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Discussion: HR shaggers?

Posted Discussion
Nov. 14, 2007
Men's 65
3146 posts
HR shaggers?
Gary Heifner posted that he thought major and major plus should be required to have shaggers retrieve hr balls in tournaments. I believe that if the tournament supplies balls they should retrieve the home run and foul balls. Many times there are teams that only have 10 or 11 players and can\'t afford to have a playing teammate spending time looking for balls. At the North Collier fields last weekend, we were told we would have to retrieve the balls. We did this a couple of times and wasn\'t a problem but I see where it might work into a problem.
SPA has the right idea, give each team 6 balls with the option of buying more. Each team would then be responsible for retrieving thier balls.
Nov. 14, 2007
489 posts
We were told to shag the balls also. If we buy the balls from the tournament like SPA I have no problem going to retrive them, but if the tournament is suppling the balls they should have someonre to go get them. We did not go there to shag balls we went there to play ball.
turn two
Nov. 14, 2007
Men's 70
267 posts
I agree. If the balls are owned by the association, then let their staff personnel supply the “shaggers” unlike in the Austin “Danger” Power movies’ “shaggers”.

Let’s start the “shagger” list for SSUSA:
“shagger” #1. Terry Hennessey
“shagger” #2. Dave Dowell
“shagger” #3. Fran Dowell

The above proposed ‘shaggers” would not have to be provided any remuneration for this extra duty because they’re handsomely compensated already; so it saves money too! LOL

Taken from Dictionary Dot Com:
DEF: shag 4 (shâg)tr.v. shagged, shag•ging, shags,

1. To chase and bring back HR balls @ Senior Softball
Events; to fetch, go fetch, get the ball.
2. Baseball To chase and catch (fly balls) in practice.

Bashbro1 (Ruth 60’s Major Plus Kent, WA)
Nov. 14, 2007
Men's 65
440 posts
Bruce -The guyz on our team are so cheap that if they had to pay for balls they hit over the fence they would all hit you might be onto something there...LOL

Fetching HR balls can at times be a simple thing and other times next to impossible and sometimes strategically stupid. For instance if you play with 12 players and are batting them all and the guy who is coming up to bat is retrieving balls. Also, if it were hot out, I as a coach would rather have my guys in the dugout or shade.
Nov. 14, 2007
732 posts
I've got to chime in on this one, I have been to enough senior tourny's to post my opinion.
1You say that if the tournament owns the balls then they should chase them?
I do not agree with this, you hit, you git. Also if the tournament owns the ball how come 90% of them end up in the teams individule bat bags by the end of the game?

2 I always hear some complaining about the cost of a tournament, so having to buy balls would be even a greater exspense.

3 You would chase a ball that you have to pay for but won't chase on that is free? Somehow this just sounds stupid to me. sorry guys but if they are going to give you ball for free and you have to chase them, or charge you for the balls and make you chase them. I think the answer is pretty simple.

4 If the guy that hit the ball over the fence gets the ball he would be the last batter at the plate, I doubt he would be hitting in the time it would take to get the ball.

Better yet, many of my teams tourny's over the years, we would pay kids 5 dollars per game to get balls. This may be cheaper than buying balls.

