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Discussion: On balls and bats

Posted Discussion
Nov. 15, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
On balls and bats
I was having a discussion
with one of my NorCal
senior softball brothers
this weekend at our tournament
in Pleasanton, California,
and he was saying that it's the
guys who don't hit the ball very hard
or well, like a dinker,
who don't mind going to a sock ball.
But the guys who like to hit a ball
hard, do.
I agreed but I would also add
the guys who hit the ball very far
don't mind a sock ball
because they'll still be the farthest
hitters on the field.
So it's the most powerful hitters
which are a small percentage
and the guys who like to dink
who are also a minority
who wouldn't mind going to a sock ball.
But, that leaves the majority of players
in the middle who like, want and need
to hit good balls with good bats
to meaningfully enjoy their softball experience.
Interestingly and usefully
a middle class, if you will
of softball players
actually exists

This is why as/if one wishes to see
senior softball for what it is
in its own right instead
through ignorant or
self interested filters
he/she will see that the vast majority
of senior players and I hazard
all players want and need to hit
good balls with good bats
to meaningfully enjoy their softball

If you prevent guys from having
good balls and bats to hit and play with
you encourage if not create
bat/ball cheating
to make sure enjoyment is had for the investment of time, money and energy.
And there's a movement to drive
down the bat/ball combo
well below the level of enjoyment
for most of the players
that doesn't serve the best interest
of the majority of players.

Much of the argument against
what I've stated comes from ignorance
or someone trying to sell us something.
(Cue Beavis and Butthead)
Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
"But, that leaves the majority of players in the middle who like, want and need to hit good balls with good bats to meaningfully enjoy their softball experience."

Personally, my "softball experience" is much more enjoyable if we win, regardless of the balls and bats. Again personally, I will take a 0-4 in a win over 3 home runs in a loss. But then again I am from the Herm Edwards school of sports.
Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 55
235 posts
I would agree with Einstein to a point
He says good ball and I agree with that
The Stote 44/375 is a good ball but I would say nothing any hotter. Maybe in extreme hot weather go to the x rock. But only if the forecast is 95 and above.
When he speaks of socks I would think he is talking about the worth ball or a cork center ball those or socks not the ones mentioned above.

However the bats do need to be toned down a little. The Titanium was outlawed in the mid nineties and I can say because I hit with them , they were not even close to a broken in U2
The U2 is a good bit hotter

If they could come out with a bat that was about like a U2 when it is new and not get any hotter than I would be far that. But these composite bats are insane ones they get broken in.

It should be unlawful for a bat to be legit when it is new and become illegal when and after it is used
THAT is just plain stupid

But we all know if one company is allowed to continue to do this the others are going to follow
Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
The thing with the Ultras is not just that they are extremely lively, but their sweet spot seems to be about 24" long. It is very hard to mishit a ball with an Ultra. So not only do the good hitters who hit everything on the sweet spot benefit from them, but so do the lesser hitters who would be mishitting balls with a normal bat but really have to work hard to mishit with an Ultra.
Nov. 16, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
garocket,yes i'll agree with you on most senior players want to hit a hard ball,so they can be hero's with the senior what about the poor guys in the field who can't get gloves on these rockets being hit at them,they are in danger of being hurt real bad.
also why does the middle of the road player have to be hitting hr's to begin should be the big boppers(over 50% rate per ab),with the middle guy hitting maybe 5-15%,more like 5%.the little hitters(punch and judy as someone has suggested)1% max if that.i put myself in the middle,but with an ultra in my hands i become closer to the 50% rate.there needs to be a middle ground here for the safety of the senior ball player,if its lower ball standards,or bat,so be it.if we go to lower bat standards,then we need to be testing bats just like usssa does,to keep the cheaters at bay.
Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
The middle of the road old guy has to be able to do now what he couldn't in his prime so he can go home and brag to his grandchildren who probably don't know enough to realize Grandpa is doing it due to someone else's technology.
Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Garocket, whoever you are,
we agree on the importance of good balls
and the line we shouldn't/can't go below
that would change our game unacceptably
for the worse.
Trump Stote balls or they're equivalent
as there are other ball companies
in the cooler weather are fine
but wilt like flowers with the hot weather.
The Rock ball is the funnest ball
out there and like I said
it was tough seeing anyone without
a smile in LVSSA this year
using those very good hitting balls
and no one was crippled or hurt
and in any more danger than when we played with Blue dot balls
and single/double wall bats.
Cue Beavis and Butthead
for contrast and comic relief.

Nov. 16, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
But apparently the Rock balls
are more expensive.
Bob Sebring who runs a bunch of NorCal
tournaments and the Pleasanton tourney
I mentioned earlier says
he'll go with a better ball but not one that costs too much.
I hear Baden has come out with a new
ball called Fire and we'll have to check them out and see how they hit
and perform.

And who says we can't use
the balls we want to use and why.
I'd like to hear just who and where
the ball police and regulators are
so we can petition and ask them
what's really going down
and driving down the performance
of all the balls over the last couple of years?
Any takers?
Any info?
Nov. 16, 2009
Bill in Sac
Men's 75
32 posts
The Baden Fire ball is excellent. We used it last thursday in a double header league I play in Sacramento. It performed better than the ball used in Pleasanton last weekend. Of course, the temperature never got above 70 degrees.
Nov. 18, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
Joe I agree lets go with the Blue Dot balls and single wall bats problem solved???
Nov. 18, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
Joe and butch, I agree. I was never much of a fan of the Blue Dots in the old days since a lot of infield guys and pitchers got hurt (broken fingers, mainly, but some bad shin hits and the occasional body or head shots). But the balls come even faster now with the freakish composite bats, so I'm willing to say goodbye to my occasional home run and return to single wall bats and a better balance between offense, defense, and strategy.
Nov. 18, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
The problem with getting them to agree with that combo is 280' hitters will still be 280' hitters not 300'.
Nov. 18, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
I don't know Butch.
20 feet is not that much.
100 feet is, though.
We hit the Baden Fire ball today.
It hit well in cool weather.
Couldn't tell how it would be
when it's hot.

