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June 21, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

Guys this has been a great discussion and I thank all of you for chiming in. Just think how many more people have now had a chance to learn what happened at the MN SSUSA Qualifier!

Keep in mind that what I have proposed for divisional consolidation (and these are srtrictly my own personal thoughts working within the existing framework of SSUSA's rules) still would identify teams as Major Plus. Those teams could play in the Major division, if they comply with the Major division's roster rules, but they would play to Major rules and give an equalizer when playing Major teams.

But I too would hope there would be enough pride to prompt teams to volunteer to play in Major Plus divisions in tournaments targeted to host Major Plus teams. This targeting should be done by the teams themselves but it could be a function handled by SSUSA home office scheduling. Teams volunteering to play Major Plus could still use Major Plus roster rules and play to the Major Plus game rules.

A healthy discussion like this fuels ideas and the more I have thought about Webbie's comment about Major Plus teams communicating with each other, to determine which tournaments they will attend with assurance enough Major Plus teams will be there, has sparked the following suggestion.

The SSUSA site has a "TOURNAMENTS" tab. There are five drop down selections when clicking on that tab. Why not add a sixth which would be for listing tournament team schedules. Only team managers would have access but they could go ahead and list their intended tournament schedule for the year. Sorting could then be done by tournament, team, age and skill level. This would be a great aid for teams looking to attend tournaments and for the tournament directors themselves.

I know most senior tournament teams establish a tentative schedule early in the year. My own team (the MN Prize 65's) has their schedule established in January. That's not to say changes won't be made but a manager could periodically go onto the SSUSA web site and update his team's schedule. I think this would be a worthwhile feature and I will offer up this idea to the SSUSA home office.
June 20, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

Mark, Scott plays for the MN Lumberjacks 50's, a new team in SSUSA this year. SSUSA always starts the new teams off with a AAA classification. They were playing in a blended division with AA teams so they had to play down to the AA home run rule.

There is no need for you to apologize regarding your thoughts on divisions. What you have stated that has started to occur with the Major Plus teams is exactly what has to happen for that division to be successful. The communication between teams to target events where Major Plus teams will congregate is the way to go and, as you suggest, this message board is a great vehicle to accomplish that task.

My thoughts on the three divisions would be to roll the Major Plus teams in with the Major teams, providing they meet the criteria of a Major team (roster consists of home state and bordering states players). Teams identified as Major Plus would play down to Major rules and have to give an equalizer.

I would make playing Major Plus voluntary so if teams still wanted to utilize the Major Plus roster exceptions and play to Major Plus rules they could volunteer to do so. The existence of a Major Plus division in that particular tournament would be contingent on the number of teams willing to volunteer. Again, this is where your comments regarding a communication "tree" become even more apropos because this would be an essential tool in pulling together the Major Plus division.
June 20, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

Thanks Scott and Bogie. Scott, I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the senior game and are looking forward to more senior competition. Bogie, hopefully this tournament helped prepare Roberts for the upcoming national events. You'll notice I kept your team off field number one, the one next to the highway. I didn't want one of your 500' blasts to take out the windshield of a vehicle passing by.

Scott, that taxi service was provided by my grandchildren, Lane and Dalton. They worked their tails off and made their Grandpa very proud.
June 19, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

Mark, actually I have been an advocate of reducing the number of skill levels in each age division. Personally I think three skill levels is the optimum number. I would still leave the age divisions at five year increments.

Gary, I agree about reducing the number of divisions and the question is what is the ideal number. SSUSA trys to maintain a balance that encourages maximum participation while still providing a competitive field of teams. It's not easy but I think they are handling it very well. If the program continues to grow, which is still the case, then that is evidence they are taking steps that appeal to the majority of senior players.

By the way thanks to both of you (Mark and Gary) for sharing your thoughts regarding this message. Just a few days earlier I posted the results of the 32 team Connecticut SSUSA qualifier, a similar size event, and it received no follow up remarks. Thanks to your collective dialogue this message has received almost twice as many views and remains on the front page of the message board.
June 19, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

Gary, I would like to see more teams in each division as well but the number of senior tournament teams in the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa region is limited. For instance there are just 17 senior tournament teams in all of Minnesota and, of course, they are spread out in several different divisions.

Inter-division play is scheduled to provide each team a variety of opponents. This format seems to be well accepted by those who participate and it does result in competitive and enjoyable games.
June 19, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

The eighth annual Minnesota SSUSA Qualifier was held this past weekend in Rochester, MN with a record 31 teams in attendance. For the first time in the eight year history of the event Minnesota did not have the most teams present. That honor went to Wisconsin with 13 teams, Minnesota had 12, Iowa sent 5 teams to the tournament and Nebraska had 1 representative.

