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Discussion: Observation

Posted Discussion
Oct. 15, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Observation
Does anyone think the following is effecting senior ball anymore or less than the youger guys? Does anyone think this is more wrong than right or right than wrong?

"This is a huge problem with no denying the fact that yes the great players today would still be great players. But the problems are the inflated egos created by the equipment being used today, let alone the illegal equipment. Do you think we'd even be having this discussion if the majority of today’s players could not hit the balls as far and as hard as the best of the best before composites? I don't think so. I'm not going to get into this era vs. an older one. But players knew where they fit in before these bats. Seriously, how many players that play tourney ball at all levels in softball right now have never hit a home run at 300"? My guess not many of them. Before composites you had players that played at the A & AA level that had never accomplished this. But they were still top-level talent. JMO "
Oct. 15, 2011
Batbreaker
Men's 50
79 posts
I would be interested to know how many Senior players became HR hitters after they
started playing Sr. ball. This is my first year of Sr. ball and it seems to me that
not many players change how they play, the equip. just allows us to play that way longer. JMO
Oct. 15, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
I think that the home run is over-hyped on this board. Many teams don't hit their limits in any of their tournament games. Some that do hit home runs are only hitting them 305'-310', barely clearing the fences. The younger groups hit them more consistently, but they also hit a large number of high fly balls that get caught. Your better hitters are the ones that hit line drives for a high average even if they can hit home runs. As batbreaker said, the equipment allows seniors to play much longer. How many 70 year old players, when they were 50, thought that they would be playing at 70? or 75?
Oct. 15, 2011
GI
Men's 60
164 posts
Having played in the Joiful Goodwill games against Japan and Canada with the soft mushy ball from Japan, I found that the game was still very enjoyable and there was no worry about someone geting killed by a hard hit ball. We still played the game we love softball and the true hitters found a way to hit line drives and get on base. The homerun hitters struggled because they did not hit it 300 feet. I saw several 250 to 275 shots which went for home runs. I enjoyed so much seeing the team from Japan just having a great time even whem losing. They were so kind and giving and what a party and show they gave us last night at the hotel This is what the game should be all about, Being safe, having fun and meeting new friends at the park. Thanks Tery, Fran Dave and rest for putting this together. Our CJ and S Express team learned more this past few days anout friendships and sportsmanship. We loved it and I would not be against more use of this type of ball. This ball could not even break a Altra 2 MIken. HA Gary Ingle
Oct. 15, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
salio2k-how many guys thought, when they were in their 20's that they would be playing at 45? I sure didn't. You ask how many teams hit their limits in games in tournaments, but my question back is how many would be hit if there were no limits and guys could swing away?
GI-having gotten to know your team from playing you so many times in the past few years, I am glad you were representing us in Goodwill games. No matter who wins when we play you guys, the atmosphere of the games are friendly, but very competitive, and those are the games I remember. Last year when you beat us in Vegas 28-27 and you knew I was hurt, every time I ran around first past your dugout on a hit, I heard you guys telling me to not hurt myself further. In 43 years I have never heard that before from an opposing team. I'll never forget it.
We look forward to seeing you next week and renewing our friendship!
Oct. 15, 2011
the wood
1085 posts
Sal,
In my last 2 years with GSF (2009-2010) we only hit 1 HR for an out (in all SSUSA events combined). This was in Sparks, NV, and a pinch hitter hit a line drive out. At no other time did we go over the limit.
However, in the LVSSA where HRs over the limit weren't outs, both teams would commonly exceed the limits... mostly when the wind was blowing out. While this did happen in LVSSA, it was pretty much a non-issue in terms of strategy. The same was true in SPA... but we seldom went over the limit there because it was a different ball and less wind. SSWS had HR limits of 9 (and then an out) and used a very good ball (Dudley Thunder ZX, 44/400) and we didn't exceed it (1.2 bats).
The most dominant team that we have played over the past 6-7 years was/is Turn Two (VA). This was true for them whether we used USSSA or 1.2 bats. They didn't hit as many HRs as you would expect but they scored a boat load of runs. Many of their players played on the 50 M+ Fergie's team, which used DeMarinis, Red Lines, etc. (pre-2002) and they were very successful then, too... never flashy, just consistent. Their achievements were not based upon technology. The same could be said of the Old A's (2001-2005 era).
Sometimes you just have to credit where credit is due. If we used wood bats they would still be among the best teams around.
Are there guys playing senior ball who hit HRs that couldn't with lesser bats? Yes. But are they dominating the game? Or are their teams doing so? I cannot think of any... but this is just based upon my limited experiences. We haven't made a practice of going to every national event. But I'd guess that we've been to 25+ of them since 1.2 bats became legal (2002).
BW
Oct. 15, 2011
Tater50
336 posts
Pricer: I never voted or wanted the Senior Bats; I do not recall it being put before the players; that being said; I will revert back to the metal bat or dbl wall, but I feel the majority has tasted "honey" & will not return to "Sweet N Low". I believe the FHC organization was using the Senior Bats & that filtered over; someone can correct me if I am wrong!!

GI: Speaking of the Japanese; I believe during their recent crisis many searchers found huge amounts of assets & they did the unthinkable; they returned it to the rightful owners. Seems to be a class act. I wish I had the op to go play in those GWill Games.

Webbie25: Your remarks about or from opposing team mates; that seems to be the case w/a lot of great teams that have been together for a while, they attract similar guys; they want to beat the other team, but never want to see anyone hurt.

Pricer: to finish my input; I would love to go to the UTrip bat; our team attended the NSA Worlds in Cullman & we used a 44/400 ball w/UTrip bats & I did not see "ONE" person that was complaining (that was in the 55 bracket). Any team could have won it; NEITHER did I suspect ANY player of swinging an altered bat.

