Steve, Mike, Z, Duff and the boys
way to go.
You showed the thing a Major plus team is identified by
and that is the ability to "Bring It" when the championship
game is played.
Congratulations.
July 19, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Ah..... We have now come to "The Question".

What does aN above average major plus player impact player look like?

Let's face it.... Senior softball is going to have to start trying to figure that out.

I'd say an impact major plus player is....

First and foremost.... A player that helps his team dominate a world event at the major plus level.

Somehow the senior powers are going to have to break up/weaken the major plus dynasty's or no ones going to move up.... Just a fact
July 19, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
as a 60 AAA team we play 60m and a 65M+ all the time in seeding,don't care.we have only once decided not to play a team and it wasn't b/c of their ranking(65M+)it was b/c of weather,35-40 degrees and 25-50 mph winds,made the whole day miserable and we were gonna have to play in the late afternoon,when it was starting to drop in temps.
July 19, 2011
Tate22
Men's 55
263 posts
Is it just me, or is this board like the movie Ground Hogs Day with Bill Murray. Same topics, over and over. Here are my thoughts, again.
1) Get rid of the subjective, useless Major Plus Designation. This discussion then wouldn't be throwing around labels and sorrowful tales of injustice, we would only be discussing that some teams at the higher skill levels are really good. Like that is a bad thing. Three levels, MAX. Combine Major and Major Plus, end the welfare state, whining, and stimulus package runs!!! With 5-run innings and an HR cap, a wide range of teams can stay in touch with each other and then let-em rip for the open inning. I'm with ya, Udaplaya!

2) If you really believe the Major Plus designation is necessary, please complete the following sentence - "Major Plus must be in place becasue . . . . If you actually complete that sentence, put on your competitive game face, then look yourself in the eye in the mirror.

3)I've been on both sides of this debate over the past 5 years. 2 years up and down between 50 M+ & M, and 3 most recent years in 55 M+ One constant I've experienced is that the current equalizers of 5 runs and a cap on homers work. There is no need to separate teams between Major and Major plus. What separates teams at the end is good performance at the right time, not some sorry subjective label with a + sign on the end.

4) Sorry, but there is no objective way to designate players and relegate them to levels. Any attempt to do so is insulting to the rest of the players on a good team, and only serves to dilute competition and quarantine top players for good performance. Labeling and segragating whole teams is not right, either. And why, exactly, does someone playing nationally competitive tournament softball want to do that. Huh, can't hear you!!

5)Why is it taken as gospel that good, successful teams MUST move up (read out of the way)?? Coming through the ASA 45's (late 90's-early 00's) a team from Pittsburgh called Maorodi's/Mifflin won 5 straight titles, but every year an equal amount of teams (20-30)showed up at the ASA 45 World believing they could knock them off. Oh yeah, only one level of competition in ASA Masters.

Simply stated, let's minus the plus sign, and get back to competing. Those teams that choose to stay home won't be able to blame a meaningless label. Finally, in MLB/NL Central, one might label the Cardinals and Cubs as Major Plus due to their resources. At this writing,however,the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first!

JMHO

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55M+
July 19, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
Tate 22 I played againist marododis back then and yes they were very good but their was only one national tournament everybody loaded up that one tourney. Things have changed such as are age and the associations and the number of ring touranments. If we played just one national or ring tournament a year it would be different, the cost to play these types of touranments are not cheap with travel and with all the other expenses.
July 19, 2011
T3
9 posts
tate ur analogy on this subject is prefect because right now the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates is NCSSA but when its time to qualify for TOC( playoffs) and the big boys come to play they wont stand a chance... there are some real good teams right now in 50 major but most of us have to pay our own way meaning that our player pool is not that big, while major + has sponsership and can pull players from a much wider demographic area meaning stacked teams and that my friend can be a disavantage on any level
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
I guess my opinion will be in the minority.

Although the team I play with didn't play in the Western National, we have played a few Major+ teams through the years at various nationals and I enjoy playing them. I would play the Mavericks every day if it were up to me because I would be trying to compete against what everyone is calling the best. I look back to the tournaments I played in as a "kid" where there wasn't any classification and they were a blast. One game you may be playing a team that will declare Major-Open and the next game you may be playing a team that would declare "B". There wasn't any C, D, E, F, G, H, I or Z classifications back then and yes, a lot of people stayed home because they didn't want to push themselves to compete. They only wanted to play teams they could beat up on. If I wanted to do that, I could save a lot of money by staying home and playing in a local league - hitting line drives at some guy that can barely defend himself.

I personally feel like the equalizers are too much in favor of the lower division team if anything. I believe the lower division team should have a choice of runs or an extra player in the field. The home run limit should be that of the higher ranked team. Don't tilt everything in favor of the lower division.

I do agree that the Major and Major+ divisions should be combined. But if you do that, don't allow any of the current Major teams to drop to AAA. They would just be sandbagging and sooner or later you'd end up creating an "A" division for the AA teams to drop to.

An earlier comment said that Major teams are put together differently then Major+ teams - that had me scratching my head. Don't you put together a team to score X number of run per inning regardless of whether they're by base hit or homerun? Lets be realistic, almost everyone is a homerun hitter with senior bats. I've seen guys that aren't tall enough to ride Space Mountain at Disney World hitting bombs with a Miken.

One last parting thought, why doesn't Texas have a boundry restriction like California and Florida. Isn't Texas comparable in size and players to California and Florida? So why aren't they restricted to only having players from within their state?

