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Discussion: 1 and 1 curiosity

Posted Discussion
Dec. 18, 2019
Omar Khayyam
1336 posts
1 and 1 curiosity
The Northern California Senior Softball Association (NCSSA), with 96 teams this year, with maximum roster size of 22, is one of the larger associations in the country. They are organized with a board of directors, elected at an annual meeting where every team manager (or representative) has a vote.

At the SSUSA December meeting, the 1-1 starting count was unanimously voted in for all age groups, despite a fairly recent poll that the older groups preferred the traditional 4-3 count. Thus speak the dozen or so rule committee members.

On the next day, December 7, the NCSSA held its annual meeting. Not surprisingly, the question of changing to a 1 and 1 starting count came up as a proposal for a vote. The NCSSA has formally adopted SSUSA rules as their own standard, with some exceptions. After much discussion, the vote was taken and the decision was to remain with the traditional 4-3 count for ALL age groups! This will be noted in the NCSSA rules as one of the differences between their and SSUSA's rules.

What were the factors that led the SSUSA leadership to switch to 1-1 count, when one of their largest groups, one day later, rejected the 1-1 count not just for older teams, but for all age groups?
How did the 2000+ members of the NCSSA decide that the traditional count was preferred and should continue for 2020, when SSUSA sensed that it was no longer popular, even with older age groups?

Curious.
Dec. 18, 2019
The real deal
Men's 65
100 posts
Or a better question: Why didn't NCSSA adopt the 1-1 count that was adopted by SSUSA?
Dec. 18, 2019
DCPete
380 posts
Do the NCSSA games have time limits?
If they do, how often do the games go 7 innings?
It's all the 5 & 6 inning (time limit) games that have made the 1 - 1 count the better option for ALL age groups.
Dec. 18, 2019
chico senior
Men's 60
126 posts
I attended the NCSSA annual meeting last year. When given the opportunity I brought up the fact that SSUSA had started using the 1 and 1 count for 40 though 60 age groups. They had done extensive studies and found that it saved time meaning that there were far more 7 inning games. I felt NCSSA should also adopt the 1 and 1 count. It was shot down within minutes by the board. Their reasoning was that there was no proof that it saved time. They had done no research and were simply going on gut feelings. Anyone who says that it doesnít save time doesnít know what they are talking about.

Here is what I think happens with the NCSSA. They are led by a board that is mostly made up of guys over 70 years of age. Many of them at the time played on the same SSUSA 70 Major Plus team. I have played that team many times and they do things that intentionally shorten the game. Many times they are spotted runs to begin with so if the game is shorter the teams they are playing has less innings to make up the spotted runs. They want the game to only go 6 or even 5 innings. They will never admit that but iI have talked with some of them and know it to be true. The NCSSA board is led by 1 or 2 very vocal players. The players are in the Hall Of Fame so many are influenced by these few individuals. Thatís too bad as I love playing NCSSA events and will continue to do so.
Dec. 18, 2019
ffdonnie
Men's 60
131 posts
Omar has a few facts correct in his post above, but does not paint a complete picture of what went on (must be a politician). Chico Senior is pretty accurate with what goes on in NCSSA, and he was referring to last year. The same held true for this years meeting. With the exception of the board is not responsible for shooting down the 1-1. It was the very few managers that were in attendance.
There were ONLY 22 managers who showed up, with the majority being 65 and over (I didn't do an official count, but the statement is accurate). No way was this meeting an accurate representation of the whole organizations opinion. But if you don't show up and vote then you just got to shut up and deal with this crap.

A board member brought up the SSUSA rule changes and there was a lot of discussion. I made a motion to adopt the rule change, and was soundly defeated (2-26 or something like that). There were only 2 other managers whose team is in the top 3 divisions, everyone else is below that. Which leads me to believe Chico is correct with the run spotting theory. We have to give runs to every team we play below the top division.

The board is ok with the TD's using their discretion to allow games with a 1-1 count, as long as both teams agree. We did this most of last year with great success in getting all 7 innings in. The only games that did not go 7 where very high scoring games, both teams in upper 20's or more. And that was only 2 games all year.
Before we started the 1-1, our games in NCSSA rarely finished 7, and tournaments we consistently an hour or more behind schedule. That's what really gets me. I hear non-stop bitching about the last couple games of the day being so far behind. In the last couple tourneys that had all group 0 and 00 teams, everyone played with 1-1 count. And we were way ahead of schedule!! Go figure.

NCSSA managers, if you don't like it then get off your ass next December, and vote.


