http://www.seniorsoftballstore.com

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 1 member: firestick; 62 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: To the BOD of USA

Posted Discussion
March 15, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
To the BOD of USA
when I started in the 40s a few years back, we had the circle around the pitcher for his protection... I have seen and heard numerous comments throughout the years on guys hitting through the pitcher.. We could forever end this type of conversation with a protection rule... #1 if an upire deems a hit through a pitcher is endangering the pitcher it's up to the umpire discretion to call him out... #2 if a player on that same team hits a dangerous shot a second time, he is out and ejected... this type of rule would shut down the small area around the pitcher for his protection.. with no alteration to the field prep such as a circle around the mound..


Second suggestion would be the circle around the mound like it was a few years back...

Anyway, I would like to know what everyone thinks of this.. This would not close down the middle fielding between the pitcher and second baseman or pitcher and SS!
March 15, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Swing-we have had this discussion many times. After hearing about every side possible, having a no hit area also takes the pitcher out of the game defensively,and a lot of them resent that. The one hopper to the mound is no longer a double (or triple) play. I have seen umpires call a guy out for a ball 5 or 6 feet right of the pitcher. That 'small' area becomes a large area behind him.
I am an advocate of taking the actual rubber out of the game. There is absolutely NO need for it in slow pitch. Put them in the ground like bases. But, I really believe all attempts at 'protecting' the pitcher have too many unintentional side effects which negate their original intent. I think SSUSA has done the best they can with the equipment rule and the rule that if a batter is deemed intentionally trying to hit the pitcher, he is out. The batter only has 90 degrees of arc to hit the ball, and 9 defensive players in front of him. To take away about 15 degrees is taking away 16.66% of the field. That's a lot.
March 15, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Webbie, if you give the pitcher 4 foot area which is deemed safe area.. this would not reflect 16 percent of the playing field... I would leave it up to the pitcher if he wants to venture out of this area to make a play.. balls it through this 4 foot area would be deemed out! it would make is safe for pitcher while we can enjoy hitting senior bats and good balls! Just my opinion!
March 16, 2012
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Ridiculous, as previously posted!
March 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
My God, what guys will accept just to be able to "proudly" hit balls in their 50s and 60s that many weren't in their 20s and 30s.

Anyone for slam dunk contests with a trampoline in front of the basket?

March 16, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
My answer is No swing, Webbie, I like the idea of just move the pitching rubber back 10 to 15'. And give the pitcher a little more time to react to the hard hit ball. But taking the actual rubber out of the game is even better. You pitch from an area that makes you feel safe. I pitch to young men in their 30s and 40s and they love coming up the middle. Being back gives me time to field the ball or get the heck out of the way. But it give you time to react to a hard hit line drive that is knuckling at you. We should never close down a part of the playing field and restrict our game.
March 16, 2012
Robo2
226 posts
I pitch from time to time. I wear chin guards but that is all. I don't mind batters using the whole field otherwise I wuold not pitch. It is customary for a batter to say sorry if one comes close but that is up to the individual sportsmanship. In practice games and BP our team uses a net and it does not get in the way so forget that arguement. Forget about it is an object wear player can get hurt and lawsuits can come of it.

If it is there, all players know about it and can initial a waiver. Just like pitchers do now for those that do not wear protective gear.

Bottom line is I have yet to see any batter intentionally hit at a pitcher.
March 16, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3949 posts
kennard i'm with you,i still pitch to kids and will at times try and induce a come backer to me.like ya said we can't just shut down a part of the field.....

robo it is not the on purpose ones,its the accidental ones that usually nget ya,oh i use a mask to protect my chin...LOL......
March 16, 2012
GI
Men's 60
168 posts
Webbie I agree with you about removing or putting rubber ground level. Those crazy bounces off the rubber can really hurt someone. I am more concerned with the short hoppers in front of me than the line drives. I will say again I accept that I must cover up with helmit, face mask, Knee guards etc. to protect myself just as I put on my seatbelt when I drive. a form of protection. Do I like to do it ? NO but I will to continue for as long as I can to stay in the game and get the chance to make new friends and have more memories of the game I love. Robo2, I have had some players come up and tell me they will go middle, More I agree with the young bunch than seniors but it does occur. I could not play again if I tried to hit a pitcher or hurt any player and did it. I am blessed to be on the field. See you out there in AZ this weekend.
March 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"I have had some players come up and tell me they will go middle"

