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Discussion: Tournament Prizes

Posted Discussion
July 9, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
Tournament Prizes
We won our division at the Cal Cup tournament last weekend. Our prize was a very small Miken equipment bag...and a piece of paper that says we can purchase a ring. The bag is so small I have no idea how to use it.

This is not the first tournament we have won. In the other tournaments we won we got a similar (discontinued) Miken bag...and a piece of paper saying we can purchase a ring.

I play softball for the fun of playing, the competition, the comraderie...not for big cash and expensive prizes. However, when your team wins it would be nice to come home with something you actually want or something we can use instead of discontinued products that nobody wants to buy. Who at SS thought that giving us old guys products that nobody buys was a good idea?

Everyone plays as hard as they can play. We endure heat, cold, sore muscles, misc injuries, etc during these tournaments...plus most of the teams pay thier own way to enter these tournaments and the travel expenses. Winning a crappy bag that Miken cant sell is insulting to me so I have decided to add this discussion to the board and see what responses come up.

Here are my suggestions for tournament prizes.
Every tournament has a logo. How about the champions get a nice hat (not a super cheap throwaway hat) with an embroidered logo for the tournament and the year. The hat cannot be bought, it must be won.

Or...a good quality shirt with the an embroidered tournament logo and the year on it. The shirt cannot be bought, it must be won.

Or...a $10-20 coupon to purchase what we want from the softball truck. Let us combine our coupons to buy a team bat or give the coupons to the MVP of our team and let him buy whatever he needs off the truck.

For those that like the bling...keep the ring option available.

Am I alone in thinking this way? What do you guys think?
July 9, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Like with many things in life, they will only give you what you are willing to bend over and accept. Really no one else to blame.

July 9, 2012
boston
299 posts
This has always been a pet peeve of mine in senior softball. Guys pay alot of money for entrance fees and travel. Then play thier tails off for the opportunity to buy a ring. My 6 yr. old gandson has played in 4 USSSA 7U coach pitch tourneys this yr. He has won a State Championship and World Series championship and received gold rings right on the spot. His team finished 2nd in another and received a Silver ring. These tourneys were $350 to $500 and thier were a least 65 to 100 teams in them of various age groups much like senior ball. Each age group received these rings. They may not be as expensive as the ones seniors have to purchase on thier own. But, at least you didn't have to pay to play then pay for your own prize.
July 9, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
Well our Baron team won major 50 Cal Cup... I will say that the 5 All Tourney 3"X3"patches were absolutely outstanding... and the discontinued bat bags were off the hook!

All joking aside the only thing that was indicative of winning a state championship was the team trophy... If they are not going to give out something worthy of such an accomplishment, they should just keep the crap they're handing out IMO! I gave my bag away two seconds after receiving it! FYI

My feelings on the matter would be this, buy a plague or jackets or something that we could be proud of or use. it wouldn't break the bank. In SF for leagues championships we get embroidered windbreakers or sweatshirts with hoods. Cool stuff each year..SS should step up to the plate for us! IMO
July 9, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
SIX year olds playing in State Championships and World Series??????????????? Each generation seems to further screw up the next....:(

swing, if guys keep coming back they have NO incentive to up the ante. Other than perhaps pride, but that does not seem to be in much abundance.
July 9, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
G 19, who are you calling 6 year olds.... Saying we don't appreciate awards that are cheesy is not childish, it's facts! I would play for free with no prize at the end of the Tourney, however I feel if you accomplish winning the CA State championship and All Tourney the awards should be on par with the Accomplishment. Anyway, USASS is the only game in town so to speak in CA and SPA didn't come out west this year, so what can you do if you want to play?

PS I say instead of indulging us 6 year olds with these fabulous awards, they should just lower the Tourney fees 10cents and keep their awards ;-)
July 9, 2012
angus73
Men's 50
97 posts
Gary 19; don't you get tired of tasting your own bile or is it after all these years you're just use to it ?

You must be an angry 'little' man who never got picked by the other kids to play.

