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Discussion: There's so much wrong with Senior Softball - Brackets

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July 31, 2011
southernson
261 posts
There's so much wrong with Senior Softball - Brackets
We're playing a tournament game last night at almost 10pm (that's a whole nother story) and one of my new players who just turned 50 says to me....now explain to me why we are playing a team with two losses in the tournament and if they win they are 1-2 and go on in the tournament and if we lose we are 1-2 and go home????

Welcome to Senior Softball was the only reply I could give him, where the game we know and love has been so bastardized to the point of disappearing. Is anyone who runs these tournaments remember 1974 softball or played the game then? Apparently not.

Now we did end up losing, but I'm not crying about that. But really, did you ever play a tournament where you have the same record as another team and they go on and you are out???

The PROBLEM IS THE BRACKETS that are used to give teams 5 game guarantees. The problem is that with a 5 game guarantee, and a two game seeding format, a team can LOSE their first two games but still be in the tournament. Another team can win their first tournament game, then lose one, yet end up in the bracket with the team that just lost TWO games already....If you don't quite get it, look at the recent bracket for the ISA tournament in Cocoa Beach, the "SENIOR WORLDS" with 5 and 6 team divisions.

It's so bad, it's so far from what's supposed to be the baseline for tournaments (it's called fair play in case the tournament directors have forgotten), the bastardization of our game has eliminated a lot of teams from participating.

Get the format right, want a solution? It's called a true loser's bracket, the same thing many of us played with when we were young. A team loses two games in the tournament, they go in the true losers bracket if they have not played the minmum amount of games. And the losers in that bracket go home, and the team that survives that bracket remains to play in the normal tournament bracket.

The current BRACKETING of teams with a five game guarantee and two seeding games does not support the concept of FAIR PLAY. It penalizes a team that wins their first tournament game, and rewards a team that loses their first game.

TWO TEAMS with the SAME RECORD after playing 5 games take different paths even though THEIR TOURNAMENT RECORD IS THE SAME.

And that's only one of the reasons there are so many teams in Florida that did not come to Cocoa Beach to play. We all know the tournaments are *&^%$ up. It's terrible, and we will never play another tournament where the BRACKET format does not support the concept of FAIR PLAY.

Goodbye ISA, *&^^%$ goodbye, not another dime.
July 31, 2011
SSUSA Staff
1319 posts
Speaking on behalf of SSUSA, there are three principal reasons we have adopted the two Round Robin into Three-Game-Guarantee Bracket (2RR/3GG) format for brackets of five or more teams –

1. A strong majority of teams believe that the ‘real’ tournament begins only when the elimination bracket begins, regardless of its structure. The 2RR/3GG format gets teams into the brackets earlier and keeps them there longer, meeting that majority belief while still complying with the five game guarantee offered in SSUSA events.

2. The 2RR/3GG format requires less total games than the former 3RR/DE structure. With the growth in the number of teams being at a faster rate than the availability of new playing facilities, ‘every game counts’ in scheduling.

3. In any division with an odd number of teams playing a three-game seeding, one of those teams must play an “exhibition” game that doesn’t count in the standings, but constitutes that team’s fourth game prior to the bracket. Almost all teams that draw that extra game believe it is unfair. There are no “exhibition” games in the 2RR/3GG format.

Please keep in mind that the 2RR/3GG format is not a triple-elimination bracket. This format simply does what its title indicates: It guarantees each team three games in the bracket, regardless of the outcome of their first two games. This guarantee is accomplished by feeding any potential loser of their first two games back into the Elimination Bracket, where they remain alive and eligible to win the Championship. Therefore, the timing of when games are won or lost, and their practical effect, is important.

As is the case with any bracket type, the easiest path to the Championship is remaining ‘above the line’, and in the 2RR/3GG format, after you have played two games in the Bracket, it’s an excellent idea to keep winning! Quirks can, and do, arise in any format, but this 2RR/3GG has been both efficient and almost universally well received since its beginnings several years ago.


July 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Eveyone has to understand that the "seeding games" are just fluff that the associations throw at you guys to make you think you are getting something more for your money. They serve NO real purpose, other than to provide what amounts to exhibition games.
July 31, 2011
southpaw
Men's 60
742 posts
I, for one, would love to have just one exhibition game--a warm-up game just to let everyone get loose and acclimated to the playing conditions. Then, a 3-game guarantee in bracket play.

If a team, has lost 4 already, does losing one more really help morale? Also, it might help reduce some expenses.

Now, I know there are probably a thousand valid reasons why this would not work, scheduling, # of teams, etc., so it's alright to correct me where I'm wrong. I won't get mad. thanks
July 31, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
Interesting topic......

Actually those seeding games make it so we have to take a vacation day and sometimes add another night of paying for a hotel.

I don't know about the older Senior softball guys but I am sure if a three game guarantee bracket tourney was offered for a discounted price (because costs for the two exhibition games would be reduced) alot of fifty/fifty-five teams would be happy.