GI, this is not the same as trying to hit/hurt a guy. Lots of guys go middle, it is a pretty open spot to get a basehit.
March 16, 2012
GI
Men's 60
168 posts
I was trying to be nice I agree with you middle is open. I should have said a few have said they were going to try and hit or hurt me again this was more with the kids than seniors. One kid in league said I will hurt you old man, I told him he would not get chance. I walked him first 3 times up and last time up he said I have not got a hit all night , I told him he would not get one this time either and walked him again. He shut his mouth after that. I was young once to. HA
March 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I give you credit. At the point he said that he needed his mouth closed by someone, or something.
March 16, 2012
GI
Men's 60
168 posts
Being a school counselor means I have to try and walk my talk for the kids and others. I tell kids no one wins in a fight. I believe that we all lose something when a fight breaks out. I tell our team Lets do our talking with the bats- Get hits . Sometimes I must be honest I forget and open my mouth instead of keeping it closed. I have heard some here say words cannot hurt, I disagree with this and deal with others every school day who were hurt by mean words. But, we sure are blessed to have this chance to play a game like we did as kids and glad we can express our thoughts about the game.
March 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I can certainly see where you are coming from with this. I might draw the line when someone is insinuating, or actually attempting to cause, physical harm outside the normal realm of the game. But I see what you are saying.

Though I do slightly disagree. Words can only cause harm if you let them. There is no direct physical pain created by words. Easier said than done, perhaps, but that is what kids need to be taught.
March 16, 2012
Joncon
289 posts
An invisible circle won't protect anyone from anything. The ball will still go up the middle because, that's what it does sometimes.

If you want to slow the ball down, soften it up.

The problem is that only one guy in ten (the pitcher) has a vested interest. The majority wants to hit balls as hard, fast and far as they can.

Personally, I'd play the game even if the bats were fence posts and the balls were socks. It would be a different game but I'd still have fun. I'd even start pitching again :)
March 16, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Not so sure the 1b and 3b don't have an interest in this too.

Joncon, the problem is it is not really that they are hitting the ball as hard, fast, and far as they can. More like as hard, fast, and far as someone else's R&D will enable them.
March 18, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
As usual Gary is having a field day with this one. His jealousy at not being able to take advantage of the senior bats and what they can do is sooooooo apparent. "I'm too proud to hit the ball with that bat!!" he says(at least that is the inference of all his posts on the subject of senior bats). What teams are you playing with, Gary?? Major Plus--Major??--AAA?--AA?--A? My offer of an evening of beers stands if you prove me wrong. It's obvious, you won't, though. You can't.

Gary- maybe you should take your own advice from your own post above--"At the point he said that he needed his mouth closed by someone, or something."

Swing--if you take and draw two lines from the plate through your 4 foot area at the mound, by the time it gets to the outfield fence it is a very large area. Nobody hits the ball up every time, and if you go with a pitch in that direction, the difference between a line drive 'tweener' and a shot through the pitcher is a fraction of an inch on the bat. That's really a very small area when you are swinging a bat.

Joncon-I agree, I would play the game as presented. Live ball, soft ball, composite, metal bat. As long as everyone plays by the same rules, why not? Life is short-let's enjoy it while we can.
March 18, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Webbie, I have zero problem with zero rule changes. I just think that all the hitters should have a little class and abide by the gentleman rule of not going middle on the pitcher.. I play with the young kids in leagues and it is an unwritten rule, you don't got through the pitcher. It's a gentlemans rule and I know it's appreciated be everyone... Any thing else is just chicken Crap! IMO
March 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Webbie, prove yourself right first, then I can become concerned with proving you wrong. Anonymous, third-party "sources" is far from proof.

Why are pitchers the only ones protected from the unnecessary bats? I have a hunch that ball speed is greater going through the 1B and 3B than up the middle, so why don't those guys get any consideration too? I know they are further back, but I also believe balls hit at them are traveling at higher speeds. Again, just my hunch.
March 19, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3949 posts
g-19,third party sources...mmmm nope i have talked with players directly from the silverados and schones,and both teams will have nothing to do with you.....so where are you playing.....
March 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
The Schones guys I have not seen in years, and the Silverados play 60+ which I am far from eligible for. Though it is funny how some guys from that team don't seem to hesitate playing with me in the local Akron league.
March 19, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3949 posts
at league they most likely don't have a choice,and it has been a while since i talked to either team so yes you were eligible to play with them back when i talked to them.........league everyone gets to play,no cuts there,unlike a tourney team.......
March 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Actually the Silverados asked me to play some years ago, and when I declined from what I have heard from others one of them took it personally. Not intended that way at all, but what can I do about how some guys perceive things?