Tater50
You Cannot Fool the man in the Mirror
CR Needed: slow, fat, but NOT lazy, just born a St. Bernard.
Oct. 15, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
salio2k,
I couldn't agree with you more. The home run is way over hyped. You are correct in saying that in most games the home run limit isn't achieved. I've only seen it done a few of times all year. I've said it numerous tmes before that there's nobody on my team to a man that hits home runs now that didn't hit them when they were younger. The bats haven't turned any of my team mates into home run hitters.
Webbie25,
your question makes it sound like one can just go up to the plate and decide, I think I'll hit one out this time because we're below the limit. Trust me it ain't that easy. Even in the tournaments where excess home runs aren't outs, the limit isn't reached that many times. You might see it at the Major+ level, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

Egos - balony. I know guys today that used to be home run hitters when they were young who can't hit it out now. Most guys just want to be rewarded for hitting a ball well. JMO
Oct. 15, 2011
CSinc
Men's 50
13 posts
In our area, I have not been awed by the home runs. I don't know if the guys discussing the homers are mostly Majors/Major+, but I don't recall having anyone we played this year make a home run out. Our team plays in an ASA league during the week, and to be honest the guys who hit a few homers in SSUSA are also the same guys hitting a homer or two in ASA ball. Of course we are AA team, just having been reranked from AAA, so we are not a powerful lot. Maybe the midwest is a different level of ball than the coasts...
Oct. 15, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
the wood.......come on man......you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! A couple of years ago, I saw a high pop up 20'behind the shortstop blow out for a homer.

Pricer.....your'e gonna love this.......ASA senior softball tournament in non-championship play here in Southern California uses SSUSA approved bats.
http://www.socal-asa.com/adult/forms/2011_SoCalASASENIOR_RULES.pdf

Oct. 16, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
For those naysayers about senior bats. There's a proposed rule change for ASA to allow senior bats in ASA championship tournaments for the 2012 season. ASA is concerned over declining attendance and the future of their senior softball program. Senior softball players are being heard all over.
Oct. 16, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Al, before you get too carried away let's see if the proposal passes.

No doubt seniors are being heard loud and clear. "We, on the whole, are a prideless bunch who want/need the technology of others to feel good about our 'abilities', no matter how much we bastardize a game we all grew up playing with a bunch of VERY different rules.?
Oct. 16, 2011
the wood
1085 posts
Sal:
That's why I included the LVSSA portion... those fly balls were weak in nature and did blow out... but, as you know, this has also happened when we used ASA bats.

Gary:
Once again, when personal experiences don't allow for meaningful input you resort to gross generalizations. Who is 'we'? All senior players? The ones that you've observed in your many national events?
The part about bastardizing the game... from my view, it's hard to argue that... the two home plates, the commitment line, etc... but these were rules already in place when I began playing senior ball ('97) and 5-6 years before 1.2 bats were used.
But with the 1.2 bats other rules have been placed... pitching box protection, safety equip mandates, discussions of pitching screen, etc. Why have these things become part of the landscape? Safety or liability? Until management comes out and fully addresses this we're left to speculate. If it's safety... then why allow the 1.2 bats? The logical conclusion seems to be that the assns that allowed them got a large leg up on their competition... then other assns reacted to the shift in market share... some did so too late.
While this could be a valid topic it strays from the parameters of this thread.
Wouldn't you have to play in national events to REALLY know the prevailing attitude? Do the AA teams/players feel the same as the M+ guys when it comes to 1.2 bats? For several reasons, it's too bad that more players haven't experienced the SSUSA World Championships. Not that this is the 'be all, end all' tourneys but because of the multitudes of teams that are there and because you'd witness how the game is really played. What is written here doesn't do justice to what happens on the field.
Yes, it's different than it was 30 years ago... but so are we. Still, some of the best players that EVER played are now playing senior ball (or have recently played). To me, this means something.
BW
Oct. 16, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Bob, extremely interesting post.

I completely agree with you that the, what I call, whacky rules are all about liability and nothing about safety. Though this does puzzle/sadden me. I would NEVER even think about suing an association over an injury in the normal course of a game. We all know there is risk. To sue is just absurd, but sadly I don't doubt that it happens.

Since you brought it up, shouldn't the Worlds be an exclusive event? Kind of defeats the purpose if that many teams can attend. If there are a "multitude" of teams, something seems very wrong. Since when aren't Worlds something that is earned, and don't allow a multitude to attend?

Yes, we are different than 30 years ago, but we are still playing a game that for many years was played by 9 year old girls. It doesn't have to be made that complicated.

Oct. 16, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Gary19....The Worlds is an exclusive event. Years ago, when the topic was sand bagging, I wrote that "RINGS" should only be for major or major +. The response was greatly against me because even AA and AAA should have the opportunity to win rings. I thought about it, and reversed my thoughts. Maybe you should take a step back and think about what we are doing. Let the old men and women play the game they once played as kids. We don't know how long the honor will be ours.
Oct. 16, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
salio, thanks.

My concern is that this is no longer the game we all played when younger. In many ways, not even close. I could list all the ways a simple game has changed, but have done that many times before.
Oct. 16, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
120 posts
not even close to the same game,lets see home plate yep its there,first base yep seen that,second base sure i see it,third base seen that also and even a pitching rubber.i cant believe it its a softball field the same kind i played on in 1974.ok so we have an extra plate big deal i like it puts the catcher in the game.what else unlimited runners take advantage of it but could be changed to last out.nothing you can do about the equipment lots of sports have had the equipment get better someone always comes out with something better.
Oct. 16, 2011
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
I wish we could go back to the ol days.
When we could use a 38oz bat, probably 1/8" thick that you could beat a tree down with and still hit a ball out of the park.
We as seniors need to get up in a great uprising to make the organizations bring the balls back to the standard they were 25 to 30 years ago. It is awful that the balls are dead.....
We have to buy special bats that only last 5 to 400 swings for $175 just to have the same performance we had when we were young.
It is an awful situtation, LETS RIZE UP.........
Oct. 16, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
crusher........I go back to the ol days every night. I pop two tylenol PM's and off to dream land I go.
Oct. 16, 2011
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
It is GOOD.
thanks, C
Oct. 16, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
well crusher you can swing those big telephone poles,i didn't do it back then,will not do it now......my bat weighed in at approx 28 oz back in the late 70's and early 80's when i could find them......i have always look for the lightest bat when playing ball,even baseball.
Oct. 17, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
RIK,

Two home plates back in 1974? Nope.

Two first bases? Nope.

Courtesy runners? Nope.

Run limits? Nope.

Time limits? Nope.

Home run limits? Nope.

