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Discussion: Bat and Ball

Posted Discussion
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
Bat and Ball
After reading the message board and listening to players at various tourneys I am interested in seeing exactly what the players fel about the balls and bats.
1. Should we be using a 52 core/ 275 comp with a rating of approx 466 SI or something like the ball Vegas used with a SI of over 2700'

2. Should we use Senior bats with the ball used in Vegas.

3. What do we want as there are more and more injuries.

My suggestion would be Senior bats with 52/275 balls. This is not about hitting 150 home runs in 6 games but what would be best for senior softball and it's future because the home run hitters will still hit their home runs. Thanks in advance for your comments.

Butch Drake
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 60
1175 posts
butch17, good post.Heres my 2 cents worth..I am a line drive base hitter and once in a great while I will hit a HR,I personally don't have a problem, hitting the 44/375, I believe there are some of these good balls out there.Also, I think we as seniors should be able to hit the senior bats.I honestly believe that there will be injuries no matter what we hit as far as the ball/bats are concerned..all we can do is show up to play the game..and let the umpire in the sky take care of us...just my thoughts.....I know a lot on this board will not agree with me, but isn't that what this message board is all about...take care, and have a good rest of the season......
Oct. 12, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
i have hit the 52-275 ball,and its not that bad of a ball.if you are a base hitter you will still be able to get your base hits,prolly won't be getting your hr's from the post above,mr merritt prolly wouldn't be looseing his sight if this ball had been used.i like your suggestion butch.
Oct. 12, 2009
225 posts
I am president of a 300 member league in Houston We buy the yellow 44/375 trump ball designed for seniors. We use a 100 dozen per year. We never see cuts in the ball it holds up well.We have 4 skill levels. Level 1 hits it out very often- Level 2 hits it out some times.The league members are very satisfied.My point when you can make 300 + members must be ok.We do store the ball in a cooler place than a hot score house.We buy from Trumpball.Tournament teams attending our tournaments are satisfied.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 50
172 posts
52-275 ball wouldn't have made a difference.Heck you can lose an eye with a tennis ball.Do we really need to keep hashing about balls.If you haven't noticed.THEY ain't listening.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
Sloball 1,

This post is not about tennis balls its about what are the major opinions of the softball players. whether They are listining or not is not the point. I have heard a lot about this subject at tourney's and here is a place to get a thought from the majority of players. I am guessing you have no preference.This not a post for arguments as eveyone has an idea of what they want such as JR. Thats the kind of comments this thread is supposed to get.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 60
102 posts
Sloball, There really is only 1 or 2 people that continue bringing up balls that I have noticed and stand out over everyone else. I am sure probably everyone is tired of it. It is what it is and I agree with Butch. Lets just play ball.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 65
17 posts
This is my first post and I just stating an opinion so please take it easy on me. I started playing Senior Softball (55+) three years ago after playing baseball for 20 years. I have seen numerous pitchers and infielders get struck with Frozen Ropes in the face off the Senior Softball Bats. I, also play baseball and all of the Senior Leagues and tournaments that I play in we use wood bats. I have not seen a pitcher or fielder struck with a baseball like I have seen in softball. I am a shortstop in both baseball and softball and I can tell you that I have never had a baseball struck as hard consistently and hit to me like the softballs that I get hit to me off senior bats. I don't get it!! Senior Baseball Players lobbied for wood bats to slow the speed of the ball down and prevent injuries while Senior Softball wants to use Senior Metal bats that are dangerous and increase ball speed. Baseball pitchers are 60 feet away and the fielders are about 100 feet away while softball players are much closer. Why do Senior Baseball Players go with wood to reduce injuries while senior softball like senior juiced metal bats. I just don't get it!! Can someone explain to me the different philosophies?
Oct. 12, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
jgogo,i think you have posted a very good first post.i know a few guys who do the senior BB and talk a lot about it.they are always trying to get me to go to one of them.
sloball yes maybe a tennis ball could do what you say,but it would have to be hit in a very perfect situation,unlike a softball that is very hard and much larger just needs to be close to the eye.the 52-275 ball will give a lot more than the present softballs and won't cause as much or serious injury.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 60
547 posts
JGogo........You need not use senior bats. That is just an option available to you. If you have been to tournaments in your 3 years of senior softball, you have probably noticed that most of us use them because they are the best bats available. I liked the ball that was used in Vegas and hope that the one used in Phoenix will be OK.
Oct. 12, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Most seniors don't post on this board
and the great majority of them
think or would think that the
52 x 275 ball is a piece of crap
and only good for BP to make sure
you don't crack your bat right away.
Not one person/player I spoke with
dissented from the overwhelming majority
opinion that Vegas was/is/should be
the senior softball norm.
There are no more injuries with today's equipment than there was
10 or 20 or 30 years ago in softball.
Softball unlike the name
is meaningfully dangerous
and needs to be.
That's why it's not called
lawn bowling.
Can't take it, find another game.
We can add pitching masks,
a batting screen,
widen the mat and enlarge the arc limits,
widen and elongate the rubber
as just a couple of suggestions
that would make it safer
without killing the fun of playing
by dampening the bat/ball combo.
There's no doubt about what seniors
in the majority want to see regarding
bats and balls and fundamental rules.
What remains is what TD's will chose
next year and what the majority
of players will/won't do about it.