I know this opinion won't be popular with some of the guys on this thread, but I'm not seeing it the way you are. Different opinions are what makes the world go round.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
The Major Plus issue was huge on the agenda in Tucson last year. Terry is determined to make it work, but so many of the problems that you all have listed above make it difficult. I believe number one is the stacking of teams.Money talks, even in our 'amateur' game. The border issue was one possible solution to keep teams from recruiting all over the country. Changing the age division to 50-57, 58-65 and combining 3 divisions into 2 was another idea, but it still leaves the division short on teams. Another huge problem is that teams who automatically qualify for M+ break up rather than go play at that level. That's one that is hard to combat. Teams refuse to move up.
Maybe it is time for a mandatory breakup rule for a team that wins X amount of tourneys at the M+ level. I hate the word 'Parity', but that seems to be the only way that the M+ division will grow. Teams need to feel they have a chance to invest in travel and expenses to a tournament.
Tim Millette-you are sooooo right about 'What is a M+ player'. As it stands now, if you play M+, you are labeled. The best teams I have ever played on in the open division had a number of 'role' players that maybe were great defensive players or pitchers and high average singles hitters-not really impact players per se, but filled a big hole in that big team. A lot of these guys would play at the AAA level and never stand out as a power hitter either and would be considered a great AAA player, but made a great difference to their big teams. Same player-same stats-different labeling because of who they played for. Is it right to label them M+ players, and if their team dissolves, they might end up not being able to play. On the flip side, there are a lot of AAA players that could play much higher, but don't for various reasons such as geography, (availability of higher rated teams to play with without it costing an arm or a leg to travel so much), lack of 'incentive' to move up (likes being a big fish in a small pond), or many other reasons. Possibly setting up a committee of players and coaches to allow for petitions to play M+ for a few tourneys or for a year but still retain the right to move back down to the level you were at might just work to enhance the division some. Labeling is always going to create controversy-why me and not him-etc.
Bottom line is that it is easy to criticize the system in place, but a heck of a lot more difficult to come up with solutions. I know Terry, Fran, Dave et al are open to all suggestions. They work very hard to provide us the best venue they can. Let's pitch in with solutions!!
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Beasley-a little footnote-can you guess which state benefited the most population wise from the 'touching states' rule? If you guessed Tennessee give yourself a star-it was way out their ahead of every other state in population to draw from.
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
Webbie,

I had no idea. I was just looking at the size of the state and I know that Texas is huge. I had to drive through it once and never thought I was going to get to the other side.

I agree with your post - that this is a situation that is definately going to take some thought to solve. Not only is it a bad situation for Senior Softball, but it's been bad for regular softball also.

Something needs to give so that everyone has a competitive 20+ team bracket to play in.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Beasley-even an 8-10 team bracket would be infinitely preferable to what they have now. Maybe adjusting to 3 divisions is the best, but Terry wants to make the M+ division work to reward those good enough to be M+.
PS Yes, I know-previous post-way out there (their). Senior moment.
July 20, 2011
Dbax
Men's 60
1283 posts
Bewitched, I would respectfully disagree. The Cubs, Pirates, and all Major league teams would be considered Major+, and AAA teams would be considered Major. This discussion began as to why Major+ is playing Major teams in the bracket play. Seeding games are a challenge and fun. But it is no fun getting sent to the losers bracket by a team that is not in your level of play. I see the winner of the Western Nationals in 50 Majors did not even get the pleasure of playing in the championship game. They actually took third in the tournament.
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
You're right Webbie.

This past weekend at the "other" National Tournament, there were two teams in the Major+ division. They ended up playing the best 3 out of 5 for a National Championship. Traveling all the way to northern Georgia to play one other team doesn't sound like much of a "National Championship".
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Dbax-a realignment would be huge and teams would almost have to be assessed to get the 3 divisions. I don't think it should be automatically major to M+, AAA to major, etc. The, for want of a better description, lower major teams and lower AAA teams would move to the lower tier. M+ has such a connotation now that maybe Gold (M+ and higher tier M teams), Silver (M and higher tier AAA), and Copper (anyone tired of Bronze?) might be acceptable designations. Also, it may be time to create a 'fun' division for tournaments with no HR's allowed and possibly use screens in this division. I think a lot of senior players feel intimidated by 'tournament players' and believe they cannot compete. I hear that in conversations in senior league here and I wonder if getting their feet wet in a fun division would bring more capable players into the higher divisions. Home run rules Copper-1 up and a walk, Silver 3 then 1-up and a walk, Gold 8 then 1-up and a walk. I'm personally tired of being out for an 'oopsie' as someone put it.
Come on guys-you big thinkers out there-ideas-lets give the board something to work with. No idea is bad-and maybe some need some discussion, but I'm betting if we really work hard we can do this (So can Congress--choke, laugh, crack up, mirth)
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
Webbie,

Going to 3 division would probably increase the number of teams. The downside is - who's going to classify they teams and force teams to play in the proper place.

That's one of the problems with say ASA (really you can pick any of the current associations). The local directors responsible for classifying teams won't make their teams play up to the proper level because they want their area to win a championship. So teams sandbag with the approval of the local director.

In my opinion, that is what has ruined softball as we once knew it. Today you have very capable "A" players on "C" teams. You have "C" players on "E" teams. No one wants to be the bad guy and tell someone they aren't playing. Just as an example, what would happen if you went to watch a "AA" game and you saw Parnell out there playing short stop? This is just an example and I used Parnell since he's widely recognized in virtually all softball communities.

Somewhere along the line, someone has to stop the madness. If you're classified Gold (or whatever you want to call it), then you're gold. If the team breaks up and you form another team with 4 or more of the players from the broken up team, they you're also Gold.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
There has always been sandbaggers and always will be. I was just putting out there for thought some of the things that would have to be considered if they did go to 3 divisions. I meant to put in the part you put in about 4 players from the same team regrouping to form another team automatically being at the same level, but I will cite CJ&S as an example of why it doesn't always work. Last year they were coming off a Triple Crown winning year in 50AAA. Don't hold me to exact numbers, but several of their best players went to play 55 major.They were left with about 7 players who were unable to compete at 50 Major after the automatic move up. It is another example of what I talked about earlier about role players vs. your true impact players. Those are some of the things that would make reclassifying everyone so difficult.
Great start to a constructive conversation, Beasley. I hope guys keep it going.
GI-hope I didn't offend anyone on your team and got it close numberswise on your players.
July 20, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
beasley,texas may be big,but we very few teams over here and we are spread way apart,thats why we are allowed to use the border rule.also the reason some players play lower than they should,no team in their local area that plays as hi as they want to,so they have to play with the lower rated team.

you are so right about the kids with them dropping down and sandbagging,but i see it when i go to the bigger senior tourney's,mostly in the lower 2 div's.

webbie they just need to take their lumps for at least the min 3 tourney's that is required to rerate,but to me it should be the whole season since they did win the year before.
July 20, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Tate22 in order for the combined divisions Terry needs to just suck it up and do it. One of the biggest changes is to get rid of the HR limits for this combined division. He also has to have the same roster rules for the new combined division. Combining two divisions with two different sets of rules is bad business and I think this thread is telling him that. Some good softball people are telling him to fix it. Donnie remember several years ago when both major and major plus were able to score runs quickly with the HR. I've hit one HR this year, Billy Gombos wouldn't recognize me. Tell Bill I said hello.
Donnie I truly believe the ball is in Terry's court if he combines them great if he decides only when it fits his scheduling needs to combine them with two separate sets of rules we are going wait until he fixes it.

