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Nov. 19, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: BJ

Just my 2 cents as a player and coach, but I always thought that when the umpire silently signals obstruction (with the arm extended out) that he or she was only "recognizing" the contact and that ANY award was based solely on the umpire's judgement after the play concluded. I never thought there was a minimum one base award just because the umpire made the obstruction signal. I've seen umpires signal obstruction but then not award anything after the play was over. I assumed the umpire judged the contact didn't warrant award of the next base.
Nov. 14, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What is a Veteran?

I know I'm a little late, but thanks Steve. Well said! USAF 1983-2005

Grayhitter59: You most definitely need to stand and be fully recognized whenever they ask all past and present military to stand. You served your country honorably. Thank you for your service!
Nov. 3, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Courtesy runner

Lol. I love this message board. Its always entertaining. But seriously, why do we allow so many courtesy runners anyway? (I can ask for one whether I really need one or not.) Why doesn't everyone simply run for themselves (especially in the younger senior divisions, 40s, 50s, 55s)...or we maybe allow only ONE courtesy runner per team, per inning? That would make teams have to employ a little strategy in its use. Currently, the rule simply allows for a team's fastest runners to run for the teams slowest runners every inning. I don't think that was the intent.
Oct. 31, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: called out

I know its a rule that has to be enforced as a safety related issue (so I applaud the umpire in the video), but ejecting a batter for wiping out the front line of the batter's box seems like a pretty stiff penalty. I'm sure some batters do it intentionally but my guess is a lot of batters are simply trying to clear a level landing spot for their front foot to land when striding. (I bet many hitters don't even think about it and do this subconsciously during their pre-bat routine.) My point is its very difficult to read the batter's intent. I would hope an umpire would practice a little preventive maintenance and once he see's the batter doing it, immediately tell him to stop! (as in a warning) Equally important as the enforcement of this rule is the umpires calling batters OUT who step way out the box while making contact with the ball, whether the front line is there or not.
Sept. 14, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Losing could be beneficial

To add to what's already been said, teams take different approaches to how they play pool/seed games. Some always play them to win; others use the pool games as practice to prepare for the brackets; some others may bat everyone or play some guys who normally don't play while resting their regulars. You never know what type of team (talent wise) you'll get when the seeds come out. Senior tournaments are difficult enough to win already, especially out of the loser's bracket... so in the brackets ALWAYS play to win! Your chances are always better the longer you stay in the winner's bracket. Looking ahead to see who you might play later in the bracket isn't always a good strategy either. Take it one game at a time. Good luck at Worlds...!

Aug. 14, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: commitment line stepover standoff

Joe H, I could be wrong but my interpretation of the commitment line is that once its crossed (or touched), the runner doesn't HAVE to continue advancing toward home plate... but that it means the runner CANNOT under any circumstances return back over the line toward third base. I don't believe there is a penalty for simply stopping once the line has been crossed.
May 26, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Is the infield fly rule based on physical ability to catch the ball?

As umpires, I don't know if we should be judging the physical abilities or inabilities of the fielder in determining whether or not to call the infield fly rule. That can be so subjective depending on the player and situation. To me, either the fair infield fly ball can be caught with routine "ordinary effort" or it cannot be. I judged it way more on where the ball is in relation to the fielder than anything else. BJ is totally correct in that many umpires make the IF call way too early on what turns out to be an uncatchable ball. I also have made the IF call AFTER the play many times...which I think is way better than calling it too early.
May 21, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Heart of Texas - Georgetown

Gentlemen, we all had to see this coming. 58 total teams, only 4 fields, umpire shortages, heavy rain coming, etc., etc.,. There was no way around not having MAJOR scheduling issues and conflicts ALL weekend. I don't know what the TDs could've done to prevent any of that AFTER the tournament got started. I totally agree with Heater40 that they should've known BEFOREHAND the maximum number of teams they could have entered on the number of fields available to allow for more consistent scheduling. It was a nightmare for everyone involved. That said, we tried our best to adjust to a bad situation. I would suggest next time there is a field availability shortage that you try to get the smaller groupings completed and out the way first because you need more fields available at one time to work thru the bigger brackets. Sunday, it seemed like they were attempting get thru several age/divisions at the same time, which caused for even more confusion and frustration that was probably needed.
May 16, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Heart of Texas - Georgetown

