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Men's 55

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Oct. 13, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Bat and Ball

In response to the question posed, I would like to see the 52/275 ball tried. After playing in LV, I would quit playing if that ball was used at every tourney. Softball to me and to others that I speak with is about more than the home run. It is about a complete game, i.e., defense, hitting, speed, etc. As a team, we hit more hrs in LV than we have hit at the rest of the tourneys. We are getting older and should not expect the technology to allow us to hit the ball farther or harder than in our prime. Softball can be as much or more fun with a less lively ball. Those who can/should hit hrs would and those who can't/shouldn't would not. Just the way it was when we were young.
If a safer alternative exists which does not substantially change the game, I for one believe it should be implemented. The egos need to take a backseat to the safety issue. If they want to have a hr contest at each tourney so be it. Let them use the 54/700 ball and go for it. Just my $.02.
April 26, 2009
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Pitching Masks discussion

Did not pretend to be super informed. Offered an opinion based on typical actions that happen after several injuries that are followed by court cases. There is no reason to have a bat/ball combo that would travel 500'. The fences are generally 300'.

Why should one expect to hit the ball farther at 50 years old then when in their prime? Why is the game suddenly no fun if you can not hit a home run? Many players have play for many years and have not hit a ball out of the park and they had fun playing.

You have no idea who I am. I will state that I have no business interest in any type of equipment used in softball. I am not advocating the 52 cor ball but I use that as an example that technology exists to have a safer game that apparently does not effect the integrity of the game.(At least to the people that I talked with that have hit this type of ball)

I would rather change to a different bat/ball combo and potentially eliminate the DBO and HR as outs. It would be nice to actually play seven innings.

Please explain how changing the bat/ball combo would slow down the game.
April 26, 2009
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Pitching Masks discussion

IMHO I have not got the impression from the discussion on this board that anyone is pushing for a "mush" bat/ball combination. But what is the need to have a combination that can be hit 500'. The fences are typically close to 300'. As long as the historical home run hitters can hit (not mis-hit) the combo in excess of 300', why does it need to be hotter. There appears to be a considerable number of players that were willing to play the game they love without ever hitting the ball over the fence. Suddenly, players turn 50 and think they should start hitting homeruns. Home runs, alone, in my opinion do not make the game fun. A combination of good hitting, good defense, good teammates and general comradiere are the reasons many players continue to play.

I have not hit the 52 cor 265 compression ball. From those that I have talked to(whose opinion I trust) that have hit the ball say that it will go long and far when hit. They did not alter their swings to hit it. If you miss hit the ball it will not go. This is the way it should be. As far as hitting a ball thru a hole, a "mush" ball can be hit thru a hole without being caught, if the hole is hit. Hitting a ball 2-3 feet from a defender with the new combo may get caught but 2-3 feet away is not what I consider to be the hole.

If something is not done with the bat/ball combo, I believe the associations will have no choice but to implement more safety rules. The law suits will in the end force the issue. Softball does have inherent risks but they normally have been confined to bad bounces and not balls that are hit faster than the resonse time.

The problem I do foresee is if a change is made to the ball, i.e., going to 52 cor, 265 compression, (very similar to the old T-4000) there would need to be a rule put in place to limit the bats. Seniors are a very innovative group. If the ball is changed someone will find the bat that hits that particular ball the best and we again get to have these same discussions.

Just my opinion. I am not trying to speak for any majority.

March 15, 2009
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Akadema

Looking for comments about Akadema products. Specifically fielding gloves, cleats and turf shoes. Has anyone had any experience with these?
Feb. 22, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Seniors and Home Runs

IMHO softball is about more than the home run. It is about defense, fundamentals, strategy, speed, hitting. I believe we have allowed technology to feed the egos of the senior player. There appears to be a folks on the MB that feel home runs are the only part of softball. There is a big difference between a team that hits a considerable number of HRs and a team that relies on base hits. Over the course of a weekend the base hitting team exerts considerably more energy running bases versus a team hitting home runs that either gets to walk to the dugout or walk around the bases as each additional single is hit. If the game is only about home runs just have a home run contest between each 2 teams. Game time should be shortened. Each home run scores any ball not hit out is an out. Play seven innings. Would guess few teams would show up to play.
Feb. 22, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: A simple

Answer is Yes if you are moving teams into major plus that were not designed/built/have no desire to play there. Answer is no if you let only the teams who were designed/built/have the desire to play there. Still believe a better answer is to change the bat/ball combo to reduce the home runs being hit by those who should not/have seldom if ever hit a home run.
Feb. 2, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Somebody needs to say it!

