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Discussion: Playing down in age bracket

Posted Discussion
Feb. 8, 2009
Jose #12
Men's 60
89 posts
Playing down in age bracket
Maybe someone on here with more knowledge on this subject could help. For example, if you play for a 65 Major team, could you also play tournaments with a 60 AAA team?

How does this work and how do you find out?
Feb. 9, 2009
Men's 60
3039 posts
I had always heard that your example is how playing down works. Should we assume that you could play for a 55 AAA team also?
Last year I checked into this, calling both of the major associations. They wouldn't/couldn't give me a straight answer.
In my opinion you should call the offices of the associations that you wish to play and identify youself and the teams that you wish to play for. Then, most importantly, get it in writing. You wouldn't want the same thing to happen to you that happened to Sidelines Grill at the SPA Nationals about 5 years ago. SPA had approved John H. (a 50+ major plus player that had played with Faith Electric the previous year) to play with the 50+ AAA team, Sidelines. Long story short, they were protested and were disqualified.
When you get an answer please post it here.
Good luck!
Feb. 9, 2009
Jose #12
Men's 60
89 posts
I did send an e-mail to Senior Softball. I'll post when I get a response.
Feb. 9, 2009
10 posts
Last year I played down in both the SPA & SSUSA. I can play major 60 and play the same or 55 AAA. As long as you play one level down. Major cannot go to a 55 AA.
I actually played 60 & 55 on the same weekend two times last year, and was able to go to SPA nationals with each one. Hope this helps.
Feb. 9, 2009
Jose #12
Men's 60
89 posts
Thanks jc, that's exactly what I needed to know.
Feb. 9, 2009
51 posts
Gentlemen, it took us two years to understand how this rule governed our Championship play. Recommend you check the SSUSA Official Guide (2008 Rule Book) Section 16 Disqualification, Section 16.1(5) Double Team Registration, it reads: A player may be registered to play on two teams in DIFFERENT age brackets, as long as he is old enough for both brackets and they are within ONE SKILL LEVEL OF EACH OTHER. (For example, a 62-year old player may play on a 60+ Major team and a 55+ AAA team during the same season. A 60+ Major player MAY NOT play on a 55+ AA team. When a team QUALIFIES for the World Championships its players are frozen and may not participate on another team IN THE SAME AGE DIVISION intending to qualify in subsequent tournaments.

Now all that said, we were also advised and therefore subsequently governed up here in the N/W that if you play in two different age divisions, that the first Qualifier or Championship tournament you participate in clearly establishes your individual rating for that season, (Major Plus, Major, AAA, or AA) for you that year and limits your "ONE UP, ONE DOWN" ability. it is further stated: it is the dual responsibility of the qualified player and his team manager to ensure that a player's name does NOT appear on more than one quaifying tournament team roster in the same age division. The penalty is the player will be disqualified for the balance of the season, plus the following year, and the team will forfeit all games in the event in which the player participated.

Finally: 2008 Rule Book: Secton 4.2(6)PLAYING IN TWO AGE DIVISIONS: further qualifies the 1-up, 1-down, or same skill level limitation. Subsection "C" mandates that a player electing to play in two different age divisions must: "C". Player indicates on the back of both Official Rosters, next to his name, that he is playing in two age divisions.

Like you, we struggled with this rule for quite awhile and thought we could play with a different team in the same age division in the different tournaments. Didn't realize they were all connected and players were being tracked via a computerized player identification program. So careful. Some governing Organizations, such as The Huntsman, will deviate so check first.
Feb. 9, 2009
111 posts
remember to clear this through the proper channels because some assns reserve the right to change the rules as they see fit.this is not a put down but a fact,it depends on the player and team and also the number of players that are being used to drop down.they may not let a whole team drop down even though i have seen it in the past doesnt mean the rule is the same for all situations.if you read the ususa &spa rules you will see the quote that it is at their discretion to change the rules for this situation and others
Feb. 9, 2009
Men's 65
325 posts
jc you were real lucky--I play 60 & 65
my 65 won a tournament and ssuas made it
very clear that I could only play in one tournament--if I did I would be out
and the team would be out--Downs has it right
Feb. 10, 2009
51 posts
JC: in my personal opinion, you are addressing a different issue than Jose #12. His concern was in regards to an individual senior player being able to play on two different teams in the same season. This is legal as I indicated, providing they are in two different age divisions and they are in the same or within one skill level. (Thus, 1-up & 1-down rule.) Unless I am mistaken, you are referring to Team Classification. That is different as any of the 10 governing organizations have the authority to rate or rerate a team at virtually any time they feel the team is too weak or too strong for that level of competition, thus an emergency reclassification for their own tournament. Also, there is a 3-person Summit rating Committee that establishes the Team Ratings for all teams at the start of a season. Now, as for individual players, there is also a 1-up 1-down rule that SSUSA uses from one season to the next. To get around that rule, an appeal must be submitted prior to playing at lower than 1-level and receive a prior approval to be legal. HOWEVER, For a new Team, we have been advised that all new teams will be started at AAA, and will be assessed to move up or down after three approved tournaments. HOWEVER, there is an added addendum: in 2008 we started a new 75 team, Joeseppi's, Tacoma, WA. Only a few of the Joeseppi's 70's were eligible to move up and they were not IMPACT PLAYERS. When I registered the new 75's, I recommended they be rated as AA. The request was DENIED. The SSUSA Staff informed me that there were MORE than 2 players that played 70 Major Plus the year prior and when any NEW TEAM is created with 3 or more higher level players from the year prior, Staff is required to elevate that team to an equal level PRIOR to the team's competitive play. THUS, shocking to us, Joeseppi's 75's started the 2008 season as a 75 Major Plus team. They were not that competitive and "intend" to appeal for reclassification for 2009.

JC, hope this helps to clarify the issue. Jim
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