Our team asked what would happen if we just skipped our two exhibition games and just started on Saturday? (everyone on our team still works) and we were told we would be put into the bracket with one lose..... This is another reason we decided to skip the SSUSA cal cup by the way.

I'd vote to reduce the entry fee and just go to a three game guarantee that should be able to be run over two days.

The seeding games are a waste of time and money for those of us that are still work.

It would be interesting to see who would sign up for what, if lets say SSUSA decided to allow world championship teams to skip seedings games without any penalty? I would think most teams would decide to pay a discounted rate and just start Saturday.
July 31, 2011
titanhd
Men's 50
343 posts
Keep in mind that the seeding games are used by the Association to determine a teams overall run differential for the season.So ththroughtyoutie the tourney
July 31, 2011
titanhd
Men's 50
343 posts
Let's try again..
Keep in mind that the seeding games are used by the Association to determine a teams overall run differential for the season. The results of seeding games also are used as tie breakers in the event of a tourney ending early because of weather.
I don't like the 5 game guarantee but we would probably not like a simple double elimination tourneys of the "old day" either.Pick your poison.
July 31, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
I see very limited value in seeding games as a way to judge teams abilities.

Many times seeding games are not played with the same intensity, teams try not to get injured and even play line ups they never would use in elimination brackets. Many times all the starters are not even at the games because they are working on Friday.

The run difference is another thing needing consideration..... It's impossible to judge teams based on scores at the end of the game..... A far inferior team can be visitors have a big open inning and lose by a few runs on the score board but in actuality they could have been beating by 20 runs if the superior team was visitors instead of the home team.

As an example.... Our team was major plus a few years ago... We went to worlds and went 0-5. We only lost by 5 to 7 runs in the three games when we were visitors..... Our two loses when we were the home team were by at least 16 runs.

The only difference is..... When we were visits we didn't have to endure an open inning from the other plus team. That is a huge problem if rankings are actually being done by run differential.
July 31, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
799 posts
If run differential is going to be one of the tie-breakers, then the open inning should not count based on the fact that sometimes you get one and sometimes you don't. Too much emphasis on the coin flip.

Some of these little tournaments can easily be played in two days but only if there are enough fields available and some games may have to be played at night.

It could be worse, 4-5 years ago, they started many of these tournaments on THURSDAYS, but enough people bitched to get them to start on Fridays.
July 31, 2011
jimjoes-gman
Men's 55
80 posts
What do you think about this one Jaywood . We are going to Raleigh tomorrow (Monday),to play a 2 team best 2 out of 3(ends on Thurs.). Sure there is a couple of seeding games (w/teams in another div)& one w/the team we are going to play. We have multiple factors here. Besides being away from home most of the week,we have 13 going & 5 of them are limping already. In this 2 team format, I would gladly settle for one "warmup game & get it over with.....There were some 2 teamers in Dalton. They played each other 3 out of 5 & that was it....OKI won 3-0 & Turn Two won 3-2. If the TD's would just ask the teams in these situations how they wanted to decide the champions,I am sure they would go for the 3 out of 5 format. I know that I would. And it would save the tourney some umpiring fees,and save the teams some unexpected injuries. Just my thoughts...
July 31, 2011
cal50
Men's 50
288 posts
The seeding games which allow a 5 game guarantee are much more than "fluff" for most. It allows everyone on the team to play, it allows people to play more often together as a team, it is a good tune up for the tournament and maybe as important as anything, when a team spends as much money as they do to travel, they at least get to play 5 games. I am 56, this is my second year of Senior ball and I love the guarantee of playing 5 games.

I don't know how it could be a much better format than it is.
July 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
You guys really find meaningless games justify the expense? You can probably play exhibitions at home, or nearer to home, for much less expense and they would mean just as much (e.g. nothing)

That is what the associations want you to feel.

PT Barnum is right once again.
July 31, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
799 posts
We do not like the 2 out of 3 or 3 out of 5 format against another team. We will pass on those tournaments. Playing a variety of teams is much more enjoyable over the course of a weekend.
July 31, 2011
jimjoes-gman
Men's 55
80 posts
Ok , Jay . I actually was only coinciding with you on your statement that "some of these little tournaments can be easily played in 2 days". MAIN POINT
July 31, 2011
Duke
Men's 60
729 posts
I played in a small tournament, where we played 3 seeding games on Saturday, and single elimination on Sunday. We all have played tournaments like this. We lost all of our games on Saturday and played the team that was 3-0 on Sunday. We run-ruled the team and went onto the final game and came in second with a 1-4 record and received shirts. That other team finished with a 4-1 record and received nothing. What is the point that I am trying to make here? Not much of one, except we got our 5 games and so did they. I will get to my point after my next situation.