Oct. 13, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
JGogo, einstein is right: most seniors don't post on this board. What is up for debate is whether most seniors agree with him. He is a strong personality and it doesn't surprise me that few disagree to his face, but I can tell you that I am not a forceful person and in my discussions with senior players (I played this year on 60s, 65s, and 70s teams) the majority prefer a bat that is not so hot and a ball that is firm, but not the lively rocket that einstein loves.

Here are a few of the reasons they give:

Hot bats have taken the "game" away and made it into a home run derby.

They want to reinforce the skills of situational hitting, good fielding, sound base running, etc., all of which are frustrated when outfielders just stand and watch another ball sail over the fence.

I know what they mean. I never hit a home run in my first 50 years of playing softball, but with my Ultra 2, I hit one every now and then. What a joke! I'd give up my "home runs" for a return to a less lively bat and more fun playing each ball. There would still be home runs, as there have always been, by the true sluggers, but peanuts like me shouldn't be rewarded for what would just be a long fly out in the old days.

Another factor IS safety. I have met a lot of former pitchers who stopped pitching when the Mikens came in. The ball is too fast for their declining reflexes. Masks, screens, higher arc, all could help, but the real challenge is the unnatural speed of the ball. You always had to watch out for one up the middle from the 3, 4, or 5 batter, but the 8, 9??? It may be anecdotal that there are more injuries now, but most guys believe it.

In answer to your question, I believe the issue is still ego. Not so much einstein's, since he is a true bomber, but his buddies and all guys with declining strength who don't want to give up the illusion that they still have it. Nobody is talking about returning to wood bats and hitting a sock. We're talking about the conditions about 15 years ago with metal bats and a less lively ball. Maybe it is a little bit einstein, because he seems to want to hit the ball 400 feet instead of just clearing a 300 foot fence.

But it will be hard to ever determine the real majority: einstein and his buddies who demand a good ball/bat combo, or the guys I play with and against who are yearning for a return to a more balanced game.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 65
3146 posts
To answer Butch's questions here's my opinions:
1)the 52cor ball should be used with defenses that have less reaction time....over 65 ages and up or even AA and AAA of all groups.... not in M and M+, 50-64. Keep good balls for those that want them and can react to them.
2)Don't make us buy a different bat of each type of ball used. We need to use the senior bats to keep doctored bat out of our games. I'm sure some will say we have doctored bat now. There might be a few but nothing like what we would have if the sr bats were outlawed. KEEP SENIOR BATS!
3)I don't beieve there are more injuries than 5 years ago. Put the decision of personal injury on the individual player. I now wear a guard on my wrist of my glove arm to protect from bat hops. If you are an infielder and fear the worst, wear a Game Face mask to protect your face. Most infielders wear cups, right? If you feel you need protection for your chest and head, wear it!
My suggestion is to use the 52/275 ball on fields less than 295'. Above that use a GOOD 44/375, or even 44/525 if the 44/375 don't remain hard in high temperatures.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 65
252 posts
JGogo,Thanks for your post,its good to hear from someone thats playing on both sides of the fence so to speak. I think most agree with Omar K. post and to put it another way sometimes Ego gets in the way of common sense. Sure players got hurt 14 years ago when I started playing senior ball but not as often as now with the senior bats/very good ball combo and the injuries seem a lot more severe. Just makes sense the harder the ball is hit and with Reflexes going there is going to be more injuries,lets be realilistic guys. Omar I don't know if its so much some wanting to hit ball 100 feet over fence or miss hitting a ball and it still going 300 plus.
Butch, When I'm batting I like to hit a good ball but when playing 3rd base I want batter to hit a Seriously as long as both teams are hitting same ball it should not matter what the ball is used. Its just like you play on field with wind blowing out and next game wind blowing in you have to adjust as long as its same for both teams than It's fair.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
There is no doubt that the great majority of seniors want to hit
good balls with good bats.
That's the game we've been playing
since we're pups.
If the balls are going too fast
for you, try lawn bowling.
You might feel a lot safer.
You sound like a rec player
and are entitled to your opinion
but to say it's a majority or represents
anywhere near a majority
is absurd and not the case.
Again, Las Vegas, you guys who still love to play our game
is the model, the showcase
where senior ball lives and breathes.
Good balls, good bats, no penalty
for hitting balls out,
no PPR.
OK. I'm at such a disadvantage trying to talk to you with you knowing me and commenting on my personality
and how it affects my thinking
and you making comments unidentified and concealed behind a curtain.
Don't you think you would have
more credibility and show and command
more respect for you
and your constituents
as many/few as they may be
to the majority of senior players
if you showed up and identified yourself.
Most of us, do.
Are you really afraid of me???
C'mon man.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 55
50 posts
In response to the question posed, I would like to see the 52/275 ball tried. After playing in LV, I would quit playing if that ball was used at every tourney. Softball to me and to others that I speak with is about more than the home run. It is about a complete game, i.e., defense, hitting, speed, etc. As a team, we hit more hrs in LV than we have hit at the rest of the tourneys. We are getting older and should not expect the technology to allow us to hit the ball farther or harder than in our prime. Softball can be as much or more fun with a less lively ball. Those who can/should hit hrs would and those who can't/shouldn't would not. Just the way it was when we were young.
If a safer alternative exists which does not substantially change the game, I for one believe it should be implemented. The egos need to take a backseat to the safety issue. If they want to have a hr contest at each tourney so be it. Let them use the 54/700 ball and go for it. Just my $.02.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 55
72 posts
Einstein: I absolutely do not agree with you that there are not more injuries today than there were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. At every level of softball your opinion on this matter is absolutely wrong. Frankly, I know of no source to get the actual facts and I doubt you do either, but I have been playing the game since 1972 and not only are there WAY more injuries today, the injuries are far more severe...up to and including death.