Donnie in response to the 5 HR's and an out what I've seen as changes is more 5 man infields as Einstein so astutely pointed out, smaller, quicker players, hitting HR's without bat control as a roster liability and a premium on throwing strikes. Also the absolute dumbest change I've seen is pitchers serving up meat to the no bat control guys hoping the individual will hit a solo HR and the guy heading to the dugout to catcalls with his head hung in shame.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
mad dog-CJ&S did get caught in the middle and were very good sports about the whole thing, but the point was teams can get caught in that rule.
Lecak-I don't know how many times I've been out there yelling 'serve it up' hoping for a solo. There is something inherently wrong in hoping an opposing hitter will crush one out of the park. Kinda like an oxymoron to the game.
I know the hanging head feeling-TOC championship game this year 55AAA I hit one in the first inning (good 3-run) and then hit a line drive ooopsie to the opposite field with 4 runs in and 2 on base in the second inning. Thank goodness it didn't hurt us, but I would like to see it become a walk. Maybe a limit of 2 'hr/walks' per game, and then out.
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
You make a good point Webbie. I guess there isn't really a good way to prevent teams from saying they're breaking up and then taking the field with the same core impact players surrounded by some new role players.

In the case you made for CJ&S, it shouldn't have broken anyone's heard if the powers to be at SSUSA allowed them to remain AAA. The tournament directors could have watched them at their first couple tournaments to see if they were turely a AAA team or whether they should go ahead and move them up.

No matter which way you do it, teams are going to complain. All I can say is make the call and move on. If teams don't like it and want to stay home, great. Work on the honey-do list.

Mad dog, with all the oil money and big wigs over there you guys should have a ton of teams. Just kidding....

You make valid points also and I may be (wouldn't be the first time) off base. It's just that when you look at the size of the state of the state from the outside you would think that there would be a ton of old guys to put together teams.

But really, it isn't much different then California or Florida. If a sponsor from Pensacola, Florida wanted to put together a team, they would still be required to choose players from within Florida. It's more economical for a team in Pensacola to play in the Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi area then it is to travel 7 hours to central Florida. How would they possibly know who to recruit within their boundaries?

The same case could be made for a sponsor in the northwest corner of California.
July 20, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
I think the first issue at this time is the combining of divisions. Once we resolve that issue then we can start moving forward on player or team rankings. We need to start somewhere and right now in the West or Norcal this is a big issue. We got 4 to 5 50 major teams that arent going to continue to play if they combine the brackets, now you only have the 2 or 3 50 major plus teams and 2 or 3 50 major teams. This doesnt sound like a good ideal. Also if you can hit an HR at will then play Major+. If your playing AAA you shouldnt be there or you need some bat control, hitting a opp field HR sounds like you have some pop. Really anybody can hit HR's, allowing power hitters to swing away everytime isnt right, they will continue to hit singles all day.
July 20, 2011
Bigon
13 posts
To combine major and major plus divisions you could allow the major team to score 7 runs per inning and the major plus team 5 per inning.Leave the hrs at the major plus level. This way the runs are earned and not given as a equalizer.Playin games could be played in this format to see if this could be the solution.
July 20, 2011
stick8
1300 posts
I disagree Bigon. If your going use the runs per inning keep it the same for both whether it be 5 or 7. In fact why have runs per inning? Why not everyone just play straight up ball? In combining the divisions I'd prefer to see splitting the difference in the hr rule. In SSUSA major gets 5 and major plus gets 10. Make it 7 per team with 1 up and a single after that.
July 20, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Maybe major plus should just be eliminated/folded into major..... Allow the major plus guys on a major team, two plus guys on AAA and one plus guy on AA teams....

Any time a team wins a national major world you put their players on a major plus list for five years and make them break up.

It gets ride of the major plus problem and continues to turn over/change the top major teams.
July 20, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Maybe major plus should just be eliminated/folded into major..... Allow the major plus guys on a major team, two plus guys on AAA and one plus guy on AA teams....

Any time a team wins a national major world you put their players on a major plus list for five years and make them break up.

It gets ride of the major plus problem and continues to turn over/change the top major teams.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
LeeLee-back when it was one up and a walk, I always considered it an indefensible single to hit it out when it was a walk. You are right about the big guys hitting one after another. How do you handle that kind of ability with the present bat/ball combo? I'm not near their class of hr hitter, yet a lot of the time I can hit 'em almost anytime I want. I can only imagine the big guys and hitting anytime they want. But what a lot of people forget is there really are not that many players with that ability. They have probably worked very hard to get to the point that they can do it so often. Can you really take it away from them just because they can?
Bigon-you are advocating a 12 run advantage-potentially- for a major team over a major + team if each gets their maximum every inning. That's a lot for any team to overcome. I do agree with the earned part. I would think hard about the five run equalizer having to be earned, and so far I like that idea. In other words, the lower level team would have the 'ability' to score 6 in each of the 2nd thru 6th innings, but they have to score 6 to take advantage. Interesting thought-and thanks for your input!
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
I have to disagree with you Tim.

Just because a team plays well and and wins a Major National doesn't mean they should break up. It should mean the opposite, that the other teams have to step up and get better. Pick up better players and compete at a higher level. If a team doesn't want to do that, then they shouldn't be complaining and should be happy with getting a hand shake from the tournament director and going home without the title/hardware.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to play with friends and keep the same group of guys together forever. But if those guys aren't winning you a National Championship and that's what you want out of your softball years, then it's time to move on to another team that is going to get you there.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Tim-slightly disagree-I don't think any Major plus player should be allowed in AA ball as it is set up now. If they were to create a 'fun' division with no home runs, maybe then 1 M+ player at AA level. AA is (and forgive me for sounding pompous) entry level. We started there, too. Plus players should not ever go back there-except in family, major injury or close friend situations.

Beasley-GI emailed me and said I was pretty close on the numbers for CJ&S. They ended up 30 games under .500 for the year and are trying to get 2 of the players back. One has never hit a home run in his life but provides excellent defense at SS. I can attest to that. They will not let them back. This is what makes this so hard-you can always cite examples where a well-meaning rule can really mess up a team.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Tim-also partially agree with you on winning teams breaking up. Partially, because a lower level M+ team could get hot in one tourney, say Phoenix, and have to break up even though they did nothing in the other tourneys they played in. I alluded to this earlier and said X amount of wins. Maybe 3 is the number of wins before you have to break up. Except then you may have teams 'throwing' tourneys to stay together if they have won 2 already. Pretty tough question, isn't it????
July 20, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Senior ball is alot like the youngsters game when it comes to the top dying.
Major plus senior ball is like major young softball.

