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May 6, 2017
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard Tournament Indianapolis

Dave...I think the best thing you did or said today was coming up with the Master of Hysteria and Panic title. I appreciate that even if it was intended to put the blame on one individual for 10 or more teams deciding not to play, which is not the case.


I did not gamble on the weather or field conditions; guys I have played with and against for years and whose judgment I trust were at the fields after the managers' meeting, and they emphatically said the conditions in the outfield were and would be unsafe. The gamble to me would have been playing. I would much rather lose money on the front end than be mad at myself for playing if I got hurt. Again, you have not walked in the outfields, and standing water on them today is safe how??? Last year I did play through Sunday's championship game, and for a nice red softball cap I took too big a risk. Although it was not my game, I did get to be the first one to tell the ambulance driver not to take his vehicle on the swampy field, and he looked at me like I was some kind of a moron until his partner ran up and told him the same thing. Our team took a vote this year, and I actually said I would go with what the team decided, with the caveat that if at any time we thought the fields were not playable we would walk.

I also am fully aware that weather is always a factor, whether the event is across the country or in my backyard. No matter the distance, if I am at the field and it is not safe to play then the expenses that can't be recouped would have no bearing on my decision to sit it out, no matter what the on-site official had to say about the conditions.

I certainly can appreciate the efforts of the people on-site to do the best they can to make the fields playable, and I don't believe I have made any remarks about their efforts at all. Having been involved with baseball and softball for almost my entire life I have always made a point out of thanking the people who drag and line the fields, put out the bases etc., and in my coaching days I moved a lot of sand, raked a lot of infields and got filthy from using giant sponges to make them playable. It does not change the FACT that there was still standing water in the outfields today and some areas were like swamps. The fields simply can't take that much water over a short period of time and be playable, meaning SAFE and not increasing the normal risks to players. Time and good weather are the only factors that can change the outfields from where they are now.

Please let me know where I have misstated any facts. Standing water and swamp-like conditions in the outfield today, playing last year in torrential downpours with large infield ponds to the point that the bases were not visible, the tournament director posting on this board on how proud he/she was of getting the games in despite the fact that there were serious injuries, etc. Let me know the errors.

You are correct in my criticism that you are proceeding with playing games on fields with standing water. When there are adverse playing conditions that pose increased risks to the players the games should not be played until those risks are eliminated. If that means canceling games or a tournament that I have already spent a lot of time and effort to be at, so be it. Does success in your mind mean nobody got badly hurt despite the poor conditions, or that "we got the games in despite people telling us the fields were not playable", or what? And per a question I asked earlier, at what point would you ever say the fields were not playable?

I'm not sure how my credibility is diminished by not being there today. The players that are there already have stated there was still standing water in the outfields during their games. My presence or lack thereof does not change that FACT. Your absence from the fields does not change it either. And I am not annoyed that the tournament is proceeding without me. If they did not cancel it with the conditions and injuries experienced last year it never will be canceled. For those teams voting on pulling out who had hopes of getting their money back I was emphatic that it would never happen, and if that was a factor in their decision so be it.

What does annoy me is the continual bashing of those who chose not to play. Rather than just stating the tournament was downsized due to withdrawals, the teams were labeled as those who "prematurely withdrew" ("prematurely" implies that there was also a better time to withdraw later on). Using the words "hysteria and panic" to describe the carefully considered decisions of individual teams is quite demeaning. The blame was even incorrectly put on one team for organizing a "Brickyard boycott". The writer of all of these is insulting our intelligence and decision making ability. He is supposed to be the voice of leadership, and engaging in these practices greatly diminishes any credibility he may have had. And condoning teams playing a tournament with standing water in the outfields, ESPECIALLY after what happened at this very tournament last year, is so absurd it is incredulous to me.

