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Discussion: TOC Entry Fees

Posted Discussion
Nov. 3, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
180 posts
TOC Entry Fees
I'm just trying to get an understanding as why teams would have to pay an entry fee for the TOC.....It would seem to me that since teams have to WIN a TOC qualifying tournament just to get a chance to play in the TOC and pay their own way for travel & lodging, SSUSA would waive the Entry Fees for all teams to this event! I understand itís just another tournament & SSUSA is running a business, but to have to WIN & qualify for it, one would get the impression that there should be NO Entry Fee included.
After all, we all are SSUSAís clients!!!
Nov. 3, 2011
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
rightrj1,

I see your point, but like you said, this is a business. It is kind of the same thought regarding ring tournaments. Teams strive to win these tournaments, for the prestige of winning a "ring option" purchase. The option to buy or not buy. On top of that, you have to run your form through SSUSA, so they can have a piece of the action. Otherwise, the rings would cost less. I know this, because I had to reorder one from an LVSSA tournament, and the price through the same vendor was much less. Many players do not buy those rings, so what did they win? Free rings are given at the Phoenix Worlds and TOC tournaments.

We do pay high fees for the privledge of being able to play in an SSUSA tournament. I do not have a problem with that, as they are the best run tournaments, in my opinion. I do take offense to the fact that they promote hotels, car rentals, etc, like we are getting a deal. We are not, because SSUSA is getting a cut. I have given examples in the past, so I will give you a new one now. The host hotel is charging for their rooms through SSUSA special code $35 Sun-Th and $50 Fri-Sat. Probably for 2 queen beds? If you go online for the same hotel as I did today, the cost is about $18 Sun-Th and $41 Fri-Sat for 2 King beds. I do not mind the high tournament fees, but this method of squeezing every last drop of money out of each player, is not a positive thing. We pay enough in fees and time off work and travel costs.

Andy Smith,
55 Major/60 Major Plus
Nov. 3, 2011
FOFO
Men's 50
160 posts
Another thing that bothers me about this tournament is that as it takes place in February very few teams that play are actually the same guys that qualified for the tournament in the first place. It's a fun tournament, but for my money Phoenix is far and away the better tournament.
Nov. 3, 2011
Duke
Men's 60
678 posts
FOFO,

That has been discussed in great length in the past many times. I truly believe that SSUSA knows this is not a good time to have this particular tournament. I beleive that they are stuck with this date, due to contract obligations with Florida. Now, with the change of the Worlds being held in Vegas beginning 2012, November(2012) would be an opportune time to fix this situation AND meet their contract obligations. If someone would make the right moves, the Worlds are scheduled to take place Sept-Oct in Vegas, then November can be the TOC, then February could be the Winter Worlds in Phoenix AND Florida. This way contract obligations are still met. Of course, I am not aware of the actual contract situation that is in effect for Florida in February. Not sure if the Winter Worlds would meet the obligations in Florida for February rather than the TOC?? It is a longer tournament, so maybe a day could be added to meet this??

JMHO,

Andy Smith,
55 Major/60 Major Plus
Nov. 4, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1934 posts
Andy-with the change in Phoenix and Las Vegas next year, it might seem that a swap of Winter Worlds in Fort Meyers and the TOC in Orlando might be the next move. The contractual obligations go for 3 or 4 more years in Winter Haven, I think, but unless it specifies that it has to be the TOC, maybe the title Winter Worlds would fulfill the contract. The problem is that the TOC would be too close to Phoenix Winter Worlds, but maybe that could be worked out. You also have to take into consideration that these are some of the best attended events that they have, so you don't want to mess with success too much.
It is nice to see someone acknowledge that they have the best run tournaments and it is worth it to play. These guys put a lot of hours in to give us the best tournaments that they can.
Nov. 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
webbie the winters in vegas and ft meyers are only a week apart,so what would be the problem with doing it that way.just have them in feb and put the TOC in november,that way all the present year winners can play in it,and the winter winners don't have to wait 14 months to play in theirs.
Nov. 4, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1934 posts
Read it again Mad Dog-that would put the TOC too close to Phoenix. That would have to be worked out.
Nov. 4, 2011
SteveSimmons
66 posts
Andy, that is a worthy recommendation and worth consideration. I don't get involved in setting tournament dates, other than the local qualifiers with which I am involved, but I think the real problem would be the close proximity of the Winter Nationals / Worlds with the Spring Nationals / Worlds, if the winter events were moved from November to February. I believe the intent is to maintain several months between those tournaments and holding them in February would squeeze that separation.