My 55 team was not going to the Phoenix Worlds one year, due to lack of enough guys. I was quite disappointed, as I like having a chance to play teams from all over the country, instead of the same teams over and over. A 50 team signed up to go and was not going, because they were missing 2 key players, and some of their guys did not want to waste their time, even though, half of the guys wanted to go anyway. They called my team and asked if 6 of our players wanted to go and have a fun time. Knowing they had almost no chance of winning, 6 guys said yes and we all had a great time and again received our 5 game guarantee, but played 6 games.

What am I trying to say here? I would probably just play league games, except for the fact that we are guaranteed 5 games no matter what. I already play 4-5 games per week. I agree that some of the games in tournaments are meaningless, but they are games, and I like playing and that every time we go to a tournament, we are going to play 5 games no matter what happens or who we play. When I was younger, my teams were eliminated only twice with 2 consecutive losses and sent home before noon. I really disliked the fact that we paid all of that money and were done so early. Happily, it was not that often. We are so fortunate to go and be able to play 5 games the entire weekend. I agree that with low turnouts, we could condense 3 day tourneys into 2 day tourneys, so teams could go home earlier and pay less.

Lastly, I always try my hardest to win, and 10 or so minutes after the game, I really do not think about the game that I just lost. Love playing and talking with the other guys from any team that we played, during and after the game. Just love playing, happy that we are guaranteed 5 games, and enjoy the fun times we have as a team, win or lose. Just love the game and being out on the different fields, towns, and so happy that I can still play at this age. We are all just old kids playing the game we love to play.

Have a great time on the fields guys!!!!!

Andy Smith
Aug. 1, 2011
kbl
Men's 60
532 posts
ANDY SMITH.....WELL SAID...THANKS, KEN
Aug. 1, 2011
DCPete
242 posts
What SSUSA has failed to address regarding the 3-Game Guaranteed Bracket is that for all the teams that lose their 1st game, the 2nd bracket game is absolutely meaningless.
This is worse than playing a 3rd seeding game which would at least determine which team you play in the 1st game of the elimination bracket.
Our team recently found itself in this situation of having to play the meaningless 2nd game in the 3GGB and considered forfeiting the game except that we would still have to wait around to play our 3rd game and/or might have been thrown out of the tourney for refusing to play this completely unnecessary game (in 100-degree heat).
This is just wrong on every level no matter what SSUSA or anyone else tries to claim.
Aug. 1, 2011
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
DUKE I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.I'VE BEEN PLAYING THE SSUSA TOURNEYS SINCE I TURNED 50...THAT'S 14 YEARS NOW..ABLE TO PLAY 5GAMES IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO....WE PLAY OUT OF TEXAS AND IF IT WAS JUST A DOUBLE ELIM TOURNEY WE PROBABLY WUD NOT ATTEND AS EACH OF US PUT OUT BETWEEN $700-1000 TO GO!!! AS FAR AS THE FLORIDA TEAMS ARE CONCERNED I'M FROM THE MIAMI/FT LAUD AFEA AND THOSE TEAMS PLAY IN THE FLA HALF CENTURY ONCE A MONTH AND TRAVEL TO DIFFERENT CITIES IN FLORIDA ALREADY TO PLAY A FOUR GAME ROUND ROBIN!!!! THAT'S WHY WE DON'T SEE TOO MANY ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE US EXCEPT FOR THE REALLY BIG TOURNEYS!!!...DUKE YOU ARE RIGHT THAT THE EXTRA GAMES GIVE THOSE PLAYERS THAT MAY NOT BE STARTERS A CHANCE TO PLAY....WHICH KEEPS UP TEAM MORALE AND ASSURES THAT YOU HAVE ENOUGH PLAYERS TO TRAVEL WITH...!!! JUST MY THOUGHTS...THE GUYS AND GALS AT SSUSA REALLY DO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SIGHT AND THEY ARE CONSTANTLY TRYING TO IMPROVE THEIR PRODUCT WHETHER SOME OF YOU AGREE OR NOT...!!!! THE GAME WE PLAY NOW IS AWESOME EVEN WITH THE FEW RULES WE USE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF COMPETITION.....5RUN RULE...HOMER LIMITS...SENIOR BATS.....AS I SAID THESE RULES EVEN THE COMPETITION SOMEWHAT AND SHORTEN THE GAME TIMES...WHICH ALLOW FOR GAMES TO BE SOMEWHAT ON TIME...ESPECIALLY WITH BIG TOURNEYS LIKE RENO AND PHOENIX.....IF THEY ALLOWED OPEN INNINGS ALL THE TIME THE GAMES WUD BE 2-3 INNINGS ESPECIALLY IN THE UPPER DIVISIONS...AS THEY WERE IN THE 70'S....JERRYS AND HOWARDS USED TO PLAY WITH SCORES 60-55...AS AN UMPIRE IN THOSE DAYS THOSE GAMES REALLY SUCKED TO CALL!!! AND 2 HOURS LONG....WE HAVE A FEW DISSENTERS HERE ON THIS SIGHT COMPLAINING ABOUT OUR GAME TODAY BUT THEY ARE DEFINITELY THE MINORITY OF US THAT PLAY THE TOURNEYS REGULARLY....!!! DOKER
Aug. 1, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Would players prefer the directors cancel a division when there are fewer than X amount of teams?
Aug. 1, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
let me ask this guys,how many team practice together,those that can't use the seeding game to get familiar with each other.i have played in the 5 round robin tourneys and they are ok,but you can get teams bailing on the last day when they see they have no chance to win the tourney,leaving a team waiting to play with no one there...i do think a 2 seeding game round with a 3 GG in elim is ok also,i play that straight up with the kids with no RR games(seeding),works fine.so there ya go,kind of both sides of the coin.the only thing i hate is when a tourney gets stretch out for no reason.i can deal with nite play and other things,but don't make a team stay longer than necessary and pay extra money when they don't need to,have ya seen the economy lately,(talking to the assoc heads).
Aug. 1, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Tim.
Great points as usual.
I think the upper elite teams, major plus
should be put on at nightime as the "show"
and allowed to compete without restriction.
I think lots of players would come back to watch
a game of the "big boys" doing their thing.

