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Posted Discussion
Dec. 11, 2011
2514 posts
2011 Annual Meeting St. Pete Beach, FL December 7-9, 2011

The SSUSA Rules Committee met in three sessions during the 2011 Annual Convention, in an open public comment General Forum on Wednesday, an open to the public working Committee Meeting on Thursday and a closed debate and voting Committee Meeting on Friday.


BORDER CLOSURE RULE REPEAL [SSUSA Rulebook 15.1(2)] - Discussion was terminated on September 21st and deferred to this Committee meeting for resumption of discussion and a vote.
Motion to Table for 10 months (until October 15, 2012) to allow for additional statistical analysis to be conveyed to the Rules Committee FAILED (4-5, 1 abstain)
Motion to Repeal Border Closure Rule, effective immediately PASSED (6-3, 1 abstain)


MERCY RULE FOR 50+ THRU 65+ MAJOR PLUS (ONLY) [Amends Rulebook 5.8 - Game Scores]-
Motion to Implement Mercy Rule of 20 runs after four innings or 15 after five innings PASSED (11-0)

ROSTER COMPOSITION RULES - Regarding maximum allowable 'out of rating' players that may comprise a roster for a Major, AAA or AA team
Motion to Allow the SSUSA Home Office to grant an exception to the absolute maximum number in the case of a team that will not, in their sole judgment, have an unfair competitive advantage solely by exceeding the maximum. Such teams may not have an average run differential in the SSUSA Ratings Scores Database that exceeds +2.5 runs per game. PASSED (10-0)
Motion to Increase the absolute maximum from two (2) to three (3) allowable 'out of rating' players for the 2013 Tournament Season (and subsequent seasons) PASSED (10-0)


COURTESY RUNNERS - Committee discussion on this issue did not result in a motion to amend, effectively leaving the rules unchanged.

Motion to Change starting pitch count from 0-0 to 1-1 FAILED (4-7)

FORFEITS DURING BRACKET PLAY - Teams have recently forfeited a specific game during Elimination Bracket play to either play one less game than other teams in the elimination bracket and/or to select or avoid a particular opponent in a succeeding round.
Motion to Amend Rulebook 5.6 to assess a double forfeit (effectively ending their tournament participation) to any team forfeiting a game in the Elimination Bracket of a tournament PASSED (11-0)

BASE DISTANCES - The City of Las Vegas and Clark County, NV, currently require mandatory 70' base distances within their jurisdictions. The 2012 World Masters Championships will be played Las Vegas. Committee discussion on this topic centered on whether or not to amend the base distances for all SSUSA sanctioned events to 70' for consistency. The consensus was that ongoing efforts to convince those jurisdictions to allow 65' bases at the World Masters Championships should proceed to a conclusion before any additional action is appropriate. Agenda item dies for lack of a motion.


MAJOR PLUS vs. MAJOR ISSUES - The issues regarding the current composition of the Major Plus and Major Divisions are broad based and varied. Following discussion, the matter was referred to the SSUSA Officers and Staff for further analysis and study, at which time the matter may be referred back to the Rules Committee for discussion and possible action as appropriate.

POOL PLAY SYSTEM (PPS) - The Committee received a presentation from Rainer and Julie Martens regarding an alternative system for pool play and resultant bracket composition for tournament play. The system would, in effect, attempt to place teams in specific brackets following general pool play that may not necessarily be based on the current SSUSA Ratings for teams, and could, under their hypothesis, ultimately replace or significantly modify the current SSUSA Team Rating system.
Motion to Refer to Staff for further study and possible implementation in a limited number of 2012 Qualifiers PASSED (8-0)

PLAYER RELEASES FOR MEN'S 75+ AND MEN'S AND WOMEN'S 40-MASTERS - In 2011, these two divisions were the subject of a 'pilot program' that allowed individual players to play on multiple teams within their division so long as the affected managers consented and both teams were not participating in the same tournament. The effect was to allow players multiple 'releases' each Season, rather than the limit of one release per player per year. Concerns were raised that both of these Divisions are governed by 'ratings', and the player movement to multiple teams distorted the performance of those teams for rating and competitive balance purposes.
Motion to Discontinue the 'pilot program' PASSED (11-0)

SNOWBIRD EXEMPTIONS - In light of the September 21st provisions eliminating Snowbird eligibility for Major Plus Divisions in the 50+ through 65+ Divisions, correspondence was received advocating extension of that prohibition to other ages and divisions of play. Committee discussion on this issue did not result in a motion to amend, effectively leaving the rules unchanged.


SSUSA ARBITRATION OF PLAYER RELEASE DISPUTES - SSUSA will not change it's current procedure of not getting involved in Manager/Player Release disputes.

TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE IN 40-MASTERS - SSUSA Staff will develope guidelines for tournament play at the Men's Major+/Major and Women's Major/AAA levels of play. There are only three teams each at the top rating level of the 40-Masters program.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Hennessy - Co-owner and CEO (California); Bill Ruth - Co-owner and President (Washington); Fran Dowell - Executive Director (California); Dave Barnes - LVSSA Representative (Nevada); Michael Boone - National Director (New Jersey); Don Brooks - National Director (Texas/Not in attendance); Dave Dowell - National Director (California) - 2011 Chairman; Jerry Jackson - National Director (Illinois); Otis Rowland - National Director (Oklahoma/California); Rick Siefman - Southwest Regional Director (Arizona); Steve Simmons - National Director (Minnesota); Ray Starwalt - National Umpire in Chief (Washington); Al Vera - LVSSA Representative (Nevada)

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