As far as having no choice, it is a draft league so they did have a choice on taking me. Still did.
March 19, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
It is extremely hard to prove it when you will not get off the couch and come play. I made you an offer. Now it is up to you. You are the one ducking, as usual.
March 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
An offer of what? To travel to New Mexico? I can play here, why would I want to travel that far to a bit of a desolate state?
March 19, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Duck, Duck, goose. You keep thinking that, Gary.
I can send a crane to get you off the couch.
March 19, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
You know you can't come out to a tournament and identify yourself because of all the things you have said to offend people. Really kinda funny but we build our own cages. I withdraw my offer, you can stop sweating now.
March 20, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
My name and hometown is on my profile here. How much more identification do you need?
March 20, 2012
Bomber #7
Men's 60
62 posts
Webbie, he's not going to NM. Another member offered him air fare, motel, and spending money to go to (CA or FL?) to pitch batting practice to guys with non "special" bats. I thought it was a good offer being it was winter and you get an all expense paid trip to a sunny and warm part of our country. He didn't accept that offer either. It was in a thread about "special bats" I believe.
March 20, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
If only BP bore any real resemblance to game situations.
March 20, 2012
E4/E6
Men's 60
855 posts
Gary19, stand on the pitchers rubber when Kennard, Irwin, Mike Adair, Mike Swearingen, or any number of the big hitters are taking BP and tell me that. (Hell even Joe Rinaldi) These guys like almost all players take their BP seriously, and use it like a game situation.
I like many would enjoy having you come out and play, just to see who you are and what you can do with a glove and bat.
March 20, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Okay this post is F up once again, thanks guys.
March 20, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
E4, understood. I was referring to BP pitching is not "game situation". Might not have been clear on that one.
March 20, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
You are not clear on most things, Gary. You just have a huge wish to say outrageous things to get reactions.

Sorry Kennard. See you in Vegas??
March 21, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What I say is "outrageous" only to the shills.
March 21, 2012
JT9
Men's 55
36 posts
Webbie25,
As long as there are fish in the pond willing to take the bait......the angler will continue to fish :) even though fishing is boring!!!!!
March 22, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
JT9-This fish is full-he is just a bad apple on here. Too bad. No more.
March 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"bad apple"????

For thinking the senior game can and should be improved, and pointing out why and how?

My God, aren't you the sensitive type.
March 22, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
3949 posts
your like the guy who doesn't vote,but has to tell everyone how to run the gov't.....play first.......and really what have been the improvements that you have suggested that will really IMPROVE THE GAME........
March 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
You know I have. It doesn't take some of us 10 years to see the holes in the current game.

Fewer age groups and fewer divisions could/should mean larger brackets, and more meaningful tournaments. I just looked at the brackets for the Spring Nationals. Does winning a 3-5 team bracket really mean much? Is playing that few teams worth the trip and expense?

Reducing the bats can eliminate time limits and run limits, and make the game what it was meant to be. Which should be more appealing to guys who grew up playing the way the game was intended. We were intended to get 3 outs before batting, not suck and give up 5 runs and then get to go hit.

March 22, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Gary 19 if they went back to single wall bats and the 50 core 575 compression like we used to hit in the 80s I would be all for it.. they dumb down the balls and super charge the bats to make up for what we used to hit. bottom line, we hit the ball as far then as now and My power has not dropped off.. the Balls have, so now we senior bats..
March 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, I understand it is more the bat/ball combo. But I also know that with the current senior bats I see guys hitting balls in their 50s and 60s that they weren't in their 20s and 30s when there weren't time limits and run limits yet games were still getting done in reasonable amounts of time. We were getting in 7 innings and had to "earn our ups".
March 22, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
swing for the fences, don't know where you were playing back in the day. Northern California has always been a mecca for men's softball. When parks were built in the 40s and 50s, fences in this area were 220 to 250 feet. Anything more was considered spacious. Yet these parks contained most balls, and only the real sluggers could clear the fences with the bat/ball combination of the day (admittedly, mostly fast pitch, but lots of old timers claim that a hard swing against a ball coming in 70-90 mph travelled farther than slow pitch). Some of these parks are still on the senior softball circuit, although mainly used by teams 65 and older.

In the 60s, as slow pitch became more popular, and softball began to soar as a recreation sport, new complexes were typically built with 275 - 290 feet. They seemed huge to us then, and as they began to be incorporated into recreation sites, there was often a children's playground, a rose garden, or parking on the other side of the fences. Since it was a rare ball that could clear those fences, children, people, and cars were considered safe.

This trend continued into the 70s with the introduction of the single wall aluminum bats. Those bats were more durable but didn't have much more pop, if any. The bat/ball combo was such that it was still a rare ball that cleared the fence. On my team, for example, we didn't have a player hit a home run over the fence for the entire decade! Had we ever seen it, it would have been memorable (as were a couple of shots I remember from opponents). That's why some of these parks still ban Mikens—they are too small for current hot conditions.

In the late 80s, along came the double wall, and suddenly ball park designers were routinely building parks with fences 290-300 feet away. Almost every team had one or two guys who could park it at 290, so 300 was safer, but still a rare occurrence. In other words, the bat/ball combo of wood and single wall allowed parks with fences 275-290 feet to be built with rare home runs.

