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SSUSA Rules Committee Approves Open Division for 2021

Jan. 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO - The Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA) National Rules Committee voted unanimously to create an Open Division on Wednesday. 

In the online special meeting, Rules Committee members established an Open Division for ages 40+ through 70+ that would follow the same playing rules as the Major Plus Division. 

Open Division teams would use the same team roster composition rules with the exception that each Open Division team may draw up to two of its four out-of-region players from the opposition side of the Mississippi River as the team’s home state.

As soon as a Major Plus team draws one player from the opposite side of the Mississippi River, it becomes an Open Division team. 

The motion passed 8-0. 

The Rules Committee confirmed that Open Division teams would need to qualify for the SSUSA World Masters Championship by playing in at least one SSUSA tournament, and that in any pool games against Major Plus teams, the Open team would be required to give an equalizer per usual equalizer rules.

The Committee created the new Open Division, rather than just changing Major-Plus rules because they felt it would put teams moving up from Major to Major-Plus division at a distinct disadvantage.  In addition, many Major Plus teams have already established their rosters under current rules.

The new Open Division and roster rule becomes effective Feb. 1, 2021. 

Terry Hennessy noted that SSUSA staff still need to survey managers on the other roster rule topics presented to the Rules Committee in December. The committee will reconvene to consider any additional rule changes after those surveys are complete. 

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