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Discussion: Demise of Senior Softball

Posted Discussion
May 3, 2009
Men's 65
326 posts
Demise of Senior Softball
Are we seeing the demise of senior softball? As a member of a tournament committee, as league chairperson for a few different leagues over the past few years I have seen fewer and fewer teams and players "getting into the game".

What are the causes? To many associations? To many modifications to the game. Tournament cost. Travel and lodging cost. Equipment cost. The senior rating system, (AA - Major plus). Should we go back and play age group vice rating? Is it just regional? I have my opinion, however, I want to read what the greatest minds in senior slowball have to say.
May 3, 2009
Men's 50
890 posts
Too many classifications to go along with too many associations. There are only about a dozen Major plus teams west of the Mississippi, that is not enough to hold a good tournament because not every team goes to every tournament. These 3-4 team tournaments are a joke. Major plus and Major should be combined. Cost is also a factor, obviously. I think the number one reason is the DBO. You starting seeing a decline in slowpitch participation at the kids level when the DBO rule was implimented in the late 80's and early 90's. Now it is starting with the seniors. Many new to the game will ask, "if I hit the ball out of the park, I'm out"? No thanks! That is one big reason that senior softball was so appealing,you could swing away for the first time in years. Now they have taken that away so we will see the numbers to continue to go down.
May 3, 2009
Men's 50
202 posts
SSUSA has to wake up. NSA have a lot of senior tournments. A lot less money. Extra HR's are a single, not a out. Well put Jawood.
May 3, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
You guys are right on.
You also need note that these guys like SSUSA and their "partners"
are looking past seniors to the 40 and over who've never played our game
with HR's as outs and a live and legal
bat/ball combo.
They're willing to put up with losing us
as they look to the "future" of senior ball.
These guys represent the worst of us
like Steinbrenner represents the worst of baseball.
Their ignorant self interest
is and will destroy our game
and emasculate us.
Hitting HR's, hitting crap out of the ball is great fun for us
and keeps us coming back.
But, they, to date, have shown
they don't really care.
May 3, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
To a point, it seems to me that they reward the younger guys by allowing more HR's, but as you age, you get less allowed. (Ass backwords) (Not taking any ratings into consideration.) Too many variations on how teams are rated w\o sharing that info with others along with rosters is another problem with consistency in application to all tournament factors.
It was once said on here by someone, if your good enough too hit them out you should be good enough to control them and keep the balls in. Well, if the M\M+ are that good, keep the balls in... but what fun is that, mot much.
We should all be able to hit what we can w\o any penalty, (worst, being an out).
As for Airbosn's ?, those mentioned and too many available to pick between. Teams go where it meets their needs, & overall value. Even if it means paying fees in advance and later finding out no one is coming to play, so they cancel out and save the other expense and go somewhere else. Sometimes it's actually cheaper and more rewarding I've heard.
Rule changes make a difference as well,
They say it doesn't get better until you hit bottom, lets hope we are at that point and it improves soon.
I doubt there is any one single answer to having the teams fill a bracket but one thing is for sure, if it's not worked out within current playing year ending mid Nov, it could only get worse yet. Like also posted less teams does equal more revenue higher fees, but how does that effect they cities stake, overall intake... one big difference.
02-05 sliding scale
May 3, 2009
Men's 50
890 posts
Stretch, I did not realize that extra HR's in NSA are singles, is this true?
May 3, 2009
353 posts

We play this game to compete and have a good time. Right now the game we play is being over managed. We also have too few teams to break tournaments up in all the divisions. How many tournaments do we really need a major + division?
How sad is it when we see some of the greatest power hitters to ever play the game be forced to change there swing to keep the ball in the park? It is also sad to see the guy who hits 3 balls over the fence a year hit a DBO.
Up until this year I would tell the guys who are approaching 50 that we could swing away and were never punished if we hit the ball over the fence and there eyes would light up. Now I tell guys we have DBO's and they don't show the same desire to even play our game.
Call it whatever you want but our game has been softened. Is it working to enhance the game we play? Absolutely NOT.

