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Jan. 31, 2021
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 3rd Base Commitment line

By the way, shortstop apologizes to me after the play because he knew I didn't see him (and he outweighed me by 50 pounds).
Jan. 31, 2021
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 3rd Base Commitment line

I have a related question for a play that I was part of.

I'm on second, a runner is on first. One away. Ground ball hit near to pitcher and on his right. Shortstop playing very deep (good arm).

I'm watching to see if pitcher fields ball or boots it with chance for me to go to third then home. I am running at the crack of the bat because of potential force at third.

BOOM! Shortstop rushing in from his position and he hits me from behind on right shoulder and side. We both go flying. Ball goes through into left center. Umpire says nothing and I get to my feet and scramble to third before ball is retrieved by outfielder. Should I have been out for interference? I had no idea shortstop would come rushing up out of my vision.
Jan. 22, 2021
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: VEGAS

Hello Tomar and Dave,
A few years back there was quite a discussion on this board about the Rock softball, used only in Vegas at that time (I believe). The comments were basically split between those who thought it was too hot (I among that group) and those who liked the way it carried.

In any event, discussion was ended when you noted that part of the agreement with LVSSA was that the Rock would be used in the world tournament to the exclusion of other options. Evidently, that requirement has also ended. So I was disappointed to read that SSUSA will continue to use the Rock in tournaments until the supply is exhausted.

I understand the economics of this decision (my Club has some Baden FireBalls that will be used until gone), but I would prefer seeing the Rocks on hand being used in a tournament plagued by high humidity and played at a lower altitude (and of course with ample warning to tournament teams). Just my opinion.
Dec. 1, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Senior League Play with Pitcher using a SCREEN

Hello spider, Our senior league uses a screen for the pitcher, in fact it is mandated that all pitchers must have the screen. Most pitchers place it 3 to 4 feet in front of them so they can take a step. However, there is no rule as to placement left or right (although no one moves it drastically in either direction) so some like to be halfway behind the screen when releasing a pitch and others like to be on the side of the screen in order to better field a ball (depends on the power of the batter!).

No one has ever positioned themselves 10 feet back and thrown over the screen with one exception. We have an invitational Saturday league that is mostly tournament teams and one excellent pitcher tried exactly that so the ball rose above the screen and dropped down. The League Commissioner told him that was illegal and he accepted it and there was no repeat of it (even though we didn't make it a rule).

I never experienced batting against it but I would not like it and it changes the game too much.
Nov. 18, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Infield fly rule......

stick8, you are correct葉hat would be an accurate call, but since we don't pay any umpires, we take what we get and the call "infield fly" is usually enough as most of the players know that the batter is out. I can't remember the last time that an infield fly ended up going foul洋ight be years, but it would certainly result in a lot of discussion no matter what happened to it next. However, since we don't have the option to advance on an infield fly, it keeps the discussion lively but not heated. By the way, our night leagues and Saturday leagues do follow the normal infield fly rules since many of the players there are also tournament players and like to practice in realistic conditions.

Our players are so congenial that in the absence of a dedicated umpire for a game, the catcher becomes the umpire!! We just changed that rule last year before Covid hit, where bench sitters become the umpires for home plate as well as first and third. Still works out well and does help overcome the normal "homer" tendency to call one's own team safe on close calls on the bases. Wish we were playing again and we could see if it continues to be an improvement.


Nov. 17, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: empire/winter nationals

Dave, beautiful response to hitking.
Nov. 17, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Infield fly rule......

Our weekly (pre-Covid, sadly) Club league also changed the infield fly rule about 15 years ago. We have a variety of ages, even players into their 90s, and a variety of skills. It is still the umpire's decision to call an infield fly when the appropriate baserunners conditions are there, but we do take into account the infielder's abilities. One shortstop easily makes plays on a popup, even up to 40 feet behind him; another second baseman is almost immobile (injury or physical condition) and has trouble coming forward 15 feet for a popup. Should both be an "infield fly" call by the umpire? We decided no.