PPRs? Nope.

Forceouts at home? Nope.

Hockey goalie equipment? Nope.

Screens? Nope.

Bats only certain age groups could use? Nope.

Oct. 17, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Welcome to Senior Softball.
Oct. 18, 2011
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Senior Softball, Love it or leave it.
Oct. 18, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
But never try to improve it?
Oct. 18, 2011
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
399 posts
Pricer, nice topic but really who cares where anyone fits in if you enjoy playing the game? I like the game as it is and find anything less rather boreing and to be able to hit a HR now and then because of the equipment adds to the overall enjoyment.

Gary19, you forgot B&W TV
Oct. 18, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
My bad. :)

So you were bored with the game in the 60s, 70, and 80s?
Oct. 18, 2011
GaCMan
86 posts
Never try to improve it???? I think every thing thats been done is to try and improve the game.

Improvement of the game is never ending. Time stands still for no one. Every thing around us has changed some for the better some not . I guess its just a matter of opinion. Most people especially older people don't like change. At my age 56 looking back and remembering how it used to be in my (vivid imagination) everything was better back when. Change is never easy to accept, we are set in our ways. That being said I do like most of the changhes, some might need to be adjusted but thats what this forum is all about.

I like a lot of the changes extra plate and bases YES helps avoid collisions.

Courtesy runners YES I don't use them but they have a place in senior ball.

Limits on runs, time, and HRs YES all these have a place in this game. I think it makes us better players focusing on a much faster game and most of the time more exciting game.

Protective equipment YES if it makes you feel safer use it or not why should anyone care.

Force outs at home YES I dont think at our age anyone wants to have a collision, I certanly don't.

Not all players are created equal, every one of these rules helps keep the game to a respectable level of play and time. I would rather play 3 or 4 games in a day than 1 or 2 long games.

I know everyone doesn't like all of the rule changes but as a whole I think most of them are good.

I agree with Enviro Vac I like the game as it is. I just really enjoy playing this game.


JMO Joey Ammons Columbus 55s
Oct. 18, 2011
Tater50
336 posts
I have been reading this board for 5+ years & seeing some of the same complaints. There are many things that I do not like, that's why a Yearly Player Poll is necessary.

Having said that; GaCMan I agree w/you & others; but I'd rather have played the last 12 years in SSball & enjoyed all the new friendships, wins & losses, than to have set at home complaining about SSball on my keyboard.

Tater50
Play now or complain for 5 more years & watch everyone else have fun!!!! We will never get younger!!!
Oct. 18, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Who's not playing on here?

Courtesy runners do have a place, but NOT the way they are being used now.

So collisions at first and home and more dangerous than at second and third? Just wondering.....

"much faster game"? What is the hurry? And those are just artifical ways to shorten games made excessively long, in part, by the bats and general lack of hustle by the players. Not convinced? Ask someone under 30 to watch a senior game and then ask then what they think of the pace of what they just saw. Yea, I know we are older and slower, but still just ask.



Oct. 18, 2011
GSWP001
Men's 60
74 posts
Gary19. Just from my experience the response from the younger crowd is that they are amazed and and awed at how well we do for our age. Don't seem to recall any comments as to the rules. I constantly run into "kids" who would like to play "our" game. Especially the 40 y.o's that know soon it will happen.
Oct. 18, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Gary19, as a matter of fact, collisions at first and home have always been more dangerous than second and third. Answer is obvious—since you can overrun both home and first without penalty, and often are trying to beat a throw, you run as fast as you can and are unable to stop or even swerve if the fielder gets in your way.

Running to second or third you are thinking take a turn, slide, or pull up to go in upright...or even turn around and run back in some rare situations. All three of those usual options involve more body control and slower speed than barreling through a base. Result is fewer unintended collisions and less dangerous when they happen.

That aside, your challenge whether guys were more bored with the game in the 60s, 70s, 80s is right on. Of course we weren't bored. I enjoyed every minute I played, even if I never heard of a composite bat or knew what power it could bring. In fact, I found those games more satisfying and exciting because of the balance of skills in play, unlike the offensive dominance common in the past 10-20 years.
Oct. 18, 2011
GaCMan
86 posts
I came to this game(senior softball) just a few yrs ago and boy was I ever impresseed with the older guys ability and eagerness to play. I have never felt like any of the rules have slowed or changed the game for the worst. Yes there are CRs that shouldn't be used but for the most part i'm OK with this. I on occasion have used this rule to my teams benefit. I read on this forum every day sometimes twice a day and most of what I hear is as my son says wahwahwahwahwah. There is only so much time left in this life enjoy every minute play hard and have fun.

LIFE IS TOUGH, LIFE IS TOUGHER IF YOU ARE STUPID. JOHN WAYNE


I'm sure I'll get crusified for that one!!!!!


Columbus 55s Joey Ammons
Oct. 18, 2011
GaCMan
86 posts
Oh yea I forgot in my moment of what ever we will never be 30 again and I don't think I would want to. I have yet to meet a young guy that is not looking forward to being able to play SENIOR BALL. The OLDER guys and I'm 56 have always impressed me I can only hope to still be playing when I'm 75, these guys are AWSOME!!!!!!! PLAY HARD AND ENJOY!!!!!
Oct. 19, 2011
Donny C
54 posts
I used to hit HR regularly when younger, now even with the ultra-II I have only warning track power. No HR in five years now for this 61 year old. The idea that our equipmnet makes us HR hitters has yet to work on me, heck I wish it would. The game was rougher in the 70's more collisions at home plate, metal spikes were used than therefore more injuries related to that. I like the mat for strikes and balls and the double first base is great. It took me a bit of time to get used to the plate being away from the mat, but that makes it safer also. I do not use protective equipment but if one needs it they can use it. I am amazed at the ability of these seniors out there, I would think that many of these teams would beat the young teams I play on. The team where I am called "old man." These senior teams are great and the players great guys, I enjoy meeting them on the field. The competition is great and normally if you do something well the other team acknowleges it. Heck I even like the prayer at pitchers mound after a game. I also know we can always better our best at whatever we do and that also means the game can even be made better/safer as changes over the years have all ready shown. Donny C.
Oct. 20, 2011
Boppo
15 posts
At 54 I'm still playing with the young'uns - roaming the OF 2-3 nights per week (double and tripleheaders). But I still get a CR every time I get on base- doubles and triples included. You see, I don't slide (bad back)and the quick decision making on the basepaths (stopping and starting)are bad for the legs. Baserunning is a completely different activity than playing outfield. You cannot compare the two.
Oct. 22, 2011
17Black
Men's 50
220 posts
Donny C I agree with what you say and will comment on your first couple sentences---because I think you are right on.