Everything you write has contempt woven in it.
July 9, 2012
boston
299 posts
I like the idea of kids competing in tourneys in which everyone does not get a trophy or award. Like they do in our schools and city leagues. In these tourneys it's the top 2-3 teams and thats it. It has made my grandson more competitive in school (which has been a problem) because he wants to be 1st in everything. It has also taught him that he has to put in the extra time to be one of the best and not setle for being average. So if I have screwed up my grandson because I have taught him to work hard, be disciplined, never settle for second best, never settle for being average. BTW, when my grandson doesn't win he doesn't cry, want to quit, act like a baby or expect an award. He gets more determined to do better next time.

Back to the senior awards. I was supposed to play in the NM USSSA State Championships this past weekend. Since, my grandson had his 4 day tourney Thur-Sun and 9 games. I couldn't make it. Anyway, the team I was supposed to go with Rio Grande 55's won the tourney and will receive rings. The best part is they do not have to pay for them USSSA does. The second place team also got silver rings. Why not SSUSA? Could it be it's all about the money. as long as guys go and accept status quo nothing will change and they know it.
July 9, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
Hey Doorman, I didn't think we were in the same tournament as you guys ... oh wait, we weren't but we did get the EXACT same "prize" package for winning the NW Championship. Got a nice team plaque though!

Individual prizes has never been one of SSUSA strong suits!
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, I was talking about boston's grandson. See his first post above.

angus, I am far from the only one critiquing the awards situation in senior softball.

boston, I completely agree with you about the absurdity of everyone getting an award. But there should be a middle ground between that and "World Series" for 6-year-olds. Just way too much way too soon. If they are in tournaments like this at 6, where do they go from there?

We just don't seem to want to let kids be kids anymore. Dump them in day care when they aze 2 months old. Things like this. What is the rush?

Let's see how many of those 6 year old "world champs" are still playing when they are 16.
July 10, 2012
stick8
1275 posts
"BTW, when my grandson doesn't win he doesn't cry, want to quit, act like a baby or expect an award. He gets more determined to do better next time."
Boston, I couldn't have worded it any better. Well said!!

July 10, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
My Bad G19... I didn't read that post you were referring to... I am used to you putting us down so much I thought you were calling us 6 year olds.LOL 6 year olds playing for world championships is a bit much, I agree with you!
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, no problem.

I just think too many "adults" have forgotten just how young 6 is. God forbid if they wait until they are 10, or even a bit older, to get into stuff like this. I guess that would ruin their chances at a lucrative MLB career.....:(

It reminds me of the AAU basketball mentality. That is doing nothing for basketball.
July 10, 2012
boston
299 posts
Point well taken Gary and Swing. Hey there is a bright side his age group doesn't have an International championship in Puerto Rico. That isn't until next year when he plays 8U.lol I actually was asking that same question when he won his 3rd ring. Now what? My grandson laughs because he is 6 with 3 rings and I'm 58 with 0. The worst part about this is people are already asking me what high school am I sending to. My response is always he's frigin 6, he may want to do something ls at anytime. I had the same issue with my 17 yr old son. When he was 6 & 7 he was playing with 9 yr olds. People asking the same questions. By 8 yrs old he was out of baseball and racing BMX.
He is now in Ruidoso on a camping trip for a week being a kid. Fall league starts in Sept. though.
July 10, 2012
boston
299 posts
sorry it should be "he may want to do something else'
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
boston, I wasn't trying to get on you at all. Just that whole concept amazed me. Reminds me of when my oldest girl was going to Girl Scout dances in early elementary school. Some guy brought his daughter to it in a limo. A few of us just stood there wondering what he is going to do to top that when she graduates, or gets married.

Too much, too soon might not always be the best way to go.
July 10, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
I agree with you G19.. Too much to soon is not always the best way to go... I don't push my kids at all to play sports.. I introduce them to sports and let them pick or choose for themselves... I have played enough ball for 6 kids.. I think back when I was a kid, I played because I loved it and still do... no other reason to play ball in my book. Anyway, I am lucky that my Boy likes baseball right now at 8 and has one championship under his belt already.. His choice to play and I enjoy helping him with it.. I co Coach with another Dad and it's a blast.. very rewarding watching the little guys get better at thru season and think how they started out and finished up! I told some of our kids that every year gets harder and harder to make teams.. if you put the practice in, you will have a great chance to make the teams.. This is not everyone plays, it's Little League with drafts and only a number of spots. our 8 year old's took 3rd this year playing against 9s and 10s.. it was a great showing for us being that young!
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Probably the most unfortunate thing now is you NEVER, at least around here, see kids just out playing during the day in the summer. It almost always has to be some form of organized ball to get kids out playing. How many kids today know "pitcher's mound's poison" or calling their field?

