http://www.mikensports.com/

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

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

Online now: 1 member: Yankee Dog; 41 anonymous
Change topic:

Discussion: Divisions

Posted Discussion
Aug. 22, 2006
PattyMac
96 posts
Divisions
Why can't we just play softball like we used to when we started many years ago. The worst thing that has happened to softball over the years is dividing into divisions.

I suggest in the 50 and 55 division in senior softball that we make two groups. Competitive and recreational!

Put the 50 and 55 divisions together and have rules for each group. COMPETITIVE group will have 5 hr's then singles. No ultra II's, regular bats and great balls, 47 core. Touching states and no exception players.

RECREATIONAL Division will have no hr's, over the fence will be singles. Ultra II's can be used but 44 or worse balls.

Make each team decide. No more teams playing down. Any disputed teams let the TD make the decision.

No more griping about who is in your bracket. 50 and 55 can play together. There is not much difference in the age groups. It is my experience that anyone in the major plus or major, 50 or 55 can beat anyone at any time.

More teams at every tournament.

Just a suggestion.

PattyMac
Aug. 22, 2006
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
PattyMac

The trouble with no Ultra ll’s in your competitive division is that you’re giving the cheaters with their hot bats an advantage. That’s the one good reason for using the Ultra ll. You know you are at least getting a fair chance at equal bats.
Aug. 23, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
PattyMac, I like your idea about combining 50's and 55's with only two divisions.
I also agree with Ken about keeping the U2.

I'm in an agreeable mood today 8)
Aug. 23, 2006
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
Interesting topic PattyMac! I also enjoy the fact that Bruce is in such an agreeable mood....Ha Ha Just kidding Bruce.

My opinion is that 50's and 55's are enough of an age difference that they should have their age group seperate, at least in recreational play as you call it.

As for the upper division that is fine if 55's and 50's play together but the real problem is not the question of why can't we do this but how can associations do this?

This question goes back to the reason why we have the divisions today! To many senior softball associations fighting for team participation. It is a numbers game for the associations.

Just recently someone's suggested listing teams by events they planned on playing in. So I started a thread for that at:
http://p066.ezboard.com/ffloridahalfcenturysoftballmessageboardfrm18

To date hardly anyone has used it so I guess teams really don't care about knowing how many teams are in the major+ division at each tournament. The few of us playing Major+ are really the minority of the players in the senior game today so what happens to the minorities? We don't control anything when the majority rules!

I like the idea of setting up a Major+ circuit with major+ teams buying into it and only playing in that circuit. Audie came up with this idea after the joke in NSA this year. I think that could work if the teams in major+ really wanted it to.

Mike
Aug. 23, 2006
PattyMac
96 posts
We all know who can hit and who can't. We know who can hit hrs also. If someone is using a cheater bat let them be caught and expelled for life from senior softball. Thats right i said for Life!
Ultra II's are for those players who don't want to work at the game at the competitive level. Every player that i have talked to about this would rather hit a good ball than the ultra and a bad ball. Bad balls equal no fun. Even Bruce knows deep down that he would rather hit a good ball than a bad one with the ultra II.

Just trying to figure out how all players can get to play, because that is what it is all about getting to play.

PattyMac
Aug. 23, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2664 posts
You're right PattyMac. Last year when Ridge Hooks polled the team managers about hitting the U2 with 44/375's or 1.20 bats with 47/525's I voted on the latter.
Maybe a ban for life would make someone about using an altered bat.
Aug. 23, 2006
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
I agree with trying to get more players playing senior softball. I also agree that we have a problem with the Major+ division not having enough teams. Not an easy answer either.

However, changing bats, balls, etc., in my opinion is something that really keeps us from finding an answer instead of helping find an answer. I like the major+ circuit idea the more I think about it but it won't work if teams really don't want it to work.

The other thing that bothers me about all this is the fact that major+ players want to play just like all the so called, Major, AAA, AA, A players!!!! So what happens when there is not major+ program for seniors? Where do they play? THEY PLAY DOWN OF COURSE. So if you really want to stop all the complaining about major+ players playing down then find a solution to letting them play....

Suggestion Associations: Find an answer to this problem and the whole senior softball program becomes a greater program for all...........
Aug. 23, 2006
PattyMac
96 posts
SPA has the right idea with good balls. The balls used this year would be good with regular bats. Also giving each team 6 balls and chase your own hr balls was also good. I gave Ridge that idea at the winter nationals last year.

Like mike said we need to find a way to let everyone play. That was the reason for this post. Major plus players like to play as much as everyone else.

Mike and Bruce, see you in Vegas.

