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, 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.
, July 1, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What is the Proper Ruling

In our league we also allow a "visiting" catcher when one team is short-handed in order for them to play with a full complement in the infield and outfield. We also have the catcher bat for their own team, not the team they are helping. We have never had a controversy in years of this practice. Here are a few reasons why:

1. There is no assumption that the catcher is actually fully competent at that position! In fact, the catcher often changes inning to inning or even in the middle of an inning if their turn at bat comes up. I doubt this example was a deliberate attempt by the catcher to allow a run at home. He may have been watching instead of participating; he may lack swiftness of foot; he might have thought about tagging the runner instead of stepping on home; he may have been confused by unfamiliar voices yelling at him telling him what to do; he might have dropped the ball anyway (a more familiar scenario in our league); etc.

2. The great majority of outs are made by fielders other than the catcher, so this is a rare occurrence.

3. It is league play, not tournament! Have fun, keep in shape, enjoy the fellowship. Save complaints and bad feelings for tournaments.
, June 29, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: HOW TO PREVENT A HEATSTROKE

Dave, you were too limited in your thinking. Many areas (such as northern California near the coast) seldom experience heat over 85º or so. In those cases, even 90º can be considered excessive and dangerous. And have you considered the danger from exposure and/or frostbite when temps turn cold in a normally temperate area. I remember playing in Reno three or four years ago in the Rock N Reno Classic in late May, standing on third base in my shorts and short sleeves, and it started to snow! Shouldn't you have called off the tournament because I didn't have a long-sleeved shirt in my bag?

The real answer is that the tournament will be cancelled when a majority of teams call in to drop out in the two or three days before a 100º heat wave! I have never played with a teammate who didn't show up because it was going to be too hot. My favorite experience was pitching 5 games in the central California valley in 106º heat where it was 120º+ on the baked dirt infield. Guess Dave might have cancelled those games if they were SSUSA.:=)
, June 28, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 1-1-----0-0 count

As a pitcher, I like gary's suggestion. I have not been a fan of starting 1-1, but starting 0-1 has some appeal. Of course, I believe Gary, Fred, and I are all old geezer pitchers and perhaps we love our 0-0 tradition more than we should. Good to hear Gary's experience.
, June 28, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: divivsions..

coop3636, I've noticed the same decline in softball participation and documented it in many posts over the past years. Why it is declining among younger guys is a matter of speculation, but the future for senior softball is not as bright if guys in their 30s and 40s are no longer playing softball.

But why are the number of seniors declining? We grew up playing softball. We loved softball. Fields were full. Rec departments had to build new fields because of the demand. Softball was America's highest participation sport. And yet, the numbers have plateaued or even declined in senior softball. Our health is better. Injuries can be overcome with modern medicine (I play with guys who have joint replacements and repair). We have more money for leisure activities (we are a little ahead of the curve where parttime work is resulting in declining income in our society). Where are the senior softball players?

My opinion is the game has become too easy and no longer a challenge. It is unbalanced with an over-emphasis on offense. The main culprit? Hot composite bats.
, June 28, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: looking for a 50m to becoming a 50MP sponsor or part sponsor in So Cal

patrick jt, you are correct that our skills go down the older we get. And so do the skills of all the other 55-year-olds! The result: still a Major. In fact, it's even more radical for some. I began playing at AA level as most of us did. Graduated to AAA in my mid-60s, and then I found myself at Major level as I got older! Did I get better? No, I just stayed healthy and improved relative to others my age declining with injuries and poor health. Stay healthy, my friend.
, 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.


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