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Jan. 2, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: We are Ready!!!

Dolfan, I love your attitude. So much more encouraging than guys who complain about being rerated and moved up. I, too, love playing the game but God did not bless me with a body that anyone will ever want to play Major Plus for them! Happy New Year to all guys who are looking forward to another season of senior softball. It will keep us all younger than our peers.
Jan. 2, 2015
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

Fabe, I know about the great Hawaii weather because I've been there. What was extra tempting about the tournament was that guys that had gone there before raved about the great hospitality. I ended up not going because my schedule was too full that month and too much work to rearrange what I could (I know, I'm too busy to be a senior senior). Someday, maybe.
Dec. 31, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

Grimmie, I play in the West—California, Reno, Vegas, Oregon, St. George. That's enough travel for me although I was seriously tempted by a Hawaii tournament a few years back (still the West, I guess).

I have noticed the same thing you have, and have written about it extensively on this site. Where there should be a huge number of senior guys playing who loved the game in the 70s, 80s, 90s, there are far too many no longer playing. Sure, injury, illness, even death will take its toll, but with modern health care and rising prosperity amongst retirees, there should be thousands more on senior teams. I, too, believe that the "crazy bats" have changed the game for the worse and as a result many, many men have lost interest. I say this as one of those 170 pipsqueaks who never hit a home run in my life in 50 years of playing, and then, as a geezer, begin to hit home runs with a Miken! Nice feeling for the moment, but would be nicer to plan on a tournament without it getting cancelled for lack of teams.

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day (lots of great football!), and a satisfying 2015. Enjoy your recent posts.
Dec. 30, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

Swing, purely anecdotal. Certainly true for our third base infielders this season, but my sample is likely too small to prove this point. Logical, but maybe other third basemen are playing at 85 feet (Wow!) like Grimmie's, so injuries are reduced. And maybe I haven't noticed that shortstops are 90 feet back like the middle infielder behind second that oldsters like us use. Have a great season in 2015. Hope I get to watch you again.
Dec. 29, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

LP, you're right. With our current hot composite plus lively ball, there are already more injuries to 3rd basemen. Doubt if screens will be the answer. More likely the ball will eventually become much more dumbed down.

But comparing pitchers to infielders is apples to oranges. I release the ball from 50 feet away, my weight shifted forward, back up some if I know the batter likes middle, and do my best to field the ball (I could back up farther if the height limit were changed). My third baseman begins at 75 feet away and my shortstop at 80 feet—both already set and in position. Seems to me there is a greater likelihood of a pitcher being unable to avoid being hit than an infielder.

I began pitching from 37 1/2 feet away 62 years ago. I get plunked more now than back in the day when wood bats and older softballs were the norm. Part of it is old age; a lot of it is the super hot bats and balls.
Dec. 28, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

E6 in AZ, the two line solution would certainly make things safer, but many pitchers I have seen hit were not by guys who like to go middle and swing with all their might. They tend to be hit up the middle by guys who swing powerfully but have little bat control. Still dangerous for the pitcher.

I remember the time a few years ago that a big galoot sent a rocket up the middle that I was able to knock down to protect myself. After being thrown out at first he rushed over and apologized for the hit, said he never tries to go middle, asked again if I was O.K. (I was although my hand was throbbing), and apologized again for the hit. I believed him. Three innings later he is up again. I am careful to pitch him inside. Same result, although this time the ball was belly-high instead of head high! I caught this one. Again he apologized though it sounded weak considering the circumstances. I pitched against his team twice in that tournament and watched his team one game against another team. Nothing up the middle by him. I believe his potentially harmful hit was not intentional, but an injured pitcher finds little solace in that…and two lines up the middle wouldn't have made a difference for this batter, in my opinion.
Dec. 28, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

DCPete, it depends on where you play. In Northern California Senior Softball Association (where there are more than 100 teams), the MANDATED tournament ball is the Baden Fire. Although it is rated as a 44/375, it is much hotter than that. The fact that the manufacturer admits that it is unlicensed by any association gives you a hint that this is a lively ball. Put that with composites such as the Miken, and you have a ball zooming toward the pitcher. Also, there have been many comments that the Trump Rock ball used at the Worlds in Las Vegas is also hotter than the Stote.

