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Discussion: Change in Player Eligibility for 75+ and 80+ Teams

Posted Discussion
Jan. 15, 2023
Men's 80
20 posts
Change in Player Eligibility for 75+ and 80+ Teams
At the recent SSUSA Rules committee meeting, SSUSA decided to change the player eligibility requirements for the 75+ and 80+ teams (Item 18). There was no background information provided on the need for this change. I offer the following comments as a manager involved with both a 75 and 80 team.

I believe that we can all agree that the player pool available to play softball generally decreases with each year of increase in player age. There are more 70 year olds playing softball then 80s.

For my 75 team, you are eliminating the five 74 year old players from my roster but forcing 78 year old players to remain on 75 teams. This change has a small negative effect on our 75 team (more 74 year olds playing softball (lost) than 78s playing (gain). This change helps the 70 teams by forcing the 74 year olds to stay on 70 teams.

For my 80 team, your change is a disaster. We were allowed 7 underage players. The new rules cut that to 3. You have eliminate the 78 year olds, but have not forced the five 83 year olds (allowed to play on 85 teams) to stay on 80 teams (No change was made to the eligibility requirements for the 85 teams.).

The adopted player eligibility requirements make it more difficult to field an 80+ team (less players available).

It would be interesting to hear what other 80 team managers have to say on the subject. It would also help to see the arguments presented to SSUSA on the need for this rule change.

Rich Root
Co-Manager Mn Masters 80 Team
Jan. 15, 2023
Men's 75
31 posts
As a manager of an 80s team, I agree that this is a significant problem for
filling a roster. It basically takes away 4 possible players when
it is already difficult to find/replace guys. All 80s managers in
the East I have talked to have the same problem. We have a problem
getting 3 AAA teams to a tourney as it is.
Jan. 15, 2023
Men's 80
60 posts
Rich and 4040club...couldn't agree with you more...bummer. Sorry to hear this decision was made by the Rules Committee.

Here is the verbiage from the Rules Committee:

18. Phase Out of Underage Players in the 75+ and 80+ Ages
Beginning in the 2024 Season, there will be a phase out of allowed underage players in the 75+ and 80+ divisions, as follows:
Menís 75+, 80+ and 85+ team roster composition age exceptions:
1. For the 2023 Season,Men's 75+age division teams may draw up to five underage players, all of whom must be 74-year-olds.
For the 2024 Season and beyond, all players must be 75 years old.

2. Forthe2023Season, Menís80+age division teams may draw up to seven players aged 78 or 79, including not more than three 78-year-olds.
For the 2024 Season, they may draw three 79-year-olds.

MOTION Re: 75+ PASSED 10-0 (1 abstaining)
MOTION Re: 80+ PASSED 10-0 (1 abstaining)
Jan. 29, 2023
Men's 80
20 posts
Could someone at SSUSA please provide us with the reasoning behind this change in eligibility requirements for the 80 teams?

It is hard to understand how creating a reduce player pool for this age group improves senior softball.

Please help us better understand your thinking on how this improves the 80 teams.
Jan. 31, 2023
Men's 70
4281 posts
The underage player allowances were created over a decade ago when the player populations were insufficient to adequately populate the number of teams in the 75+ and 80+ divisions. That is no longer the factual reality. Membership has increased annually and is aging well as we take better care of ourselves and live longer. The "half-nation" roster flexibility for building a 75+ team in its entirety from either the East or West of the Mississippi River is, in our view, adequate. The same is true for 80+ teams who have "anywhere in the USA" roster composition flexibility.

The "phase-out" structure/approach will not deprive any currently rostered underage player of the opportunity to play with his current team THIS or NEXT season. In the 75's, the four 74-year-olds are eligible this season and will, of course, be eligible for the same team next season when they turn 75. However, the team will not be able to re-stock with underage players. The same is true with this season's 78-year-old players playing on the 80's. Next season, those 78's will also be eligible on their same teams as 79-year olds, and the current 79's will age up to the stated 80's age group. NOTE: This phase out of the underage players for 75+ and 80+ teams is also consistent with the National Rules Committee declining to allow underage players in the 70+ age division.

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