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Sept. 1, 2013
EAST, WEST TEAMS IN US GAMES TO BE TOP SEEDS AT WMCTerry Hennessy CEO
Covering the Bases
In an effort to level the playing field, SSUSA is changing the way it seeds the winners and losers of the U.S. National game at the World Masters Championships (WMC) in Las Vegas.
Under the new system, which will be used this year at the WMC, the team that wins the U.S. National game will be seeded first in the division bracket and the loser will be seeded second in the WMC bracket.
The U.S. National game is the second leg of the Triple Grand Slam.
To win the Triple Grand Slam, teams must win their division of play at either the Eastern or Western National Championships, then win the USA National game and, finally, win their bracket at the WMC.
Teams must win at least two of those three in actual competition. Teams that had no opponent in either the Eastern or Western Championships, AND had no opponent for a USA National game, are not eligible for the Triple Grand Slam.
The list of this year’s U.S. National games is on Page 15.
The reason for placing the U.S. National game teams at the top of their division brackets at the World Masters Championships is simple fairness.
The U.S. National game is one of the seeding games for the WMC, however there are important differences from normal seeding games:
1. The games are not timed; they go a full seven innings.
2. The U.S. National games are not random (all of the other seeding games are selected by a randomized computer program.)
The first SSUSA tiebreaker used in large brackets is record, followed by the least number of runs scored against teams.
Because the U.S. National games go seven innings, the scores tend to be much higher – and that puts both teams at a distinct disadvantage.
In addition, the loser of the U.S. National game has just played one of the strongest teams in the country – and it was not a random selection, putting the loser of the U.S. National game at a further disadvantage.
An example used by National Director Dave Dowell illustrates the problem: “In 2012 in Phoenix, one USA National game ended 30-26 in nine innings. The winner finished 2-0 and was seeded No. 9 (of the nine unbeaten teams in seeding). The runner-up also lost their second game and was seeded No. 29 of 29.”
We hope this new system will even the playing field for teams playing in the U.S. National games.
Terry Hennessy is chief executive officer of Senior Softball-USA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.