They both are being destroyed because the elite teams get to stick together when they win/dominate.

If there was a players list that regulated the elite players from being allowed to keep the same core and dominate the same age group after they won a world it would help balance out the game.

Let's take the mavericks as an example. I think Flip told me they were something like 112 wins and three looses before this season.how is that good for the 50 division.

Now...... If you made a rule that no more then four of them could be on the same major plus team untill they join the next age group it sure would open the division up.

I mean..... It makes sence to bump the AA, AAA, MAJOR World winners up a division unless only four of them stay together. It makes sence because they have ready proven they are better then the division, and have won a crown.

You could do the same thing with major plus except instead of bumping them to a non-existent division, you tell them the same thing you tell every other player that's won a world..... You can stay down but only four? of you can stay together.

If you want to eliminate the major plus division..... You can handle it the same way.....No more then four of the old major plus guys per major team... Allow one or two on AAA teams in case no major team exists close go where they live.

If you eliminate major plus you have to handle the major world winners in the same manner... If you win worlds no more then four of you can play together untill your in the next age group.

You also have to treat every associations winners the same...... If you win SSUSA your also bumped in the other senior summit associations... If you don't do this the elite teams will just jump from one adaptation to the next and keep their team intact.
July 20, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Tim-this I fully agree with. It gets old to have the same team dominating a division like that. 112-3-are you kidding?? It is time to retire that team as one of the best ever and take up new challenges with a different team if you are on that team. Life is about new challenges. Personally, I've been on teams that won 85-90% of their games in a season at a high level. It was always great to say-"We did that"-but then a new and different challenge would come up.
It may come down to Terry just saying "guys, for the good of the game as I see it, and the board sees it, we are going to do this...... Thanks for your support." Anybody who knows them, know they are doing the best they can to put the best product they can on the field for us. I have a hunch that most of the opposition would come from the 'win at all costs' teams.
July 20, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
Well guys, I can't agree with that. I'm sorry. I just can't justify seeing a good team at the highest level having to break up. I don't believe it's for the good of the game. If you do away with the Major+ division, then the Mavericks would be a Major team and play in the Major bracket under whatever rules there are. If they continue to win, then so be it.

How many Major+ teams are there in California? Who would the players go to play with? Lets take Florida as an example. How many Major+ teams are there in - 1. And that's only because they were ranked #1 in Florida Half Century (basically a league that's played over 12 months). And for grins, lets just say that they got hot and happened to win the SPA this past weekend. So you're telling me they would have to break up?

Why not do that with every division then instead of making them move up. You win the AA Winter Nations - break up. You win the AAA Western Nations - break up.

If that's what you want to do, then why not go all the way. If the HR limit in AA is 2 and you hit the third HR, you're ban from AA for the remainder of the year because you were sandbagging and playing in a division that was too low for your skill level.

You've got me scratching my head on that logic. But like I said earlier, we all have opinions and it's what makes the world go round.
July 20, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
I really enjoy playing senior softball and truely hope they can figure this out ASAP. I was reading on another site the 40's are just as upset as the 50's and they not going to Fresno. They are going to have their own states with a lower entry fee and a much better prize package. It will also be at a nice venue, I can't see SSUSA allowing teams to leave them without trying to fix the problems of combined brackets and the Major Plus teams and prize packages.
I would like to hear back from someone in the office about these issues prior to the deadline for the Fresno tournament.
July 20, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
The easiest way to solve the problem is eliminate Major-plus and go with three divisions. Make the HR rule PROGRESSIVE, that way teams that can bang with each other can, and teams that don't have the power will force the more powerful team to play at their level.

Major-plus is basically a division created for the very elite, in the 50+ division, it's the Mavericks. All the other so-called Major-plus teams are really just very good Major teams. Stop cattering to one or two teams. You can't have a division with only a dozen teams in it, and only 4 west of the Mississippi. The Mavericks don't play in every tournament anyway, there is plenty of tournaments around to win.

The comment about MAKING teams disband in not right. Teams (friends, families) have the right to play together. Just because the Mavericks are 112-3 in the past three seasons doesn't mean they should be kicked out of the club. They don't kick the Yankees out. Maybe if some of the most powerful teams have to play a lot of teams with not much HR power, they would get tired of it and filter to other teams on their own, and actually help the program overall.
July 20, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Sorry guys....... Saying the dominate teams shouldnile be broken up would be like allowing dominate national/world winners to continue to stay in AA, AAA and MAJOR... the winners of those divisions at bumped for a reason.... It's good for the program....

Once you stop breaking up, or moving up champions the division starts to die.

That's why major plus is what it is. DEAD!

Very few teams want to jump into a division where the top teams ge to win worlds after worlds.

The problem is as obvious as the solution.

It just takes the effort to create a list/rankings above major plus and regulating the number of guys from that list that can play together.

July 20, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
Major-plus is dead because there are not enough teams, period. The Mavericks may not even want to play with Major rules, who knows, but to tell them they can't even play is not right. I'm sure a lot of people would say "nobody is going to tell me who I can or can't play with!

Creating a rankings list is not difficult, anyone who has played senior ball for a while can do it.
July 20, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
We are already telling guys who they can and cannot play with.

If players on a team like the mavericks says we will quit instead of break up and only be allowed to play with four of us on the same team....I say, Who really cares as long as it makes senior softball healthier.

If your only going to play because you think your going to win over 80% of your games..... Go home! The senior game doesn't need you.

And please don't start with the.... I'm only going to play if I get to play with all my friends.... Very few, in any, major plus teams are built with guys that have spent years hanging out with eachother as friends.

The main problem facing classification is NOT REGULATING PLAYERS ONCE THEY REACH THE MAJOR PLUS LEVEL.
July 20, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
You are so wrong, our team IS based on friends first, with some of us going back 30 years. Don't quite get your distain for the Major-plus division, since your current team has played there and done well for years until moving down last season.
July 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Guys-first off-THANK YOU-for debating and not making it personal attacks.
Second-Dave is watching this thread closely and is going to work on this issue soon. All comments will be read and considered. I'm certain emails to him on this subject will be taken into account, so NOW is the time to get your 2 cents in.
Third-Jawood-I think it is great that most of your guys have played for 30 years together. Most of our Desperados have 20-30 years together. But, I am curious how many major plus teams are built that way and how many are teams recruited in the last few years to be major plus.

