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Discussion: Why so few AA teams

Posted Discussion
Nov. 11, 2012
boston
306 posts
Why so few AA teams
I was wondering why there are so few AA teams in all age groups? I have noticed that in the tourneys listed on this site when they post brackets. In fact, I noticed for Winter Worlds there are zero 50AA teams listed. Unless I missed it.
Nov. 11, 2012
Capt Kirk
408 posts
Just an observation, we played in Las Vegas as 60's Mens AAA team, there were 38 teams in our bracket, we were a lower tier AAA team, I would estimate out of the 38 AAA teams, probably 10 of those teams sb AA. I know that SSUSA has an appeal process, but it is based on a formula and not necessarily on how a team performs against the best teams.
Capt
Nov. 11, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
222 posts
Just my personal opinion: In short, the equipment makes too many guys long ball hitters now. AA is one homer and then outs after that-------upper divisions more homers and one up rules.

Being honest here, I stopped playing with the kids when I was 42, and took several years off. Played mostly B & C back in USSSA/NSA/ASA days in 80's and 90's.

When i got invited to play with an Over 50 League team, it was nice just to get out and play after work a couple nights a week. My League Team from Ohio made an annual pilgramage to Vegas for Winter Worlds every year in AA (different age groups)

When I first made a trip to Vegas I had no idea what AA/AAA/Major/Major Plus was in SSUSA or any other organization, just knew I was going to a softball tournament, and was happy about that.

My first year in Vegas (2009) Myself and a team-mate were doing everything we could to NOT hit homers over the fence. Didn't have that problem in Ohio with the ball and etc we were using.

Between us we had multiple homers almost every game, wound up coming in 2nd Place in 50AA, but SOOooooomany homers were outs. I personally knocked myself off the All Winter World Tournament Team but having 5/6 homers for outs knock my batting average down too far.

That being said, Myself and my team-mate realized we were not AA players.

My belief is AA is designed to be the "true" recreational softball division now, and the rules are making it to keep home run hitters out of it. I "believe" the ONE homer limit is a TOKEN just incase the wind is blowing out and some guy who never hits homers accidentally knocks one out.

Nothing the matter with AA, I did it in Vegas for two years, games were competitive in Over 50AA----I had a blast, and everybody still plays to win------I too am shocked there are no 50AA's in Phoenix.

Now I play 50AAA and "most possibly" Major next year.

Nov. 11, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
222 posts
Today (Sunday) in Northern Ohio its going to be "touching" 70 degree and sunny.

I am actually going this afternoon to take some swings with a 55AA team that is leaving for Phoenix Wednesday.
Nov. 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
17Black, who is playing 55AA round here?

As far as the number of AA teams, I would think that at our ages if you are just a AA team perhaps you have realized that tournaments and the associated expenses are just not for you. It can be very costly to be playing the lowest level at an advanced age, and in all honesty to say you won in the lowest of four levels just really isn't saying very much.

Levels like AA, or for the kids D or E, were meant to be for young guys and teams just starting out to work their way up from. Not to be lifers.

It just reminds me of public housing. Used to be for people to have temporary homes until they could get back on their feet and work their way out of them. Now generations of families are content to just stay in them forever, and unfortunately the government allows it....:(

Nov. 11, 2012
jsheeran
Men's 50
41 posts
To say you won at any level really is saying very much.....congrats to all AA winners.
Nov. 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Sort of. But clearly winning at the lowest level does not say as much as winning at the three higher classes. Just doesn't. Can't.

All I am thinking is, as guys get older and wiser, they realize that it might not be worth it for 12th graders to spend that much time and money to pursue freshmen tournament championships. Just a thought.
Nov. 11, 2012
birdie
Men's 60
683 posts
You know what Gary 19 it maybe be the JV of senior ball but they still play tournaments and waste their money. You just do not get it and you never will. We play because we can and choose to. You do not play tourney ball only run your mouth about the negatives. You take the opposite side of ever discussion.
Nov. 11, 2012
jsheeran
Men's 50
41 posts
Winning at the AA level sure says as much. AA is not a freshman championship, it's a AA championship; won based on AA rules against other AA teams. Now if all 4 levels played in an open tournement with a multiple homer rule then yes maybe a AA level team would not find it worth it.
Nov. 11, 2012
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
Boston - More and more teams seem to be getting moved to AAA than in the past from AA.
In 70+ SPA Nationals there were very few AA teams. However we only had 11 AAA teams.
I am not sure if there are less teams or most teams are getting rated at AAA.

The AA rated teams in most cases are very good teams.

Good question.

James
Nov. 11, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Harry, no opposite at all, just an honest response to boston's opening post.