In the late 90s with advanced double walls (and triple walls), and in the last decade with composites, suddenly it became routine for fences to be 325 feet on new complexes. Why? It is much, much more expensive to turf and fence such huge ball fields, but the increased power of the composite required it because even pipsqueaks like me could hit one over at 295 with a composite, and I had never had one home run in my previous 50 years of playing softball.

I think the current enormous size of new ball parks tells the story. Absolutely no reason to build such monstrosities if "we hit the ball as far then as now". Nope, you're a young guy and may have different memories, or play in a different area, but in northern California it is obvious that the more expensive larger parks had to be built because the older dimensions were no longer safe with the hot bats, no matter what the balls.
March 22, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
Omar, we played quite frequently in Nor Cal, starting in '73 (Fernandez Park in Pinole) and the 1974 USSSA Open World Series was there in '74.
We also played in Elk Grove, Concord (Willow Pass Park) and some other places in the late 70s. The 1980 USSSA Open WS was in Concord.
All of these fields were 300'...
We played lots of big teams in all 3 places... Nelson Painting, Campbell's Carpets, Snyder's, Pace Electronics, B.A.M. (Bay Area Merchants), Slinger Foundry, Dino's Pizza, American Realty (both teams), Howard's, Softball City, etc.
The bat most often used at the end of the 70s was the H & C Bombat and, trust me, there were lots of HRs hit.
Reno had 300' fences in the mid 70s as well.
Cars parked behind the fences were not safe... To tell the truth, I do not believe that they put parking lots behind the fences at any of those parks (in Nor Cal).
By the time the 80s rolled around, the 275' fields were obsolete for the guys playing in the upper levels (even in ASA). USSSA tourneys used 300' from as early as I can remember (40 years ago). This was true for big events no matter where we went... CA, AZ, NV, VA, OK, MI, OH (Madison Park near Cleveland was maybe 315'), WI, KS... we did occasionally play on sub 300' fields (Jackonsville), MO (Fenton had 290' fences but were 12' high).
When we were in the loser's bracket we might have played on sub 300' (Norman, OK). Balls were being hit 400' at that time with single wall aluminum bats.
So I concur with what 'Swing for the fences' stated.
BW
March 22, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
Wow, I was thinking of Palo Alto, Stockton, Hayward, Redwood City, Lodi, Turlock, Burlingame, Carson City, Reno, Concord, Manteca, Sonora, Livermore, Ripon, Oakdale, Penn Valley...all of which have tournament fields with distances of 275 or less and have had since the 60s or 70s when these fields were built. Some have added new complexes with distances of 300 - 325, but that's my point. I didn't know there were so many locations where all the tournament fields have 300 foot dimensions down every line! Never been to Pinole or played at Elk Grove.

I believe that "big teams" always had many hitters that could hit 300 feet, even with the old Bombats, but of course these were the elite teams, often with sponsors and "imported" players and only visited these parks one or two weekends a year. Guess a lot of parks and recs have been foolish to add expensive larger fields in the last 20 years, or to raise fences another 12 feet high, since balls don't travel any farther for the normal rec or tournament teams than they did in the 70s. Those old 300 foot parks were more adequate than I thought.

It also makes me more confident as a batter since I have hit balls out of several of the locations listed above and I had no idea they were 300 feet. All of this happened since hitting with my Miken, never even with my DeMarini double wall. Maybe I am getting stronger in my old age! I know that at one park where I have played for 30 years that I now hit 40 feet longer with my Miken than ever before, but maybe my memory is slipping even as my strength is increasing since the conditions are evidently so similar to the past.