Mikens and other composite bats are cool---but they only benefit some guys, not all. There are only two guys on my league team who can hit home runs somewhat consistently, and MANY who have NEVER hit a home run on 295 fences with Mikens.

I'm 52, my home run numbers each year (league play) are fairly consistent as to when I was younger. (For tournaments see farther down below)

But I do have another observation. I also coach a high school girls fast-pitch team and have been to numerous clinics and etc. I started using the same swing I was teaching the girls for fast pitch, with proper weight shift and use of my lower body, and the home run counts (and distance) picked up "considerably" after that.

I started playing in our over 50 league at 48 (our league has that rule to get more guys to play but under 50 can only hit one HR a game)

My numbers went up AFTER technique shift, NOT after using Mikens. Plus our league plays with a DEAD Ball which almost negates any bat including Mikens anyway-------However I will admit at Senior Tournaments with LIVE balls it's hard to keep the ball in the park sometimes-----SO I will attest homers to the ball more than the bat--------for the guys who maybe didn't hit as many homers when they were younger.

Another comment though, when I started playing softball after baseball around 22 years old---I NEVER hit my first "over the fence" home run till I was 26.

When I was 22 I was about 6'3 and 170 and couldn't hit any, and when I was 26 I was about 6'3 and 185 when I hit my first, and THAT year they just kept coming--- and as I continued to grow LARGER, and as I got older the home runs kept coming MORE. I played at between 200 and 215 till I was around 40 and hit even MORE HR's.

NOW------I'm 6'3 and 230 and still hitting them.

My point being, I've also grabbed 20++ year old bats at batting practice and hit HR's too. MOSTLY with balls we have kept from senior tournaments, not our league dead ball so much.

As we have ALL aged, Most of us (not all) have gotten BIGGER (not neccesarily stronger) BUT if you have proper technique with the "added weight" most of us have put on with father time-----that has just as much to do with home runs(Probably MORE)---in my opinion----as using composite bats.

Think about it ^^^^^ There are some normal size guys who do benefit from Mikens (and tournament balls) but I really think a lot relates to BIGGER guys then we used to be too
Oct. 22, 2011
17Black
Men's 50
220 posts
I have to comment on my comment above ^^^^ so I apologize in advance.

Another tid-bit I just realized as I was watching college football for the past hour and working out on my bow-flex.

When I was younger and "smaller" I "Never" worked out----I mean NEVER!!!

Now I do several times a week, either on machine or doing "something"

So on top of being 60 pounds LARGER than I was 25-30 years ago, it's work-out LARGE now too which does assist in more power.

I'm not going to say I can run like I did when I was 25 because I can't---and I'm not going to say I am in overall better shape, because I'm not-----BUT----I am "softball stronger" NOW---in upper and lower body strength now than I was, due to weight increase and working out.

I'm guessing many others who still play are the same???

Oct. 22, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
17Black.....Not only do guys work out, many of those that consistently hit home runs take a lot of batting practice. I'm talking 500 practice swings a week and also batting T work. Many are better hitters, with better techniques than when they were younger. I don't think anyone used the overlap grip when they were playing baseball.
Oct. 22, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What you guys are saying has a lot of merit. But, that being the case that seniors are actually hitting further now because of training and practice, then what is the need for the special bats?
Oct. 22, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
No need for special bats. Just swing whatever the association you are playing mandates. If someone has a wood bat association that you wish to join, you purchase a wood bat. Nothing special..
Oct. 23, 2011
Tater50
336 posts
Gary19:"Who's not playing on here?"

Gary: correct me if I am wrong; but you do not play tournament ball. If you play in a league, do you play according to the old rules or do you use the present senior rules?

You bring up some good points, but if you do not play SSball Tourneys, you are like the member of a church that never attends or gives money, but is constantly telling the pastor & members what needs to be changed.

1B/Home safety bases: Most all seniors are still working, so they cannot afford broken or fractured bones in a collision. We do not heal like we did as kids.

Helmets: If the player wants to buy them, I don't care if they look like Darth Vader.

Special bats: I did not vote for them; IMO; someone can correct me if they know better; I believe that SS Associations were told by these groups (Like Florida Half Century; just an example) that their groups as a whole would not contend in tourneys if Senior Bats were not allowed; because they were already swinging the best bat & did not want to revert back, so the Assoc saw a way to involve more teams & they brought in SBats!!

CR's: they have their place, but still needs to be voted on in a Yearly Player Poll.

Tater50
Better to get into the tourney scene & change it from the inside, days/years are passing Gary; come on & get in. we are not getting any younger!!! Would like to see if I can hit some of your pitching!!!
Oct. 23, 2011
Tater50
336 posts
17Black & others: As guys get older they realize they have less miles left than they have traveled; the shocks are worn out, the engine does not have the original HP or RPMs; the fuel is the same (cause most SSball players still drink beer); but everything has aged & we will never be new again.

So, they have to care for themselves better than in their youth, we are wiser & workout, take more BP than we ever did; cause we are entering the 7th inning & we only have a few swings left.

I play w/a team that LOVES to take BP; I never played on a team when I was young that loved BP. At tourneys; 99% of our team shows up for BP, whenever it is called.

We enjoy it more now & see the importance of competing one more year.

We hopefully have 24 hours today, what are we going to do with it; in saying that, I want to get outside.

Tater50
Oct. 23, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Tater, I did not play tourneys this year, but did in 2010. Seemed pretty much the same as when I did in '06.

Sure most seniors are still working, so are most guys in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, but no second home plate used there. And I am not so sure 1B and home are any more dangerous than 2B and 3B, but those are both (thank God) single bases.

Yea, I don't care what a pitcher wears either, but the conditions that are causing guys to wear stuff (special bats, the crying need for "good" balls) are the issues.