Again, if I have any of the facts wrong please let me know. And while my TEAM voted to pass on the event, my opinions are just that, and not meant to reflect on my team or anybody other than myself. Feel free to look me up in your records, and I will be more than happy to re-introduce myself to you at a future event. I will always be happy to discuss anything directly with you. While you certainly don't agree with what I have stated, I believe all of the facts to be correct. Nothing is intended to be personal. I have simply passed the stage in my life where if I see a giant puddle I need to make a big splash, and am more concerned with the outcomes and risks involved in running through it. And I don't wish to be mocked and attacked in any way for making a logical decision, especially by those who should know better.

On another topic, now that you have shown it is possible to post pictures on this site when it suits you, how about taking pictures of the updated brackets at major events and posting them at the end of each day? You were able to take a picture sent to you from Indy and post it, so we really should be able to see all of the tournament results, even those with multiple locations such as Las Vegas. Just a thought!
May 6, 2017
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard Tournament Indianapolis

Dave...Regarding your comment about next year: You mean they might have the standing water out of the outfields by then? And the really swampy areas might be dry? Or maybe we can just play with all infielders and go back to our grade school days when we had such rules as "anything to right field is an automatic out". We could make it off limits to hit the ball onto the grass or toward the ponds. I don't think I can add much more to what the Master of Hysteria and Panic has stated. As an outfielder who has been through a knee reconstruction with a wonderful surgeon and a fantastic physical therapist I would not wish that upon anybody (special shout out also to the cadaver for the spare part). If you don't understand our concerns after what occurred last year under similar "playing" conditions then I don't know what to say. Not only do we have unsafe outfields, but we have onsite people who have a well-documented track record of making poor decisions when it comes to our safety.

Nobody can control the weather; it is the response to it that shows your true character, and you have done that in spades. There was no organized boycott; we all wanted to play, and we knew that we would be out some money if we chose not to do so. Each team made the decision right for it, after careful consideration and input from all involved. Instead of just accepting the fact that some of us chose not to play for well-grounded safety concerns, you have done your best to turn our individual choices into some kind of orchestrated group effort that is being taken as a personal affront. If you were at the complex last night or this morning you could have walked the outfields yourself and seen that they would be a safety hazard today, no matter what the weather or infields looked like. And then you could have changed out of your soaking wet socks and shoes instead of wearing them all day like the players. By definition our ages put us legally as adults, and we made informed decisions that are in our best interests. Life goes on. But it is kind of funny that the only people acting as adults here are those that are paying a lot of money to play a kids' game.
May 6, 2017
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard Tournament Indianapolis

Dave, obviously you are not at the fields. Teams have dropped out because of current conditions, with assessments made on-site. The claim was made at the managers' meeting that the fields were in perfect condition, and they had two pallets of diamond dry to put down in the morning. If the fields were already perfect and the skies were sunny, why would they need to do anything more? The staff member who contributed the bit above about the beautiful weather and beach volleyball last night left out the field conditions, the most important part. And as we did not intend to play beach volleyball, which only lightning will stop, I'm not sure how that helps. But in my mind, I could almost hear the crickets and bullfrogs in the background, but for being drowned out by water pumps.

When you are writing your self-congratulatory case study for the Tournament Director's Textbook, perhaps you should state the conditions under which a game (or heaven forbid, an entire tournament) would actually be canceled. What constitutes "overwhelming evidence"? Last year we played through torrential rain for the final four innings of a game, in the seeding round no less. Players on the infield could not move without slipping and falling, and the runners had a worse time. When the rain stopped some of the bases were no longer visible because of the surrounding lakes. There was enough standing water in the outfield for small craft advisories. And yet we played. On Sunday the weather was gorgeous, sunny and 82 degrees. The outfields still had standing water, and the infields were still slick. And yet we played. The ambulance first responders could not even put their stretcher on the outfield grass because of the water late in the day on Sunday, as they carted away a player whose injuries were directly attributable to the conditions. The driver had planned to pull the truck onto the field, but if he had done so it would still be there. Really, what would the conditions need to be in order to cancel games? Even hurricanes end with dazzlingly bright blue skies, but it can take years to put the land back to the way we want it and make it useful again.