But the significant rule change is that no one can advance on an IF. So when it is called, players just rest on their bag and wait for the next batter. Occasionally a newer player will try to advance after an infielder muffs the catch, but we calmly explain our rule. Our experience is the same as Turbobob's葉he result of the change was almost all arguments were eliminated, we just play softball without it and with compassion for our less experienced or less skilled players, and we play on, happy that we can still play at our age (average about 68 years and women welcome).
Nov. 13, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Pure - Fast Eddy

I disagree. When you plunk down $300 for a "new hot bat" and doesn't even have the power of your old game bat, then when friends ask you how the new bat is working, you say "takes a while to break in."
Nov. 9, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Interference

Randall, consider this oft-seen scenario. Runner on first, no one out. Runner is a big fella, and slower than average. Batter is leadoff and the fastest on the team. Batter hits ground ball to short, shortstop bobbles the catch, retrieves the ball from the ground, runs to second for the successful out and then cocks his arm to throw to first for the potential double play. Guy lumbering down from first is not going to slide and in fact comes in straight up. Ump correctly calls the out at second, but realizes that the batter has already made it to first and is poised to continue on if short continues to bobble ball. It certainly would be interference if there were a potential out at first, but that option has already expired. Why call the batter out when he is already past first before the ball even arrived at second.?
Oct. 12, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: TEAMS MOVING UP

Let's see. A major team wins its bracket in all but one tournament they entered. At St. George they similarly do well, beating all teams but one in bracket play and later rounds, and by an average of 7 runs. They meet the sole undefeated team in the finals and win様eading to the if game which they lose by one run. Of course the winner gets moved up to Major Plus. Will the other team complain if they also get moved up?


Sept. 22, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: C19 at Worlds.

Dave, I feel for you and the SSUSA staff. Publicize the rules, again and again. Warn all the managers. Revise the rules and republicize (making them more healthy). Rewarn all managers. Point out the need for health rules obedience, if not for your own belief, than to make the site governors happy. Decide you have no option but to enforce rules. And then get lambasted by disgruntled folks用layers would be a bit more understandable, but spouses?! It's been some year, hasn't it?!
Sept. 22, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: C19 at Worlds.

Tim, this is very discouraging news. My wife was reluctant to go with me since she didn't believe some of the players she has met would obey and follow mask restrictions. I told her I thought they would (I knew my team, with 2 exceptions, would not have trouble following guidelines). However, she said I should multiply my two guys by the many other teams there. I heard her, and reluctantly told my manager that without my wife II was not going to St. George.

Turns out she was right! Sadly. Use of dugouts...wives and fans unmasked (or having to perch 300+ feet away), even catchers not complying (thought there was a punishment for the manager if that happened). Seems like only the umps are complying...and they are paid to comply. So disturbing. I'm hoping that my team does well, but I don't want victories at the price of contagion. I guess SSUSA has to patrol the stands and bounce teams for non-compliance but who would have thought that? A defeat for all involved.
Sept. 8, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Happened to us

Thanks Wayne and B.J.. Now I will wait until it happens in a game that I'm involved in. LOL
Sept. 7, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Happened to us

Couple of interesting scenarios if ball is not caught until fielder voluntarily removes it from the glove.

1. Bases loaded, two away, batter hits a short fly ball. Left center fielder makes running shoestring catch, defensive team cheers, all runners were advancing but once ball is in glove, they veer toward the dugout and batter picks up his bat without going to first to also return to get his glove to play defense. Fielder keeps running, intending to toss the ball to the ump before going in to hit, trips on second base, falls to ground, mitt hits ground, rolls out様ive ball! Shortstop could retrieve ball and throw home or to first, but he has also vacated field and is in his dugout! Players return to every base to touch and advance but third base runner has gone to first base side dugout and doesn't see what is happening.

