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Discussion: Personal Perspectives on New Home Run Rule

Posted Discussion
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 50
96 posts
Personal Perspectives on New Home Run Rule
I’m very disappointed with the new SSUSA HR rule and would like to explain my feelings.

Executive Summary: Balls hit over the fence shouldn’t be outs (under any conditions).

I wonder why people need to change the rules all the time? For me, the tournament games have been much more fun than local league games. I don’t understand why the rules have to be changed to make things less fun.

According to the SSUSA staff, the reason for this new rule is related to a lack of participation in the Major Plus divisions of recent tournaments.

I have only been playing senior ball for a few years, all of it in 50 AAA ball, so I am sure I am naive when it comes to certain matters. There may be “secret” reasons for these rules (e.g., related to “the money”), to which I am unaware. I’m just trying to understand things from a typical player’s perspective.

My main point is that I love to hit balls over the fence, and I am sorely disappointed by this new rule which penalizes me for what I do best. Under the new rules, there have been numerous games in the past in which I would have exceeded my AAA team’s new HR limit myself in a single game.

I reject arguments that “I should learn how to hit” from those who think I should learn how to get hits that aren’t HRs. This may be true (in my case), but is irrelevant generally. The real point is that there is no reason to ruin the current situation. From my perspective, there aren’t any reasons (e.g., pitcher safety, Major Plus participation, etc.) that justify ruining the fun that we are currently having at the 50 AAA level (and probably other levels). Hitting a ball out of sight, occasionally over the light towers, is fun!

Even though I don’t jump into agreement with conspiracy theories, I agree completely with Einstein that a totally reasonable conspiracy theory dictates that: (1) Today – Home Runs are outs; (2) Tomorrow – There is no need for good bats and balls. (Duh!)

I don’t play Major Plus ball, and I am hesitant to comment on their affairs (sorry Wood, and I always respect your opinions), but since it is now apparently affecting my experience, I am going to. I don’t see how moving teams up is going to affect the dominance of M+ teams that have been bred to dominate.

In response to the inevitable complaints that I should not be playing AAA ball, I would be happy to be playing in a higher division but am not “permitted” to play defense as much as I would like in AAA.

In summary,
(1) Balls over the fence should not be outs.
(2) Why change the rules to wreck something which is not broken, and which is fun?
(3) In the current economy (and my wife’s state-of-mind), I don’t need extra reasons to not play in SSUSA tournaments.
(4) I’m really disappointed with the new SSUSA HR rule.
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 55
183 posts
I couldn't agree more with you Jano23. I play 55AAA and this is going to ruin things for many teams and ultimately hurt SSUSA. I have the ability to play at a higher level but there are no teams where I come from at those levels. Why are we catering to the Major and Majot+ teams who have bigger budgets than most? My team is very seriously considering not playing in SSUSA tournaments. We want to play where we can have the most fun and get the most enjoyment for the money that we and our sponser spends. We have played major teams and the home run hasn't been the deciding factor. Home runs should never be outs.
Jan. 2, 2009
24 posts
I wanted to throw out a couple of thoughts for the die hard posters to help me out.

When the rule changes were made, what was the intent? There needs to be a need for change before insisting on change.

I feel the pitcher's protection rule should have been conquered, accepted, understood, etc., before tackling another touchy situation.

If the home run rule problem was geared for the M+ or Major teams, make the rules different for those divisions. Was the change to get a few more teams in the M+ bracket, when I look and see there 317 teams in Phoenix, 158 in Ft. Myers, and 131 in Las Vegas. That should be enough to make some money! I don't know what kind of turnout the every weekend tournaments draw, and can't comment on what the desired number of teams are for these types of tourneys.

To get more teams into tournament brackets, what are the thoughts about expanding the age brackets to every 7-8 years, and eliminating a couple of brackets?

Last point--I would assume most of the M+ teams take care of their players, getting them to the tournaments, hotels, etc., but the meat and potatoes of the organizations are the men and women that love the game, spend a great deal of their own money to get to these tournaments.

Thanks for your time.
Jan. 2, 2009
The Kid
6 posts
I am truly saddened to see the direction SSUSA has chosen to take on rule changes pertaining to homeruns. When you mandate homeruns in excess of the inappropriate lower limits you have established, you increase the level of injury to all infielders, and this is especially true for the pitcher. No single rule change could be more detrimental to the Major and Major + brackets. Your excess home run out rule has just increased the level of danger to all players and diminished the sport in general. Actions of this type are primary reasons why so many players and teams had turned away from SPA. Your actions will probably send them back. More and more players and teams will be leaving your organization to play in non sanctioned tournaments in which they can still go for the homerun. Show me a player who claims to not wish to be able to hit a home run and I will show you a liar or a person who should find something less challenging to do with his time for they are not actually ball players. Any player who approves this type of restriction should work to increase his or her ability rather than work to drag this fine sport down to there level.
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 60
1051 posts
Let's call it like it is. It is mostly a matter of TD's not wanting to chase balls or pay to have it done. Easy answer, Buy the balls from the TD and the teams are responsible for chasing their own HRs. Teams can only hit their own balls. If they don't have balls game is stopped until they chase them, not a great solution, but just like the army smoke em if you got em. Hit em if you got em.
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 65
839 posts
Hey Jano,

If I had a Major Plus team, you could play any position you wanted, as long as you hit 2 or more out every game. LOL! From knowing you, I am sure you would hit 2 or more most games. I think part of thr reason for this rule is to get players like yourself to move up and play Major Plus, which you would be a great addition to any team. If I was pitching to you and you hit a 400 foot shot over the fence and it was an out, I would not be too disappointed. LOL! See you on Saturday Jano at batting practice!

