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July 16, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: ARC OF THE PITCHED BALL

I pitch between 1/3 and 1/2 of our games. I can tolerate an ump who can't tell what 6' or 12' is. As long as he is consistent, I can deal with it. Can't tell you how may times an ump has changed his arc calls late in a game. I know a TD has a lot to do at a big tournament. However, if he sees an ump letting 14' or 4' arcs go, he really should mention it between games. We have rules and like to play by the rules the SSUSA has approved. Takes me back to the world championships in Phoenix. The high arc was almost like unlimited in a game. Both teams were going nuts. The TD did ask the ump what he using to determine the high arc. He said he was using a ledge on the mountain behind the field. They brought out a ladder and a tape. The arc was 16'. They dropped down to 12', he got a new ledge, no more chaos. By the same token, all an ump has to do is walk up to the pitchers, determine their height, and the flat call should be a easy. Had an ump who was really weak on the 6' arc. I asked him how he determined the 6'. He said if it went below the brim of his hat, it was flat. The problem was, sometimes he was standing tall and sometimes bent over. Sometimes he had his chin up and sometimes he had his chin towards his chest. That can be an 10-12 inch difference. It is always an adventure.
July 1, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: BAT REPAIR

not sure but a repaired bat might be considered altered. If an ump sees a crack or repair he will throw it out. Just put some gorilla glue in the crack and a couple of wraps of duct tape and use it for batting practice. That will help save excessive hits on your new one.
June 29, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

When Bill Wertz was running the Chicago Black Hawks, he took them off free TV. He lost his fan base and attendance crashed. When his son took over, he got them back on free TV and the fan base is huge. It is hard to walk through a store, year round, and not see several Black Hawk hats or jerseys.

Senior softball was wise to reach down to younger guys and build a player base for the future. Don't know what it is like in the rest of the country, but all the suburban towns (I believe there are over a 1000) in the greater Chicago area have endless softball every night. I have heard many park districts have had to turn teams away. It is alive and well in all ages around here.

Back in the 60s and 70s I played 12" slow, 12" fast and 16" at the same time. It was not uncommon to have a 100 + people from the Park Forest community come out and watch the games. The crazy one was the 12" fast pitch. The league was down in Beecher Illinois. It was a small farm community with only several hundred people. We had well over 200/300 people come and watch the Tuesday night league. It was usually over 500 for the playoffs. Most were local farmers whose pick up trucks would fill the lot and park around the field. Sometimes, they would cheer a good play and boo a bad one. Was probably the most fun I have had in softball the 5 years I played there.

This is my 51st year and that was the way it was.





June 27, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Hitting from tee vs. hitting pitched ball

question: I have never hit of a tee. Bought one at a garage sale today for $2.

Do most of you place the height at the height you look for in a game and keep it there or

do you vary the height for practicing for various heights that might be a 3rd strike in a game if you don't swing at it.
June 24, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: knee replacement

don't know the details but sport talk radio 670 in Chicago about a year ago was saying if you can stall about 2-3 years there is a replacement coming out that will be like the bionic man.
June 23, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: courtesy runner

Although my team often has trouble hitting, running, catching and throwing, we are a major + team in one area. We have a handle on who is going to run for who before the game starts. We always get the courtesy runner out there quickly. Wish other teams would plan ahead especially when the game in on a time limit.
June 22, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Pool games....???

The purpose of qualifiers is to get ready for the ring tournaments. We expect the "5" game guarantee so guys can try different things hitting-positions etc and build team depth. We really don't care if we win or lose. We just want to work on our skills and get better. Now, the Ring tournaments are a different story. We crank it way up. Several TDs have pulled some stupid bracketing in qualifiers so one or two teams go home at 4. Some TDs try and make a qualifier look like a big tournament. Just give us our 5 games even if we have to play a team twice.

When we go to the big ones like Vegas, I am in full support of the two qualifiers with a "5" game guarantee. Not only my team, but others were pretty worn down after playing 4 prelims in past years before the real tournament really started. SSUSA got this right.

