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Discussion: SSUSA Announces Major-Plus Task Force

Posted Discussion
June 4, 2008
2518 posts
SSUSA Announces Major-Plus Task Force
SACRAMENTO (June 4, 2008) – Senior Softball-USA announced the creation of a Major-Plus Division Task Force today headed by former Summit Chair Gary Tryhorn.
“As an organization, we are dedicated to develop rules for the 50, 55 and 60 Major-Plus divisions that give them the game they want to play within the physical limitations of the major tournaments we offer,” said Terry Hennessy, SSUSA chief executive officer.
“This Task Force has the mandate to develop a consensus among Major-plus teams about tournament format,” said Hennessy. “We will then determine the added cost, if any. It is possible that we can implement the new rules as early as the World Championships in October.”
The Task Force members include Gary Tryhorn, also manager of 60 Old A’s; Bob Woodruff, GSF manager; Audie Hollis, Hollis 50 and 55; Butch Drake, Travelodge; Randy Hendricks, Hendricks Sports Management; Ken Lipinski, Seacrest Mavericks; Jim Hornus, WE Ruth 55s.
Hennessy said that until new rules could be finalized, the 50, 55 and 60 Major-Plus would play be the rules announced for 2008:
• Teams are limited to 7 runs per half inning.
• Home Run limits: 12 per game for 50 Major-Plus, 10 per game for 55 Major-Plus, 8 per game for 60 Major-Plus. Home runs over the limit are outs.
• Any batted ball striking the pitcher that cannot be fielded is a dead-ball out.
• Standard time limits apply: 60 minutes and an open inning for round robin games, 65 minutes and open inning for bracket games and seven innings for championship games with no time limit.
Major-Plus managers are expected to be surveyed in the next week. Their information will be the basis for the Task Force discussions and decisions concerning the format.
June 4, 2008
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
Not to split hairs here but aren't we currently playing open innings (major plus)? Also, as I understand the current rules, it must be a line drive that hits the pitcher in order for it to be called an out. In Reno we played with 75 minute time limits (and finish the inning)... was that just a temporary concession?
Bob Woodroof
June 4, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Things really CAN get better.
Way to go SSUSA.
Chaired by Gary Tryhorn?
Nobody better. Way to go.
With Woody, Audie, Ken Lupinsky and the rest also involved.
Way to go, again.

The dead ball out to the pitcher is not strong enough
if you truly want to protect pitchers.
Remove outs from the long balls to effect the most dramatic and convincing movement
to keep balls from whistling up the middle
and the balls that are the toughest to glove are the ones that bounce first.

This is a terrific thing already because we know the caliber of the individuals
assigned who will be driving this dune buggy.

Bravo to Dave and Fran and Bill R and Terry.
Way to go SSUSA.
June 4, 2008
Men's 65
601 posts
This is REALLY good news and an outstanding move on the part of SSUSA. The M+ players & managers embody an unbridled passion for the game. They are rated the best because they work hard to be the best with a work ethic that would surprise the more casual player.

If anyone noticed a while back the M+ players pulled off this board under attack more or less for their very passionate pursuit of the game, and, as a result little forward progress had been made. This board became a very mundane collective contribution of trivial pursuit, movie & TV knowledge, product pimping, players seeking teams, etc. It became just another ordinary softball board. The fire was missing.

Now SSUSA has moved forward to provide the best playing conditions for ALL levels of play in an effort to spur the best competitive balances possible within everyones abilities.

The M+ board they have assembled is simply an outstanding blend of knowledge, personalities, passion, foresight, and experience. KUDOS.

If everyone who participates on and enjoys this board will respect their other players view points and comment on improving THEIR game and leave each level (posts) to work within themselves it will add to the collective good of all concerned.
June 5, 2008
Men's 55
102 posts
The DBO after the homerun rule is the biggest contributer to blast up the middle. Go to singles after allotted home runs with runners "must be forced" to advance. Even if you reduce the amount of allowable homeruns per level go to the single rule.
June 5, 2008
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
let the M+ play.they are at the top of the food chain for teams.let them bang away and chase thier own hrs.making them keep it in the park(after allowed hrs are hit),is as bad as allowing AA to hit hrs.
June 5, 2008
Men's 55
451 posts
While I agree with 4x4 on the issue of non softball related topics on this board, I'll take issue with him on the desire and love of the game he believes only exists with major players. I doubt whether most major teams started at that level. I know our teams objective is to win at each level and be forced to move up. In fact we can't wait to hear people whine about our level of play and demand they move us up. We welcome the challenge. Players at any level usually want to be the best and to do that you must play the best teams. Most of what he said is correct but you can't make those generalizations.
"Keep on Playin"
June 5, 2008
Men's 70
326 posts
Hopefully theTask Force will make a great effort to contact and gain input from each major plus manager.

Home run limits are fine, however, a DBO for an oops hit at the pitcher is unnecessary. Let the pitcher decide if he wants to wear protective equipment to reduce the potential for injury.

BTW, Did SSUSA contact the other associations prior to this posting? Will the other softball organizations be ALL doing their own thing again instead of standardizing?
June 5, 2008
Bill in Sac
Men's 75
32 posts
A Major Plus Task Force should be for all ages that play Major Plus,not just 50,55, and 60's.
June 5, 2008
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
Bill, you are correct but it is the 50, 55 & 60 divisions that have been most impacted by the change in rules this year.
In order to consider the views of the 65 & up divisions, ask your manager (and other mgrs) to offer them on here. you might also suggest to them to include their name, team name, age group and email address.
No anonomous responses, please... think about it. Or... if this seems ominous, ask them to send them to me and I'll forward them to Gary Tryhorn.
Bob Woodroof
June 5, 2008
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
and my email address is
June 5, 2008
Gary Heifner
248 posts
I believe that if you do this correctly a "BUNCH" of players will move to this level and it could become the largest division. It will encourage ringers from the AAA and Major levels to move up. I think it is important that once a player chooses to play in this newly improved division, he should be restricted to that level for all time. Will this division have unlimited boundries for forming a team or will each tourney simply show up with whoever?
June 5, 2008
Men's 60
93 posts
EINSTEIN--with all due respect to your post on up the middle DBO----I must agree completely with AIRBOSN post on safety equitment on pitcher IF player wants protection---It is my opinion that we should keep competitive tournament softball ---just that competitive. Going up the middle is part of the game. Each pitcher can decide the degree of protection he wants to wear to feel safe and protected. By doing it this way we dont make a rule that would effect everybody not to mention the out come of games. Softball should be played from foul line to foul line. Just my feelings--and yes i also pitch and have been hit in the face--legs--- arms---etc. TC----stay health and play well
SB/ So. Cal Gusto60s
June 6, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Bones,

Thanks for the intelligent and respectful response.
I was mainly pointing out that the DBO rule
is nothing more than a bandaid on a bleeding wound.
It won't do much good.
If they change balls to mortars
I'll still be pitching because I don't know any better
but if there is a movement to protect pitchers because of
the lethal quality of balls and bats
the DBO is no way to do it.
The home run rule is the most effective way to protect pitchers,
letting the long ball guys go out for HR's or walks.
And if you give us pitchers more latitude on the mound
with wider/higher limits for pitching
we'd be safer, too.

