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, Jan. 23, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Flip Flop Rule

Mountain Man ... The very first sentence [bold emphasis added] of the rule answers both of your questions :

The flip-flop rule will be invoked in any game when there is a 10-run differential in favor of the visiting team at the start of the "open inning."

We interpret "any game" to mean the same thing as "every game" and, therefore, it's mandatory ... We also believe that it's clearly stated to apply only for the "open inning" ... Depending on the time circumstances, that could be the 5th or 6th inning, but only if either of those innings is also slated to be the "open inning" ... Hope this helps ...


, Jan. 23, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 2017 • DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets

DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets for SSUSA's 2017 Original Tournament of Champions in Polk County, FL, have been posted and are available from the links below and on the event's Tournament page ... As always, these DRAFT schedules are TENTATIVE, are subject to change and become final ONLY when released as "OFFICIAL" at the Manager's meeting the evening before play commences ...

NOTE: Managers who do NOT attend the Manager meeting will be presumed to be fully informed on ALL matters (such as schedule changes, tourney formats and rules issues) discussed at the meeting. Tournament rosters are “frozen” as of the Manager’s Meeting. NO on-site player additions are allowed, as all roster changes were previously approved through the Sacramento home office ... Managers who do not attend the Manager Meeting, and do not send a representative, will be prohibited from beginning tournament play before check-in with Field Director.

The Participating Teams List Tab on the Tournament page has been activated and the Master Games & Fields Grid has also been posted ... Good luck to all!

DRAFT Game Schedules & Brackets (PDF's)

• Men: 40's & 50's | 55's | 60's | 65's & 70's's | 75's & 80's
• Women: 40's & 50's

• Complete: All Ages & Divisions [Large file: 34 pages]

Tournament Administration (PDF's)

• Master Fields Schedule: Master Games & Fields Grid


, Jan. 19, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 2017 • General Information Update

TENTATIVE FIELD ASSIGNMENTS • Revised 01/19/2017

The following are the TENTATIVE Field Assignments for the 2017 SSUSA Original Tournament of Champions in Polk County, FL. Please note that TENTATIVE means they are NOT FINAL and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE. FINAL Field Assignments will be released simultaneous with the publication of the DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets shortly. There are 112 teams entered as of this posting.

AUBURNDALE SPORTS COMPLEX (Auburndale) - 28 Teams
• 55-Major (8)
• 60-Major+ / 60-Major / 65-Major+ (7)
• 60-AAA (8)
• 65-Major / 70-Major+ (5)

DIAMONDPLEX SPORTS COMPLEX (Winter Haven) - 23 Teams
• 55-AAA / 55-AA (10)
• 65-AAA / 65-AA (13)

LOYCE HARPE PARK (Lakeland) - 23 Teams
• 40-Major / 50-Major+ / 50-Major (11)
• 50-AAA (12)

SOUTHWEST SOFTBALL COMPLEX (Lakeland) - 19 Teams
• 60-AA (8)
• 75-Men - All (6)
• 80+ and 85+ Men - All (5)

WESTSIDE SOFTBALL COMPLEX (Lakeland) - 19 Teams
• 50-AA (6)
• 70-Men - All (6)
• Women's 40-Masters and 50+ Seniors (7)

Ratings Notes

Teams play in the 2017 TOC at the age and rating level they had when they won their invitation. If a team won multiple TOC qualifying events in two different ratings, their TOC invitation is at the higher of those ratings.

Thank you to all of the participating teams and players and Good Luck!!


, Jan. 18, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: new ratings in December

REPRINT from the TOC post above ...

• TEMPORARY RATING CHANGES - The teams that won invitations to the TOC at a rating level lower than their current rating have had TEMPORARY rating reductions to their rating at the time they won the TOC qualifying event ... After the TOC, the correct current ratings will be restored ...


, Jan. 17, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Courtesy runner

HAT MAN • In SSUSA sanctioned play, we have an OUT (Base umpire was correct) ... Some relevant comments follow:

• ALL Courtesy Runner game entries occur in a dead ball situation ... Time being called is irrelevant;
• Your hypothetical appears to indicate that there may be some limitation on the number of courtesy runners allowed in an inning: "..coach said get off we already used a runner.." ... SSUSA does not limit the number of CR's in an inning ... For sake of this discussion, we presume the runner had previously run in the inning or was in some other manner ineligible;
• Every issue present here, subject to our above assumption, is discussed in Rulebook §8.5(5) = "A courtesy runner is in the game when he touches the base. If a courtesy runner is determined illegal, he will be called out upon touching the base and no other courtesy runner is allowed. The original runner may not return as the runner. An illegal courtesy runner on base is committing a continuing violation and may be called out upon appeal at any time while on base or, if he scores, prior to the first pitch to the next batter."

