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, Aug. 9, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Outcome of GSC

My team was also allowed to hit with that bat at Reno one year. I didn't care for the way it was weighted. A couple on my team thought it felt all right to them. The ball didn't seem to jump off the bat as it does off a Miken. It was explained that they were not broken in yet (unlikely with so many people hitting with the bats). But the real reason this bat was going to revolutionize the industry was not just its performance but the promise of durability. No one was taking orders on the bats in Reno, so we just forgot about them and decided to wait until they were in production. Still waiting. And what a sad ending. So sorry for Surf88. Hope he gets more return if the money is found.
, Aug. 2, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vendors at events

HAT MAN, I've had the same question. I've gone to Reno with money to buy shoes, bats, maybe glove, etc., but only one vendor per category. It would seem that any interested vendor wanting to offer products would of course pay for the privilege, but what's wrong with competition? Maybe there aren't that many vendors who think their trip would be financially successful?
, Aug. 2, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: what happens

Here's another twist on that. My team won the Western Nationals a few years ago and we were excited about playing the Eastern champion for the National championship (and getting a top seed for the winner). The Eastern champions didn't show...no game...no national championship...no top seeding (we argued that it was a forfeit but I guess we weren't persuasive). Looks like the Western 55 major plus champions will have the same disappointment.
, July 30, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: PITCHING SCREEN USE

Hello Scrappy,

Those are normal concerns for those encountering a screen or considering a screen. I have been pitching with a screen for 17 years! When I first began to pitch with it I wasn’t a fan since I was used to pitching without one for decades. I would laboriously carry the screen off the field to the side and then replace it for the next half inning. I didn’t like the distraction of the screen in the corner of my eye.

But the league’s board of directors ruled that the screen couldn’t be moved (one other pitcher also relocated it). The screen was mandated because one pitcher took a near-fatal hit (in the chest, not the head) and the league wanted protection for all pitchers. We have a mixed age league and most of our pitchers are over 70; two are over 80.

Being in California, I play about 100-120 games a year on all-weather turf with a screen. Here is my experience and why I am completely comfortable with the screen.

Our screen has a wide area in which it can be placed. Since it is for protection, some pitchers put it 5 feet in front of the rubber, some put it about 6-8” beside the pitching box. Anywhere is O.K. (and some pitchers put it 3/4 of the way across the rubber and just peek around it to pitch).

We use the standard size which is 6 1/2 feet high by 3 feet wide.

We don’t eliminate any double plays because of the screen. The screen is there for the pitcher’s protection, but he is free to reach out for a line drive, run forward to field a slow grounder, run around it to catch a pop-up, etc. It is his choice where to defend from.

In 17 years I have never seen an infield fly hit the screen (almost 14,000 innings!).

A batted ball hitting the screen is a dead ball. I prefer the rule where it is a foul ball except on the third strike where it is not an out.

An entire year can go by without once having a throw from third to first hitting the screen. A throw from second to home has never hit the screen. It is the most likely to happen, I suppose.

A throw from the outfield home hits the screen perhaps once or twice a year.

The screen has never been knocked over by a batted ball. Most injuries to the pitcher are those where he is standing behind the screen as a fielder and sometimes the ball ricochets off the frame of the screen.

In summary, one quickly gets used to the screen and it has saved many a pitcher against a power hitter or a guy who likes to go middle. One disadvantage for pitchers who are also tournament players is that the pitcher’s fielding skills begin to decline a bit with using the screen and stabbing at balls going by instead of moving in front of the ball.

Good luck with the screens. I predict they will eventually be mandated for tournament play in our world with lively balls and composite bats.
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rule Joke

Wet base bags is not a common occurrence in California, but it is a dangerous one. When it happens, umps typically allow runners to miss the bag when wet. Close is defined by the eye of the ump. Was it a force? Was it close enough that it didn't give the runner a significant advantage. Never been a problem with a confident umpire in those rare occasions.
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Western Nationals

I remember that Dave, and I hope most of the venting was aimed at the offending municipality, not at SSUSA, the harmless victims. But of course it is frustrating to lock in a nearby housing site and then find the tournament moved, so venting is expected.
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: aggieland classic-college station,tx

A requirement in northern California is that TDs must post the schedule one week before the first game. This means that the deadline for entry fees is at least one week, sometimes 10 days before the tournament so that the information can be assembled and posted for all to see (no calling the team managers, for example). Works well 90% of the time.
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rule Joke

Nancy, you have a wicked sense of humor!:=)
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Time for SSUSA to listen.

curly, thanks for the reminder. Out here in California we are really spoiled, not only by the generally good fields (softball players are more numerous and therefore more voters for rec departments to respond to), but by the weather that lets us play every month of the year. We should be humbled by what some players like you have to contend with.
, July 17, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Rule Joke

Nancy, I have played only out west for many decades and I had no idea that umpires have a different standard out here. But it seems to work only for the defense. In an important game, my teammate missed second and steamed into third for a triple. On appeal, the umpire called him out! But his foot was within 6 inches of second!! Where's the fairness?
, June 28, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How best to position11 defensive players?

ffdonnie, do you also agree with my coach Dad that "Softball was meant to be played with 9 defensive players!" or are you a modernist?
, June 25, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How best to position11 defensive players?

Our team has settled on using the 11th man as a fifth infielder because of the many double plays. I will admit that against some all-field sluggers we move him into a fifth outfielder position to close the gaps.