It would return the prestige and modeling/mentoring that
should be present within the ranks
and would give the players something to do at night besides...

Tim.
You playing with Danville this weekend?
Aug. 1, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
pricer i would prefer that than to travel and spend a bunch of money for a 2-3 team tourney.
Aug. 1, 2011
Duke
Men's 60
729 posts
DCPete,

I did not address one issue that you mentioned again. In the light of getting our 5 game guarantee, I strongly support going to the 3 game seeding, so that the bracket play is a true double elimination situation. I remember my team playing a game in Vegas, and the game would have eliminated us, but not the other team, because it was their 5 game guarantee game. What goes along with that thinking, Doker expressed very clearly. With the 3 game seeding into a double elimination bracket, you give those guys that may not be starters, a chance to get more game time and build up the team morale. I only do that in the bigger tournaments, and let everyone bat and field in the smaller tournaments.

Pricer,

I think that SSUSA should give any team the choice to play or not play, if there are less than 4 teams in a division of your level of play. It is the right thing to do, especially considering the time and costs involved. I know SSUSA has costs too, but they cannot expect all these teams to absorb these costs, if there is a low turnout. Honestly, this does not occur in the bigger tournaments that often, except at the Major Plus level. In the smaller local tournaments, just combine the teams as best you can, so everyone will have a good time. Other organizations seem to get this accomplished very well in their tournaments.

Andy Smith
Aug. 1, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
also one thing i didn't talk on,is teams skipping seeding games,no....if there are seeding games all teams need to play them,you can't have a team skipping them as this will make them fresher for elim rounds,and they also get to avoid injuries by not playing,don't care how you make them start elim round.in a 3 gg elim round that can help them a lot.
Aug. 1, 2011
Duke
Men's 60
729 posts
mad dog,

You are right on both of your examples, regarding teams leaving early because they have no chance to win the round robin tournament, and the team that does not play all of their seeding games prior to double elimination. It is just common courtesy regarding the round robin issue, as teams are there to play games and spend their time and money to get their games. I have to admit that one time, I had to reason this thinking with my team, after we knew that we won the round robin tournament, regardless of the outcome of the next game. It is not that they did not want to play, but we were looking at a whole lot of traffic ahead of us. Anyway, we played and had a good time and so did the other team.

Your other point in the bigger tournaments, about skipping seeding games is an easy remedy. Penalize that team twice. First, have that team start bracket play with a loss against whoever they are paired up with, and secondly, charge them an extra fee to enter the next tournament. That will take care of that. After all guys, we are here for exercise, relaxation, fun, and to play our kids game of softball.

Andy Smith
Aug. 1, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
why wait to charge them,do it on the spot,before they can play make them pay a fine.......make sure it is a good size one also,not just a $25 token fine,maybe half the tourney fee again.
Aug. 1, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
Ok, so lets see now..... Seeding games are looked at as something players like/want BUT....

If we give teams the choice to participate in seeding games or not, those teams skipping seedings are looked at as getting an advantage?

I don't understand that reasoning.... The teams that skip them will be giving up practice because they chose to fly in later to the Event because they have to work?

If seeding games are indeed looked at as hurting your team in the tournament, does that mean you shouldn't try to hard while playing them... Jog the bases, go half speed in the outfield and lob balls in instead of throwing them to avaiod tiring or hurting yourself?

It's kinda hard to have it both ways.

I guess it would be alot of fun if your retired to get out of the house for an extra day of softball, but for those of us working it's just taking another vacation day away if you get paid vacations or losing another day of income if you don't get paid for off days.

In the end.... I wonder what the vote would be if players had the final say in their age bracket on this issue...... My vote would be a three gg bracket without seeding games starting Saturday morning.

