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Jan. 7, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: Looking for team

Duke, don't be so sure. Except for playing in tournaments in Texas, this description could apply to a couple of guys in my California league!
Dec. 24, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1 and 1 curiosity

Just a different perspective here.

Alot of older players don't think in terms of innings played, but in time played. If we get a full 65 minutes in at a tournament we are satisfied. Everyone knows when it is the open inning and time to focus—the clock doesn't catch us off-guard. Three games that go for 195 minutes total is fine with many, whether the total innings were 21 or 18.

A lot of older players feel that beginning with 1-1 rushes them (one early foul strike and they are in a critical zone). They like the traditional pace of beginning with 0-0—the way they have played for decades. This is especially true with our leagues that have no time limit other than 7 or 9 innings whether morning or evening.

We do occasionally go 1-1 in our Saturday league where we are playing double headers and time becomes critical to keep on schedule.

Of course SSUSA has a larger membership, but not as much as 1851 teams x 22 players. Most of the teams are restricted to 20 players, and the 1851 teams include 409 women's teams and under 50s teams. That's about 29,000 players or 13 X as many. Let's compare apples to apples.

The voters at NCSSA were 22 team managers representing 484 players of all age groups. The voters on the rule change were 12 committee members representing...? Only ten are male, so perhaps if all are on a team, 200 50-and-older players? Looks like the 22 managers are more representative of current 0-0 players.


Dec. 18, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1 and 1 curiosity

The Northern California Senior Softball Association (NCSSA), with 96 teams this year, with maximum roster size of 22, is one of the larger associations in the country. They are organized with a board of directors, elected at an annual meeting where every team manager (or representative) has a vote.

At the SSUSA December meeting, the 1-1 starting count was unanimously voted in for all age groups, despite a fairly recent poll that the older groups preferred the traditional 4-3 count. Thus speak the dozen or so rule committee members.

On the next day, December 7, the NCSSA held its annual meeting. Not surprisingly, the question of changing to a 1 and 1 starting count came up as a proposal for a vote. The NCSSA has formally adopted SSUSA rules as their own standard, with some exceptions. After much discussion, the vote was taken and the decision was to remain with the traditional 4-3 count for ALL age groups! This will be noted in the NCSSA rules as one of the differences between their and SSUSA's rules.

What were the factors that led the SSUSA leadership to switch to 1-1 count, when one of their largest groups, one day later, rejected the 1-1 count not just for older teams, but for all age groups?
How did the 2000+ members of the NCSSA decide that the traditional count was preferred and should continue for 2020, when SSUSA sensed that it was no longer popular, even with older age groups?

Curious.
Dec. 12, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNEY CREDITS FOR RAINOUTS

lowprofile, I like your attitude. I, too, expect no refund if I get in three games on Saturday and Mother Nature ends the tournament. I'm more interested in the situation when I drive 2 hours on a Saturday morning for the first game and find the tournament cancelled...especially if it was cancelled on Friday night! A rain line recording solves that but few TD seem to have it ready.

But despite the tournament expenses that players may not get back, the point is: where is the money to come from to reimburse the tournament fees when half a tournament is already played and guaranteed expenses must still be paid?

In any event, I think you are a Californian yourself and we Californians are soooo lucky to have a climate where rainouts from April through October are almost non-existent, and I, for one, am still playing three league games a week with only one rainout since September. I really feel for guys who are already shut down until spring ball begins.
Dec. 11, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNEY CREDITS FOR RAINOUTS

USMC21, as a member of a group that puts on an annual tournament, maybe I can give some insight to your question. A rainout after a Saturday of play is a common occurrence but a tough situation for the tournament director and/or the group hosting the tournament.

1. Transportation for umpires has already been paid.
2. Two nights housing may have already been paid (especially if tourney not cancelled until Sunday, hoping for better weather).
3. The umps may have been guaranteed a set fee as salary (and turned down umpiring options at other sites with no rain).
4. The fields are likely booked exclusively for the weekend with no refunds from city.
5. The food and beverage options are also likely booked for weekend with no/partial only refunds from vendors.
6. Auxiliary workers (field prep, security, maintenance, etc.) may also be contracted for full weekend pay.
7. Housing for players may have discounts offered/subsidized by TD and expect full nights stay.
8. Costs for prizes have already been paid and figured in to the budget and expected income.
9. Etc.

