http://www.seniorsoftballstore.com

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

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

Online now: 2 members: Misfits, Uncle Mike; 48 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: LV World Tournament Discussion

Posted Discussion
Oct. 8, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
LV World Tournament Discussion
I got back from LV today after a grueling tournament, took a 4 hour nap and now I am wide awake.

My team played in the 50AAA division with 49 teams. We started our day with the 8am game and Friday morning the games seems to go OK. We were instructed to we could get our afternoon game assignment at 2pm at Shadowrock. When we arrived at Shadowrock there was a lot of confusion and no schedule posted. I didnt know what was taking so long, but all I saw was 1 director tying to figure out the seeding, while on a cell phone, with about 1000 guys milling around and trying to get an answer as to what is next. The method for calculating the seeding seemed like it was just paper and pencil...no computers. The director was beyond stressed, but he worked his butt off and finally got it done.

The afternoon games were scheduled to start at 3pm, but started about 90 min late due to the late seeding. This meant all the games would run late for the rest of the day. Our 8pm game started after 9pm and we finished up at 10:30pm to conclude a 16 hour softball day.

Saturday we had the 8am game, we lost and loser bracket marathon started which was my worst fear going into the tournament. We played well throughout the day and our last game finished at 1:15am Sunday morning. You read it correctly, no typo...1:15am Sunday morning! A 19 hour day of softball. Between the start of the tournament and the end of day 2 we had played 10 games in 37 hours.

The good news is we won 6 games on Sat and we were still alive. The bad news is the next game starts at 8am Sunday morning. We had about 6 1/2 hours to return to the hotel, shower, eat, sleep, get back to the field, warm up and be ready to play. No problem, my team does this all the time, so we were prepared. Just kidding, we were dead tired on Sunday morning and we played like it, lost the 8am game and went home.

We felt like we had a good tournament, played great teams, had a lot of fun, etc. I think my team is tough as nails and they played like gladiators slaying 1 team after another on Sat. I am extremely proud of the way we played and how we endured the marathon. I mean no disrespect to the team that beat us and I dont want to use this as an excuse, but in the end I felt like fatigue won.

I dont believe any team could play that schedule and win many games on Sunday. I dont think 50 year old men were made to perform well under those conditions. If the games ran on time and you could get off the field and be allowed 8-9 hours before your next game then maybe it would be possible to survive the losers bracket.

Suggestion for SSUSA: Give up on pencil and paper for running this tournament. This is 2012 and there is technology available to make this a better tournament. Think about using laptops and software to help run this tournament. Find a consultant to help implement things that make the tournament run easier to run and create a better experience for your customers.

To summarize, this type of schedule is beyond reasonable for the players. The tournament needs to run a lot smoother. SSUSA needs to do a better job at scheduling and getting the games to run on time. Hiring a consultant to help them would be a good start. There are larger tournaments with more than 49 teams that are played throughout the world so someone else has already figured out how to run a large tournament.

I appreciate all the efforts from everyone that worked at the tournament, thank you.
Oct. 8, 2012
Mn Grayhound Slack#9
1 posts
LV World Tournament Discussion Improvements I'd like to see
1.0 Eliminate the 4-3 count to a 3-2 with a courtesy. This will help ensure more games will go the full 7 innings and give the pitcher a chance to put more pressure on the hitter. Most hitters wait to the point where the pitcher has to groove one.
2.0 Eliminate the double losers bracket. My understanding is its use is to guarantee three games. With a two game seeding and straight double elimination format, 4 games are guaranteed. I have been witness to numerous conversations about how this game means nothing other than getting a little more beat until they play a meaningful game. Less games, money saved and a better chance to keep the tourny on time.
I invite friendly discussion to these two items to make our game a better game to play. Thanx.
Oct. 8, 2012
local
126 posts
My 2 cents.

Eliminate the double loser bracket and make it 3 game seeding. With 3 game seeding you take some of the guess work out of the bracket play. i.e there would not be as many 3-0 teams as there are 2-0 teams. The losers bracket is way too big !!!!

Give points ( minus runs against) to teams that have placed in other SSUSA tournaments. For example If you win Westerns or Eastern Nationals the team would receive points in the form of runs against for seeding at Worlds.

Move the tournament to 4 days!
Oct. 8, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
744 posts
Don't even think about moving the tournament to 4 days. I have enough trouble getting time off as it is.

Due to the economy there are a number of players in 65 are experiencing issues in attending tournament which are scheduled during the week.

I agree with eliminating the double loser bracket. Some games become meaningless and it makes more sense to forfiet and play the elimination game.

I think 3-2 would speed up the game.

The "Rock" for all SSUSA tourneys.
Oct. 8, 2012
FOFO
Men's 50
171 posts
1. Get one of the many software programs available and laptops with aircards at every site to speed up the seeding process. Watching the guys try to do it by hand was painful. This would also make it easier to keep the brackets at each site up to date.
2. Never use Cheyenne Park
3. Put a little water on the Infields once in awhile.

Great Tournament
Oct. 8, 2012
idahoreb
Men's 50
47 posts
I believe the following should happen at EVERY SSUSA tournament:

1. Three seeding games and a true double elimination tournament. You know your times the first day and would give time to set the bracket. The bracket could be put on the web site and everyone would have access as to time of games and locations the night before the bracket games.
2. Rock or Fire used at every tournament.
3. 1 and 1 count (what everyone calls the 3-2) to start the at bat. Can get a true 7 inning game and keep the tournaments on time even with extra innings.
4. Player "must" play in one of the seeding games unless prior approval for "legitimate" reasons from tournament directors.
Oct. 8, 2012
JBTexas
Men's 65
262 posts
Hate the 1 and 1 count to start, we played 7 games in Vegas and all went 7 innings, how many teams had games that didn't go seven innings, with 65 minutes plus open inning, every game should have gone 7??? I agree three seeding games then DE. East-West champions should get top seeding or game not count towards seeding postion.
Oct. 8, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
744 posts
In Major+ it was very hard to get in 7 innings. 9 runs per inning meant long innings. 65 nad open was fine.

If the East West became the automatic 1 & 2 seeds, it would encourage participation in those events and reward its winners.
Oct. 8, 2012
goodtimes
10 posts
I would love to see the bracket for the 50 major+ and the 55aaa. How did OKI DO.
Oct. 8, 2012
shoeless
22 posts
The 1 and 1 count format is terrible. It changes the game dramatically. Las Vegas was a successful tournament because of the number of teams. Don't change it, people won't come back. There is nothing worse than spending money on a tournament with 6 teams in your bracket or not getting a five game guarantee.
Oct. 8, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
376 posts
Goodtimes, OKI went 4-2. Don't aske me how this happened but Sunday morning in our 2nd game we played a team that was 1 and 3 while we were 4 and 1. Have not figured that bracketing out yet. But we lost to them in the bottom of the 7th inning 39-38. In our first loss Saturday morning we only scored 21 runs. In Fridays pre-liminary games we scored 39 the first game and 52 the second game and ended up the number 2 seed because of runs against.
Oct. 8, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
376 posts
This is how everyone ended up
1.Northwest Legends
2.Sommerville Softball
3.Kivett Softball
4.OKI Softball
5.Nazzereno Softball
6.East Bay Oldies
7.Demolition Softball
Oct. 8, 2012
JamesLG
303 posts


The only thing I would recommend is get rid of the 5 games guarantee in a tourney with this many teams. It just adds to the wait for teams still playing to win. Or the consilation games can be played after the winners have been decided and each team can decide if they want to stick around and get their 5th game in.