At least ten teams made what they believe to be a "wise decision" to eat their financial losses and not risk injuries. And yet we are again (see last year) treated to the arrogant, defiant and taunting messages from our employees. You work for us, not the other way around. It is painfully obvious that no lessons were learned by our employees last year, but as teams who very much do want to play we learned a lot about the decision-making ability of the Brickyard director. There was no mass hysteria and panic this year, or one team convincing all others to stay away. We made rational decisions based on current information and past experience. We decided that playing a handful of games over one weekend was not worth the much-increased odds of being injured due to poor playing conditions. For you to state otherwise is wrong. For the teams that have decided to play, good luck and stay safe.

May 5, 2017
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard Tournament Indianapolis

If anybody who played this tournament last year is at all surprised with this decision, shame on you. The fields last year were not playable. Period. And yet the TD posted a proud note of how they got the games in despite the weather, and this was AFTER some of the horrific injuries. Assuming they can find pumps available and hoses long enough to dump water in areas not in the field of play, maybe third base on one of the back fields won't be under 6 inches of water, with a pond spreading out ten feet in every direction. We have a picture from last year of a third baseman pointing out where a runner needed to step to find the base, as it was not visible. Running on the rest of the infield was like running on grease, and position players fell over just trying to move for the ground balls that did not stick in puddles. And yet they would not pull us off the field. Taking away surface water from a swamp does not mean it will no longer be a swamp. Good luck to all of the outfielders.
For those who don't believe this is all about the money (and NEVER giving any of it back), take a walk around the fields this weekend whether you are playing or have decided not to do so, and ask if your local leagues would ever have you play under such conditions. Your health and well-being are not even in the conversation, and neither is canceling the event. If only three teams show up they will have you play a one-pitch tournament on Sunday just to say the event was played as scheduled. No refunds.
The potential playing conditions also are making a side note out of the TD allowing the event to become oversubscribed, to the point that they had a last-minute effort to add Friday games. They knew ahead of time how many fields and game times they had available, but apparently never saw an entry fee they could turn down. This led to the Friday attempt, impossible for most teams at the last minute, and failing that scheduling games from dawn until midnight, assuming everything would be on schedule. We play in numerous events that are capped at the number of teams precisely to avoid these issues. Please don't respond that this oversubscription was done as a favor to all who wanted to play.
We do get to vote with our feet and money. Next year I will vote "no" on this event when our team picks out the 2018 tournaments. And for those who are concerned about injuries after signing a waiver, you never sign away rights against gross negligence. While there is the assumption of basic risk on our part, the people running the facilities and events must take reasonable care for safety. Good luck, and take lots of pictures.
May 4, 2016
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Brickyard results