Mark you have probably presented the best argument for the present set up. It is successful and quite substantially successful at that. The old axiom, "If ain't broke, don't fix it!", surely applies here.
Nov. 5, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
oops yeah webbie,sorry.have TOC first week of dec or the first weekend after thanksgiving,to me TOC needs to be in the same year as your qualifying tourney to get into it,to not have teams waiting 14 months to play in it.and what is bad about the TOC being kind of close to phoenix(worlds),see no prol with that.

how about the winters in jan when it is actually winter season,nov is technically the fall(winter = dec 21- mar 21).
Nov. 5, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
180 posts
Thanks Guys for your response, however I'm still not understanding why there's an ENTRY FEE for this event!
Nov. 5, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
that is b/c of the cost of throwing it maybe,but you do have a reasonable request tho.
Nov. 5, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
rightrj has a point. Does seem a bit strange that you have to pay for a reward.
Nov. 5, 2011
kbl
Men's 60
523 posts
does anone remember going to states, regionals or naionals and depending on how or what you won, you still had to pay to go???? thanks, ken
Nov. 5, 2011
SSUSA Staff
1007 posts
There is an Entry Fee for every tournament administered by SSUSA, including the Tournament of Champions. The TOC entry fee actually covers about one-half of the cost per teams that attend. Although the TOC has never been financially profitable, it is second only the the World Championships in terms of how we regard its prestige and significance. It is an economic reality that we charge the reduced entry fee rather than bearing the entire cost of the event ourselves.

On a related note, it seems a bit early this year for the commencement of the annual "Move the TOC Debate".

Nov. 5, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3921 posts
never to early staff.the TOC should be held in the same year you win the tourney to qualify for it,shouldn't have to wait 14 months toplay in it(aka,this year winter winners don't get to play till 2013).
Nov. 5, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
If you guys really believe that, you have to talk with your checkbook.
Nov. 5, 2011
salio2k
Men's 60
548 posts
My team has qualified for the last 4 years and spoke with our checkbook by not going. Damn if they didn't still hold the tournament!
Nov. 5, 2011
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Totally agree with you mad dog on this one. It's never to early or late for that matter to lobby for a time change for the TOC. It's a major sore spot with most if not all teams. Especially the ones from the colder climates.
The entry fee isn't the question at all. It's the timimg of the tournament. Doesn't really make a lot of sense at all. Using the excuse of contracts is a bad one at best.
Nov. 5, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
180 posts
Thank you Staff! Since the PHX World is your most profitable Tourney and now is being combined with LVSSA as well as being Hosted in Vegas (which will make it even more profitable) Why not move the TOC to PHX in early November? Iím sure if thatís done the TOC would become well attended as well as profitable. Then you could waive the ENRY FEESÖ.lol
(I think Webbie & Mad dog have a GREAT POINT)
Nov. 5, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
Duke, you make way too much sense! It's pretty simple what should be done, and you state it well.
Nov. 6, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
One thing they could do is stipulate those that qualified get a free entry and allow teams to enter who did not qualify and charge them the entry fee. There stands a decent chance more teams would enter but then you'd have to change the name of the tournament. Senior World Series perhaps?
Nov. 6, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
stick, a team can be in a Tournament of "Champions" without having won anything???????
Nov. 6, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
Not presently Gary. Only winners of TOC qualifying tournaments. It's a great concept but I'd like to see it played at the end of the season. Heck we've qualified but I'm not certain if we (OKI) are going or not. If we do we're at a disadvantage being that we won't have played outdoors since October--compared to the southern and west coast teams.
Nov. 6, 2011
garyheifner
334 posts
Lets say the entry fee is around $450. All 15 of our guys will be at the TOC. That works out to $30 a guy for at least 5 games. It also works out to about $6 a game per man. A whole lot of fun for $6.
I take my grandson to a new movie just released and it always costs me at least $20+.

