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July 21, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Deepest Sympathy to Scrap Iron and Aurora

On behalf of myself, Senior Softball-USA and all of the teams coming to Aurora in a week to compete in the 2012 Western Nationals, we would like to offer our deepest sympathy to the Scrap Iron Club and Aurora.

It is hard to grasp the mindless violence that erupted early Friday morning and shattered so many innocent lives.

Please accept our heartfelt condolences to those touched by this tragedy.

Terry Hennessy
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Softball-USA

May 18, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rumors about balls

There are several rumors flying about new balls. Here is the situation:

The 52 COR, 275 Compression ball was used in two tests this weekend as part of an agreement at the Senior Summit to test the new balls. Neither tournament was a qualifier.


We will probably test the balls a few more times in non-qualifier situations (independent tournaments). The initial response by players using the new balls has been largely negative.

We would like to thank Ellwin Jobe of the MTC Club for setting up the test in the Sacramento area, and Rick Seifman, who tested the balls in Las Vegas.

The final decision on using the new balls will be made by the SSUSA Rules Committee in December at the SSUSA Annual Convention in Nashville after all of the testing is completed.

Thanks for playing SSUSA!
Terry Hennessy
April 14, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How Entry Fee Discounts Work

Over the past few weeks, we have received several questions about our new entry fee discounts for some of our Championship-level events. These questions illustrate that the new system is misunderstood, with local teams feeling that they are being singled out to pay more to play senior softball.

In reality, the local teams now pay the actual tournament-fee cost. The teams staying in Host Hotels (in selected tournaments this year), receive a sponsorship from the Host Hotels toward their entry fee.

This new fee structure is only in place for a few tournaments this year, as a trial. It has been put in place to better reflect the actual cost of the tournament to teams.
It is based on these realities:
1. Championship-level senior tournaments are expensive to run.
2. The entry fees cover most of the costs of the tournament, the rest comes from city sponsorships.
3. Cities only provide funding if the tournaments can prove they brought economic impact to the city in the form of hotel room usage. This is becoming more of a factor as city budgets shrink and cities are becoming even more careful about funding tournaments.

Previously the teams staying in the Host Hotels actually subsidized the entry fees of all of the other teams in the tournament.

We also reduced some entry fees for local teams in a number of tournaments, including the Winter Worlds in Las Vegas, Midwest Championships in Chicago, the California Cup in Yolo County, the Pelican Womens Championships in Panama City Beach, and the Rock n Reno Qualifier in Nevada.

To receive the Host Hotel Sponsorship, teams need to register through Housing Connection and use a minimum of 5 rooms for each night of the tournament (usually 3 nights).

Players using their own Hotel Discounts to register do not qualify for the Hotel Sponsorship. Those players have a choice of using their personal discounts for rooms, or going through the Housing Connection to get credit for the Entry Fee Sponsorship. We are working on standardizing rates for Host Hotels for 2010, which should resolve the issue.

(Senior Softball-USA is using a similar system for the World Championships in Phoenix called Passkey). All Host Housing is available at Go to 2009 Tournaments, select the correct Tournament and click on the Housing Connection logo (click on the PHX logo for the World Championships).

Thanks for your understanding and for participating in Senior Softball-USA.

Terry Hennessy

March 16, 2009
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Spring National Fees Changed

We have been unable to implement the Housing Connection System in time for the Spring National Championships in Polk County, Florida, in April.
Therefore, we have adjusted the Entry Fee to $450 for all teams. We apologize for this change in entry fee.

The Housing Connection service is available for the Reno Tournament.
Feb. 10, 2009
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: SSUSA Cuts Entry Fee Cost

Senior Softball-USA announced today that it will be lowering entry fees in many of the Regional Championship tournaments for 2009.

We have decided to reduce many of the entry fees because of the continuing decline of the US and Canadian economies and the resulting hardship on our players, said Terry Hennessy, chief executive officer of SSUSA.

In the beginning of 2009, SSUSA adopted a discounted entry fee for teams staying in Host Hotels in many of its tournaments this year. Teams using 5 rooms over the three nights of the tournaments received a $150 discount. Entry fees for teams not using the Host Hotels were set at $525 and those using the Host Hotels were to pay only $375.