As mentioned above, if senior ball ever went to 2 and done, senior ball would be history. My 70 team is mostly retired and have to be smart about where and when we travel and the total expenses. My team has played in senior ball since 2001. We would never go to a tournament with a 2 and done format.

I guess I should be honest here regarding $$$. We are fully sponsored by the "United States Social Security System".

June 20, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: ARC OF THE PITCHED BALL

Nancy

I got that inside pitch hitting down to an art.

1. You step slightly in the bucket

2. You increase your bat head or swing speed significantly.

3. You power a perfect two hopper to the 3rd baseman who throws you out by 4-6 steps.

works every time!
June 19, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: ARC OF THE PITCHED BALL

Being an outfielder/pitcher, I agree with lb 16. As soon as the other team starts bitching about a 6 to 7 foot arc strike, you can forget pitching that height the rest of the game. How hard is it for the ump to determine the height of the pitcher and go from there. I am 5' 10. Any pitch that clears my hat should be a legal strike. Yah-right.

There is no ump in the universe that knows what 12' is. I often get squeezed down to about 10-10 1/2. When I remind the ump I can stand on my own head and the arc will still have 4" left over, they usually just stare into space and try and figure out what I just said. As soon as the other team starts bitching about a real 12' strike call, it's back to 10'.

10 should be easier for umps to picture and is why I would like to see the arc changed to 6-10.


June 17, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Major plus problem

We had a similar but different situation last year. We were the only 70 team signed up for the Northern Nationals. We had two choices. Get our money back or play 65 teams. With us being the only 70 team, our shot at getting a berth in the TOC was dead. We weren't going to the expense to go up there for a practice tournament.

I asked, but was denied, if we came, played all the games and took our pounding would we get the TOC berth. I think this is a situation that I feel a team should get a berth if they signed up in good faith. It would also give the TOC more teams
when I have seen guys complain about a lack of teams at the TOC>
June 14, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Smoky Mtn.

Graphite

I feel your pain. We were in a qualifier a few years ago and had ASA umps. A call was made and I noted to the ump that it went against SSUSA rules. He said our rules were stupid and we would be playing his rules. I talked to the TD after the game about it, but nothing changed.

My team enjoys this too much to have umps that don't care. The TDs have to get a pair and instruct the umps they hire. I would rather have the teams self umpire than have some umps that could care less. It would seem to me that with all the senior ball being offered nation wide for both the tour and local park districts, there is a lot of money to be made umping and they would want to learn our rules.
June 5, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Bat physics/dynamics question

Don't know if this fits here, however,

When I start thinking about driving with the lower body and using all my weight training muscles, I have ok tournaments.

When I only think about getting my hands moving quickly, I can feel my bat speed really pick up and I often have great hitting tournaments. I watch every hitting video I can find.
I think it can be like golf, you can over analyze and get all tied up. If I am in a slump, it is usually because I have a lazy bat and need to focus on getting the hands moving and bat speed up.

In our last tourney, I was getting hits but not crushing the ball. One of the guys said your bat speed really looks slow.

Forgot!
June 5, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Old stories of bat doctoring

Nancy is right on. Guys would cut off the end cap, ram tennis balls or superballs in and have metal workers weld it back and finish it so you could not tell. Had guys back in my u-trip days who said they could have it done for me for $$$. I can honestly say, I never went there.

In a big Midwest u-trip tourney long ago, noticed the opponents had two bats in the rack about 2 inches longer. I protested before the game, bats ejected. I was informed I would get my ass kicked in the parking lot later. I was more than ready but when the others observed the size of the guys backing men up, they departed.

Guys would check in their bats in big u-trip events and the TD would spray paint the knob with a color to indicate bat approved. Players would then go out to their cars, open the trunk, pull out the loaded bats, match the color with one of the dozen or so cans of spray paint they carried around and return to play with the altered ones. I believe U-trip now keeps the bats at ck in and the ump brings them to the field.