Your Friend,

Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 65
438 posts
From my perspective, as a manager of our team I think the new rules on HR's offer some balance and may help teams like ours that do not have a lot of power hitters. Our team got moved to Major 50 last year. We are a decent club but not a "long-ball" club and will seldom hit more then 3 or 4 home-runs in a game even with the senior bats.

If I was the manager of a team that hit a lot of balls out of the park every game I might not like the new rules so much but if the new rules cause more teams to be moved up a division and be able to compete in that division is that not better for the game?

Having said all that the new rules may have been easier to accept with a “one-up” rule. That way two home run hitting teams could still go toe-to-toe.

Hope you all have great new year.
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 50
96 posts
Thanks for the support, Andy!
But you know that I wouldn't DARE walk up to the plate if YOU were pitching!
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
As our 55 Major+ team only averaged 2.3 homeruns a game last year I'm glad we didn't have play any of you AAA teams. lol
Jan. 2, 2009
Men's 65
839 posts
Hey Jano!

You are right, you should not think about walking up to the plate, when I am pitching. Just walk to first base on a walk, and I will pitch to the next batter. LOL!

Andy :-)
Jan. 2, 2009
353 posts
This is a good post and even though I just learned most of our power guys on our team from the last few years are moving on this year the 3 HR rule in AAA is not a good solution for what seems to be bothering the powers to be in Senior Softball. I never heard any complaining in AAA the way the rule was as it stood so why change it? If the M+ guys want to hit 20+ HR's a game let them swing away and play the game to the top of there abaility. The top level players I know work very hard to maintain there game and why make them pay for something they can and enjoy doing. If it is a ball shaging issue just have each team provide a shagger for each game.
Hey Jim @ Enviro-Vac, we need an outfielder for next year if you know of anybody down this way looking for a team. I guess we lost half our starting club for the coming year. Send me an email if you still have my address.
Jan. 25, 2009
9 posts
there is one surefire way the hammer teams use when they used up their allotted homers and that has always been to hit ground balls through the about shooting yourself in the foot!!!i'll say it again---make the pitching rubber 18" wide&any ball that goes through there up to 6' high is an automatic out. hit the pitcher,even after a glove deflection---inning over!!!EVERY pitcher PUTS HIS LIFE IN SEVERE JEOPARDY every pitch they make.i fear for my life every time i pitch for my son's team.i'm scared shitless!!! actually,balls hit by 50&60 yr. olds come back through the middle as fast or faster than the young kids!!!i can pitch the youngsters inside,but you can't fool these 30&40 yr. veterans with ANY pitch!!! i'm gonna get hit,i'm gonna get hurt&i'm not gonna be happy about it!!!this new home run rule will definitely encourage players to go middle much more than usual.the rule was fine just like it was &they changed it for ALL the divisions just because the majors&major+ play homerun derby all the time.
Jan. 25, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
jano,if you hit more than 2 hrs a game you don't belong in AAA,thats what is wrong with the game.i see your from socal so i know there is M and M+ teams down there to play on.3 to maybe 5 max should be allowed at the AAA level,yes i can and do hit them out myself.i have no prol with the AAA level only allowing 3 hrs.the bangers need to be in the upper div' you guys in the lower levels that want to just hit hrs,need to move up if thats what you wanna do.jano,if i played you everytime you came up with no one on you would the biggest cookie that could be thrown to you and you could have all the solo's your ego could hold,and when you come up with men on,you would be walked.yep you would prolly go to first whing and b...thing,but hey your the one that wants to play AAA.
i do agree the upper the upper div need to be able to swing away but not the lower's.
Jan. 26, 2009
425 posts
Good morning, All. I have stayed away from this board, mainly for all the crying...however, this is a good thread. This is my first year playing 50 and over and still play with the youngens. I have played in two 50 AAA tourneys. Was a CO-MVP here at VA beach (ISSA), and we did very well at FT. Myers even though we lost three games by less than 5 runs. Our AAA team broke up after FT. Myers. This year I am going to play 50 major with Goodman Softball out of Richmond. I am taking softball a little more serious than I had in the past 5 years or so, and I am getting ready for the season (working out...) Why, because with the ASA bats I was an occasional HR hitter, now that I can hit with the senior bats I am looking forward to hit a HR a little more often. The problem with the rule change is that it takes the enjoyment of hitting a HR for little people like me. When, if I hit one out that is a HR, that takes one away from the big boys. Now they have to change their swing...I already bought me a senior bat, what a waste. I know I can still bullets through the infield, believe me it is a good feeling to be able to hit an occasional HR, but not for out. PLEASE CHANGE THE RULE BACK, FOR US LITTLE PEOPLE.
Jan. 26, 2009
Men's 55
580 posts
maddog, great response to Jano, if he hits like he says he says he does, he sould be playing major plus. end of story.
That's why we have different divisions.....
I played major plus for 2 years, let them hit all the hrs they want to. There was a thread explaining the two different types of teams in Major +, local league teams that move up after winning ONE tourny at major level. (should be at least 2 if not 3 before being bumped uped) And the all star team that have the great sponors that hit HR's up and down the line-up. We waste a lot of time on this HR thing.
Let's move on. Before we got to senior ball, there was always a HR limit. Everyone seems to forget this.
Jan. 26, 2009
Men's 60
171 posts
Jan. 26, 2009
Men's 60
1023 posts
Wagon487 and maddog, don't know Jano23 but if he is from the West Coast and still less than 55 he probably would have to start his own 50 Major plus team or ask his current team to move up. There are only currently two teams on the west coast he could play for not sure either is looking for players at the moment. That would be a dilemma more high quality players and no teams to play on. You will see more and more of this in the next 5 years if the associations don't address move ups. Then we won't have the major plus to complain about it will be the AAA and majors that everyone can point their comments to.
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