Minnesota played the bad host as 8 of their 12 teams won their respective divisions. Wisconsin teams won the other two divisions.

What was encouraging to see was the birth of a couple of new teams in the 50+ division. This is the life blood of the senior program as it introduces players to the wonderful world of senior softball when they reach the 50-year-old mark.

Tom Lundin's Minnesota Lumberjacks 50's squad was one of those new teams. They surprised everybody, including themselves, when they came out of the losers bracket to win the 50 Silver division. They forced the only "IF" game, out of nine possibilities in the tournament, on the way to their victory. The other new team in that same division was Phil Gutterman's Gutty' Buddies, MN.

Three of the more dramatic divisional wins in the tournament were registered by the MN Masters 60's-Red, the MN Prize 65's and the MN Masters 65's. John Orf's MN Masters 60's Red team, lead by the long ball hitting of Don Hoen and Gary Bennett, played in the six team 60 Silver division. This division played a round robin championship bracket and the final game between MN Masters 60's-Red and the Fossils 60's, IA was for the divisional championship. MN Masters 60's-Red won the game 17-13.

The MN Prize 65's won their second game, in a best-of-three series against Michaels, WI in the 65 Major division, thanks to a bottom of the eighth monster three-run walk-off homer off the bat of Keith Irlbeck to give his team a 22-21 victory.

The MN Masters 65's took a nine run lead into the bottom of the seventh against the Oshkosh Ambassadors 65's, WI. Fortuitous hitting coupled with some MN Masters 65's fielding woes brought the Ambassadors within a run of tying the game. They had the bases loaded with two outs when a hard shot was hit at third baseman Bernie Ojeda. The ball took a tough hop but Ojeda blocked it with his body, picked it up and then dove at the runner advancing to third to tag him out and end the game.

Here are the top finishers in each division:

1. DLB/LT Grading, WI
2. MN Merchants
3. J&J Sports, IA

1. MN Lumberjacks 50's
2. Antiques of Iowa City, IA
3. Playmakers, WI

1. MN Grayhounds
2. Roberts Const / Pope Transport, WI

1. Ancell 55's, MN
2. Milwaukee Merchants, WI

55 AAA
1. WI Masters
2. Oshkosh Ambassadors 55's, WI
3. 1st Interiors, IA

55 AA
1. MN Prize 55's
2. Fossils 55's, IA

1. MN Masters 60's-Red
2. Korbelly's, WI
3. Fossils 60's, IA

1. MN Prize 65's
2. Michaels, WI

65 AAA
1. MN Masters 65's
2. Oshkosh Ambassadors 65's, WI
3. Midwest Express, NE

65/70 SILVER
1. MN Lumberjacks 65's
2. Badger Classics 65's, WI
3. Oshkosh Ambassadors 70's, WI
June 13, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

The 32 team Connecticut SSUSA Qualifier was rain shortened by one day (from five to four days) but ended up a great success. The Wednesday rain was anticipated so the schedule was revised to compress the Monday-Wednesday session into a two day format and 65+, 70+ and 75+ division winners were crowned yesterday.

Hats-off go to the CT Sports Management Group and the CT Sportsplex for making this one of the best administered qualifiers in the country played at one of the best softball facilities in the country. The CT Sports Management Group, who run the CT Senior Games (a qualifier for the US Senior Games), partnered with SSUSA to make this a dual qualifier. Executive Director Pat Fisher and Site Director Ryan West added features that all players appreciated. They provided scorekeepers for each field and had medical staff on site to attend to the needs of the participants. They also provided tee shirts for every single player and individual awards (medals) for the first thru third place teams.

The CT Sportsplex, a beautiful five field complex, is the top softball complex in the Northeast and one of the best in the country. Owner Sal Candelora and facility manager Don Westfall provide a venue in which all players love to play. They also have a top notch umpiring staff headed by UIC Dave Reno.

There were eight SSUSA division winners, including two women's divisions who completed play on Saturday, both one-day competitions. In men's play the Deep Purple / Advantage (MA) squad won the 55 / 60 Gold division on Sunday by virtue of knocking off powerhouse Hannington's / Bay State Bombers (MA) twice by one run, 20-19 and 23-22, thanks to the equalizer rule. On Monday Pelley's Sports finished an undefeated three-day run by winning the 60 Silver Division, the largest division in the tournament with seven teams. Four winners were decided on Tuesday and perfection was winessed as Wanskuck Post 56's Rodney Sweet finished 75 Gold play with a 1000 batting average (12 for 12).