Papajoe56, you kind of answered a BIG part of your disappointment in the last line of your post. I would imagine what a scheduling nightmare it was for the TD and his staff to schedule a 58 team tournament on only four fields. That's A LOT of games!!! There could be no other reason for starting so early (6AM) and going well into the night (10:15PM). I'm guessing they might also go to 45 mins or 50 mins (plus buffet) game time limit and starting with a 1-1 count, no courtesy for everyone to get it ALL in. I guess they have to do whatever they got to do to get it finished.
April 25, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The Screamer5

OZ40, for some reason, you refuse to let it go. Lol. I don't know why you feel so strongly against this change... but I guess time will tell. What I said was I feel the change will have minimal impact on the GAME. It's a major change for ME personally because of my normal patient approach...but one that I will have absolutely NO problem adjusting to. It doesn't always end in success but I still plan on hitting the ball hard regardless of what the starting count is. Hopefully you will do the same. Its still underhand, slow pitch softball. Hit the ball! I'll let you have the last word my brother. Good luck this season!
April 24, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Runner's right to the base

BJ is spot on. The runner does not have to give up his legal position on the bag for a fielder to make a play on the ball. Its totally the umpire's judgement as to whether or not the runner intentionally interferes with the fielder's play on the ball...whether he is on the bag or not. I have had players (on the bag) shift or move in a manner that I considered an intentional, deliberate attempt to impede the fielder's play on a pop up in the infield and I made the call of interference. Of course, my call didn't go over well with team who was batting.
April 24, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count and new ball

OZ40, you're free to comment (hopefully respectfully) on any subject at any time you wish, just like everyone else. Please don't take it so personal. We simply disagree on this topic, which is okay. I believe any changes to the game will be minimal. (Just my opinion) You just can't be as patient/selective as a hitter. That's a major change for me as I almost always take a strike before swinging... so I will definitely have to change my approach by being completely ready when I step in the box and put a good swing on the first good pitch I see. Hopefully you're also able to adjust to the new rule for this year. Something tells me you will be just fine.
April 23, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count and new ball

I know we've dragged this topic out plenty enough... but I'm just curious. What exactly is the reason for the resistance to starting with a 1 - 1 count? Is a just tradition? (I can understand that.) Is it a reluctance to CHANGE? Do you think your hitting will suffer or your team's success hangs in the balance? Do you suddenly feel less comfortable in the box when the count is 1 - 1? Do you feel the pitcher is in any more eminent danger when the count is 1 - 1 than he or she is when starting 0 - 0? To me the pitcher is always vulnerable regardless of the count. (My experience is a team is more apt to go up the middle when they are out of HRs, not simply starting with a 1 - 1 count). Is it you think the game will be somehow sped up? The game is still 55, 60, 65 minutes then a buffet so the game time limit is still in affect. So I don't believe the new rule was put in place to get you off the field any quicker. I honestly think the rule was changed to get the batter to swing a little earlier than he would've normally, thus increasing the amount of "game action" in the allotted amount time. If that's the outcome, I don't see anything wrong with that. I believe mck71 put it best in this thread...he doesn't like the new change but he will make the adjustments. Gentlemen, try to make the necessary adjustments. Good luck this season...!!!
April 12, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count and new ball

OZ40. I apologize if you took offense to my post. Certainly didn't mean any disrespect. A message board is nothing but our opinions. (Nothing more/nothing less.) No one here said you weren't entitled to yours. On this topic, the only opinion that really counts is the National Rules Committee and they have spoken. My suggestion was only to try to give it a chance. My opinion here again, but being negative about something you can't change can only negatively impact you. Don't let the change effect your play or your attitude towards SSUSA as a whole. Let it go my brother. Good luck this season!
April 11, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count and new ball