I have seen opponents sit in the motel lobby or hotel bar and drink many times that amount per night.

If SSUSA can't cover the costs-make some $$$ they can't stay in business. Then, where are we going to play????
Nov. 7, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1934 posts
Gary-just your 'opponents?' You mean you and your team has never sat at a bar and spent that much?? LOL
Great point about 6 bucks a game except for travel expenses and hotels, but I am not complaining. We are all blessed to be able to play at our ages.
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Just because you are "blessed" doesn't give others carte blanche to exploit you.

I know the organizations are a business (it is sad that the days are long gone where municipalities put on tournaments, and only covered costs, if even that), but a true ToC should be a reward for winning a qualifier.

And who pays in any other walk of life for their own reward? Not to mention the tournaments where you win the "privilege" of buying your own ring. Maybe I am missing something, but can you name another walk of life in which you have to pay for your prize/award?

As an example, here in Ohio at least, high schools pay to enter their teams in Sectional tournaments. BUT, if you advance to the State you don't have to pay again, that is a reward. And in both cases you don't pay for your trophy or medal.
Nov. 7, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1934 posts
You are missing something-big time. Carte Blanche to exploit us???? Are you serious. SSUSA provides us with the best venue for Senior Softball. They work their tails off to get us the best fields, best umpires, best run tournaments, and to make it the best game they can. Yes, it cost money to do that. Yes, it can be tough on some of us-including me-that have been unemployed for a period of time or are just getting by. It may not be perfect in everyone's minds, but it is the best we have. But we don't HAVE to play-we play because we love it. That is not exploitation. Exploitation is where you don't have a choice. We do have a choice, and we make it every time we go to a tournament. So they make some bucks-I'm getting sick and tired of hearing people say anyone that makes a product or provides a service does not deserve to make a buck. We vote on whether we accept the terms they set to play by showing up to tournaments. And it appears the vote is a resounding YES!
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
The handful of large tournaments might be a resounding yes, but the numerous local tournaments are a very meager no.

And I think I said I know it is a business, pretty sure I did, but being in business does not mean you have to squeeze out every last dime you can get.

Again, where else do you pay for both awards and rewards? Who else pays for their own prizes??????
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Gary19, have you ever tossed rings at a carnival or shot water guns or pellet guns for prizes? As I recall you paid for that previlege. I suppose you have never opened a box of cracker jacks looking for the prize.
By the way the TOC is a ring tournament, which in this case means free to the winners.
Webbie hit it right, we choose to pay to play, no one is twisting our arms.
Gary maybe its time you joined the Occupy SSUSA movement, it seems right up your Dark,dreary,alley.

Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Sure I have, but after I won I did not have to pay AGAIN for the goldfish or kewpie doll. they just gave it to me. That would be a much better analogy.

Oh, okay. If not paying additional fees for rewards and awards I earned through my first payment is "dark, dreary", fine with me.
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Ok, you have just won a Goldfish, but then you see the giant bear on the rack, now you decide thats what you want, does the Carney hand you a free ring to toss or do you have to pay for the privilege? Thats what I thought.
Personally I never went for the Kewpie Doll, I am more of a Bear guy.

Your analogies sound more and more Socialistic each time you respond.
Nov. 7, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
I would assume even Ohio has education including H.S. sports in their annual budgets. High schools and activities are subsidised by taxes, thereby prizes are paid for by the H.S.recipients family through taxes.

Once again, you are comparing unlikes. The workings of a state govt. vs a private for profit company. Can't equate the two, not logical.



Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Fine curve, then let's use E4's carnival analogy. I pay to play the game, if I win I don't have to pay again for the prize.

