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Women's Advisory Council Minutes

Jan. 1, 2007 – Connie Stewart

Senior Softball Women's Advisory Council (SSWAC)
Meeting Minutes
Las Vegas, NV
January 20, 2007

The SSWAC is an organization sanctioned by the Senior Softball Summit, working on issues of interest to senior women's softball teams and players. The Council membership at the time of this meeting was the following:

Judy Lee
Cyndi WinslowMasters
Patty CoxMidwest

Layla Bryan, Connie Byro, Carmen Campbell, Betti Garnett, Pat Lawlis, Dusty Loversky, Sylvia Mergl, Randy Moses, Cyndi Winslow, Karen Charette, Margaret Sievers, and Fran Dowell (Guests) were present at the meeting. The Council regrets having to accept a resignation from Pat Blackmon as the representative of the East. Carmen replaced Pat and was welcomed to her first SSWAC meeting. Dusty, who was appointed in 2005 was able to make her first SSWAC meeting and was also welcomed.

Sylvia called the meeting to order and introduced the new members and guests. She then turned the meeting over to Connie Byro as the new Chair. Sylvia assumed the position of Vice Chair. Connie made a presentation of "thank you" mementos to Pat and Sylvia for the time they spent chairing the SSWAC. Margaret Sievers and Fran Dowell were welcomed and acknowledged as guests from LVSSA and SS-USA respectively.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved without change. Randy distributed ID cards for all members.

Connie Squires, the Summit photographer, was welcomed and took photos of the council members. Connie was thanked and recognized as the official photographer for the Summit. Connie Squires' email is

The following web sites have been identified as sites that publish information about the issues that are addressed by the SSWAC, including tournament schedules:

The Council had a lengthy discussion about health issues that apply to senior softball. It was recommended that all managers have information about medicines, allergies, etc. about all team players available in the dugout. Dr. Connie McCarroll (Ohio Cardinals) has expressed health issue concerns with the SSWAC, including the issue of heat exhaustion. The Council believes it is very important to get information about heat exhaustion out to all senior athletes. The Council will ask Connie McCarroll to write an article with a set of guidelines about heat exhaustion. Council members need to take the initiative at managers' meetings and at tournaments to be sure that health issues are properly addressed, especially the issues of player information in the dugout and heat exhaustion.

There was a discussion on sportsmanship and how to handle disciplinary issues. For altercations on the field, umpires handle it. For incidents off the field, any action to be taken must be appropriate for the situation. Field Directors have the authority to handle issues as they arise at a tournament. The Summit needs to establish some guidelines for this so it applies to all organizations.

Pat proposed updates to the membership guidelines. The Council approved a new position for SS-USA that will include with it the responsibilities for taking meeting minutes and providing publicity for Council activities (publishing articles in the Senior Softball News, keeping the Summit web site updated, etc.). The SS-USA Association will appoint a person to this slot at a later date. The Council also approved a new "At Large" position that would be available for any member who has been on the Council for at least 4 years, but who finds her/himself in a position of no longer qualifying for their original Council position. The member may choose to remain on the Council by taking a position as an "At Large" representative.

Since most of the procedures of the SSWAC have not yet been put into writing, Pat, Cyndi, and Betti volunteered to work on bylaws for the organization.

The Council had a long discussion about Rules. Topics and discussions were:


-- information about which bats are legal needs to go out in publicity for every tournament

-- we are beginning to see some problems with women using illegal/altered bats, so we need to take action to stop this before it gets a good start

-- women need to be careful when "borrowing" a bat they are responsible for any bat they use

-- new Summit penalties for illegal/altered bats are quite strict, and women caught with illegal/altered bats will receive no special treatment. Manager/Coaches will also be penalized if a player uses an illegal/altered bat.

Home Run Line
-- the Council rejected an idea to use co-ed lines or portable fences as a home run line

-- this idea was deemed both impractical and undesirable by all associations/organizations

Home Plate Mats
-- all organizations/associations have rules that allow for the use of a home plate mat they are all encouraged to follow this practice

-- recommendations for what mat to use should be left up to the organizations/associations

Age Divisions
-- when fewer than 3 teams register in an age division, it is important that the tournament directors notify the teams of the situation and give each team an option to get their money back. Each organization/association has the right to make this particular determination.