Here are the top finishers in each division:

1. Twisted Fossils, MA
2. CT Cougars
3. CT Sr Moments 50's

1. CT Sr Moments 55's
2. CT Sr Moments 60's
3. NY Metros

55/60 GOLD
1. Deep Purple / Advantage, MA
2. Hannington's / Bay State Bombers, MA
3. Pace 60's Softball, NY

1. Pelley's Sports, MA
2. Socrates / Edge Technology 60's, CT
3. Athletic Outlet / Travato Ins, NY

1. Bostonian Shoes, MA
2. Socrates / Vios / Edge Tech 65's, CT

1. Tabor-Franchi VFW, RI
2. Syracuse Cyclones 65's, NY
3. Western MASS Relics 65's, MA

1. Socrates / Edge Technology 70's, CT
2. SSL 70 Seahawks, NJ
3. Hannington's Of Massachusetts, MA

1. Back Office Associates, MA
2. Wanskuck Post 56, RI
May 23, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: For Those Who Play in the Winter States

Nancy, How are you? Did the Brickyard Invitational go well? You ask about winter ball and I can tell you that we stay very active during the winter here in Minnesota. There are three winter senior softball leagues that play inside domes during the winter, two in the Twin Cities and one in Rochester. I hold three winter dome tournaments and use multiple domes to enable upwards of 16 teams to participate. It beats shoveling snow. I look forward to seeing you soon. Steve
May 14, 2012
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: 10,000 LAKES CLASSIC

You have the rest of May before the registration deadline (Friday, June 1) for the 10,000 Lakes Classic, the MN SSUSA Qualifier to be played June 16-17 in Rochester, MN, occurs. If your team is interested in playing in this event just click on tournaments in the menu bar and then click on this tournament to learn the tournament details.

This tournament will take place at the McQuillan Fields in Rochester, a seven field softball complex. This enables all divisions, Men's 50+ thru 75+, to be played on the weekend.

This tournament has generated a lot of interest among teams from SSUSA's North Region (MN, IA, NE, SD, ND) and SSUSA's Great Lakes Region (WI, IL, IN, MI, OH). This year's tournament could very likely draw better than 30 teams. That would be a record number of teams for a SSUSA tournament in Minnesota, even surpassing the attendance marks set at the 2007 and 2008 SSUSA Northern Championships when they were held in Rochester.

If you are interetsted in learning more about this tournament you can contact tournament director Steve Simmons, (C)952-239-7674, (H)952-470-9250, (E)
May 14, 2012
Topic: Tournaments

The registration deadline (Friday, May 25) for the New England Classic, the CT SSUSA Qualifier to be played June 9-13 in North Branford, CT, is less than two weeks away. If your team is interested in playing in this event just click on tournaments in the menu bar and then click on this tournament to learn the tournament details.

After a year's absence the New England Classic will return to the CT Sportsplex in a new month, June rather than May. The SSUSA has joined forces with the CT Senior Games to make this a dual qualifier for the 2012 SSUSA national tournaments as well as the 2013 US Senior Games. All games will be played in accordance with SSUSA rules.

This year's field of teams will feature a senior women's division and a men's 75+ division, as well as the men's 50+ thru 70+ divisions. Early indications are that the number of teams participating could approach the record 40 teams that took part in this tournament in 2009.

If you are interetsted in learning more about this tournament you can contact tournament director Steve Simmons, (C)952-239-7674, (H)952-470-9250, (E)
Feb. 9, 2012
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Looking for 55 player near Milwaukee

Kodiak, Rod Prather a former 55 Major Plus player for the MN Grayhounds (they have merged with Kevitt X, MN) was recently looking for a team. I believe he is currently trying to organize a 50 Major team in the Twin Cities, MN area. He may still be interested in catching on with a 55 Major team. His e-mail address is
Nov. 6, 2011
Topic: Tournaments


Those steps that you have outlined, and that I saw you apply to Brad while he was suffering a heart attack but hadn't lost his pulse, were extremely instructional. We, as SSUSA directors, learn how to treat a person by using CPR (chest compressions and resuscitation breaths 30/2) and we learn how to use a defibrillator. On four different occasions SSUSA directors have used this trainig to help revive individuals who lost a pulse.

But my experience has been dealing with persons experiencing a heart attack but who remained conscious. This was the second time I was involved in such a situation. Quite frankly I wouldn't have known the correct steps to follow. I am extremely grateful that you stepped in and cared for Brad and the procedure that you performed is etched in my mind.