Terrific response.
June 6, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
major plus should have the absolute minimum
of restrictions as we should be "the Show" of senior ball,
defined and marketed as such.
You can get support for best senior softball being played
on the planet and you can get sponsorship selling something that is,
in fact, the best in the world.
And it is.
June 6, 2008
Sweet P
Men's 60
186 posts
Bob W. and Task Force, I would like to recommend that you consider allowing pitchers to pitch based on USSSA pitching rules (pumps/fakes/etc). This would allowed skilled pithchers in the upper divisions a few more pitching options when facing major level hitters.

Phillip Cobbs,
West Coast All-Stars
June 6, 2008
Men's 50
1375 posts
If you TRULY want to protect pitchers, get rid of the special Seniors only bats. NO need to have to use anything that guys under 50 cannot.
June 6, 2008
Men's 60
1024 posts
I hope some new ideas come from this. Please keep in mind Albert Einstein's (sorry Joe I can't give you credit) definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
June 6, 2008
Men's 60
93 posts
Einstein---very well put and thank you for taking my post as it was meant------Respectfully------YES I AGREE major+ IS THE BEST OF THE BEST and i also support this task force. I believe in my heart they will look at the game of competitive tournament softball from all veiw points and in doing so will keep it safe and at same time keep it exciting for all. SWEET P---has a interesting point also on pitching---
And the part i agree with you the most is---i dont know any better either--LOL---love pitching and yes it has its scary times. Must pay attention--ALWAYS---Thanks again ----TC-----AND GOOD LUCK TO THE TASK FORCE.
June 6, 2008
Men's 55
568 posts
trouble with protective equipment is it says hit here!

and as far as usssa pitching takes to long! games are lon enough already iin the UPPER DIV.

MAYBE LOOK INTO umping them selfs and no game times!
i made a funny didn't i
June 6, 2008
Men's 65
3146 posts
Dirty, outlaw the senior bats and the ones that will cheat will use shaved bats.
Just this past week I was talking about our senior league going to Utrip pitching rules to keep scores down.
June 6, 2008
732 posts
Bruce I hate to be negative here but seniors are cheating with senior bats now. Those that will, are. I don't think anything is going to stop them from doing it.
June 6, 2008
Men's 65
3146 posts
Kevin, I know what you're saying. There are some that will try to gain the advantage, no matter what.
How much better can an altered bat be than a Sr. Combat or Ultra? If we went by ASA bat rules the sales of the painted Ultras will skyrocket!
Are you going to the Smoky?
June 6, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
That hasn't been my experience.
I know a ton of regular guys who have juiced bats but won't bring 'em out
unless they're being played for suckers.
Keep the good bats, Kev.
You're Combat is a great bat.
So is the Ultra 2.
DeMarini and Mike Kelly are perfecting the Geezer while we speak.
And Rip-it's kick-butt new Senior bat will be out soon.

As I've said, there's lots of ways of protecting the pitcher
if that's what you REALLY want to do.
June 7, 2008
79 posts
Now this is the way to run an airline! Great job SSUSA and Terry Hennessy. Terry you have put together a great group that I'm sure will look out for the interest of the major plus division in senior softball.

I happen to believe this division needs very little restrictions. My personal thoughts on developing and building softball reflect on having a healthy upper division of play, whether it is the Major division with the young guys, the Major Plus division with the seniors or an "A" league in the local league play.

Healthy doesn't mean there has to be lots of teams. Matter of fact, usually it means just the opposite. These are the divisions that dads take there sons to watch, these are the divisions that younger players watch and say "one day, I'm going to play on that team", this was the division that inspired me to work real hard as a young player and get better.

Whether it is the senior Major Plus division, the young guys Major division or our "A" division in league, the complaint I hear from these players in these division are "I'm tired of playing the same ole guys" or "there are not enough teams in this division or tournament". Sorry guys, if you were to take all the softball players and arranged then in a stack based on least talented being placed on the bottom to the most talented place at the top you would end up with a figure shaped like a Chirstmas tree. There is a limited number of players that can play at this level.

That said, I think one of the restrictions that does help this division is the restriction on roster limits by state and connecting states. Maybe allowing one or two pickup from outside the region would be ok. I guess that is one area the task force could look at. Anyway, I trust these guys to decide what is best for the division as a whole. Over my 35 years of playing, I have seen rule changes come down by "the powers to be" that were written with the intent to help their own team. This approach is indeed a breathe of fresh air for softball. Thanks SSUSA and Terry.

Curt Hollis
Hollis Appraisals #51
June 7, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
I remember you talking about some 275 compression,
50 core ball that you were working on and that it was used in a USSSA major open tournament not long ago.
Less injuries and home runs, tournaments running on schedule and such.
How did it go?
I heard the scores and HR's were unusually low even though the best hitters in the country were present, like Jeff Hall.

I know that seniors whether AAA or major love to hit the ball hard
and that the ball is at the bottom of all the bat controversy.
What are your thoughts, ideas projections going forward
regarding the new ball and Senior play whether Major Plus or AAA?

What bats would be effective/ineffective with the new ball
and would Combat be coming out with a modified bat
to take advantage of such a ball?

And to SSUSA and Terry
is there anything to this dumb downed ball thing
that we who have invested in current technology bats
and the bat companies should be made aware of?

I would like SSUSA to know that the ability to hit the ball hard
and its normal resultants are important to most of the seniors at any level.
Things were great with 47 core balls and before high tech bats came along.
One was still rewarded satisfyingly for swinging hard with good timing.

I will not play with a restricted flight ball
no matter where or when.
I hope that all the SSUSA constituents and the new Board members
get to weigh in on these concerns and keep any self centered interests
from winning the day.
The Task Force needs to be aware of all that it being considered
going forward to make the best recommendations for the most of us
going forward.

I've had both arms broken now by line drives off the bat of hitters
and I wasn't really paying attention for either one or else I would have gloved
them both.
I would pitch if we moved to 50 core balls and
I for one do not want to see the pop leave the game by using balls
that are no fun regardless of who's special interests are being met.
June 7, 2008
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
Joe, I am confused about your position on pitcher safety. This time last year you were disgruntled by the many balls that imperiled the pitchers in a game in Carson City.
Now, if I'm reading your last post correctly, you're willing to pitch under the most hazardous conditions... and won't play if they use resticted flight balls.
Am I interpreting your posts incorrectly or have you had a change of heart?
You also mentioned that you've broken both arms while pitching and that both times you weren't paying full attention. Damn, I'm pretty sure that I would be watching more closely after the first one. I've watched you play and it seems to me that you're always 'tuned in'.
My curiosity is just that and it has nothing to do with the task force per se.

To no one in particular:
IMO, all infielders are at risk as long as we use high end bats. We played 2 night games in Reno and our catcher hit 2 missiles through the left side of the infield... he was trying to go deep but hit too much of the top half of the ball. We have some pretty big guys and this has happened before with other teammates. None of them were hit at the pitcher and none of them were intentional. We've also had rockets hit at or near us. Our pitcher was hit in the shoulder by a line drive (night game against a major team)... it knocked him out of the game for a while. To say that we're not at risk is simply untrue.
But we understand the risk, for the most part. We used a Lexum Baden ball in KC last year and, along with the heat/humidity, there were fewer HRs than in AZ last Oct. The scores were usually 25-20 v. 35-30... no one complained, to my knowledge. We also played longer games in KC... no time limits v. 60 minutes +.