Why won't anyone here open their eyes to possibilities?

jsheeran, it clearly is the lowest level of senior softball, no question about that. Just as freshmen ball is the lowest level of high school competition. Quite a valid analogy.

crusher, if they are indeed "very good" then they are quite likely sandbagging in AA. If the lowest level legitimately has "very good" teams then what would you call the teams above them? By simple and clear definition they must be worse, or the system is flawed.
Nov. 11, 2012
boston
306 posts
Gary19: I would not say it is freshman or JV ball. I would say it is more like playing for a smaller school than a larger one. maybe AA is like NCAA Div. 3. AAA is Div. 2, majors is Div. 1AA, and major plus is Div 1A. This would be a more appropriate analogy and less insulting. I have played AA to play with my less talented buddies. I have competed against major and major plus teams when I played AAA. But which ever level I play at my decision is based on not how talented the guys are but how much I enjoy playing with them.

I also play D and E in USSSA because I choose to. I got tired of the nonsense in the C div. Plus at 58, it is more about having a good time. Not that I don't play to win but it's not the most important thing. The world does not end if I don't win as it did when i was in my 20's, 30's and 40's.

"Stay thirsty my friends"
Nov. 11, 2012
garyheifner
361 posts
Boston

There seemed to be a rush move AAs to AAA. Even teams that have never won anything big. Gotta wonder if it is a long term move to eliminate AA. At the 65 AAA level in Vegas, you could have cut the field in half as there was a very noticable difference between the top 15 or so teams and the bottom teams.

Gary 19


Another stupid, ignorant comment by you. Winning AA doesn't mean anything???? If you weren't sitting on your ass in Cinn. and actually watched these guys give their all. Ah screw it, you aren't worth the time.

I will admit your dumb comments has brought attention to yourself. Wish I could post some of the opinions of you that I heard in Ft. Meyers as I hooked up with some regular posters. Don't want to get banned.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
boston, I can go with that analogy. To me the same logic would apply. I had a daughter who played D-3 soccer. Of course they played hard, enjoyed the game, and were happy when they won. But she was more than well-aware it was D-3 and not D-1, and that while winning was great the best D-3 team would get run off by the worst D-1. Just how it is.

When Mike Hargrove was managing the Indians he would say "reserves are reserves for a reason". Same here, D-3 is D-3 for a reason, and most likely AA is AA for a reason. Has nothing to do with effort expended, or love of the game, but talent, ability, and often but not always work ethic. My son played D-1 JUCO baseball for a bit, and they worked much longer and harder than the guys at my daughter's school. It is just the nature of the beast.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Oh, and going back to the original point, perhaps teams who are at a AA level do realize they are not on the upswing in their careers any longer and don't see the reward for the time and money. Just a thought, as it was when I first posted it.
Nov. 12, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1985 posts
And as usual your thoughts miss the point, Gary.

God did not create softball players equally. I know a lot of guys that are very enthusiastic and love the game and realize they are blessed to be able to play at this age, but their ability level is not on a par with other players. This gives them a chance to play and compete. Gary, in his infinite search for purity in the sport wants to see AA players play against M+ players. Do you also want to watch lambs up against wolves, Gary? You'd probably enjoy that, too. Most of those AA players would not play tournaments at all under those conditions. And to refer to them as you have here several times is repulsive, Gary. Just like you.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"repulsive"? I see you have put your panties and skirt on again this morning.

How have I referred to them? As not as good of teams as the classifications above them? What, is that some secret? That is the system. That is how it is supposed to work. So you must also be saying by SSUSA clssifying them as AA they are also treating them repulsively?

There is an order to everything, I understand that. MY POINT IS perhaps as teams realize they are just AA teams they don't see the same significance in tournaments or have the same willingness to spend both time and money as higher-ranked teams do. That was it, nothing more sinister than that.
Nov. 12, 2012
LP
294 posts
I think because of most of the teams play locally in there home stae, that is all that SSUSA or others have to rely on for a rating . But since the other teams that you play may not be as high of caliber as when you get to the worlds, you really dont know what you have as far as a rating goes. And gary19 is a Jerk for all of his comments.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Your skirt on today too?

A jerk for mentioning what everyone here knows, or should, that by definition AA is not the level of AAA, Major, or +? Is that really a surprise to any of you?
Nov. 12, 2012
bernie
Men's 55
64 posts
It is my understanding that all teams when new are rated AAA. So in order to become a AA team, you must have shown, in at least three tournaments, your inability to compete at the AAA level. You have had to take your lumps so to say in order to play AA. Funny though that there are very few AA teams at 50 or 55 in the northeast or mid-atlantic perhaps because most tournament teams are very competative.
Nov. 12, 2012
17Black
Men's 50
222 posts
G19: Got scouting report on you from the fall Medina League here in Ohio. Actually real good pitcher and hard puller at the plate???

Although we have never met and live 30 minutes away from each other, I politely disagree with the AA analogies above.

Answer to question 1------Shannon Fence from Lake County League is playing 55AA in Phoenix

Shannon is not a true "tournament team" in the sense but a group of 18 guys who LOVE softball, try the best they can in league play, and make about two tournaments a year.

SOFTBALL is what brought them all together and why they stick together. League play ended here in August, they have been hitting outdoors/indoors twice a week since then, getting ready to play AA in Phoenix-------guys work out together, go to dinner on weekends------lots of comraderie.

The team has not picked up any new players in the six full seasons I have known them, and they lost two players to cancer, god bless them, and nobody has quit the team.