Thank You:

May 4, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
806 posts
NSA Senior Homeruns:
Major Plus - 6HR, then 1 up
Major - 4HR, then 1 up
AAA - 1HR, then 1 up
AA - 0HR

I believe that seniors should always get something if they hit the ball over the fence. Doubles or singles after the limit keep the ball out of the middle. Softball is a baby boomer sport; so it will probably die with us, but now is the strongest numbers. The only other softball that is on the increase is girl's slowpitch (the fastpitch market is fairly saturated already). A few of the parks near me have already had over 100 new 8 and under sign-ups this year.
May 4, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
806 posts
NSA update: they put it in an odd place (under AAA), but it looks like HRs hit over the limit are a single. I think from what I am looking at that they meant this for AAA and above, but I think that they should have listed it with each division instead.
May 4, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
NSA is also having some trouble with the number of teams within certain age\div brackets. SSUSA isn't alone with that problem. Not all, not every, & nor each tournament \age\div but far too many.
Too many tournaments going on at the same time and within the teams comfort travel zone or range to make it a viable for all associations.
You look at the 9 or so major tournament offerings for any specific weekend, then throw in the local ones you really have a real mess to pick from. The cheap mom & pops to watch out for the empty your pockets events.
May 4, 2009
Men's 55
88 posts
Airbosn - this should be the hottest topic on this message board in my opinion. Thanks for bringing it up. I think that the Greatest minds in Senior Softball prefer to stay quiet on this message board for a variety of reasons I can only guess about. As for the rest of the usual suspects, there are 2 main things that always come up that I will agree with and are what attracted me to Senior softball.
1 - HR's should never be a DBO. Make them walks or singles.
2 - Bats - Keeping the legal hot bats in Senior Softball will attract new members and eliminate dealing with the complicated issue of altered bats occuring every day in the younger divisions.
I played a father son event this past weekend and was able to hear some thoughts on the game from a few Major level players from the younger divisions. Bats are still a big issue. The Major Teams are allowed 16 HR's (USSSA? ) then, they are DBO's. These guys have learned to deal with that and I think they all looked forward to playing Senior Ball where over the limit HR's are singles, until this year. Illegal bats - they all know who is using them, but players who work hard and take a lot of BP, which naturally will break in a composite bat and make it hot, get accused of having altered bats also. The only answer is to keep the Senior Bats until there is a definitive testing method in the future.
Balls- my opinion is that the balls will provide the best solution going forward. We are going to play in a private practice event in a few weeks where we will test the 52/275 ball and I am looking forward to seeing how it feels. I agree with Joe that the ball needs to feel good when you hit it and I also want it to not break my bones when I wave my glove at it, before it hits my shin. Is that too much to expect?
As for the rest of the Einstein Conspiracy theories, I will wait for the movie to come out with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts starring before further comment. (Just messin' with ya Joe)
Another interesting thing I heard from young Major Player almost 40 was that there is now a whole generation of softball players who have never swung anything but composite bats. These guys have always had hot bats. I know everyone here over 50 can relate to the difference between an aluminum and comopsite bat. These kids don't really know what is was like to work hard at hitting and developing power with the old equipment. They all think that have more power than they really should. Interesting.
May 4, 2009
Men's 55
88 posts
Forgot the declining teams issue.
Make 3 divisions, Major, AAA and AA or even 2 from each 5 year age group - Competitive and recreational. Another option would be to make 10 year divisions - 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and Over 80.
I would love to play in a tourney that had 10 or more teams in the same division again.
May 4, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Both the young and "old" guys are using the "altered" bats. If you consider rolling in that category, it sure is the biggest. Just read the post on the boards web sites and CL. All types are available. I seriously doubt bats are checked with a keen eyes at tournaments as opposed to a glance over "yea we checked them" attitude.