Thanks:

James
Oct. 8, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1976 posts
Hey JamesLG-I was just going to suggest that for World's only make it a 4 game guarantee. Straight 2 game seeding and double elimination. It is World's after all-play it straight up.
Oct. 8, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Good to meet you, Mario!
Oct. 8, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
The 3-2 count is used almost everywhere I play and it speeds up the game. I like it.

Umpires need to keep track of HR's...accurately. It really slows the game when teams argue about how many HR's were hit. Taking 5 minutes to sort it out is not necessary.

The "Rock" seems like a good ball, but other balls we have used seem ok too. They gave us 6 balls for the entire tournament. How can you make 6 balls last more than a few games is beyond me. Teams should get 2 balls each for every game they play. Also, the winning team should be awarded all the leftover game balls...if the loser is knocked out of the tournament.

The amount of games and the amount of teams needs to be examined to determine how to run the tournament. If they keep it a 2 game knockout and allow 60-70 teams to enter, then the loser bracket becomes impossible due to the quantity of games needed to survive. It was impossible with 49 teams. I doubt there are many teams that want to play more than 12 games in a tournament. I suggest SSUSA consult with organizations that manage huge tournaments and get ideas from them.
Oct. 9, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Why do you need a 5-game guarantee at a world tourney? Isn't the caliber of tourney enticement enough? For decades when we were younger the worlds was simply double elimination and did not seem to have trouble attracting teams.

Doorman, good pitching speeds the game up enough.
Oct. 9, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Jawood, nice to finally meet you. Congratulations to you guys.
Oct. 9, 2012
Tim Millette
484 posts
If you considering going to the 1-1 count I think that would be great.

If your getting some complaints about going to 1-1 maybe try 1-1 on a trial asis in all seeding games next year.

Then ask teams for feedback
Oct. 9, 2012
ffdonnie
Men's 50
92 posts
Doorman, good review of this tourney. We had a similar grueling experience, with a few additions.

We had to play at Cheyenne at 7:30 Fri. morning and were greeted with fields not prepped and the sprinklers running in the outfield.
The director couldn't check us in due to being on the phone trying to get someone out there to shut off the water. So we start a hour late, but at least the puddles in the outfield let you know where the low spots are.

We did check in but only after more delays to do so. Then, AFTER our two games, our manager was handed a bunch of participant bracelets to be given out. Seriously? Oh well, at least we are honest and didn't pull anything.

We played until 1am also, but it was due to a Coed tourney being played at Cheyenne. ALL MORNING GAMES WERE PUSHED TO THE AFTERNOON.
ARE YOU FRICK'N KIDDING!!! Travel back to the hotel, shower, unwind a little, it's now 03:00. Sun game time 08:00, so up at 06:00, do the math, this sucked.

There is a bunch more, but not worth the time.
Hennessy said in the managers meeting that Cheyenne isn't that bad. Tell that to our outfielder who tore up his knee in the worst outfield I've seen in a long time.

Hennessy also said he tries not to read this message board. Dude you better start, because you and your other organizers FAILED miserably.

LET ME BE CLEAR, the men and women that were out at the fields trying to deal with this debacle deserve great praise. They worked hard and I thanked them every chance I got this weekend.
The ones responsible for this mess should be ashamed.

Oct. 9, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
376 posts
Jawood it was nice to get to meet you as well. Tell all your guys congradulations on a great tourney. You guys deserved to win it all. I tried to get to most of you guys after the game, but I think I missed some. Great job and see you next time!!!
Oct. 9, 2012
grd8sbnut
Men's 50
14 posts
Mario it was great to see you again. you and a good portion of your team are class acts. look forward to seeing you guys in the future. NW legends Dale
Oct. 9, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
Gary19, I am assuming some of the best teams in the world would bring some of the best pitchers in the world. The games ran late all 3 days anyway. Besides, the pitchers are not trying to speed up the games, they are trying to get you out...no matter how long it takes.

BTW, have you ever played softball in LV? Often the wind blows 20-40 mph and the pitchers are lucky to throw strikes on 40% of their pitches.

I liked someones idea of using the 3-2 in some qualifiers as a test. Plus look at the benefits of the 3-2. There would be more innings played...creating more AB's...which would lead to more HR's...which would make everyone happier.

As SS gets bigger it will need to evolve in order to accommodate the hoards of teams that want to play a big time tournament in LV.

Speeding up the games will take smart rule changes, a well organized tournament with good umpiring.

Oct. 9, 2012
Parman
11 posts
At Shadow Rock in the 55+ Major Division, on the previous Sunday morning the games started 1 1/2 hrs late as no one from the Las Vegas County/City Parks Dept or whoever was responsible didn't show up and they were the only one(s) that had a key. The strike mats, defibs and tournament bracket posting and I dont know what else was stored in there. A delay like that should have never happened.
Oct. 9, 2012
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Just wanted to add to what Doorman said when he started this thread. My team - Roadhouse Blue's - from Pennsylvania did just about the same that Doorman's team did. We played in the 55 AAA division. Played a lot of softball and had a great time! But I have to tell you guys about the Water Sprinkler Game. It was last the game being played at Lorenzi on Saturday Night. The game started at 10:15 pm PST or 1:15 am EST. So we get to the bottom of the 7th,it's a tie game and it is now 11:45 pm. Two outs, runner on first, guess what happened? No the lights did not go out, we were told they would go out at 11:55 pm, BUT someone forgot to tell us about the Water Sprinklers... They came ON in the outfield! No problem right? Wrong! Guess what the Umpire & TD told us to do? Go ahead take a guess... They both very vehemently stated. Keep Playing, we have to get this game in! No kidding & they insisted we keep playing!! We said no way! Anyway it all worked out, we were told to come back Sunday Morning at 7:30 AM to finish the game.. Then the lights did go out.... Ouch!
Oct. 9, 2012
Mario
Men's 50
376 posts
grd8sbnut its always a good time when Dale's get together and play each other. You guys are a class act, and I hope you guys are going to Phoenix in November so we can another crack at you.
Oct. 9, 2012
lefty# 9
6 posts
I cant believe they even used Cheyenne ball fields What a disaster and to put 55M+ on these field is beyond me.I always thought the higher level of ball player you are you should play on the better fields. that park SU#@S we hit BP there last thurs and the fields look like a heard of buffalo lived in the outfield. FOR SHAME
Oct. 9, 2012
Ugly Stick
Men's 60
20 posts
I play 60 div ball and watched the 50 major plus tourney at BLD and was quite impressed with the play of all of the teams. There was some really close games. I know OKI was playing real well and a few mistakes andit cost them the game. Really enjoyed the games.I am not on a team yet but do plan on it soon.

Ugly Stick
Oct. 9, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Thanks Mario and Stick, as well as Sommerville and all the other teams. What happens in the heat of battle is just good competition between the lines. It's great that we can all get along after the games are over.
Oct. 9, 2012
Q19
Men's 55
48 posts
With just 7 teams in the 50 Major Plus division, round robin format with best record and use the run DIFFERENTIAL as the second tiebreaker. If EBO would've have won Saturday night, we would've played OKI for the third time. Maybe next year we'll have 10 teams, oh wow!
Oct. 10, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Doorman, no they are not trying to speed up the game, but they also are not uncontrollably throwing balls. They are, I am assuming, pitching with pace and purpose. Which should be sufficient.