Not to mention the number of 10-year-old travel teams that have their names on their jerseys. These kids really have to let everyone know who they are? Like anyone else cares at this age?

Too much, too soon.......:(
July 10, 2012
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
"I play softball for the fun of playing, the competition, the comraderie...not for big cash and expensive prizes."

"However, when your team wins it would be nice to come home with something you actually want or something we can use instead of discontinued products that nobody wants to buy."

"Winning a crappy bag that Miken cant sell is insulting to me ..."

So, which is it Doorman??? ... Seems that your initial declaration was false ... How can you go from "playing for fun, etc., not for the big cash and expensive prizes" to being insulted by the prizes???

Either play for all the right reasons you espoused, or take your bat and ball and go home.

#19
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Not really, #19. Sounds to me like he is just looking for some middle ground between a solid gold trophy and a worthless trinket. You are looking at this in black and white, I think Doorman just wants some acceptable shade of grey.
July 10, 2012
boston
299 posts
Gary i never took it as you getting on me. i agree alot with what you and Swing are saying. I am a firm believer in not going to far with uniforms. All the baseball and basketball teams I have coached male or female uniforms were real basic. In baseball same cap and shirt w/ number only, bring your own baseball pants. Basketball shirts w/ numbers, bring your own shorts. I would tell my athletes it's not about looking pretty it's about being able to play. Parents would be upset but I would tell them to go somewhere else.
When my grandson tried out for this team. I was against getting 2 different sets of full uniforms w/ names on them $150. I suggested 2 shirts w/ numbers wear whatever pants you can find on sale. Some of the teams we played had Boombah bat bags w/ names and numbers. That stuff gets expensive and kids do expect it all the time.
The other thing that bugs me when I was coaching were the end of the year banquets and you had to give every kid an award just for being on the team. Get this one, This team has won 3 rings and will players will receive 2 trophies from the city for winning the regular season and then the playoffs. there are parents that still want to give the kids trophies just for being on the team. Agh drives me crazy.
I also taught my grandson how to play wiffle ball and stick ball. How to use imaginary runners and distances for singles, Hr's etc. He has a ball at the softball field teaching kids these concepts and they love it. But, you're right imagination is gone with the youger generations.
I know this was off topic but it is a good conversation.
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Yes it is, and as usual I could not possibly agree with you more on everything you wrote.

As I mentioned above, each generation seems hell-bent on screwing up the next one....:(
July 10, 2012
Garocket
Men's 55
149 posts
I have run some USSSA baseball tournaments and the rings they give out is a TOY they cost around $4.77 each. If they all come in one size. They are made to take home and put in a case. But after a few months they will change colors on you
July 10, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
well Gary, the Nintendo Generation behind us has taken a huge hit on Kids playing outside with there buds... I was never home when I was a kid.. only came home to sleep or eat.. played Basketball, Football, Strikeouts, Baseball all day long... never wanted to do anything else but play. The next Generation behind us had Computers, playstations, ect! It's a whole new ballgame behind us! I remember how we had more teams in 3 divisions at TwinCreeks on any Weekend for a normal Tourney 20 years ago than you will find in the State Championships of today.. Not as many playing ball as before! it's Sad but true!
July 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
swing, all absolutely true. Not to mention, the next generation could also be described as the Day Care Generation. How many stay home now and actually raise their children? The day cares don't bus kids to the playgrounds to play. And the kids aren't home to ride their bikes up there anymore.

My wife stayed home and raised five, and it was quite eye-opening for me when my oldest would try to call friends to go and play only to find out none of them were home all summer.

As you said, sad................
July 10, 2012
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
Doorman, I'm surprised no one commented on your suggestions for awards. I thought they were brilliant. I don't think anyone on my teams in the last ten years has bought a ring, whether SSUSA or SPA. But it would be classy and unique to have a cap or shirt for a particular tournament, and very affordable out of the fees charged. And the option of getting coupons for the truck which could be exchanged or pooled for prizes is very practical.

