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, June 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Staying Close

coop3636, oh, how the two hotels that lose 8 rooms close to the event must love you! I'm surprised that they would take your booking again the next year!
, June 17, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: looking for 75 major or major plus tournment team.

Ho, that used to be an accurate way to determine residence. But since so many people are now using their mobile phone as their main number, and the mobile phone area code can go with you, it's not for sure he is currently an Arizona guy. If he is still in Arizona, my team has no interest.
, June 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: looking for 75 major or major plus tournment team.

JamesC, more likely you will get a nibble if people knew your state of residence, your skill level, your past team experience.
, June 8, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: A few more scores from Reno and oddity

Dave, We actually played a round robin in Vegas last Worlds, if I remember, which most of the older teams enjoyed. It led to morning games, cooler conditions, and no more than two games a day, and the bonus of not facing the onerous (and usually fruitless) chore of playing multiple games to get out of the losers bracket on the last day.

I realize it is easier to schedule a four day tournament when it comes to limiting the number of games. But it was explained in Vegas that the benefit was safety—keeping oldsters from playing for hours in the heat. This year's Reno event was about the same heat as Vegas, and four games in one day is incredibly unsafe for any older team. 75- and 80-year-olds are fortunate to still be playing at that age, and wise enough to monitor their health to keep them playing. Playing 5-6 hours on a 90+ degree day is not wise.

In this case, it seems that scheduling the fourth game on the morning of the third day would have been a wiser option, especially since all of the fields but one were empty by 2:00. I realize that "if games" could have messed this up, but the norm is that SOME field does not have an "if game" and would be available for play.

As to bailing out and forfeiting a final game, I have no problem if that is mutually agreeable by both managers—when it is not and a team is robbed of their fifth game, one solution would be to bar the forfeiting team from the next year's worlds...or all tournaments in the next year. As you are aware, NCSSA has a hefty fine for teams that bail in this way.

As to your opinion in the last line that "nobody was at risk", I'm guessing you will believe differently when you are over 75 and lugging around an aging body. We have had a history of heat stroke, cramping, fainting, dizziness, etc. in NCSSA tournaments when the maximum number of games is only THREE in a day.

, June 7, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 2nd base RUN BY LINE

We play with the run through rule on second base and third base in our rec leagues. Has really helped to avoid collisions since it was instituted about 7 years ago. It's also beloved by older players (we have many players in their 80s) because it is kinder to knees and ankles. Occasionally some of our rec players get into trouble in tournaments when they run through using only half their brain!
, June 7, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: A few more scores from Reno and oddity

Here are some more reports on Reno older brackets that I have gathered from my Rec League fellow players;

80AAA
1. Redwood City Chiefs
2. Oregon Sports
3. Scrap Iron

75Major+
1. S.F. Seals
2. PDR Fastsigns

75Major
1. State Roofing Royals
2. Scrap Iron
3. California Oaks

Here is an oddity. In the 75 Major bracket, one of the teams was forced to play four games on the second day! Temperature was in the low 90s, and a 75 team had to play four games. It was reported at Vegas last year, that SSUSA was planning on not having older teams play more than two games a day.

I have seen many teams play 4, 5, even 6 or 7 games on the last day, coming out of the loser's bracket. But this was NOT a losers bracket situation, but regularly scheduled play while still winning! Way too much, it seems to me, to ask of an older team.

Also, in the 75 Major, all teams played 3 games on the second day, with only one winner playing four. In the 75AAA there was also the scheduled potential for a team to play three games on the second day, same with the 80Major and the 80AAA.
, June 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: would like an explanation

curty, agree with both your points. Theoretically, if teams are accurately ranked, and there are typically 10 teams in your ranking at a tournament, you should win one out of ten times. But a team who loses the statistically predictable 9 out of 10 tournaments feels like they are mis-rated because they are not dominating! There may be a team in that ranking who is winning 5 of the 10 tournaments—that's the team that should be moved up.