Games run late, in part, due to the special bats and the maddingly slow pace of senior softball in general. A pace that often can be, but more often isn't, controlled. So instead the game is further changed to compensate for what old guys bring upon themselves.
Oct. 10, 2012
boston
299 posts
I've always felt a 5 game gaurantee was to much. If guys love the game as much as they say on this board why do they need a 4-5 game gaurantee to show up. I just played this past weekend in the Whole Enchilada tourney in Las Cruces. It is a USSSA tourney and had 260 teams class C,D and E mens and women. There were 22 mens C, 85 mens D and 72 mens E. This is a 24 hr toureny dbl elimination. My point is that many teams for only 8 mens fields and dble elimination. Sounds to me like a true love of the game, no gaurantees. They had 40 on the waiting list. Although, I will say this the entrance fee was only $300 or $350.

The 4-3 count is a waste of time most batters take the first strike anyway. Go 3-2 with a courtesy & more guys will swing sooner in the count.

Another, thing that slows the senior game down and irritates me is the guys walking on and off the field. Please don't use the excuse we're older we need more time. I play OF in USSSA & I run in and out every inning. By the time u get to ur spot most of the time the batter is headed to the plate to hit. all u have to do is jog and it will save time. No need to socialize w/ the opposing team every inning. then guys complain they didn't get to play 7 innings.
Oct. 10, 2012
jrhunch
92 posts
they should cut down on the entry fees and play 2 prelim games and double elimination.they should never play 3:30 prelim games and then start tournie at 5pm.everyone had to get in rush hour traffic and only a third of the teams played the first game.the teams that played the 2nd game friday had to wait around for hours to play.
Oct. 10, 2012
crump22
Men's 50
43 posts
If you have a time limit ,then how is going to a 1 and 1 count going to speed the game up?
Oct. 10, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
Starting with a 1 and 1 count does speed up a game about 10 minutes. Another way to speed up these games is each team provide a bucket (bag) of a dozen balls and place it by the umpire so he doesn't have to ask everytime when a ball goes out of play and/or have to look at it to make sure it's the right one. That would probably speed up games by 15 minutes!
Oct. 10, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Ugly Stick, you got it right. We (OKI) had our chances but in the end we didn't get'r done. Unfortunately mistakes do happen and I truly feel our team is strong enough to overcome them but it just wasn't in the cards last weekend. For me it was a humbling experience because I fully expected us to win. But that's the way the game goes sometimes.
BTW, interesting screen name you have!!
Oct. 10, 2012
garyheifner
360 posts
"5" game Guarantee-simple

1. All the guys get to play.

2. What senior is going to to spend $1200+ for a Vegas package plus food and and x-tras drop 2 and be done on day one of a four day tourney. What, sit around the pool for three more days and then fly home. Two and done would turn Vegas into a west coast tourney. Two and done would kill the smaller qualifers. You go to qualifers to get in "5" games and practice, which according to Gary 19 will make you better and so can win the World Championship.

3. Played a bunch of U-Trip in my day and most of the bigger tournies were teams within driving distance. Drop 2-check out and go home. Vegas is a different story, especially for anyone east of the Mississippi.
Oct. 10, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
Although I was not at THIS Vegas Tournament, I have played in Vegas multiple times over the past 24 years even though I am from Ohio.

I love to play softball and want to win.

Part of having a tournament in Vegas is also being able to have the Vegas experience.

Doormans first post above, says his team basically missed Friday night and Saturday night in "Vegas", at least if they wanted even a little sleep? Plenty of time on Sunday if they didn't pass out.

I go to every tournament to win, and if weather is bad and games get delayed so be it. I've played in Vegas at 4AM in the past (due to rain).

Wives and Girlfriends tend to make threats when going to a destination spots and not enjoying the destination LOL, and bless them for sticking around watching softball 14/18 hours a day. My girlfriend would be "A Lil upset" spending friday night and saturday night in Vegas eating consession hot dogs for her meal LOL.

Winter Worlds when in Vegas were at least usually done by 8PM and most teams were done before dark.

That all being said-------I agree with another poster above, make it double elimination tournament and pass up the seeding games. If you go two and out, so be it. Drop the entry fee since everybody isn't playing five game guarantees.

I've seen too many senior players get hurt or beat up in seeding games, and then are physically unable to perfom when it counts in the main tournament.

I do understand "why" with so many teams you "might" need seeding games with teams from all over coming to town though, but I don't agree with it.

Double elimination ONLY, didn't deter teams from playing big tournaments 15/20/30 years ago???

I also say if you have to play two seeding games just make it a 4 game guarantee instead of five--------no reason for triple elimination for the teams who lose the first two-----that would free up fields for others and help keep the tournament moving with this many teams.

I hope to come to Vegas Worlds in 2013
Oct. 10, 2012
Tim Millette
484 posts
I have an idea...... How about those of you crying about to many games, sign an agreement with SSUSA before the tourney stating you will not play more then six games in the three days.

When you finish your sixth game you forfeit out of the tourney.

That way anyone worried about to many games doesn't have to worry about it any longer.

You can spend the rest of the weekend pulling slots in Sin City instead of being forced to play softball.
Oct. 10, 2012
Allan55
79 posts
I saw a number of games the past two weekends last longer than 90 minutes, each setting their respective tournaments back. I feel steps should be taken to keep games more in line with the times. However, I don't feel starting with a 1-1 count is the answer. I do feel all games (not just seeding games) being 65 minutes plus the open inning would be a start. The double elimination game should also be eliminated in tournaments with twenty or more teams. Those touranments should guarantee four games instead of five. I also feel the ball (the Rock) is too lively. Those balls were ridiculous. We already play with a bat that is better than anything we used as kids. Remember when the Titanium bats came out and games lasted well over two hours before they were pulled? Why can't we use the Trump ball? It was good in Reno in the heat and was not as forgiving as the Rock.

If no adjustments are going to be made, the only other alternative is to have teams qualify by allowing a certain number of teams in each division. Don't worry...that would never happen, because that would cost the association money.
Oct. 10, 2012
jrd231
17 posts
We took fifteen players to the tournament and all enjoyed (including wives) playing teams we had never played against. All teams were competitive. Our umpires from Baltimore were terrific, the rest were not. Case in point- all players were to wear a wrist band or be called out when hitting. One opposing team did not wear them, pointed it out to the umpires, they were allowed to continue with no penalty (TD knew of this case). Why have the rule if not enforced? The fields at Shadow Rock were fair at best, but the worst thing was going thru some of these extremely bad areas to get to the ballpark. We will go back to St George next year.
This tournament was too long and too expensive.
Oct. 11, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Doorman when you posted this, "Wives and Girlfriends tend to make threats when going to a destination spots and not enjoying the destination LOL, and bless them for sticking around watching softball 14/18 hours a day. My girlfriend would be "A Lil upset" spending friday night and saturday night in Vegas eating consession hot dogs for her meal LOL" that rings so true on most occasions!! I always stress to my better half to never make any concrete dinner or entertainment plans if she attends a tourney with me--especially out of town.
Oct. 11, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Boston I can agree with you when you point out the 5 game guarantee is not necessary. I personally don't mind playing a minimum 5 games but since most tourneys start on friday many teams can't get their full squad there for the friday games. They may go 0-2 but then when they all show up for the bracket games saturday they start out with a clean slate. Just a thought as one possible reason.
I believe the 3 game guarantee wrap-around bracket is sufficient. That way if you go 0-2 you still have a chance to get back in the tournament. jmo
Oct. 11, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
stick8, I did not post anything about "wives and girlfriends". 17Black posted that, so 17Black can defend his post. Maybe you guys could debate this issue somewhere else like Facebook or Twitter.