I have realized one thing with this post..... We will not be busting our butts in the seeding games sprinting all over the place.... It makes alot of sence to save your energy/legs for the tourney.
Aug. 1, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
really tim,please.......playing even 2 games does put a toll on senior players regardless how hard they play,and tell me,who do you know who would halfass a game like that......
oh by the way there are a lot of guys even at the 65 age divs that still work and they have to go and play on wed and thurs a lot,us 60 (at least half my team)usually have to play on fri and sat and still work,so don't tell me it is only the 50-55's that are having that prol.i have asked and the td's say it b/c of field avail and such.this for the qual tourneys that the 50-55's usually play sat-sun for.so just wait till you get in the 60 and above age divs,and see how much vaca time you chew up.

now i do agree with a 3gg tourney no seeding,
Aug. 1, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Wow.
Really, Tim, please...
and
referring to your idea and effort as halfass...

Tim is a world class player, human being
and softball thinker/contributor
and that's Sad dog lapping up his own barf.

You know why, Tim.
It's because you play in NCSSA
and Saddy has said we're all Podunk
and second rate.

I agree with you Timmy.
A would be champion needs to begin playing
at double elimination
and giving/playing better with each play
until the last play of championship game.
The seeding games should be just to get ready
to play, and not get hurt or overly tired.
They really don't matter except as orientation
to field and climate conditions and get the juices flowing and winning mind set developing.
Aug. 2, 2011
Don5
Men's 60
33 posts
I've always enjoyed playing seeding games, it allowed me meet and play against players from all over the country. I recall playing three seeding games in every major tourney. I had to arrange a lot of Thursday and Fridays off so I could play in the "Championships", but it was OK, because that's what I wanted to do. In my first year playing 60s is when SS-USA decided to decrease the number of days for the World Championships from 4 to 3 and "lower the entry fees". (Chuckle) I believe it was based on the "poll of players" who wanted it shorten, thus saving expenses for the players. Who really saved money?

Maybe the Major and Major Plus players who end up playing each other in every Major Tourney have a point about seeding Games, they end playing each other 2 or 3 times, and then end up playing best of three. Could be very boring indeed.

I firmly believe the only reason the SSUSA went to a 2 game seeding was to save the expense of extra games. A 10 team bracket would require an additional 5 games for a 3rd seeding game. Their current format requires only a couple of extra games and then some teams get eliminated by teams that already have 2 losses, (been there and didn't like it). That is not a level playing field as far as I'm concerned.

Bring back the 3 seeding games, require every team to play in them and eliminate the 3rd loss.

***Tim Millete, I can't imagine Robertson or Streeter wanting to "sandbag". Your team, before you, used to bust their asses in the seeding games as a matter of pride.

*** Mad Dog "Once a Podunk player, Always a Podunk Player" You know you miss California. :)

Don5
Aug. 2, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
Either way..... Friday seeding games make it hard for our team to want to play anything other then the worlds.

As far as playing hard in bracket games goes.... I will choose to take it a little easy so I am fresh for the REAL EVENT.

I would recommend that same to everyone else on my team. It's not sandbagging.... It's making sure your as healthy as possible to compete in the real event..... It seems like every big event we go to a few players come up a little lame..... Why waist it in a seedings games.
Aug. 2, 2011
southernson
261 posts
There's a problem with the bracket format for many of the players. There's a problem with the bracket format for many of the teams.

It results in unfair play (no it's not triple elimination, but some teams can lose two games and still be in the tournament, a "quirk" I suppose), unnecessary injuries, and some teams refusal or inability to participate.

There's a lot of problems with Senior Softball, all you have to do is read the discussions here.

Too many teams sit out these tournaments because of the format, the lack of control over teams winning National Championships and remaining in the same division to play again, too many teams ferreting there roster with illegal players, too many horror stories that kill the desire of teams to participate.
It's a problem, please listen and make a positive change.

Aug. 2, 2011
DCPete
242 posts
Don5, completely agree with you and the ridiculous thing is that the 3GGB only saves 2 or 3 total games vs "3 seeding games + Double Elimination" and at almost every tournament where there are 4 or more fields you'll see empty fields at some point during the day.
The seeding games at least have some importance in deciding who you play 1st in Double Elimination or maybe even getting you a 1st round bye instead of that completely meaningless game in the 3GGB that up to 50% of the teams end up playing.
There's no point in having a 5-game guarantee if 1 of the games is a completely meaningless exhibition game; it's really then just a 4-game guarantee.
Come on SSUSA do the right thing & bring back 3 seeding games instead of making teams play exhibition games on Saturday or Sunday when they're more tired and trying to win a tournament.
Aug. 2, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
dcpete,does it really matter at a national tourney who you start play with in elim round.we all should be close to each other as far as ability goes and it shouldn't matter.i have seen teams go 3-0 in seeding and get put out in 2 and the other way around.hell in reno we went 0-3 for seeding and ended up 4th in a 23 team bracket,so just saying.if your beat by a team that already has 2 losses in the elim bracket..mmmm maybe your team wasn't that good,maybe the other team had a rough draw to start,or didn't play up to their potential..who knows,i just don't see the need for more than 2 seeding games max.