Tim-How do you regulate major plus players?? Do you base it on Home Runs?? Average and extra base hits?? Defense?? Other teams perception of how good a player is?? TD's perceptions of how good you are? Number of winning teams you played on?? Do you treat a singles hitter with no power that hits .850 and plays a key position defensively the same as you would treat a Mike Macenko?? I'm not being difficult, Tim-just trying to think this thing all the way through. It is easy to say regulate, but tough to set the parameters. If you see a major or AAA player going 30-35 and hitting 11 home runs in a tournament, do you rerate him as a sandbagger?? There is a ton of stuff to consider when you label someone. Everybody who is interested-tell us how you would label a M+ player.
July 21, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
The easy ones to put on the "elite major plus list"

1) all starters from any major plus world champion

2) top four players from the second place team at major plus worlds.

3) top two players from third place major plus world team

4) MVP of major world

Trying to figure out who the players are from second and third place teams is a little vague but... I think by watching the final day competition and asking for input from other major plus teams you could get a good list.

ONCE YOUR ON THE LIST YOU STAY ON THE LIST UNTILL YOUR THREE YEARS INTO THE NEXT AGE GROUP. OR ....... if you have an injury that will keep you from being able to compete like you had in the past you can petition to be removed from the list.... ANY player removed from the list CANNOT play in a world event untill he enters the next age group.

If your going to rate players other then those I mentioned above

1) any starting pitcher from a top 10% team goes on the list

2) any GOOD fielding SS, 3b, 2b that hit ok.... 650 go on the list

3) any centerfielder of a three man that has obvious above average speed goes on the list

Once again..... The most important thing is making a elite players list then regulating how many elite major plus players can play on plus, major and AAA teams....

I don't want to continue with the mavericks as an example.... All that does is muddy this very needed debate.
July 21, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
I don't know guys, this seems to be going in circles.

At the last Winter Nationals in Naples the team I was playing on got knocked out of the tournament by a Major+ team. Oh well, that's the way it goes. We packed our bags, and headed home without whining about having to play a Major+ team. It's just the way it goes sometimes.

But after reading the posts, I think Jawood has the best solution. Set the homeruns and play 1 up. That way, as Jawood points out, the teams that can hit-em can slug it out and the teams that don't hit-em can make the other team base hit.

But I still think that just because a team wins a specific tournament they should have to move up. Something just isn't right for a team to play all year long, not win any tournaments and then get hot for a tournament and wins it. Now they have to move up? They got beat like a red headed step kid all year long and you're making them move up because they got some breaks and got hot for one weekend? It isn't right.

On the other hand, a team dominates a lower division - say AAA. The go to several SSUSA tournaments and win them decisively (I know, define decisively). And then they go to a National or World tournament and just don't get the breaks and happen to have a bad couple games. Now they get to play the next year at the AAA level again instead of moving them up. I think that's wrong.

In the case of the Mavericks, they can't be moved up because they're already at the top level. Maybe instead of making them break up, allow the other Major+ teams to pick up one or two players outside their normal zones in order to make them better. Isn't this what NASCAR does. If Toyota isn't competing, they allow them to do something that the Fords and Chevys can't.

Other than that, tell the Mavericks to come to Florida. I'll play them. They're a very good team and we may end up losing but I wouldn't be afraid of getting on the field against them.
July 21, 2011
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
Tim,

I can't agree with your list at all. If you're going to regulate the top players, then regulate all the players!

A player rated Major can only play Major or Major+. They can't play down at all. A player rated AAA can only play AAA or above. What's fair for one is fair for all!

And not allowing a player to play in a World event if they've petitioned and been removed from the list is crazy. This would mean someone that comes out at age 49, has a great year, gets put on this list, has an injury at 50 can't play in a World until he turns 55. Why would that person even want to play throughout the year? Why would a team carry that player knowing that when they were going to play for the World Title, they wouldn't be able to use them.

Just isn't right.
July 21, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
hey guys,do ya think it is only the M,M+ divs that have that prol.what about AA playing higher rated teams or the AAA having to do so,and yes it does happen,been there done that.what about having an older team have to play a younger team,not real fun there is it.so it is just not about the M,M+ divs.it is all over the spectrum.

rating is ok at best,maybe the top rated players,but the whole team,maybe.they do,do it for usssa for the kids.i got bumped this year b/c of my team i played on last year was bumped.it will only last for the year tho,and i can play down as a bump for the lower rated team.maybe we could do it that way,for player rating.the lower rated team can have so many bumps and let it go at that.
July 21, 2011
LeeLee
86 posts
First thing I am not afraid to step on the field againist the Mavericks and I don't think everyone else is either. The ideal team is to have the best player at each starting positon and back ups on the bench. Well my team doesn't have that luxury. So it makes it little difficult to compete againist these MAJOR+ teams, they are pretty solid all the way thru the line with solid subs.
July 21, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Webbie your sure Dave is reading this? Terry needs to read it also. He's being told by a number of teams who have supported him throughout the years including mine to get this fixed. Beasley I would like to invite you Las Vegas and help me recruit. How does allowing Major plus teams to have access to even more players solve the problem being discussed by the major teams?
July 21, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
We can go around and around on this subject....

Is there to many divisions maybe

Do the dominate teams need to move up for the good of the division...YES. Senior softball already does this at the AA, AAA, and Major levels.

Does senior softball at this time try to keep dominate teams from being too dominate at the Plus level..... NO.....

Would it help the Plus division grow if they attempted to spread out the power house talent? YES, but to what extent only time would tell...

Is it worth a try to regulate elite plus level talent.... Yes it's worth trying

Do 90% of senior players even care? No, because for the most, part senior tourney softball is regulating the divisions they are playing in by bumping up the talent when it's proves they are going to hurt the division if they are allowed to continue to run rufshod over it.

Pretty obvious..... Senior softball eliminates dominate teams from every division below Plus for the good of the game..... It's time to do the same thing in Major Plus..... The only guys senior ball are going to lose If they start regulating how many elite manor plus guys can play on a team are the guys that will only play if they think they will dominate..... I'd say getting those guys out of the game IS A GOOD THING.
July 21, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Who's going to pay for this incredibly labor intensive ratings system? Remember there are about 1.5 million seniors playing slo pitch on one level or another. We think our entry fees are high now, wait until one of these programs are implemented.....through the roof!