When my daughter ran AAU events, we would pay for the qualifier. When she qualified for regionals and then nationals we did not have to pay again. Now what taxes are subsidizing the AAU?
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
By the way, I don't believe I ever said that SSUSA (or SPA for that matter) doesn't run nice tournaments. And I am sure the large ones are very nice. But that doesn't mean there couldn't be things improved, as I would like to think the associations would admit.
Nov. 7, 2011
5ToolsinOhio
Men's 50
160 posts
You pitch it there, i will hit middle. That is all i can think about reading all your post.
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Uhhhhhhh, okay.

You sound kind of tough. LOL Care to tell us who you are.
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Gary19, you missed the point of my example.
Once you win the prize if you want to try for something bigger you have to pay to continue to play. And so it goes.....just plain common sense.
gary19 are you an engineer?
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
I understand that example, but I can think of a lot more and have mentioned a couple where that isn't the case at all.

It is a reward for qualifying, just seems strange to have to pay for your own reward. Like I said, we didn't with my daughter.

No, I'm not. I am kind of afraid to ask (LOL), but why?
Nov. 7, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
In USSSA B, C, D & E teams that qualify for the world tournament do not pay an entry fee to play. They actually get money back provided they show up and play. Teams that don't receive a qualified berth can also enter but have to pay the entry fee and do not get money back. It works pretty well business and teams wise. USSSA makes good profit and teams that don't have a berth have a chance to win a world tournament.
I'm not certain but perhaps the logistics of senior softball do not allow this type of format but it's an interesting concept and maybe SSUSA could put this option on the table for debate--if they haven't done so already.
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Gary19 it is my experience that many engineers have great logic, but very little common sense.
The engineers among us will probably disagree. =)
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Stick I can see how that would work. However it would take away the true meaning of the TOC if non Champions were allowed to play.
You mentioned somewhere above changing the name to Senior Softball World Series, that could be a precursor to the TOC.
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
stick, that is exactly my point.

E4, I disagree too. =) What I am saying makes perfect sense. Paying for your own awards seperate from the entry fee is taking advantage of those who win. I am guessing the rings can be bought from someone suggested/recommended by SSUSA. Hmmmm........

But remember what also makes perfect sense, the words of P.T. Barnum.
Nov. 7, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
E/4 E/6, of course that would be nice. I'd like to see the TOC in October/early November during the season. The way it is now in addition being thrust right into a big tournament without playing outdoors for 4 months some teams may not retain some of their players from the previous season. We (OKI) have qualified but we don't know who from our roster may not play next year. Florida may be a nice getaway from the cold snowy winter here in Michigan but I'm not a fan of playing in a big tournament undermanned.
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
problem with your theory Gary is this, we as players and teams know going in what to expect, hard to sucker that one.
So far the format in general, is working pretty well.
Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Does knowing in advance make you any less of a sucker?

But you are right, at least you do know what you are getting, or not getting.

I agree it seems to work well for the big tourneys, but the small ones are still very small. Might just be a combination of too many tournaments, divisions, and age groups spreading things out pretty thinly.
Nov. 7, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
I dont believe the issue with small tourneys is anything more then economics and geography. Most of us who play tournament ball will only travel so much unless sponsored. In that regard we pick and choose more carefully where we will spend our dollars.
We play more locally to our home bases, keeping our skills fine tuned and save the $$ for the bigger and more prestigious events. IMO
Nov. 7, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Once again, you confuse a business with a non-profit volunteer organization. It's important when you are slamming a hobby so many of us love to play, that you at least compare apples top apples.

The AAU is sponsored by a host of Fortune 500 Co's. Subsidizing at it's best!You don't pay for the championships for example because companies like Disney have put expense $$$ up for those events (over a hundred by Disney alone) in the way of sponsorship. They get brand association and a tax deduction for their generousity.

You can't compare that to a small private company for profit.

The event has to be funded by someone, it's not free. Your daughter didn't attend her event free, it was paid for by a business. There are no free rings, no free stuffed animals, and no free entry fees. It's the way the world works.



Nov. 7, 2011
SSUSA Staff
1007 posts
Not sure how this thread got so far from a factual analysis, but it did. The TOC is simply another one of the tournaments administered by the SSUSA. It differs from all other events in only one regard: It's an Invitational event. Which simply means that a team must win a qualifying event in order to be eligible to enter the TOC.