And of course, those who value rings could always order them as at present.
July 11, 2012
boston
299 posts
Doorman i like the idea of Caps, Jackets, T-shirts etc.. something to prove you played and won. But, how do you convince Senior Softball of this, short of boycotting tourneys.
July 11, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Some of the suggestions were good. But you better think about what to have embroidered or printed. I 'won' a hat one year that reads this:
Las Vegas 2006
World Master
Championships
2nd Place Winner

How about a Assn name, tourney name and date on something you might want to wear out to dinner, someplace nice....
I've seen excellent bat bags as well, some with name & number.

Can remember socks, cheap watches, pullover wind breakers, placards and the norm t-shirts.
Like too, the idea of a discount at the truck or maybe even a team discount for the next THEY choose to attend.
July 11, 2012
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Gary19 ... That's the problem ... Everyone has their own shady of grey ... Come, play ball, have fun, go home ... Don't want another T-shirt, cap, jacket, bag, whatever.
July 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Understood, but at least attemping to find some middle ground might make the majority happy. Or at least happier than what is happening now.

I never thought some type of reasonable award was a bad thing. And you can still have fun while getting something meaningful for all of your expenditures. Otherwise it is just a bit more exploitation of the lemmings.
July 11, 2012
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Exploitation, perhaps ... But, at least it's voluntary exploitation.
July 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
True, though that might actually be a bigger indictment of the lemmings.
July 11, 2012
boston
299 posts
This is what happens when an association has pretty much a monopoly in the senior market. Maybe, an expansion of other associations to the rest of the country would make a difference. Look what has happened with the senior bat market. At one time all you saw were Ultra 2's everywhere. Now players have a choice and if they don't like yur product they go elsewhere. Hence, you try to give them a better product.
July 11, 2012
hitt2
354 posts
Doorman very good suggestions for Awards.
I will say one thing about the Cal cup awards. We received the bat bags, but then spoke with Terry & asked if we could trade the bags for the Shirts given out to runner ups. He agreed The bag I would have never used the shirt I will keep due to winning the championship even with the Miken logo. (I'm a Combat person):)
July 11, 2012
stick8
1275 posts
From a limited perspective I can share some insight into this subject. This is not meant to be indicative of how SSUSA or other senior organizations operate. Having a limited experience on the inside what some tournament or complex directors will do for tournament prizes or league prizes is look for an item (could be clothing or a promotional item) to buy in bulk. Usually a close out type sale or something they can get in a high quantity for a real cheap price. Then they might have the item imprinted all with the same imprint and use them as prizes to give away at all their events. Unless sports companies donate prizes I suspect this is what many places do.
July 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, that is too bad. I remember not all that long ago when leagues and tournaments gave out customized trophies or plaques. I know things cost more now, but so do entry fees.
July 11, 2012
stick8
1275 posts
Gary that's true and because of field rentals, the cost of burning lights if night games are played, umpire fees, balls (unless teams supply them) maintenance costs and insurance it becomes necessary to up the entry fees to try and cover costs. Adding in the director(s) fee and prize packages they buy and you have tournaments that in some cases lose money. Again this is only from my experiences at the local level. National tournaments may be a different ballgame.
We think of this as a recreation sport which it is but it's also a business for some. And if they have to cut costs then prizes are usually the first thing they look at. If they lose money they won't be around for long.
July 11, 2012
boston
299 posts
Maybe, the 5 game garauntee should be looked at. Would teams stop going to tourneys if it were a 4 game garauntee? Players are paying more and more to play softball but seem to be getting the short end of the stick. Shoddy prizes, softball bats w/ no warranty and break in 50 cuts, playing under poorly lit fields, what next.
July 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
boston, the 5-game guarantee is a scam. The pool games mean nothing. How many times have you heard of players who don't even show up for them and just come in on Saturday for the DE games?

Those games are little more than pretty meaningless exhibitions used to sell teams on coming in to play X number of games. But they just don't mean much/anything.
July 11, 2012
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
"Meaningless" if you think not playing in DE isn't important! If you don't play in some seeding, you don't qualify for DE. Some rules have changed since "in your day."
July 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Fair enough curve, and that sounds like a good rule change. Though it just reinforces that the games must not really mean all that much, and the association had to put in a rule to force guys to show up for those games. Who has to be forced to play a meaningful game?