As it relates to the task force... we are creating a check list that the major plus managers can complete and return. The questions will range from event format to number of HRs to whether we buy balls or not... and more. Based upon the survey responses, we will make a recommendation to Terry and hopefully it will be given to the other assns as well.
I very much doubt that this will produce anything new but it might help to bring back some old things that we have liked. Re-inventing the wheel at this point is not in our job description. What do the majority of mgrs want? What really makes sense at our level? What is the cost/benefit ratio?
So, as a task force, we are merely reporting what the folks want... make sure that your managers takes the time to return their completed survey... it is their chance to voice their feelings... it will make more 'usable' noise than the opinions expressed on this board.
Finally, we are just an ADVISORY committee, not law makers. It will be up to SSUSA to implement or not. Bear in mind that we've had the Summit Advisory Board for 8 years... most of its suggestions were not heeded. Cost is an issue and there will need to compromise from both sides... if not, we are all wasting our time.
June 7, 2008
Men's 50
894 posts
Are there enough teams to have a Major-plus division? I would like to see Major and Major-plus combine. Three divisions is all that is needed: Major, AAA, AA. You could have the teams that choose to recruit outside their boundry area have a + by their name and would have to play with some kind of equalizer when playing a team that is from their "area". There are enough good players that teams should not have to recruit from all over the place.

If there must be a Major-plus division, making over the limit homeruns an out is ridiculous! This is the #1 reason for balls going up the middle.
June 8, 2008
732 posts
I am not sure where you got your info from but the conference uses a .40/300 cor dudley ball. When it is cool out the ball is fine when temps go above 80-85 it is about a 225 compression ball.

As for the ball I have developed it is not a restricred flight ball it is a restricted performance ball. The flies every bit as far when you spin the ball, but when you mash it the ball does not go as fast. Also you wont see alot of mis-hits going out of the park also, so it will expose many players that don't work at their game.

As for the seniors adopting this ball? I have not even presented them with the balls yet.

Joe answer one question for me. Would you play if you could hit the old star .53 ball?
June 8, 2008
Men's 55
291 posts
I say leave the bats the same, open up the rules and just control the game by adjusting the ball. You don't even have to ask anyone to do it. Kevin can provide you with a ball that will meet the offensive numbers you wish to obtain. Deaden if, if you feel the game is going out of control, but in my opinion, the less rules the better. I agree with BruceinGa...bats will be shaved if the senior bats are removed. I personally think the 44 375 is a bit too hot for senior ball...with the Senior Combats and other hot just tone it down a bit if your association feels its too lively.
You can adjust the ball too, considering when the tournaments southern weather use the 44 375. Cool Seattle fall worlds...deaden it up. I think ASA is really going to miss the boat on the 93mph bats. Leagues will be using NSA and USSSA lists around here when the 98 MPH bats are gone. How will this affect girls college fastptich and the records? JMO for what its worth. The ball rules the game.
June 8, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Woody,
Sorry, I didn't get to see you/play against you in Reno.
Congratulations on being selected a member of the task force.
I rest easier at night knowing you and Gary Tryhorn will have a say
in whatever changes happen to all of us in Senior Softball.
Though we may disagree I have always found you fair and interested in being so
in matters concerning the both of us.
As for confusing you about my concerns again I'm sorry.

I wasn't paying attention to either of the balls that broke my arms, in fact.
I'm asking you to believe me because I'm telling you the truth.
I've said why in other posts and won't waste any more time explaining.
It's the pitcher's responsibility to be ready to defend himself
for all involved with the game.
It had very little to do with the speed of the bats/balls involved.

I care about carelessness and/or intentional behavior.
It would be the same for me if some skinny AAA batter with a bad arm
was trying to hit a pillow at me.
It becomes personal then,
regardless of the equipment.

I have never meant that pitchers need to be protected.
Again, I would pitch if we used 50-525 balls.
What I have tried to do, Woody,
and perhaps this is where the confusion comes
is comment whether an idea would work or be counter productive.
DBO is a silly attempt to stop guys from hitting up the middle.
It's just is and don't kill the messenger.
Making homers outs is the biggest contributor
to big guys buzzing the middle.
And it's the one hop ball that pitchers are most vulnerable to.
Ask any pitcher and not the line drive.

Lastly, for now,
truth be told and not just arguing to hear myself talk
I want any/every batter to hit the ball at or near me
because 9 out of 10 balls I'm going to stop/glove and get them out.
It's how I sell myself to teams as a pitcher, Woody,
as a 5th infielder without having to pull from the outfield.

Let me be clear.
I do NOT favor dumbing down balls and bats too much
to protect the pitcher.
44 375 balls already get too soft in 90 degree weather for me.
I'm afraid the fundamental enjoyment that comes from hitting the bleep
out of the ball will drive me and many others from wanting to play at all.

I hope I've made my stance clearer.
If not, send me off line,
and we can continue.
June 8, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
Forgive me for not knowing what a Star .53 ball is but it sounds like
a .53 core 525 ball that is used in home run hitting contests.
And I would pitch if you make the arc 3-20, widen the rubber to 6 feet,
make the ball crossing the plate in the strike zone also a strike,
1-1 count and let long balls be homers and singles.
You bet I would.

A ball you have developed already?
Can you tell us all some more how that ball performs
when compared with a 44-375 ball?
Does it travel as fast or as far?
Will it go through the infield as fast as a 44-375 ball?
Will your ball which has not been presented to SS, yet,
protect the pitcher better against a monster professional hitter like Kenny Danes
who swing over the top of the ball sometimes when trying to go long
over the middle and with their perfect professional cut as you have pointed out
will send the ball as fast coming up the middle.

I know a lot of hitters count on being able to get enough pace on the ball
to get it by or through the infield, like most major singles/doubles hitters or pure AAA or AA hitters.
What will the new ball do to/for them?
I know a lot of older seniors who only own an Ultra 2 because under
present conditions that is the bat the provides them with the most enjoyable performance.
Will they want to use/buy another bat?

Kevin, I and any I represent,
just want to know what's going on in and around Senior ball
so we, ALL of us, not just a few
can make as informed a decision as possible about our investments
going forward.

I know guys who have 10 bats already and what you're saying is
that none of these bats will be any good with your already developed ball
which has not yet been presented to Senior Softball.
I think we all have a right to know and you have always been
a stand up guy, telling it like it is and even though you stand to gain
much from such an adjustment selling such balls to an association like SSUSA and
are you planning to sell a bat especially designed to hit the new ball well?

I don't want anyone to speak for me
or tell me what's in my best interests either as a hitter or pitcher.
Though I appreciate anyone who is truly looking out for me
I trust myself and my experience playing ball over 50 years
to help me decide what I like and what works for me.