I seriously doubt the powers (for any assn for that matter) to be can add their own personal comments to any post here on any subject.
May 4, 2009
Men's 55
88 posts
Taits, I agree, but I was just trying to convey that there really is no need to alter the Senior Bats unless you just want them break faster.: )
The powers that be do read this board as you can tell from the SSUSA prompt replies to issues that have a defined policy or rules answer. I agree that there will never be any debate from them on the board other than what we see every day. It's a no win situation for anyone really.
If our voices and opinions could make a difference, then I believe more people would post and reply. I think you have suggested a poll option in the past which is an excellent idea in my opinion for SSUSA to illicit feedback on these important issues.
May 4, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I have suggested that, but I also believe it was done by another as well. The PLAYERS DO HAVE the POWER, but that option would leave a bad taste in both sides mouth, without even saying what it is.
As it is now, it's really a loose, loose situation. Years ago, yes, YEARS AGO, it was where it should be; Win, Win.
I don't really know when the corner was turned for that U-turn, but this one-way trip needs some additional navigation.
What I think would be helpful is a national SENIOR SOFTBALL CONVENTION. Card carriers only. Perhaps a questionnaire like SPA sent out, only more so, submitted in advance and gone over there with reasons explained for decisions made for each.
Food for thought.
May 4, 2009
Men's 65
181 posts
I believe this thread could be changed to "The demise of softball" because the young guys game has been hurt by the same rules that are now hurting senior softball. Slowpitch softball grew to its highest numbers because we could dig in and hit the ball as hard as we cold swing. The game grew mainly because of the influence of the USSSA wanting a livelier game than what ASA wanted. If it had been up the ASA our game would never have taken off like it did. The numbers grew to staggering levels and then came the decline. It grew when we had one classification and continued to grow when the second classification was created. Then came "C" and the numbers declined. Then came "D" and "E" and the game declined even more when "over the fence" became an out and an ejection. The best players continued to play but refused to play anywhere but the in lowest classes. Today there are many states that dont even have one "C" team in the state and most states with no "B" and who plays "A" anywhere. Now senior ball has fallen into the same trap. Too many classifications and a penalty if you hit the ball too hard. We ALL know this is true but once instituted its almost impossible to change it back to the way it should be. Teams will boycott any association that tries to make the game the way its supposed to be played. Its killing our great game and there is NO answer to make it right. If SS-USA went to the way it should be played, no one would show up. Its already been destroyed and I believe there is no way to go back and correct it. We just have to get used to it. ASA has a huge illegal equipment problem and all associations have declining numbers. The associations created it and it isnt going to get better soon. Make over the fence a home run and just watch how many teams will refuse to play. Make AA teams play major teams and just watch how many teams will refuse to play. Making a AA team a national champion is a joke and we all know it, but what can we do.
May 4, 2009
353 posts


Great post and my qustion to everybody including SSUSA staff is,

Is it too late to right the ship?


May 4, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I agree with some of what you say, but not all.
As for A>E divisions, I see the young teams rated B\C playing down D\E just to get them into the T. Same here. The changing names to try to avoid a move also happens in ASA. Most likely it's all over.
A>E basically is AA>M+.
I do believe it could turn around (become more like years past) but who like to admit a wrong. No one, but it has been done here, however. I don't think teams would boycott a positive change backwards as I see it, only to get there. (The way it used to be played.) NO DBO, PPR, & outs for Hr's. Run rules I think they can live with, just not the outs. Unlimited would be sweet, but that is asking for the pot of gold.
If there is a AA team that wins a division (same age & classification)
They deserve it for that, nothing more less. But only with a full bracket, not one of a few in it. That is the joke. Also would be very tough given the way it's going and has been the last 2-3 years.
The trap was set by themselves, and they went into it.
May 4, 2009
Men's 60
279 posts
Many great points on a great topic,too many to comment on. I agree totally with GeHall44 about too many divisions. My specific beef is with the Meaningless Plus (M+) classification that SSUSA seems obsessed with. Collapse M+ and Major in the 50's and 55's and you will have more participation. It worked recently in LVSSA in the 55's with no distinction between M and M+ teams. Guess what, a 55 M team won the event. And that 55 M team only finished 3rd in Mesquite 55 M. SSUSA has no problem jamming teams in different ages together,why not combine levels and play as equals. Enough equalizers already exist with run-per-inning and homer caps. Without this common sense approach my 55 M+ team has played 20 of 43 games against 50 M+/M teams, but have yet to play another 55 M+ team in an SSUSA event. Effective organization???

SSUSA, you may be in Sacramento, but you don't have to imitate the California Legislature!!

Don Newhard
OLR NIghthawks
May 4, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Something is really wrong with not playing any in your own age\div.
If more are like you they might as well put them all together. Rework them all as was suggested. IE: better teams in each div move up, some lessor teams in each, move down.
I feel a migraine coming on.
May 4, 2009
Men's 50
890 posts
Nancy, Please direct me to where I would find the NSA HR rule. We are playing NSA in a couple of weeks and would like to show them in case they want to try to make them outs. Thanks.
May 4, 2009
Men's 50
202 posts
Jawood. Why do you gotta be like that? Shane from Secon Wind told me about the rules about the HR thing. Can't wait to play in the new complex in Lacey. Nice talking to ya.
May 4, 2009
Men's 50
202 posts
I meant Second Wind. Spelling error. First one all year.
May 4, 2009
Men's 55
25 posts
Many good points have been brought up. I personally have always felt we have too many special rules ...(ie home run rules)
We all have been playing this "kids" game for more years than we may want to admit to, yet the power to be think they know what is BEST for us. We are the ones who hands out the dollars and suffer the pains of playing. For the life of me how can you honestly believe allowing such an idiotic rule as one home run and the rest are outs as ANYTHING to do the true game of softball/baseball. Please keep the rules that make this game what it truly is ....a game which we (senior players) has cherished for so many years. Don't force rules which takes away from the enjoyment of the game and maybe you will see why we still love this game.