I agree that despite all the claims that "this year's bat" is the hottest ever, hot out of the wrapper, a real boomer, sends the ball the extra distance, let's me hit consistently over 325 feet, etc., no current bat is much hotter than the old Miken Ultra II of the early 2000s.
Dec. 27, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

Pitcher safety screens are more common in senior softball league play than in tournaments. In our league, as well as others, the screens are even mandated! Why? Primarily because there is a wide age-range of players, from 50 to 90, and pitchers from 54 to 86.

The placement varies, in my experience. Some leagues, such as ours, allow the pitchers to place the screens. When a screen is used in tournament play (for example when the pitcher is squinting directly into a low sun) it seems to be placed again wherever the pitcher finds it most protective. I have never had a TD mandate its placement.

There ARE leagues that have tight restrictions about how far in front of the rubber, how far to left or right, etc. And there are certainly differences in the ruling when a batted ball hits the screen (dead ball, strike, foul ball, strike only on second hit while at bat, etc.). And there are differences about whether the pitcher can field a ball, or must step behind the screen, or can't field a ball if the screen is too far to one side, etc.

In other words KennyB, your league players or leaders will have to mutually agree about these issues. B.J. is right that the current rules don't recognize the screen.

I predict this will change and eventually screens will be mandated for tournaments, at least for teams 60 and over. The compelling reason will be too many serious injuries, or even a death, when a pitcher is hit by a rocket off a composite bat. If there is an unwillingness by players to tone down the impact of a hard ball and a hot bat common in the last decade, then the screens will come.
Dec. 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best turf shoes out there

I've been completely happy with Tanel turf shoes. I wear the high tops for ankle support. They are so comfortable I wear them all day long in a tournament, not changing out of them. Don't know about the heel problem, but I've never had an issue with it. I play about 120-140 games a year with Tanels on turf and they last a bit longer than a year. I use cleats with dirt/grass combo fields (most tournaments).
Nov. 27, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Thanksgiving

taits, thanks for starting this thread. We, of all men our age, should be thankful for our health and the ability to still play. Guys, stop briefly today and pray for all those former teammates of yours who are no longer able to participate in this great sport because of poor health (or worse, no longer in this world). I've lost two friends this month who were still active and now gone!

stick8, we began a local winter league last week on Saturdays (you can do this in California), and we will be playing (although the weather might have a different opinion).
Nov. 2, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team move-ups

Couldn't agree with Swing more! My previous team (I'm too old for them now) was moved up after winning and they were proud. They were ready to take on the next level teams. The games were certainly more competitive and fun, even though they didn't win as much. Why would a team want to play lower (although I'm sure Fabe is right and some do) and beat up on weaker teams? And worst of all are teams that deliberately break up to reorganize and avoid a higher classification. What does that say about camaraderie and team spirit?!
Nov. 1, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Better bats or better marketing?

Too soon to tell about OZ's intelligence, but he is absolutely right about Laurel & Hardy being funnier than the Stooges. Who said anything about slapstick? We're talking about humor…grins…laughter…belly laughs. I've watched Laurel and Hardy films over and over but never saw reason to watch a 3 Stooges film more than once.
Oct. 29, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Team move-ups

paul0784, earlier you stated that "We played in 5 tournaments and won two of them so we lost our share". Not an unusual response but in one tournament, 31 other teams lost more than your team and in another, 10 lost more than you did. Figuring that you might have finished in the middle in the other three tournaments, 9-10 teams lost more than you. If your share was to lose fewer games than 50 other teams (some duplicates, of course), then what can the other 50 teams that lost more say? We won our share?
Oct. 11, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: USA Championship seeding game