I hope as many people as possible read this post to learn the proper technique, one never knows when it might be needed. I will convey this information at our annual CPR training and we have added aspirin to all our first aid kits.

Thanks so much for your help,
Steve Simmons
Nov. 4, 2011
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOC Entry Fees

Andy, that is a worthy recommendation and worth consideration. I don't get involved in setting tournament dates, other than the local qualifiers with which I am involved, but I think the real problem would be the close proximity of the Winter Nationals / Worlds with the Spring Nationals / Worlds, if the winter events were moved from November to February. I believe the intent is to maintain several months between those tournaments and holding them in February would squeeze that separation.

Mark you have probably presented the best argument for the present set up. It is successful and quite substantially successful at that. The old axiom, "If ain't broke, don't fix it!", surely applies here.
Oct. 26, 2011
Topic: Tournaments

I posted this message to give due recognition to Bill Bollier but I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the efforts of co-director Doug Robbins. Doug was the first to respond and he called 911 to get the rescue squad on the way, he alerted me to what was transpiring and he was instrumental in directing traffic and enabling the response to occur as swiftly as it did. I am privileged to be a part of the SSUSA team.
Oct. 25, 2011
Topic: Tournaments

I worked as a field director during sessions I (40 Men’s) & III (50 & 55 Major Plus and some 50 AAA) at Thompson Peak Park and played during session II at the Papago complex (65 Major). During those 10 days the play of the tournament occurred on Friday, October 21 in a 50 AAA game between Doerflinger, WA and El Paso Old School, TX.

I was called to the dugout of the Doerflinger team where team sponsor and player Brad Doerflinger was experiencing a heart attack. I had a defibrillator in hand and was prepared to use it, but to my relief, Bill Bollier a player on the DT Express, GA team who is a trained EMT rushed in and took control of the situation.

Doerflinger never lost consciousness and never lost a pulse but was in obvious distress. Bollier stayed with him while the rescue squad was called and were on their way. Bollier kept Doerflinger sitting upright as long as possible, to facilitate his blood flow, and refused to let him lapse into unconsciousness.

He continued to vigourously massage Doerflinger’s chest and to shake him periodically, again to help the blood flow by what were obvious blockages in his arteries. He had the presence of mind to ask for aspirin which, fortunately, one of the bystanders possessed. He crushed the aspirin in a cup of water and had Doerflinger drink that right away in an attempt to thin his blood to aid the blood flow.

Within minutes the rescue squad arrived, an extremely swift response time, and transported Doerflinger to a nearby hospital. Approximately one hour later Doerflinger was being operated on and having stents put in his arteries. Word had it that he was doing fine the next day.

Hands down the play of the tournament was turned in by Bill Bollier with his response to the heart attack and the swift and professional way in which he handled the situation. Believe me, I thanked God that Bollier was there at Doerflinger’s side instead of me.

Steve Simmons – SSUSA National Director

Sept. 5, 2011
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Denver Inaugural SSUSA tourney

One other Rocky Mountain Classic recognition should go to Jack Eberhard, the official photographer for the SSUSA. Jack is a Denver area resident and is also a member of the Scrap Iron family. Jack took many photos, both action shots and team photos, at this tournament. They will soon be ready for viewing on his website,
Sept. 5, 2011
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Denver Inaugural SSUSA tourney


It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend and I wholeheartedly agree with you, Denver is a location that has a lot to offer, including a fabulous climate at this time of year. This was the initial kick off of the Rocky Mountain Classic, the SSUSA's inaugural SSWC Qualifier in Denver. Thanks to the efforts of Bob Martinez, SSUSA's Southwestern Regional Director, and the Scrap Iron softball club this tournament got off to a resounding start with 16 teams in attendance. This tournament, given the location and what the area has to offer, has the potential to grow into one of the larger SSWC Qualifiers in the country in future years.

I want to add, Mark, that I enjoyed watching your team, the Desperados, in that exciting Saturday night game. Your long home run in the bottom of the seventh ignited a come from behind 11 run rally to edge the Scrap Iron 55's 28-27, despite the blackout that occurred just as your team closed the gap to two runs. That win put the Desperados in the drivers seat and proved to be the game of the tournament as the Desperados clinched their division with a 24-7 spanking of the Scrap Iron 55's in the championship game.