Mad Dog has a good question, what about the lower divisions? the same problems exist there.

I think we need to remember we play in this sport for recreation not a pay check.
July 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Lecak-I'm sure Dave is in contact with Terry and yes Dave is watching very carefully. But you can see just with the guys that have responded that there are many varied ideas out there. E4/E6 put his finger on part of it-trying to catalog and label all players is intensive. And, once they are catalogued, who is going to check the stats from every tournament to see if a player needs to be rerated?
I think they do a pretty good job with AA, AAA and major-the main problem is major plus because a team cannot move up if they dominate.
How does SSUSA attempt to keep a team from dominating at M+ level?? They made an attempt with the border issue. But money talks-and always has and there are some teams that go at it legally with the win at all costs mentality. Tim-I'm not sure how you really can stop it. I guess just hope they get old!!!
Beasley-if you put that team together to play the Mavericks-I'll be right there if you want and I can. The measure of a player is to compete against the best. Let's go!
July 21, 2011
titanhd
Men's 50
335 posts

Eliminate Major plus division and you won't need a list.
Have Major, AAA and rec a division (AA).

USSSA has two divisions for Senior Softball. Competitve 7hrs and 1up . Rec 3 hrs and 1 up. It works just fine.
July 21, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
All eliminating major plus will do is push the save problem down to major.

You have to figure out a method to regulate how strong the teams at the top division can become.

The states rule is a great start (although not perfect.... Texas? Boarding states???).

It really would not be that difficult to create a functional "elite plus" list to regulate the top divisions.

How many active plus teams are there? 8 fifties? 12 fifty-fives?
July 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Tim-I just counted-there are 18-50M+, 18-55M+ and 13-60M+ teams.
Do you want Dave, Terry, Fran to do the rating, or a panel of coaches from M+, or the players?? Will there be an appeal board?
Titan-I think there is a huge difference in senior ball from USSSA because we naturally decline in talent faster and faster as we age. I'm almost 59 and I know my ability is going, faster than I'd like. We need the age divisions. When you go up an age group-the difference is very noticeable. SSUSA gives more teams a chance to win. I think that's pretty good.
July 21, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Webbie there are probably no more than 8 active 50 major plus. Several of the 18 are dulplicates and a number of others are no longer together. When I played several years ago the most we saw was probably 8 in Phoenix. The tournaments we attended this year there was one in the Winter worlds in Las Vegas, one in the spring worlds in Mesquite, four in Reno. Maybe some of the east coast and midwest guys can add from the tournaments they went 2. Also Webbie there were only 2 major plus at SPA from what the schedule showed and SPA is major plus friendly.
July 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
I know-Lecak-Dennis from Greco Hitmen asked me to go to Dalton with them and I said yes, but we could not get enough guys to commit.It is a long trip from AZ to Dalton. And not cheap.
July 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
This is a difficult issue to solve-there are so many differing opinions. I'm not sure there is a really good answer.
July 21, 2011
stick8
1300 posts
Joe, how've you been? Hope all is well. Are you going to be in Vegas when we're there? I have to say whoever the guy was that ran the 50 major plus last year had no idea how to run a tournament. It was like a bad act on the old Gong Show. It was so bad it was actually comical.
July 21, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
All this talk about divisions, sounds like back when there was only 3 or four Super division teams. It will always be that way. I just want to play the highest level possible and compete at the highest level possible.
July 21, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
The only way to beat the best teams in the country, is to play them over and over again. Just like we did when I played for New Construction before we were a Major team. We were a good A team at best. But we wanted to play the best. And eventually we beat them. I understand that not everybody wants to play the highest level. But i will never understand all the sandbagging that goes on in senior ball. I just don't understand it.......
July 22, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
I am pretty sure New Construction was an ASA major team which meant it was one level below the BEST...... ASA also had a SUPER Division.

I think I am right.. As a matter of fact I think? New won more then one ASA major because they never made the jump to The TOP level and registered as a SUPER team.

I know Starpath made the jump to Super...

Am I wrong about New?

Or did they indeed stay down in major after they had already won the National Championship?
July 22, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
tim don't know why you mention texas for bordering state rule.please explain.......
July 22, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
New was a A team before they ever won the Major. Before they won the Major, we took a beating in the big tourneys. But , thats what built us to what we became. And no, New never went to the Super division.
July 22, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Morio, I though my memory was correct......

I was a little confused with your post about the New Construction team and playing/beating the best, HIGHEST level (Super) and sandbagging down....

I misunderstood.... I thought you were equating New with the senior major plus division when in reality you guys were like a senior major division team/one level below the top.

I guess you were talking about New beating the best second tier teams???

I think your New team was kinda like our 50s major team.... A second tier team wanting the opportunity to compete where only second tier teams are playing.
July 22, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
My first 4 years with New we had a phone book for a roster. We wanted to build a Major team but we just did not have the horses. But that did not stop us from playing the best teams in the country. Little by little, player by player we just kept building. Then we were a good Major team.
July 22, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
Tim, we beat the best teams not the 2nd tier teams. My last year with New we beat Steeles twice. Our manager wanted nothing less than to beat the best teams in the country. At first we thought here we go again, getting our brains beat out. But then we got comfortable playing them, then all of a sudden we noticed we could play with them. And this was before we won the Major. Also I think senior ball is like young kids ball, you will always have 3 or 4 top teams and the only way they get to play is if other teams will play them. Look at the USSSA conference right now. You have the 4 Major teams, then everybody else. What if all the A,B and C teams decided not to play the Major teams? Its no different in senior ball in my opinion.
July 22, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Actually Mario beating Steeles at the end Of their run didn't really mean you were beating an elite major team...

Please remember they were so average that Senior ordered his players not to shake hands after their games..... I believe he did this because in the end he was nothing more then a sore loser that couldn't handle being just one of many.

Its obvious your New managers actions proved that he was alot like the senior major teams..... It's alright to face the super/plus teams in normal tourneys but just like New did.... We are ranked one level down from the top because we don't want the super/plus teams in our world/national events.

If your New manager or players were any different then us senior major teams not wanting to play PLUS teams in our big events your old new team would have classified yourselfs Super after you won ASA major worlds.

