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, Aug. 24, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Associations
Discussion: Unfavorable weather conditons......

CAT, it might be good to look at rec leagues with older (over 70) players and see what ideas they are coming up with to make playing more feasible for older players. Here are a few from our older rec league:

Allow middle infielder (already the rule in most associations for over-65 I think) for 11 man teams.
Allow courtesy runner from home (starts behind extension of third base foul line).
Screen mandated so less mobile player can pitch and more mobile move to other positions.
Force out at every base when advancing.
Over run at every base allowed (but must return to touch bag if advancing after over run).

These rules are well-accepted by our players and don't materially change the game, but are SO good for knees and hips that are wearing out.

Of course, in tournaments, you still have the young man problems of the composite bats which hit balls to the fence (not too many home runs over the fence in 70 and older play), and have resulted in fields growing larger and larger. Picking up the ball at a 320 foot fence, I have to relay to the next-door fielder, who relays to short or 2B who has come out, who relays to home...and by that time the batter has huffed and puffed around or is at least wheezing on third base.

Till fun! Plan to play until at least my mid-80s.

, Aug. 24, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Why are there rules?

I'm impressed with the eloquence of some of our posters. Well done.

I've never played in Arizona (I assume this is the venue in question) and know nothing about the TD (other than what I've read over time on this blog), so as an outsider, here is what I am gathering:

Team decides to play in tournament and either ignorantly or deceptively has under-age players on team. They are given a spot in tournament and scheduled to play other teams.

Other players get wind of this team and protest to TD that team has under-age players (which will become evident when said players can't produce an SSUSA membership card...unless they are REALLY planning to cheat and going under assumed names). If deliberate cheating, team should be banned from all tourneys in future, in my opinion.

TD now has a choice to make, none of them great:
1. Let the team play exhibition (safety issues with this choice)
2. Ban the team and try to find a replacement (pretty tough at such a late date)
3. Ban the team and award every other team a forfeit victory (not much fun and violates minimum games played)
4. Redo the schedule and remake brackets (short notice, maybe field unavailability, last minute time changes to communicate to managers)

TD chooses the exhibition option.

TD gives out third place award to exhibition team (seems unlikely, but such is the claim). Anything I am missing?

, Aug. 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Associations
Discussion: Unfavorable weather conditons......

k man, I don't have to screw up my knees. At my age, they are just wearing out! lol
, Aug. 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Vegas Worlds

mad dog, my entire team is on retirement pay. I don't know about the others, but I stay in very modest casinos (under $50 usually), eat just for fuel, set my gambling limit at $20, and never go to see a show. Of course, if my wife were going...all bets off. My time is free so I stay at places away from the strip and just get up earlier to make the first game.
, Aug. 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Vegas Worlds

Sure, it would be nice to know exactly where our fields would be so we could find a hotel (LOTS of options in Vegas) within close distance for the tourney. But c'mon, mad dog, in our California tournaments, some guys get up early and drive 2-4 hours for a late start Saturday game, just to save one night's Friday night cost of a hotel. You've done it too, I'm sure. Driving an extra 20 minutes to a distant Vegas site is not a backbreaker.

As to playing more than two games, our older team played only two games each day last year, and most guys felt it was one of the sweetest tournaments they had been in—avoided draining oneself in the heat, fresher each day and playing our best, results probably the same as seeding rounds and then a long bracket, lots of free time to make the wives happy, come home Wednesday night if willing to.
, Aug. 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Associations
Discussion: Unfavorable weather conditons......

k man, good points! My main point was that when we play two in, two out games, the outfielders are fresher and jog into position. You are exactly right that playing the outfield takes a toll.

In a recent tournament, one of our best outfielders pulled a groin. Short-handed, I played outfield every game, every play, and didn't pitch a single ball. The weather was 98º. In addition to my own hits, I also courtesy ran at least three times each game, four times having to run first to home on a long ball triple behind me. We also had a new guy at infield in front of me so I had to back him up more than usual.

The result: I wasn't strolling out in the final games, I was TRUDGING! My apologies to all outfielders that were offended. You have my respect, and if the ump wouldn't stop my warmup pitches while my outfielders are barely leaving the infield, I wouldn't mind waiting a bit. I like to throw as many warmup pitches each inning as I can.
, Aug. 18, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Associations
Discussion: Unfavorable weather conditons......

CAT, I believe that you are correct that most of the lost time in a game is players walking on and off the field. In our winter leagues, we play two innings up, then two innings fielding. Almost all of our 7-inning games end on time, and that's with a 4-3 count. One other thing I have noticed as a pitcher with this format, is that most outfielders, who have sat for most of two innings at bat, will jog to their outfield positions, rather than stroll as in a hot summer tourney game. This makes a big difference when I am ready to pitch, but in a tournament often have to watch the outfielder's back as they stroll to their position.
, Aug. 18, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Using screen for pitcher

Our 50 and over league has mandated a screen for 17 years since a near-fatal hit on a pitcher. Our rules are very similar to those of rispis1974's league. We also like to have the screen as much as 4 feet in front to avoid having a pitcher trip over the legs when going behind the screen. We don't have a rule about a thrown ball lodging in the screen since it has not happened in the more than 2000 games since the mandatory screen.

There is some sentiment for a batted ball striking the screen being called a dead ball strike, but it is currently a dead ball no pitch. We have lived successfully with these rules for years.

