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Discussion: Combining M & M+

Posted Discussion
July 10, 2012
the wood
1076 posts
Combining M & M+
Swing:
I started this post because it is off topic for the other one.
In order to have a healthy M+ division it would have to become a priority for the assns. It isn't as we speak and, IMO, this is because the assns are reluctant to mess with their cash cows.The largest dues paying levels are AAA & M and no one seems to be willing to buck this.
As I mentioned previously, if ISSA does combine M & M+ in 2013 (Smoky Mtn Senior Classic) our team will be there. Not only to play in Maryville but to support ISSA's willingness to take this step... and we'll also have more teams to play.
The M+ level has been used a senior softball's buffer much like England's prisoners were during Georgia's colonial years. They were located between the 'civilized folks' and the Indians. By having them (M+) segregated it helps keep the AAA & M levels 'pure' (read = $). So any steps taken by assns to 'improve M+' causes me to look for hidden agendas.
This is why I'd like to see M & M+ combined. It would create more teams to play (for both groups) and it's a longer drop to AAA from the middle of the M division.
Bear in mind that I am not currently on a M+ team so, in some folks eyes, I'd be making it tougher for our team. Also, all of this is just my opinion but I have traveled this road many, many times.
This has been discussed many times and nothing has really changed. Oh, the HR and runs/inning have been liberalized but no real efforts have been made to combine M & M+. As long as the bottom line remains king no real positive change will occur (again, IMO).
BW
July 10, 2012
turn2
484 posts
Bob,
R.B. has combined major and major plus already this year. He had a great turnout in the 50 and 55 division. I do not remember about the 60.
Later
Donnie
July 10, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
BW, Like I said, if you move a couple of major teams, move 50 of them... in California the same three teams are playing each other at the Major plus level... I know we wouldn't play that much if it's like that next year...
July 10, 2012
Beasley
Men's 50
169 posts
Swing,

Come to Florida where there's 2 Major+ teams. If we get in a tournament and one of us doesn't go, the Major+ team gets to play the Major teams and give them a couple handicaps.

I say a couple because not only do you have to give up runs or an extra fielder, but you have to play by their HR limits.

But you know what, it's better than sitting home - drinking beer all day - watching NASCAR - and getting fat(ter).

Why stop at Major+ and Major. Combine the AAA and AA also. While doing my points project there are just a few AA teams playing and since there are so few, most AA teams are getting lumped into brackets with other age groups.
July 10, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
Beasley, I have no problem giving up 5 runs to triple A teams... until you prove otherwise it's the right thing to do... I always feel if we beat the team outright regardless of giving them 5 runs it's a win in my book.. I don't get to worked up about the loss that happened to us in Redwood city a few weeks ago.. . you have two teams in Florida Major Plus level, and I'm sure there is a big difference between Major plus and Major in Florida.. I know that the team I'm talking about would be fine with the Handicap rule at first during a move up and let's see if they can hang... I just feel like the scores of what they are doing at the lower division should be the best indicator of moving up a division... Moving up should be a team that is dominating it's division in my book!
July 11, 2012
turn2
484 posts
I think 2 divisions would be fine. We have had to spot runs and that is a good equalizer if the teams will play you. Most major teams can compete with the plus teams. If everyone plays with a common run rule and hr rule you are dropping to their level.
R.B. is at least trying to get more teams and you do play by the major rules. 7 runs / inning and 6 home runs and outs. This is fair and we dont mind that if it will get more teams to play.

Good luck
Donnie
July 11, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
As it is now you find AAA playing Major teams. As well as Major teams playing M+.
That has all been mentioned before but separating the wheat from the chafe within the groups will be different since it seems to be the only way they fill brackets in some cases.
Teams complained all over here about the move up to AAA. A few played in Reno this year and did quite well there. Watched a few games and I thought one team was out of sync with the others err playing down as it were. Was told not so, however.
Many could move up to the Major level an well as M to M+ as it is. With that you might save the mergence, but I think it will happen eventually specially when the 2013 guidelines take hold.
BTW, there are some AA teams that could move as well to AAA.
July 11, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2641 posts
Here in the Southeast several SPA tournaments will not allow a higher rated team to play down, even with giving runs. We were denied playing at Pensacola and Marietta. At Auburn, Al, this weekend we are denied playing in the ISSA tournament there. We even thought of moving down two age groups and two skill levels to 50 AAA.
I've stated for several years now that the associations need to shave one division, much like ISSA/ISF has done.
July 11, 2012
crusher
Men's 70
388 posts
the wood - AA is also a cash cow as you define cash cows.

Major Plus is a waste land, if you get to that classification. This year I am 70+. Here in Texas, Oklahoma the M+ goes to a tour and do not have anyone to play at their level. Major is just about as bad.