-- teams must agree to participate outside of their age division when a tournament director offers them this option

-- the Council members once again expressed their strong support for the "true age" rules for all age divisions it is important for these to be established and have a chance to "settle in" before considering any changes

-- we need more promotion for the Masters Divisions (40+ and 45+)

-- it will take time for the 45+ and 50+ divisions to "settle" since the final stages of the age transitions are not yet complete in SSWS

Equalizer Rule
-- the Council recommended that it should remain as Five runs if playing up one age division and two runs added for each increment age division thereafter.

-- Some organizations/associations are using a different format on trail basis

Double Rostering
-- this is already not allowed in championship tournaments and not allowed at all by many organizations

-- the Council does not recommend double rostering for any tournament

The Council discussed tournament awards and once again agreed that they need to be varied more. Rings can be replaced by necklaces, earrings, jackets, etc. Other awards could include coupons toward entry for next tournament, patches, bags, etc. Organizations and tournament directors are always looking for new ideas for awards, so players are encouraged to communicate their ideas on this topic.

Communication problems at the Ft. Myers tournament were discussed as an example of how poor communication can create major problems for a tournament. At least two phone contacts should be collected for each team present at a tournament so last minute changes can be communicated with all teams. The Council was assured that the teams affected by problems at Ft. Myers will be contacted with assurances of how this will be corrected in the future.

Layla reported that Senior Softball Hall of Fame information and requirements have been updated this year. Applications are accepted in the following categories: Players, Managers, Directors, Umpires, Pioneer Players, and Pioneer Managers. Information and applications are on the Hall of Fame web site at Council members are asked to encourage managers/coaches to submit their players for "All Tournament Team" at the end of a tournament. This will enable players to gain the points necessary for admission to the Hall of Fame.

The Council updated ideas for a survey to go out to the players. The Council at this meeting has already addressed all of the topics that had originally been collected for the survey. A general survey to solicit ideas for awards packages and general feedback from the players was still deemed to be a good idea. Carmen has a lot of experience in working with surveys, and she volunteered to work on SSWAC survey ideas. Any SSWAC survey will be distributed at tournaments, via email, and via the Senior Softball News to encourage maximum participation.

Action Items:
1. Dusty will keep the web site at updated.

2. Pat, Cyndi, and Betti volunteered to develop by-laws for the SSWAC.

3. Connie Byro will coordinate the 2007 tournament schedule.

4. Pat will contact Dr. Connie McCarroll and ask her to write an article and/or guidelines regarding heat exhaustion.

5. All Council members will ensure that health issues (especially player information in the dugout and heat exhaustion) are discussed at managers' meetings.

6. Carmen will coordinate a survey to go to the players.

Women's Advisory Council Accomplishments and Recommendations
January 20, 2007

1. ID cards were provided to Advisory Council members for identification at tournaments.

2. Connie Byro took over as the new Chair.

3. Working on creating a set of guidelines for how to prevent and handle heat exhaustion.

4. Updated membership guidelines.

5. Will be working up a formal set of by-laws for the SSWAC.

6. Important discussions, clarifications, and recommendations for many of the women's rules.

Recommendations to the Summit
1. Web sites have been established where women's information will be kept, including the Summit site. Organizations and tournament directors must pay attention to this information.

2. Health information on all players (medications, allergies, etc.) should be collected by team managers and must be available in the dugout during all games in case of emergency.

3. The Summit needs to establish a set of guidelines for dealing with sportsmanship issues so they apply to all organizations.

4. Double Rostering should not be allowed in the women's program in any organization/association.

5. Tournament awards need to be more varied. Rings can be replaced by necklaces, earrings, jackets, etc. Other awards could include coupons toward entry for next tournament, patches, bags, etc.

6. Communication with teams is essential during a tournament, and women's teams must not be forgotten. It is essential to be sure to have at least two contact numbers per team during any tournament for notification puposes.

7. The Summit delegates need to be more aware of the women's rules.

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