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Discussion: For Those Who Play in the Winter States

Posted Discussion
May 23, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
For Those Who Play in the Winter States
If you stay in a cold climate all winter, who plays leagues/tournaments in a dome, indoor facility, etc? I have heard of places in Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri but does anyone have details on these or any others?

For the rest of you, I am only jealous that you can play all year round.
May 23, 2012
kbl
Men's 60
529 posts
NANCY ALLEN...IN PENNSYLVANIA, WE PLAY IN A REMODELED HANGAR IN HERSHEY, PA. IT IS GREAT. IT HAS ARTIFICIAL TURF. KEN
May 23, 2012
SteveSimmons
66 posts
Nancy, How are you? Did the Brickyard Invitational go well? You ask about winter ball and I can tell you that we stay very active during the winter here in Minnesota. There are three winter senior softball leagues that play inside domes during the winter, two in the Twin Cities and one in Rochester. I hold three winter dome tournaments and use multiple domes to enable upwards of 16 teams to participate. It beats shoveling snow. I look forward to seeing you soon. Steve
May 25, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Hey, Steve, my job is trying to kick my butt, and softball is about my only release right now. I thought for the most part the Brickyard went well. The weather was perfect, and there were 39 teams. This was the first year that there were 4 70 teams when there is usually only 1; so that was a good thing for their division. I hope all is well with you. Hopefully I will see you soon. Indiana is very lucky this year because Johnny's tournament is coming up soon, and the ISA Senior World will be in Columbus, Indiana.

I knew that you played inside up north, and I appreciate the details. We have had different variations of indoor facilities here inside of existing sports buildings. The seniors here that stay in the winter still like to hit indoors, but those floors make the ball a little scary to field; so there has really only ever been one senior league years ago that I remember (correct me if I am wrong, ISSO). It would be nice if there was a place fairly central that the seniors could have some indoor winter tournaments. I have heard of a place that tarps/domes over an existing diamond in Michigan, but I have never been there. Does anyone know about it? There used to be an old armory building in downtown St. Louis that we used to go to a lot, but it is closed now. The floor was the old basketball court, and the dimensions were a little odd. There was also arena softball here one winter, and that one is too hard to even describe; it is a whole different game with the same equipment.
May 25, 2012
stick8
1300 posts
Nancy, being from the Detroit area I'm not aware of any sitting outdoor field here that has a tarp or dome over it in the winter time. That's not to say one doesn't exist in other parts of the state, it very well might.
What I do know is Liberty Park of America has a huge golf dome in the back of it's parking lot that is up year around. During the winter they play softball leagues two nights a week. The other nights are reserved for golf driving range, soccer, flag football and lacrosse I believe. For softball they have one night for co-ed and one night for mens. It's a field turf surface and they use a softer, much more restricted flight ball. It's a bit of a pricey cost but the die-hards (me included) who play somehow manage to find a way to pay for it.
May 28, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Stick8, thanks. Someone called me and told me about a dome in Jackson, MI also. It would be nice to have at least a couple of winter tournaments in our home elements, maybe even an indoor world (always dreaming).

Steve, I need to remember to tell you the best line of the tournament which I believe will never be duplicated. The second best line of the tournament, "Act your age." This might be also applied in another thread as well.
May 28, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Joe, thanks for calling about the Super Dome in Marquette. It looks like it would definitely take some planning to get another softball tournament in there besides the one you mentioned, but the facility sure looks awesome.
May 28, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Thanks again; it is the Superior Dome. KBL, for years I spent a lot of time in Chambersburg and Mechanicsburg and a couple of places in between for my job. I wish that I could have seen this one. A hangar would definitely have beat the armory, and of course there is the chocolate.
May 29, 2012
stick8
1300 posts
Nancy there is a dome in Jackson and they used to play tournaments once or twice a month in the winter. I don't know if they still do or not. There is also one in Windsor, Ontario that has a friday night league. I played in it for several years. It's a small dome (only 8 fielders allowed)and the net they put up covering the gold range is about 200 ft at the most from home plate which is in the back of the dome. Needless to say we used the old felt covered incredi-ball. It was more of a gimmick type game then a real game. For our team it was more of a social event then anything. Good times were had by all!!
May 30, 2012
neck10
498 posts
the dome in marquette is(superior dome)great they have a fund tourney in febuary,one field about 30 teams play all hrs of the night havent been there latley always same weekend as TOC in winter haven auburndale.field is nice tho about 250 to right the rest of field is regulation.no bad hops .
May 31, 2012
surf88
Men's 60
883 posts
just a note that I have been shipping our Reebok Vector-O's to players in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, New York, etc etc. They are excellent cold weather bats and all have given me positive feedback. Reebok will discontinue the Vector-O but I still have a few and I love mine. It gets cold in Colorado and I do not worry about using it. If I can help. Ed Andrews (970) 728-3144 729-3145 ed@ewandrews.com
June 1, 2012
Michigan Vet
Men's 55
230 posts
Nancy, I live in Michigan and starting in January a bunch of us hit in a Soccer Dome in Wixom. It is a full field dome with astro turf and alot of room. We do not use real softballs we use a softer version. We do not play games but it keeps us in softball shape.
June 1, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Thank you. Ray DeMarini always recommended warming up with a Wiffle Ball bat, and I still believe in him. I just wish he was here to play senior softball with us.

