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75 and 80 Survey: Return to Double Elimination

Dec. 1, 2013 – Beth Hamilton

By Beth Hamilton

Softball News Report

In a SSUSA survey, 75+ and 80+ players and managers soundly rejected the round-robin format used this year at the World Masters Championships (WMC) in Las Vegas.

Players surveyed also overwhelmingly requested returning to a double-elimination format.

“Two years ago we used our normal double-elimination format, and the 75 and 80 teams complained that they were forced to play too many games in a day in hot weather,” said Terry Hennessy, SSUSA’s chief executive officer.

“To address their concern this year, we changed to a round-robin format with only the top teams from each pool advancing to the finals. Obviously that wasn’t popular either, so we decided to poll the 75 and 80 managers and players.”

The problem arose, Hennessy said, because of the explosive growth in the number of teams in the 75 and 80 divisions in the WMC.

Managers and players were offered three options in the survey. More than 30 percent of the 575 players and managers in the 75 and 80 divisions responded.

The most popular option, which 56 percent of the respondents chose, was to return to the original WMC format of 4 round robin games into a double-elimination bracket final.

(This format could result in some teams playing as many as 4 or 5 games in the last day.)

“Most of us have been happy with the double elimination system since we have been playing.” says Jack Light, Manager of Gold Coast 75AAA. “It gives every team a chance to win even after a poor start. There is nothing that hurts more than losing a chance to win because of the luck of the draw.”

The option picked has been the format SSUSA have used for years. The only reason Senior Softball had previously decided to try another format was the concerns players had for playing too many games in a single day.

Only 12 percent of the respondents chose the option of the round-robin format used this year at the WMC. That format broke teams into Subdivisions for 6 seeding games, then a play-off of the top teams. (This format would result in only a few teams advancing to the finals).

About 31 percent of the respondents chose a third option, which included fewer round robin games and a double elimination final.

Under this option, teams would play only 2 or 3 robin games, and then begin the double elimination bracket. (This format would mean some teams would only play 4 or 5 games over the 4 days).

“We would like to thanks the players and managers for their input; it helps us adopt a format that the majority likes,” said Hennessy.

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