This fee structure reflected the actual cost of the tournament to the teams, said Hennessy. The commission from the Host Hotels in effect provides that much of a sponsorship of the teams entry fee, said Hennessy.

In addition, many of the cities base their city bid fees on host hotel rooms used by teams so teams using host hotels not only saved themselves money, but ensured that we could continue to bring the tournament back to cities especially in these hard economic times for cities, said Hennessy.

However, these are exceedingly hard times for many of our players and teams, so we will be rolling back the top end of the entry fees from $525 to $495 for those teams not using Host Hotels. Those teams using Host Hotels will still receive the full discount and pay only $375, he said.

Fees will be lowered for these regional tournaments: Spring Nationals in Polk County, Winter Worlds in Las Vegas, Midwest Championships in Chicago, the California Cup in Yolo County, the Pelican Womens Championships in Panama City Beach, and the Rock n Reno Qualifier in Nevada. The remaining Regional Championships are not using the new Housing Connection system and will cost the same as last year: $450.

Hennessy said entry fees for the World Championships in Phoenix and the Eastern and Western Nationals will remain the same because they are close to most of the other national organization entry fees at the top end, and those tournaments are more expensive to run.

Feb. 10, 2009
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Statement on New Rules for 2009

The home run, pitchers box and other rules adopted at the Senior Softball-USA Convention in Florida in December are designed to equalize competition in divisions and to help us build larger divisions of play.

We believe these moves will improve the sport and make it more competitive and enjoyable for teams.

We ask for the teams feedback as the rules are used this year so that we can determine:

1. Are they providing equal competition?
2. Do teams like the rules AFTER having played a season with them?
3. What suggestions do teams have to improve the rules?

We feel strongly that we need to see the rules in play for a season to determine whether or not they are working as hoped. Any changes to the new rules will be made at the SSUSA Annual Convention in December 2009.

We welcome your feedback and thank you for playing in SSUSA.

Terry Hennessy
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Softball-USA
Sept. 10, 2008
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Cesar Chavez

> I disagree vehemently with the mis-characterization of the fields at
> Chavez as being unsafe.
>They were substantially improved last year. In addition, the city has gone to great pains and expense to improve and beautify the surrounding area.

The area is no more dangerous than Desert West or Rose Mofford or Papago. Unfortunately any parking lot of any sports complex in any major city falls victim to
> vehicle break-ins.
> In addition, the fields themselves are prepped between games, there will
> be water in the dugout, concessions and tournament merchandise will be
> available. These fields have all of the basic amenities that put them
> in the category of good-to-excellent softball complexes when compared
> with facilities throughout the country.
> Some make it sound as if we are putting teams on inferior fields in a
> dangerous section of town. That is a categorically a false impression.
> We bring the World Championships to Phoenix because it is one of the few
> cities in the country with enough quality softball complexes to host a
> tournament this size -- and that includes the Cesar Chavez Complex.
> I believe you will find the fields very good and the surrounding parkland beautiful.
> Terry Hennessy
Sept. 9, 2008
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: New 40 Men's Masters Rule

Any team with players on the USSSA or ASA Men's Major Player List will be considered a 40 Men's Master Major-Plus team and will compete in that category at the Senior Softball World Championships in Phoenix.

This rule is designed to promote more competitive divisions in the 40 Men's Masters because of the growth in the number of teams and the increasing difference in skill levels.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Terry Hennessy
Aug. 26, 2008
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: SSUSA Adopts Major-Plus Task Force Recommendations

On June 4, 2008, the SSUSA commissioned the Major Plus Task Force to survey the Major Plus managers in the 50s, 55s and 60s age groups and to use the responses from those managers to formulate recommendations concerning playing rule modifications for those divisions.

The Task Force was chaired by Gary Tryhorn (Old As 60s), and included Bob Woodruff (GSF 60s), Audie Hollis (Hollis Appraisal 50s and 55s), Butch Drake (Travelodge 55s), Randy Hendricks (Hendricks Sports Management 50s), Ken Lipinski (Seacrest Mavericks 50s) and Jim Hornus (W.E. Ruth 55s).

The Task Force has submitted their recommendations and the SSUSA is pleased to announce that it is adopting eight of the nine recommendations. The effective date for all of the adopted recommendations is September 1, 2008, except as otherwise noted.