2. Bases loaded, no outs, batter hits short fly. Left center fielder playing deep makes running shoestring catch, defensive team cheers, all runners hold their base to wait for next batter, hitter does not run to first but returns to retrieve his bat and head for the dugout. Fielder's momentum keeps him running for about 30 feet, steps in gopher hole, falls to ground, ball bounces out. Live ball! Everyone takes off as ball rolls toward left field. Left fielder comes rushing in to check on teammate who is still lying on ground, all runners on base keep running home as ball lies in left field. Where is the batter? In the dugout, hanging up his bat.
Aug. 29, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Player Rankings & Team Rosters

Seems so easy to rank a player, doesn't it. Most of us can gauge talent if we follow a few players through a tournament or two and see what they contribute. But following 30,000 players!!! What SSUSA does is rank teams and that is much easier but still subject to second guessing. Take the tournament scores...then judge the quality of the competition...then the luck of the seeding...then weather conditions (want to judge hitters if the sun is low in the sky directly behind the pitcher? Outfielders if the game is played in rain on sloppy conditions). And then try to adjudicate the many complaints of over-rated and under-rated teams.

But to judge an individual...was he active this year? How many tournaments? How many at bats? Defensive opportunities? Distracted by a failing relationship? Doesn't get along with team? Chokes in pressure situations? On and on.

Then deal with the vagaries of life. Is he injured? Recent surgery? Overweight? Diseased? or in reverse...cured from disease? Successful operation? Lost some weight? or the inevitable...starting to age badly and losing speed, or arm, or bat power, or dementia setting in.

So many variables. I doubt if any association can reliably rate most players and I would guess that they would be second-guessed on more than half of their ratings.
Aug. 24, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: LOOKING FOR GOOD 60AAA PLAYERS

Clever conversation guys. I occasionally play tournaments with a guy who regularly hits 2 or 3 homers in a tournament, plays any position except pitcher, has a willing good attitude, runs fast, lots of stamina in hot weather, but in our age bracket (oldest guys) has a weak arm, unreliable glove, foolish baserunner, swings hard at 3-0 counts, and is still considered a "good" player, worthy of picking up for an important tournament (and drives our manager crazy with his unpredictable performance).
Aug. 24, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Confirmation on balls for Worlds

Pete, I agree with you completely. The ROCK is my least favorite ball of all. I would rather play with a sock of a ball than the ROCK. I have missed JDub's contribution and stand behind it葉he sport has changed for the worse with its hot bats and balls and this is indicated by declining participation all over senior softball. In northern California, for example, participation is down with 16% fewer teams than five years ago...and this with better health for oldsters and younger teams constantly moving into senior softball.
Aug. 3, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Dave, it was not completely unexpected (no one made hotel reservations) but my team was one of many that chose Manteca over Utah for the exact same dates. As much as I love to play in St. George, there was no enthusiasm for my older team to go to a hotel in Utah for the event. My manager is polling the team again right now with the hope we might get in if players want to go, but so far the polling is saying "skip it".
Aug. 2, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Redwood City has always been very kind to softball players, including seniors.

Dave, I saw the sad news about Nevada shutting down Mesquite. Have you seen yet that the competing large Hall of Fame tournament in Manteca, CA, just had the plug pulled on them?
Aug. 2, 2020
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA's WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020

Staff, depends on the venue whether fences can be put up on a large field. Redwood City, CA has all turf fields and at the last tournament held there, the 400 foot hardball diamond was converted to 350 feet by use of temporary fences on wheels that lower to ground level for stability. These are multi-use fields (little league, soccer, teen hardball, softball, etc.) so the city bought fences to shorten distances for any of the fields. Expensive but they should last for years. Storage is a bit of a problem, but since this site is in a moderate California climate, they are often stored by just pushing them into an empty corner of a field. They don't even chain them down when not in use since who would steal a 10 foot section of wire fencing? They sometimes chain them together to keep soccer teams from dragging them out to use as practice goals. Seems like Mesquite could do the same thing if the demand was there.
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