I dont think it is wise or necessary to tell other guys how to handle their wives or girlfriends, so I wont comment on this issue. Plus it won't resolve anything in this discussion.
Oct. 11, 2012
big cat7
Men's 50
95 posts
As a senior player it would be nice to see the rosters of the major teams in the 50s and 60s brackets just to see who plays on each team and to see what older superstars are still in the game
Oct. 11, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
Doorman & Stick: Nothing to defend in my post.

We all love to play softball and most people on this board have probably played at some unusual times of the night (or morning) in their lives.

Everybody looks for something different in a softball tournament. Personally when I go somewhere I want to go to win a tournament.

I know the point of Doormans original post was all the delays, which led me to my post, about having delays when in a "Destination City".

HOWEVER, my point is also, you have a destination location like (VEGAS)that "probably" helped attract XXX amount of teams to (VEGAS)

Living 2000 miles away like myself, going to a tournament in (VEGAS) is a little different than some small town in another state???

VEGAS beckons bringing the better half,(wife/girlfriend (or both) LOL because, well, "IT's VEGAS"--it's a "Tourist Destination" and also is probably a bigger deal for people going thousands of miles than people who live close by to be in Vegas.

I'm actually agreeing with Doorman-------and too bad they were in losers bracket, but 14/16/17 hours of softball----------1:15Am finishes and 8AM starts is hard to swallow when at a "Tourist Destination"---(or anywhere)----and a bit ridiculous------It is what it is in a big bracket tournament though, and fighting through losers bracket at same time which is where you don't want to start a tournament.

If you are there solo (In Vegas) and sponsor is picking up your travel tab, GREAT---GO PLAY on the sponsors dollar and don't worry about game times or what you are missing in Vegas. The folks who spent extra $$$$ of their own pocket to travel there, (with wives/girlfriends) might (I'm just saying) want to enjoy the town/casino's etc as well.----------Because, well, it's VEGAS.

Guys I've play with, and who have won tournaments in Vegas, are there just as much for the vacation spot as the softball. Only 1 time in 24 years of going there from Ohio, have I had weather severly change schedules so that the vacation part could not be enjoyed (1992)rain delay after rain delay.

Sure some people reading this are saying its only about softball, and don't come to the tournament if you want to do something other than play softball-----THAT's FINE-----but I also think a lot of others would agree, you shell out lots of $$$$ to get to VEGAS and maybe don't want to spend 14/16/17 hours at the fields the whole weekend too, and probably want to see a show, or casino's, top eating establishments too?

Vegas was the lure to entice all the extra teams to Worlds. I'm guessing many players and families were in Vegas for the first time??????? "HEH where did you go for dinner Saturday Night in Vegas?"-------"Oh, I had two chili dogs at Cheyenne Park, while my husband rubbed a pound of wintercrest all over himself"---------

If the Worlds were in some small town in the middle of a cornfield, would that many teams show up, or would people worry about playing at 1:15AM with not much else to do????

Just my opinion, some of you will agree, others will beat me up.
Oct. 11, 2012
boston
299 posts
This is why I will not go to Vegas for softball. I Love Vegas too much. Softball would be secondary. God bless those significant others that hang out at a ball park for all those hours.
Oct. 11, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Doorman your are correct, my apologies to you.
17Black, you are correct in many of your points. That being said we all know the glitter and glamour of las vegas but when your playing on the field don't you block that out of your mind?
Oct. 11, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
stick8: YES, I can block it out of my mind. I want to win every tournament, even if it's whiffle ball in my backyard.

I'm saying, and my team-mates will be first to tell you and agree, they are going to Vegas for "VEGAS", regardless of winning or losing. They (we've) won tournaments there. We've been two and out, we've been 1-4 and out. We've played all weekend and finished 2nd.

To me 2nd sucks.

In my world, my girlfriend is going to tag along to VEGAS. Not Lansing, Not Dalton, not Indiana, but YES to VEGAS. It cost more $$$$, & luckily I am fortunate to be able to afford it.

I'm guessing a big percentage of teams could care less if they lost in the tournament-----they are in VEGAS. Yes, play to win while on the field. Lose at 6PM, oh well but GREAT, they will get a shower and eat and make the 9PM show.

I've been divorced twice before, and lost lots of $$$$ because I like softball too much LOL. As you get older, sometimes I look over between innings and see girlfriend (not another wife) with head in her palm, watching another softball game.

She cheers, she boos, she's a trooper. Two years ago we played a 6:30pm game which isn't late to me and it was dark and raining. All the wives and girls left us at the field so they could go back to the casinos which was fine. We played ball, they got to enjoy VEGAS a bit until we got back.

I guess I am lucky I've had opportunity to win a lot of tournaments, tons of them, NEVER a World Title which still drives me.

Playing in VEGAS is a tough recipe. Lots of distractions unless you are there solo. Hard to go solo to Vegas because it is what it is, and girlfriends and wives want to go too.

Hard to keep the balance between ball and "vacation" and the vacation part of me doesn't want to be playing at Midnight on Saturday night---But I still want to win a WORLDS before I die, so personally I'll do whatever it takes, but BLESS those ladies who are sitting field-side at all these tournaments on weekend late nights (AND in VEGAS)!!!! and letting us play?
Oct. 12, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1976 posts
As with everything, this tournament had growing pains. We had a solid 9 team bracket in 60 M+-with every team competitive, and it was great!! There was the huge, almost 50 team bracket in 50 AAA-and a shout out to my friends on the Albuquerque Lasers that finished second!! Way to go guys!! 450 teams-WOW!
Ok, point one-Boston pointed out the whole enchilada tournament and the $300 entry fee and double elimination. Let's see-out in 2 games that's $150 per game. SSUSA Worlds-$695 entry fee-5 game guarantee-$139 per game. HMMMMM-interesting. Plus, you got to play 5 games-not a lost weekend.
Point two-there are a lot of teams that take up to 20 guys to a tournament in Seniors. The 2 game seeding and modified double elimination creates much more playing time for each and every one of those players. Isn't that why we're here? We're blessed to be playing at this stage of our lives. I do think that a 4 game guarantee with a straight double elimination should be considered because of the size of the tournament now. But then maybe the entry fee could back off a bit to around $600.
Point three-first year in Vegas and the sheer size of the tournament shows it was a great decision. I really believe next year will smooth out and go better. I again will offer to help them, if I can, for next year. G19-you ignored me the first time I asked. Being the ultimate bad-mouther of SSUSA-WILL YOU GET INVOLVED AND TRY TO MAKE IT BETTER? If not-you know where to put the cork!
Oct. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I have been making suggestions, with justifications, ad nauseum on here for months. If that is not trying, what is?

Will I pay to attend a meeting to say what I have already been saying on their own forum? No. Then again, if I want to make a suggestion to a restaurant or dry cleaner or movie theater I am not expected to pay to travel to them at their convenience. In 2012 there are plenty of other ways to communicate, if they are interested.

And why were you shouting? Anger issues?
Oct. 12, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1976 posts
Because you appear to be deaf. You are afraid to go face anybody because of the way you have disparaged everyone here. Pathetic. Hiding behind the keyboard.
Oct. 13, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
17Black you make some reasonable points but I'm not certain I would consider traveling out of town just to play a ball tourney a "vacation", irregardless if it was in Las Vegas or anywhere else. To me it's similar to going on a business trip. You have a schedule of meetings, appointments with clients or potential clients, perhaps taking them out to lunch, dinner or an event of some sort.
To me a vacation would be going to a place like Vegas, Florida, Hawaii, Jamaica, Aruba, Cancun or any other host of places and being able to relax and do what you want to do when you want to do it. jmho
Oct. 13, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
219 posts
stick8:------I 100% agree with you, I consider softball tournaments like business trips, take care of business first, then take the rest of the trip as it comes.