They know AA is where they belong competitively, and thank you SSUSA and other organizations for allowing AA play.

As I stated above, I played in three AA tournaments before I figured it was time to move up. Everybody I played with and against was running/diving/batting/pitching and trying to win, just like upper levels.

Softball is a great activity. Any senior softball player reading these threads would have to agree if you told them 30 years ago they'd still be playing tournament (or) league ball, they'd say you were out of your mind.

I'd agree with the college football analogies above. There are different divisions for different ability levels. Sure it was fun here in Cleveland 30 years ago when every team in the city played in the ASA tournament regardless of ability. Certainly Mount Union knows they can't compete with Ohio State, that why there is D-IFBS and D-III.

Much like NCAA football, there are some guys in D-III, probably many in D-II and certainly a bunch at D-IFCS that could play at D-IFBS level. But thats not how the chips always fall.

The guys I know playing AA "live" for the winter world tournament experience and start planning six months in advance (maybe even as they are boarding the plane from last years tournament)

My point to your comment above is, if guys want to be "lifers" in AA, so be it-----quite frankly with their ability level, it is where they belong, they are not a AAA team by any means, and went 0-6 in a SPA tournament last year playing AAA level teams.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
17, thanks for the good words.

I understand what you are saying, and was not putting down AA but rather trying to provide a context as perhaps an explanation to boston on why AA participation might be low. That was it.

Of course, all of my "followers" took it and ran in all kinds of wrong directions, but that was really all I was doing with my posts.

Oh, and sorry to hear about your cancer victims. As a fortunate survivor I know it sucks really bad, and empathize with what happened and for their families.
Nov. 12, 2012
stick8
1300 posts
Gary whoever end up winning the AA world or national tournament it's a great accomplishment as jsherran elludes to. It's tough to win at any level. The issue that irks me are those teams that somehow try to skirt or get around the rules to stay at the same level the following year. If you win a world tournament move up to the next level next season!!
Nov. 12, 2012
DCPete
235 posts
It's not very complicated; AA teams that win get moved up to AAA but there aren't any "Single A" teams to be moved up to AA.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
So it sounds like AA teams only wind up being formerly new teams that came in at AAA and then got moved down.
Nov. 12, 2012
boston
306 posts
Gary 19; say it isn't so. You're just a pitcher with the kids. I thought you were like me a stud OF, SS, 2nd baseman. Damn, Anyone can play with young guys if they pitch, catch or EH. I'm disappointed man, I thought there was another oldie that played a real position with the kids. lol
Just kidding man, but I hope you don't just pitch and can play somewhere else. As much trash as you talk I truly thought you were like a stud SS or OF.
BTW my question was simple and required an informed, non combative response. You definitely have a knack of turning honey into shit. Are you sure your not an Obama liberal.
Nov. 12, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I more than earn my keep on the rubber.....:)

Wasn't being combative at all. I see the distinct possibility that guys, at our ages, who realize they might basically be AA teams just don't see the point or reward in playing a lot of tournament ball that has traditionally been for the best of the best. Or at least that is how it was around here back in our day when a lot of current seniors were in their primes.
Nov. 12, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1004 posts
Well Gary, I say it makes no difference what division you play in... play to win and enjoy what your doing... I think most aspire to play up so that leaves the lowest division lacking teams. Doesn't mean that you can't find some pride in competing and winning at that level! I say if you win at any level, you should be proud. If the world ran like Gary likes it there would be no hope for the 99.9 percent! Just think of your Shape Mr 46/36 5'8" If you were to rate your shape, you would be on the lowest scale, and should not compete with your shirt off! :-)
Nov. 13, 2012
Ceres
64 posts
A question was asked by Boston at the begining of this thread, "Why are there so few AA teams?" It was answered vey clearly by DCPete. All the other jibberish had nothing to do with the question. Let's go on to a different subject.
Nov. 13, 2012
miken44
78 posts
softball is softball no matter what division you play aa or major plus everyone still has hit run throw what 17 black said about shannon fence is true these guys should play AA and will probally win at AA they are a team with some older guys that still play because there is a place for them to compete so why should they be penalized because they do not play AAA i enjoy this game and i still go out and play with some guys who just play for the fun of it
Nov. 13, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Agree that Pete gave one possible explanation. No one here can say it is the complete reason, but certainly could be one of them.
Nov. 14, 2012
jsheeran
Men's 50
41 posts
Gary19: you said "and in all honesty to say you won in the lowest levels just really isn't saying very much" and then you said "was not putting down AA". It's a great accomplishment your daughter played D-3 but hopefully she hasn't overheard you speak so honestly about the lowest levels not being very much.
Nov. 15, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
AA is the lowest level, that is just fact. As is D-3. No putdowns there, just the truth.

I mentioned above that she knows it is not D-1, has no illusions it is. She does know it is more than many she played with and against in high school got to do. She is fine with all this.

I tried to raise my kids with a sense of perspective. After all, she was the first to tease me when she heard we got to play with the special bats. She gets perspective.
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