July 12, 2012
boston
299 posts
A couple of teams I have played on and a few others I know use seeding games to play the non-starters. It gives these guys the opportunity to get some games in. I have played in all seeding games every inning, balls out and was exhausted for the DE. Took me a couple years of that to figure out no more. But then again, I remember going to Worlds w/ 11 guys and going thru the losers bracket. Played 6 games in 1 day lost on a Sat. night. We were down to 9 healthy guys. come sunday morning nobody could walk w/o a limp or straight up everyone was hunched over. All we could do was laugh about how the hell were we going to play that morning if we had won. Taught me alot about having plenty of bodies and use seeding to rest as much as possible.
July 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
That is the same approach the NFL uses in its exhibition games, rest the starters and give the subs playing time. But at least they acknowledge those are indeed exhibitions.

Of course, the problem with that is they still charge regular season prices......:(
July 12, 2012
Wes
Men's 65
311 posts
I'v heard this befor and I have provided this info before.
I ran a tournament for a couple years and this is one reason that I stoped.
Let say you have a tournament for
50-55-60-65-70 and you have AA-AAA-M
and lets say you have 15 player/team.
So you are going to have 5 x 3=15 winners
x 15 players = so you need 225 hats
The best price I could get for a embroiderd hat at, mid price was $17 Each x 225 each =$3,825 and you have 50 teams---$3,825/25= so I must make my fee $76.50 higher so I can give out hats---???? so do you want to go home with a bag or a hat and have the tournment fee $76 higher???? Most player said they did not want to pay the extra $76
Wes
July 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Wes, I understand the math you just showed. My question is what has changed that drastically that tournaments used to be able to give out custom-engraved trophies and/or plaques, but now can only give trinkets if even that?

I realize awards cost, but entry fees have also increased drastically as well.
July 12, 2012
Wes
Men's 65
311 posts
I can not tell you what changed because I did not play 10 years ago:
New Balls cost $45/doz and the players want two NEW balls for each game. If you have 50 teams x 5 games=250 balls x 3.75=$937.50. The players want two ump's
at $15/ump's x 250 x 2/ump's = $7,500.I you
want a score keeper $15 x 250 games = $3,750. If you want good fields and you want them striped and raked after two games
and you want staff ready to repaire the fields after a rain. $30/field/game x 250
games $7,500. If you give a bag/plaque
for first place @ $50 x 15 = $750 and second place at $35 x 15 = $525.
That's $20,962 + water/cups, misc./50 teams
= $419/team. So you cut back on ump's and you do not use a score keeper. On all the tournaments that I had I had $500-$1000
out of my pocket
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
I believe we supplied our own balls in Reno and Cal cup.... so, when we are talking about expenses, I still believe there is room to break out the winning teams entry fee in every division and put it to awards! IMO
July 12, 2012
CAPT D5
124 posts
I remember the pins we got in little league and the patches we got in high school. I thought they were pretty great then. They are not expensive and can be transfered to different clothing. They are easy to customize. I wonder if many others think they would be good prizes.
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
here is my math... $20 per player team size 15 players.. that's $300.00 you can get a lot of awards that sure are better than a 3"X3" All world and a discontinued bat bag! Team trophy was nice enough and could stay as is.. Not asking for a car.. Just something decent! I know the entry fee's far exceed $300.00 I should know, we self sponsor!
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
BTW world in Vegas $695... how many team there.. 3X3 all world patch is just not cutting it! Just saying! Who agrees?
July 12, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
The SOCAL players should remember the old A&V tournaments. I played in a few of those and the winners would get a nice set of custom printed shirts. As a team we gave the artwork and we were able to add a jersey that we could wear in tournaments. We put the team name, player number with our artwork and added an additional jersey for those 2 and 3 day tournies. In these hard times not having to pay for an additional jersey would go a long with teams I would believe.
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
If you buy enough Quanity a nice award wouldn't break the bank (SSUSA) it just takes some effort in the right direction. If you are going to call it Worlds and Rings Tourneys, the awards should match the concept... or at least not be cheap looking like the all world patches! IMO
July 12, 2012
CAPT D5
124 posts
It sounds like some pretty cheap patches have been given out. My experience with patches and uniform pins has been positive. I am not much of a jewellery man, just me, and I don't need trophies in my home. It's the meaning the award represents. My suggestion is quality no matter. Cheap is cheap. To me size is less important than meaning. So what ever the award, make it something to be proud of. The highest award in the military is not large, or overly expensive, to make, but is most respected.
July 12, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
Interesting conversation. As I expected, nobody is happy with the prizes. I know SS reads the board so maybe they will get the clue.

