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Discussion: Looking for opinions and or thoughts

Posted Discussion
Aug. 23
Men's 55
290 posts
This year SSUSA established an Open Division for teams that pick up 2 players on the opposite side of the Mississippi River from their perspective original area of registration. The Open teams must give an equalizer to their opponents. There are 3 options of equalizers:

1. Play straight up
2. Give 5 runs
3. Give an 11th defensive player

My own opinion is we play at the Major Plus level already so personally I don't care who is on your roster and you can bring guys from out of the Country and my team will play you straight up. I believe the rule was established so teams don't load up at Worlds. In my case I have played 10 tournaments with my current "Open Major Plus" team. Only one tournament did teams take the 11th player or runs. Kudos to Kellerher who could have taken an equalizer, but chose to play straight up. Having to play against other Major Plus teams with an 11th defensive player makes it virtually impossible to win a Championship, but it's softball so it could be done.

1. If you take the runs or the 11th player should you have an asterisk next to your Team name if you win Worlds using the equalizer?

2. If you have a great team already with a good sponsor, you have the best players $$ can buy, you have players in the HOF, you have players with names on bats, will taking an equalizer change your legacy or people's perspective of you?

3. If you played against a team before that took the 11th player and you were angry and stated you would never do that and now your team says they will take an equalizer does that make you a hypocrite?

Please don't tell me rules are rules. Stopping at stop signs, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Adultery (in some states) are all part of society's rules and they are broken daily by many.

Just interested in people's thoughts. And my questions are just hypothetically speaking of course.
Thanks Benji
Aug. 23
Men's 65
457 posts
Great question Benji! I remember when we just laced it up n played… got our butts kicked by “Me of Steel”, All star Military teams n when we traveled to Mainland tourneys! We enjoyed playing never losing… then the “Precious Rings” came n attitudes changed! (including mine) How many rings do we really need? Well I enjoy playing this great game n whatever the Authoritative system gives us I will play. When this game no longer is fun I will stick to Surfing!

Rules guide us to be better, God gives free will to choose this! May you n your team continue to enjoy this great game, filled with many good people! Aloha, Fabe
Aug. 23
Men's 70
2416 posts
Hi Benji-Your post is a takeoff on the post I made regarding major plus after 65. It comes down to one team, maybe 2 and they have no competition and no one to play during the year. They end up going to 5 tourneys-Mesquite, Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, and Vegas and too often playing a best of 3 with the same team.My post proposed to eliminate those 5 tourneys and only have one-at Vegas for world's to determine a M+ champion. Bogie proposed only an open major division with no World's playoff for M+ teams. I find there are a lot of people out there that agree with me and don't post, too. This needs some serious thoughts.
Aug. 24

3 posts
Any competitor would not want to take the "Equalizer." Please don't tell me Somerville would
take an Equalizer? That would be laughable.
Aug. 25
Men's 60
233 posts
Does anyone know whether or not you can decline the equalizer in an SSUSA sanctioned tournament? We were told once at a tourney that it had to be taken. Is that correct? The rule book doesn't seem to address whether or not it is required. it just explains what the equalizer is and when it applies.
Aug. 25
Men's 70
4351 posts
There was a one year "mistake" a few years ago by the National Rules Committee that made taking the equalizer mandatory ... The Committee reversed that decision (last year or two?) and now a team may decline the equalizer and play "straight up" ...
Aug. 25
Men's 55
290 posts
My understanding is that you have a choice of the 3 options listed above. Like I said kudos to Kellerher in an earlier SSUSA tourney they were the only team that did not take an equalizer.

Shadyone33: I can't speak for other teams only that I heard teams at Worlds would be taking it if our team registered as an Open team. And yes I also believe it is about COMPETING. Taking an equalizer at the Major Plus level in the same age category is not about competing.

Aug. 25
Men's 70
2416 posts
All of you are so correct. We played Steele's 2 exhibition games in Albuquerque. They beat us 48-1 on Friday night, but Saturday we played our game and they beat us 33-24. No equalizers. I hated when we did take it. Play the game.
Aug. 26

60 posts
Here is another take, that may or may not be popular. They created an extra division this year, "Open". So now there is one "Open" team, and they feel that other teams of a lower division might take the 11th fielder or 5 runs?

The same question can be asked back, Should there be an asterisk if an Open division team wins a Major Plus World Championship?

It is great that there is 1 sponsor at that level to pay for players from the other side of the country to represent their team, and would be an honor to be asked to do that. There might even be another sponsor or two that could do that, but choose to build a Major+ team instead. By that same philosophy, why have any divisions? Why not have 1 division and best team wins? How does a Major+ team with no sponsorship, or vary limited sponsorship, compete with the All-Star teams made up of players from across the country? Why not just let teams choose the division in which they play?

I think it was a bad call to increase the number of out players from non-touching states from 2 to 4. It caters to teams with sponsorship money, and makes it more difficult for teams that do not have that money to compete. Because it was the highest division, it was pretty competitive. You end up like USSSA Conference where you have 3-4 Major Teams that have the largest budgets. This is building towards that.

According to the announcement from earlier this year, in Seeding games, the equalizer is required or still optional? "the Open team would be required to give an equalizer per usual equalizer rules."

"SSUSA Rules Committee Approves Open Division for 2021

Jan. 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO - The Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA) National Rules Committee voted unanimously to create an Open Division on Wednesday.

In the online special meeting, Rules Committee members established an Open Division for ages 40+ through 70+ that would follow the same playing rules as the Major Plus Division.

Open Division teams would use the same team roster composition rules with the exception that each Open Division team may draw up to two of its four out-of-region players from the opposition side of the Mississippi River as the team’s home state.

As soon as a Major Plus team draws one player from the opposite side of the Mississippi River, it becomes an Open Division team.

The motion passed 8-0.

The Rules Committee confirmed that Open Division teams would need to qualify for the SSUSA World Masters Championship by playing in at least one SSUSA tournament, and that in any pool games against Major Plus teams, the Open team would be required to give an equalizer per usual equalizer rules.

The Committee created the new Open Division, rather than just changing Major-Plus rules because they felt it would put teams moving up from Major to Major-Plus division at a distinct disadvantage. In addition, many Major Plus teams have already established their rosters under current rules.

The new Open Division and roster rule becomes effective Feb. 1, 2021.

Terry Hennessy noted that SSUSA staff still need to survey managers on the other roster rule topics presented to the Rules Committee in December. The committee will reconvene to consider any additional rule changes after those surveys are complete."
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