I paced many of the fields above off and thought I found fields as short as 240 feet. But of course, I am playing AAA and Major, not Major +, so maybe I missed the majority of fields that have been 300 feet for 40 years where big teams played.
March 23, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Hey, Wood-we also played a lot of those teams you talk about. We had a 4th of July tourney that would draw 48 teams in Albuquerque for many years. American Realty, Leathers, Tortillas, Las Vegas Rebs, Capitol, Shallow Waterbeds Lubbock, were just a few teams that came in for that. We had 3 fields 250-265 and a baseball field we put a temporary fence on at 300 feet. The scores were in the 40's to 60's on the short fields with the big teams, but still in the 30's on the big field and there were long ones hit-and this was late 70's and early 80's. Wheeler hit one of the longest I had ever seen at the time-into the far lanes of the 6 lane street that runs by the field, and the fence was 75 feet from the street. Most of the fields we played on were 300 or more then.
Comic aside here-last year in Deming in a small tournament we played a game on 225 fences-a ladies field. 5 hr limit. I couldn't find a broomstick to hit with. :-)
March 23, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
Omar,
The composites obviously offer you (and everyone else) the opportunity to hit the ball farther/harder. But you may also take a bigger, more complete swing now that you know you can burn someone... or you might not be as fearful of flying out as you once were. Since I do not know you, I can only speak hypothetically. It isn't all about the tool, give the carpenter some credit.
The fields in Concord (Willow Pass Park) were 300' as early as 1978. Reno had a 300' field in 1976... this is when we first played there and it didn't appear to be new then.
I had friends that played ASA events in Redwood City, Fallon/Sparks (NV), Napa, etc. but they never told us how large the fields were at the time (70s).
In SO CA we did not have many 300' fields so the local USSSA guys put up temporary fences. Most of our fields were open... (ASA did not have the acceptance here that it did elsewhere). We had heard of fields around the country that had 275' fences (i,e, Howard's home field in NC) but saw very few.
We used to drive to Bakersfield or Visalia for the chance to play the Central CA teams (early 80s).
BW
March 23, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4396 posts
Omar, Wood,
Some good history info there, thanks.
Many of the parks listed are good some still shore fenced at around 263'. One in Stockton and a park in Lodi. Some others still have open fields which is a double edged sword.
Omar, you should try Elk Grove. They now have 3 parks, two newer ones west of Hwy 99 and the park off 99 to the east on frontage road there.
Are you going to Folsom?
March 23, 2012
Tim Millette
499 posts
This is an interesting topic.
It seems there are those that believe the speed of a hit ball is to high.
If that is indeed the case...maybe those guys should start lobbying for some changes.
Personally, I would like the game to go back to single wall aluminum.... But... I will play as long as it's still kinda fun.
The composites make it kinda fun... But, I guess there are a lot more guys that like the bats then hate them.
I have learned to adjust to the times..... Our team plays a five man to reduce balls up the middle as much as possible and... When I pitch I wear catchers gear.
The dinosaurs are not around for a reason.... We have to adapt to the current state of the game, or change it.
March 23, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Tim, I like your dinosaur analogy. Though the one difference is the dinosaurs did not self-inflict their need for adaptation. Softball players, and particularly seniors, are.
March 23, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4396 posts
Maybe I ought to find a Opal GT I learned to drive in at 13, or something newer like a Stude hawk I had in HS. Could get better with a Yugo if they are still out there and not in south america where Studebaker went. and never had.
One needs to keep current in this particular sport or you get run over. That includes protecting yourself and using the best that is allowed until it's not.
March 23, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
taits, I agree on both of those.

I have used the Ultras as well, though I still fully-realize they are not helping the game at all. The day that we no longer needed to record 3 outs to get to bat is when the game jumped the shark. Just absurd.
March 23, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4396 posts
Well, simply put, that was one issue of change but I believe that was only 1 result of the bigger core or heart of the matter, softball becoming a business venture.
March 24, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Omar, I play in northern Cal. We were playing with single walls and blue skyhawk balls in the early 90s.. the fences at twin creeks were 300 and there were alot of people hitting them out at will back then.. no super bats.. double walls were the beginning of the BS then the balls started to dumb down.. then you had to get a great bat to hit a lousey ball. it's been a back and fouth BS for years now.. I would love to hit good balls with single wall aluminums like I did in the 80 and 90s.. Our fences were 300ft then and still are in most cases..
March 24, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
swing for the fences, I agree that single wall aluminums with good balls would stop a lot of the complaining about fragile bats. I wouldn't mind returning to those days.

Still don't agree that anything like 300 foot fields were the norm back then in northern California. There is no reason to build bigger parks (325 in Sparks, 315 here and there, 300 foot minimum) in the last decade except the hot bats are propelling the ball farther. If so many lively balls were sailing out in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, all ball fields built then would have had to be larger to protect people and property on the other side of the fences. They weren't, and now many of those fields are inadequate for younger players with double walls and geezers with composites, and thus the introduction of dumbed down balls to keep the ball within a reasonable distance.

A further proof, although just an anecdotal one, is that many players, like myself, who have been playing on the same fields for decades realize that we are now hitting the ball 20, 30, 40 feet farther (as measured by reaching the same fences or clearing the fences) with composites than we could when we were younger. Completely unlikely that we have all gotten stronger than in our 20s and 30s when we used to hit livelier balls but with wooden or single wall bats. Nope, it's the bats, not the balls.
March 25, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, for everyone on here living a delusion, your last paragraph says it all.