Gary19 hit the nail on the head...twice. First he said "Like with many things in life, they will only give you what you are willing to bend over and accept." Totally true. We accept the lousy prizes, so why should they change.

Second, I am somewhere between the solid gold trophy and the trinket. Actually I am much closer to the trinket. I would assume a decent quality hat or a discontinued Miken bat bag are close to the same value. I have bought plenty of hats and they cost $15 with an embroidered logo. If you bought 300-400 hats the price goes way down. I saw some cheap Miken bags on Ebay for $15. My guess is SS pays very little for those Miken bags.

Wes mentioned the cost of putting on a tournament and the cost of having better prizes. SS has already built in the cost of the prizes into the price of the tournament.

I have figured out why we get what we get. It is cheap, easy, we accept it and we keep coming back for more. They have no reason to change it...unless we complain, refuse to accept the lousy prizes or stop showing up. A good place to start is complaining....which is what this thread is all about.
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
I think SSUSA should read this thread...We are the customers and they should at least try to please us as customers.. Just because we play and come back is no reason to keep the awards the way they are.. I know for a fact that they could do better with the same cost involved. This is my fouth year playing SSUSA and I thought the same way four years ago as I do now about the awards... I don't play for Awards but would appreciate something nice!
July 12, 2012
Hacker
Men's 65
41 posts
Doorman, you are correct, our team also won our bracket and I was very disappointed with the CHEAP Miken bat bag award which I will never use...I couldn't even give it away!

Although there was a nice plaque awarded but the team Manager gets that!

Since this was supposed to be a major tournament it would have been nice to "sport" some kind of casual recognition that your team won a "ring tournamt" without having to buy the ring.

I like your idea of a cap that reads something like "SSUSA Cal Cup Champions 2012", now that I would wear alot!

In a few years I may not even remenber that we won that tournament!

July 13, 2012
boston
299 posts
This topic has been discussed in the past and the only change I have seen was the increase in tourney fees. Teams will go to tourneys because it's the only game in town. This discussion is also valid when looking at the Miken Ultra 2 bat. Players complained about the bat constantly breaking and has no warranty. Many players have changed to the more durable Combat or like myself a USSSA bat. Durable and a warranty. When Miken starts loosing its hold on the senior market maybe they will bring back a durable bat with a warranty like the Legacy.

I played in a WSL tourney this year and they gave out cash prizes to each of the top 3 teams. That was cool you could use it to pay for your next tourney. Maybe SSUSA can do something like that. You win a ring tourney and get a waiver or coupon that pays your entrance fee to your next tourney.

Hopefully, with this discussion we will see some changes and SSUSA will respond favorable toward its customers. The only other option is what I have done stay away from these tourneys. My last SSUSA big tourney was Worlds 2010. Took 3rd got a nice $3 Bronze medal that cost me $700. I know it was only 3rd but it was Worlds. I was kind of shooting for at least a cap. Now it's just local senior tourneys, USSSA or WSL. But, that was my choice and although there are times I miss it. All it takes are discussions like this to bring me back to reality. Good Luck to all of you guys playing in Denver, Stay Healthy and Stay Thirsty my brothers
July 15, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
When I was 49 I was playing on a team that went to Las Vegas and won the 55 Winter Worlds, and I know they received a windbreaker, that I believed said "Champions" but they had to buy rings if they wanted them.

When I turned 50, we went as a 50 Team To Vegas so myself and another guy could play (Even though just about everybody else on the team had turned 60) and we came in 2nd. As a 2nd place prize we got a SSUSA red cap but it doesn't have the name of the tournament, no torunament logo, or anything else on it.

I've got like a zillion trophies from softball tournaments over the past 30 years, as a sponsor and player, and most just gather dust, and I rarely look at them unless I feel like "Dusting"

I like a couple ideas that were posted up above.

"Champion" T-shirts available only to the CHAMPION of a tournament is a good idea, if it includes location of the tourney/logo, etc. To save Money, they could be ordered after the tournament so guys get the right sizes and the tournament could order the right quantity. If only 13 guys went to the tournament you SSUSA only has to make up 13 shirts, not 18/20 or more?