I can't speak for everybody who plays softball---------BUT---------I know 100%++-----including multiple guys on one of my teams-------- a lot of softball players go to places like VEGAS Tournaments (World or other) and don't think like us.

Some want to get to the all you can eat buffet or a show, and don't want to be at night games there. The town is open 24/7 but some individuals have different agenda's.

Vegas itself, was a tool to get more teams to come out there for Worlds. Like big conventions do too. More people, more hotels filled, more people bringing $$$$ to spend.

No disrespect to anybody, but if the tournament were in Cleveland (Where I live) Topeka, Fairbanks, Des Moines and a hundred dozen other places, you won't get 450++++ teams there in the fall.

Great Marketing move by SSUSA. Probably could have kept Winter Worlds there too? I am curious to see how many teams come to Phoenix next month as opposed to Vegas Winter Worlds in past years.
Oct. 13, 2012
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
stick8 and 17Black, nice analogy to a business trip. I have had some enjoyable meals on a business trip, some fun sight-seeing, a nice change of pace, but the focus was business. I have also spent all my time on such a trip at the job site, working in my hotel, or on the phone, and grabbed a hamburger and took no time to sightsee.

When I was in Vegas last week, I planned no show visits, spent little time in the casino, ate when I could (often at odd hours) and made one planned trip to the Bellagio for the fantastic buffet lunch (and that was on my way to the airport). My focus was on softball and my plans revolved around the games and the unpredictable schedule once past the seeding round. I made sure to get my rest and to hydrate to be at my best for the next day's competition. The only exception was our team dinner which I considered part of our team bonding commitment.

I will add that our team's experience was very good—great fields, excellent umps (but for one rookie who didn't know SS rules very well), and no bizarre scheduling like finishing after midnight with a game at 8:00 the next morning. We didn't win, but enjoyed ourselves. From reading other comments, I can see that not everyone was happy, and with good reason as SSUSA has explained and apologized for.
Oct. 13, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
17Black and Omar, my better half learned right away never to make any concrete dinner or entertainment plans on weekends I play ball!!
Oct. 13, 2012
boston
299 posts
I am sure Vegas caused alot of personal internal turmoil to some players. One of my biggest issues with teammates was their lack of commitment to the overall picture, winning a championship. I could not believe the lack of commitment or responsiblity of some of these 50 plus players. As grown men we must and should accept our weaknesses. Stop deceiving your teammates with ur false sense of responsibility and commitment. I have no problem letting guys know sorry I love you guys but I could not help you in Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas etc. I would not be focused on the games.
Oct. 14, 2012
miken44
78 posts
guys hopefully next year my team and teammates will get to vegas there will be one reason only for me to go and that is to play ball everything else will have to take a back seat the only goal for me is to win a worlds my wife who goes with me understands that this is where we are going and what we are going for i do appreciate and love her she knows there is time for us also but not when we go to play ball who knows how much longer any of us have the time to keep playing
Oct. 15, 2012
stattad
Men's 65
168 posts
I agree that we need a 3-game seed. As for the calculating of the tie-breakers for seeding purposes, I gave Terry H. a simple Excel program that will calculate it in seconds. The problem is that Dave may be the only TD that owns a laptop.
Oct. 15, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
stattad, I'm sure you remember that they used to have 3 seeding games, but the tournaments started on Thursdays. Don't want to go there again!
Oct. 16, 2012
SSUSA Staff
1223 posts
Seems like it's time to recycle this one again, for the fourth time - REPRINT OF MESSAGE BOARD POST FROM 2006, 2011 and 2012 ON TOPIC:

There are three principal reasons SSUSA adopted (in 2006) the two Round Robin into Three-Game-Guarantee Bracket (2RR/3GG) format for brackets of five or more teams –

1. A strong majority of teams believe that the ‘real’ tournament begins only when the elimination bracket begins, regardless of its structure. The 2RR/3GG format gets teams into the brackets earlier and keeps them there longer, meeting that majority belief while still complying with the five game guarantee offered in SSUSA events.

2. The 2RR/3GG format requires less total games than the former 3RR/DE structure. With the growth in the number of teams being at a faster rate than the availability of new playing facilities, ‘every game counts’ in scheduling.

3. In any division with an odd number of teams playing a three-game seeding, one of those teams must play an “exhibition” game that doesn’t count in the standings, but constitutes that team’s fourth game prior to the bracket. Almost all teams that draw that extra game believe it is unfair. There are no “exhibition” games in the 2RR/3GG format.

Remember that the 2RR/3GG format is not a triple-elimination bracket. This format simply does what its title indicates: It guarantees each team three games in the bracket, regardless of the outcome of their first two games. This guarantee is accomplished by feeding any potential loser of their first two games back into the Elimination Bracket, where they remain alive and eligible to win the Championship. Therefore, the timing of when games are won or lost, and their practical effect, is important.

As is the case with any bracket type, the easiest path to the Championship is remaining ‘above the line’ in the Winner's Bracket, and in the 2RR/3GG format, after you have played two games in the Bracket, it’s an excellent idea to keep winning! Quirks can, and do, arise in any format, but this 2RR/3GG has been both efficient and almost universally well received since its introduction at the Cal Cup in 2006. The 3GG format is also the industry norm for the ASA, NSA, USSSA and several other softball associations.

Oct. 16, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
The format works OK when there are 10-12 teams, but not with 49 teams. A 49 team bracket makes the losers bracket too big. If you add more teams then the losers bracket just gets larger.

Having teams play 14-16 games in 3 days is too many games. Plus having teams play until 1:15am and then start their next game in 6 1/2 hours later is excessive.

I am not a bracket expert, but there has got to be a better way.

JMO
Oct. 16, 2012
southernson
259 posts
In the 2 RR/3GG, mathematically as the brackets are laid out it is possible that a team who loses 2 games is still playing, yet another team who also loses 2 games is going home. At the end of the 3GG, both teams have a record of 1-2.

That's a tough one to explain as "fair".



Oct. 16, 2012
DaveDowell
Men's 60
1056 posts
Doorman ... The 2RR/3GG format ALWAYS requires less aggregate games over the 3RR/DE format in any bracket over 4 teams. In the case of your 49-team bracket, the 3RR/DE format would have required 171 total games (74-RR and 97-DE) as opposed to the 162 total games (49-RR and 113-DE) your division played. Yes, there were 16 more games in the elimination bracket, the result of the 'feed-back' of the 16 losers of first round elimination bracket games, but there were 25 less RR games, and one of those not-so-lucky teams would have had to play a 4th RR 'exhibition' game to get one other team their 3rd. While your hypothesis of a larger elimination bracket is correct, finding 9 more games slots (171 - 162) for the 3RR/DE format was impossible without scheduling even later into the night.

For the future, we are evaluating, with the luxury of 20-20 hindsight, maybe breaking up these super-large brackets into 'pods' and keeping the 'pods' separate and self contained until later in the day Saturday before 'merging' the bracket back together for the finish. We're open to constructive commentary and basically no reasonable suggestion will be dismissed without analysis. Thanks!

southernson - Please re-read the second to last paragraph of our message immediately above. The 3GG bracket format does simply what it says in its title: guarantees 3 games in the bracket. Any team that has played 3 games, and has lost 2 of those, may or may not still be in the tournament. It pays to study the bracket ahead of time to determine when it may be "ok" to lose a game if you're not going to stay 'above the line' in the Winners' Bracket. One thing is certain: If you have played 2 games, and are 1-1 in those games, every game the rest of the way is an 'elimination game' for your team.

