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Discussion: Lack of Player Participation

Posted Discussion
Nov. 28, 2009
Men's 65
440 posts
Lack of Player Participation
Dirty had an exellent point in one of his recent posts. I quote:

"The issue is not balls, bats, platooning, PPRs, screens, etc. It is a lack of participation in tournaments by the VAST majority of seniors who play local leagues. To help the game this is what needs to be looked into."

That fact, lack of participation, is something I have deliberated over for a long time. Why won't more league players come out and play tournaments? What can be done to make playing in tournaments more attractive to the average player?
Nov. 28, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
My local area pop is over 400K, & only has 160 +- maybe 25, senior tournament players. Composed of recreationally "gifted" & travel ball players as well.
Senior League, is roughly 12-14 teams, depending on time of year, compose the senior teams.
They have a bod that is geared to their wants not for the good of the overall good of the group. Still works but is ever changing even more so then here.
south of me there is another senior league that is really better geared towards the whole, but has it's pluses and minuses as well.
Far too many seniors would not play travel ball or are willing to try... Last year some new players tried it and hopefully will stick it out for the 2-3 local tourneys they do a year.
Three of the 6 "travel" teams we have play major tournaments, <2 AAA, 1AA> Others only maybe a few in ncssa. All usually close by or a couple put on my one of the guys.
Too many "reasons" given for non participation that I've been given, & most were justified.
Good talent is out there, harvesting them based on what they read, & see happen, are some of the reasons.
Others still play with the kids like I did until the BLD here closed, & I didn't care to drive across town 20 mi for one 9:30 pm game or the the team couldn't field 10. That is one problem the league had the no shows.
Oh, well, you get what you get. you just don't know until it's too late.
Nov. 28, 2009
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
Number 1 not that many players want to travel. We have 340 players in our league and the most you would get to travel is maybe 30 if you were lucky.

It is only the diehards that will travel to tournaments. The rest of players have better things to do on weekends. If all the good players would travel we could field some pretty good teams but they won't.

That is why I have always said the vocal members of this board are a very small representative of the millions of senior softball players in the country.
Nov. 28, 2009
353 posts
I play in the Stanislaus County league, in Northern Ca., which is unique, due to th e vast number of tourney players involved at various levels and ages. The league membership is solid and player joing senior ball or transitioning out of the game. It has peaks and valleys as reflected by the economy. It has a rookie division which allows players 47 yr old and up to participate, 55 and over division,and the 60 and over divisions. Each team is formed through a draft after a 4 week vewing of participants. You can play down if your in the older division, which many do. Player which play travel ball are on teams and are on teams all over Nor Cal. I think the positive thing the leagues does is it allows players that want more the one game a night to do so by having a sign up sheet for players that will allow them to play on teams that are short on a given night. The league comissioner then puts name in a hat, drawn and put on teams. This promotes greater participation and allows for player seeking to get involved in USSSA to be seen by coaches and player. Word gets out and player get an opportunity. Players also provide info as to what team in NCSSA are looking for players and also link them to the website. Another thing which promotes involvement and greater enjoyment is no standings are kept other than by player and certin teams no awards are offered other than voting for Hall of Fame members and the annual picnic for players and their families. This kepts the game the game. We use whatever bats we want 44 core balls and No PPR or limits on HRS. It is all about playing the game and enjoying it with other of a like mind. Winning is fun, but having a good workout, working on your game and building friendships is the focus. Myself this league has provided more opportuunities for me than when I played flatbelly ball. There are many ways to increase participation, however we as players have to veiw things out side the box.
Happy Holiday. Hope your doing well. keep the discussion going.
Spell ck. no working excuse the typos
Nov. 28, 2009
Men's 65
4549 posts
Great Holiday season to you and wife as well. Stay Healthy.
Advantage up there lower age provides foot in door, all bats is good, but from what I hear and read I'd worry about the legality of many.
Here they restrict the PU's to playing RF, 1st and C and used to have to bat at end of line up... at least last I played there on mtw nites. Thurs was some what different. All bats and good balls.
Spl ck can be accessed at least two ways... pc or mac. Three is you reload the software to correct any messed up files or 4) use another script writer.
See ya around next year someplace.
Anyway the camaraderie is the best part.
Keep it going??? I'm waiting for the silent majority to speak up...
Nov. 28, 2009
Omar Khayyam
1243 posts
Have to agree that Dirty has a point. I play in a league with 300 players. Out of that group, we have 8 tournament teams. During day league play, we mix the ages and ban hot bats, even double walls, for those under 70. We use a lively ball. Evening league play and Saturday play use Ultra IIs and anything else equal.

Of the tournament teams, two are major, one is AA, and the rest AAA. Some only go to 3 or 4 tourneys a year, some around 8-10, and three go to more than 15 (but not much more). They all go to Reno for the SSUSA tourney; some go to Phoenix, some to Vegas, some to St. George.

But the reality is that a minority of senior players go to tournaments. Most donít. Why? Cost; reluctance to commit to a team and miss family events or responsibilities; donít like to travel far from home; have other weekend interests like football season tickets, golf, etc.; and a few dislike the occasional hyper-competitiveness that can overwhelm good sportsmanship or team togetherness.

Donít know the solution. I just like the opportunity and health to keep playing softball since I was 13.
Nov. 29, 2009
Men's 55
412 posts

There isn't any thing better than going and playing softball. :) I think it is more of the expense and getting time off of work especially in the 50, 55, and 60 division.
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