My AAA team is good, not great, we played a Major Scrap Iron team from Denver a few weeks ago, they beat us 32-10 or so in the seating round (headsup).
In the final winning bracket we met again, this time we got 1 extra on defense. Result 32-10 or close to that.
These guys only hit 1 wind helped homerun. However, they hit linedrive after linedrive.

Bruce, hope something can be done for M+ and M. James
July 11, 2012
JLD930
Men's 55
67 posts
Major Plus is truly a joke. We play 60 M+. SSUSA has about 15 teams listed in this category in the country and I would bet most of them play limited schedules. We pay (have limited sponsorship) thousands of dollars as a team to go to a tournament to see the same 2, 3 or 4 teams and often are combined with the major teams.

Even the rules are a joke. They allow 9 run innings and limit the time. We rarely complete 7 innings.

If M and M+ were combined and played Major rules many of the Major teams could compete and the number of teams in a bracket would increase. Why this doesn't happen is beyond me but obviously the "powers that be" feel it makes sense.

I played in 5 Open World Tournaments when I was younger and it was a blast playing against the best. If you finished in the top 5 you felt that you had accomplished something. I get no satisfaction playing in a tournament with 3,4,5 teams. I have played competetive slowpitch softball for well over 40 years but this is going to be my last as a travel player. I have better ways to spend my money. I am sure there are many M+ players who disagree with this but this is one person's point of view

Jack #30 Master Collision

July 11, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
372 posts
I think they should combine Major and Major Plus as well. Where I disagree is the HR limits. If you combine the 2 why penalize the Plus teams by making them play the Major rules? Why not meet halfway, instead of 6 HR's, make it 8 HR, 1 up and a single. I believe you should never penalize someone for hitting the ball over the fence.
July 11, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
I have always been in favor of combining Major and Major-plus. I am not in favor of only two divisions, I think there should be three ... Major (upper), AAA (lower) and AA (novice). Bring the runs per inning back to 5, that in itself is a great equalizer. Some lower Major teams may need to get moved to AAA and some lower AAA teams may need to get moved to AA.

I would set the HR limits at 8 and a single for Major (no progressive), 4 and a single for AAA (no progressive) and 2 and an out for AA.

An equalizer could be brought in for some of the stronger Major teams ... place a (+) by their name. Major teams without the (+) designation are allowed to score an extra run (6) in every inning up until the open inning when playing a team with a (+). This (+) designation could be given to chosen teams on a tournament to tournament basis, based on their recent play. Teams would feel like they actually accomplished something if they score actual runs, not "fake runs".

The rule of 2 players outside bordering states also needs to go away. They have made it even tougher for low budget Major-plus teams to be able to compete with the ones that go out and throw their money around to bring in top players that most teams can't afford.
July 11, 2012
Tim Millette
481 posts
Merging major and major plus does not solve the problem of the same few groups of players winning over and over.
All merging does is move the. Jeremy PLUS problem down to the MAJOR Division.
The problem is that allowing a few Plus teams to dominate most of the time does not entice upward movement.
If you merge Plus with Major you will have the same problem you have in Plus right now.... Only..... The major teams will be paying for it.

Limit the number of Plus Champions able to play on a plus teams, maybe even create a list of all the plus Champions, five second place players, 3 third place players and rule that no more the. Five or six of them can play on the same team until they reach the next age group.
As I see it.... the
Anority of the guys that want to merge plus and major are on plus teams and want new meat to beat up on.
July 12, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
Judging by this small sample set in this discussion, I think most are ready for this merger. I don't think SSUSA wants to get into being a part of breaking teams up and not letting players play for who they want to.
July 12, 2012
Tim Millette
481 posts
So....... Let's have everyone that has popped off on this merging Major and Plus subject post their vote on merging.. ALONG WITH THE DIVISION THEY PLAY IN !!!!!!!

If your not on a Major or Major Plus roster your vote doesn't count.

I am on a major team..... I vote NO to merging.....

Any guess on who will vote for what? My guess is very few Major votes go to merging.... A small percentage of Plus vote go against merging (which would be my vote if we were Plus) and...... The majority of Plus votes would go to merging.

As for SSUSA being a part of breaking up teams..... They do it everytime a team is bumped... Players get left behind because of talent, teams disband because they know they cannot compete at the next level.

What I have suggested is working pretty well in every level of senior ball. Why not do it at Plus????? Oh ya... I forgot..... It's never been done.....
July 12, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
Okay, then how about moving 10-12 of the top Major teams UP to Major-plus ... including yours? I think you are still at 50?
July 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
I would vote no as it stands now.... however, if there were certain restrictions on how many players picked up out of the area, 100 mile zone enforced. The so called Dynasty teams in M+ broken up to 6 players only.. Then I would be down for it... other than that my vote is no.
It seams to me that M+ teams are not complaining about their division, so why should we be so concerned... I expect SSUSA to do their job and not throw teams to the wolves, and put Ave Towing back to AAA just like they did with Who Cares!
July 12, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2641 posts
Swing, M+ team are complaining. Several years ago Audie Hollis proposed that the 50 M+ teams have their own circuit, mainly because there is no where to play until you get to the nationals.