Shaved sticks in the young guy leagues and tourneys and Ultra 2 type bats in senior ball absolutely create a more dangerous situation, particularly for pitchers. It would be very difficult to say otherwise. Most posts about bats talk about the amount of home runs, but with today's bats, it is not only about the number of home runs, it is about the "piss missle" line drives that come off the bat much harder and hotter than any other previous time in our sport.

I know you post a lot and have a lot of opinions but I don't read a lot of posts, so maybe I should know, but I don' you pitch? You talk tough enough about go play lawn bowling if you can't handle the speed of the game, and in my experience only non pitchers talk real tough like that. Most people that talk tough when it comes to the topic of bats, play the outfield...just my experience.

I play 2nd and I actually like the game the way it is today with senior bats and 375/44 balls, but I know I would not pitch in today's environment, and if I did I would have head gear, leg gear and possily some chest gear. Heck it is scary enough when a 6'4" 240 LB muscle bound lefty stands into the plate with a senior bat because I do not play on the grass in this situation because I think it cuts down on my range.

Also, I think senior players have much better bat control than the younger players so I think there are more injuries in young guy ball than senior ball. However, there is just no question that softball is a much more dangerous game today then it was even 5 years ago.

And I won't be going to lawn bowling any time soon.
Oct. 13, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Alan, thanks for the honest comments
and showing you as yourself on the line.
I and many others respect and enjoy
your accountability.
Since much of what you said
is predicated on whether or not
I walk the talk as to whether
I pitch or not
suffice to say
it's what I mostly enjoy doing
in senior ball.
there are many ways to adjust our game
to the danger pitchers experience
today without destroying the fun
of hitting a ball hard and as far as you can.
Can't you see that these guys
never favor anything but going to
a shitty ball.
It's been incorrectly argued to TD's
that seniors would roll over
for dumbed down balls and if used
would bring higher tournament profits
at less cost.
C'mon man.
This is America, right or wrong
in 2009 and the dollar is sadly king.
That's what's driving this movement
to change our game
by dumbing down our equipment
to make/save a buck or 2.
And that's not a crime but
it's nothing we have to swallow
hook, line and sinker, either.
That's the only point I've ever made
and nothing either I or anyone can say
alters it, one bit.
We want to hit good balls
with good bats and don't like or trust
where our game is headed.

Oct. 13, 2009
The Pro
81 posts
The recent LVSSA tournament had 140 teams, used a 44/375 Micro Cell "Rock" ball for all ages and levels.All Senior bats were allowed and used.

Anyone want to guess how many injuries we had in this tournament that required medical attention during which hundreds of games were played? Two - one from sliding and one from diving after a ground ball.

As it as been said many times, injuries are an inherent risk in all competitive sports, but we take the risks to play the game. The "ball" is one of the least dangerous aspects of softball. There are no facts, studies or documentation to the contrary. So argue all you want about this issue, the fact is Senior Softball is safer with it's bats and balls as almost any other head to head team sport.
Oct. 13, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
pro yes there is risks,but it shouldn't be a life or death risk,which the equipment now a days gives us.personally i wouldn't mind going back to metal bats,if we still want to use the hot balls.

also joe these balls(MCT)that you used in vegas are the same ones you said you didn't want to use(b/c they didn't feel right to throw or sound good when hit) that i was talking about,guess you can't make your mind up,huh.just what we need someone who just runs off with the mouth,then does about face, trying to talk for the whole community as you say you do.
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