I admire teams that are accurately rated, participate in tournament after tournament (there's a team from our area that goes to about 16-18 tournaments a year—possible in sunny northern California with 100 teams), and seldom win. They enjoy the camaraderie, the travel, the exercise, and the game. Of course they play to win, but they usually don't...at least win no more than the normal expectation. I never hear them complain about being rated too high, or wanting a bigger handicap.


, June 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Arrogance can hurt a pitcher

curveball, I disagree with the mandatory requirement for the pitcher to move behind the screen after every pitch. In our league, screens have been mandatory for more than 10 years after a scary incident when a pitcher was almost killed. Some pitchers were removing the screen from the field in their half of the inning, but this was soon outlawed and the screen required to be in front of the pitcher.

However, in actual use, some pitchers only go behind the screen for a power hitter, or a hitter known to hit middle. We have mixed age players, so most 70 plus age pitchers will move behind the screen against most 50 age hitters. But some pitchers back up after release, others move into position to field a ball hit middle, some already pitch well behind the screen from the 60 foot maximum, etc.

It is still there for safety, but safety isn't mandated. I do think that pitching in front of the screen is a mockery of its purpose. Also agree that the screen can function to shrink the infield options and in a sense acts as another "infielder", especially in our league where a ball hitting the screen is counted as a "no pitch" rather than a strike. I also think a pitcher routinely moving away from the screen to field any hit ball after a pitch is foolish, because it adds in the danger of a line-drive ricochet off the screen.
, May 28, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: flip flop and one up in league play

We also play double innings in the field and it is neither tiring nor confusing and it does speed up play. Pitcher usually takes a couple of more warmups because he sat for two innings, but we have done it this way for 15 years. As DCPete notes, a flip-flop in the first game could keep you in the field for four innings, but if you are winning by that much, it is usually not very taxing to field against a team that can't catch up in three straight innings at bat.
, May 18, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: HELP---I just don't get it!

Hey Bubble Gum, don't pour cold water on Dudley's sales pitch. I agree with you. In fact, other than the dramatic improvement of the Miken Ultra over the previously "hot" double-walls, I notice little difference in any bat. As SJV noted, it is not the wand but the magician, and magicians with confidence in their stick will usually perform better...even if no advantage can be proved by the latest "hot bat".
, May 18, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Foul Tip

Turbobob, good idea! In our league, when we have too many teams playing at once, the umpire sometimes IS the catcher! Mostly calling balls and strikes, while first and third base coaches call the bases (tend to be biased in favor of their own teammates, of course). It is hard for the umpire/catcher to call the height correctly when he is chasing a foul tip.
, May 14, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: CAN-Sirs SSUSA NorCal Championships 2016 - Men's 70+ Silver Division

taits, I agree with you. It was a rare tournament where the games were on time. The fields were in better shape than last time, and only the first game of the day overwatering (normal in this hot weather location) was an irritation. Watched several games other than my own, and teams seemed well-matched.

Only problem I heard of that you wouldn't have noticed playing on an exhibition team, was that shirt awards were prepackaged for winners so many players could not receive a shirt in their size and the TD refused to exchange shirts at the location. SSUSA has been good in the past about replacing wrong size shirts, but why not have them there for exchange rather than stretch it out over the weeks with extra delivery costs?

Looking forward to the Western Nationals at the same location. Good to talk to you as well in Sacramento.
, May 6, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: new 85 team forming looking for players

mad dog, don't know if I know DMac (might have met him and forgotten him…or worse, might have been on the same team with him and forgotten him), but I admire any man who has a wife 40 years younger, but I might doubt his intelligence to have kids! I'm glad I didn't have to chase around a rug rat in the last 40 years. Hard enough patrolling the outfield.