Someone also sent me some information on a dome in Pittsburgh, Island Sports Dome at Robert Morris University.

There used to be some indoor softball in southern Illinois and Missouri. Anyone know if they still exist?
June 1, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I always said I will try the Wiffle bat when I see someone who gets paid to play baseball use it. Haven't yet.
June 1, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
Although I don't recommend a wiffle bat, I do use
a 1 inch wide 34 inch bamboo bat for air swings.
The theory is that a light bat teaches your muscles the feel of a fast swing (muscle memory)
which your body "remembers" when you try to swing your real bat fast.
June 1, 2012
garyheifner
361 posts
Nancy

There is an indoor league in Schamburg-Chicago suburbs. They limit the number of guys. I think residents get 1st crack. 250 foot walls and you play the ball off the ceiling and walls and if you catch it, it is an out.

I have tried the DeMarini method to increase bat head speed, but everytime I go to stage 3, the broom stick/wiffle ball bat or very light bat, I pull something in my wrists. Just staying with my weight training and swinging a 46 ounce bat and then my 29 ounce U2.
June 1, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
HJ, I know that is the theory but other than DeMarini I don't think very many ever believed in it.

My son played hardball into college, and used to train in the winter with Charlie Manual when he was the hitting coach here, and never came across anyone who taught that approach.
June 2, 2012
HJ
Men's 70
442 posts
G19, a quick internet search found many espousing
the use of bats lighter and heavier than ones game bat for batspeed training. On Macenko's website is a detailed twelve week program with specifics using this 3 bat approach. The term is overload/underload training. One commentator cautioned against going too high or too low cautioning that you don't want to change the normal swing which may address Nancy's concerns and injury.
I know that you as do I like science so you might
find this explanation interesting:

A much less used, but nonetheless effective method of building bat speed is through the process of underloading. Underloading was first used by the Russians and East Germans for track and field. Running down inclines, being pulled behind machines, and using bungie cords are familiar methods that were used to accelerate muscle firing. The goal of underloading is to make fast twitch muscles work at peak speed. Using laser technology to measure bat speed, Dr. Coop DeRem from the University of Hawaii has proven that a program of drills using a lighter bat then swinging a lighter bat in batting practice does significantly increase bat speed. At the University of Arizona, underloading is used for both softball and baseball by performing drills using a bat that is lighter than the bat the hitter uses in a game.

Quote is from drills online by the Univ of AZ coach and assistant.
June 2, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
And a Wiffle bat would probably qualify as "too low".

As far as running down inclines, and I have heard of that too, the main reason I have heard for it is that is lengthens your stride. You then hopefully continue that elongated stride once you return to level ground.
June 3, 2012
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Gary H, thanks that sounds more playable than the ones that have been used here for leagues. One was actually the site of the last NSA indoor World Series years ago and has nets on the ceiling and signs that if you hit them that you got HRs, triples, etc. (signs not used during WS). That is now only used for youth. It is in an indoor complex that also houses basketball and soccer. There is another indoor facility here that started indoor leagues this winter. There are a couple of indoor facilities that specialize in youth here also. I have fond memories of the adventures of the winter round robins at the armory in St. Louis and of the leagues and tournaments that we played for several years on the NW side of Indianapolis. I hope that we might find somewhere that we non-snowbirds could have some senior competition, maybe even eventually an indoor world.
June 3, 2012
garyheifner
361 posts
Nancy

I never was aware of an indoor world series. If Senior ball ever did have one, I am sure my 65AAA team would be interested.
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