Dec. 18, 2019
ffdonnie
Men's 60
131 posts
PS
If you don't like this, just wait until NCSSA starts doing random bat testing somewhere around June. The fur is going to fly then. Haha.
Dec. 18, 2019
38softball
12 posts
Here is the main problem (and has been for the last several years). Of the roughly 2000 members of NCSSA, roughly less than 100 go to the annual meeting. This meeting is the ONLY time all year, they have an opportunity to express opinions, suggest changes etc. If anyone wants things to change, SHOW UP AT THE MEETING. A vote will be taken when suggestions are made. You need to be part of the discussion. Let your voices be heard.
Dec. 18, 2019
chico senior
Men's 60
126 posts
Getting to the meeting isn't easy for everyone. Why not let all managers vote via email. That would get most everyone represented. This is the 19 century and we should be able to accommodate more people. Items to be discussed could be sent to the board ahead of time and then voting could take place. As much as I love NCSSA itís decisions are dominated by only a few of the board members. This also happens with scheduling of tournaments. I guess as you get older, Iíll be 70 next month,youget pretty stubborn and set it your ways.
Dec. 19, 2019
Don5
Men's 65
58 posts
The NCSSA Board of Directors are not a bunch of 70 Major plus guys that all play together, far from that. Its a group of softball dedicated guys that want to help the Association grow, the guys work hard to provide a place for you to play. Its far from perfect, but it serves its purpose. A lot more input from the general members would be fantastic, getting some younger guys on the Board of Directors is needed.

The actual vote was 14-8 in favor of keeping the 3-2 count, at the meeting I told of a study I did in Modesto a couple of years ago, in over 60 games with a 1-1 test, only 3 games didn't go 7 innings. 1-1 may not save time but it helps get a full 7 innings. Stanislaus Senior Softball Association didn't change to the 1-1 count either.

For you guys that don't want the 1-1 count, when you go the Reno or Sacramento or Vegas, make sure you take that first pitch.

It's just a fact that Old Guys don't want change!

Don Angle
NCSSA Director
Dec. 19, 2019
softball4b
Men's 65
1123 posts
See ball hit ball. 5 or 7 opportunities, no difference. I pretty much can eat my potatoes whether they are on the right side or left of the plate.
Dec. 19, 2019
Doak
11 posts
I hesitated in commenting on this topic because I am appreciative of the NCSSA and SSUSA's efforts to create a forum where we old guys can still play a game.

However, I do like the 1 and 1 count. I have played with and mainly against teams that "took till they got a strike" or pitchers who would take forever to pitch a ball. One guy we called the human rain delay, we never played a 7 inning game against some of these teams and often played only 5 innings. EGADS,

I wish NorCal would have adopted the 1 and 1 just to be in line with the with SSUSA. Because these are the tournies we are gearing up for and the NorCal tournies help us get sharp. The consistency would be of benefit to many players who 'Wait till they get a strike". I have always been a "try to hit the first good pitch batter". So, it won't change my approach.

I realize change is hard but to be consistent not only with SSUSA but also the younger players, who we do occasionally play in NorCal. The back and forth is confusing.

Doak#37
Dec. 19, 2019
raul55
1 posts
This is not really consistent with what any of the younger organizations are doing. The courtesy foul needs to go. I still play some with the younger kids and every time someone fouls with 2 strike I think it's an out.
Dec. 19, 2019
The real deal
Men's 65
100 posts
Ok guys, need your input on some assumptions:
Assumption 1: starting with a 0-0 count (as opposed to 1-1 count) adds approximately 1 pitch per at bat.
Assumption 2: every pitch (and return throw from catcher) takes about 10 seconds.
Assumption 3: on average, there are approximately 30 at bats per team each game (Iím not a manager with a scorebook, so this is a total guess).

If these 3 assumptions are valid (or pretty close), then we are adding 600 seconds (30 at bats x 10 seconds x 2 teams) or 10 minutes to the length of the game, which is approximately 1 full inning.

True or False?
Dec. 20, 2019
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
the real deal, I went back to my book from our last tournament and got some numbers for you.
But 1st here's my take on your assumptions.
#1, I think players will be much more choosey with a 0-0 count as compared to a 1-1 count With 1-1, most batters will not have the 'luxury' of taking a strike as that puts them in a hole right away and its been my experience that most batters do not like to hit with '2 strikes' even if there is a waste foul. Therefore 1-1 should result in fewer pitches per at bat.
#2 reasonable
#3- As I stated in a previous post regarding 1-1, 5 of our 7 games only went 6 inning while the other 2 went the max.
This was at Ft. Myers in Nov - 65AAA . In order to analyze the stats, I did NOT include the at bats in the open inning since that would be after the 65/70 minute allotment.
In the 7 games we averaged 16.8 runs per game and 36.4 at bats
Our opponents averaged 11.7 runs per game and 35.5 at bats
We received an average of 2.5 walks per game and our opponents 2.1 walks per game
So I think you could assume that your average of 30 by my stats is on the low side.
At 36 minutes would increase game time by 2 minutes.
I'm in the same boat as Willy from the other discussion, I have played 1-1 for the longest time but when I have played in tournaments in 60 and 65 it was 0-0. You adjust to the circumstances.
In our local league we have no time limit so it is not an issue. And I will be curious to see if the new count allows us to get complete games in.
Happy Holidays to all and a healthy 2020

Dec. 21, 2019
The real deal
Men's 65
100 posts
k man, thanks for running the numbers from your scorebook - looks like your team did pretty well at your tournament.