Our 60 M+ team is unable to play at most qualifiers.
July 12, 2012
leftyodoul
Men's 60
97 posts
I have played Major and have been to many National Tournaments. I would combine Major Plus and Major for tournament play but have those teams still keep their designation. When a Major Plus plays a Major they should use the Major Home Run Rule. There should be no runs or extra defensive players given and any ball hit over the fence in excess of the maximum should be a DBO. Afterall, the main difference between the two divisions is the amount of Home Run hitters and the number of home runs hit. If you take away that advantage, play between the two levels becomes even.
July 12, 2012
Tim Millette
481 posts
Jawood, what's your vote and what level roster are you on?

And NO, I am not for bumping up 10-15 Major teams as its currently set up.

Again, I believe the PLUS problem is that the top teams in the Division at not regulated like the top teams in Major, AAA and AA are.

All those lower level Divisiins can weaken the top teams by bumps, which require those bumped teams to disband and rebuild if they want to return to a Divisiin they have already proven to be dominant in.

All I am saying is do the same thing in Plus....

Regulate how many players from dominate Plus teams can play together in Plus.... It's not rocket science.....

Weakening dominate teams that want to continue to playing in a Division they have already proven dominant in is done thoughout senior ball...

Why does this proven system stop when you by to major Plus?

And..... Why is it good for the Plus game that what's been proven valuable at every other level is stopped when you play In the Plus Division?

Merging Major with Plus does not address the root problem in Plus ball!
July 12, 2012
leftyodoul
Men's 60
97 posts
I have played Major and have been to many National Tournaments. I would combine Major Plus and Major for tournament play but have those teams still keep their designation. When a Major Plus plays a Major they should use the Major Home Run Rule. There should be no runs or extra defensive players given and any ball hit over the fence in excess of the maximum should be a DBO. Afterall, the main difference between the two divisions is the amount of Home Run hitters and the number of home runs hit. If you take away that advantage, play between the two levels becomes even.
July 12, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
732 posts
I would combine Major and Major+. One up HR and walks for excess Hrs. No added runs, no extra player, no advantage. Major teams would be very competitive and based on their athleticism better than the Major+ teams that are power based.

1 up and walks for all other levels.
July 12, 2012
the wood
1076 posts
As stated b4, I am for the merger and not 4 disbanding successful teams (no matter how often tim states it). I have played mostly M+ other than the past 2 yrs (m). BW
July 12, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
372 posts
I'm for the merger if they changed the rules to somewhere in the middle, like I said 8 HR's 1 up and walks would be fine. The out of region does not effect us because all of our guys live in bordering states. Right now in Spa the HR rule is 7 1 up and walks and it works just fine. I a Major team can hit 5 or 6 then they can hit 8.
July 12, 2012
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
As a major player the one thing that would have me say no to merging is the fact that for a major team to add a player either to replace or try and get better especially late in the season is that we have to find a tournament to qualify our roster with the new addition while the major plus teams don't. So to add a player the team is out of pocket around $5,000 (500 per player travel etc) so we can add a player while the major plus teams don't have to bear this expense. Without the exact identical roster rules I would vote no. On a side note I'm hearing from some of my major plus friends they very rarely get 7 innings in becasue of the 9 runs per inning and I believe major plus now has a mercy rule. We have played 25 games this year and I believe everyone of ours went 7 innings with the 5 run rule. The current major HR rules are 7 1 up and walks after the limit, allows for plenty of balls over the fence would that work for the major plus guys?
July 12, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
Well, Tim, our team is Major-plus, but we felt that Major and Major-plus should be combined even when we were Major, so no difference in what division we play in.

I didn't say to bump up Major teams as it's currently set up, make the plus (+) teams play with a handicap (whatever it is) ... those "dominate" teams will not be so "dominate". Besides there is really only one dominate team at the 50 Major-plus level anyway. I believe that one team has won every championship for the last five or six seasons, so saying there are multiple dominate teams at the 50 Major-plus level is not correct. I guess you could call that a "dynasty"