You want to hear something really nuts. I went to watch a u-trip event last June. Watched the bat ck in for a while. 6 or 7 guys walked up, took the wrapper off brand new $300 bats and the bats failed the test. There were some pretty pissed of players.

What I could never understand is that most of the guys we knew were cheating were big time A-B players who could hit 350 plus easily with legal bats.

I am still for banning for life any senior player who is caught with an altered bat. We can use the greatest bats ever made. I can't figure out why guys have to cheat.


June 3, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Bat weight

I know that seniors use everything from 26-30. I have seen 75 yr old guys using a 30.

The big time U-trip pros come into the Chicago suburbs for a tourney each June. Huge big men. All the bats in the barrel are 26 or 27s. They swing so fast you can hardly see the bat. Even in the on deck circle most put a small weight on the bat and swing as fast as they can. I would rupture everything if I tried to swing as fast as they do.

Been a 29 guy for the last 30 years. My bat speed really slowed down the last few. Dropped to a 26-no regrets. No Hrs but a lot of deep shots in the allies and less mis-hits.


May 31, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Foot placement in batter's box before pitch

Forgive my memory loss, it was at either Ft. Meyers winter nationals or the recent TOC, an ump told us before the game that any player who intentionally wiped out the batters box lines, in his opinion, would be immediately ejected from the game. Still had some lines at the end of the game.

Maybe a rule SSUSA should consider as standard and maybe it would help to eliminate most of this issue.

Another thing/rule, I really don't understand after 50 years of high level softball and maybe some one would enlighten me as to why. If you hit a pitch and step in front of or on the mat/plate you are supposed to be called out. This is rarely called especially when there is only one ump. He is watching the ball. You start out with a stance in the box and happen to step on the plate in your swing, so what if you remain in the general box area ???
May 31, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: One up Rule in the Open Inning!!!

Just to express an opinion, hated the 1-up. We get "3" take them whenever. As to having the hammer, in one of our unexpected world championships, we lost only one toss and lost that game. We won all the others as home team with "5" of those games being a one run victory in the bottom of the open inning. Will always take home. Just a moral thing I have noticed over the years. If you take home and can hold them to "0" or "1" in the 1st and lay 4 or 5 on them, it changes the
feeling of the game right at the start.
May 29, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: boundries

Question: If I moved like out of the USA. Ex. To one of the islands or like Costa Rica and came back 3 or so months each year to visit family and friends. Could I play with a team in some SSUSA tournaments?
May 29, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Foot placement in batter's box before pitch

A question: In the post by the staff, it is noted that a short pitch could hit the front of the mat and bounce straight up.

It that a dead ball strike or could the batter hit that ball that bounces straight up especially when it could be the 3rd strike.
May 18, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Foot placement in batter's box before pitch

This was a very good discussion. I saw the rule violated many times this week in Milwaukee and nothing called. This takes me back to my feelings on a batters box. Park district kids/part timers often line the box and it is often quite off. Within most games the box is usually pretty much gone after 4 or so innings. The best batters boxes have been those tournaments were the park uses ply board with astro turf covering and painted lines. One park had rubber mats that they rolled out and had lines printed on them. They were also excellent. These also gave you a flat hitting surface for the whole game and you didn't have to hit out of holes. I think it was Reno a few years back where the box was totally off, many called out and TD wouldn't adjust to an improperly marked box. I would like to see SSUSA encourage parks to look into these options.

To me, the only line needed is the 2'-3 1/2" line in front to keep the batters from closing on the pitcher. It doesn't matter where you stand, you still must defend the mat and that alone limits all batters to a small specific area. The only value I see in a batters box is that the area looks pretty for a few innings.

I also do not like the rule that the catcher has to touch the plate when the mat is moved. It is almost always the batter who kicks the mat coming out of the box. Not the catchers fault. He should be allowed to touch either.






May 16, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 5 runs or 11 fielders

When we were in the 65s or lower, we always took the middle fielder. This is especially good if you have 4 outfielders that can go get the ball (speed). With the pitcher and 5 additional infielders it is really hard to shoot singles through the infield.
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