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Covering the Bases - New SSUSA Bat Policy for 2014
Dec. 1, 2013 – Terry Hennessy CEOBeginning Jan. 1, Senior Softball-USA will license new senior bats and publish an Approved Bat List for all sanctioned SSUSA Tournaments.
Bats manufactured before 2014 will be grandfathered for use, as long as they have been passed by Dr. Richard Brandt at New York University and meet specifications.
This policy is being implemented to protect our players and the sport.
In the past few years, several entities have begun developing senior bats. This policy provides a significant barrier to bat manufacturers who do not have the wherewithal to establish manufacturing procedures that meet minimum industry standards to ensure bats are consistently meeting safety standards.
The new SSUSA bat policy is simple:
1. Each model and weight must be submitted to Dr. Brandt and be tested and meet the 1.21 bpf standard. Brandt forwards his results directly to SSUSA. The bats must also meet other standards listed in the SSUSA Rulebook, including length.
2. Bat manufacturers are required to name Senior Softball-USA as additionally insured on a $10 million liability insurance policy. This protects the organization in case of liability issues arising from use of the bat in SSUSA events.
3. After the agreement is reached, and SSUSA receives a copy of the insurance coverage, the bat is added to the Approved SSUSA Bat list and may be used in all SSUSA tournaments.
This will NOT affect approved bats in use before 2014.
Change in Senior Womenís Tournaments
SSUSA will not be offering Womenís 55, 60, 65 or 70 divisions in the Eastern Nationals, the Western Nationals or the World Masters Championships in 2014 unless four or more teams are interested in competing.
This change DOES NOT affect the Womenís 40 and 50 divisions.
This is not a decision that came lightly -- or quickly. †
It is not punishment because 55-70 womenís teams donít come to these three tournaments. This move is protect the few 55-70 womenís teams that have signed up for these tournaments and made arrangements to compete only to find out two weeks before the tournament that there are not enough teams.
We want to avoid players suffering financial loss and disheartening cancellations.
For background, we have tried to address the problem in the past by surveying womenís teams to find out which tournaments they planned to attend so that we could offer womenís divisions in all of those tournaments.
The result: the 55, 60, 65 and 70 Womenís teams largely didnít show up at the tournaments they listed (except for Reno and Phoenix).
The 40 Masters and 50 Senior Women division teams have supported the Eastern, Western and World Championships in significant numbers, which is why those divisions are offered at the those three tournaments.†
We will continue to offer all womenís senior divisions at the Winter Worlds in Phoenix, Reno, and in any other tournament in which four or more teams want to play. †
But loyalty is a two-way street. †If teams do not support the program, eventually the program will cease to exist.
Terry Hennessy is chief executive officer of Senior Softball-USA and can be reached at email@example.com.