Your New team wanted nothing to do with being ranked Super because you wanted at least a few big events you knew you had a chance to win... If you were Super that would not have been possible.

New was a great major team..... Kinda like the elite senior major teams.... But please at least admit you guys didn't step up to the top level after you won the second tier.... You might have played super teams on occasion but for the most part you were like in senior second tier guys.... Not caring if you play the elites on occasion BUT.... your actions proved you didn't want to face them
full time.
July 22, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
We chased the Super teams all over the country to play them. Our actions proved we wanted to play them. Thats why we got in all the tourneys with them. New never moved up because of the lack of sponsorship money. The Super divisions teams had more money, thus they got the top players. For this very reason I moved up to the Super division. But, if New would have moved up I would have stayed with them. Oh and for the record, when we beat Steeles in 1989 it was not at the end of their run.
All this said I still don't see teams wanting to play the best teams around. Everybody wants to play against there own level, thats OK and I understand why. Me personally just want to play against the best.
July 23, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Mario-you said it perfectly-you WANT to play them, you TRAVEL to play them, you get your butts kicked, but suddenly you compete with them or even upset them. You watch what they do and pretty soon you are playing confidently against them. Our old Diablos team from Albuquerque did that. We took some beatings in the Amarillo preseason tournament that had 10 of the top 20 teams in the nation, but suddenly one year we took 4th and repeated that the next year. Suddenly one publication had us ranked 15th in the nation in about 1980.
Mario, I think the difference now is that we feel we might not get any better than we are at this point, so what's the point in getting blasted out there. But, I'm with you-let's give them the best game we can.
July 23, 2011
Mango
Men's 50
90 posts
Tim- I agree with you. As someone who has played Major Plus the past several years I donít particularly like playing Major teams in a National Event. First, the Major teams usually donít want to play us and they feel that we are forcing them to play us (we donít want to play you). Then the Major Plus team has to play THEIR rules (5 homeruns), give THEM 5 runs, AND have a 5 run limit. Given the hot bat/ball combo most Major teams can score 5 runs an inning. Itís hard to make up those extra 5 runs in one open inning especially when youíre out of homers ( and your team is built for Major Plus homer limits). Those contests are tailor made to advantage the Major teams. Iíd much rather slug it out with a Major Plus team.

A friend of mine who plays Major and I play on the same weeknight team with the kids. After the game we were having beers with the young pups and they asked if our teams ever played each other. When I told them we did and that my team had to give them 5 extra runs or an eleventh fielder they thought I was lying. They couldnít comprehend it.

I hate the 5 run an inning rule, but will admit it keeps all games close and gives the lesser teams a chance to win. I played in a World in Phoenix a couple of years ago and they only used the 5-run rule in seeding games. They removed it for tournament play. We played a team and won by 1 in the seeding round and beat them by 40 the next day. The 5 Ė run-rule makes every game close regardless of the talent discrepancy between teams.

Mango
July 23, 2011
Mango
Men's 50
90 posts
Mario- Kudos to you. Iím assuming when your New Construction team was moving up and challenging themselves they were playing the higher level rules and there were no run limits per inning. Iím sure you guys must have taken some beatings- standing out in the field while the other team hits and hits and hits and hitsÖ.. That is something that doesnít happen with todayís rules in Senior Ball. Props.

Mango
July 23, 2011
Tim Millette
498 posts
Softball has been messed with so much that we now think it makes sence to stop the innings at five runs, have homerun limits for 65 year olds and have pitchers looking like hockey goalies.

I am with you Mango when it comes to playing major teams..... I think???? Senior softball should just keep the ranking system just like it is and NEVER make major teams play plus teams in tourneys or seedings...

If there are not enough plus teams for a tourney maybe a few teams can play you exibition and then you go and play with yourselves....

If enough teams are never available for plus tourneys.... If I was on a plus teams I'd recommend breaking up and meeting the requirements to play as a major team.

It's pretty easy, if I was a senior association director.... I'd leave it as it is and when the major plus teams started complaining I'd recommend they split up and make a couple major teams.

The only other option is to start breaking the plus teams up with an elite players list and many think that would be to difficult.
July 23, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
I fundamentally support and agree with you,
Tim.
The 5 run rule is the reason that a bigger hitting
team won't run away with a game with a smaller
hitting team.
I don't mind this, Dave.
It's how we've built and maintain
the best senior softball association in the country in NorCal.
And if you don't agree to the 5 run
limit there's no chance of ever playing
a major team in a contest remotely resembling
fairness.

So you guys playing against one another,
Dave, should have unlimited home runs
and no 5 run innings
and no time limit and be showcased
as the exhibition/show in all our tournaments.
I'm with that.
You guys should play at night so the rest can come and watch the best on softball weekends.
July 23, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
when is the norcal worlds,nationals....oh thats right they don't have any......how many states have teams that play in this podunk assoc....oh maybe 3(cal,nev,or)....... so quit calling this local assoc the best in senior softball...you are just so full of yourself with that.norcal didn't invent anything but just started playing with the rules of the other assoc already in place.......but hey you know everything and everyone and are the majority of one.


as for rating players that is a good idea,but don't lock them till the next age group.also let lower div's have higher rated players but regulate them,example.....if your team wins a national you get bumped to the next div,for the next year those players are rated for that div.
now for
AA let them have no more than 2 AAA players or 1 AAA and 1 M or 1 M+ to be able to add to their team,3 different combos
for AAA let them be able to have 2 M or 1M and 1M+ ,2 different combos
for M let them be able to have up to 2 M+ players

hey don't know how hard it is to do this,but USSSA does this with their divs e on up.
July 23, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Anyone can come and play in our championship
for a 30 dollar entry fee but we have the best teams in the country housed in NorCal.
Over 2000 memebers and growing year over year.
Just look at the National Championships
over the last 10 years and see how many
are won by teams from NorCal,
from the California Rebels, Old A's, Barons,
East Bay Oldies Old Dawgs, OMEN,
Redwood City Reds, No Dice,
ODB, Seals, Blue Jays, MTC, KellySports,
5 Spot, Mac 2, Longhorns and many other
national Champions at every level.

Hear what Sad Dog called us, guys?

Come on up any time you can, Spongy
and try one of our tournaments on for size.
We will kick your AAA hypocrite butt
all over the field.
July 23, 2011
gary c
411 posts
joey don't brake your arm patting yourself on the back
Is your tournament the PELOSI CUP if you win you don't get a ring
you get a face lift
joey how much of that 30 bucks do you get BAG MAN
July 23, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Knock yourself out.
You are no one to me and anyone else.
You're the responsibility of SSUSA now.