Good job!
March 25, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
Omar,
I'm not sure who said that 300' fences were 'the norm back then'. What I said was that there were plenty of them and when/where they were used. If you doubt this part go on the USSSA web site and look at the history of its World Series events.
Additionally, Elk Grove held the Capitol Coors Invitational in '78-'79 and Nelson's Painting and Snyder's were there along with lots of West Coast teams. Maybe you might know someone that was there. Or... ask someone (like Taits) that really does know the lay of the land up there.
We're not talking 'opinion' here, we're talking about very measurable facts. Just because you are ignorant to what occurred years ago does not mean that they didn't happen.
The part about the bats... who doesn't agree that the bats are hotter today than years ago? But the ball/bat combination is the bottom line, not one or the other. Try using different types of balls in BP and see for yourself. Ask Mad Dog, he's done his own form of research on this for some time. Or... ask Kevin Schullstrom.
BW
March 25, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
Sorry the wood, I took swing for the fences to be thinking that 300 foot fields have been common and had to be the norm because the bat/ball combo was just as hot then as now.

Of course, you're right. The norm for fields back then was 250-275. Why was it the norm? Because the bat/ball combo of the 50s, 60s, 70s didn't allow very many hitters to clear a fence that far away and so rec departments didn't need to build the softball monsters of today to contain most fly balls. In other words, conditions in those decades were not as hot as they are today with composites, no matter what some may remember.

And yes, the balls were hotter then. I remember the blue dots and similar balls that screamed off the bat, but even then were not carrying 300 feet. I know. I have played every single year for all those decades. I never hit a home run over the fence (even at 265, a field I often played on) in all those thousands of at bats. Jeepers, I never even reached the fence on the fly, much less hit it over. But with my Miken...

And you're right that the balls are not as hot today. But what do we see? Most teams in majors and all teams in major plus, even the 70-year-old teams, have a couple of batters that can hit one out today, even with the deader balls. Why? Bats are much, much hotter. Which, of course, means that pitchers and corner infielders especially play much more dangerous positions than in those days. I began my pitching career throwing from 37' 8 1/2". Know any pitchers that would dare pitch that close today?
March 27, 2012
stick8
1320 posts
Omar, do you remember the Wilson TN Poly? Hands down that had to be one the most lively ball ever made.
March 27, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Stick8-the TN-Poly, Dudley t-4000 and the Worth Hot dot were unbelievably hot back then. But I still hit the ball farther now than I did then.
March 27, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
stick8, I don't remember playing with the Wilson Poly, but I remember the Dudley T-4000 and the Worth Hot Dot family, and like Webbie25, I still hit the current balls farther than I did back then...and so do my teammates for the most part, and thus the need to expand the size of the fields because the bat/ball combo today is hotter than it ever was in the past.
March 28, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What makes what Mark and Omar said even more remarkable is they are now hitting balls further with another 20 or so years of age from back then. Just not the way aging is supposed to go.

Omar, who is going to pony up for all of this field expanding? SSUSA that allows the special bats? Uhhhh, I don't think so.
March 28, 2012
stick8
1320 posts
Because of the lively bats and balls senior softball uses today one could make a plausible argument for moving fences farther back from the 300'(or less) than they are now--especially for the upper level teams. Gary does ask a pertinent question on who's paying for the re-construction. With exceptions most of the fields we play at are 300' fences.
Just for discussion sake, instead of moving those fences back wouldn't keeping the same balls and only using USSSA (or NSA, ASA) approved bats be a more viable and less costly way to go?
March 28, 2012
stick8
1320 posts
Webbie & Omar I do remember that Dudley T-4000. And of course who could forget the Worth Red Dots? Those were some hard rocks.
Do you guys remember or ever use the Dudley SB-12L? Talk about a true sock!!
March 28, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, I think you are absolutely correct with your question. I have tried to list the pros and cons of the senior bats.

Pros - guys can do in the 50s and 60s what many weren't in their 20s and 30s.

Cons- Pitcher and corner infielder safety; Need for time limits, run limits, and HR limits; Need for pitcher's halo, PPRs, and/or pitcher boxes; Need for hockey goalie equipment; Need to make infield look like a miniature golf hole.

Am I missing anything in either category?
March 28, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Stick-I remember that one too. We were playing a tournament in Phoenix that year and no team scored 10 runs in a game and we won a 3-1 game. I hit .500 and was our team leader in hitting and it was a good team. The ball would just float to the outfielders if you got it up a bit.
March 29, 2012
stick8
1320 posts
Gary one pro that I like is there are very few tournament night games.
A con you listed that I'd like to expand on is time limits. Time limits for play-in games are fine. The main draw games should be no time limits, especially considering there's a run limit per inning.
March 29, 2012
stick8
1320 posts
Scores like that sounds about right for that ball Webbie. Another sock was the Worth Gray dot. Would you feel that using those two balls made defense even more important?
March 29, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
stick-those balls were so bad there were very few tough plays. You know-defense is always important-you just cannot give up that extra out in any game because it will come back to bite you. I even happen to have 2 balls in front of me that were game balls I got signed for important wins-one is the TN-Poly, and the other is the Worth Gold Dot RF80. A trip back, eh?
April 11, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Omar, you are dead wrong... Ask Tim Millete, ask Wood, ask anyone in Northern California that played in the 80s and 90s.. in the 80s and 90s there were mostly 300' fences.. it was the norm for the most part..Lake Tahoe,Twin Creeks Sacramento Freemont all over northern California... There were a few cracker boxes that had a 275 foot fence around, but all of us were playing on 300 fences around here.. when you don't agree with this, you are not in the know.. FYI
April 12, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
swing for the fences, as I said back on March 22, I remember playing tournaments at Palo Alto, Stockton, Hayward, Redwood City, Lodi, Turlock, Burlingame, Carson City, Reno, Concord, Manteca, Sonora, Livermore, Ripon, Oakdale, Penn Valley...all of which have tournament fields with distances of 275 or less and have had since the 60s or 70s when these fields were built. Some have added new complexes with distances of 300 - 325, but that's my point.