Your comment about the Florida guys is my point. These guys cry that they won't play if they cannot have their special bats to do now what many weren't 20 and 30 years ago. So clearly it is not about friendship and competition, because both of those could easily exist without the bats.

I loved tourneys as a kid, but tiny brackets and the same teams all the time is just not my favorite way to spend hundreds of dollars a weekend. And that is pretty much what I saw both of the years I played tourneys.
Oct. 23, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
let me ask all of you,what is the ratio of young guy teams vs senior in your area,lets start first within 100 miles then go out 100 miles again and keep going out,in my area we have 1 senior tourney team and a 4 team league,prolly close to 20-1 young vs senior,if it is that close(prolly more like 50-1),texas alone prolly only has 30+ or so teams in all age groups that play tourneys(leagues have quite a few in the larger cities)now do you see why senior tourney's have smaller turn out,like i said before,your horse is dead and won't run,quit beating it.................
Oct. 23, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Actually, if anything, that helps to prove my point.

You said yourself there are "quite a few (league teams) in the larger cities" yet not many tourney teams. So why aren't more guys from these "quite a few" teams playing tournaments?

Here in NE Ohio there are probably 60 or so league teams, yet only 5 or 6 tourney teams that I can think of. So again many more guys are playing in leagues than go and play in tournaments.

I am certainly not expecting all guys to go off and play on weekends, but in both the Texas case and the one here in NE Ohio there are a LOT of guys who have decided not to play in tournaments.
Oct. 23, 2011
GaCMan
86 posts
I think most people are not in to softball enough to devote that much money or time to the game. For me this is not a cheap weekend of fun but it is what I want to do on my time off. I enjoy the competition and the game enough that it's worth it to me. I coach a team and I can tell you it's not cheap or easy, it takes a lot of time and effort. You really have to enjoy it a lot.
Oct. 23, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
My experience from earlier decades is different from Tater50's. I was on a team that loved to take batting practice. We'd hit for an hour and then divide up and play 7 innings! Every week during the season (March to September). Now my current team is spread out so much geographically that we never get together just to hit unless it is at a field at a tournament site early in the day.

The interesting thing is that I grew up playing softball every year since the 1950s. First fast pitch, then slow pitch. I knew almost everyone in my league and many tournament team players, both older and younger. And of those 200 or so guys that I knew back then, many of them now over 50, only a handful, a small handful, are still playing softball today.

Some of them played softball in rec leagues for decades, even if just co-ed as they aged. Some of them played year after year on company teams or church teams. They loved the game. They brought different skills (some had arms, some were great gloves, some high average hitters, some sluggers, some were just fast, some all-around athletes) and looked forward to every game. Who is still playing? Some all-around guys and some sluggers. Many of the others lost interest as the game became so dominated by hitters/sluggers. Some lasted through the double-wall era but felt left out in the composite age or were disgusted by what the composites did for pipsqueaks like me.

Senior softball is dying out. There are a lot of reasons—most not correctable by us, but one reason is that the game has changed. It is unbalanced, it is less safe (always some risk), it is less fun for many. What should be boom times for the sport with greatly enhanced conditioning and medical marvels, with ample disposable income, with well-organized associations, is seeing a drop-off in participation. We may not be able to compete with golf for some, or with travel, or other attractions, but we can certainly return to a balanced game and not lose the non-sluggers.

The only guys seemingly left are those who love to pound the ball, brag about home runs, demand lively balls and composite bats. Sure those things can be fun, but guys, we're losing many of our teammates of the past with our over-emphasis on offense.
Oct. 24, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, thanks for "getting it".

Now, if only more would. :(
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
25 million people live in Texas. Only 30 travel teams???

Ohio is the seventh largest populated state in the country. 4 out of 5 live in metropolitan areas. 5 or 6 tourney teams in NE Ohio???

I live in a city of 300,000. We have 10 travel teams and all the players are from the same city. No out of towners or players from touching states.

It doesn't have anything to do with equipment, egos or any of that other BS. It's called a bad economy and the hardships associated with it.

Omar, nobody I know has more disposable income these days. Less sponsors today. $4 gasoline, Outrageous air fares, high entry fees, hotels, food, etc. etc. etc.

I'll say it again. There have been very few games where the home run limits have been reached this year that I've seen or played in. There is nobody on my team that hits home runs now that didn't hit them when they were younger. Nobody to a man.
Oct. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
Good Grief--I think you guys are missing the biggest reason there are so few teams. WE ARE OLD!!!! Most guys our age cannot play or will not do what it takes to play anymore for whatever reason. We are a special group of pretty old guys playing a kids game-and we are so fortunate to be able to still play. I believe that keeps guys from playing more than anything else.
A lot of the old guys I played with have totally lost touch with softball and don't even know about the high tech equipment.
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Webbie25 -
You are correct that we are old and very fortunate to be playing this wonderful game. IMO it's not the biggest reason there is a drop in teams and tournament entries. The fact is that each year more guys are turning 50 and so on up the chain. There are less teams at most tournaments than there were several years ago. I know how expensive it is to go to these things. The cost is alarming. It's worse if you don't have a sponsor. IMO, the biggest reason is the economy. 9+% national unemployment, house foreclosures, $10 per hour jobs, $4 gasoline, outrageous health care costs, less than 5% of all americans have more than 100K in there 401K's, etc, etc, etc.
People have more critical things to spend their money on.
Those of us who do play are indeed very very fortunate.
Also, I know many people who don't play that could play, that haven't played in many years. They are afraid of failure and the inability to compete on a level that they were once accustomed to. Those who we have been able to persuade to come out and play are in fact having a ball.
Oct. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
A133-they are all factors, for sure. The bottom line is I think a good portion of us believe the factors involved in small tournaments have less to do with the rules, equipment, etc. than some people think.
Oct. 24, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Sure the economy has something to do with it, but I know few fellow players who are destitute. Many just choose not to spend their money in that manner. Perhaps if they thought there was enough bang for their buck they might change their minds.
Oct. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
Time to create the GPSSA (Gary's Perfect Senior Softball Association). If you are so sure of this, put your money where your mouth is and start your own association. It's easy to criticize what's already established, but let's see you back it up with your own dollars. SSUSA already has-and there were 341 teams in Phoenix. Not bad!
Oct. 24, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
So let me guess, you have never made any anything that could be construed as a critical comment about a restaurant, movie, TV show, or politician.