But you get the point. Few, if any, of the support functions for a tournament are based on per game costs that can be rescinded or refunded if weather closes the tournament. That's why the SSUSA rules are so specific and comprehensive. You should see the headache if the tournament has to be cancelled before Tournament entry fees are all received and everyone wants their money completely refunded. This often results in a Tournament host taking a financial hit. ANY return of monies, even a partial refund, is usually a loss for the Tournament hosts and TD.
Dec. 2, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rotator Cuff Surgery

I had rotator cuff surgery three years ago on non-throwing arm. During a short rehab (3 months) I was charting batters for my tournament team and running as a rabbit for my league team and occasionally toward the end for my tournament team. Had a highly recommended orthopedic surgeon and followed directions exactly (although he didn't say I could run a week after surgery—I didn't ask him!).
Aug. 20, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: discussion

No concessions in Sacramento? The primary field has an order-at-the cash register, air-conditioned restaurant! Don't know about the other locations in Sacramento.

Haven't played in Aurora or Lacey but have heard they are better fields. Reno with its variety of fields is a tossup to Sacramento area with Golden Eagle in Reno the best.
Aug. 20, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Fire the umpire.

I appreciate both the good sportsman outfielder and the humble umpire. May their tribe increase!
Aug. 19, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Neuropathy

dantheman, two of our league players play with neuropathy and another has his toes amputated (which produces similar symptoms). They all play surprisingly well. One of the neuropathy players even plays on a very competitive tournament team. Most other players don't know their limitations. The only thing we notice is the occasional surprise fall when they get overbalanced, either running or fielding. One guy plays shortstop at times; another plays left field often; the third plays where needed.
Aug. 19, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Fire the umpire.

Youngen, you must be leaving out some details. Probably he was a second umpire, young and fit, stationed behind second base; when the ball was hit he began sprinting toward left center faster than your outfielder; as he approached the descending ball, unfortunately a gnat landed in his eye and he perceived that the ball bounced over the fence (must have been rock hard outfields to bounce that high); and he correctly called it a ground rule double, even though the outfielders who wished it were a double and not a homer, foolishly continued to insist that it was a home run.

Is that what the rest of the story is?
July 13, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Commitment line

This situation is probably rare in SSUSA competition, but it happens all the time in rec leagues and in other associations (for example, Northern California Senior Softball). These are games where last minute additions to the roster can be made when a team is short of guys. In some cases, one new player, in others two or even three players can be added as long as they are on the roster submitted at the start of the tourney or day.

Here is what I see as typical: new guy is asked to play. He looks athletic enough, says he is an O.K. runner, but how are his other skills? You will likely find out what kind of hitter he is in his first couple of bats. But how is he as a fielder? Playing him in right field the first game may prove nothing as a fly ball may not be hit his way, only a couple of grounders that got through the second baseman. Safest place to start him or put him seems to be catcher (wouldn't happened on a major or major plus team—those catchers are very skilled). He is a newbie. He doesn't know the finer points of the rules. So, he sees a guy steaming home and he goes out to tag him...or the throw in is off the plate on the third base side and tagging him seems the best option...or the guy stumbles and falls down past the commit line...etc.

I have had all these things happen over the years with rookie catchers. They are almost always surprised at not getting the out.

P.S. As a pitcher, I am always running home with a rookie catcher, to back him up in case of a missed catch or to step on home and yell for the ball if he starts running toward the runner to tag him!
June 27, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Tournament Change

I was in a tournament bracket where all teams were same age. Equalizer was given in the first inning all at once. Very weak team versus much stronger team. Weak team had a miraculously good start and scored 5 runs. Second team came to bat in bottom of first inning being down 11-0!! Rest of the story: stronger team overcame deficit and won the game.
June 21, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Tournament Change

TimMcElroy, you make some good points...and showed how spoiled I am to play here in California.

Playing 6 outs in the rain? Never happen. We Californians don't even show up if the streets are wet!

Rained out in the middle of an at bat? Happened to me once in 60+ years of playing...and that was in a January game!