May 4, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Nancy, great comments.
Georgee, too.
Hey G,
just because I'm paranoid
doesn't mean they're not trying to get me.

Both Dave Dowell of SSUSA and
Kevin Schulstrum of Anaconda
said to me repeatedly that the ball,
the 275 x 52 ball wasn't made or being considered for senior ball this year.
They said so repeatedly on this website
and chided me repeatedly for starting stuff.
I've been saying for over a year now
that there's been a movement to downgrade our sport and our equipment
and its being driven by a powerful few.
The new ball would be the answer
eliminating the market for the hot bats
and new leaders in the bat and ball business could emerge.
I said the HR's as outs would be the first step of a 2 step approach
to down grade the balls we use
once big guys started driving the middle.
I said dimes have been dropped
to TD's, Insurance companies,
bat manufacturers to scare and herd
everyone away from cheaters
and lethal equipment yet
no one can come up with
as we know in NorCal
any meaningful evidence that today's game is any more dangerous than 10 years ago.

Now, there's going to be a tournament in a couple of weeks in Elk Grove
where SSUSA and the new ball manufacturer will be supplying a version of the new 275x52 ball
just to see if it's good enough for senior ball.
The tournament is being partially sponsored
by Terry Hennesey of SSUSA who said
over and over again that the new ball was not for seniors.
If I was sending my balls to that tournament I'd make sure they were the best hitting balls possible
to make the guys want to use 'em.
It's done with with first round bats
all the time.
The first batch are often hotter
to get the good reputation circulating.

I've been saying all along
that we're being had by a powerful few who think they know what we want and need and what's best for us
those who play, suffer, invest in
and enjoy senior softball to date.

That new ball was not meant for seniors
and SSUSA said they would not employ it
over and over again.
And look what's happening in Elk Grove
in 2 weeks.
A tournament of 50, 55, and 60 year old players from California who will be hitting a "version" of the new 52x275
to see how they like it.
Terry Henessey will be there
listening to all the feedback
to make a judgment about what/whom/
which year?

May 5, 2009
Men's 65
326 posts
Informal brainstorming comments on why this season is broken.

1. Limited number of major / major plus teams to play at tournaments.

2. Within age group / division to many sub groups, i.e., platium, gold and silver.

3. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to play

4. DBO and HR's that are outs.

May 5, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
You forgot the PPR...
Good point about the Plat, Gold, Silver brackets or and color used for that matter.
Use what the system uses AA,AAA ,M,M+, nothing else. The facade used doesn't hide a thing.
For myself, not knowing how many teams ( my own age\rating) will actually be there to play against is the worst. I don't need to know which teams, just the numbers.
NCSSA does not use the same rating system SSUSA has but instead uses a numbers game. 1 to however many teams are signed up for the year, this one 106. So they use the Plat Gold Silver and color scheme to bracket them. However the number game is not consistent. Most brackets are within a close number range say 15-20 or so, but there are many brackets with a spread of 40 plus occasionally, that makes one wonder what's going on. Wasn't there any team at all that was entered & in between the numbers that would a\could a should have been a better suited match? Yes, there has been and no it was still not a good match to that and the wonder what's going on continues. No consistency seems to be the forte now.
May 5, 2009
731 posts
It looks as though your cry wolf tatics didn't work. I can say that all of your hard work and dedication to this project has brought so much attention to the ball that they are beyond curious.

There is no .52/275 senior softball made or being made to date, but who knows with all of your help they may ask. I still don't think this is the right ball for many of the senior groups, but hell they never listened to me before, why would they ask now.

It does seem that they are listening to you but maybe they aren't hearing what you mean.

Good luck
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
So what's up, Terry.
I found about the tournament from a couple of my guys and told
not to mention it to anyone.
Were you trying to get this tournament in on the sneak?
Just a thought.
Were entrants supposed to say anything about which balls were to be used?
If so, why a secret?