Here are how all 16 teams finished in their respective divisions:

1. Rapid Erectors / Scrap Iron, CO (50 Major)
2. GSF, AZ (60 Major Plus)
3. Glori Daze, KS (55 Major)
4. Master Collison, CO (60 Major Plus)

1. Desperados, NM (55 AAA)
2. Scrap Iron 55's, CO (55 AAA)
3. Scrap Iron 50's Northern, CO (50 AA)

1. Scrap Iron Diamonds, CO (60 AAA)
2. Scrap Iron / Phiten, CO (60 AAA)
3. Scrap Iron 65's Redux, CO (65 Major)

1. Scrap Iron 65 Classics, CO (65 AA)
2. Scrap Iron 70's - Green, CO (70 Major)
3. Scrap Iron Red, CO (65 AAA)

1. Colorado Cougars, CO (70 AAA)
2. Scrap Iron Reds, CO (70 AA)
3. Mid-America Patriots, KS (70 AA)

I would also like to mention that DuWayne Pillard, the SSUSA Colorado State Director who led his team (the Scrap Iron 65 Classics) to their division championship with a perfect Sunday at the plate, will be hosting his fourth annual "Wood Bat" tournament this coming weekend in Denver. DuWayne, along with tournament co-director Joe Carabello, have seen this tournament grow each year and have moved to a new sight, Christopher Fields in Broomfield, CO, for this year's event.
Sept. 5, 2011
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: New Engand


The SSUSA has two New England directors who can probably direct you to the managers of the 50+ teams in that region. Here is the contact information for those two gentlemen:

Tom Marum - Northwest New England Director
Home: 413-289-9559
Cell: 508-450-0623

Emilio Notarantonio - Southeast New England Director
Home: 401-353-9149
Cell: 401-368-5100
July 25, 2011
Topic: Tournaments

Here are the results from the Nebraska SSWC Qualifier played in Lavista, NE this past weekend:

50/55 Major
1. J & J Sports, IA
2. Glori Daze, KS

50 AAA
1. Kansas City Renegades, MO
2. Nebraska X-treme, NE
3. Antiques of Iowa City, IA

55 AAA
1. Miken Renegades, MO
2. Prudential Ambassador, NE
3. 1st Interiors, IA

60 AAA
1. 60's Renegades, MO
2. Old School Legends, NE
3. Car City, IA

Gary Kruse worked long and hard to get this tournament off the ground and he hopes to see this tournament grow in future years. Note the pattern in AAA play, Missouri first, Nebraska second and Iowa third. The "Show Me" state earned bragging rights in the central part of the country following this event.
June 13, 2011
Topic: Tournaments

Two new 50-&-over teams were introduced to senior softball this past weekend at the 10,000 Lakes Classic, the MN SSWC Qualifier played in Rochester, MN, and did very well finishing one-two in the strong, six team, 50/55 Platinum Division. The MN Merchants, with a rich and very successful history in the Masters division (35+, 40+ & 45+), won the tournament and Jimmy's / Ancell 50's (MN), a newly formed team, took second.

Ancell 55's (MN) came out of the losers bracket forcing an "IF" game in the 50/55/60 Gold Division. They won that "IF" game with a two out, bottom of the seventh single that brought home the tie-breaking run.

The Oshkosh Ambassadors Softball Club (WI) sent three teams to the 10,000 Lakes Classic and made a clean sweep. The Oshkosh Ambassadors 55's won the 55 Silver Division, the Oshkosh Ambassadors 60's won the 60/65 Gold Division and the Oshkosh Ambassadors 65's won the 65 AA Division.

The Quad City Old Stars (IA) came back on Sunday to win the 70 AAA Division despite losing a player with a skull fracture on Saturday. The player injured was struck on the side of the head by a line drive while running between first and second base. There has been some discussion about mandating helmets for base runners in senior softball and this incident will lend credence to that argument.

FOOTNOTE: The player injured should be okay. The swelling, resulting from the blow and the fracture, radiated outward, not inward.

Here are the top finishers in the tournament:

1. MN Merchants
2. Jimmy's / Ancell 50's (MN)
3T. Roberts Const / Pope Transport (WI)
3T. Milwaukee Merchants (WI)

50/55/60 GOLD
1. Ancell 55's (MN)
2. WI Masters
3. Legends / Chicken Coop / Plaza Pub Coors (IA)

1. Oshkosh Ambassadors 55's (WI)
2. MN Prize 55's
3. Sonic / Fossils (IA)

60/65 GOLD
1. Oshkosh Ambassadors 60's (WI)
2. MN Masters 60's-Red
3T. MN Masters 65's
3T. MN Prize 65's

65 AA
1. Oshkosh Ambassadors 65's (WI)
2. MN Lumberjacks / Bobby & Steve's

70 AAA
1. Quad City Old Stars (IA)
2. MN Masters 70's
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