Nov. 19, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts
Joe only meant that the guys who hit 280' in the days we used blue dots and single walls probaly could still only hit them 280' as with senior bats it would now make them a jacker(old days term).:)
Nov. 20, 2009
Men's 60
992 posts
Old joke: the preacher was asked how many were in the last service. His reply: 500, until some fool decided to actually count them.
Politicians from one party will declare that the majority of America are for a certain bill, while the opposing party will just as adamantly proclaim that the majority are against said bill.

My point: how have we arrived at majority quotas in softball decisions about bats and balls.

I daresay that with so many organizations, associations, and leagues, that what is most important is simply playing the game, especially as seniors. Is winning even the primary motivator.

I am not familiar with Major+, but it is clear that the major+ level is by far the minority of players. Should quality of play and safety be determined by the minority? A great measure of compromise and courtesy seems to be what is needed, if we are to continue.
Nov. 20, 2009
425 posts
U trip bats and any 44/375 balls is all what we need, each team hits its own (cheaters will be cheaters). I believe it is good compromise.
Nov. 20, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
"I daresay that with so many organizations, associations, and leagues, that what is most important is simply playing the game, especially as seniors. Is winning even the primary motivator."

Why else do they keep score?

"U trip bats and any 44/375 balls is all what we need, each team hits its own (cheaters will be cheaters). "

Amen to that!
Nov. 20, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
paco i agree,but if we want to keep the senior bat,then we need to look into getting a safer ball.
Nov. 21, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
A lively and safe bat/ball combo
if such a ball
can exist
would be a great idea.

Until then, if ever,
lively bats and balls must prevail
or players won't go to tournaments
where lesser ones are used.
Simple and true.

Nov. 22, 2009
58 posts
Who gets to be the arbiter of what a, "lively & safe bat/ball combo", is?

Hopefully, it's not a 1-man crusade!

IMHO, senior associations are sorely lacking, to the point of negligence, in the bat testing standard they allow. All other associations, with good reason, no longer use this test. It only tests a new bat a limited amount of times & only at the COP (center of percussion). What this essentially means is that there is no real control of bat performance on senior bats. A bat that tests at 1.20 or lower at the COP can easily surpass that once broken in. Additionally, the rest of the bat can also be > 1.20 straight out of the the wrapper since it is not tested.

I find it interesting that a player/team would not attend a tournament, with all else being equal, because of a bat/ball combo. Do they realize that it says a lot more about them than it does about the bat/ball combo?
Nov. 22, 2009
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
hey maverick why do you try and bring common sense to this subject,LOL.the objection is to keep the cheaters from using shaved bats and such if we go to the lower standards of ball or bat,thats how much faith they have in thier senior me if that's what they think is gonna happen,i'll venture to say it already doesn't matter to a cheater if they are using a senior bat or not,they'll still enhance it someway so they can get an even bigger edge.
some on here will not be satisfied till someone is seriously injured or maybe killed.
Nov. 22, 2009
Men's 60
162 posts
Livelier balls, livelier bats. I've been running tournaments in Houston for a while. We use a 44/375 ball(has to be legible) and allow the ultra 2 or anything else but a titanium bat. We've got some pretty good teams here and some great players. I have never heard a complaint about the ball or a bat yet. Don't understand all this talk about bat/ball combo. Shaved bats has never, too my knowledge, been a problem here. Do some use them? Maybe, but doubtful. I would be more concerned with guys using steroids then altered bats. Long as everyone is using the same ball, whats the problem? I've stayed away from commenting on some of these threads in the hopes guys would get tired and move on. Just not going to happen. Said it before and will say it again, I'd rather hear guys talk about their teams, leagues, local tournaments then the same stuff over and over again. As for anyone speaking on my behalf of what I want or even for the local guys here, all I can say is, no one speaks for us. We are happy with what we have. We have a lot of teams that travel and lots of local tournaments. Bats and balls issue has never been a problem. Have fun with the game as it is. My 2.5 cents worth.
PS Happy Thanksgiving
Nov. 22, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
No one wants anyone killed
yet it's always argued
leave the game alone.
If you start making senior adustments
as we have for safety
then it opens the door for what would
be better or work better to that end.
I don't think safety is a make or break
I believe its being used by some
to convince us so it will benefit
them directly, like TD's and ball
The game has to have real risk/danger
or it wouldn't be softball
in the first place.
Secondly, it's not apparent to me
and my comrades by any stretch
that bat cheating is prevalent
with seniors.
This is not what I find to be true
therefore, it shouldn't be a driving
determiner in making us change.
Most guys will accept the risks
of playing and most guy
want to hit lively balls with good bats.
if a ball which doesn't exist at present
both hits and plays well and is safer
than we'd have something to talk about.

Nov. 22, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
"Who gets to be the arbiter of what a, "lively & safe bat/ball combo", is?"

Is this a rhetorical question?

"If you start making senior adustments"

The unnecessary adjustment has already been made. Special bats for old guys only.
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