Sun in our eyes? Yes, that could be a concern at times, and does rarely happen, but Nancy is right that most of our oldsters are just happy to be playing and would never squabble about such a minor unfair advantage (not to mention batting with the sun in your eyes is to have a very quick two innings and then the other team gets to battle the sun).
June 21, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: CAN-SIRS/SSUSA NorCAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019

I find this a common attribute of those who are extremely knowledgeable about the arcane rules of softball/baseball and their interpretation. As we know, experienced umpires on this site often disagree about an interpretation or how to handle an issue. Dave is a chess player when it comes to rules...and evidently rumors.

Although, to give wa45ve some credit, he may have heard of the "new ball" in reference to the recent use of the Stote and not be thinking of the Rock.
June 20, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: CAN-SIRS/SSUSA NorCAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019

Dave: "suggest a better source for rumors." Loved it! Great comeback.
June 20, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Tournament Change

Gary, I like it. We have played this format for more than a decade in our winter leagues. However, we play 1,2; 1,2; 3,4; 3,4; 5,6; 5,6 with the 7th inning open. It does speed up play and doesn't seem too tiring, even for 70+ players. We also play this format in all our leagues with two teams, but use other formats when we have three teams present.
June 19, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: AED....

In our area, AEDs are affixed to the wall in the scorer's booth. Very reassuring if the need ever arises. The city regularly makes rounds to be sure all are charged and ready for use at every public field.

To our shock earlier this season, someone broke into the scorer's shack and stole the AED!! Why? What possible use? Likely a kid because of the small access hole used by the thief. Was it stolen out of ignorance? Vandalism? Actually, not many valuable items in the shack—softballs, couple of pencils, used scorebook, partially used first aid kit, filthy used coffee mug...what was the kid thinking to only take the AED?
June 19, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana Boasts Record-High Athlete Attendance

What a terrible potential! Senior Games goal is to encourage participation in athletics by senior citizens. Can you imagine sending an average beer team to the Senior Games and encountering a powerful Major + team! That would be a turnoff!

Senior Games Softball has tried to get established in California. A friend of mine even volunteered to be the coordinator for Northern California one year. Then the details came out: team fees were almost twice as high as the normal tournament fees; players were charged gate fees (a la Big League Dreams) to play—a no-no for Senior Games which require no impediments to participation including such fees for players or fans; rankings were bizarre and thus did not ensure fair competition; field venues were not the best in the area; etc.

One can see why there is limited interest by men's teams in participating. My team has not attended for several years and we don't even consider it on our tournament schedule when making it up pre-season. Good concept; poor delivery by inexperienced management (my friend declined to coordinate it after his first year).
May 17, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rules for Courtesy Runner from the plate in regular leagues (non-tournament).

Our league has a broad span of ages (50 to 93) and also some women from 50 to 81. We are much more casual about courtesy runners from home.

The start line is an imaginary extension of the third base line (makes it easy for umpire to spot violations).
Runner cannot start until ball is hit.
Any batter can request a courtesy runner from home (almost always uses one in every at-bat except in case of game injury).
CR cannot get more than a single unless ball goes out of play, then is awarded second.
Same courtesy runner cannot be used more than once in an inning.
CR cannot be run for during inning except for injury or if playing with only 10 players on the team.

Most of our players needing a runner are permanently disabled as far as running (they catch, pitch, or play corner bags).
We used to start the CR farther back as Chico does, but with many older runners, we moved forward to third base line.

April 28, 2019
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Information on the safety of the run by rule

I don't know of any study that compares the two options. How would data be gathered? Who would care to gather it?

What I do know is that our day league changed to the run-through more than a decade ago and has stayed with it. Why? Far fewer collisions and less stress on aging knees!

The rare collisions are usually at second because sometimes the shortstop, the second baseman, (and the guy up the middle—we play with the extra player since our leagues are ability balanced and have players from 50 to 93 on the same field) converge at the same time leaving little option for the runner.

Nonetheless, past collisions where the runner could not slow down in time and crashed into the fielder were more severe than the rare brush-by collisions that occur now. We would never go back to the old system. We are friends, young and old...male and female...experienced and less experienced...playing our best but not to win at the risk of injury.

My personal data base on this is anecdotal but I have played about 900 games in the past ten years (we play more than one league game a week on all-weather fields) and this is my observed experience. And there are other players who have played more games than me and they are not advocating for a return to the tournament standard.
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