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Sept. 22, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: C19 at Worlds.

Dave, I feel for you and the SSUSA staff. Publicize the rules, again and again. Warn all the managers. Revise the rules and republicize (making them more healthy). Rewarn all managers. Point out the need for health rules obedience, if not for your own belief, than to make the site governors happy. Decide you have no option but to enforce rules. And then get lambasted by disgruntled folks—players would be a bit more understandable, but spouses?! It's been some year, hasn't it?!
Sept. 22, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: C19 at Worlds.

Tim, this is very discouraging news. My wife was reluctant to go with me since she didn't believe some of the players she has met would obey and follow mask restrictions. I told her I thought they would (I knew my team, with 2 exceptions, would not have trouble following guidelines). However, she said I should multiply my two guys by the many other teams there. I heard her, and reluctantly told my manager that without my wife II was not going to St. George.

Turns out she was right! Sadly. Use of dugouts...wives and fans unmasked (or having to perch 300+ feet away), even catchers not complying (thought there was a punishment for the manager if that happened). Seems like only the umps are complying...and they are paid to comply. So disturbing. I'm hoping that my team does well, but I don't want victories at the price of contagion. I guess SSUSA has to patrol the stands and bounce teams for non-compliance but who would have thought that? A defeat for all involved.
Sept. 8, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Happened to us

Thanks Wayne and B.J.. Now I will wait until it happens in a game that I'm involved in. LOL
Sept. 7, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Happened to us

Couple of interesting scenarios if ball is not caught until fielder voluntarily removes it from the glove.

1. Bases loaded, two away, batter hits a short fly ball. Left center fielder makes running shoestring catch, defensive team cheers, all runners were advancing but once ball is in glove, they veer toward the dugout and batter picks up his bat without going to first to also return to get his glove to play defense. Fielder keeps running, intending to toss the ball to the ump before going in to hit, trips on second base, falls to ground, mitt hits ground, rolls out—live ball! Shortstop could retrieve ball and throw home or to first, but he has also vacated field and is in his dugout! Players return to every base to touch and advance but third base runner has gone to first base side dugout and doesn't see what is happening.

2. Bases loaded, no outs, batter hits short fly. Left center fielder playing deep makes running shoestring catch, defensive team cheers, all runners hold their base to wait for next batter, hitter does not run to first but returns to retrieve his bat and head for the dugout. Fielder's momentum keeps him running for about 30 feet, steps in gopher hole, falls to ground, ball bounces out. Live ball! Everyone takes off as ball rolls toward left field. Left fielder comes rushing in to check on teammate who is still lying on ground, all runners on base keep running home as ball lies in left field. Where is the batter? In the dugout, hanging up his bat.
Aug. 29, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Player Rankings & Team Rosters

Seems so easy to rank a player, doesn't it. Most of us can gauge talent if we follow a few players through a tournament or two and see what they contribute. But following 30,000 players!!! What SSUSA does is rank teams and that is much easier but still subject to second guessing. Take the tournament scores...then judge the quality of the competition...then the luck of the seeding...then weather conditions (want to judge hitters if the sun is low in the sky directly behind the pitcher? Outfielders if the game is played in rain on sloppy conditions). And then try to adjudicate the many complaints of over-rated and under-rated teams.

But to judge an individual...was he active this year? How many tournaments? How many at bats? Defensive opportunities? Distracted by a failing relationship? Doesn't get along with team? Chokes in pressure situations? On and on.

Then deal with the vagaries of life. Is he injured? Recent surgery? Overweight? Diseased? or in reverse...cured from disease? Successful operation? Lost some weight? or the inevitable...starting to age badly and losing speed, or arm, or bat power, or dementia setting in.