3 still dumbfounds me?
Nov. 14, 2007
134 posts
In our league, if you hit a ball over the fence than you do not have run the bases or even touch first. You hit and then run to get the ball.
Nov. 14, 2007
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
This is fairly close to how our senior league does things and it works ok there. But a tournament is a different thing. For the reasons Bruce F stated, and for the delays created while we chase balls, I believe that the most prudent way to handle this is to sell us additional balls... like Ridge does.
If we have enough folks to chase them, then we're ahead of the curve. If not, we buy more balls so that no delays occur.
In AZ, we only had 65 minutes per game and always played 4 innings... never more. Having to chase balls (or wait for them) slowed the game somewhat.
If we buy 2 dozen balls our cost would swell by $60-70. However, when we played in LV, we hit almost 70 HRs and, without retrieving any of them, our cost would have zoomed up by $150-200, depending upon the cost of the ball. Perhaps, since the assn is buying less balls (non-reimbursed variety), we'd see a corresponding decrease in our entry fee.
SPA asked us to put our team name on each ball and so the teams worked together in retrieving them... with some minor exceptions. I didn't initially embrace the idea in '06 when Ridge introduced it but I must say that it has worked fairly well.
Nov. 14, 2007
489 posts
I would rather buy the balls from the TD and then if we hit any out I would be glad to go get them or I would just buy some more and get them after the game.
For the money that it cost to fly,rent cars, hotels and entry fee I am not worried about a few dozen balls. I think everyone would rather hit fresh balls during the game and then there would be no complaints about the balls.
The balls in Kansas for SPA were terrible but we were able to keep fresh balls in the game so it wasn't that bad overall.
turn two
Nov. 15, 2007
Stones 1B
Men's 55
52 posts
Excuse Me? You want the Players to shag their own HR's and/or foul a National Tournament or "Worlds"?

That doesn't sound like a 1st class tourney. We pay these large entrance fees and you want the players to shag. I don't think so.
In response to the players taking the balls after the game...hey get on the Umps Tourney Directors and have them turn in the balls after their games.

Buying the balls...What? Just supply the balls and let us play and have fun playing not chasing balls and keeping score.

Heck I put on 2 good size tournaments and am involved in about 90% of all of the other tournaments here on Oahu, Hawaii and we don't let the plays chase balls and/or keep score and we get back more than 90% of the game balls that are used. We put in on the Umps to return the balls.

Com'on 1st class Tournaments lets the players play and the directors and their staff run the tournament including all the logistics of the tournament.
PLAY BALL...and as always still Dyin fo' Play.
Nov. 15, 2007
Men's 65
601 posts
Stones - you guys have it easy over the. Ball hit far, goes off island, in water, and waves bring it back......heck you guys might even be getting some extras from the ones on the west coast that are "disappearing".
Nov. 16, 2007
Senior Moments
Men's 60
65 posts
As a team that attends several national tournaments and hosts a state tournament, it has always been my opinion that the host is responsible for all facets of the tournament. Entry fees are paid to play softball, not be ball boys or scorekeepers!

I am sure the hosts, both national and local, factor in the costs of balls and scorers when they charge the entry fees. If not, they should.

Maybe this should be a different thread, but a national tournament without scorekeepers is not a complete tournament. The controversies that can, and do arise about scoring should not be left up to the individual teams. Again, the cost of scorekeepers should be in the entry fees.
Nov. 16, 2007
64 posts
The next thing you know the TD will expect the guy that hit it to go get it...theres plenty of kids available to do that,give a quarter a ball or something,instead of expecting teams to go get them,its more silly non-sense.
Nov. 16, 2007
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
833 posts
I know that I am seeing a lot more tournaments outside of seniors that are requiring teams to bring or buy their own balls, or the association or park provides so many and then buy, etc. I know some teams get very upset over it, while others prefer to bring their own to insure getting the best ball to hit. At my home park the senior tournament is the only one that is not required to bring their own balls in qualifiers. I guess that I would get it if the cost of the tournaments went down, but it never does. Of course if I was running a tournament, I guess that I would try to find ways to reduce the lost ball cost also. SSWC charged $75 less than the second most attended national senior world. That one gives you balls at the manager's meeting and then charges you for more if you run out. At the SSWC manager's meeting, Terry said that they were trying to come up with a solution for the amount of balls lost in Major/Major Plus games, and he was aware of the other method but that they did not feel like charging for more balls was necessarily the way to go after all of the other team expenses; so they were trying having the teams chase the balls provided. I know that some games in Phoenix went short on time because of chasing balls. I do not know what the answer is, but I think that SSWC is looking for a solution. If you have a good or equitable solution, I would send them an E-mail, give them a call, etc. because this will continue to be an issue. It is also probably not fair for AA and AAA to have to finance the ball expense of the upper divisions either.
Nov. 16, 2007
Men's 55
62 posts
Seems like lots of good suggestions have already been made here. Someone in leadership just needs to pay attention to them and work it out. This ain't rocket science, unless of Einstein is on here somewhere??? lol just kidding Joe.