Lecak, the Major rules are about as good as it gets, you are correct Major-plus very rarely gets 7 innings in.
July 13, 2012
boston
299 posts
would it help to create more Major plus teams if players were rated. I am sure there are many players capable of playing Major plus. would this make for a larger pool and the possiblity of more teams being created? I know at least a half dozen guys in New Mexico and El Paso that could play Major Plus and another couple dozen that could play Major. But, they stay AAA to play with their buddies. These are guys from 50-63. Also, since Major plus teams recruit heavily from neighboring states to get the best of the best. Maybe, limiting the number of out of state players or states they recruit from. I know Florida and California cannot recruit from neighboring states. Maybe, that would work with other states. This may give individual states to keep their Major Plus players and form a state team. This will definitely take some research and work to figure out. But, good discussion
July 13, 2012
DoubleL10
Men's 65
811 posts
boston, I believe that Florida and California are now allowed to have players from adjoining states like the rest of the country. I think that rule change was effective this year.
I also think that if players were rated, some that got rated as M+ would simply stop playing the game (or play Major, if available). In some areas of the country - even a big state like Texas - there are NO active 60 or 65 Major Plus teams at this time. So, using player ratings, guys rated M+ would have nowhere to play UNLESS they were picked up by a Major team and there are severe restrictions on that.
July 13, 2012
Tim Millette
481 posts
I agree with regionalozing the game more.

Maybe splitting the stand alone states in half (ie norcal socal)and making every state a stand alone state.
Maybe include some thing along the line of small states can pick up bordering states players as long as the total population of said bordering states doesn't outnumber the largest stand alone state population.
July 13, 2012
Allan55
79 posts
I agree with Tim. In order to level the playing field between M and M+ teams, you must reduce the players M+ teams have to choose from. Larger states should be divided and players should be choosen from the state (eliminate the bordering state players). I know this will not make everyone happy...but I believe some concessions must be made in order to strenghten our program from a competitive standpoint.
July 16, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1968 posts
Boston-you are really only half right on the reasons to stay AAA for some of these guys that you say are good enough. In NM and El Paso area there are NO major or major plus teams. The closest ones are Phoenix-425 miles and Denver-450 miles and from there maybe Dallas-650 miles. That kind of commitment takes time and money because EVERY tournament is a travel tournament and it is not cheap. That's the biggest factor that kept me from actively looking for a major or major plus team. Wives also play a big part in that kind of decision. Mine has been very supportive of me this year, but it sure has taken a lot to make it happen. I've played 12 tournaments this year already.
Allan-if you reduce it to states, there are many states that just do not have the population base to compete. NM has NO Major or Major Plus teams in the 50, 55, and 60 and I believe you would find states like North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, etc. would be in the same boat. Without the neighboring state rule-where would guys who are that good play to be able to play at the highest level they can?
July 16, 2012
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2641 posts
Boston, SPA has their Impact Players List. They only allow three to a major team, more than that they must play major plus. AA and AAA team aren't allowed any.
July 16, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
You can't really make all the states stand alone. How could anyone compete with California? That's why they made Florida and California stand alone for a while, but now they can get players from their state, bordering states AND 2 more from wherever, if they are Major-plus.

If they made possibly the top 5 or so states in population stand alone and get rid of the ridiculous 2 players outside bordering states, it would make it much more competitive.
July 16, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
Jawood, this exactly what we are talking about.. I feel that if you wanted to make Major plus a more level playing field and grow the division, you would have to look at the population of the area of each team and say an area has X amount of population, you limit the amount of pick ups severely... California should be two zones, north and south and should have Zero pickups out of State or Zone! IMO If you expect teams to compete in Major plus with the big money teams, this is what needs to happen.
July 16, 2012
Tim Millette
481 posts
I find it kinda hard to believe stand alone states would have a hard time fielding 50 major teams. Our Major MTC team has nine players that play league together. Two more of our players live 40 miles from where our leaguers is played, but chose not to play because of after work traffic jams.
So on that same league night there is another 50 major team playing (Bas Seed).
July 16, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
372 posts
With everything that I have seen while playing senior ball and everything I have seen written on this board, I believe no matter what you do there will always be those who don't wnat to play up for whatever reason. If you took away the bordering state rule, our team OKI, would still have 7 of our players because we are all from the same state. I guarantee you we could find 5-6 more from our home state that were capable and willing to play Major Plus with us.
July 16, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
997 posts
I'm sure Mario there will still be teams loaded for Bear, however we can't bring up one major team to get hand the 4 major plus teams hanging here in CA... you need to bring up 20 major teams and cut the region down for the three teams use north south and boarding states to make up their teams.. Just, trying to make it more of a level playing field.. Major Plus 50s has three teams in CA that are going north and south for players.. how do you compete with that with no sponser?
July 16, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
791 posts
13 out of 16 players on our Major-plus team live within a 50 miles radius of each other. Either they let Major-plus teams do whatever they want and let the no budget, no outside players Major-plus teams play Major, OR adopt some rules that Tim, Mario, Swing and others have suggested for ALL the Major-plus teams and provide a somewhat even playing field. Maybe then, they can move some teams up, because right now, it's worse (competition wise) than it's ever been at that level.
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