Rattlesnake, you warned me about earning a nickname in another thread, but here goes anyway.
First, thank you to Tim for posting the results so quickly after the tournament. While it does not take a lot of time to do so this practice has been sadly lacking in the past, and again it is much appreciated.
That is where the positive comments end. I was in Indy for the tournament, and my team did come out on top in our division. Was it fun to have the final out and a tournament victory? Absolutely! Was it worth it to play in the conditions we had with the associated risks, and seeing the possible career ending and life altering injuries suffered by others? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
Chicago had similar weather to Indy on Saturday. The Cubs have a tarp on the infield to keep it dry until game time, state of the art field equipment, built-in drainage across the field, pallets full of Diamond Dry® and a grounds crew of 75+. They chose not to play on Saturday.
It is not our expectation that a couple of guys with rakes could possibly keep up with Mother Nature on one field, let alone six of them. However, it is also not an expectation that we would be forced to play on a field with third base under so much water that the other team's fielder would be pointing out where to step on the bag because it was not visible. The fields were not playable at all on Saturday after the initial deluge. The risk of injury was obvious before we experienced a number of hard falls in the mud with the smallest of movements while trying to run or make defensive plays.
For those who have said we all had a choice to play or not, poppycock! It should never be up to the players to decide whether or not to play on a field that DOES NOT MEET MINIMAL STANDARDS. The tournament director shoulders the full responsibility for putting so many at risk just to say that the show went on despite adverse conditions. If he had been told that he would be personally liable for any injuries suffered due to his decision, would we have played any games Saturday night? Not in a million years.
Sunday was not much better. The infields were too wet early in the day to be dragged, and the only raked spots were small areas around the bases. The outfields were still like swamps, with standing water all over the place. As stated previously the ambulance could not even attempt to go on the field to assist a badly injured player.
At some point somebody needs to have some common sense, and again that comes back to the tournament director. Whether it is Indy or Vegas or TOC, players' health and well being should never be put at risk just to "get the games in." Most of us have lives away from softball, believe it or not.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the injured players. I had my own catastrophic knee injury on a very playable softball field nine years ago, and the many months of physical therapy and rehab after surgery were only possible because of the help and sacrifices of those around me. Sadly, the injuries from this past weekend were entirely preventable.

April 19, 2016
WizKid
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: why?

Last September I created a user name for the message board for the sole purpose of posting about the late/incomplete tournament results even weeks after the event has been played. It is fun for those of us who are across the country to follow all sessions in Las Vegas and other tournaments, as we all know players and teams involved and we can't always be at the games. One might think that SSUSA would encourage timely results, as it sparks continued interest in the sport and with many hits on their website they might even make more money on ads.

From STAFF replies to myself and others, it is clear that "journalism" (their word for scores/results) is just not on the priority list of the people who run this organization. Period. There is no effort beyond telling us the many reasons why they can't do it. "Our focus is at the field and the players present, not those sitting at home. Then we have to get ready for... a)the next tournament b)Hall of Fame picks c)TOC" etc. etc. etc. Lots of reasons why it can't be done real time or in the hours after the event, but no effort to make it happen in even a half-baked way. And yet, as grayhitter59 has noted, other organizations with far fewer paid playing members or even those who run one-off entry fee only events have no problem posting results in real time and making everything available on-line, not just to those at the event who can find the brackets tacked on a wall. And wouldn't it be nice if every team did not have to come to the field after the seeding games for the official posting of the paper brackets? Post them on-line at a specified time, with 60 minutes to the first game, and some teams will have an extra hour or two to get to the fields for their first bracket games.

For ongoing and final results, with the technology available today it takes all of 30 seconds to snap a picture of a bracket and send it to wherever you want to make it available to whoever wants to see it. Maybe even a message board! For the major events, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE WHY RESULTS CAN'T BE POSTED IN REAL TIME AS THEY ARE POSTED AT THE FIELD. If it is still a matter of staffing, spend a few hundred dollars at the major events and hire local college interns to do nothing but post scores. (The excuse for that not happening has been that there is only one laptop computer with all of the brackets tied to a home-grown program with only two known copies, so it would be impossible to let somebody else touch it. God forbid the holder of that laptop should be hit by a bus in Vegas! I don't know a single college kid without a phone far nicer than mine, and they are REALLY good at sending messages/pictures of all kinds with amazing speed.)

I know that there are very dedicated individuals involved in allowing grown men and women to play a kids'game, and there is an awful lot that happens behind the scenes to make things run as seamlessly as possible. Having said that, the ongoing lack of interest in communicating tournament results in a timely manner to paying members and the myriad excuses as to why it can't be done projects the image of a two-bit, backroom Ma and Pa organization with a rotor on the telephone. Posting of results in real time or shortly thereafter is not an unreasonable request for 2016. We deserve better.