I give you 16 sites, most of which still host tournaments, and you give me 4 that you believe had all 300 foot fences in the 80s and 90s. Probably you played a lot more tournaments than I did 25-30 years ago and my experience is limited. Can you give me another 12 northern California locations (I'll throw in Sparks) that make your point that these 25-30 year-old fields were all built to 300 foot specs?
April 12, 2012
curveball
Men's 65
404 posts
Pitcher protection, whether by a chalk circle or added equipment is not necessary. If a pitcher chooses to pad up, so be it, so be it.
The bat/ball combo arguement keeps popping up, we all have our own opinion. One factor that's important to consider in the mix about bat/ball, size of fields, and saftey rules. etc. is the fact that in every sport the athletes themselves have gotten quite a bit stronger over the last 30 or so years, and mechanics have been refined. This fact alone would allow the same player of the 60's to hit further and harder today with the same equipment. This fact alone would account for larger venues.

April 12, 2012
saddlebrookrick
55 posts
Maybe 280 fences with asa bats would be the answer or 275 -280 with 52-300 balls with whatever bats.
April 12, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
curveball, that's an interesting perspective. In basketball, players have gotten taller; in football, players have gotten bigger (and perhaps faster); etc. What is interesting to compare is baseball, where bats have been essentially unchanged for decades. Taking away the juiced athletes, how many are now hitting more home runs than the Babe? How many have a stronger arm than Clemente? How many can run as fast as Bonds (father and cheater)? Have athletes playing baseball really changed that much?

The new standard in softball is now 325 fences. The old standard of 30 years ago or so was 250-260. That's an increase of 30%. That means, if players are getting stronger in all sports, including baseball, that new major league parks should be increasing their own outfields from 350 in center to 455, the same percentage increase. Isn't happening, yet baseball is populated by 20 & early 30-year-old players, who are in the real prime compared to 50s and 60s who have certainly lost some muscle power from their youth.

Nope, I still think the senior bat is the primary cause of our faster game (too fast for the average infielder), our monster fields that tire out aging legs, and our increasing ability of guys to hit home runs, including those who never hit them in the past.
April 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, here is the most interesting question. If Senior bats don't contribute to improved hitting or increased offense, why are they insisted on by just one group still playing the game? If they add nothing, what is their purpose?

Kind of like juiced-up guys who will say sterioids don't contribute to improved hitting. Well, then why were they being used by so many before they got caught? Just because so many liked all of the adverse side effects?
April 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Omar and the other guy,, composites have changed the game... no one on this board would say they didn't.. Do they add to the offense.. Of course they do.. Bigger Sweet spots and more pop... My point is they already dumb down the ball from the 90s the 44 375 compression was not being used! more like 50 525 compression or more... I for one like to hit the ball and feel like I did something If I nut a ball at sea level! I expect it to go 360 or so no matter what the combo they put out there.. That's what I have always been capable of doing on any given at Bat... Nothing more frustrating then nutting a ball only for it not leave the park or get caught because of a lousy ball.. I had had this happen to me in my softball career from time to time and it's sucks... I know for a fact that 99.9 percent of the seniors what to hit good balls and have great bats.. It's fun and the game is still a game and reminds me of the game we played in the 90s... We just did it with a metal bats and great balls then and now we are doing it with a ok ball and a great bat!
April 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, it is fun dunking basketballs too. Let's start a league with mini-trampolines under each basket so we can all pretend we are Dr. J again like many of us did when we were kids.

About the same level of "accomplishment".