It's good to know you're thinking about what's working and what's not but let me give you a hand.
26 teams in Phoenix with good balls
and HR's as singles and a meaningless
You guys made a mistake changing
away from what wasn't broken, yet
you now look to the "new ball to save
the bacon.
The evidence on that new ball is already in.
Talk to those who have hit it.
They'll tell you.
It's a dog and not meant for senior ball
Dave Dowell's been telling us,
not for seniors.
Kevin the "developer" of the ball
has said many times
the ball wasn't designed
for the senior game.
Why, Terry?
You should ask that question because
the answer will lead you in the right direction.
It's not, as it was made,
hot enough for seniors to play/enjoy.
Seniors need/want/deserve a good to very good bat/ball combo
we've been been saying all along.
Now, in two weeks
you're going to hit a version of that ball.
A hotter, dialed up version?
That would be a smart thing to do
to get the players saying good things about it, wouldn't it but
what will happen down the road.
I'll tell you.
The demise of senior softball because
you wouldn't/couldn't admit
you made a critical mistake and return our game to us which you had no right or need to change in the first place
and if you were in touch with us
instead of yourself and a few powerful friends you'd have known.
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Do you think it's an accident
that we're all looking at "the new ball"
to save us.
It's been developing for a couple of years now.
Kevin told me about it in Reno
a couple of years ago.
It has cost a lot in time
and energy and money to develop.
That's no crime and it's what good business men do and Kevin
is a brilliant business man
I've always said.

I've been saying the bat/ball combo
has been deteriorating for years now
all seemingly going toward some vague spot on the horizon and now we can finally begin to see
what that spot looks like.
275 x 52 ball that wasn't designed
for senior use will allow unlimited HR's because only those who are legendary hitters and who learn to spin the ball will be able to hit them.
Singles hitters who count on putting
pace on the ball to get it by or through
a gap will be thrown out and doubled up.
Will it be safer, perhaps
but the evidence beyond being fear driven and manipulated by a powerful few
about the increased danger in our game
is nonexistent.
TD's will can slot more games
in a tournament because they tend to run on time because hitting and scoring will be down.
They'll be able to invest less
in the softballs.

We've been herded like a bunch of cattle
to think our game has become more dangerous, unreasonably so
than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
That's patently false.

And now because of ignorance and greed
we've been driven into a corner
and the only thing seemingly that can return any "sanity"
to our game is a ball
that was never developed or supposed to be used by seniors
one that SSUSA said over and over again by it wouldn't be used.

We're being had.
Robbed in broad daylight
and if we don't get hip and put our foot down we'll have ourselves to blame
along with those whose ignorance
and self interest are setting the course.

Good bat/ball combo.
HR's as singles.
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
How many guys have had a first round
bat, ball or glove be better, cheaper,
hotter in the first round of production
than later on?
Remember the first Easton Synergy?
Mike Kelly had a blue version of the first Combat for Seniors that was the hottest bat I've ever swung.
Gary Tryhorn warned me about it saying that probably won't be the caliber
of the bats to come after
and he was right.
Do bat companies make developer/demo bats that are hot to get interest and buzz going about their new products and then back off immediately in the subsequent round of production.
Of course, they do.
That's smart business.
And what's to prevent the first batch or 2 of 275 x 52 balls from being
hotter, cherry picked so to speak,
than ones coming down the pike
immediately after?
That would be the "smart" thing to do
wouldn't it, if you were the manufacturer, wouldn't it?
I'd do it.

How can we know that the version of ball, bat, glove will be the one that gets mass produced down the road.
Any way to check?
Most of us veterans are just wary
of any "new" products and the marketing
techniques that are normal to employ
and wait till later to make judgments
and buy in.
What should be different now?

If you care and
have been paying attention
ample evidence is available to make important judgments about what's been going on in and around
senior softball, a la SSUSA.

Real mistakes have been made within the senior softball community
and nothing short of admitting them
and returning our game to us
before it's too late
is gonna fly.

