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, 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.
, May 12, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rule 6.16

I just noticed this rule for the 1st time. When the wind is so bad that the pitchers can't control the ball, the ump can ignore ball calls and only call strikes. We had a game in FT. Meyers one year where each team scored 5 each innings and it wan't hits but mostly walks due to high swirling winds.

Have any of you ever played in a game that the rule was put in play and did the teams bitch and moan or did they go along with it?
, May 11, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Milwaukee tournament

Is the tournament still on??? Usually have brackets/game times by now. It is only a couple of days away.
, May 10, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: USSSA STYLE PITCHING IN SENIOR SOFTBALL

I would be against it. Most teams have only one maybe two pitchers. Guys get tired enough without the x-tra movements that go along with u-trip style. So often, in senior ball, the pitcher is the one with a bad hip or knees and couldn't do all that jumping around stuff. I would not be against letting the pitcher have "1" fake arm swing towards the plate.

We already have a slight portion of the u-trip style in place. Can't tell you how many 100s of times I have seen a pitcher pitch, back up 3 or 4 steps and as the ball comes from the catcher walk up catch it and pitch it in the same motion. I believe the pitcher is supposed to delay at least a second before delivering the ball. I have never seen an ump call illegal pitch.

Since arc was mentioned: I still would like to see the senior arc changed to 6' to 10'. I have been in senior ball since 2001 and have yet to see an ump who knows what 12' is. With a 10' arc, the ump could roughly judge the height of the pitcher. Say he is 6'. I think they could, easily, picture about a yard stick and a little more over the pitchers head.
I believe this would result in more strikes and more hitters hitting. What do most pitchers do when a hitter takes the 1st pitch for a strike? They throw the next 2 high, test the umps limits, create bitching and moaning when he calls it illegal and most often go 2-1 and then go back to the 6-8 foot arc to avoid a 3-1.

I got more but it late and I am tired. This Mother's day thing is very deserved but stressful. My mom is turning 90 and the betting odds are at "6" years. No, not her death, but the # of years she is going to out live me!!





, May 8, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: ISA Senior World Series Columbus Indiana ???

My team has enjoyed this tournament since he moved it to Columbus In. Unfortunately, he moved it back a week and now conflicts with another we also like. Would return if conflict didn't happen again.
, May 5, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Sore Toes

Had both toe and heel soreness with cleated shoes. Went to the Tanel turf and put in x-tra heel cushions. As mentioned above got 1/2 size bigger. No problems since. Traction has been no problem even on wet outfield grass.
, May 3, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: new umps

For Staff and TDs

I have found it common to have a new ump or an ump from another association who doesn't know our senior rules. They often just get an quick intro before the games start. Please let them know that if during the game, we inform him/her as to one of our rules, it is not an insult or meant to be demeaning. We just want to bring him/her up to speed to avoid confrontation as to the nature of our game. I can totally deal with a bad call. However, calls that go against the rules that senior softball have established is not right.
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