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, Feb. 10, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Flip Flop Rule

If the team in the lead holds onto that lead in the top of the inning and they don't come to bat, the amount of time saved is equivalent to whatever would be required for an "open" ½-inning at bat by that team ...
, Feb. 7, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Flip Flop Rule

The change to the Flip Flop rule being 'invoked in any game when there is a 10-run differential in favor of the visiting team at the start of the "open inning"' was made in December 2015 during the annual Rules Committee Meetings during the National Convention.

The previous 'Rules Summary,' outlined on the 'Umpire' page of seniorsoftball.com, had not been updated to reflect the change. The 'Rules Summary' has since been corrected. Our thanks to Steve44 for bringing it to our attention and apologies for the oversight.
, Feb. 5, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 2017 • DRAFT Game Schedules and Brackets

• Mini Fun Tournament DRAFT Game Schedules for the 2017 TOC festivities have been posted and are available from the link below and the event Tournament Page ... This is a very low key, fun afternoon of getting in a few innings and knocking off a bit of the rust! ... Rules are as relaxed as can be, and the goal is simply for an afternoon of fun! ...

FREE AGENTS NEEDED!

VERY few of the arriving teams have a full roster available by mid-day Thursday ... Players from teams not officially participating in the "Mini" are encouraged to stay at Auburndale following the Skills Competitions and we'll set you up for some softball with teams at your age and skill levels ... ENJOY!

• Mini-Tourney: Mini "Fun" Tourney


, Feb. 4, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Need player for TOC

We can take theoretically accept applications for player adds up until the Manager Meeting in Florida on Thursday ... However, they must be done in sufficient time for Sacramento to do the required due diligence on eligibility ... The January stated deadline is to ensure that teams will approach this timely ... There are a LOT of other issues with the TOC that are unique to this event ... The confirmation of the free TOC Banquet attendee count, ordering the correct quantities and sizes for the free polo shirts given to each player and coach, preparation of the personalized Certificates of Participation given to each player, etc. ... The final rosters were printed late Friday and will fly with Staff on Monday, so the window of opportunity is closing quickly ...


, Feb. 2, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: All you rule experts: Need your input..

Not sure what the ASA interpretation might be, but the umpire made the correct call under the SSUSA Rulebook relevant section (emphasis added) ...

§8.2 • BATTER BECOMES A BATTER-RUNNER

C. When he bats a fair ball even though it strikes another player, umpire or their attached clothing or equipment.

1. If the runner is hit with a fair batted ball while touching a base, he is not out. EFFECT: The ball is live or dead depending on the position of the fielder closest to the ball. If the closest defensive player is in front of the base runner hit by the ball, the ball remains live. However, after the runner in contact with the base is hit by the batted ball, it shall be the same as hitting the ground. Since the ball remains live, the defense is free to make whatever plays are available. If the defensive player is behind the base runner, the ball is ruled dead, the hitter is awarded a base hit and runners are advanced only if forced to advance.

2. If the runner is hit by the ball while off base and before it passes an infielder (excluding the pitcher), the ball is dead and the hit runner is declared out. The batter-runner is awarded first base without liability to be put out.


, Jan. 31, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rating Question

rightrj1 ... There are multiple issues running around here ... One for a "regular" roster build and another for the "TOC" roster build ... And it's complicated by the player having played two events at the higher rating level of 50-Major (R/I=8) ... That takes him out of the "one time exemption" category ...

For a regular roster, he MAY still play for the 55-Major team (R/I=7) team as one of their three allowed out-of-rating players ... The TOC rules are more restrictive ... Generally, NO player may be added to a TOC roster if he has a player R/I history greater than that of the team ... So a 55-Major team may add to get to 12 players with 55-Major or below in the 55's OR 50-AAA or below in the 50's ... The roster adds for getting to players #13-15 on a TOC roster require those adds to be at an R/I of 6 or less ...

If this isn't as clear as it seems to us, please call the Sacramento office and have one of the eligibility specialists walk you through it with actual names and player histories ...


, Jan. 30, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: TOC Team eligability

It's a pretty simple explanation ... A team that qualified for the TOC (Golden Vipers at the Northern Championships in Lansing) had at least six players from that team leave sometime after that event to form their own team ... To be eligible to participate in the TOC, at least six players must remain from the original qualifying roster ... See the TOC Roster Considerations & Rules • Player Roster Add rules PDF digital file "white paper" available from the Rules Page of this website ... BOTH segments of that team, each having at least six members remaining, chose to participate in the TOC, and re-built their rosters in complete compliance with the above TOC roster requirements ... This is a rare occurrence, but HAS happened on occasion in past TOC's .. Hope this helps ...


, Jan. 27, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Texas Rattlers AA ?

J R • Nope! ... TEMPORARY rating changes were made for ONLY the teams that are participating in the 2017 TOC at a rating level different from their current rating .. The Texas 70's were invited as AA, but declined the invitation ... Had your team accepted, your rating would have been temporarily changed to AA for the next couple of weeks, then back to AAA after the TOC concludes ...
, Jan. 25, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Texas Rattlers AA ?

• 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. 24, 2017
SSUSA Staff
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Flip Flop Rule

Here's the Tie-Breaker order of application ...

1. Record (W-L)
2. Head to head result in full round robin
3. Aggregate runs allowed in all games
4. Net run differential in all games
5. Coin toss

We only use run differential as the "last resort" before a coin toss ... If you win a flip-flop game, you still had to stop your opponent in seven offensive ½-inning at-bat situations, which is a higher priority tie-breaker ... A principal motivation for the flip-flop rule is to prevent the more than occasional occurrence of unsportsmanlike conduct by a visiting team, with the game already well in hand, saying: "Hey, if we put up a couple of touchdowns in the open, we'll help our seeding!!!" ... Nope! ... Defense is rewarded over offense by SSUSA ... Hope this helps ...


, 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! ...


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