May 5, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Still have an orig NIW Synergy SCX2 (has NO RETURN where the yellow graphics would be)... I got from Jim16. Pre market bat but legal.
An orig U2, I use once in awhile, Orig Freak 100. An org Combat Virus (green), Anderson, RocketTech, and a collectors item one :), Decker Jump niw .
Traded my orig Jeff Hall to Softballer about a year ago and sold quite a few orig Combats that were out.
By orig, I mean first issue or run that made it to market or before. Probably some others I forgot about as well.
But I find the price they start with is usually where it stays.
As for balls even within a run there can be some bad ones just like bats. I don't know about gloves but i have had one that was a 1st run and it couldn't be repaired, the maker sent me another i wanted to try...I sold it later. Still use the bad one.
so any product can have it's lemons.
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
GeHall, who is to say the special bats cannot or will not be altered? There will always be guys looking for an edge.
May 5, 2009
37 posts
I don't post very often but this is a very importent subject. There is a very simple solution to the problem. I feel that my team could compete with any senior team in the USA if we would just go striat 1up no DBO. We better combine major and major+ soon or there won't be any upper div. to talk about at all. We are over thinking everything, lets just get back to playing SOFTBALL. Paul Smit Manager Doubleplay
May 5, 2009
731 posts
Joe on the back of the ball there is a code, the good ones read XXX
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
The teams asked to participate in the event that Terry is using to check out the new ball which Dave Dowell said
wasn't being considered for this year
and Kevin said wasn't made for senior ball
Old A's 60 major plus,
MTC 50, 55, 60 major plus and
Wilson Trophy 50 which are a major team
regardless of their classification.
We played them in Concord last weekend
and they're pretty good.
The point being those who will be most disadvantaged by the new ball
will be AA and AAA guys who don't have a lot of pop/bat speed.
This will slow their batted balls
down to a crawl and I for one
can't see them thinking that's a good idea.
I think the Ultra 2 and the good ball
we use in NorCal help stimulate the older, slower guys which won't be represented in Elk Grove
when Terry has his discussions
when the tournament is over.

It could well be
Terry is trying to act like
he's involving us in the decision
to use new balls or not
but it's my take
he's not really interested
in what we really want and need.
These errant decisions SSUSA's been making are symptoms of the problem,
of a distance
a non involvement
a lack of caring about true, real senior softball and he's leaning toward
his small circle of influential partners and associates for remedies
and support.
Nothing plays, Terry, like real caring.
It's obvious when someone does,
Terry and most folks get it
and it's obvious to most folks Terry
when someone doesn't care enough
to ask us, to support us, to use us,
to admit when important mistakes are made and take the initiative
to make them right.

May 5, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Too much ad space or word of mouth "advertising" (loosely meant) for any product only gives way to more interest. Ad space in this case the balls, has only fueled "I the got to try it for myself." Even in my case. Really applies to the hype with bats as an example. Good sources are from those who have use something in real situations, quite a bit.
It's never been touted as a "senior ball", always as developed for ASA. But I really think because of the posts, it may well become a reality next year for some.
Perhaps this session for consideration, was really only for that bracket, Major and Major+ teams, Those teams mentioned were really a pretty good field of representation for those divisions, et al that were close by maybe even on short notice. By all means not of the country but players, none the less, on m\M+ teams I believe overall. Many teams were not present, but the travel was close for those mentioned.
I'd bet that 70-80% of those players attending would be honest about how they feel with regards to all aspects of the ball. That feedback could include and maybe even more:
color & markings if any
Throw ability before it was hit and after it was well used,
The same goes for hitting new balls as well as those hit hopefully a game of two. Well used.
does it get mushy or soft after use.
Distance it travels,
Do you need to hit differently (as was mentioned a few times in posts) instead of as one normally hit.
Is it faster slower or about the same speed through the infield.
and last I can think of is what about when it gets wet. Does it absorb water or shed it?
If ii hit anyone was their a difference. I hope this didn't happen, but isn't that why it was developed in part?
As for the other 20%, 10 you usually can disregard for a multitude of reasons anyway, the last 10, you decide.
It could well be a future thing, one more amongst the many changes we've seen the last 6-7 months or so.
I hope that was worth amy inflated .02 = a nickel.
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
To quote from Blazing Saddles,
"Now, who can argue
with that."
May 5, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I can think of one person...
May 5, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Dave Dowell said both privately
and on the website numerous times
that the ball would not go below
the 44 x 375 ball used in Reno last year.
Kevin Schulstrum of Anaconda,
maker and developer of the new
275 x 52 has said repeatedly
in private and on the website
that it was not meant for senior softball.
Why was it then trotted out in an SSUSA all-star game earlier this year.
Why is it being used again by Terry in Elk Grove in two weeks with important discussions to follow regarding it's use
in Senior Ball.
Isn't it obvious that this ball
is actually being considered for senior use in the face of repeated denials from both SSUSA and Kevin?
Doesn't anyone find this both interesting and challenging regarding
the authenticity of their positions?
Were they lying and why?
Did they change their minds and why?
Do they share the same interests and strategy and what would they look like?
Why does it seem that SSUSA doesn't really care about senior softball
as it is today?
Where's senior softball going to be
5 years from now?
10 years from now and who's making
the most investments in the way
the future of softball will look?