, May 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: new 85 team forming looking for players

Fred, I'm pleased to read of the help that SSUSA gives us oldsters. I wasn't aware of it because we have yet to play in a tournament because half our team usually can't find the park. Those who do arrive at the park have younger wives who drive! LOL
, May 1, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Shadow Rock Complex

One easy solution to the Shadow Rock challenges is to limit the number of entries to those that acceptable fields can accommodate. All of those teams who are willing to skip Vegas in order to have everyone play on safe fields, raise your hands...I thought so.
, April 19, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vegas 50's Fields

Sorry. Adding in the surcharge for wives and guests, the cost is about $500 more! Less a potential $100 in food savings. That is REALLY a big extra cost for a team to play on those fields.
, April 19, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vegas 50's Fields

curveball, our team played at that BLD in Cathedral City two years ago and we, also, were not charged as players since it was explained that our tournament entry fee covered the charge. To our surprise, our wives and other guests were not charged either! Happened on two different days with two different gatekeepers, so I guess it was the policy for tournament players.

One thing that should be mentioned to those lusting for BLD fields is that they allow no outside food or beverage (other than water) and will inspect your bag for same. This is the policy at the three BLD complexes I have played at. The frustration is that sometimes these fields are not that great. As an older team, we appreciate the covered dugouts, the cool central dining areas, and the true-bounce infields, not to mention the "thrill" of playing on a major league layout. But we have encountered poorly maintained outfields (mud holes), ripped up and poorly patched infields in front of the bases, and scoreboards that might or might not be working, but certainly were not always on.

Also, as a tournament team that usually travels to tournaments with a roster of 16 or 17, when you add in the wives, etc. for three days, the BLD surcharge is $250!! (with a sometimes-desired discount of $50 in food/beverage credit). That's a pretty hefty surcharge on top of a large team tournament fee!

That said, Dave, we will take BLD anytime we are in Vegas. Don't move us and blame me!
, April 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Shawnee tourney

Sparky's comment brings up a question: what do sponsors expect when their team wins a major tournament? In recent years, I have been playing on the first sponsored team in my career. Sponsor buys shirts and caps, gets lodging discounts, helps a bit with some tournament fees, and stocks a snack wagon each day at a tournament. Nothing for travel or lodging, bats or balls, but I'm happy with what is offered.

For some tournaments we won, there was a nice winner's trophy, and the sponsor was glad to display it back at the store. For other tournaments won, there was no trophy, just individual rewards from shirts to caps to bat bags.

What does the sponsor expect? Is the sponsor insulted by cheap "trinket" rewards as Sparky calls them? Does the sponsor want an old school trophy of mahogany and metal with an engraved plate? Does the sponsor care beyond having his name out there on the shirts?

I was never a sponsor, so I don't really know. What do some of you sponsors think?
, March 23, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Dudley lighting 26oz balanced

swing, I told you that you were too modest about your power! Did you break it at Hayward? I think I swung the Lightning a few times when they were selling them at Worlds in Vegas in 2014. I didn't like it. Maybe they were all end-loaded back then?


, March 17, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Adiktiv6, oh how I would like to believe that I am not only getting smarter as I age, but better! Here is my actual reality.

In 2003, a teammate started using the first Miken Ultra II that anyone on our team had ever seen. He was very generous and let the rest of us use it the second week. We were anxious to give it a try since we had noticed the dramatic improvement in how his ball travelled.

We were playing at a park I had been playing at for 50 years. The fence distance had not changed (street behind it) but the height had been raised a couple of times. I had never hit the fence in all those decades of playing there. On my first at bat with his bat (no batting practice), my ball hit the base of the fence on the fly! And my second at bat I again almost reached the fence. The first time I got a triple (left fielder was playing me customarily pretty shallow) and the second time I got a double.

I don't think I improved my swing from one week to the next with no batting practice. Not that dramatically to extend my range by 40 feet! I went home and ordered a Miken that same day. I will admit that with the new power I did change my swing to repeat the feat, and it is also true that the Miken was the best balanced bat I had ever swung, but in my mind, the bat made the difference!

But I like your thinking. I must be a better player now than 13 years ago! I'll go with "hands around the bat" as a reason.
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