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, 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.
, 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.
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