Did you know that Terry, Dave
and Kevin are business associates
with shared financial concerns and interests regarding the future
of senior softball.
Who's been saying, telling, calling
TD's, ball manufacturers, bat companies, insurance companies over the last couple of years whipping up fear and concern
over danger, injuries and law suits
and that changes should/need to be made
when no evidence shows senior softball
is more dangerous now than at any time
in it's recent history?

Why would SSUSA risk the loss of all credibility, going back on their well-defined stance about ball usage
to try out the new ball
Why might Kevin, a brilliant marketeer,
risk being called a flopper and inauthentic regarding his prior position?
What's his upside in all this?

I know what's going on..
I have for some time, now
and you can too if you ask the questions, connect the dots
and follow the money and if you don't
you will have earned your rightful place
in the demise of senior softball.

May 6, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
806 posts
Jawood, go to You will see Rulebook on the left hand side. Go into the 2009 Rulebook. The senior HR limits are on page 73. I still think that it is worded poorly because I think the intent is singles after the limit, but they only listed it under AAA. When you look at it though, I think that it is trying to refer to AAA and above only because the opposite language is under AA. Since the senior rules are only a couple of pages, I would print them out because you may find a few other surprises from what you are used to.

Joe, thank you for your kind words. You missed a really good tournament this weekend. Since there were snowbirds from Arizona and Maryland, I think you would have been in good company. Maybe I could adopt a California team for Midwest tournaments?
May 6, 2009
353 posts


I think what bothers me most about this post is nobody in the SSUSA staff has responded. I have no beef with them and know they sometimes have difficult decisions to make that some of us will not like but just the wording in this post is worth some kind of response. It is too strong just too let go by.
May 6, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
I do not believe they are "allowed" to reply, if that be the corect wording. But no can do. Especially on these types of thread & subjects. I'm sure they would like to however.
May 6, 2009
Men's 60
1024 posts
The Internet
May 6, 2009
353 posts

I guess I should have known there must have been a good reason. I did not mean to offend anybody with my question.


May 7, 2009
425 posts
Good comments. However as long as the directors are making money and we the players keep paying $500.00 to play a tourney, Senior softball will be around for ever. Personally I can not see why Senior tourneys are so expensive...same prices a cheap t-shirt or cheap medallion that I imagine nobody cares for it. At the end of the day we play for the love of the game, the prices I believe are almost indignificant as most of us had thrown away many old trophies collected through out the years...Again why so expensive? Please educate me. As always " IF NOBODY ELSE LOVES YOU...JESUS DOES".
May 7, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
I intend no disrespect to any one or any comments on this subject but here is my 2 cents. The demise of senior softball has nothing to do with bats or balls but more with economy, cost of hotels and entry fees, sponsorship are few and far between. The rating system has had an effect, the limited release is also a factor, you used to be able to pick up players and play in a tourney when your team wasn't playing and that added more teams to the tourney's. I believe as a business man I have to make certain choices and if my employees or customers do not like my choices they have alternatives Don't use my service go some place else or spend their OWN money and start a company where they can make the rules but they are not going to tell me how to run my business. I think this also applies to ssusa its their show and we have 2 choices. This is not to say I would not listen to my employees or customers but in the end it's MY money on the line not theirs.
May 7, 2009
Men's 60
91 posts
butch 17
I respect your comments on this subject
but when teams are rerated for not winning and spend $ for the heads and beds and our told go to 3 more tournaments and get the crap beat out of you then we will talk This attitude I have a problem with.The new rules do not help Senior Ball period.They will see when the tournaments have fewer and fewer teams coming.Next we will have to do our own umpiring along with scoring which we do know.Chasing ball is another subject.My take !!
May 7, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Butch,
Their tournaments...
Our game.
They need to get this or take the consequences.
May 7, 2009
Men's 65
326 posts
As the money man for tournament that are scheduled for this fine area of the country I can tell you that the local tournament organization and officials DO NOT make any money. Most of the time we go into the hole for a few hundred or a thousand. For a 32 team tournament we will spent 3,000 for umps, 2,000 for scorekeepers, 1,500 for grounds crew and staff. Then there are cost for balls, score books, renting fields, awards, etc. Paying the local sports authority for their assistance and then paying the association (SPA, SSUSA, etc.) fee for teams that enter, Umpire certification fees and the list goes on...The parent association makes the $$$$...Very rarely do we see a profit...This is done for the love of the game...
May 7, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
I agree with you. We went through that process a few years ago when we were a 50's team to the tune of around $6,000. Being from the midwest with no qualifiers had to go to Vegas, Georgia and can't remember the third tourney. Ratings has had a big effect thats why for 2 years I have suggested a combination of Major and Major + with a voluntary upper division. Everybody can bitch and complain on the board but until teams react such as NOT attending the world tourneys nothing will be done, why should they. You take let's say a 120 team world and only have 10 teams show up the next year that would give them something to think about. As always Actions are louder than Words. Will the above happen I doubt it. Will the bitching stop I doubt it.
Just my thoughts.
Airbosn as someone who has been involved in helping with tourneys there is a lot of cost involved that the players don't see. The local tourney's with a decent showing will make money but not a lot. The parent org now that's a different subject they get a lot of outside help.
May 8, 2009
Men's 65
3146 posts
Len, you could cut $2000 by not having scorekeepers, like SSUSA and other associations.
In my opinion that tournament wouldn't be nearly as nice as one with scorekeepers and scoreboards.
See you in Pensacola.
May 8, 2009
Men's 65
326 posts
Bruce, We want our tourney to be about the players. Having scorekeepers and lighted boards is a nice touch that the players deserve.