T-shirts, however, tend to wear out and get ripped up, and get holes in them over time.

But, the jackets or windbreakers usually take on more wear and tear, and I think that is a better prize. Several guys I play with wear their 2008 SSUSA Winter World Champion Windbreakers to this day as a warm up jacket at games, and other teams take notice, and they coincidentally matched our team colors, which works out great too.

I don't have every softball t-shirt or tournament shirt I have purchased over the past 30+ years, but I did "keep" team jackets for some reason, probably just because they last. Too bad I don't fit in the ones that were like from 1990 anymore either :(
July 15, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"When I was 49 I was playing on a team that went to Las Vegas and won the 55 Winter Worlds"

I must be missing something here. Gary, weren't you just a wee bit young? Did you mean it was a 45 tournament?
July 15, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
G19, one of my league teams (Lake County) went to over 55 Tournament in Vegas but did not take the young pups (myself and another as were under age) But won the tourney

Next Season I turned 50 with the other pup and we went as an Over 50 Team, no pick-ups from anywhere. This past year, again no pick-ups they went as an over 60 Team. I now play on another tournament team instead.

G19 in Lake County Over 50 League you can have two guys between 48 and 50 but they can only hit one homer per game, then they are outs
July 15, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
I had one more idea. They have "Ring Optional" tournaments. They could add "Jacket Optional", "Hat Optional" or "Shirt Optional" tournaments. A lot of guys dont want to buy the rings. Let the winners decide what they want to buy.

For the amount of money we spend on tournaments they ought to give us something, but since they dont want to give us anything usable, then maybe we can just buy the gear we want for winning a tournament. It should have a distinct logo, year won and location.

BTW, My team donated the cheap bags we won to a youth tee ball team. We figured that was the only age group that could use it.
July 18, 2012
miken44
78 posts
another option would be give the winning team there money back and allow them to purchase special jackets with the date and tournament logo on it and get them to team in a reasonable time so they could wear them then if you win another there could be a patch you could have sewn on jacket plus your money back
July 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Many of your ideas are good, but notice no one is jumping forward to make you any of these offers.

I would guess not much (nothing?) is going to change as long as teams are still showing up and paying money.
July 18, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
The ideas are sound, however the assn's have sponsors for what they usually award & therefore is probable not an out of pocket expense.
NSA puts on some awesome T's in Reno and Carson city, catering primarily to the younger set but the awards are something out of this world you won't see often. They too have sponsors but their cash awards are out of their pocket.

Gary, your last sentence is right on. But that won't change because they provide the best T's going on, right here. (SSUSA)
July 19, 2012
Duke
Men's 60
702 posts
I have skimmed over the responses here, and can only give you my opinion. I will not comment on others, because we are all entitled to speak our opinions.

At the ripe old age that I am at now, prizes are not overly important to me anymore, and maybe not at all. If I want a teeshirt, jacket, ball bag, a ring, a bat, a glove, a cooler, a hat, a trophy, or even a machine to shave the inside of an Ultra II, I can just buy it myself. Just kidding about the machine. LOL! Although, SSUSA makes money on some of these items and hotels and car rentals, that is good business for them.

My take on this is keep your prizes, especially the "ring option" prizes, even though, I can afford to buy them and have done so. Many of my players in the past have not. Give me a patch or certificate and that would be good enough for me.

Maybe with the prizes eliminated, we can do as they do up North. Take the first 5 teams on their ratings list of teams and put them in a round robin and so on. Expand that to a larger tournament, and put the first 16 teams in one bracket and so on.

By eliminating the prizes, SSUSA could pass on the savings to the teams/players and LOWER the entrance fees. Honestly, when I have to decide on whether to go to a tournament locally and pay $300-$350 and no hotels, or go to another tournament and pay $500-$700 and pay for hotels and travel, what would you think might happen most of the time?? On the other side of the coin, we as teams/players need to support SSUSA by going to the suggested hotels, so they will get somewhat compensated for LOWERING the entrance fees. It goes both ways, so a little give AND take goes a long way. Dave, Fran, and Terry still run the best tournaments overall, and we all know this, and not the only tournaments in town nowadays.

Just my 2 cents,

Andy Smith,
55/60 Major
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