Still being able to hit hard and far at our ages is one thing, but when it means the game has to be so bastardized I think too much is being given up for contrived gain.
April 12, 2012
curveball
Men's 65
404 posts
Omar, don't forget the big word, BUSINESS. Major League baseball has moved the fences in, they want more long balls and more offense. It sells tickets my friend..........Several new MBL parks have brought in the fencesin the past 24 months. They didn't want the "pitchers park" syndrome.
April 12, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
curveball, I agree with the idea that owners want to see more home runs and some parks are even smaller than the ones they replaced (at least in dimensions, if not in seating). Doesn't explain, if players are getting stronger and better, why they didn't leave the old dimensions and have six homers a game instead of three. And by moving fences in, if players are getting so much stronger still using wood bats, we ought to see eight or ten home runs a game on average. Not. But baseball is primarily a spectator sport, not a participant sport. I know one, ONE guy over 60 who is still playing hardball.

A better analogy might be bowling, a participant sport whose adherents once rivaled softball as most popular sport in America. They were building bowling establishments all over the place in the 60s and 70s. Then, to increase the scoring, they lowered the standards: manicured lanes feathered from dry on the outside to slick up the middle so almost everyone's ball hit the pocket; they used lighter pins; the plastic ball was introduced which gripped better; they increased the resilience of the kickboards; and the result? Two results really: 1) scoring soared, 300s became commonplace, 700 series were routine; and 2) serious bowlers like me dropped the sport and not only an earned 200 average bowler like me, but millions of others gave it up. Bowling no longer required as much practice or skill—any bing-banger could score. And now bowling is in the dumpster, dying everywhere, and has a very limited future.

I fear the same for senior softball. The number of participants is already dropping, even as millions of more seniors join the age group—seniors who are healthier, more fit, and played softball as younger men. We should be bursting at the seams, have waiting lists for tournaments, 12-team playoffs in major plus in every age group, etc. Nope, the too easy conditions (and conversely too hard for fielders conditions) are turning guys off in droves and we struggle to hold our own in participation.
April 12, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Omar, Omar, Omar-I will say up front I respect you. You play and have good insight. While I don't always agree with you, I understand. I was a pro bowler for 15 years-Regional pro 2. I worked for a 200 average-it took 190 plus for 2 years and signatures, and school to get your card. I carried up to a 220 average with my yellow dot bleeder (remember that one?) I gave it up about 20 years ago when the first resin balls came out and lasted 60 games. That was one week for me. That is when I chose to get real serious about softball and not split the time. Bowling has gotten ridiculous.
I am on record as saying many times it would not hurt to go back to an alloy bat and a 47 core ball. The game would be lively enough-for crying out loud, they were trying to cut the home runs even back then. But the American way is bigger, faster, farther. more scoring (even hockey changed a couple rules to enhance scoring). It is more a mindset than anything now. Almost nobody out there wants to see 4-3 games. But if you really look, the scores are not that out of hand in most tournaments. I still don't see an increase in injuries cause by the bat/ball combo. I have never seen figures to back it or refute it. Bad hops, field conditions, poor throws that hit runners-they have always happened. So have line drives hitting guys before they can react-they did happen before and will happen no matter what combo we have, too. And mad dog-the softer ball will not help if it hits in the wrong spot on the body. They have always happened and I think things have been magnified by the publicity about the bats. I do not think that if the change was made to cut it back drastically that the game would gain. Too many guys would quit and not very many would restart playing.
Wood-I agree with you-we are in our 60's and playing. I love it.
April 13, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
Webbie, nice to hear from a fellow ex-bowler...and one who agrees with my analysis of the decline of bowling due to the effort to make everyone a star. I see an analogy between that and composite bats, and the same intoxication (at first) with bowlers suddenly carrying a 200 plus average and occasionally rolling big games. I never got the fever and resented the easy scoring by lesser bowlers. Seems like millions more in the last 30 years have also lost their enthusiasm for a too-easy sport.

In senior softball, as the buzz of the Miken wore off, guys just didn't find the sport as fun and dropped out...or never started since they didn't like the slamfest that cheaters with doctored bats are bringing about in ASA and rec leagues. Just my worry, and I'm not disputing that it is an unfortunate mindset now in America for bigger, faster, farther. I enjoy reading your thoughtful posts (but control yourself when Gary19 gets your goat).
April 13, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, how did I get dragged into this? LOL
April 13, 2012
Omar Khayyam
1003 posts
Gary19, just trying to be a peacemaker. LOL
April 13, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1994 posts
Omar-he is like the mosquito. He bugs you but you have to realize bugging you is the only thing he has in life. I love this game. At almost 60 this game keeps me going. And I am intrigued by the fact he has a 'special bat'. Totally negates all the negative stuff he spouts, whether it really helps a hitter of his caliber or not.
April 13, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Omar l play with the kids in leagues. O will an hit as far and farther than them! Same equipment! Fyi
Sign-in to reply or add to a discussion or post your own message and start a new discussion. If you don't have a message board account, please register for a free nickname. It will only take a moment.
Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
2701 K Street, Suite 101A
Sacramento, CA 95816
Send us e-mail
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts International Softball Tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook

Partners