I have no hidden agenda or conflict of interests.
I want to enjoy myself playing/representing Senior Ball
and if you guys take away the "performance but not the flight" of our "new"
ball than like Bogie, I say, no thanks--

And to the Task Force,
there are minor rule changes especially for the pitchers
which can ensure both safety and fun
which aren't going to line anyone's pockets if safer and funn-er
are what's valued most.
June 8, 2008
732 posts
The ball does not go as fast but does go as far. You have to spin it to hit it far. By saying this if you are a good hitter and stay on top of your game it will not affect you at all. If you show up every 2 weeks and think you are going to be a great hitter and mis-hit them out you will be suprised. Is it safer for the pitchers? The impact studies performed in a A2LA nosae lab prove the ball is safer by over 75% on impact.

The star .53 ball and the hot dot, dudleyt-4000, wilson optima and steeles .53 were the balls used in the late 80's and early 90's.
June 8, 2008
Men's 65
601 posts
It's possible we're straying away from objectives here and treading into the land of agendas.

I believe the task force is already working it's way forward for the refinement of the M+ game and any "product talk" or other agendas may be premature speculation.
June 9, 2008
Men's 50
1375 posts
Bruce, so deal with the cheaters. But for goodness sake STOP messing with all the other rules just to accommodate guys who cannot hit with anything else.
June 9, 2008
Men's 65
3146 posts
You can't "deal" with them if you can't proove it.
Just because someone uses a senior bat doesn't make them able to hit hrs. I will agree that one with warning track power with a utrip bat will be a hr hitter with a senior bat.
What is so terribly wrong with that?
Sorry Staff for our hyjacking your thread.
June 9, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
Thanks for the reply.
What was the general reaction to your ball in that USSSA event that showcased
it not too long ago?
How about sending us, at NorCal, through Gary Tryhorn
some balls so we can hit them and figure out what's going on?
Or I'll pay you for a dozen balls right now
so I can hit them around and form my own opinion.

Your a terrific guy, smart and enterprising, bright as can be
and a monster hitter.
Nothing has changed.
Yet, you have something that I have a feeling is going to affect all of us
dramatically and real soon.
It's sounds as though you and Terry are working on "the new ball"
to help us solve some problems.

I have never met one player in my life in senior softball who ever told me
that they'd enjoy having a dumbed down ball or bat in any game.
I want you to hear this.
My experience means something.
I probably speak for a lot of guys.

If I can't "drive" the ball and for guys like Bogie
who are very strong, hit it to kingdom come,
then I'm afraid you will take the fundamental joy for lots of us
right out of the game.

Lesser balls, less home runs, less delays, lower scores,
more innings,
tournaments running on time
may be interesting to guys like Dave Dowell and Terry.
But at what cost.
I like the way SPA runs its tournaments with respect
to balls, time limits and such.

What about the bats used/needed to hit this ball well.
From what I've heard, the Ultra 2, Combat, 501, Geezer, Rip-it won't do it.
Something stiffer with less bounce will.
Maybe something more end loaded than what is currently allowed
will work best.
Again, are you making or have made a bat that will
hit your ball better than present senior bats?

We all want to know.
We all are invested and have a right to know what's coming down the road.
You've always been straight with us before.
Please address my/our concerns when you get a chance.
June 9, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
I think its great you are already into testing your ball.
Help me/us out.
What exactly does 75 percent safer mean?
What would that look like
if one hit me in the chest or face or arm
or foot?
Soft tissue like eyes, groin, muscles verses
harder stuff like bone and cartilege
And is the speed different/slower going through the infield
than a 44-375 ball?
Will the ball well-spinned as you have described
go through the infield faster than hit flat or square?

Maybe your ball will be a terrific addition to Senior Softball.
But I'll make that decision for me when I've learned enough.
Right now, it doesn't sound so good to me
when smaller, cheaper adjustments can be made
that will make the game safer without taking away pop.
June 9, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
What an interesting topic!
You really got me going.
Now, if you're ball is performance restricted in optimal conditions
what will it be like in 90 degree weather?
Thanks in advance, for answering my/our concerns.
June 10, 2008
732 posts
Fist of all if you had read my reply you would have seen the part that u-trip has not used the ball in any conference event anywhere this year. Dudley is the sponsor of the conference and they use a .40/300 comp ball only. In the stadiums they will use a .47/500 this year. So any feed back that you have gotten about a ball used in a u-trip event is the dudley ball.

Feel free to call it is free. 800-327-0074 ext 210, it would take to long to go over all of the details of this ball here. Terry has had none of these balls for testing and has had no involvement in testing any for seniors. I don't know what part of that you are having a problem with....

One thing strikes me funny about your posts, you are a great player Joe and not everyone should be a home run threat or a great batter because you can buy a great bat. People that work at the game should be the best and the rest that don't should be the guy's you work to get out. You posts sound like we should just have a home run derby to decide who wins.
June 10, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Thanks, Kevin.
I'm sorry I got the information about the USSSA event wrong.
It's just too hard to find good informants anymore!

But, the ball you've produced and it's potential ramifications and effects
on me and Senior Softball are still in play.
All my/our questions to you are still in play.
Of course I'll call you today or tomorrow and thanks for
being the "stand up" guy you are and have always been.
But the cat's out of the bag, so to speak
so you should say on this site anything you will say to me
as there are lots of "us".
I'm getting emails off line all the time from people who supportive
and encouraging.

It continues to concern me that
although we hear a lot of talk about protecting pitchers
than none of the powers that be are willing to make
the simple, cost-less adjustments to do so
like unlimited HRs or over the fence singles
and giving pitchers more latitude that will
in fact, do the job to both protect the pitcher better
and keep the "hitting" enjoyment most of us have found in the game.
Why do we have to go to changing the ball/bats
and the fundamental character of the game
as most of us and not just the elite players/hitters
have come to enjoy in our old age
when other simple, cost-free adjustments are already available?

And it's my understanding that your ball
and the Ultra 2 are not a match.
You managed to develop a ball that the Ultra 2 won't hit well?
That's a dubious achievement at best
and a cause for some concern for lots of us.

What's wrong with just regular guys like me
discovering as they have gotten older
their enjoyment of softball has increased?

I've learned that I want to be able to drive the ball for enjoyment.
I discovered the long ball late in my career that I always wanted to have
from hard work and dedication and mentoring from legendary hitters
like the Bay Area's Joe Tang.
And I'm afraid that I and others like me
will not want to play with a meaningfully restricted performance ball.

And since becoming a pitcher and I'm learning things like how to bother
batters and protect myself at the same time.
Wider Arc, wider mat, KNUCKLEBALLs, protective gear (like in hockey),
wider rubber, ball crossing the batter over the plate
called a strike, just to name a few
and none of these things would stop guys from being able to enjoy
seeing a ball they hit hard/square or hard go through the infield
or over the fence.

Major league baseball would never dumb down their ball, Kevin.
Why not?
Same reason why I wouldn't want to play with one.

McGuire and Sosa brought back baseball after a strike with what, Kevin?
The long ball.
And chicks really DO dig the long ball.
Just ask Bash and the fabulous Barista girls.
June 10, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
And to Terry and Dave,
If you guys can't figure a way to use us
the best softball players in the world
to help drive and promote Senior ball
by helping us showcase
our talents and capabilities
than charge us more for more balls,
and longer games.
Our sponsors aren't penny wise and dollar foolish.