July 24, 2011
southernson
261 posts
Guys,
I sympathize with with the discussion regarding Major+ and Major teams, it's valid, the problem is real and not addressed. But it isn't only about that division, it's up and down the line.

I play on a AAA team, and believe me we watch the good Major teams and Major plus teams because we love the game and want to get better within our cash limits. And we play Major teams sometimes, probably going about .333 against them.

But the real root cause isn't the issue with Major+ and Major setup. The real root cause of our problem is that the concept of National or Regional DOESN'T REALLY MEAN National or Regional any more....not when there are 5 teams or 6 teams or less in your division. Truth is way too many of those are purely just another weekend tournament.

The same issues exist up and down the line....We see teams win AAA Nationals, and they never move to major. I've got a picture of a "National" AAA winner that's still a AAA team. I carry it in my bag to remind guys of how bogus the situation we have now can be....Happens all the time....

And therein lies the real problem....it become too profitable for the leagues to run these "National" or "National Qualifier" tournaments. The guys have realized this is many times farcical and meaningless, so the participation level continues to drop, and the situations described here in Major+ and Major become situations up and down the line.

And the leagues haven't addressed the problem. The problem has existed long enough it has continued to get worse, and because of it not being addressed, it's really hurt the game and the level of participation.

The problem has gotten so bad, there will evetually be a response, eventually there will be an "OLD SCHOOL RULES" league without the bastardization that exists today. And we'd love to play more tournaments when that happnes. Cause occasionally we get hot and hit 12-13 home runs in a game, and to be penalized for that by making them outs is simply crazy. And to be penalized for that by allowing a hot team to only score 5 runs is really an unacceptable solution.
And "NATIONAL or REGIONAL" doesn't mean it's a National or Regional tournament anymore. And because of that issue, we don't play as many tournaments, and I hear similar echoes in this discussion.

So it's really in the best interest of the leagues to save themselves now, it's in the best interest of their economics to addresss these problems now. Because their current bet that nothing else will happen is a bad one. History does repeat itself, and there will come a day when we'll all be talking on a message board about remember when there were only 3 teams in our division in a "National" tournament, remember when home runs were outs, remember when you could only score 5 runs in an inning, remember when....

It's really in their best economic interest to "collectively" solve those problems now. That's what really makes $EN$E for them, for the game, and for the players.









July 24, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Great comments Southernson.
I think we've let a bunch slide in the interest
of short term gain in softball,
just as in society, avoiding more difficult
and definitive solutions to keep from alienating anyone
or losing any revenue.
It's time to pay the piper
and start making some tough choices
while trying not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Being able to hit home runs and playing with good equipment
are essential to the psyche and soul of our experience.
I agree with you as do most of the players
I play with and have spoken with.

And if no one is interested in polling us
and/or listening to us then
we have to keep choosing,
stating who we are and claiming our territory
as we move along down the road together.
July 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
saddlerick first i'm gonna give you my best whieny imitation,who the hell are you,you have no info so your a nothing and don't count,so go somewhere and are.........well you get the rest.i do stand by my "if your a real hitter the 52 ball will be no prol",if you take offense to that ,oh well,learn to hit.

marty,great post and your point of"all it takes is one time"is the very reason we need to go to the 52 ball,there will be no one time.

making the pitch arc higher,mat size bigger,hrs not outs, does not one thing to protect the pitcher,b/c once he is hit thats it,and what did the higher arc do,not one thing,but get the pitcher seriously injured or even killed.


watched the USA/CANADA border battle yesterday,and they had a 10 hr limit,and the commentator doug flynn said he liked it as it brought defense back into the game, oh by the way this is the same doug flynn who played MLB and started his SP days with starpath out of KY

$30 for a tourney,never seen that,what no umps ,or balls,what about a field to play on..........
July 24, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Keep talkin', Saddy.
July 24, 2011
gary c
411 posts
mad dog
it's a one ball tourney no umps 15 fielders screens in front of all the players superballs and super ultras and you save money because no one needs a glove and everyone plays in catchers gear.
lively/bats and balls WE KNOW WHAT EVERYONE WANTS
July 24, 2011
miken44
78 posts
dont think that the difference is that great
July 24, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
garyc i think we speak for the majority,that is the way they want to play..........
July 24, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Get this one back on track. Tim one of the first games I played in major plus was the last time they had no run limits along with no Hr limits. This was several years ago but what I remember was the game was stopped mainly for safety reasons but we were in the 4th inning and we were close to 60 runs and if I had to guess we would have come close to 100. I'm trying to remember I don't believe there was a mercy rule or time limit. Several weeks later the rules were changed to what they are. It was not because of this game it coincided with their rules meeting. We probably played the last game of it's kind like that. My guess is without the 5 run rule you would see more of this in Senior ball. If they decide to go back to a more open style some real thought would have to go into this. One thing this would do would really identify the better teams very quickly. Sometimes a team only defense is the fact that a team cannot score anymore runs even though not one out was recorded. You want to put premium on defense take out the limits you don't need to change anything else. At that point I would guess participation would drop significantly and not by choice.
July 24, 2011
DoubleL10
Men's 65
833 posts
I remember a game I played in with Dan Smith in the 50s against Sawtre before any limits were in place (late '90s). The final score was like 49-47! One of the most fun games I played in ever! Every swing was important as was every defensive play. As I recall, we were home and got last swings. I don't think we are headed back in that direction...
July 24, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
I wanted to clarify we had scored close to 60 against the team not a combined score. I think the other team was in the teens when this was stopped.
July 25, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
Lecak-we played games like that in the 80's, too. With Shallow Waterbeds, we played (I think it was) Black Walnut in a USSSA game in Texas. We won by run rule 57-42 in 5 innings. Were they out of it? Heck no. But we got into the 60's a few times and one game in Lubbock-finals of the preseason tourney in the city-we were ahead 46-1 in the top of the second when they walked off the field and said no more. We would see that again if they took out the limits. Being in our 50's and 60's, no matter how in shape we are we would be very tired after playing defense for that long and running the bases in a 3 or 4 or 5 games in a tourney. But it was fun then-no HR limits, no time limits-just the '15 run mercy rule' which occasionally kicked in when a team was not out of it because of the prolific scoring.
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