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Discussion: CHANGE OF VENUE: Sunshine State Showdown in FL

Posted Discussion
June 10, 2020
692 posts
CHANGE OF VENUE: Sunshine State Showdown in FL
The message below was sent to all managers a few hours ago.


Please read this entire message very carefully as it contains important information regarding SSUSA’s Sunshine State Showdown tournament on June 19-21.

Change of Venue:
Originally scheduled for Ft. Myers, the tournament is being moved to Punta Gorda, FL.

Carmalita Park
6905 Florida Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Why not CenturyLink Park? CenturyLink Park is a COVID-19 testing site. We knew this but were under the impression that a segment of the park (and parking lots) would be available to us. Testing administrators are not comfortable with additional traffic at this time. Our partners at Lee County Sports looked at other options in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and Naples with no luck. Located 35 miles to the north on I-75, Carmalita Park is partially available to us that weekend.

While Carmalita Park has 5 fields, only 3 will be available to us for the tournament, and we’ll have to use some creative scheduling and formats to make it happen. Here’s what you’ll need to know-

Men’s 65, 70 and 75 teams will now play FRIDAY ONLY. After weighing the age, health and heat factors, we’ve decided to reduce these divisions to a 3 game guarantee (previously a 4 game guarantee). Teams in the older divisions will receive a rebate on their entry fee. Details will be shared separately with managers.

Men’s 40, 50, 55 and 60 teams will play on SATURDAY and SUNDAY as scheduled. There is not enough space to do run a traditional 2 pool, into double elimination bracket, so we’re going to use a modified format. All teams in these age groups will get a 4 game guarantee. Details will be shared separately with managers.

Team Withdrawals: Any team wishing to drop from the tournament has until 10:00pm EST on Wednesday to do so. This allows tournament staff to proceed with planning activities (travel arrangements, scheduling, awards, umpires, equipment, etc). Teams that withdraw after tonight’s deadline will forfeit their entry fee.

Entry Fees: Checks, credit cards and prior tournament credit will be processed tomorrow (Thursday). Please be aware of this.

Host Hotels:

We have identified some great properties and rates in Punta Gorda and surrounding communities. You can view them and book using this revised link.

Any hotel bookings that you might have made for the old location are not automatically canceled. If you booked using the original Lee County Sports Housing link, you can use that confirmation number to cancel the hotel. If you booked without using the Lee County link, you’ll need to contact the property directly.

Playing Schedules:
We expect to have them posted no later than FRIDAY, which is still a week before first pitch.

Thank you to all teams for participating in this tournament. It is appreciated. You’ll begin receiving additional messages about the tournament- and what to expect at the field from a COVID-19 / standpoint in the coming days.


Tim McElroy
Tournament Director
June 10, 2020
2 posts
Hi Tim - Unfortunate situation with Lee County, glad you were able to secure another venue.

Could you elaborate on what creative scheduling entails? Having 3 plus hour waits is less than ideal for players in our age range as I’m sure you are aware.

If possible could you reply as my team would like as much information as possible to make a decision if we still would like to enter.

June 10, 2020
Men's 65
2862 posts
We haven't talked in a while, but GREAT JOB, TIM! ... Not many folks understand the complexity of putting on a tournament and hardly any grasp the complexity of having to relocate it ALL at the last moment so it can go off ... Field rental swaps, supply shipments re-directed, umpires and their housing have to move, additional economic burdens and some previously invested funds flushed ... At least we could handle it "by committee" here for the SoCal Championships moving to be hosted by Yuma .. Good luck next weekend! ...
June 10, 2020
692 posts
ElPatron- Here's the simplest answer I can give you. There are 30 teams in the tournament.
With this age / division mix, it would take 78 games to complete the tournament using the standard 2 pool into DE format. Reduced to only 3 diamonds, I have only 63 game slots available to me.

"Creative scheduling" means options. They could have meant eliminating all travel teams, eliminating all teams of a particular age group or reducing the number of games guaranteed.
In the end, I decided to eliminate an entire day of play for 8 teams and reduce the number of games they'd be guaranteed. This creative process resulted in me giving back nearly $1,000 in entry fees with only a slight reduction in operating costs. Creative scheduling means putting the remaining 20 teams into mixed divisions and manufacturing brackets (literally- creating new ones) that guarantee everyone the 4 games that were advertised. It means looking into all possible angles so that the winner of this game, or the loser of that game doesn't have an extended wait.

The DRAFT brackets I've created actually result in no team having a break of more than 2 games. These brackets were created in a vaccuum that assumes no team drops out at the last minute and no team makes a roster change that results in a rating change, causing another row of dominoes to fall.

I am confident in the DRAFT brackets that I've put together. I am not planning to release them here on the message boards for public scrutiny. I've got 100 other things to take care of and don't have the time to answer every possible "what if" question that could come my way.

We've all been locked out of the game we love for 90+ days. I expected that people would be happy enough to just back on the field. Instead, my phone and email box is filled with questions and conditional commentary- "We'll play, but only if _____________." It is disappointing.
June 12, 2020
Men's 50
8 posts
I thought any out of towners have to quarantine?No?

June 12, 2020
2 posts
Bernie 17 - ‘Tim is a very reputable director and I would only hope he follows the CDC guidelines that were put in place by Governor DeSantis (see below)

Everyone traveling from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana must self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days, or for however long they will remain in the state if it's shorter, per executive orders from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Neither order applies to airline employees nor people "performing military, emergency or health responses."
June 12, 2020
Men's 60
16 posts
Not attending, but it sounds like Tim/SSUSA is doing a *fantastic* job given the constraints and timing of field availability.

My only hope is that this will be appreciated by all, instead of the negative "what about me" comments.
June 16, 2020
Men's 50
8 posts
Looks like a 50M team is out of CT.
June 17, 2020
692 posts
I can't ignore these posts any longer because my silence suggests to some that I am looking the other way relative to COVID-19 directives.

However politely the posts above may have been worded the suggestion is clear- Tim (and by extention, SSUSA) is looking the other way on travel restrictions when it comes to "out of state" players. In a word- FALSE.

I have been in regular communication with folks from Lee and Charlotte Counties. I have spoken to hotel booking agents and have monitored the State of Florida's travel guidelines. I have communicated with managers along the way, particularly those that are designated as out of state teams.

Don't make the mistake of seeing a "CT" designation next to a team's name and assuming that all of those players live in CT. We have bordering state rules and regional allowances for teams in the New England region. We also have players that have 2nd homes in Florida. Those teams are aware of the guidelines and are expected to follow them.

Safety has been a part of every conversation and every decision that I've made. That includes the decision to move from CenturyLink Park (a COVID-19 testing facility) to an alternate location.

I have asked many times on this board for people to be patient and allow SSUSA directors and staff to do our due diligence, navigate the new normal and do our best to get everyone safely back on the field. That job becomes infinitely more difficult (and less desirable) when being accused of doing just the opposite.

June 25, 2020
5 posts
Tim you did a great job this past weekend. Thank You
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