Benji4, I've probably been playing softball longer than you (this is my 65th season) and I remember what my dad, the coach of our team likely said when we went from 9 men teams to 10 (and we used the 10th guy as a positional rover). He would say...

Softball was meant to be played with 9 defensive players!
, June 23, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Summer Solstice Sleepiness?

WOW! I have played in 106 in northern California (a memorable life experience) but never in 111! How do guys play in that heat? When watering down the dust between games, does the ground crew also spray the bench with the hose? Do they get tipped for that act of mercy?
, June 23, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Summer Solstice Sleepiness?

Dave, you would have a much easier job and a lot more time to apply to tournaments if k man was correct! But I doubt it. I'm also a little dubious about the heat explanation.

Let's see: I am mad dog and it is 105 outside. Living in Texas, my home, like most homes, is completely air conditioned. I am sitting in 70 something coolness in front of my computer. Now what should I do? Should I call up a few friends and go sweat down at the ball field for some hitting practice? Or should I put something interesting on the website or complain about a Texas tournament? I think I stay inside. On the other hand, I am named mad dog for a reason, so...

Or as Noël Coward wrote: "only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun"...

Not picking on mad dog since he is a supporter from way back in the famous "Einstein Skirmishes" of the last decade. He's just the first Texan that came to mind.
, June 23, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Summer Solstice Sleepiness?

This forum is one that I contact about three times a day. It is very active and there are many comments on most topics. But what happened after June 21? Not a single comment on June 22?! And only one on June 23 by early afternoon on the east coast? That has never happened in my years of reading and commenting. Does SSUSA have an explanation for this gap? Puzzling.
, May 3, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Looking to start Chicago Style 16" No Glove softball in Southern Arizona

Boro, 16" softball brings back fond memories. At the college my wife worked at, the intramural sport of softball was all 16"-glove-optional. Knowing I was a pitcher, the department asked me to pitch for their intramural team with ages ranging from 30 to 55. They wanted to beat the youngun's so badly.

The league rules were unlimited height for pitches. I found with that big ol' ball (I had never played with 16" before) that I could toss it up about 15-20 feet and it didn't arc so much as climb and then drop almost straight down as gravity took over! I had lots of strikeouts that year! Also, the pitcher has a ton of fielding action since the ball is coming rather slowly.

The game was lots of low-scoring fun. Wooden bats at that time. Only one problem, gripping that large ball every inning to pitch caused me tendon problems...so much so that the doctor advised that I lay off for 6 weeks. Impossible, with the championships coming up. He gave me a new "wonder drug" Motrin, which in fact worked in the short run, and I was able to finish the season with the team.

We didn't win since young guys have more speed and stamina than we calculated, but it was a memorable season. I never pitched it again, and the arm trouble bothered me most of the summer softball season. Went away with rest in the fall, but I never chanced getting injured in that way again.
, April 28, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Changing Format for 70 Year Old Division

I have played on an over-70 team for several years now. The team loves to go to Vegas (me, not so much) and our only concern is playing in the heat and the possibility of playing 3 or more games in a day in 90º plus. There is no older team that I know that can perform well for 4 or 5 or 6 games in a row, especially in that heat. The usual result is that guys start dropping off (dehydration, muscle cramps, exhaustion, etc.) and if you make it to the winner's bracket coming out of the loser's bracket, you usually don't have a competitive team facing a well-rested team.

Two years ago in Vegas, SSUSA had us play a round robin tournament. Two games a day, in the cooler morning, plenty of time to return to the hotel to cool off and rest and then to take the ladies to do something in Vegas. We loved it! Unlike curveball's experience, round robin play is the norm in northern California. Of course it is a tie-breaker nightmare at times ( three teams end up 4 and 1, for example, with each beating one of the other two), but tiebreakers work and everyone is satisfied.

We all know that a death on the playing field is not uncommon in senior softball, especially with teams over 65. I wonder how many of these could have been averted with a physically less demanding schedule?
, April 24, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: and ideas concerning "where to place teams in tournaments"

I love Ho's analogy to a bowling team giving a handicap. Back in the day, I was on a high average bowling team, and even with the handicap, we seldom lost to a lower average team, even when the handicap was 80%. Just too much difference (including the ability to bear down and perform better by the higher average bowlers).

Same in softball. Major and Major Plus teams have more ability to bear down when necessary. Don't you remember the last time you saw a Major Plus trailing in the 7th to a lower-rated team and then it was hit, hit, hit, until the Major Team's score was out of sight. I honor any lower-ranked team that can keep up with those barrages and occasionally defeat a higher-ranked team.
, April 24, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Out of the Batters Box.

I have seen it enforced at Golden Eagle in Reno. I agree it is a bit unfair to big guys (although as a pitcher I love it), but there is no reason, with the rule being as it is, that someone develops the habit of consistently stepping out because they like to be forward in the box. It's a rule. Live by it until it is changed somehow.
, April 24, 2017
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Playing with a 5 man infield...

Our team has had it both ways. At times we have had an excellent rover and it is true that now and then he tracks down a soft fly, and even occasionally gets to a ball this is misplayed by a shortstop or a second baseman and still makes a play.

We also have an excellent 5th man who plays on the edge of the grass up the middle. He routinely turns 2 or 3 double plays a game.

The fifth man is more valuable for us playing as an infielder and also covering second base in lieu of shortstop or second baseman.
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