Paco 13 Below is actual breakdown for a tourney in my area this year. BTW, we get no kickback from "Heads and Beds.

Income from 34 teams, 10,840.00

Expenses paid to the parent association
Team regisrtation, 34 teams at 25.00 = 850.00
Umpire registration, 350.00

Local organization expenses
Awards 2,000
Balls 700.00
Umpires 3,000
Scorekeepers 1,500
Grounds Crew 1,500
City Staff 1,500
Administration Fee 500.00
Misc 300
For a total of 11,900
May 8, 2009
425 posts
Airbosn, Which carrier were u the bosn? Changing the subject...I find hard to believe that you will put a tourney together to loose $1,000.00...not very smart. Come on City staff, Grounds crew and Scorekeepers $1,500.00/each group. What are they doing? My suggestion get out of the business before U need to ask for a bailout...not very smart.
May 8, 2009
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
This thread has been titled as the 'Demise of Senior Softball'. To me, this is akin to the demise of the stock market or the demise of the US Govt. I should note that I view 'senior softball' as a generic term, not one pointed at any one specific assn.
There have been many points made about this subject and a lot of them make sense to me.
Historically speaking, there have been several positive developments since the inception of the Summit Advisory Board and its root organization, the Summit itself. This began about 9 years ago and lots of progress toward unification could be measured. We had gotten away from the 3 team M+ fiascos with a lot of parity. However, ever since we went back to allowing 'out of area; players (i.e. not from bordering states)the ranks have been decreasing. Whether those two points are connected or not (reduced number of teams & out of area players) is a subject in of itself. Coincidentally, the upward trend of teams (raw numbers) reversed itself shortly after the out of area players was implemented. I am sensitive to the guys that are land locked but perhaps there is a better way to address their dilemma.
Aside from this, I now am convinced that we really do have too many divisions and too many assns. The latter will ultimately solve itself as the concept of economics will discourage some from competition.
The primary thing that needs to be addressed is the M/M+ issue. I have been a fairly strong opponent of totally combining the two because of concerns for the lower M teams. I have also stated that the new SSUSA rules would create 'hybrid' teams... ones that could compete in SSUSA's M+ division but not in M+ in SPA, LVSSA, SSWS, etc. I have to modify that as well because the 60 M teams (my frame of reference) have closed the gap all across the board. There will be some that feel that I'm going out on a limb here but I can live with that. I just call them as I see them.
What is the single, most obvious solution? Combine M & M+ into one division, dump the 5 run differential and, if needed, rachet down the HR rules somewhat. Disallow the out of area players but do allow specific exemptions to the land locked players along the lines of the 2004 rules.
When we played 40 & 45+ there were two divisions. This is still true today. Why do we really need 4 levels?
The game isn't dead but it does have an elevated temperature and is beginning to look like the senior game of the late 90s in the upper levels.
May 8, 2009
Men's 65
326 posts
Paco13, Ike, Vinson, Coral Sea, Lexington, as the Bosn.

Carries served aboard. Sara, Forrestal, JFK, America, Kitty Hawk, Intrepid, Nimitz.
May 8, 2009
425 posts
WOW, Very impressive. When did you have time to play ball or see the wife? I served on the mighty IKE (I love Ike) in 1988. I was part of the crew that hit the moored tanker just before coming into Norfolk. We were already manning the rail when the collision alarm went off. I was an HM1 later on in 1992 got comissioned as an Medical Service Corps. Small world.
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