audieh, read your post with interest. Agree for the most part. To me the problem started with the major + teams complaining about not having enough teams to play at each tourney. The response in an effort to make more teams competitive were the rule changes. It would surprise me if most people would have a problem with the major + division having whatever rules they want/desire. The problem becomes when teams are moved up. As long as it is voluntary to play major +, do as you want. I do disagree that a team should be moved up from major by winning one of the tourneys you listed. Particularly if they are winning by one or two runs, or from the losers bracket. As most players know, anyone can beat anyone on a given day but that does not mean they can compete for the long haul. Now if a team is truly dominate and beating everyone by a considerable difference that is a different story. Many teams do not have the financial ability to compete in tourneys outside their region. Therefore this could lead one to believe they may be a dominate team but they are playing the same teams at each tourney. If they were to play outside their region the results would/could be different.
I personnally believe the bat/ball combination is too lively. I agree the bat is here to stay but I believe something needs to be done with the ball. One, to make it respond the same regardless of the temperature and two, to allow for more defense. I do not believe that a senior player should be able to hit the ball harder and farther then when in their prime. I also do not believe a ball hit within 3 or so feet of an infielder should go for a hit. The combo should be such that a ball needs to be hit in the "hole" not just so hard the fielder can not react. I have always questioned the need to be able to hit a ball 400' or more when the fence is generally 300'. It does not count anymore runs. I do appreciate how hard players work to stay in shape and to hone their talents but height and weight are a great advantage for hitting the ball hard and long. I am not advocating putting restricted rules in major + as long as the team/s for which I play are not required to play major +. It was interesting to read a post awhile back concerning the number of homeruns some of the Gekle players hit in one tourney. If memory serves me (and it may not) one player hit 29 balls out of the park in 31 at bats. This is more homeruns then any of our players hit all year. (6-8 tourneys) I enjoy competition but not standing on the field watching ball after ball go out of the park. I did not enjoy playing with the T4000 ball in my prime and I do not enjoy the combination today. It would seem to me that the "true" (insert the word you want) homerun hitters would want the bat/ball combination to be such that they would be in an elite group. Currently, it seems that most anyone(50, 55 ages) can hit the ball out of the park on occasion. There are generally accept ideas concerning the loss of muscle, reaction time, etc. as we age. Why should we want/desire technology to make us better then we were in our prime?
Jan. 27, 2009
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Home Run Rule

Dbax, Under your approach, what would the 6th ball over the fence be if the other team had hit less than 5? If they would would be singles/walks, then the moved up teams would have a tough row to hoe.
Jan. 25, 2009
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Homerun Rule

JamesLG, I would believe that this is not much of an issue in AAA as long as teams obey the rules by not letting major + and major players play in the same age bracket in AAA. The situation is different when talking about major +. I believe Butch17 explained it well. There appear to be only a few options to get more teams to play in either major + or major. Some options might be: Major + teams network with other strong major teams to see if they want/can/will pick up other players to put together a team intending on playing major +; Major + teams spread their talent around and creat more major + teams; Major + teams break up and have players go to either other major teams or to AAA teams which would then move to major;

I respect everyones desire and right to want to hit the ball hard and have unlimited home runs; however, the reality is there are limited teams that actually want/do play major +. The teams from major that were moved to major + for whatever reason, most do not wish to play at the major + level. This results in teams disbanding, renaming, etc. Maybe the goal should be to find a way to have major as the highest level. For those who desire, maybe there could be a home run contest at each tourney where the players could let the adrenaline and testosterone flow.

If this was to occur the SSUSA would have to enforce whatever rules concerning the pick up of players in each division, i.e., sandbagging must be controlled.
Jan. 16, 2009
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Observations

After reading the MB for a long time, it appears there are at least 2 distinct opinions. One is for unlimited everything and one to make various divisions more competitive. I recognize a few of those who are on the MB often and know the teams they play for. It appears the group that is for unlimited everything play for teams that were built around playing major plus. It appears the group that is for more competitive rules were built to play major or lower but by being successful, they have been moved to major plus. Our team is the later. We do not have the power to compete day in and day out with teams and rules which allow home runs over the limit to be singles/walks (anything but outs). With the home run rule as singles/walks it is possible to not have a defensible ball hit during an inning. Thus giving a big advantage to the most powerful teams. Some will question why not just pick up more power hitting players. Here are several potential answers: 1.) Do not want to leave the players we currently enjoy playing with. ( Softball at the senior level is about comradiere, fun and enjoyment. Sure the teams want to win but it is not the end of the world if they do not.) 2.) Players may not want to leave the teams they are currently with. 3.) Do not have a sponsor willing to put up the money required to pay for air fare, hotel, meals, gas, etc. 4.) Do not have the caliber of ball players in their area. ( Locations such at Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, New York, etc. have a much larger pool of players to pick from.) 5.) Would not want to play with other players for a variety of reasons. (has to do with team chemistry.)

SSUSA is trying to appease the "true" major plus teams by getting them more teams in their division. But the moved up major plus teams will not be "fodder" for the "true" major plus teams. Several major teams were built around the 3 hr limit and excess being outs. With success these teams have been moved into major plus. These teams have a combination of speed, defense and a little power. Singles/walks after the hr limit, negates the speed and defense. Thus making it vary difficult to compete.

In MHO I feel teams have the right to play with unlimited rules but I do not believe that teams should be moved up to that division. It should be strictly voluntary. If there are not enough teams that want to play with unlimited rules or they do not show up at the same tourneys, then those teams just would not get to play at that tourney. It would be like the "elite" teams of the 70's and 80's. They had their own league and play teams that wanted to be there and not teams that were moved up. For the balance of the teams, they can play by the new rules in their respective divisions and see how it goes.
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