See also ...
• Rulebook §8.5(2) • USING A RUNNER ON BASE = A runner who is replaced with a courtesy runner may not be used as a courtesy runner for the remainder of the inning. and
• Rulebook §8.5(3) • COURTESY RUNNER REPLACEMENT = A courtesy runner may not be replaced by another courtesy runner except for injury causing removal of the original courtesy runner permanently from the game.

Hope this helps ...


, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOC on East & West Coast

Joey525i ... We have about 1,500 teams playing each year in the 70± tournaments that serve as qualifiers for the World Masters Championships and we had 564 teams in Las Vegas last year ... That's about a 38% show-up rate for teams deciding to participate ... And it's pretty close to the same percentage of TOC qualified teams participating next month (39%) ... The ratio is pretty much what we expected and we're happy and grateful for that ...
, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Courtesy Runner From Home

In SSUSAA sanctioned events, a courtesy runner from home to first base is not permitted ... If, however, a local league provides for such a circumstance, we would have no objection ...
__________

Rulebook §8.4(1) • BATTER-RUNNER REACHING FIRST BASE • Each batter must reach first base without the aid of a courtesy runner...


, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 2017 Significant Rule Changes - Penalty for non-compliance

That's funny B.J.! • The rule is really pretty simple: The batter-runner must touch the orange base to be safe, and the defender must touch the white to record an out ... And either of them touching both portions simultaneously [◄ sorry about that big word!] does NOT change those calls ... Q19's fact pattern is the umpire's judgment "exception" to the batter-runner having to touch orange ...
, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 2017 Significant Rule Changes - Penalty for non-compliance

Yep, the mis-read allegation is correct! ... The defensive player can only record an out by touching the white bag in fair territory ... But analogous to the batter-runner situation, the defender MUST touch the white bag, but there is no automatic "safe" call if he touches both bags simultaneously during the put out ... So long as he touches white while in possession of the ball, and before the batter-runner reaches first base, you've got an out ... AFTER the batter-runner becomes a base runner, the double bag is a "unified" single base for all calls .. See: Rulebook §8.4(1) ... And "YES" to your follow-up question ... An illegal CR is an ongoing violation that may be challenged at any time while that CR is on base, or, if he scores, prior to the first pitch to the next batter ... See Rulebook §8.5(5) ...


, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 2017 Significant Rule Changes - Penalty for non-compliance

Steve ... In response to your questions:

[1] SAFE • "If there is a play on a batter‐runner going to first base, the batter‐runner must touch some portion of the double bag extending into foul territory. He will be called out if he fails to do so, except if, in the umpire's judgment, the batter‐runner is avoiding a collision. The batter‐runner simultaneously touching both portions of the double bag is permitted." ... This clarification was made because there were multiple instances of umpires erroneously calling a batter-runner out simply because he touched the white bag ... The only obligation imposed by this rule on the batter-runner is that they touch the orange bag ... We added the "some portion" and "simultaneous" language to make this easier to call correctly and be understood by everyone ...

[2] OUT • "A courtesy runner must report to, and be acknowledged by, the umpire. A courtesy runner is in the game when he touches the base…" The National Rules Committee discussed, but decided against, implementing specific language as to the timing of this call due to the common circumstance that a lot of things may he happening simultaneously ... However, we would rule that a CR failing to report will be illegal and subject to an appeal out call after play has been resumed by the first pitch to the next batter ...

Hope this helps! ...


, Jan. 16, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOC on East & West Coast

Yes, this is an annual discussion topic: The T.O.C. is set for Polk County, FL, under an exclusive long term contract (currently through 2021) with Central Florida Sports Marketing ... The 2017 event is the 11th Annual Original T.O.C. ... There is no motivation by SSUSA to maximize the number of teams since this is the only event on the SSUSA annual calendar requiring a "win to get in" qualifying criteria ... It's the tournament for the "Best of the Best" ...
, Jan. 11, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: SSUSA RULES COMMITTEE 2016 • Annual Meeting Minutes

The 2016-17 SSUSA National Rules Committee met in a telephone conference call format on January 11th to reconsider actions taken in December regarding roster composition rules for the men's 75+ division ... Although a motion failed for as proposed modification of the December actions, there was an amendment passed that becomes effective with the 2018 Season on this topic ... Specifically, the 75+ age division will be allowed three 73 year old players for the 2017 Season, and thereafter underage players will be reduced from seven to five, all of whom must be age 74 ... The change will be incorporated into the Official SSUSA 2017-18 Rulebook and the minutes of the special meeting are available at:

• Telephone Conference Meeting: Official Minutes


, Jan. 11, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Interference

We aren't too surprised that our initial post in this thread generated varying responses! ... However, if we may err on this very popular "debate topic" occasionally, our overriding concern is for player safety and we encourage base runners who have been retired by the force play to get down or veer out of the line of fire the throw ... It's a judgment call, and we will back an umpire who makes such a judgment, either way, based on the facts and circumstances of the play he just observed ... Play safely ...