Oct. 16, 2012
southernson
259 posts
Dave,
Appreciate the note, and I did read the SSUSA message.

It's better to be 0-2 in the 3GG guarantee and win, than go 1-1 and lose. Both teams have equal records (1-2) at the end of the 3GG but are not treated equally.

When teams have equal records (1-2) in the 3 games, one would assume equal treatment, but that's not what occurs in this scenario.

Both paid the same entry fee, played on the same fields, supposedly played with the same rules, and have the EXACT SAME W-L record in the 3GG, but one team is in the car, and one team is on the field.

That's called TRIPLE ELIMINATION for some, and DOUBLE ELIMINATION for others.

It's a major flaw in the current process, one I'd like to see SSUSA address and remedy.....instead of ignore as if it doesn't exist.

Thanks...
Oct. 17, 2012
Doorman
35 posts
Dave, splitting up the super large brackets into smaller pods is a good idea. The bracket might look similar to the NCAA basketball bracket.

When splitting up the teams into different pods, consider which teams won tournaments during the year and divide them equally into the different pods.

Also, you might want to consider limiting how many teams can play in each division so it is easier to plan. Maybe only 48 teams can play in the tournament and TOC winners should get an automatic spot in the bracket...if they want it.

I am sure you guys will figure out something. Thanks for the reply.
Oct. 17, 2012
DaveDowell
Men's 60
1056 posts
Thanks Doorman ... All good suggestions worthy of further internal analysis! ... We will, likely, try to avoid limiting bracket size, other than by firmly enforcing entry deadlines, like we did this year ... The 'pod approach' makes the most sense so far ...

Historically, at the World Championships, somewhere around 15-20% of the entries come in during the last 10 days! ... By that time, it's too late for us to limit the field without causing serious hardship on players who might take a hit for canceling air/hotel/rental car reservations ... Maybe the answer in the bigger events is to make the entry deadlines earlier than we have now (typically 2 weeks) ...

In any event, keep tossing out ideas! ... We're nowhere close to having all the answers ... Thanks!

Oct. 18, 2012
PlanoPlayer
Men's 55
71 posts
For what it is worth, my opinion is that the 2/3 is a far more preferred format than the 3/2. I wish SPA would go to the 2/3 for their national championships.
Oct. 18, 2012
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
Dave, here is my 2 cents worth:
1. 2/3 format is fine, but the 0-2 teams should play each other to have the opportunity to advance in the tournament and it should be an extra game that puts them in the back of the losers bracket. In other words, they get no advantage in moving up further in the losers bracket by playing this extra game than any other one loss team. This would also help address southerson's concern about two 1-2 teams not getting the same treatment. If one of the 0-2 teams won against another 0-2 team they would be 1-2 then when they played another 1-1 team in the losers bracket, the winner of that game would have the better record (either 2-2 vs 1-2 or 2-1 vs 1-3).
2. Pods are OK if needed. In the AAA bracket in Vegas, I think the biggest problem was determining the seeds into the bracket. If this had been done on time it would have eliminated a lot of the delays. As others have suggested, do it with computers. A computer with the right software could do this in 10 minutes. I could write an excel macro for you that could handle this if you want help. Another delay was having fields double-booked with a coed tournament. How does this happen in a nation tournament?
3. I really don't think pods are necessary, but if you do break the bracket up in pods, try to separate teams by geography as much as possible. We are a team from Austin Texas and this year we got a bye in the first round. Our first game in the bracket was the winner between a team from Austin and Houston. We have played both of these teams many times this year.
4. Tournament size. If you have enough fields, don't limit the size. If you get into the loser's bracket early then you really don't have a reason to complain about playing a lot of games. A premium should exist for staying in the winners bracket and you should not make it easier for a loser's bracket team to win.
5. Also post the bracket game times and fields for the first games for each team once the seeds have been determined on your website. In this day and age it is unreasonable to require all teams to be at one field at 2PM to find out their game times, especially how it worked out this year with all the delays.
Oct. 18, 2012
MurrayW
Men's 50
92 posts
Oh and Dave, I forgot to add. Thanks for listening to our feedback!
Oct. 18, 2012
taits
Men's 65
4365 posts
Devils advocate;
Eliminate the seeding or pool games. Double elimination with only 3 games guaranteed from the start.
Cut cost about a third and save a day or two of expenses for everyone.
Oct. 18, 2012
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
394 posts
IMO garyheifner kind of nailed it in his post above. I pasted his post below and know our team feels the same way.

=========================

5" game Guarantee-simple

1. All the guys get to play.

2. What senior is going to to spend $1200+ for a Vegas package plus food and and x-tras drop 2 and be done on day one of a four day tourney. What, sit around the pool for three more days and then fly home. Two and done would turn Vegas into a west coast tourney. Two and done would kill the smaller qualifers. You go to qualifers to get in "5" games and practice, which according to Gary 19 will make you better and so can win the World Championship.

3. Played a bunch of U-Trip in my day and most of the bigger tournies were teams within driving distance. Drop 2-check out and go home. Vegas is a different story, especially for anyone east of the Mississippi.

Oct. 19, 2012
southernson
259 posts
Taits,
You have the right formula....I agree!
Oct. 20, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1976 posts
At my age, I know the end of my career may not be too far away, and I want to play as much as I can until God tells me it's over. However, the logistics of this tournament, unless the field situation changes and we get access to all the fields we need, may be dictating a different formula to make a successful tournament. Maybe for this one tournament, a ONE game seeding might work. Base it on 1. Runs allowed, 2. margin of victory, and 3. Flip of a coin (would have to be exact same score to be needed). The do a straight double elimination and make it a 3 game guarantee. In a 32 team bracket, 8 teams would play the minimum of 3 games. In a 48 team bracket, it is possible a couple of the 16 bye teams also could only play 3 games, but the overall figure of teams playing only 3 games would be well under 25% of the teams entered. In a World Tournament like this, That sounds fair to me.
Enviro-Vac-believe me-as one who was paycheck to paycheck most of my life, and even sold furniture when I was young to go to tournaments (my wife hated that), I understand the $1200 for a packet to play 3 games, but, seriously---WHO GOES TO VEGAS AND SITS AROUND THE POOL FOR 3 DAYS? Seems like there might just be SOMETHING to do!!!!! :-)
Oct. 20, 2012
Al33
Men's 55
183 posts
Southernson - You are exactly correct about the major flaw in the 2/3 process. That is exactly what happened to two teams in Raleigh this year. It's wrong and shouldn't try to be justified.

Garyheifner - Ditto what you said above. It certainly was much different when we were younger. There were way more tournaments all over the place where you could play every weekend if you wanted. All within an hour or two at most. So two and screw wasn't a big deal. You were close to home and it didn't cost alot of money.

The organization keeps insisting on refering to data that seems to have been tabulated in 2005 about the "vast majority" of teams liking the 2/3 format. So the change was made in 2006. Well friends, that was 7 years ago. It's been more than enough time to see the flaws and shortcomings of the format. Might be time to think about revisiting the concept since maybe the "vast majority" of those teams might not even exist anymore.