tim,like i said wait till ya play in the 60's and over,our guys are burning up a lot of vaca time and missing work.i'm lucky b/c i got to retire at 56,but now have to deal with a fixed income now,but hey i can play on fridays......

oh donnie,you b funny.....in some ways you are right tho.miss ya,was good seeing ya in reno,good luck the rest of the year.......
Aug. 2, 2011
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
ALLRIGHT NOW! YOU NEW GUYS JUST DON'T QUITE GET IT YET!!!....THIS SENIOR SOFTBALL STUFF IS NOT TOTALLY JUST ABOUT WINNING ALL THE TIME...DON'T GET ME WRONG..WE ALL STILL TRY TO WIN...BUT ITS JUST NOT THAT EARTH SHATTERING ANYMORE WHEN YOU LOSE!!!! NOT LIFE OR DEATH!!!.BEING ABLE TO STILL PLAY THE GAME WE ALL LOVE WELL INTO OUR 60'S AND 70'S IS WHAT ITS ABOUT...BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL TO GREAT VENUES ALL OVER THE US TO PLAY..THE MEETING OF NEW FRIENDS AND THE COMRADERIE OF BEING WITH OLD FRIENDS IS WHY WE STILL DO THIS.....14YRS NOW FOR MYSELF!!! YES WE SPEND SOME MONEY BUT MOST OF US WUD BE SITTING AT HOME EITHER PLAYING GOLF OR JUST GETTING FATTER...IF WE WEREN'T OUT HITTING THE BALL LIKE WE DO!!!!IT HAS BEEN A LONG PROCESS FOR DAVE AND FRAN AND CREW SETTING ALL THIS UP OVER THESE YEARS AND I FOR ONE THINK IT'S RUN QUITE WELL AND MOST OF THESE SOCALLED GOOFY RULES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE BETTERMENT OF OUR TOURNAMENTS..AND THERE IS A GREAT MAJORITY OF THOSE THAT ATTEND THEIR TOURNEYS THAT WUD AGREE WITH ME.....THERES REALLY ONLY A FEW DISSENTERS THAT TALK ON THIS THREAD THAT DON'T AGREE....BY THE WAY ....THE NUMBER OF TEAMS GOING TO THE LARGE TOURNEYS EVERY YEAR HAS INCREASED YEAR OVER YEAR ...SO THEY MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT...JUST SOME THOUGHTS FOR YOU DISSENTERS OUT THERE..GOD BLESS SENIOR SOFTBALL USA!!!!!!!!!
Aug. 2, 2011
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
SORRY TO BE ON THE SOAP BOX....I JUST COULDN'T HOLD BACK AS YOU CAN SEE I'M A LITTLE EMOTIONAL ABOUT OUR SPORT...IT KEEPS US YOUNGER...IN MIND AND BODY!!!!!DOKER
Aug. 2, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Then only hold and attend large tournaments. The small ones are just that, small.
Aug. 2, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
so 19 play 2-3 tourneys a year,is that your suggestion......
Aug. 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
That is up to each team, but I would say that is correct if the others aren't worth playing.

It is not like tournaments are the only opportunities to play softball.
Aug. 3, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
Man.... I think I have to apologize to Einstien before I say this but.....I think 19 hit the nail on the head.

For the most part these ranking issues stand out in the limited participation events during the regular season. If a senior team chooses to attend the end of the year World Championships of just one or two big associations for the most part what associations like SSUSA are doing an almost perfect job.


Last year we played in Phoenix and every team at the major level was very competitive.... No teams stood out as sandbagging down.

The problems I see are that, at least in norcal, SSUSA doesn't run the regular every weekend LESS EXPENSIVE senior tourneys. This means their business model reguires them to over hype non World Championships
during the regular season and MOST of these tourneys are the ones where divisions are merged.... Etc.... Etc

I guess what I am saying is if a team from norcal played all local events and just went to the SSUSA/SPA Worlds, Gary 19 would be right in saying the senior season would look almost perfect.

The only problem is..... Associations like SSUSA would not be able to survive... There is the dilemma....as out west is currently set up senior wise I can only see teams like mine going to individual division bracket event in the
future unless the tourney is in our own back yard.

From the looks of turn out it seems most senior teams are doing this.

As its currently set up, I see very little need to travel for senior softball other then maybe one or two times at the end of the season to World Championships. At least in norcal our NCSSA gives us everything we need on
an almost every weekend basis.

I do not know what the business model should look like for the SPA/SSUSA to thrive but at least at the top two divisions it's looking like your better suited to play locally almost all the time. There just are not enough teams/sponsors/time of work to warrant traveling.