Otherwise, when are you opening your restaurant, studio, network, or nation?
Oct. 24, 2011
GaCMan
86 posts
I agree with both A133 and Webbie. I have tryed more than a few times to get players whom I used to play with 20 yrs ago to play. Almost all played before "hot bats and balls" most say ahhhhh I'm to old. There are very few people across this great country who are willing to invest their time and money into this game. Most especially now that times are hard. But more than that most are to LAZY. It's easyer to sit on the couch and watch TV, or they are still chaseing kids. Most of the guys I played with still work and just don't have the time.

I would probably still play regardless of equipment. But, I do love what we have and don't think less people at the tournaments that this is the reason for it.

I think too it's a matter of options there are a lot of ways to spend your time and money that require less effort.

People are also having kids a lot later in life than when most of us did, heck I was marryed at 19.
Oct. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
I have done so and then let it slide. If I was that upset with a product or a service, I never went back. You have countless times run everything down until you are blue in the face. Yet you keep coming back here knowing it hasn't changed and probably won't. Why don't you attend the convention this year and propose your changes? And before you ask-yes I did go last year to the convention and they listened. They may have gone back and laughed over a beer later about what I said, but they treated me well!! LOL!!!
And, yes, I believe I had an impact on one rule modification, too.
Oct. 24, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Most of us actually go to a restaurant, a movie, or watch TV and politics, before we comment on them. We also go to tourneys on a regular basis, which gives us a bit more insight about senior softball and what makes her work.
From what I see she is doing pretty well compared to other senior sports.
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Webbie25 - You're right on the bottom line. It isn't the equipment. If anything that should be drawing players.

Destitute doesn't even enter into the equation. I'm sure there are many players who spend money on softball that could be better spent elsewhere. They are the ones who love the game. I know I saccrifice some things in order to go to tournaments.

Gary, the problem with you is that 99% of your comments are of the critical nature and you rarely if ever have anything good to say about anything. Why do you think most people disagree with you. I really think that some of these guys are right. You enjoy being antagonistic and enjoy just stirring the pot. Why else would you do what you do???
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Webbie25 - You're right on the bottom line. It isn't the equipment. If anything that should be drawing players.

Destitute doesn't even enter into the equation. I'm sure there are many players who spend money on softball that could be better spent elsewhere. They are the ones who love the game. I know I saccrifice some things in order to go to tournaments.

Gary, the problem with you is that 99% of your comments are of the critical nature and you rarely if ever have anything good to say about anything. Why do you think most people disagree with you. I really think that some of these guys are right. You enjoy being antagonistic and enjoy just stirring the pot. Why else would you do what you do???
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Webbie25 - You're right on the bottom line. It isn't the equipment. If anything that should be drawing players.

Destitute doesn't even enter into the equation. I'm sure there are many players who spend money on softball that could be better spent elsewhere. They are the ones who love the game. I know I saccrifice some things in order to go to tournaments.

Gary, the problem with you is that 99% of your comments are of the critical nature and you rarely if ever have anything good to say about anything. Why do you think most people disagree with you. I really think that some of these guys are right. You enjoy being antagonistic and enjoy just stirring the pot. Why else would you do what you do???
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Oops ! Sorry about the multiples.
Oct. 24, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1981 posts
Whew-had that feeling of Deja Vu!!!
Oct. 24, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
AI33.........You only said it 3 times. I've been repeating myself since Gary came on board and he still doesn't get it. Seniors like the product. They are not looking to go back in time 50 years because they know that they are no longer children. The game, like life, was much different back then. They came to SSUSA, saw the rules, and decided to play by those rules. Nothing special.
Oct. 24, 2011
Tater50
336 posts
Al33: I am like Rocky when Burgess Meredith was asking him how many he saw; He told him to hit the one in the middle.

I thought I saw 3 post by you but wasn't sure, so I read the one in the middle.

Bottom line: I play because I love the sport, do not like a lot of the rules, but I am on the inside & I will try to get a Player Poll to critique the rules.

There are many ways to save @ tourneys if you need to; heck I get extra boiled eggs # breakfast & put them in the fridge till later; makes a filling snack for me. Big Lots & Dollar Gen have some deals you can snack on & save a bunch.. Heck I have eaten things out of containers that I could not pronounce the name!!!


Webbie25: will ask you this question; when you went to the SSummit, how many players attended?

Tater50
Let's play cause we are getting older & when we go to the malls, we see guys our age barely moving.
Oct. 24, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Yes, there is the economy that likely has reduced tournament attendance since 2008, but my observations about the decline of senior softball predate the last few years. Participation began to noticeably wane in the early part of the last decade when times were good and money was flowing free.

And in the last ten years, more and more healthy 50-year-olds and older are living active lives—gym membership is increasing, golf is slowly growing, more people out walking, breakthroughs every year in medical technology for bad knees and backs and shoulders, Huntsman Senior Games (all sports) are expanding, but the number of softball players is NOT keeping up with the increasing number of senior men over 50.

Destitute is a strong word, and pension payments and social security income and many retirement funds have not taken critical hits to the extent that people are reducing their budgets. Certainly younger guys are feeling the pinch, but not many over 65 guys that I know. And even if times are tighter, it's eating out that gets reduced not softball.

What changed ten years ago was the advent of the hot composite bat and its impact on the game. For younger guys, the senior bats seems to have launched an envy that has led to the increase in bat altering for more pop. This trend has certainly hurt men's softball as it distorts the formerly balanced game for them and disgusts some of the younger players, like my son, who doesn't want to lose to cheaters (or even play with them). He has left softball primarily for that reason—not health, interest, time, or finances.
Oct. 24, 2011
garyheifner
361 posts
What would a day be like without gary 19 and a few others ranting about the bats? Maybe it is different for younger guys, but just finished playing in the 65AAA in Phoenix.