As I told Dave D in Sacramento last year
when he asked me
that SPA puts on the most enjoyable senior tournaments
I and others have experienced yet
and they let us play to the end when double elimination starts
and because of the mercy rule
the games tend to stay fairly close to schedule.
June 10, 2008
732 posts
Joe, baseball will never have to dumb down the ball because they are swinging the same bats they swung in 1901.

Joe I have respect for you and you are a great player, but it is almost as though you are begging for this ball not to come out. I have not done any testing with ssusa and you are beating this thing like it will end your career. My god Joe give it a rest. If you can hit now you will hit later, you may just have to practice alittle more to stay at the top of your game. Batting practice is a lot of fun Joe, ask Clatter.

Like I asked before would you play if you could hit the old star. t-4000 and the rest of the old balls?
June 10, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Thanks Kevin.
You have made it clear that there is a ball and a bat on the horizon
that will change the game we play in some meaningful ways.
I still would like to know as much as I can about what's happening,
and being discussed so I and others like me
can have/make an informed opinion about our investment in Senior Ball.
Maybe it's time for me to take up lawn bowling or ping pong.

There's lots of questions you haven't answered, yet and
I'll call you tomorrow.
June 11, 2008
732 posts
Joe, call me today. I will be in my office all day leave me a mesage if I don't answer I will call you back. You have to stop trying to get me to post something that is not true on this board. Everything I have answered is the truth. You claim I have not answred your questions, well Joe there is no answer to these questions as of today.

Just answer my 1 question to you.

Would you play if you used the old balls of the late 80's and early 90's t-4000, star, hot dot, steeles skyhawks balls?
June 11, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
It's 6am PCT and at coffee shop with a tall cup of Joe
and my dog, talking, thinking, dreaming about softball.
What a way to start a day!
I'll call you later, today as I have an important work appointment
I need to prepare for but
for the sake of our constituents
there are many questions I have asked you about your ball,
it's relationship to SSUSA, to us and our investment in Senior softball,
your new bat, speed off the bat through the infield et al
that haven't been answered yet.
Just check the thread.
I think you'd rather respond directly to them then have any of it
go through me after we talk.
Call you this afternoon.
June 11, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,
I have a bias.
I don't want hitting performance dramatically diminished
by any combination of bat and ball or it just won't be enough fun
for me and there are many others who feel just like I do,
Sorry for sounding like a "whistle blower" but I don't want to see
the game disemboweled if I it can be helped.
June 11, 2008
732 posts
"there are many questions I have asked you about your ball,
it's relationship to SSUSA"

To this I have answered and truthfully. I have not discussed this ball with ssusa for testing in the senior program at all..........
June 11, 2008
732 posts
The only thing Terry has ever seen in this ball is the impact studies.
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
4549 posts
Not to "rain" on anyones parade here, all surveys, studies and all forms of "blind" testings can each be manipulated get the results the doer* wants.

I'd find it interesting to "see" a ball that can travel the distance (over a 300' fence) and yet does not have the same inertia (as a ball we currently use say a 44\375 or better)
going through the infioeld...
I think something is very wrong here. But one never knows.
*Doer being those for funded the research.
June 11, 2008
732 posts
There is alot of speculation about the new ball we have made for softball. Here are some key points for you to think about.
1 cor is the ability to rebound. If you lessen the ability to rebound, a composite bat will flex more. So dropping the compression makes the bat work better. (to a point)

2 Compression, the harder the ball the more it will make the bat flex.

1a. When struck with a lower cor ball the ball will not deflect as much making the impact greater.

2a. The harder the ball the more severe the impact will be. add 1a and 2a together and the ball is like getting hit with a croguet ball.


If you raise the cor of the ball the ball will rebound away from the bat quicker, therefor not flexing the wall of the bat as much as a lower cor ball.
Lower compression will have the same effect on bat flex.
Now by raising the cor you offset the lack of flex in the bat with a faster release of the ball. This keeps the performance similar to what you are hitting today.

Here is a simple explaination.
Right now on impact the bat is doing about 80% of the flexing, and the ball about 20%

By reversing this, ball 80% and bat 20% you can get the same type of performance with a much safer ball. No ball is going to 100% safe at the speeds they travel, but the impact force of the ball on body parts can be reduced by at least 60% or more.
Again if the ball has a higher cor it will try to rebound away on impact of a bone structure instead of trying to drive through it. If it has a lower compression the impact is reduced because it is softer.

Now the interesting part of all of this is you can still play a great game of softball and do it safer.

Any of you guy's that have pitched for many years can remember, when you got hit in the leg years ago it hurt, you cussed, you kicked a liitle dirt around. Yet you stayed in the game and didn't have to go to the hospital because your leg is about to blow up, alittle bit of ice and a week later it didn't even bother you.

They make rubber bullets for guns that travel as fast as lead ones but they won't kill you unless they hit you in a perfect spot.
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
181 posts
The way I like to explain this is as follows.
Take a basketball and a shot put and drop them on a concrete floor. The basketball bounces and the shot put wont. Same two balls and you drop them on a trampoline, Shot put bounces and the basketball wont. You have to have complimentary surfaces.
The old T4000, TN Poly, Hot dots, Steeles Hard balls all have very high COR and very low compression. They would really travel off of the old solid bombats but if you hit them with todays high tech bats, they go no where. Its like bouncing a basketball on the trampoline.
COR measures bounce and pounds measures hardness. With todays very soft high tech bats the ball travels best with a very high compression ball regardless of its COR.
Kevin is the genius with this kind of stuff and all of you just need to listen to what he is saying. If you argue with him you show all of us that you have a very hard (high compression) head. Open your ears and learn something that you can pass on and become knowledgeable about. Argue and you are one of those very loud voices that we have so many of in the world of softball that passes on very wrong information.
Back on the subject. HOORAY for SS-USA to listen to the Major players and get our game to way the top players want it to be. Yes, it will cost more to get it right but the game was never meant to be in minutes, it was meant to be in innings. Hitting a ball out of sight is good, its what we worked all of our lives to be able to do. Calling it an out is against all of the rules we grew up with. Getting the equipment and rules in correct alignmet is what we are all hoping for. Thank you, Terry for listening.
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
4549 posts
I think a "rebound' is a flex, whether it be a ball or the bat. To lessen it you make it "harder" or "stiffer". But rebound in a ball is for the ball to regain its shape. IE Roundness or so I have been told.
Making the bat work better to a point is correct. but a lot of variables are here as well. simple ones; Point if impact to bat as well as ball.
As for compression your correct. The tern croquet ball has been used for many balls. But I do not see them (actual croquet balls), used or more bats would be dented, cracked or broke. Like to old Worth Super Duper Red and Blue Dots.
What I read here is explained well, sounds good, but in practicality, or reality I do not think it will happen as you state. Maybe in your controlled environment, to a limited capacity.
As for getting hit with a ball in the shin and it going away, not always the case, I got an abscess after a week with no broken skin...almost lost it. The only reason I wear as much protection as I now do.
No matter what comes about with the balls, it is the bats that one has to worry about. Both make up the game, Ball used in games are pretty much accounted for and for lack of better wording, "standardized" where "bats" are great as they are but not checked nor equal.
June 11, 2008
Men's 55
88 posts
Hey Kevin and Jim,
I really liked both of your explanations which made sense to me at least
I'm more curious now because back in 1992, I had my jaw broken in 2 places by a STAR ball that was thrown - probably going around 70 MPH when it hit me. That STAR ball was a knock off of the Steele's Skyhawk ball if I remember correctly. When I bounced that ball on concrete, it jumped back up to my hand. It was a very hard plastic ball. In my opinion that ball was dangerous andI still have the plate with 2 screws in my jaw to prove it.
So, what I'm curious about is why Kevin keeps referring to these old balls and how the new one compares to them. Hopefully the answer is that the new one has the same core, but a lower compression. Thanks for the education on this subject boys.
Mac II, #44
June 11, 2008
732 posts
92 was the star 50/600lb compression ball not quite what I was refering to. The reason I have been refering to the old balls many senior players I have talked say how great the balls were back in the day. Well I played back then and yes the balls flew great. I have tested so many of them to find out that none have a compression of over 325 lbs.