I agree with coop3636 that frequent use of the screen (as in my case) does degrade fielding ability because of the reflex step to the screen side in a tournament without screens. But my prediction of a couple of years ago is that the screen will become normal for tournaments in a few years because of the continued use of the hot bats.
, Aug. 9, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Western Nationals Field Conditions & Balls

NYGNYY, nothing different than in the past. Played in Sacramento where dirt infields are extremely hard because of the constant baking, low-humidity heat. This will result in more bad hops than some fields. However, the field crew watered and raked the infields more frequently this year than some tournaments in the past.

As to the ball, it was the normal Trump Stote. As we all know, when it gets hot it gets soft, so not many long balls after about noon on our playing days when the temps were around 100º. Same conditions for both teams.

Also normal: players complain about the Trump Stote at every hot weather tournament location: have for years; nothing changes.

Players complain about fields in all drought-condition fields (Sacramento, Phoenix, Woodland, Reno, etc.) although Reno does get occasional rain...or even snow (which leads to a different sets of complaints). Too bad you missed it. There was a good turnout.
, July 26, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: to SSUSA

Fred S, I feel for all the older guys in the N.E. Not only is your season shorter, but the pool of senior softball players is likely smaller. I play in California, where there are tournaments almost every weekend, and the 80+ senior team that my older league buddies play on, plays about 18 tournaments a season. I can imagine that it is tough to build a competitive 80+ team...or even a team that can stay heathy enough all season.
, July 25, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: to SSUSA

Fred S, Considering the limited group of 80+ players nation-wide, wouldn't this have the potential of resulting in a few "super-teams" and eliminate a lot of average 80+ players from serious competitive opportunity.

Of the 80+ teams I know, they have several players on their rosters who really aren't in good physical shape (always need a runner, no power much beyond 125 feet, etc.), but are in the games because of long years of personal relationships and friendships. If a team could cherry-pick the best from anywhere in the country, this would harm the normal 80+ teams scattered throughout the states. If some of these teams lost a couple of critical guys (e.g. good fielding pitcher; number four slugger; ground-covering shortstop; etc.) they would likely fold in discouragement.
, July 20, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WESTERN NATIONALS

Dubai, remember that I was one who WANTED to go to Aurora, but I could not convince enough of my teammates. We haven't even gone to Oregon the last two years. As Swing said, there is plenty of competition here already and guys don't need to travel for it.
, July 20, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WESTERN NATIONALS

I don't doubt Aurora has beautiful and well-maintained facilities. I wanted to play there the last time it was in Aurora, but only a third of our team was interested. Swing for the fences has it right—in California there are 273 SSUSA teams from men's 40s through 80s, and there is lots of fun competition right in the state with tournaments almost every weekend.

Of course you play the same teams most of the time. Even the welcomed Scrap Iron teams come west from Colorado often enough to be familiar teams. But in Reno, recently, we ended up in our bracket playing California teams that we already knew, rather than a lot of new out-of-state teams.

The reality is that SSUSA has those 273 teams, but Colorado, for example, has 19 teams! I know a western regional in Colorado would draw more outside teams, but evidently not enough to overcome the many California teams that already play in the tournament here and aren't willing to travel to Aurora. It's a 17 hour drive from Sacramento to Denver, for example, and surprisingly expensive to fly considering the low fuel costs. Nope, the Western Regionals will likely be in Sacramento for the foreseeable future.
, July 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: USING COURTESY RUNNERS

An often misunderstood concept by umpires and by managers! When I was rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery, I was a sub at tournaments and courtesy ran in every game although I never swung a bat. Probably unnecessary to add that I never slid headfirst into any base. LOL
, July 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Paulie D

Dancer & Paulie D, how about age and approximate skill level as well? When I had 30 years of softball playing experience, I was only in my 40s and my skill level was modest. I'm impressed with Paulie's versatility and attitude—a shortstop willing to catch is a rarity in my experience.
, July 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WESTERN NATIONALS

Dave, Dbax does have a good point. The southern and northern parks are more than 50 miles apart which is an hour to and hour and half driving, depending on traffic. However, we empathize with your situation after the last fiasco on the part of some irresponsible rec departments.
, July 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Is there a penalty for batter not releasing the bat after reaching 1st base?

Dancer, LOL
, July 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: looking for a 50m to becoming a 50MP sponsor or part sponsor in So Cal

wdodge22, I understand that some employers are really tight about personal phone calls while on the job, but patrick jt's is really extreme. Evidently patrick doesn't get a lunch break within an 8-hour shift. That would be illegal in California where Patrick lives, and very rare. Second, his employer doesn't even allow bathroom breaks within a shift (many a personal phone call has been made while sitting on the john). This is not only illegal, but inhumane. And obviously his employer must not permit any personal time off or medical leave which is rare for any competitive company seeking to retain good employees.

I feel sorry for Patrick. Maybe his time would be better spent searching for a new employer.
, July 2, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: HOW TO PREVENT A HEATSTROKE

Benji4, good points. I have a couple of guys on my team who are at risk when the temperature is in the low 90s and should not play. I like to play when it is hot, but I drink, drink, drink water and stay in the shade when not on the field. And, like you, I bring my own water and do not depend on the TD to supply it (and occasionally the supplies have been contaminated and caused illness). And I always lather on the sunscreen, highest SPF I can find (currently using 85 SPF as my dermatologist says it DOES make a positive difference to go way, way beyond 15 or even 30). My body, my health, not someone else's responsibility.
, July 2, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: QUAD CITY TOURNEY

Not every municipality refunds money due to weather conditions. A soccer request, for example, on an all-weather field might have been turned away because of softball reservations. Also, some tourneys pay umps for arriving, staying, etc. to keep good relations for next tournament. In the case of poor rescheduling or premature decisions, then some return of fees might be appropriate.
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