When I went to school and lost two games to put me at 0-2 but remained to play again only to lose and end up 0-3, no matter how you look at it or try to explain it - it's TRIPLE ELIMINATION.

stattad - You are correct. In this day and age no TD should be witout a laptop. None of that stuff should be done by hand. Technology allows for simple plug and play data results. There's certainly enough money collected for each TD to be supplied with a laptop. At least they could give them $50 bucks toward the purchase of one, or make it an "option to buy a laptop" tournament.

Webbie25 - At all our ages we should be looking to play as many games as we can. You never know when the last one will be.
Oct. 21, 2012
Allan55
79 posts
The reason many of us got into senior softball was to play. I know the games went long this year...okay too long at times. However, eliminating seeding games or triple elimination games cuts into playing time. That is what most of us are here for. Remember...most of the teams didn't even make it to Saturday night.

Since most players want to keep the existing rules, I would like players to consider something else. I feel adding an additional fielder would make the game more challenging. I know the pitcher would feel safer. Most teams bat everyone in seeding games or more than ten. Would teams be in favor of adding an additional fielder just for seeding games or for the entire tournament? This would reduce game times (not dramatically) and get more players involved. Getting players involved is what senior softball is all about.
Oct. 21, 2012
garyheifner
360 posts
Allen55

You have a good point. That x-tra infielder up the middle is a game changer especially with the 70' bases. However, If that did happen, the rule must state that that x-tra guy must align on the dirt somewhere. I could easily see teams, (with macho I get get anything hit pitchers,) playing 5 outfielders which kills the safety factor for the pitcher aspect and it can get real hard to get a hit. I play in a dlb. header pick up league that has some great players and we use the 11th guy up the middle. It really cuts down on scoring and the games do move along.
Oct. 22, 2012
RIK56
Men's 50
120 posts
If you went to an extra fielder on the infield would some teams go to a 6 man infield.
Oct. 22, 2012
Jawood
Men's 50
794 posts
I have actually like the idea of 11 players as the norm, instead of 10.
Oct. 22, 2012
Duke
Men's 60
714 posts
If an 11th player rule is put into effect in the future, there cannot be a rule that states where a fielder must play. So many infielders play on the grass now. I played on a team where the 2nd baseman plays 25-30 feet on grass in right center. Are you going to force these players to play on the dirt too? Just not going to happen. I believe the 70's and older teams play 11 fielders, and there are no restrictions where anyone plays on the field. Some play an extra infielder, some play a short outfielder, and some play 5 outfielders.

Jusy my opinions and observations,

Andy Smith,
60 Major
Oct. 22, 2012
#19
Men's 60
252 posts
Why don't we play with 12, 13, 14 players? ... Enough to cover all the holes! ... That way, all the proverbial bases will be covered!!! ... Ridiculous!

#19
Oct. 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Would this be yet another whacky rule change to compensate for the special bats?
Oct. 22, 2012
Duke
Men's 60
714 posts
I wanted to add one more point about having the 11th player on defense. Although it does alter the game, but not as much as the great bats available to us all. The bats are not going away, because if they were banned, then we will get what the young kids play with in their leagues, shaved and painted bats. With all the balls being hit over the fence by 50 players, 55 players, 60 players, 65 players, and 70 players; it has just gotten absolutely out of control. The 11th player will not alter that part of the game too much, except that I actually think with the younger players, it will increase the amount of balls being retrieved over the fence.

Just my opinions,

Andy Smith,
60 Major
Oct. 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I suppose we should not "ban" murder because people still commit it?
Oct. 22, 2012
stattad
Men's 65
168 posts
I would love to see 11 fielders all the time (not 12, 13, or 14!). I think anything that would bring batting averages down along with runs would be great. Runs are not PRECIOUS in softball; OUTS are. That's why a lot of teams count sacrifice flies as a time at bat. It almost always favors the defense.
Oct. 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Banning the special bats would bring averages and runs down without needing more whacky rules to screw up the game. Funny how no one ever seems to want to deal with that possibility.
Oct. 22, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Gary, using only USSSA or ASA approved bats would likely bring out more of an emphasis on defense, especially at the AAA and AA levels. What also might result is players shaving their bats just to hide their inefficiencies in hitting. I've even heard some seniors shave their senior bats!! Sadly, the integrity of this game is slowly eroding away.
Oct. 22, 2012
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
When I started playing softball, there were 9 fielders, just like in hardball. Of course, with the conditions current then, many fields were around 250 feet (some even shorter) so three outfielders could cover.

Then came the innovation of adding another fielder. We called it a buck short. On most teams, we played the buck short wherever we thought the batter would hit. Even if it didn't work to stop a single, it often took away the hitter's favorite spot. Home runs were so infrequent, that they were not a major factor.

Then came the standardization of four fielders where most teams (because of the rapidly enlarging fields to accommodate the hot bats and balls) didn't play a fielder close to the infield, but helped cover gaps by playing back.

And now as an older player, I am on teams where four fielders are standard, but we are also allowed a fifth fielder, usually guarding the middle behind the pitcher. The game evolves. But as Gary19 notes, much of this would not be necessary were it not for the super-hot bats and the resulting enormous fields (who is going to cover 325 foot fences with only 3 fielders—they've have to be cheetahs to cover that much territory (or members of the Super Major Longhorns). This is a kind of evolution that I don't enjoy because it is distorting the game and diminishing the importance of running, fielding, and strategy. It's all about offense.
Oct. 22, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Omar, is "buck short" synonomous with "rover"?
Oct. 22, 2012
boston
299 posts
I would vote to get rid of the senior bats before adding an extra fielder and bastardizing the game anymore. If players took defense a bit more seriously maybe the scores wouldn't be so bad. Most teams can barely field 10 guys committed to playing quality defense, how is adding another marginal fielder going to change anything.
If u add an 11th fielder let's widen the field and have a Canadian football type field. Even better whoever is in the lineup after the 11th batter has to play the field. This is absolutely laughable. I need a beer. Go Cardinals!!!


"Stay thirsty my friends"
Oct. 22, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
So many guys now don't/won't even run bases for themselves, how is another guy going to go out on the field and play defense?

stick and boston make good points!
Oct. 22, 2012
garyheifner
360 posts
Boston

What makes you possibly think seniors don't take defense seriously. Not only did my team make many great plays in Vegas and during the season, the opponents did it to us. Even had a 3rd baseman against us who couldn't react to a hard liner with his glove reach out and catch it barehanded. Still trying to figure out how he did that.

Opps wait! Maybe you weren't in Vegas like Gary 19. I failed to see a single player (opponent) this year who didn't try hard on defense Don't let your comments sink to the level of Gary 19's irrelevent crap.
Oct. 22, 2012
spoonplugger
Men's 60
58 posts


I can remember a " short center fielder "
50 years ago.
There were no super bats then.
Give it up ALG.
Oct. 22, 2012
Olden Slow
Men's 65
175 posts
boston and Gary19...To put all Seniors in the "no defense..no running " is just plain assinine..I can only speak for myself but I pride myself on defense and my ability to run..I'm 64, run 25-30 miles a week..and I always run for myself..I know several guys that I play with in Az that are the same...I agree with one thing..adding one more fielder is just a crutch and solves nothing long term...I've said before..The bats are a non issue for me..I'm not much of a power hitter so I rely on my speed and ability to hit the gaps..I just play by the rules that are there..Just my .02..
Tom
Oct. 22, 2012
Allan55
79 posts
Garyheifner,
I feel you have to let the 11th player play anywhere on the field.

RIK56,
I agree with you. Some teams would play a six man infield.