So many variables. I doubt if any association can reliably rate most players and I would guess that they would be second-guessed on more than half of their ratings.
Aug. 24, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: LOOKING FOR GOOD 60AAA PLAYERS

Clever conversation guys. I occasionally play tournaments with a guy who regularly hits 2 or 3 homers in a tournament, plays any position except pitcher, has a willing good attitude, runs fast, lots of stamina in hot weather, but in our age bracket (oldest guys) has a weak arm, unreliable glove, foolish baserunner, swings hard at 3-0 counts, and is still considered a "good" player, worthy of picking up for an important tournament (and drives our manager crazy with his unpredictable performance).
Aug. 24, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Confirmation on balls for Worlds

Pete, I agree with you completely. The ROCK is my least favorite ball of all. I would rather play with a sock of a ball than the ROCK. I have missed JDub's contribution and stand behind it—the sport has changed for the worse with its hot bats and balls and this is indicated by declining participation all over senior softball. In northern California, for example, participation is down with 16% fewer teams than five years ago...and this with better health for oldsters and younger teams constantly moving into senior softball.
Aug. 3, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Dave, it was not completely unexpected (no one made hotel reservations) but my team was one of many that chose Manteca over Utah for the exact same dates. As much as I love to play in St. George, there was no enthusiasm for my older team to go to a hotel in Utah for the event. My manager is polling the team again right now with the hope we might get in if players want to go, but so far the polling is saying "skip it".
Aug. 2, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Redwood City has always been very kind to softball players, including seniors.

Dave, I saw the sad news about Nevada shutting down Mesquite. Have you seen yet that the competing large Hall of Fame tournament in Manteca, CA, just had the plug pulled on them?
Aug. 2, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Staff, depends on the venue whether fences can be put up on a large field. Redwood City, CA has all turf fields and at the last tournament held there, the 400 foot hardball diamond was converted to 350 feet by use of temporary fences on wheels that lower to ground level for stability. These are multi-use fields (little league, soccer, teen hardball, softball, etc.) so the city bought fences to shorten distances for any of the fields. Expensive but they should last for years. Storage is a bit of a problem, but since this site is in a moderate California climate, they are often stored by just pushing them into an empty corner of a field. They don't even chain them down when not in use since who would steal a 10 foot section of wire fencing? They sometimes chain them together to keep soccer teams from dragging them out to use as practice goals. Seems like Mesquite could do the same thing if the demand was there.
July 17, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: EVENT UPDATE • Rocky Mountain Championships 2020 Cancelled

Just talked to my cousin in Colorado. She says there is expectation/warning of a big retreat on openness as a result of rising COVID 19 cases. It wouldn't surprise her if things shut down for a few months.
July 8, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Western National Tournament Cancelled ???

Hey swing, when you get to our age you don't want to miss any opportunity to play despite the risks! How many more years do we have to play?Realistically, some on our team may decide not to play because of caution (if not their own, their wives!).
July 7, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Western National Tournament Cancelled ???

Boy, does this present a challenge for northern California teams (the largest represented geographical area in the Westerns with 78% of 50s and older men's teams last year in the Westerns). The new dates in Utah and Nevada overlap the annual Hall of Fame Tournament in Manteca on August 13-16! The Manteca event is the most popular, largest attended tournament of the season for the Northern California Senior Softball Association. They typically have 55 - 65 teams from 50s to 80+ men's teams. What is a manager to do? What are team members to choose?

There will be no conflict if California stops the tournament in Manteca, but the last Manteca tournament scheduled 5 days ago was on until a last minute decision 4 days before the tournament that cancelled the event.

If allowed to play, I would guess that the Manteca tournament will interest about 70 teams because of the facility availability to handle 70+ teams and because we haven't played since early March. Plus, not only is SSUSA's fee $493 versus $350 for NCSSA, and SSUSA a three day tournament versus a two day, and add in the cost of transportation, food, and housing, and it will likely impact SSUSA.

As a Californian, I understand the challenge for SSUSA and congratulations for finding a location for this important tournament. My team was planning on playing in both. Having to choose which one to register for will be the dilemma.
July 3, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Bert Bennett Memorial tournament

Tim, how I wish all TDs had your mindset and communication skills! Well done!
July 3, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Renewal of ID cards.