, Jan. 10, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Interference

We concur with curveball ... When the force out is made at 2nd base, the runner is no longer entitled to that base, nor is he any longer entitled to the base line ... "Interference is the act of an offensive player or team member that impedes or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play. A base runner must avoid a fielder making a play." ... Most umpires will (correctly) call interference and generally declare the completion of the double play at first base if, in his judgment, that would have been the result absent the interference.
, Jan. 10, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOP GUN WINTER CLASSIC 2017 • DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets

SESSION #1 of the 2017 Top Gun Winter Classic has been POSTPONED due to inclement weather and poor field conditions ... It has been RESCHEDULED for Wednesday and Thursday, January 18-19, 2017, also at Diamond Valley Lake Softball Complex ... Revised SESSION #1 DRAFT schedules and the Master Planning Grid have been posted ... There has been no decision to postpone/reschedule SESSION #2, but if that changes, we will announce any updates here ... Good luck!


, Jan. 9, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 2017 • General Information Update

Entries have closed for SSUSA's 2017 Original Tournament of Champions with a tournament record 116 teams on the list ... A couple of comments may be helpful for those planning on attending:

• TRAVEL PLANS - With the tournament record entry level, there will be very tight and full scheduling ... If you have the latitude, please book Sunday evening flights home as late as possible ... There is a chance that "If" games may be scheduled as late as 5:00 PM in larger divisions ...

• TEMPORARY RATING CHANGES - The teams that won invitations to the TOC at a rating level lower than their current rating have had TEMPORARY rating reductions to their rating at the time they won the TOC qualifying event ... After the TOC, the correct current ratings will be restored ...

Good luck everyone!


, Jan. 8, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOP GUN WINTER CLASSIC 2017 • DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets

DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets for SESSION #2 (Men's 50+ through 60+ Divisions) of the 2017 Top Gun Winter Classic in Hemet, CA, have been posted and are available from the links below and on the event's Tournament Page ... The caveats mentioned for SESSION #1 above apply here as well ... Good luck everyone! ...

DRAFT Game Schedules & Brackets (PDF's)

• Men: 50's | 55's & 60's


, Jan. 8, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TX STATE CHAMPIONSHIP-

Capt Kirk • Yep, we appropriately removed the entire thread ... At one time or another, posts therein violated three of the (only) four posting rules we have: disparaging remarks, unacceptable language and promotion of competing association's events ... We allow an incredible amount of (occasionally fair) criticism in our "home", this message board, from the "anonymous-keyboard-courage" posters ... You are a member of that group ...

All posters, are granted a revocable privilege to post here, but our rights as the owner of this private forum to regulate it by removing objectionable content is not somehow subordinate to any 1st Amendment rights in public you may assert ... This is our home ... We reserve to right to determine what comprises acceptable behavior in our home ... Sometimes, the compulsion to type things here that most reasonable people would NEVER say face-to-face crosses the line ... You were "that guy" over the line ... We welcome any future responsible commentary you may wish to add ...

P.S. - The hilarious "snarky" characterization came from another of your anonymous-keyboard-courage crew (Axemansa), not us, so we can't take credit (or blame) for it! ...


, Jan. 7, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOP GUN WINTER CLASSIC 2017 • DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets

DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets for SESSION #1 (Men's 65+ through 80+ Divisions) of the 2017 SSUSA's Top Gun Winter Classic in Hemet, CA, have been posted and are available from the links below and on the event's Tournament Page ... As always, these DRAFT schedules are TENTATIVE, are subject to change and become final ONLY when released as "OFFICIAL" at the Manager's meeting before play commences ...

NOTE: Managers who do NOT attend the Manager meeting will be presumed to be fully informed on ALL matters (such as schedule changes, tourney formats and rules issues) discussed at the meeting. Tournament rosters are “frozen” as of the Manager’s Meeting. NO on-site player additions are allowed, as all roster changes were previously approved through the Sacramento home office ... Managers who do not attend the Manager Meeting, and do not send a representative, will be prohibited from beginning tournament play before check-in with Field Director.

The Participating Teams Tab on the Tournament Page and the Master Games & Fields Grid for the session have also been posted ... Good luck to all!

DRAFT Game Schedules & Brackets (PDF's)

• Men: Session #1

Tournament Administration (PDF's)

• Master Fields Schedule: Master Games & Fields Grid


, Jan. 4, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Trump Rock

SS11 • The principal reason we do it our way is to maintain consistency across all (but the two Las Vegas events) qualifier and Championship tournaments ... The qualifier concept is effective only if all events run under the same rules sanction and authorized equipment for bats and softballs ... And, yes, we are a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, but the financial side of that national contract is important as well to offset some of the costs we incur to run the events ... Yours was certainly a fair question, just irrelevant in the context of our current business model ...


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