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Discussion: different age group and divisions competing each other

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Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
3146 posts
different age group and divisions competing each other
There may be a possibility in the future where, because of decreased participation in senior softball, different age groups and divisions may be competing against each other in a tournament.
What are some of your ideas as to equalizers when, for instance, a 50 AAA team plays a 55 Major Plus team? Do you think there are any "hard and fast" rules to go by?
I was thinking a basic run maximum per inning with a higher rated team spotting runs to a lower rated team. How about when different age groups compete?
Any ideas?
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 50
3114 posts
Great question and Happy New Year, Bruce.
We run like this in Norcal or NCSSA.
There's a ranking system based on wins and losses and then a meeting before each tournament to determine what's is fair rather than what should be fair.
We use equalizer home runs
after 1 which really keeps more "powerful" teams from dominating.
HR's a singles, 5 run limits,
good balls and bats
and away we go.
If it's determined that a team or teams
are too much better or worse
than a run differential is used
to make it fair.
And, away we go!
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 60
1024 posts
Hi Bruce, I'll give you my ideas which we are going to attempt to try this year. We are going to try non-qualifiers with basically open rosters and smaller amount of teams 10-12). It has always been my contention that most guys just want to play so we are going to make an attempt to give these players venues. The thought right now is open rosters so for example a 50 year old could play on a predominantly 55 team, we are looking at allowing a few under 50 years old in case a full 50 team doesn't have their full roster but still wants to play. One set of rules for all, looking at 5 HR's and a single across the board. Keep the tournies to a manageable level the first one we are looking at will be 10 teams, either all in a pot or upper/lower with no regards to age. We're also paying alot of attention to slotting these tournies to reduce travel and get these about two weeks before the big tournies so teams looking for work can get some. Our guess is that there is a market for this but this clearly is not for all teams. Somebody who feels left out if we're successful can certainly come up with their own ideas and run things the way they see fit. If it doesn't work we tried and we'll learn from the mistakes. Again to answer your question we will not make amends for age or division of play, all one set of rules.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
438 posts
IMO there are to many age groups. Most 55 plus players I know are perfectly capable of playing 50 division until 60 even if it means dropping down a division so do away with the 55 age group until 60. Start the 5-year increments at 60 as the 5-year spread at that age is more noticeable.

If you have to have age divisions go with Einsteinís post.

Happy New Year all.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
4549 posts
If I remember correctly, open rosters was one reason it became what it is today, incorporation of the boundaries and all. What I would call buying players which still is around.
I can see too were it might help some teams out as it does in NCSSA. but the only difference is the age limitation that is supposed to be checked, but not always done.
I've said it for over 2 years, that the real problem is too many going on to pick from, on any given weekend. If the team has the means, it's a real smorgasbord. Winter time is the only time it becomes more select but too many teams do not have the money to attend 1500 miles away for 3 days.
Perhaps then the reconstruction of the boundaries into what I perceive as becoming a 9 regional area to draw players from it might be better.
Then you have the snowbird crap, exceptions for this or that and who knows what else to work out to get it right.
Been 2 years just on the pitcher thing and it will be be a chip on someone's shoulder this year.
For some reason tinkering with things that are or were not broke continues. But the regional idea is a good one I feel as opposed to state boundaries.
This is as close to an 'open' roster as it should ever get back to.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 60
873 posts
I can tell you from past experience this wont work for long.
We were the sacrificial lambs in Palm Springs a few years ago, as a AAA team we were throw into the Major+ Div to round out the schedule, ( I might add we agreed to this).
We went 0-6, with all 6 being mercies/time shortened games, 2 of which never got past the 3rd inning the others we ran out of time.
Anyone who believes they can play with a Major+ team as a AA or AAA team are way out of their league.
If there are too many divisions, combine Major & Major+ they seem to be the closest in skill level.

Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
4549 posts
I've played there (Palm Springs) twice on AA teams that played Major teams and AAA only.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 60
1024 posts
Scott as I stated this won't be for everyone. Also it has been stated many times over and over that Major and major plus may want to try their own thing. I'm making a bet I can get 10 teams who want to do their own thing. If it works we will keep on doing if not we're out a small deposit.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
4549 posts
I understood that.
Also think in a relatively short time there will be one less division because of the poor showing at most tournaments for Major and Major plus.
Not such a bad thing if teams are moved up down in AA & AAA and perhaps major as well.
Far too many want a slight advantage going in. Be it through ranking or age bracket played.
May be too set in their ways, afraid to play better teams to get better. Wait until the last minute to enter so they have better idea who they will actually play, or can choose not to go with no outlay.
For the hard core players or readily available etc, it will be good.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
326 posts
Bruce, frequently, we have played down in qualifiers and usually get placed in the lower age group but in the same rating. 60 major plays down to 55 AAA. I say this since I am beyond 65 and those young guys are beginning to catch up to me...LOL. Sooooooo, if you play down by age you also play down in the lower rating. BTW, don't want the 11th player.
Jan. 4, 2010
Men's 65
839 posts

I like your suggestions. I mentioned it to some guys at the fields, and they all thought I was nuts. It would actually make for larger and more fun tournaments. 55 AA/AAA dispersed appropriately into the 50 AA/AAA divisions, 55 Major dispersed into 50 AAA division, and 55 Major plus into 50 Major division. Obviously, there will some teams in the wrong division, but it will get worked out as time goes by. The older teams will add younger players over the course of the next 2 years to make themselves stronger. I think it is something to consider, because 100 or less 55 teams over the USA does not make for fun tournaments, when it is a small local tournament.

Andy Smith,
Double Edge
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