If this season is the norm I can see our team playing Reno Rick and Roll and World Championships as our only out of town events.
Aug. 3, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
tim looking at the rankings for nccsa you still have 50 M+ playing 50 M and also a 55 team stuck in there in the top 10,isn't this the very thing you complained about in the westerns.i guess its ok for them tho to set it up that way.
Aug. 3, 2011
Tim Millette
521 posts
I believe there is a big difference between paying $280 for five games in a location close to home and $500-$675 plus hotel rooms, travel expenses and time away from home. When we play local backyarders just FOR FUN it's not as big a deal with merged divisions

Let's take the SSUSA Fresno tourney and compare it to let's say Fremont this weekend.

Fremont half hour to one hour drive for most players. Gas $40?
Fremont $290? Entry
Fremont six teams
Fremont home cooked dinner and night with the family... zero extra cost

Fresno day off work for seeding games.. big cost$$$
Fresno two nights in hotel plus food.. $175 plus loss of family time
Fresno more gas costs $100
Fresno maybe five teams
Fresno $495? Entry

Kind of an easy call isn't it......
Aug. 3, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
so paying $300 just to play 5 games is really the way to go. if you want to play 5 games and don't care,why don't you just set up practice games with who is near you every weekend b/c basically that is all your doing with ncssa then,but paying to do it,that is a waste of money to me.
Aug. 3, 2011
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Maddog seriously why do you care what Tim does with his team. He gave you facts, they make sense you may not agree but this is what their team decided to do. For the record we have done the same thing with my team. $300 dollars divided by 10 players is $30 bucks a guy cheap entertainment in my book. When we travel you have to figure minimum $500. I would love to have what NORCAL has set up. I probably would never go on the road. 110 teams worth of guys for maybe 10,000,000 residents absolutely phenomenal.
Aug. 3, 2011
Conman
Men's 50
72 posts
Doak .. I agree. The bottom line for me also is to play and have fun with guys I enjoy being around. The new friendships made and the ones found again, especially running into old adversaries after so many years and sharing memories means a great deal to me. Winning is always sweet but that's not why I continue to play the game.

I read about playing with hotter balls and bats but I am sure many of the guys that read this board still play with the youngsters and don't have a problem swinging non-senior bats. As long both teams play by the same rules and with the same equipment, I don't have an issue. Personally, I am not a fan of the senior bats, but when in Rome …

Seeding games, that's a mixed bag to me. It's is an extra night's expense for hotel rooms and is sometimes difficult to get everyone off. This past weekend we had to play with 9 guys on Friday. But usually we use these games as an opportunity for everyone to get playing time that normally would not see a lot of game time once the bracket play begins.

As far as tournaments with lots of teams, how many games do we need to play to be content? 8? 10? It's always nice to play different teams but the today's economics has curbed teams going great distances anymore. And really, how many true "National" tournaments are there in any association at any age group or class at any level anymore?? I am also referring to the youngsters divisions.
The TOC and SPA come close in senior ball and if the TOC was held in November or earlier in the same year that a team qualified, I am sure there would be an even broader representation. That's about it.

Could things be better .. sure. I mean I absolutely hate time limits once the bracket play begins. I would like to eliminate
8 am games (especially here in Florida where the ground is soaked in the morning) and maybe play at night once in awhile.
I could also sit at home and grouse about how things are not perfect and end up not playing. Everytime we choose not to play for whatever the reason, it's an opportunity lost. Why not enjoy what we have for as long as we can? I will. Or at least until my wife tells me I can't come out and play anymore.

Conman
Aug. 3, 2011
stick8
1323 posts
"Or at least until my wife tells me I can't come out and play anymore." Conman, that would be unamerican in my book!! lol
Aug. 3, 2011
Conman
Men's 50
72 posts
Actually I have it pretty good Stick. She has "allowed" me to play ball with the rest of the kids for over 40 years now.
I guess I'll keep her around a while longer. Now I have to go find where the heck she hid my bat bag !