Jeb financed a brand new 4-wheel drive SUV on a monthly payment plan and was looking forward to driving it at his mountain cabin on the winding roads in that area. The snows were heavy that winter, so he didn't get an opportunity to go to the cabin and take it out of the garage. Then, before he had it ready to go, a spring flood inundated the area and all of the roads were damaged to some degree and impassible. The county worked hard to repair the roads, but it was slow work and a week of rain not only halted the road repair, but flooded the area again so the county had to start over! It was fall before Jeb had any hope of taking his car out of his garage, but a wind storm knocked down so many large trees from the saturated soil, that his access roads were once again blocked and it was weeks before the logs could be cut and removed. Finally in December, Jeb had his chance but an early storm ripped out much of the patchwork from the spring and summer and again Jeb was blocked from reaching his cabin to drive his fun car.

That next January, during a break in the storms, Jeb retrieved his SUV and drove it back to the car dealer and asked for his money back for the last twelve months on his vehicle because he didn't have a chance to drive it the whole year!
June 26, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Western National Tournament location

Jawood, I haven't played at Maidu in 20 years so I will take your word for it and hope not to play there! But ease up on poor Carson City—it has its own rustic charm and is O.K. unless the wind is blowing (which, sadly, it usually is in the afternoon).
June 25, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Western National Tournament location

Jawood, where do you usually play in Sacramento for the Western Nationals? We play at Sacramento Softball Complex. So-so fields, not horrible; terrible drainage? Maybe, but since it doesn't rain in Sacramento in the summer, and groundskeepers control watering, so what?; no concessions? They have a sit-down cafe; and offensively hot is true, except with low humidity it is usually tolerable, not offensive!


June 5, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Net for Pitchers

neck10, that is certainly true. However, with 1800 deaths in California in the last three months among people over 50 compared to zero (to my knowledge) of pitchers hit in the chest, it seems you are much more likely to catch the virus and die than die being struck by a batted ball. In addition, I see more and more pitchers wearing chest protectors since it is a legitimate concern.
June 4, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Net for Pitchers

L, I remember that wonderful season! Unlimited height. I pitched a no-hitter. I had numerous multiple-strikeout games. And the batters complained like crazy. Turns out not every player can hit fungo! lol Only lasted one season here and then back to normal and the scores soared again from single digit to multiple digit. Ah, the good old days for pitchers!
May 20, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Please, a story from anyone! Anything but Corona, Corona, Corona!

I'm late to the game of Senior Softball, but at age 60 I leave the rec leagues and start playing with a senior club. I have never had a big bat (until the Miken came along) and the first league games show it—a singles hitter. Nonetheless, I am a better-than-average pitcher and a manager picks me up for his tournament team. I tell him I am busy most Sundays and will miss half of many tournaments. That's O.K. he says, you can pitch two games on Saturdays.

First tournament I'm with the team and we are playing on a field with no fences. In my previous 47 years of softball, I have usually batted 7th or 8th, occasionally 2nd. That's where I am in the first game, batting 8th. Being down in the order and a pitcher, the left fielder plays me in short in the outfield. I hit one over his head and steam into third with a triple! Maybe the second or third triple in my career. Next time up, he doesn't recognize me and hit one by him—another triple! Last time up in the game, right center field is way in because I am reckoned as a pull hitter. It irritates me and hit a good shot to right center for...another triple!

Equals my life output for triples! I don't play that Sunday with lots of things going on at church. At the next tournament, my new manager has me in the clean-up slot! I tell him I am not that kind of hitter. He tells me he saw what he saw and he wants me batting fourth. I fail miserably trying too hard to justify my position. For the next six tournaments, I am batting fourth and doing a terrible job. Finally, he puts me in batting second and my average improves. Never batting clean-up again for any manager. Still pitching, though.


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