PattyMac
Aug. 24, 2006
jdawg10
1 posts
Personally, I 'd love to see softball revert back to the old days. Everyone put 10 bucks into the hat, pay the entry fee and you had a weekend of fun. Unfortunately the game became a business and what ten dollars use to get you now costs you Fifty. I still believe softball should be about competition and playing the game. Playing on a Major or Major Plus team has limited the amount of teams to compete against. So for that reason I'd love to see the sanctioning bodies revert to a competitive and recreational format. Perhaps it would widen the scope of the available teams to compete against.
The oddity seems to be more about the verbiage. When a team travels doesn't that makes them competitive ? At issue is and will continue to be how to draw the line between the two.
Combining the Major and Major plus divisions seems to be a no brainier. By limiting runs to five an inning and using the one up rule with home runs this would continue to level the playing field. Implement the Des Moines (SSWS) style bracketing for every tourney, as long as a team wins it stays up in the bracket. Loose, you move down. Go past the dotted line and its time to survive. If everyone buys into the spirit and integrity of competing, teams usually fall into the right bracket. I know it's not perfect but you have to admit you always played a lot of games.
Finally how do take the cheaters out of the game?
Answer: Each team must hit with the other teams bats. How messed up would that be ?
Actually this would work. Each team supplies one new U'2 in a wrapper at the beginning of each tournament. The tournament director would control the bat inventory. Placing three to four on each field for the duration of the tournament. How hot would these bats be by day two? Oh that's right, not very because they all break after 100 swings. But that’s ok. Because with lets say 40 teams in the tournament we would have ample supply. One breaks just replace it….
In a perfect world another solution would be to have the Bat manufacturers sponsor and provide the bats. At any rate everyone is swing the same product. Issued solved……but wait, what about those fifty year olds on steroids…lol

Just my opinion,
Regards,
Jdawg, Pilchers Ultimate 50's
Aug. 24, 2006
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
Working on setting up a circuit for anyone to play the game as serious senior softball players like to play it. The circuit would be a series of qualifiers for a world tournament at the end of the season. Teams have to commit to the program up front. Just one division per age group. More info will be coming out soon so all you serious senior softball teams and players get ready to put up or stop complaining about not having a place to play!!!! :-)

Mike Walker
Aug. 25, 2006
tcadmw1
Men's 55
62 posts
If you want to learn more about what is being discussed regarding this program then join the email group at:

http://mail.floridassa.com/mailman/listinfo/wsa_floridassa.com
Aug. 27, 2006
fastover50
6 posts
I agree with Bruce and Pat. Lets go back to 47 core balls. Then lets do what Audie suggest and get a circuilt of Major 50+ teams to play 6 or 7 tournaments a year and no regional restrictions. Put the teams together and let's play. Sea you guys in Las Vegas
Aug. 28, 2006
Fourfour
Men's 50
9 posts
I agree with most of the problems and suggestions. I think 2 divisons in each age would be sufficient. The solution I think that needs to be found is the proceedure for protesting a bat. Very few teams have the finances to put up the money to protest a bat. I recently had the misfortune of playing in the Manassas tournament a couple of weeks ago. I tried discussing the problem with the UIC there, he was very rude and insulting. He basically said that if I didn't have $350.00 to put up, I should shut up. Then he said my bat was probably illlegal "too." "TOO", meaning he knew there were illegal bats being used. I then offered to give him any bat in my bag for checking. It's quite a shame that people our age still find it necessary to cheat. We need to come up with a way of checking bats on the spot, and I agree, make the suspension for life. I'm not recommending the use of U2's, but that will, at least, even the playing field for the honest players. More restrictions widen the gap between the honest players and the cheaters. Until then, I guess the only thing we can do is avoid the tournaments that don't care about enforcement (like Manassas). I also found it amusing that they made me take the rubber cone off the handle of my bat, because it could be unsafe. But playing against an altered bat was MY problem.
Aug. 11, 2007
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
This is the plan that I submitted to the paper last month for their survey. It calls for only two divisions: "Major" and "AAA". In the Major division, if a team is deemed to be a step ahead of the norm in Major, you would call them Major-Plus, just for the purposes of handicaping them slightly. If a Major team plays a Major-Plus team, the Major team gets to play with 11 defensive players. No giving runs, they must be earned! The 11th player will take some of those hits away from the Major-Plus teams.

In the AAA division, it would be the same concept, with the teams deemed to be a step below AAA, called AA for the purposes of handicaping and they would get to use 11 defensive players against the AAA teams.

If a AAA team plays a Major-Plus team, if they chose to get into a Major tournament, they would get to use 12 players against a Major-plus team.

My thoughts, but the bottom line is there is too many classifications AND too many rings given out! What does it mean when EVERYONE has one!
Aug. 11, 2007
chollis
79 posts
Interesting topic guys. My thoughts are have Major Plus (which I think should be called Major) play unlimited homeruns and no adjoining states boundaries rule. Let the sponsors with money take the best players out of the players pool and put the best teams on the field that money can buy. This would reduce this division down to just a few national teams. Let them go play their own circuit. This is what the young guys do and there are really only 2 Major teams on the young circuit. They open their tournaments to the A, B & C teams and generally play with homerun limits but on bigger fields.