Tait's the lab testing has been done for well over a year now and the field testing has been going on for about 6 months. I can only report what is happing on the field as far as performance goes.

2 associations are using these balls in the worlds this year so there wil be some more info in september

Even with the new ball some incidents will still occure. A line drive to head will probably not kill you unless it hits you perfect on the temple. Remember a tennis ball hit square to the nose will cause it to break, but it won't kill you.
June 11, 2008
Men's 55
568 posts
here ya go! make your own assoc. and rule and don't mess up everyone elses!

another funny hey joe!
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
4549 posts
GeHall, I had my face messed up with a thrown ball as well, a few weeks ago a guy here had the same thing I had happened. Would have been easier on the mind had I known it coming.

trumpball, I wonder if your has been the only balls to go through field 'testing' by companies. Great idea. With bats, its a pretty much a given for the better ones.

softballer, I see your BA is EXCELLENT.
June 11, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
I just tried calling Kevin and I'll try again later.
I know we'll talk soon.
Jim C.
Thanks for all the info.
Information is gold.

Kevin IS a genius, and a fabulous guy, smart and articulate as they come,
can hit a softball a mile, has a family to feed and miles to go before he sleeps.
BUT I for one, will make my own decision about what's best for me
and the game I play and want to play
and if staying on an important topic to get as many people involved
and learn as much as possible regarding an issue I and others
have a huge investment is being hard headed,
well call me Rocky.
Yo Jimmy, how my doin'?

I think Kevin and you should send me some balls
or NorCal some balls c/o Gary Tryhorn
so we can end all the speculation and controversy.
Can I/we buy any of these balls at this time?

And no one has answered me about any bats
being developed for such a ball.
Does that mean no bats are in the making
or just no comment at this time.
You've said straight up that todays bat i.e. Ultra 2, 510, Combat, Rip-IT
will not hit this already developed ball.
I think the most of senior softballers need to be appraised
and weigh themselves in.

I'm worried about all the singles, doubles guys
who count on having some pace on the ball afforded in today's standards,
to get it through or to an open spot.
They're averages will probably drop dramatically

You're no fool, Jim.
Neither is Kevin.
Neither am I and just about all
the Senior Softall players I know.
I've met no one in my career who has EVER
supported a poorer performing ball
and that's what I'm hearing right now
through all the words and controversy
and I'm worried.
We're worried.

I know there's good intentions
and a ton of money to be made
but you and no one else will get my approval/support
for something that either doesn't make sense to me
or that I haven't experienced for myself.

Yo, yo, yo.
June 11, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
I almost forgot how this thread got started.
Oh yeah,
Congratulating SSUSA and the Task Force for proactive attention to the game
I have come to love to play.

So, committee members hear me now.
I don't want and won't support a bat/ball combination that will
deprive me and most of the Senior players I know
of the fundamental enjoyment of hitting the ball hard, well, fast
and far when struck correctly.
I don't care who's involved or how much money is involved.
Thanks for listening.
June 11, 2008
Men's 55
94 posts
Einstein . I think you speak for the majority . Keep it up . Don`t let them cram a situation down our throats , that takes the enjoyment out of the game . I am sure we all have enough meddlers in other parts of our lives and we don`t need it in Softball . Who is complaining about the current situation and why ? What is their motivation ? Let the reps get feed back from their areas and see what the majority wants . I can and will live with that decision . Joe , keep it up .
June 11, 2008
The Pro
81 posts
When SSUSA decided to allow the UltraII to be used in it's Association when no one else allowed it the vast majority of Senior Softball players at every level were completely supportive of that decision.

Now we have almost all Senior Associations allowing the Ultra II as well as all the "new" Senior bats from varing manufacturers. The trade off at the time and currently, was a new ball, a 44/375. SPA, if you'll remember conducted a national survey before allowing the Ultra II asking SS players if they prefered the Ultra II with a 44/375 ball or the NSA approved bats with a 47/500 ball. Ridge made the switch based on the feedback which overwhelmingly favored the Ultra II and the 44/375 ball.

Basic to the decision to use the Ultra II by SSUSA was the fact that Terry publically stated that there was no research documenting the fact that the Ultra II caused more injuries than other bats. As far as I know that fact still stands, despite the addition of the new SS bats.

So why deveolp a new ball? Why is anyone messing with what has proven to be the almost perfect combination of bats and balls that we currently have in SS?

With all the other issues the new committee has on it's plate, changing either the bat or ball should not be one of them. That's the one issue that is working and I'm guessing still has the support of the vast majority of SS players at every level!

Kevin, has the right to develop a new ball, hopefully he'll peddle it to the ASA as it appears to be an extremely "conflicted" association when it comes to bat and ball standards.

Hopefully, SSUS and all the other Senior Associations hold to the old adage "if it ain't broken, don't try to fix it".
June 11, 2008
732 posts
Obviously not many of you have read my posts on this subject. Joe brought the ball into this thread, I answered some questions about this ball. In those answers, I stated that I was not pursueing this wit ssusa. So for the A#$holes that think this is about money or that I am the only company looking into ball alternatives, or that maybe I have a bat that hits these well and no on else does. You a re all for off s#$t. Now I don't usually let people bother me but anyone with a statement on this subject needs to read the posts prior to making an a#$ of yourself.

Joe said I had u-trip use this ball in a conference tourny, total fabrication.
Joe says I am trying to get ssusa to use this ball, total fabrication.
Joe says I have a bat that will hit this ball, total fabrication.
Joe seems to think this is about money, total fabrication.