NOT EVEN ONE SINGLE HR WAS HIT IN ALL OUR GAMES (by either team) AND ONLY "ONE" BALL HIT THE WALL ON THE FLY EXCEPT FOR ONE GUY IN ONE GAME WHO HIT TWO WIND AIDED. THAT MEANS HUNDREDS OF AT BATS WITHOUT ONE!!!!!!

Watched 2 656AA games to kill time and the outfielders were at about 200-225 feet and got burned once,

I played outfield and pitched at a very high level in the 70s/80S in USSSA. I remember lots of body ball marks, bruises and season ending collisions to teammates and other players. I have a blue TPS ALUMINUM RICH PLANT bat in my collection. Hit 37 HRs with it one season. You can't tell me that our game today is anymore dangerous than back then. The balls we used THEN exploded off the bat. I had shin guards and a cup back then. Not many seniors try and hit the pitcher. Back then, if you showed any fear, everyone hit the middle. From observing over the last 4 years, I think the bats help the single hitters more than the HR guys. It instills just enough fear of getting burned in the outfielder that they give some single room. Go to ASA type bats and I'll bet most players will drop below 500 averages and many having trouble getting a hit at all.

Played in 11 tournaments this year and didn't hear a single bitch about the bats or balls. Saw a lot of guys loving the game.

I still wonder how many of you asking for a ban of current bats have a piece of the action $$$$$ on the millions of lesser bats that will be sold???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????.



Oct. 24, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Gary, congrats on an enjoyable tourney. It seems that all who participated had fun. But I too played ball at a relatively high level during the late 70-80's and will totally disagree with you. The balls come of the bats at twice the speed thru the infield. I don't play the outfield, but during BP I wander out there to do some shagging and the ball sure seems to get on you a lot quicker than I remember.
Oct. 24, 2011
17Black
Men's 50
220 posts
Pricer, I agree with you, I'm not a huge fan of the mat either-----now it is consistent though, it's either a strike or a ball period.

As a pitcher (I used to pitch USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA) I can't stand the mat (But tolerate it) because my ball moves a lot, and several strikes over the plate in "softball of the past" are balls in senior ball because they cross the mat at angles and don't hit it all the time. Other pitches are balls in the old days but hit the mat for strikes, I don't like that either, and honestly, the plate was never part of the strike zone in the past either. Now you can throw a short pitch and the seem hits the front of the mat and its a strike.

And as a batter, if you are up in the box, pitches way over your back shoulder can still hit the mat too. Gets you swinging at some bad pitches or forces you not to move up in the box---------pros and cons either way I guess???

I understand why we play with it, and most umps are "pretty good" but not perfect with the arc, but I did prefer playing with umps who have to call balls and strikes, especially as a pitcher.

Quite frankly, I don't pitch too much anymore because of the mat, and play mostly infield instead.
Oct. 24, 2011
17Black
Men's 50
220 posts
^^^^^ wrong subject SORRY
Oct. 24, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
garyheifner, Great post.
You are 100% correct. Balls were hit as hard or harder and as far or farther back in the 70's and 80's. The game is no more dangerous now than back then. The balls came off the bats like missles. Yes Gary the home run is over hyped.

Rick Pinto of Snyders was one of the first pitchers to become the fifth infielder inthe 70's by covering 2nd base on force plays and double plays because the shortstop and second baseman played so deep.

Pricer - I guess we can agree to disagree. There's no way the balls come off the bats through the infield twice as fast. You're
memory is failing you about that.
Oct. 24, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Well Al33, the testing which everyone who wants to use when indicating the bats are all 1.20 and below and legal are the same ones that indicate that the aluminum bats are hitting balls considerably slower. I know Mike Macenko reads and post on here occasionaly. If you care to comment on the difference between the two aluminum/composites and the speed in which they come of the bats would be great. I worked and played with Rob Schleede who played with the Steeles team with the Big Cat. Up in Traverse City we used the combat for two weeks in our over 45 lge. Fact: the ball traveled 50-75 feet further for most of the guys that were swinging metal bats. It was banned after two weeks. I can't even imagine some of those teams we played against with with the Elliott boys, Macenko, Virkus and the rest of the Steeles players had they been swinging these bats today. I don't think for a minute that these major players today could hit for power with the equipment that the major players of our era could. What do you think?
Oct. 24, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
For reference sake:

http://www.kettering.edu/physics/drussell/bats-new/compalum.html

Oct. 24, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Pricer, excellent point based on fact and science, not just on memory or anecdotes. I always point to the fences. Back in the 70s and 80s, lots of new softball parks were built in our area. Slow pitch was king by then, so they were built to accommodate the wood and newer aluminum bats of the day. Our local rec director did some research, not only with our local hitters, but with other rec departments. It was determined that 260 foot fences was plenty adequate to contain most hits, and the occasional slugger who could clear an 8-foot fence at 260 deserved a home run (rare as it would be).

He wasn't the only rec director to do that as new parks and fences were built. Because of the rarity of hitting a ball that far, things like playgrounds and parking lots and driveways and gardens were installed in the city property just beyond the fences.

Would any new park be built today thinking 260 feet was adequate?! Instead we see huge parks with 300, 310, even 325 foot fences all around. And no city is putting a playground or driveway on the other side, since even at that distance, balls are sailing over the fence many league nights.

And I am supposed to believe that conditions were just as hot in the 70s as they are now?! Not even close. Pricer's estimate of 50-75 extra distance with the composite bat seems about right, if even a bit conservative.

And if the ball is coming at a velocity to clear a 325 foot fence, then it is coming at a much higher velocity through the infield, faster in fact than many human reflexes can handle (and our reflexes are not getting better as we age). That spells fewer infield stops, more danger, and a lot more hits in the gap that roll to the fence. Sport has changed; players are reacting by leaving the sport.
Oct. 25, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Like I said. Twice as fast. No Way ! Thanks for the support data. It also depends on who's swinging it.

Sorry Omar, Never in my life have I played on a 260ft, fenced slopitch softball field ever. Fast pitch maybe but not slopitch.