Conman
Aug. 3, 2011
stick8
1323 posts
Your a fortunate individual Conman. It wouldn't suprise me if there are wives who don't mind letting their husbands play ball. Guys might be miserable if their wives laid the hammer down!!
Aug. 3, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
just saying joe,that he is complaining about having to play M+ teams,and paying so much money,but he says he can do it for half in his back yard,i ask why.just go and call 5 other teams and have a pick up tourney,as he prolly as enough teams around him to be able to do that whenever he wants.i do know we do it in the dallas area before some of the big tourneys we go to,and it is free to do......
Aug. 4, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Conman-great posts. My wife pushes me out the door to play---is there some hidden meaning to that????
SSUSA goes out of their way to give us a 5 game guarantee. We have all been to tournaments and gone 2 and barbeque. They do their best to address how expensive it is to travel by offering more tournaments that qualify as Nationals around the country so teams can afford it better. I know some have a problem-the purists- but it is an answer to try to get more participation. Having 4 divisions gives more teams a chance to win and winning is always fun. They have tried different formats to satisfy everyone and, gee, it hasn't worked. There are still people that don't like it. I like the fact that when we travel we have a 5 game guarantee. That's around 20 game cuts, a chance to play teams we don't see on a regular basis, and a chance to travel to places we might not get to. No offense to the Drillers-a team we play probably 10 times a year and every game is close, but we play them a lot. I would rather travel and play other teams, too.
I agree on the 8AM games, but we can't see well at night-no night games. I wish they could schedule around 'sun directly over the pitcher's head' games, too.
Maybe the answer is 3 divisions. But, as it has been all along, there will always be teams that are bought with only one goal-to win at all costs and they have the $$$ and players to do it. There is no way to just say no to that. SSUSA is not perfect, but it sure provides a great vehicle to play.
Aug. 4, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Tim is so right on here fellas. Competition is great, but having money in your pocket when the weekends over is better. Upper divisions have it tough, cause to play the better competition you almost always have to travel long distances in most cases. If we remember back in the day, there were two division when most of us started. A & B. Our state tourney for the A division in Michigan would have 30 plus teams. They don't have 30 A teams in the Midwest anymore. B tourneys on any given weekend would draw 80-100 plus teams. When they created the C division it did so at the expense of the upper divisions. So tourneys for them got spread out and fewer, which in turn travel became the major expense. My point here is a couple of divisions would be more than sufficent and would mean more teams in the proper divisions. So much easier to police and keep cost down. More teams could probably afford to travel to one or more world tourney. JMO
Aug. 4, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
What Tim hasn't emphasized is that in NorCal, NCSSA
the best and most responsive senior association in the country that also has teams registered from Oregon and Nevada,
we have the BEST teams in the country to play with/against
any and every weekend we want.
We don't have to play away to play against the best competition
in the country.

Remember:
We have HR's as walks with equalizer at 1,
5 run innings and lively bats and balls
and our tournaments fill up very fast.
These conditions reflect what the great majority of players
want, need and deserve and there's just
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

We love our game and tournaments.
We are great athletes and terrific men and women.

Jeff.
Competition is the reason we play.
I've been told this over and over on this site.
No one will travel without the real sense of greater competition
and challenge and if one has it, as we already do
in our own backyard of NorCal,
then we must ask ourselves, why travel at all,
as Tim has pointed out, except as good times and greater
competition is guaranteed.
We don't just play to play, Jeff.
That's why we keep score.
We play to win, all of us, all the time.
We can't help it.
It's innate and part of us
as much as wanting/needing to have fun and enjoy ourselves
while doing it.







Aug. 4, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
855 posts
Joe my friend, NCSSA is to you what SCSSA is to us in the south, a fledgling but growing association that gives us what we want near home, great tourneys and competition.
Maybe one day we will have some friendly North South competition.
Aug. 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
really than why isn't ncssa worldwide,or even nationwide.you talk all this crap,but you still play the same 5-8 teams every tourney,that sounds like fun....you also have those same teams come,from diff age groups,ranking div,just the thing you and tim complain about for the westerns.
Aug. 4, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
It's competition and the level of play
that is key to a true competitor, Robert
and we have probably 25 teams that form the upper bracket who can all play high level
major to major plus ball.
Our rules make playing one level to the next
very competitive and they should be adopted
along with using very good Baden Fire Balls
and Senior bats across the board
in order to keep players happy, satisfied
and continuing to invest in the sport.

I know you don't play major or major plus
ball but if you did at the nationals
you'd see the same teams over and over again
and most of those would be teams from California
as we've won a lion share of Major Plus,
Major and AAA titles over the last 15 years.
Check our record if you like doing research
as much as you claim to.

A decent man would never have repeatedly
been disrespectful of over 2000 men and women
of NorCal, Oregon and Nevada
and an honorable man would have apologized
by now for such ignorant and self centered
behavior.

It's never too late to do the right thing.
Let's see what you do
and you will be judged accordingly.
Aug. 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
well than why cry over who you had to play at the westerns,be a man and play who is in front of ya......

when you decide to have a game that won't kill a fellow softball-er,and this assoc of yours happens to become a nationwide at least...well maybe,but i don't see that happening in anyones lifetime here so,it is what it is.........
Aug. 5, 2011
billcoo
35 posts
I see alot of teams with different players in champ play then in seeding.....If they only play seeding u dont realy need them except to get through day 1.
I agree drop the seeding games and the cost....
but we forget its about the $$ with the org.....
Aug. 5, 2011
billcoo
35 posts
Why not have the option after entry dead line to have a refund if not at least 3 teams in your brackett??????

OOOPPPsss!!!! I FORGOT,, THEY WANT OUR $$$$$$$

iTS NO LONGER ABOUT THE TURE AVG SENIOR PLAYER.
iTS AL $$$$$
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