We agree that there are probably more pitches thrown with a 0-0 count versus the 1-1 count. And if the average number of at bats per game (for both teams) is around 70, and 1 extra pitch is thrown for each at bat (in the 0-0 count), then the length of actual playing time might be reduced by 11-12 minutes. As you correctly point out, other variables such as walks, open innings, and hustling in and out between innings would tend to skew these numbers.

As a pitcher, I prefer the 1-1 count, and as a hitter I prefer the 0-0 count. But I believe that SSUSA made the right call in changing to the 1-1 count, which allows for more games to go the full 7 innings.
Dec. 21, 2019
NYGNYY
139 posts
Still amazed that the vote was 12 to ZERO in favor. With all the discussion prior to over the years and it continues today. Not one voting member was against. WOW
Dec. 21, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2973 posts
It was actually more favored than by the official 12-0 vote ... Every correspondence item received was in favor of "1-1" and every public participant attending the sessions who spoke on topic was in favor, too ... Support for retaining the "0-0" count has been a steady declining trend for every previous SSUSA member preference survey over the years ... That downward trend line is very unlikely to reverse course, so it was time to recognize that factual circumstance and make the change consistent across all age groups ... Nothing any rules governance body does is going to enjoy unanimous support (like THIS same NCSSA thread on the identical topic, where they kept "1-1" and are hearing criticism AND support about it!) ... Personally I'm pleased the 15+ year debate is now concluded ... My only regret is I couldn't be there to participate in the discussion because of being on the "No-fly" and "D/L" lists through year-end ...

Dec. 21, 2019
chico senior
Men's 60
126 posts
A few facts:

NCSSA - 96 teams X 22 players per team = 2112 player
SSUSA - 1851 teams X 22 players per team = 40,722 players

SSUSA has approximately 20 times as many players. They have done reserve nationally and it was determined that not only did the majority of the over 40,000 players want to use a 1 and 1 count, but they found they played way more 7 inning games. They didnít bend to a very small minority of board members that claim that there was no evidence to support that using a1 and 1 count did NOT save time.

Again, I feel that if all managers were given the opportunity to vote on this issue they would find the same outcome as SSUSA. I know - just come to the annual meeting and vote. That is a huge inconvenience for many and the vote could easily be done via email.
Dec. 22, 2019
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1223 posts
omar, I play in NCSSA.. They should of never made it different from SSUSA... I rather have More ABs at 1-1 then less Abs with 0-0 count.. games more faster and more innings are played... 18 mph underhand... hit the freaking ball!
Dec. 24, 2019
Omar Khayyam
1336 posts
Just a different perspective here.

Alot of older players don't think in terms of innings played, but in time played. If we get a full 65 minutes in at a tournament we are satisfied. Everyone knows when it is the open inning and time to focusóthe clock doesn't catch us off-guard. Three games that go for 195 minutes total is fine with many, whether the total innings were 21 or 18.

A lot of older players feel that beginning with 1-1 rushes them (one early foul strike and they are in a critical zone). They like the traditional pace of beginning with 0-0óthe way they have played for decades. This is especially true with our leagues that have no time limit other than 7 or 9 innings whether morning or evening.

We do occasionally go 1-1 in our Saturday league where we are playing double headers and time becomes critical to keep on schedule.

Of course SSUSA has a larger membership, but not as much as 1851 teams x 22 players. Most of the teams are restricted to 20 players, and the 1851 teams include 409 women's teams and under 50s teams. That's about 29,000 players or 13 X as many. Let's compare apples to apples.

The voters at NCSSA were 22 team managers representing 484 players of all age groups. The voters on the rule change were 12 committee members representing...? Only ten are male, so perhaps if all are on a team, 200 50-and-older players? Looks like the 22 managers are more representative of current 0-0 players.

Dec. 24, 2019
NYGNYY
139 posts
Thank YOU Omar. I am stuck on the 12-0 vote. As I stated in a previous message I NEVER heard the 1-1 count come up once playing 65 major in 2019. Not once so to have a 12-0 vote...doesn't work for me. It must be the Jersey in me In most cases playing almost every inning throughout a tournament...playing 6 innings sometimes is OK with me especially with open innings and playing into day 3.
Merry Christmas!
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