Any more questions about this matter please refer them to Joe he seems to have more answers than I do at this time.
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
181 posts
This thread is about the TASK FORCE and its a terrific idea. NO ONE....NO ONE.....not SS-USA...NOT TRUMP...NOT TRUMPBALL. NO ONE....has proposed a new ball or new bat standards. Please go somewhere else if you want to rattle on about new ball standards, this is the wrong place.
The Major Plus program needs to be taken to a new level and this is where it can happen.
June 11, 2008
Men's 55
88 posts
OK, back to the topic.
If I had a vote, the number one change would be to never make an over the fence HR an out. I like the walk option after the HR limit is met, that does not move up a runner unless he is forced. Better yet, unlimited HR's in Major Plus would be the best option. This would require some kind of reasonable time limit, say 75 - 90 minutes, a mercy run rule something like SPA uses and possibly each team providing approved balls like SPA does also.
Let the players speak and here them please because Managers aren't always the the brightest guys out there. I made a joke Monta. : ) O yeah, pay the umpires more for the longer games too, right Monty.
June 11, 2008
Men's 65
601 posts
GH is right.

We started this thread with the announcement of a M+ task force put together to improve the highest level of our game.

Now for your musical enjoyment at halftime let's just play AC/DC's "Big Balls" then get back on topic. Change the lyrics as you see fit.

Well I'm upper upper class high society
God's gift to ballroom notriety
And I always fill my ballroom -
The event is never small
The social pages say I've got
The biggest balls of all.

Discretion being the better part of valor we'll leave the rest of the lyrics out.

OK - shouldn't the ball measuring stop now and get us back to the original tune. Something like "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" ????

Just my .02

June 12, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
You are a stand up guy.
I still think the world of you and your talents
and have said so numerous times.
Is that a fabrication, too?
Obviously we've struck a nerve where there is a lot at stake
for both of us.

I, like Gary Pro and others, do not want to see the bat/ball combination
we have come to appreciate and accept, significantly lessened.
I don't care how much you scream, stamp or curse.
Again if you or anyone else ever want to confront me personally on any issue
the door is always open.

it sounds to me that your ball isn't going to make me
and a lot of the guys very happy about wanting to play a game
we ALSO have a stake in, some more than others.

I don't have answers, Kevin.
Just questions and concerns.
I'm sorry they disturb you and any plans you may have
for softball or major plus softball or Senior Softball
going forward.
But my/our involvement and input must be paramount
to those making decisions they think and want us to believe
are in our best interests.

I don't want to play with a restricted performance ball that is significantly less
than the ball/bat combinations we have now.
Comparable, sure.
Less than, no.

Send us some balls.
Let me buy some balls to check it out.
It can be perceived by the way you are acting
that you either have a ton to lose
or are trying to keep something from us.
June 12, 2008
Men's 60
242 posts
Thank you Terry, et al for allowing the Major Plus players the opportunity to shape and provide guidance for the rules we play by.

I may be in the minority but I am not in favor of unlimited homeruns. I love the game of softball and enjoy playing defense as much as hitting the ball. We have a nice balanced team. Not all teams do.

Personally I don't believe the game is improved by unlimited homeruns. I also don't believe it removes the risk of a pitcher being hit. As far as a pitcher injury goes some risk is always present when you try to play defense that close to a hitter. As we know some hitters will always shoot the middle either in an attempt to get a hit or a homerun to center field. Not all power hitters are pull hitters.

The dead ball out rule is fairly ineffective for the minor penalty that is incurred and the low percentage of instances that would qualify for DBO status by the rule as stipulated and instituted.

As far as equipment is concerned hot bats are allowed and the vast majority of players, I believe at all levels, like it that way. A hot ball is not necessary. I assume a certain risk when I pitch on occassion but that risk does not include being killed. The point is that changing the balls will not end injuries however I would hate to think good softballs with good bats would turn our game into home run derby or a driving range. We need to find a balance that works.

Bob Schulz
June 12, 2008
732 posts
Joe I used to have respect for you but I no longer do. You have involved my name and my company in something that does not involve you or the players of senior softball and your accusations are unfounded. A ball is a ball, I make the same on any of them so a .44/375 is no different than a .50/900, so get over yourself in thinking it is a money thing for me.
The ball is designed to bring some harmony back to ASA softball, a ball that will perform well with the equipment standards they set.
The more you babble about this, the more you show your ass, so grow up and have a life outside giving people mis-imformation. It's people like you that create all of the rumors that fuel the mis-imformation and upset the apple cart.

OR is it your buddies at rip-it that need some new balls to see if their bat will hit?

Anyway don't ever call me again I think you are infantile and a troublemaker. You really have shown a side of you I never want to be apart of. But I did learn 1 very important lesson today.

Never argue with and idiot, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
June 12, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Kevin,

I guess that means:
That you won't sell me any of those balls
to check out so I can help make up my own mind about them.
That guys with Ultra 2's, 510's, Rip-Its and Geezers will get screwed
THat guys who have invested heavily in present equipment in good faith,
guys like me who can't afford to be jerked around by a soul-less marketplace.
will be screwed.
That guys who have never enjoyed playing softball as much as they have
in the last decade will be screwed.
That guys who aren't as strong and powerful as some of us
will find it harder to get a clean hit with a slower ball speed
will be screwed and lastly
That the little guy, the individual, the players, the constituents again
will be out weighed by a powerful few who seem to always know
and decide what's best for the rest.
Smelling anything yet, Kev?

The truth hurts.
You can fool some of the people some of the time
some of the people all of the time
but not all of the beople, all of the time.

I still don't have a problem with you
cause I think you are the victim of a conflict of interests
but if you do or want one with me
I'm not hard to find.
June 12, 2008
732 posts
The only people that will get screwed here are the one's that listen to your false statements.

I told you the truth, you are trying to manipulate it to fit your agenda. (whatever that is?)

I've got nothing to hide.
June 12, 2008
118 posts
JOE & KEVIN: It appears that there is too much ego or is it id? SS USA, why, have the last few post not been deleted?

What happen to the 2008 bats that were to have chips in the NEW 2008 bats? If, I recall, the chips were to stop bat doctors from shaving bats? Is it that the Softball Orginazitions, are dragging their small footies? Could it be that safety is not important? Bottom line..... is it the all mighty $$$$$$$.

The thought was...... if, seniors had senior bats..... seniors would not cheat, shave bats, roll bats, etc, or am I just plain o stupid. Can't wait for that box of chocolate.

After all, seniors would never cheating? Granddads would never altered bats? Parden me, seniors have & will never cheat, bend rules, or do something that is unfair or wrong.

SS USA, stated in 2003, that the safest balls were 47 & 50 cor balls. This fact was for several month on the front page of SS USA. This statement was supported by SGMA. That's Sporting Good Manufactors Assocation. It that why, SS USA & the others went to the 44 cor ball? We have the best balls.. of all ?