I am not looking for a defense of SSUSA from STAFF or self-appointed backers, and this is not in any way meant to be personal. SSUSA wants to be recognized as a first class operation. The paying members have a very strong interest in seeing almost instant results, and to follow many teams and brackets it is most efficient for SSUSA to provide that information as they already have it. There are simply no valid excuses as to why things can't be changed.

Previous post last year:


, Sept. 29, 2015
WizKid Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Posting Big Tournament Scores in a Timely Manner

I would wager that all of us on this board know a number of teams and players participating in the Las Vegas two week extravaganza currently being played. In today's world of instant media updates, video uploads etc. there is no excuse for not updating tournament bracket scores on at least a nightly basis. From another thread:

grd8sbnut • 55-Major+, 55-Major and 60-Major+ are posted up to Sunday mid-afternoon ... Please keep in mind that our sole focus is on the tourney administration for the teams and players that are here ... That's the #1 priority, and will be for the next eight days ... Journalism is way farther down the totem pole! ... It's below tomorrow's Hall of Fame inductions (9) and completion of the 3rd Session brackets ... Thanks!

In the time it took this individual to post a message he could have actually put in the finals winners of the three brackets noted above. Somebody was able to put in almost all of the scores from seeding rounds up until the last few games for them. Why not finish the job? And does this imply that other age groups and classes are less important to whoever did the partial update?

If the staff at the event does not have the time, or as stated above considers it a low priority item, hire an intern for $20 an hour and get it done. This can be accomplished on-site or by easily communicating the scores to the home office or to anywhere in the country. Take a picture of the on-site filled in brackets with your phone and send it to the person who can then update on the site. Or just post a completed bracket picture for the rest of us. Done! Contrary to the poster above, this is not "journalism"; it is a simple communications issue that can be easily solved with minimal time and effort.

For any that live in a larger metro area, at this time of year there are likely over a hundred high school football games taking place simultaneously, obviously all at different locations, and mostly on Friday nights. And yet, even the local papers with limited staff have ALL of the scores in the paper the next morning, along with stories on key games. Apparently they do feel it is a priority for THEIR readers. Perhaps it even helps their circulation and on-line hits, better selling advertising that pays the bills. There may be a lesson in that!
Sept. 29, 2015
WizKid
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Posting Big Tournament Scores in a Timely Manner

I would wager that all of us on this board know a number of teams and players participating in the Las Vegas two week extravaganza currently being played. In today's world of instant media updates, video uploads etc. there is no excuse for not updating tournament bracket scores on at least a nightly basis. From another thread:

grd8sbnut • 55-Major+, 55-Major and 60-Major+ are posted up to Sunday mid-afternoon ... Please keep in mind that our sole focus is on the tourney administration for the teams and players that are here ... That's the #1 priority, and will be for the next eight days ... Journalism is way farther down the totem pole! ... It's below tomorrow's Hall of Fame inductions (9) and completion of the 3rd Session brackets ... Thanks!

In the time it took this individual to post a message he could have actually put in the finals winners of the three brackets noted above. Somebody was able to put in almost all of the scores from seeding rounds up until the last few games for them. Why not finish the job? And does this imply that other age groups and classes are less important to whoever did the partial update?

If the staff at the event does not have the time, or as stated above considers it a low priority item, hire an intern for $20 an hour and get it done. This can be accomplished on-site or by easily communicating the scores to the home office or to anywhere in the country. Take a picture of the on-site filled in brackets with your phone and send it to the person who can then update on the site. Or just post a completed bracket picture for the rest of us. Done! Contrary to the poster above, this is not "journalism"; it is a simple communications issue that can be easily solved with minimal time and effort.

For any that live in a larger metro area, at this time of year there are likely over a hundred high school football games taking place simultaneously, obviously all at different locations, and mostly on Friday nights. And yet, even the local papers with limited staff have ALL of the scores in the paper the next morning, along with stories on key games. Apparently they do feel it is a priority for THEIR readers. Perhaps it even helps their circulation and on-line hits, better selling advertising that pays the bills. There may be a lesson in that!








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