Have the major (which I think should be called A) division play with some type of homerun rule and with the adjoining state rule. There would be more players (ie more teams) available in this division because most former Major Plus teams would lose their best players to the national teams. These teams would have to move down to the major division. Make this your competitive division.

All other teams would be recreation division. Just my ,02 worth.

By the way, I'm OK with 1,20 bat and 44/375 balls. You make a good point about the Ultra's keeping the playing field level against cheater bats.
curt
curt
Aug. 12, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Recreational vs competative.
Besides the ways listed, one could use what is used in C0-ED & some Church league tournaments.
Rec teams pitch to their own team. Competative teams play as we normally do.
As for hitting the middle, it may prevent some illleciate acts to intentionally go at a pitcher, but accidents go happen, I got tagged by my best friend in a game that way, and he rarely went up the middle.
We should be using good balls any way.
Aug. 12, 2007
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
PATTY MAC: Over the past 5 yrs, I have seen this desire to have more MAJOR PLUS teams. I hope that some of the follow' my help:
1) Open Boarders or 2 players from outside ones Region. Use East or West of the Mississippi Rule.

2) Bats--SENIORS do not need HOT BATS. BATS, must pass the REVISED ASTM 1890 standards. Sorry, one reason why, SENIORS r hav' problems... & that is SENIORS think that SENIORS r Special & desire Special Rules & bats. Some players will cheat / BEND THE RULES, no matter what. NOT MORE SENIOR BATS.........

3) RINGS--- to be given in the MAJOR PLUS DIVISION only. This will make some of the SANDBAG' MAJOR teams move up. HERE IS A REAL EXAMPLE: In the Mid-West, there is a AAA - MAJOR player that has almost 20 WORLD RINGS...... NONE of HIS WORLDS, have been in MAJOR PLUS.

4) A good idea, let teams buy extra balls to hit. Thereforth, balls should be in good shape. But, again, here is another problem. If, a team buys extra balls & the other team does not..... what then??? We had a kids event & some teams did not bring balls to hit; but, wanted to hit the other teams Tournament BROUGHT BALLS?

5) NO more 3 - 4 days TOURNAMENTS.... Every day that I take off work, to play, cost me $300, or a lost personnal leave day.. Most SENIORS that r 50, 55, & 60, still work 4 a living.( So do many 65's. )

6) MAJOR PLUS GAMES: 75 minutes in R.R.; 90 minutes in Double Elems'; UNLIMITED H.R's; 4 the MAJOR DIVISON--60 min' in R. R.; 75 min' in D. Elems'.; 3 H.R's, & then 1 UP; This may give some teams REASONS tomove up that should be in MAJOR PLUS. I have played, in many Tourny's that MAJOR PLUS had 5 -7 H.R's & the MAJOR teams had 3 -4 H.R's.. the diff' was only 2-3 H.R's. My think' here... give teams a reason to play in the upper division. I AM SURE THAT THERE R MORE REASONS. A) RINGS B) H.R'S C) TIME LIMIT D) help me out w/ more reasons.

8) PLAYERS--- should be allowed to move once a yr from off a Team Rosterw/ out any reason. AA to AAA; AAA to MAJOR or MAJOR PLUS. Coaches & MGR's, DO NOT OWN PLAYERS.

TO JAWOOD: the 11th player will not be good. Teams will play or stay down. I have played & seen the 11th man & the better team wins about 40%. This is an unfair advantage given to a less team. WHY, should a team of better players, have their "hands tied"? More teams to play? Do u think that after a few months, the MAJOR PLUS TEAMS will get tired of loss' WORLDS, because a lesser team was given the 11th player????

I am sure that more good reason' is out there. I hope that this post may, YES, may start better IDEAS, than mine.

The STONEMAN.... HIT UR OWN BATS.....
Aug. 12, 2007
Jawood
Men's 50
798 posts
Stoneman, Disagree with point #1. I don't think you should have ANYONE outside your border area. This will eliminate big money teams buying players and cheating with the snowbird rule. This might keep teams from recruiting a "dream team" and play at the same level as Major teams. Any handicap rule would not be needed.