The TOC is NOT a reward, but rather a first-rate tournament designed for Champions, and only Champions, who have earned the right to enter. Like all other SSUSA events, there is an entry fee to participate in the TOC, but is the least expensive tourney entry fee we charge, and it's the most expensive event (per team) we produce. We welcome any qualified team to participate, and the quality of the field, and not its quantity, is the most important factor.

Nov. 7, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
A couple of things.

curveball, do you know that the SSUSA does not have sponsors? I don't, but with all of the money to be gained by companies in softball equipments they very well might. And apparently USSSA is able to do this according to a post above. Who are their host of sponsors? And how is not just blindly saying "baaaaaaaaa" and following along a "slam"? You can not question anything if you like, but what is wrong with questions?

Staff, maybe it is just semantics but I was looking at it as a form or reward for winning a qualifier and consequently being eligible to compete in the ToC. That is how I was looking at it as a reward.
Nov. 7, 2011
SSUSA Staff
1007 posts
Ahhh, semantics! That's exactly what this boils down to in all likliehood. The 'right to enter' the TOC by winning a qualifying event IS a reward. However, it's NOT an award.

The distinction is one lost on many people. But I do remember fondly the days of S.I. Hayakawa, semanticist extraordinaire at San Francisco State College (now University) and erstwhile U.S. Senator in the late 1970's to early 1980's!
Nov. 7, 2011
birdie
Men's 60
671 posts
Semantics, bofantics, romantics, or whatever term you want to use. What a great tourney the TOC is. I had the honor to play in 2009 during the snow fall in the east and teams made it and teams did not. There was one that drove from New Jersey to Richmond VA. and then caught a flight to the tourney. What a great effort. We had guys that ditched their flights and drove before the snow feel. sometimes it is not about the money but the chance to play. The team from N.J. beat us in the finals. I guess that was their reward for the effort. We just need to tee it up and play. Thanks Harry
Nov. 7, 2011
garyheifner
334 posts
Hey Gary 19-Thank God you comment on this site. Everytime the comments start to make sense you ring in with something dumb and re-ignite the fire. Your great.

I was an Athletic Director for 21 years and a coach for 30. A fee is charged for every for every tournament whether local or a state tourney. The fee to enter a state series includes the district, sectional and state finals. Remember, the state athletic associations get a cut of all gate receipts from every tournament site throughout the state series in every sport. Illinois has well over a 1000 high schools that play boys basketball. That's over 500 games opening night (alone) of the playoffs. A piece of the action goes to springfield. They also get "HUGE" gate receipts during the final 8.

As to rings, the SSUSA gives you the opportunity to purchase a ring "if you want". I received 2 for free, purchased 1 as it had special meaning and passed on the other 6. Some of my teammates have all nine. Again it is an individual decision. We do not pay anything xtra for the trophies, tourney patches, medals, jackets, bat bags and other nice things we might get.

If SSUSA is exploiting me, PLEASE exploit me some more. It is the central focus of my retirement years. The main reason I work out everyday. Even though the odds say no, I am 67 and want to play in the 80 and over.
Nov. 8, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1934 posts
Staff-to invoke Hayakawa was great-what a character.
garyheifner-great post-This is the one thing that keeps me exercising and in reasonably good condition. It is hard to imagine not playing. Thanks SSUSA for providing the venue for us to still be able to play.
Nov. 8, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Webbie/garyheifner...........I agree, well said.



Nov. 8, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
180 posts
WOW! You guys took this to another level! I just wanted to know why SSUSA charged for this event. Thanks everyone for your input!
Nov. 8, 2011
5ToolsinOhio
Men's 50
160 posts
Has anyone ever seen Gary19 play?
Nov. 8, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Yes.

Now who might you be?
Nov. 8, 2011
5ToolsinOhio
Men's 50
160 posts
Really does not matter who i am, i know that bothers you... your that type. I have been reading the board for awhile now, and your pretty darn funny or weird lol.But i looked at the 15 teams that play 50 over in this area and you are not on one roster, simple wondering if you play?
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