Oh and believe me, Mike, Scott, Craig and the rest of the boys had no trouble hitting balls well over 350ft. back in the day.
Oct. 25, 2011
neck10
498 posts
most of the guys that hit home runs in the senior softball are in the gym a lot the bats help but the gym helps more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct. 25, 2011
neck10
498 posts
pricer I hit the ball over the fence at liberty& canton with a 501 H boombat (325) I hit the ball out at liberty with a miken freak 315 traverse city in leauge in the 80S 2 rows back in parking lot 501H now miken freak 98 asa balls maybe the road on good day the only difference age & 38oz bat vs 27oz bat.I could hit the ball as far as your boy schleede when I was in my 30S with 501H as he does with composit when he played leauge but maybe some of the younger guys might hit it further with the composit.
Oct. 25, 2011
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Some folks are just trying to split atoms here. It seems some are trying to convince themselves and others that todays equipment is just as good as yesteryears stuff and it's the workouts that are the difference in todays game. Crock of crap!! Al33, your right about the players mentioned. 350' was the norm, but if they were swinging todays sticks. 425'-475' would be the norm for them. As far as it depending on who's swinging it? Don't matter, it helps every batter regardless of talent level. Does anyone think that if composites were not a hotter bat that everyone would save the money and buy aluminum? They would last longer and even more so in the warm weather states!
Oct. 25, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"but the gym helps more".

Friggin' hilarious!!! :)
Oct. 25, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Al33, maybe other parts of the country are different, but in tournament play around northern California, I know, and have played in, seven communities where left field fences are 260-280 feet away. There are likely others at some of the smaller venues. And are ALL of the fields in Phoenix and Las Vegas 300 feet or more? Of these communities in northern California, all of them were built in the years before double walls became prominent, and all of them, to my memory, have pedestrians or parked cars just over the fence in left field. A couple of these venues ban composite bats for those fields in tournaments because of the danger.

My point remains: newer fields are being built (at considerable extra cost) with deeper and deeper fences. Why is this necessary if conditions haven't radically changed where formerly singles or doubles hitters, like myself, can now power balls over the fence with Mikens? Science and players' testimony and budget-watching rec directors agree: the composites hit the ball dramatically farther than wood or aluminum or double-walls ever could.

Gary, I got a chuckle from neck's comment on the gym as well. None of the home run hitters that I play with and against are working out in the gym—I go to the gym, but it is for my legs.
Oct. 25, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Omar,
At least you have bumped up the distance from 260 ft. to 280 ft..

Like I said, I've never played on that small of a field in the 70's or 80's, much less even seen one.
With all due respect anything built nowadays is at considerable more expense and not because they're 300 ft.

It's a radically bogus statement that composite bats have turned all singles and doubles hitters like yourself into home run hitters that POWER the ball over the fences, Just isn't true. Again, nobody on my team to a man is a home run hitter today that wasn't a home run hitter years ago with alluminum bats.

We've been playing on 300 ft. or more for 35 years. Nothing new and nothing deeper and deeper. I've been playing Las Vegas for 9 years and every place I've played at the fences were 300 ft. Can't speak to Phoenix.

Watch out for those "budget watching" Rec directors...They'll agree to anything.
Oct. 25, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Omar.............If seniors are leaving the sport, why are communities building newer fields?

Pricer..........I agree on the additional 50'. That's what I said the first time a swung the OG Ultra. Same pitcher, same balls, the ball went 50' further. Of course it was banned right after it came out.
Oct. 26, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
salio, you think whatever new fields you are seeing are just for seniors? Where might this be?
Oct. 26, 2011
rock21
4 posts
can't we just tone down the ball just to give anyone a chance to catch it.You can still hit a hr but may limit the really cheap HR's
Oct. 26, 2011
rock21
4 posts
We have devalued the HR by our selfishness to hit the ball better than when we were younger. I find it funny to read here that the bats and balls are needed inorder for older seniors to continue to play. Aren't there too many easy HR's and more importantly the speed of the ball comming at you a bit crazy?
Oct. 26, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3937 posts
rock21 it is what i have been suggesting for 2 years now.they have the 52/275-300 ball that will do that.

AI33,i have played on plenty of fields with 280' or less fences.they are all around.in omar's area i know of the fields that are 260' there.they actually played senior tourney's on them.i played back in the 80's-90's young guys tourney's on them.they are out there.

salio2k they are leaving if you look at the % of increase in population and the decrease in actually players coming into the game.the sport overall is loosing players,not only seniors.

by the way sal hows it going......
Oct. 26, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Gary19...my bad...........I thought Omar was speaking of seniors on this senior web site.

mad dog.......doing pretty good. You pick up any of those "hot" combats?
Oct. 26, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
salio2k, mad dog is right—there are plenty of older short fenced fields, and even complexes, in my part of the world and a lot of them host tournaments for seniors.

Also, as Gary19 notes, I didn't mean to imply that they are building new complexes with roomy fields anywhere to accommodate just senior players and their composite bats. As population increases, and new cities expand, they are building additional softball fields for all players (mad dog is also right that softball is decreasing in popularity, not only with the increasing population of seniors but with younger men as well). Most of the ASA growth has been women who have grown up with softball and want to continue to play. I fear that some of these new complexes will be underused, even as the Field of Dreams complexes are having difficulty making a profit by keeping their fields occupied.

And of course, the fields who have banned composites weren't aimed at younger players, only seniors like us. One rec field I know has even banned double walls, likely because of bat shaving, and yes, because the fences are only 260 feet.

I want to play at least another 10 years and I worry that the senior softball sport is dying because of the impact of composite bats and the lower number of softball players moving up when they are in their 50s. My guess is that things will change when the first major lawsuit successfully wins against an association who allowed composite bats, even if they required waivers or "armor" for pitchers. It only takes one and the result will either be a massive increase in tournament fees to cover new liability insurance, or a return to double walls, and if bat altering can't be stopped, a return to single walls.
Oct. 26, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
Omar.......Thanks for the clarification.Maybe you will have to move to the Villages in Florida. I hear they've got quite a senior program there. Or if a drier climate is desired, Saddlebrooke in Arizona. Just keep playing and enjoying yourself.
Oct. 26, 2011
Omar Khayyam
999 posts
Oh no, Salio2k, I like those short fences. It helps my home run total, meager as it is! LOL And hearing the guys on this site talk about humidity in Florida and heat in Arizona, I think I'll stay home in my nice warm, low humidity northern California.
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