Recommendations Adopted

1. TOURNAMENT FORMAT Major Plus teams will play two seeding games on the first day, double elimination (or three game guarantee, field availability permitting) brackets starting on the second day, with the third day concluding in the early afternoon.
2. TIME LIMITS Sixty-five (65) minutes plus open inning in seeding games, 75 minutes, finish current inning, in bracket, and seven innings full, no time limit, in Championship game(s).
3. RUNS PER INNING Seeding games: Seven (7) runs per half-inning at bat, with last inning open. Bracket and Championship Games: No run limit (open scoring) per half-inning at bat, with mercy rule of 25 runs after 5 innings.
4. HOME RUNS Ten (10) plus 1-up, Singles thereafter, in all three age divisions.
5. SOFTBALLS Each team will be provided with two dozen new softballs at the beginning of the tournament. Teams will hit their own softballs and chase their own home runs. Additional softballs may be purchased at the tournament or teams may bring their own SSUSA approved (only) softballs.
6. BALL / STRIKE COUNT The current SSUSA rule of a 4-3 ball/strike count will be retained. No courtesy foul.
7. ROSTER RESTRICTIONS Teams home state plus bordering states, Snowbirds prohibited, and one (1) out-of-region exception player allowed per team, using East/West of the Mississippi River boundary. [EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2008, to prevent disrupting current rosters for the 2008 World Championships in Phoenix]
8. ROSTER PUBLICATION Major Plus rosters will be made public through the SSUSA web site.

Recommendation Declined

9. BATTED BALL STRIKING PITCHER The managers surveyed by the Task Force voted exactly 50/50% on the question of retaining or eliminating this rule, and the Task Forces recommendation was to eliminate it. The rule will be retained, in modified form, and is simultaneously being extended to all ages and divisions of play, effective September 1, 2008.

Rule Modification Specific language will be published shortly, but the Pitchers Protection Rule will apply only if the pitcher is in the Pitchers Box and, in the judgment of the umpire, the Pitcher has no chance to make a defensive play on the ball. The component of the current rule that limited its application to the line drive batted ball only will be removed.

ECONOMIC IMPACT ON TEAMS The adoption of the Task Force Recommendations will result in additional softball costs and longer game times, for which umpires will be entitled to, and receive, additional compensation. The 50s, 55s and 60s Major Plus teams will be charged an additional entry fee of $200 to help defray a portion of the additional costs.

Thank you to all of the managers who replied to the survey, and a special thank you to the Major Plus Task Force for an exceptionally well done job.
May 22, 2008
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: One player dies, 5 seriously injured

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of six senior softball players involved in a serious accident yesterday in Maryland. The van in which they were driving to a tournament was struck broadside by a tractor-trailer.

One player, Clifford Rice, 72, was killed instantly. Two other players -- Jack Finniff, 63, and Gardner Stewart, 64 -- were taken by Lifeflight helicopter to a nearby hospital and are in extremely critical condition.

The remaining 3 players -- Robin Poffenberger, 72, Dennis Kenndle, 65, and Gary Gruber, were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The players were traveling to a local senior softball tournament in Olney, MD.

Some of the players are also on the Hamel's 65 tournament team. For more in formation, see

Senior Softball-USA Staff
Aug. 8, 2007
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Banned from Message Board

Today, for the first time since the Senior Softball Message Board was established 10 years ago, we are banning a person from further postings.

It is with a great deal of personal saddness that I ordered this move because I firmly believe that freedom of speech needs a great deal of latitude -- and very few restrictions -- to accomplish the goal of enabling a robust flow of ideas.

However, in this case one person has managed to disrupt the flow of ideas with more than 700 posts that have been peppered on most of the message threads. A number of these posts have been abusive, and many have only been written to incite personal tirades.

Therefore, all of the postings of Gary19 are being, or have been, deleted. His access to the Message Board has been abolished. As a result, some of the message threads will have gaps. We apologize for any inconvenience to other people posting messages.

Terry Hennessy
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Softball-USA
Jan. 7, 2007
Topic: Bats

Sorry guys, only players at the TOC will be able to buy the commemorative bat. It is a very Limited Edition.

Terry Hennessy
March 28, 2006
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: New Snowbird Rule

New Snowbird Rule

Beginning in the 2006 season, Senior Softball-USA Snowbird players will have to register every year to be eligible to play in two states that do not border. The cost to register as a Snowbird is $15 per year, which covers the expense of issuing a new card each year.