The State Roofing Systems team won the Western Nationals, but when they got to Vegas, the Eastern Champions did not appear, so they won the USA National Championship by forfeit. When it came to seedings, however, the Roofing team did not get a 1 seed, but got a 4 seed on the basis of their 3-1 record in pool play. How is it the Western champions' fault that their opponent didn't appear any more than when only one team in a division plays in Eastern Championships? Turns out that a 4 seed was appropriate to their skill level in this year's tournament, so they didn't complain about it, but it would have been nice if they received a later game as the #1 seed and also played a weaker team to advance toward a potential championship.
Oct. 7, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: NEW Miken Freak Black Senior bat with a 1 year warranty

lb16's experience was similar to mine. Bought an Ultra II in 2003 and have used it ever since! Use it for batting practice as well as tournaments. Probably have 5000+ hits on it and it is still going. I'm not a power hitter, but hit hard enough that I have several home runs every season. And my Ultra II was also hot out of the wrapper. It might have gotten marginally better, but it was already outhitting, by far, from day one, any other bat I ever owned or used, including a teammate's titanium. My first home run in 50 years of playing came with the Miken!
Oct. 7, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WHO ARE CURRENTLY THE MOST POWERFUL HITTERS IN SENIOR SOFTBALL

boston, well said!
Oct. 7, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1 and 1 pitch count

ffdonnie, interesting finding from your discussions with players. My team is also in northern California. Seems unlikely that SSUSA, headquartered in northern California would have skipped their own region, but facts are facts.

We play two innings back to back then switch to defense two innings in our winter rec leagues. It does speed up the game for all the reasons that Robo listed. Could be some drawbacks, I suppose, but our winter league guys love it. It is less tiring, for another reason to like it.
Oct. 6, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1 and 1 pitch count

SSUSA is correct that the survey did not contrast older players versus younger players. It was a survey of ALL registered players; it just happened to break out that older players preferred the 0-0 count (and not for the bizarre concept that Tim Millette offered that they are trying to protect batting averages!).

As an older team, we have played in 1-1 tournaments and didn't like it. The idea that guys are all standing there milking the pitch count to get a fat pitch just isn't the reality. In fact, the problem on my team, and most teams we play, is that the batters are so eager to hit and get the action going that they hit the first pitch they can reach! Since so many hitters DON'T wait out a full count, it doesn't matter whether it is 0-0 start or 1-1 count—the ball is in play before either count would reach the end. Why did my team not like the 1-1 count? Probably just too new…or didn't like the pressure…or were defenders of tradition.

And the idea that older players are somehow more responsive to polls is unlikely. After that 2012 poll, I started asking around. I know the captains of five 65 and over teams, and I know about 3/4 of all the players on those teams. I asked at rec play and at tournaments and did not find a single person that was polled in this age group, including myself! I suspect that many of them registered 10 or 15 years ago and didn't have an email then or the email was obsolete over time. Whatever the reason, I never found one person who was polled! The results could have been even more skewed toward the traditional count.
Sept. 14, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: hip replacement

Bella, of course the doctors won't recommend playing softball because of the injury potential, but that potential was there to some degree ever since you started playing as a kid. I have met more than a couple of senior seniors (over 65) like JD32 who have returned to play with a replacement hip. It is more common to see guys playing again with artificial knees. I have two guys, just on my team, who are both playing outfield with double artificial knees and running for themselves.
Sept. 14, 2014
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RENTAL CAR PRICES FOR WORLDS 9/28-10/2

gary, what kind of car are you renting? My taxes and fees (not all airport) was only $51.00 for 5 days for a 4-door Ford Focus. Are you renting longer or a much more luxurious car? Of course even my fee is outrageous, but that's what you pay for the convenience of picking up the car at the airport. It's another reason that I always use a credit card that has rental car insurance provided as part of the credit card privileges. Insurance from the rental company is even more out of this world.
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