We get it gentlemen, you are not in favor of the starting with a 1-1 count. No offense my senior brothers but complaining about it isn't going to help because its here for at least this year. Try your best to give it a chance. After one year, if what you're saying is true for most senior players, it will probably be changed back to 0-0. For me as an umpire, I think I like it because it will possibly allow the batter to put the ball in play sooner which means we may get more game "action" in the allotted time. (I don't think its main intent is to speed the game up but if it does, what's wrong with that?) As a player, it doesn't really matter. I will try to be more ready to hit when I first step in the box this year. (I normally always take a strike before swinging...but I'll just have to make the adjustment this year.) In the end, Its still underhanded, slow pitch softball. I don't know how much more comfortable or relaxed I need to be in the box. I just don't think its that serious a change to our game. Time will tell. Just my opinion.
March 31, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Texas State Championships turnout

This is just one Texas Senior Team's perspective. It wasn't that the Texas Championships are being hosted by El Paso this year that drove our decision not to go. (We figure its only fair that this tournament be held in West Texas every now and then as our good brothers out that way never complain about the long drive east for most every other senior tournament here in Texas.) For us it had more to do with the scheduling. As stated earlier in this thread, SPA is holding their annual Salute to Military Veterans tournament in College Station during the same week as the Texas State Championships. Our team voted and we chose to attend SPA's tournament mainly because a lot of our team is composed of veterans. If not for the conflict, we would probably be going to El Paso next week...regardless of the long drive or the turnout. Our point is with a little forward thinking & communication, SSUSA's biggest tournament here in Texas (State Championships) and SPAs biggest tournament here in Texas (Salute to Veterans) shouldn't have been scheduled for the same week if at all possible. As a side note, it is disheartening to hear that no other city or area besides El Paso expressed an interest in hosting the State Championships this year (regardless of the process). C'mon senior players in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, etc., etc.,....! It's time to step it up!
March 30, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOC determinations

As a follow-up question, do the different Senior Softball organizations (SSUSA, SPA, ISSA, GSA, etc.) attempt to communicate with each other concerning tournament dates? In moving the Texas State Championships to early April this year, it fell on the same week as SPA's Salute to Military Veterans tournament in College Station (a very popular tournament here in Texas). I realize there are a limited number of potential tournament dates to be used for various reasons and that some times conflicts between the different organizations cannot be help. It just seems both tournament's turnout is hurt by being held at the same time.
March 2, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: pitcher getting hit

Maskedman, I was there at the game you referenced. It was a one day tournament hosted by the SA Crush here in the San Antonio area. SA Crush do an excellent job with these events and many of the local teams here use them to prepare right before bigger national/world tournaments. On the play you spoke of the Tex Vets pitcher simply got hit by a shot up the middle in a really bad place. (He still talks about how bad it felt.) There was no bad intentions by the batter to hit him and the batter apologized several times afterwards. Other SA Crush players also came out the dugout to make sure he was okay. I don't think the umpire was even aware of the actual rule referenced above, but as Double D stated, the umpire's approach of warning anyone else going up the middle toward the pitcher would be ejected, was excellent. Just practicing good preventive maintenance as an umpire.
Feb. 2, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Heart of Texas & State Tournament El Paso

... the biggest SSUSA tournament of the year (here in Texas)...
Feb. 2, 2018
The Screamer5
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Heart of Texas & State Tournament El Paso

CRASH, I think most seniors here in Texas are disappointed again that the biggest SSUSA tournament of the year will be held in El Paso this year. I'm sure our good brothers in El Paso will put on an excellent tournament but the truth is most of the teams in Texas just won't go. (It's an 8 hour drive from San Antonio, even farther from the Houston, Dallas and Austin areas.) Like you, I believe most would like to see the tournament more centrally located. But CRASH, what else is SSUSA and the Independent Tournament Director to do if no other city in the state steps up and puts together a viable package to host the Heart of Texas tournament except for El Paso...??? What else are they to do but allow El Paso to host it?
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