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Discussion: spa draw

Posted Discussion
July 13, 2009
90 posts
spa draw
My team is not going to the SPA nationals this year, but based on word of mouth on how this was "the event of the year", we were going to possibly add it to our schedule next year. Imagine my surprise when I saw the draw a few minutes ago - small and smaller. Any ideas on why - economy? location? losing ground to other organizations?

We are a west coast based club, so other than SSUSA World events, what are other top caliber tournaments could consider as options to replace SPA next year?
July 13, 2009
Men's 65
885 posts
udaplaya, Just for grins, I counted the number of teams in the 50, 55 and 60 Major and Major Plus divisions that played in the SPA in Tulsa last year. There were a total of 37 teams. I counted 41 in those same classifications in this years' tournament. Looks to me like a 10% increase in the number of teams in Dalton versus Tulsa. The only age group with a decrease in the total number of teams was the 55's - down from 12 to 9. However, the 50's increased from 13 to 16 and the 60's increased from 12 to 16 teams.
July 14, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
I think this goes back to previous discussion were the topic was the decreased number of 55 teams do to the fact that a lot of the high level 55's are still playing 50's checking rosters for example:Gekle 50 M+ (5) 55+ players,Mavericks 50 M+ (5) 55+ players,Hendricks 50 M+ (5) 55+ players and on and on.Still wondering why the decrease in 55 M/M+ teams?
July 14, 2009
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
806 posts
Except for maybe when Herb Oliver owned SPA, I believe that the SPA nationals have never had half as many teams as SSWC's. If you are from a "younger" team you play Thursday, and the diamonds are almost empty on Saturday afternoon. Your best money spent is probably on Phoenix and the Huntsman Games to see a lot of competition.
July 14, 2009
90 posts
Thanks to the above respondents for the good feedback. Knowing what the draws have been at the SSUSA Worlds the past few years, I was expecting something along those lines for SPA. If it makes it west of the Mississippi next year, then it is a maybe.

For the 50's, is the Huntsman played on weekend?

For the record, I agree that M+ and M should be combined.

Thanks again.
July 14, 2009
Men's 60
1023 posts
udaplaya, I attended Huntsman last year and I enjoyed the experience, the fields are world class and the atmosphere is outstanding, the only drawback is the length of time it takes to complete the tournament. Last year the RR started on Monday Tuesday. Three games as I recall over the two days. The Double elim portion was Wed and Thursday and this was also I think two on Wednesday and the championship on Thursday. I played in the 50's and there was spotty competition at the upper end. I think it had to do with all the time off needed. I'm glad I did it once. I would do it again but not on a yearly basis.
July 14, 2009
90 posts
Whoa, playing the whole tournament during the week would be a no-go for our guys. Thanks for the information and i am glad i asked.

July 14, 2009
the wood
Men's 65
1123 posts
SPA used to be played over 4 days, as was SSUSA and SSWS. They reduced it to 3 days 2-3 years ago. The last time that we played in a 4 day event was in 2006 (SSWS). But as Lecak stated, the Huntsman Games are still Mon-Thur.
Depending upon your needs, SPA has been known as the best M+ event for several years. The ultimate measure of this, in my view, is the number of teams that continue to attend. We know that we'll see the best teams there (with very few exceptions)every year, which is pretty important to M+ guys.
The down side for us (M/M+ teams) is that it's held in mid July.
But like any association, it's judged on 'what have you done lately'... this attitude is somewhat fueled by the economy.
GSF has played in SPA every year since 2003. We began with 4 teams (55 M+) and it's had 5-6 teams ever since. We like the rules and all but it's the comfort in knowing that there will be a represntative group of teams that keeps us coming.
July 14, 2009
90 posts
Thanks for the perspective. I play on a Major team, so we are fortunate to have bigger draws and thus don't have the problem facing the M+ teams - i.e., having to widen their scope to find competitive tournaments. At the end of the day, no one enjoys playing the same few teams over and over, so i can see how you would make the extra effort to play in a tournament where a larger draw is afforded.

Good luck.
July 14, 2009
Men's 55
285 posts
Only 6 teams in the 50 major plus, but wow, what a group...should be an outstanding tournament..maybe not from having a 8 or 16 team bracket, but the quality of the teams is top notch. Some games in the 50s and 55s, I sure would have enjoyed watching!
July 14, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Bogie, you monster.
Can't wait to see you in Georgia.
I'll be looking for you.
You been warned.
I'll be hangin at the park
when we're not playing catching
some of the best softball played
this year I'm sure.
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