We have had to institute these new Snowbird rules because of the abuses of the program over the past two seasons. Under the new rules players must live for three consecutive months in each state and they may only play on one of the teams in the World Championships.

Players will be issued a new card in a different color each year to signify they are Snowbirds. In addition, a list of Snowbird players will be listed on the Senior Softball-USA website ( and on the National Senior Softball Summit website (

Falsifying information carries a penalty of suspension for one year in addition to the year of the offense.

The new form is available at

Players with the old Snowbird cards who want to play in only one region may send their cards into Senior Softball-USA to be changed to a single region at no cost.

Both SSUSA and SPA have a common snowbird form, however players must submit the form to each of those organizations if they will be participating in both SSUSA and SPA events.

Sept. 22, 2005
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Illegal Players!!

For the record:

The three players on the Russell Real Estate 55 team at the California Cup WERE NOT illegal.

The three players were drafted from the Kelly 50 Major-Plus team and added to the AAA Roster.

The California Cup was also a qualifier this year. That means that teams can add LEGAL players to their roster and re-qualify with that roster. If the team, like Rusell Real Esatte adds impact players, they face the possibility of being raised in the ratings (from AAA to Major). As a matter of fact, I told the Russell Real Estate manager that if they used the California Cup Roster they would be Major and if they used their Reno Roster (without the Major-Plus Players) they would be AAA.

As a result of Russell Real Estate adding these players, we instituted an equalizer for the other teams (Russell had to give them 5 runs or 11 players). And, Russell Real Esatet didn't finish in the top of the AAA division.

Again, these players WERE NOT illegal.

If the players were illegal, meaning they falsified their ages, they would have been subject to permanent ban from the sport.

If the players were illegal because they were from the wrong region, or wrong age group, the Russell games would have been forfeit for the tournament.

I hope this answers your questions

Terry Hennessy
Aug. 4, 2005
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Formal Protest of all 50 major plus snowbirds

Response to Protest
We have just completed an audit of all 50+ snowbird applications. That audit has found there are no 50 Major-Plus snowbirds registered with SSUSA.

Thanks for your concern.

Terry Hennessy
May 11, 2005
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Big League Dreams Tourney Cancelled

Because of a conflict with the Top Gun Tournament on June 23-26 at Camp Pendelton, the SSWC National Qualifier at the Big Leagu Dreams fields on the same date has been cancelled.

SSWC's California Director Ken Lipinski has graciously decided to cancel the Big League Dreams SSWC Qualifier because the Top Gun tournament is the main fund raiser for the San Diego Club.

For information about the Top Gun Tournament in Camp Pendleton, please call Tom Turpin at 858-484-2282.

We offer our apologies both to the Big League Dreams for the late cancelation and to Ken Lipinski, who agreed to set up the SSWC qualifier before we were aware of the conflict.

We also apologize to players planning on playing at the SSWC Qualifier and recommend they attend the Top Gun Tournament to support the club in their fund raising efforts.

Terry Hennessy
April 25, 2005
Topic: Bats
Discussion: New SSUSA Bat Policy

April 25, 2005

Senior Softball-USA Bat Policy

The Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA) Board of Directors announced today that the 1.20 bat performance standard will continue to be used for all Senior Softball-USA and Senior Softball World Championships events indefinitely.

The SSUSA 1.20 bpf bat standard had been due to expire on Jan. 1, 2006.

The SSUSA Board will continue to periodically review its bat standard, said Terry Hennessy, SSUSAs chief executive officer, however, based on the past several years of monitoring use of bats meeting the 1.20 bpf in senior softball events, we see no reason to change our standard.

We firmly believe that allowing all of these bats make the game more exciting, no more dangerous, and will lead to greater participation in one of the healthiest activities around for seniors.

In short, we believe this decision is the right one for both our players and the sport, said Hennessy.

The decision means all bats meeting the original 1.20 bpf standard, including the Ultra II and the Synergy, will be allowed for SSUSA and SSWC sanctioned events. The only bat meeting the 1.20 bpf that is not allowed is the Original Miken Ultra I.

Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
9823 Old Winery Place, Suite 12
Sacramento, CA 95827
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts international softball tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

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