T H-Jacker
June 13, 2008
Men's 65
20 posts
To Major + Taskforce: There seems to be strong opposition to limiting hom runs. I to am not an advocant of liming the amount of home runs at the major skill levels. Now having said that, I suggest, as a possible compromise, that the piching height and low minimum heights be adjusted: Maximum height to 14'------low minimum to a slight ark. Appreciate your comments. Bobby K.
June 13, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
I'm with you HC in spirit and direction.
Of course some compromises have to be made
and changing the arc, size of the plate, size of the rubber vertically and horizontally,
1-1 count, etc, are simpler easier ways to get'r dun.
June 13, 2008
Men's 60
242 posts
I have been reading with interest the various postings. It would appear to me the purpose of the panel would be to determine how to get more active teams in the divisions. Having won National titles against 30 to 40 teams, it was a lot more satisfying than winning Senior Nationals against 2 - 6 teams. Most of the entries appear to be from very few players who appear to want an elite division. In my humble opinion, this is not the way to increase the number of teams in that type of division. If those players/teams want to form an elite division and showcase their talents, so be it. I have no problems with those teams forming their own division similar to the yesteryear Super Major division. But it should not be mandatory for teams who design their teams to play in a specific division to be moved into an upper division because of winning a tourney. Many teams do not have the desire, available talent in their region, or the money to field a team of 11 - 12 home run hitters, thus making it very difficult to consistently compete with a team that has the potential to hit one home run after another, even if they are singles. I have played at high levels through-out my career and with the exception of the years where the T4000 ball was legal, have had a very enjoyable experience. The T4000 ball made games last 2.5 - 3 hours. It was not fun getting baked in the sun for that amount of time. For info, I have the ability to hit the long ball without the use of senior technology. This is added only for determining the perspective of my comments. I personally believe the senior bat has made me a worse hitter. While the batting average may have increased, it is due to the bat. It goes through the infield faster and mis-hits still go farther and faster.

Many teams design their teams around a balance of power, defense, speed, attitude and personnel chemistry. There are teams/player who believe softball is a combination of all talents, and not just the ability to hit the long ball. There are teams/players who enjoy major, AAA, AA and have put together a team to compete at these levels. There seems to be considerable complaining about a team winning a National title to be moved to the next division up. The result of this mentality is teams getting moved to divisions where they have trouble competing so they reluctantly continue to play or they decide not to play at the next level and a team is lost. Most of the teams that appear to be complaining are teams that have played together for many years and have not attempted to gain new players to play at the level at which they believe they should play. In simpler terms, the talent of the team is a division below what their egos say they should/do play.

I would suggest the panel look at what is best for Senior softball. By best, I mean how to get more teams in the divisions. My suggestions for all divisions except Elite would be to have home run limits at the various divisions. Any home runs after the limit would be outs. Eliminate the senior bats in favor of a 98 mph bat. The tournaments would supply the bats to eliminate the possibility of altered bats. This would be a mixture of balanced and end loaded and various weights. Balls would be standardized at say a 44/375 to prevent putting a hotter ball in play to compensate for the lesser bats. Time limit would be 60 minutes for preliminary games and 7 innings for tourney play. I am in favor of a screen in front of the pitcher. If the ball hits the screen it is a dead ball out. The pitcher would not be allowed to field a ball. There would be no maximum runs per inning.

Let the teams decide what division they would like to play based on the rules. Teams should not be mandated to move up upon winning a tourney. They should be able to defend their titles for at least one year. By knowing the rules, teams should be able to design their teams for the division they would like to play. There would need to be a committee to review teams in each division. Some teams may need to be moved either up or down depending how they play. I am not naive but would hope teams would play in the appropriate division and not try to win a National title by playing down.

The above suggestions keep some of the technology while addressing the issue of time, illegal bats and safety. I believe the above would bring more talent back to the game in both hitting and defense. Those who have the ability and put forth the effort in training and conditioning would be able to continue to hit the long ball and the others would continue to play at the level they were before technology made many long ball threats/better hitters.

I am sure that not all players will agree with these suggestions but they allow for an elite division for those who chose and other divisions based on ability.

For those who would like to make comments, feel free. I will not get into a running debate on the merits of these suggestions. Personally, I believe "egos" have taken over much of senior softball. The players who can hit the long ball want to use technology to hit the ball farther when 301 feet will do.

By Terry Eades, Travelodge
Posted by his teammate, Bob Schulz
June 13, 2008
Men's 65
440 posts
Lot of good posts here and lots of good suggestions for the powers to be to wade through. This foum is an excellent method of assimilating opinions.

Bob 50. I liked a lot of your suggestions but dumbing down the ball and bat is not one I like for world championship play. I can stay home and play ASA mush ball to do that without travelling.
June 13, 2008
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
Our job description, as a task force, is not to shape policy. It is to create a survey of multiple choice questions that are solely pertinent to the major plus division. This part has almost been completed.
These surveys will be distributed among the major plus managers, who will make the choices that they like the most... or that their players like the most.
Once they are returned, they will be tabulated and the results will be reported to SSUSA.
There are 7 different and diverse persons within this group and, from my perspective, they have each made the effort to keep the good of the major plus division in the forefront.
So those that wish to express themselves on this matter will be best served by speaking to their team manager.
This message board is a semi-public forum and, as such, we each have the right to utilize it to offer our views. But the task force is not equipped to disect the many different and subjective posts and use them in an effective manner.
Gary Tryhorn, as the chairman of the group, has done a good job of directing us toward finalizing the aforementioned survey. The feedback from it can be quantified into something meaningful. The thoughts shared here by many, while interesting, will not be a part of the survey results.
I offer this to enlighten you about the process, not to discourage you from self expression. Some of the vital points to be considered are... event format, time limits, HR rules, runs/inning, should the teams buy extra game balls?... and more.
Reach out to your manager and request that your team make its feelings known through the survey. That is the most effective way to help the major plus division.
There are items (questions) on the survey that I don't particularly like... there are others that other mambers don't like... but it isn't about our personal agendas... it is about creating a questionnaire that can be easily tabulated... we cannot control the feedback that we receive or if we do receive it... and there is a balance of different opinions on this panel and this helps in shaping the questions.
So, if you're really passionate on this, contact your manager and make your feelings count.
I give a lot of credit to Gary T. or Terry H... or both. And this would be for having a clear, concise idea of how this process should work... create the survey, tabulate the results, etc... and by polling only the major plus teams it prevents the ballot boxes from being stuffed by folks that have little or no interest in playing in this division. How effective would our national elections be if the ballot was 'free from' as opposed to multiple choice?
June 14, 2008
732 posts
Bob50 via Terry,
The interesting point about playing 2.5-3 hour games with the old t-4000 is true I played then too. Now real time tesing with the bats of that era and that ball is still less performing than a .44/375 and a senior bat of today. Many games today an hour just in the open inning imagine what a complete game with no restrictions would take.

Now back to the ball I have been working on for ASA (not senior softball) It is modeled from the old balls of yesteryear. In the senior softball paper january of 2003 I was quoted that the only way to make a ball safer is to raise the cor and lower the compression, with the bats of today and the amout of flex in them it is the only answer to keep the performance and control the game.

Terry tell Bob I will have plenty for you guys to hit out in champainge if your team is going.
June 14, 2008
Men's 50
3114 posts
Great post Terry, through Bob,

Thoughtful, concerned, intelligent, articulate and respectful posts are always
a tonic for me.

Hitting the ball hard/well is very satisfying, importantly so
for all those I have met and talked with in Senior Ball and what's OK for younger
other divisions may not be better for us older guys.

Do we have the level of cheating/bat shaving that is said to be going on
at lower levels?
I don't believe so.
And if so, "throwing the baby out with the bath water",
is not the way to do it.
Bust and ban the cheaters.
We've done it before and we can do it, again.
Don't punish ALL of us for the criminality of the few.
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