Anyway here are some really easy solutions that have already been suggested and proven to work:

1) Tournament provides the balls and pays kids to shag them. Bring your grand kids with you and they can maybe make enough money to pay for their trip..... :) Heck when I umpired if you paid me .50 cents a ball for shagging I'd do it between games!!!! LOL

2) Include so many balls in the entry fee and then teams are responsible for shagging them or buying more if they don't want to shag them. Already working in SPA!

3) Tell teams to bring their own balls and just specify what they have to be .44/375 and then brand. Young guys do this all the time. You can still sell more at the tournament in case someone forgot (happens to old people a lot). I'm sure all these reps you have at these tournaments would just love the opportunity to sell more products.....

Take your pick out of any of these options and it should work. You can also mix and match them since there should NOT be lots of HR shagging going on in AA & AAA ball... :)
Nov. 16, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
An additional thought on this topic showed up again at the winter worlds. Just about every team, including mine, was quick to get HR balls or foul balls. Reason-each game started with a new game ball and maybe one OK backup. After that, we had to use game balls that had been through the early dew sweep games or used in mutiple games. They were like hitting a shot put. It was vital to get a good ball back in the game.
Nov. 18, 2007
Men's 55
23 posts

Given the Entry Fees we pay:

$675 in KC and $550 in Phoenix for example.

I don't think it is right for teams to chase balls.

One of the fields in KC had water on the other side and there were balls in Phoenix that ended up in parking lots and in parks that we did not have access to.

I am in no way criticizing these complexes as I think these, Plano and Ft. Meyers/Naples are some of the best that Senior Teams have the priviledge to play on.

However, Senior Softball might want to approach someone like Dudley as being a partner.

I am not guaranteeing anything but it should be looked into and I may be able to help.

They don't chase balls at the Dudley Classic, Disney and other tournaments.

Granted, these are not Senior Tourneys but we represent a large group of playes that are just as committed(and probably more) to the game as we all are.

My thoughts /ideas are meant in the best interests of Senior Softball and are in no way intended to be negative.

I am just trying to make the game I enjoy better.
Nov. 19, 2007
Men's 60
160 posts
If we have to start shagging our HR's next year I going up from Major to Major Plus, I am sure I can be a Major Pkus Ball Shagger.

Really what a team pays to play that team should never have to go get a HR ball or even a foul ball. If you notice if a team has players that are not playing in that game most of the time they just chase the ball anyway, or the other teams warming up will retrive tha ball, but when the Ump demands the team that hits the HR must retrive their own HR balls we get defensive.

I like SPA idea of giving each team balls and then the team is responsible for the balls. That way you can always put in a NEW ball in an appropriate time for a hitter. Chase the ball or just purchase another.

I know this is not the right thread but don't it always go back to the MONEY? To many assoistions, to many MAJOR Tournaments. Time limits, limit on runs scored per inning, no infield ball after the first inning.

Softball has changed from 1963 when I first started to play.
Nov. 19, 2007
732 posts
Damn near every senior tournament is some kind of national or world.
Nov. 19, 2007
Men's 65
4549 posts
Pretty soon we'll have Spring, Summer, Autumn, Fall, and a World Grand National. lmao
No real deal for the most part anymore, just games. If you win, but you buy your prize. Wow we. .02 worth.
Nov. 20, 2007
Men's 55
239 posts
Three of the five 50+ major games my team played in at the Las Vegas Winter Worlds this past weekend were started with used softballs. This is not what one would (or should) expect in such a tournament.
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