Totally agree with your #3 and #5 points. I wish I was losing out on $300 by missing work, but these tournaments can get done in 2 days for the most part. We don't need to play 6-8 games in a tournament. The Friday games are gettting to be a joke with teams not bringing their guns in until Saturday and playing their J.V. before.
Aug. 12, 2007
brakeman
5 posts
I think the solution for classification could be solved with better monitoring of tournament results. For instance teams could be reclassified if they win one MAJOR tournament and are consistently in the top 3 in most of the other tournaments they play in. Manassas and some of these tournaments with 4 teams in a division should not count as a tournament for being moved up. If in a 5 tournament span you win 1 major and are in the top 3 in 3 our of the other 4. YOU SHOULD BE MOVED UP. By the same if in a 5 tournament span you never place in the top 2 you should be able (by choice) to move down. This would lead to stronger tournaments and less mis-classification. Then you would only need 3 divisions in the 50 and 55.
Aug. 12, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Perhaps eliminating the teams & division that do not have at least 4 teams in it. Send them back their money.
No need to worry about where to place them for that bracket or the other teams now having to face an unforseen event.
But if only 4 team in that one, you play each team twice.
Do not see a need for seeting unless there are more than 6 teams for the same bracket, etc, etc.
Might bring the game to a two day tourney, except for the obligations already in place. But aw we all know, stuff happens.
I know they want to play, but please, at and on an equal level.
Sept. 5, 2007
Brett
Men's 55
239 posts
SPA has the right idea with good balls.???????

The Lexum/Baiden balls SPA uses are a complete joke! The price Ridge sells them for ($30 something per dozen) speaks for itself. Ask any major or major+ player that played in KC what they thought of the balls used at the SPA national tournament. I'd be very surpirsied if many didn't agree with me.
Sept. 5, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
Oh Patty Mac and Mr Walker your opening up a can of worms. But hey, that is OK as you cannot fish without them. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get the phone numbers and emails for the managers of the traveling 50 major plus and 55 major plus teams and instead of starting our own circuit of play, just agree to attend about 5 to 6 established tournaments in various parts of the country. That way all of the players that care about Hall of Fame points and rings, etc. could get their due and the associations would be happy as well and maybe they would even compete a little to get our business.

Lets say we all agree to play the SPA, Vegas, ASA, NSA, or whatever etc. and make sure they are spread out evenly across the country. Then the tournaments would be well attended and would be more meaningful. I've tried several times to float the idea out there but the response would lead me to conclude that most of the major plus teams prefer to win a tournament with 2 to 3 teams in it and reap the rewards.

When I get home from a tournament the first thing my kids (and there are 6 of them) will ask is, "did you win and how did you play?" The next thing is, "how many teams were in your division?" If i say 10 they respond with "wow". If i say 3, they chuckle and say "so your a world champ!"

My point here is I would have thought the big, bad major plus teams would want to play against the best. I would have thought the better major teams would have wanted to prove themselves and move up the major plus division as soon as possible.

However, practical experience says teams go where they can win. Now, I realize there are some money and time constraints but I fail to see where it is all about competition. The cost for us to fly from Florida to Virginia is about the same to fly to Chicago or Vegas. Motels and car rentals are about the same everywhere.

A team that wins a world tournament in the AAA or major division feels as good about themselves as a team that wins a major plus tournament. However, in baseball would you rather win the world series or win the triple A title or double A title?

So I would propose that the serious major plus teams have their coach join in with the other coaches on a forum over the internet and begin discussing tournaments for next year.

I'll throw my info in the hat first and see what the response is.

Audie Hollis - Hollis Appraisals/Combat/Truncel/Railtrust/Specialty Tank
audieh@comcast.net 904-568-1436
Sept. 7, 2007
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
Audie,
Looking back at most of the post reguarding this I think it could be easier to have one tournament set up for one, possibly two, age ratings. Like say 50-Maj. & Maj+
Have another date for 50- AA & AAA. Or some other mix.
The next weekend for some other age ratings team, At least you know right off which ages will not be there and a better chance of filling the schedule out.
Main problem is given any weekend there are a hand full of tournaments ging on in the states all over and they don't work together to workout a time sheet to make it easier for each of them to get their piece of the pie.
Money receipts take place of player satisfaction.
Sept. 7, 2007
E. Ness
122 posts
Audieh,
I hope there is another Walker on here and you were not referring to the one in KC. Because I can tell you this he has not posted on this thread. I know he does not want his name drawn into to any of this.

Now I agree with much of what you have said infact I say have a major plus conference.

Jawood I disagree with your point on Stonemans number one point. You forget as do many in the associations about the land locked Major Plus players who have no place to play (excluding SPA and LVSSA). While there are not many there are a few and allowing teams to have one or two players at the Major Plus level from out of their region does not hurt anyone. As the head of this association says one players does not make a team so why are we so hell bent on locking major plus players who have no place to play other than regional AAA team out?
Sept. 7, 2007
audieh
Men's 60
242 posts
E. Ness, I was referring to Mike Walker out of Orlando, Florida. I do not know a Walker in KC. The only other Walker I know is our pitcher, Gary Deaton, who we affectionately nicknamed "Walker" for the obvious reasons. We sure would like to recruit a pitcher with the nickname of "Striker" though!
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