Boston,
You indicated that adding an additional player in the field would ruin the game. In my estimation, the ridiculous bats did that. Since the bats are not going away, something else needs to offset the bats. That's why an additional player was brought up. I have also suggested using balls that were not as forgiving as the rock. However, I am willing to listen to constructive comments.

Gary19,
You commented on the additional player being a "whacky rule change." I think the first whacky rule change occurred when senior softball allowed the bats. You know what they say...one whacky rule change leads to another.

#19,
You mentioned you were against using an additional player. Does that mean when you play 70's you will retire? I understand 70's use an additional player.

I appreciate the constructive comments.
Oct. 23, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Gary, you are always sooooo proud of playing in Vegas. The highlight of your month? Year? Life? What tourney did you win to qualify to attend? Please don't tell me all you had to do was open your checkbook.

Seniors don't take defense seriously by noticing the ratio of BP sessions to defensive practices. 20:1? 50:1? 100:1?

Olden, please notice I said "many guys", not all.

Allan, I have been saying that for months on here. The bats have caused so much, but the prideless amongst us will never give them up. I understand that, but just hate to see more silly/stupid/whacky rules to accommodate them.
Oct. 23, 2012
boston
299 posts
Gary Heifner: Not going to Vegas does not disqualify me from voicing my opinion. I have played in Worlds for 6 years. I chose not to go, due to my own lack of committment to playing in a place like Vegas. Which I made very clear in previous posts. It is not due to a lack of ability, skill or conditioning, just committment. I have found playing USSSA with my son, watching my daughter play college basketball and coaching and watching my grandson play baseball a bit more fullfilling and important these past couple of years than attending senior tourneys.
I have played dozens of senior tourneys in the past and saw plenty of players half ass it on defense. The only thing I agree with you on is, I shouldn't have painted all seniors with such a broad bush. The reality still is, there are seniors that look at defense as a nonfactor. This is probably due to the fact you can only score a certain amount of runs per inning. It is your perogative to disagree with me, as it is mine to disagree with you.

Allan55: I agree about the use of the "Rocks". I have actually protested the use of these balls at a senior tourney. I was concerned about the dangers to my fellow seniors due to my experience with these balls in USSSA. Your correct about the bats not going away. But I am adament about the use of an 11th fielder hurting the game for the younger seniors. I think the run rule has offset the bats as much as anything w/o turning the game into a middle or high school PE kickball game.

"Stay thirsty my friends"
Oct. 23, 2012
Olden Slow
Men's 65
175 posts
gary19 : Noted..boston: Your priorities are correct..I missed a few tourneys this year due to my granddaughters tennis tourneys..That always takes first priority...Family is always first...
Oct. 23, 2012
garyheifner
360 posts
Gary 19

No, Vegas is not the highlight of my life. However, I do have to place an asteric next to my life having the guts to go to the world's and 10-11 other tournies each year and place my abilities and competitive nature against the best players in the USA. I might note that this is my 50th year of doing the above. Better than sitting around at a key board and posting irrelevant garbage.

In regards to your question, when our team practices, during batting practice the infielders stand in the infield and pratice grounders and the outfielders run down flys. We then usually have a good round of infield practice, dlb plays throws from the outfield, cut offs etc. So I will place it at 50/50 hitting to defensive practice. Obviously defensive practice is kinda hard when we can't find an open infield surface at tournaments. We also stress verbal communication during live ball situations which many teams are weak on.

P.S. My team never played a single tourney at full strength this year. Guys missed due to injuries, operations, birthdays. weddings, church activities, class reunions etc.
Oct. 23, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
If you guys do that, great!

Now seriously, do you think many other teams do nearly as often as they take BP?
Oct. 23, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1976 posts
Tony-I know what you are talking about, but I do disagree with the defense part. This year at M+ everybody worked hard on "D". We were a little short of healthy players at times, but everyone hustled, dove and did the best they could because they knew one error could lead to a bunch of runs. Pete Houghton made many excellent diving catches in the outfield. Bainbridge ran around on a leg that belonged in the Mayo Clinic for study. Admittedly it was a lot different than AAA, because you have so many more 'all around players'. I saw several of my teammates a bit bloodied from diving and giving 100% on defense. Corky Northrup and Ron Danoski made excellent diving plays at third and first, and came up pretty bruised, but that is the game to them, and all of us. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Gary19-the highlight of your year?? Getting someone to respond to you and your disparaging remarks on here. Pretty puny.
Oct. 24, 2012
NYTX
Men's 55
13 posts
I think having an 11th fielder is an outstanding idea. I have felt that way since I started playing 6 years ago. It should be left to the teams as to whether they want to add an infielder or outfielder. Each team has different strengths and weaknesses so they should decide where they want to add the defender. There should be no restriction on where the extra fielder wants to stand. It would make the game better for sure.
Oct. 25, 2012
southernson
259 posts
11th player??? What's that gonna do???? Make the game go faster?? Shorten games?? Make the pitcher feel safer??? Sure, put him right in front of the pitcher with a mask, shingards, and a big damn shield. Fughetabouit...now. We're friggin over 50+, we don't move as fast, we don't change innings as fast, and the senior bats have nothing to do with that. Quit blaming the bats for everything, any two dead brain cells can do that....and they have on this board, over and over. There are other solutions to help the game go faster...
Oct. 25, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"We're friggin over 50+, we don't move as fast"

Good point, though I then don't understand why the oldest, slowest group still playing the game needs to try and play defense against bats only seniors can use.

Want the game to go faster, though really what is the hurry in most cases? Try a little hustle on and off the field.
Oct. 25, 2012
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
We're over 50, don't move as fast. A lot of us are over 60 and REALLY don't move as fast. Some of us are over 70 and moving fast is relative. So what are we faced with?

Enormous fields for outfielders to cover. 300 foot fences are the norm and a lot of the new fields are now 315, 320, even 325. Why such large fields? Because of the hot bats now illegal (but common) for youngsters and the senior bats approved for over 50. Having a fifth fielder (used to only need 3 fielders when fields were smaller and bats didn't hit as far) can help compensate for aging, slower legs.

Infield gaps where the hot bats shoot the ball through the holes before infielders can react (with their lessened speed, remember?). These guys used to play at the bag (when it was 60 feet away) or maybe a little deeper. Now they play on the edge of the grass, hoping to give them more time to cover the hole on a grounder. And most pitchers can no longer field as well because the reaction time required to stop a ball coming 90+ mph is beyond most human abilities (do you remember when pitchers could field acceptably and the rubber was closer than 40 feet?). A sixth infielder can help compensate for aging reaction times and less quickness.

Take away the hot bat/ball combination, and there is much less need for that eleventh man, except perhaps with 65 and older.
Oct. 25, 2012
southernson
259 posts
11th player??? What's that gonna do???? Make the game go faster?? Shorten games?? Make the pitcher feel safer??? Sure, put him right in front of the pitcher with a mask, shingards, and a big damn shield. Fughetabouit...now. We're friggin over 50+, we don't move as fast, we don't change innings as fast, and the senior bats have nothing to do with that. Quit blaming the bats for everything, any two dead brain cells can do that....and they have on this board, over and over. There are other solutions to help the game go faster...
Oct. 25, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, no question 70s should not be treated like or have the same rules as 50s, which is another thing that has puzzled me about Senior Softball.
Oct. 25, 2012
stick8
1283 posts
Southernson if an 11th fielder was permanently added that would mean another fielder can committ errors which might affect batting averages!! lol
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