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June 2, 2017
DD
Men's 75
92 posts
DARK CLOUDS IN 65 MAJOR PLUS

Anyone familiar with the 65 Major Plus division for the past 3 years knows the name Timberworks (formerly 15 Hitmen.) The current reigning World Champs, Twerks (as they are affectionately known throughout the land) have racked up an impressive list of tournament victories including yesterday's Rockin Reno crown. Starting in 2015, the 15 Hitmen (now Twerks) have won every SSUSA tournament they've entered except two---the 2015 Worlds in Vegas, and the 2016 NorCal Cup in Sacramento. Quite impressive.

Which makes it all the more astounding that their current manager, an SSUSA Tournament Director, would stoop to the stunt he pulled in yesterday's loser bracket finale in Reno.

Rockin Reno is a tournament that uses the Trump Stote. But the Twerks manager must have thought he was in Las Vegas when he "accidentally" slipped in 3 Trump "Rocks" to start the game. Quickly capitalizing on the illegal ball, the Twerks hit a 3-run homer before anyone noticed they were hitting the "Rock" and then all hell broke loose when it was detected.

Tournament Director Dave Dowell was summoned and he quickly ruled the BALL ILLEGAL under section 3.5(F)with the penalty being an out was called at the time the ball was discovered to be illegal. The 3-run homer was allowed to stand.

Based on this rule interpretation, some may consider it a brilliant move on the Twerks part, even if it was underhanded and unsportsmanlike. Most players assume the integrity of the other manager and often fail to notice immediately when they're being cheated.

Interestingly, in case you're wondering about sanctions for using unapproved equipment, the penalty for using an ILLEGAL BAT is immediate ejection from the game, surrender of the bat (or risk a 1-year suspension and possibly more), an out is called on the hitter, and all baserunners return to the previous base before the illegal bat was used.

Furthermore, the penalties for using an "ALTERED" SOFTBALL are game forfeiture on the first offense and team ejection from the tournament for subsequent offenses with possible additional disciplinary action.

Disciplinary actions for using an ALTERED BAT are tantamount to the death penalty for the offender.

But strangely, the penalty for using an ILLEGAL BALL is 5 minutes at the blackboard writing I will not cheat fifty times.

Since the Twerks manager is a prominent SSUSA Director for the past 10 years or more, one would assume he had knowledge of the Rule Book regarding such matters. He said he "accidentally" grabbed the wrong balls out of his bag...but SSUSA provides the balls we are to use; they were all Trump Stotes...and the question must be asked, "What was a bagful of "Rocks" doing in your dugout at a Stote tournament?"

As they say on ESPN...."Come on, man!!"

Terry Hennessey and the gang have provided us with a Seven Article Code of Ethics on the very first page of their Official Rulebook. Article 7 states: (I will) Not commit any act that could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Article 1 states: (I will) Abide by the current...rules...to the best of my ability.

You might think an SSUSA Tournament Director would be held to at least that standard. But you would be terribly wrong.

With respect, I say to my friends on Timberworks, your terrific in-game performance was sullied by a cheap trick, a lowdown move by the master of mendacity.

Now, where did I put my Original Ultra.....?????




June 2, 2017
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
173 posts
Wow, a mistake made and admitted. Why would a good team need to do such a thing on purpose? No real reason, it's not like something like this would go unnoticed (which it didn't.) Taking this to a public board and bashing a respected and solid individual's reputation way out of line.
Accepted the prescribed punishment and moved on, which we did.
The 65 Major Plus is a very competitive level of softball with some of the classiest and respectful teams in all of the Senior Softball. Tremendous respect within the ranks of the teams and managers, no one has the need or desire to take unfair advantage of each other.
I can guarantee no cheap trick or lowdown move was carried out by anyone on the Timberworks team. We are all human and make mistakes-stuff happens!!!

Steven Imlay
Timberworks Player
June 2, 2017
titanhd
Men's 60
628 posts
Was it your Pitcher that pitched the ball or did their manager pitch the ball too ? You only mention a 3 run homer as the advantage gained. The Game was won by 12 ! Appears they hit ths Stote Ball pretty well too!

Benefit of the doubt it was a mistake. Error was corrected once discovered.
Play Ball!
June 2, 2017
Mark 44
Men's 60
88 posts
Sounds like a major plus case of sour grapes. I pitch & if you throw a rock ball into the game, I'll know it immediately just by the feel. Just throw the ball back to the umpire, get the correct Store ball & "PLAY BALL". That's the correct thing to do, stop a problem before it happens, that's just good sportsmanship. Doug is a stand up guy. Mistakes Happen.
June 2, 2017
Pgh Yinzer
Men's 60
27 posts
Please correct me if I'm wrong.. Ain't the balls suppose to go thru the umpires b4 being put into play ??? Blame them not the mgr
June 3, 2017
Doak
19 posts
I am on the Timberworks team and if I thought our manager put in an Rock on purpose for one second, I would have walked off that field right then, followed by 15 teammates. I have grown to have too much respect for our opposition, people that I have played with and against for years. Major Plus is a very small community and usually close knit. I know Doug. he is honest and has a million things going on and he just screwed up, it happens.... I am sorry the mistake happened and wish it was caught after our first hitter, so we would have had an out and we could have moved on....

Doak #37
June 3, 2017
Don5
Men's 65
65 posts
DD, it seems that your pitcher and catcher did not care to examine the ball before it was first pitched in the game. The rock ball is gold in color and easily distinguished from even the dugout. Yes, Doug is a Director for SSUSA, all the more reason he would not consciously put in a rock ball. Doak is 100% correct, all those guys know each other too well to try to cheat, most are all friends and have played together on various teams. Your comments seem to be in real bad taste, I can understand how you would feel about the 3 run HR but the decision was made and your team has to live with it.
Doug is a very respectable and decent guy just like 98% of all Senior players. Which percentage are you in?

Don Angle
Animals 65
June 3, 2017
angus73
Men's 65
100 posts
I've known Doug for a number of years played with him and against him at different points in our senior softball career , he has always been an upfront outstanding and great representative of the game. Bill Conwell , Rebellion 55
June 3, 2017
Webbie25
Men's 65
2377 posts
I must be getting old. I remember 4 singles being hit (one may have become a double), time stopped and Tom Ott and I wondering what was happening. When the game reset, we were informed there was one out, one run in, and runners were on second and third. I personally handled 2 or 3 of those singles in left and did not notice anything about the ball, but admit I was just getting it back in as fast as possible. Personally, I cannot imagine any scenario that Timberworks would feel they should try this intentionally for ANY reason. How tough is it to eventually notice Rocks were in there? And Wayne, our pitcher, rarely misses a thing. As an intelligent pitcher that knows how to disrupt concentration in any number of ways, how did he miss that golden opportunity for 4 batters? Plus, the umpires almost always check the balls before they throw them in. Sorry, Dennis, I cannot buy intentional on this with any rationale. That makes NO sense. We played poorly and need to accept that and not make excuses. It is time to put this dog to sleep before it gets way out of hand.
June 3, 2017
S24
Men's 65
10 posts
Webbie25 is correct, only 4 singles were hit with wrong ball. I was #2 batter in the first inning and was on 3rd when this came down. No excuse, just a correction to the initial post. Last batter (4th) to hit wrong ball declared out on appeal.
June 3, 2017
SSUSA Staff
3336 posts
Regardless of how anyone commenting here may wish to assess blame/fault/ill-intent (and we are NOT), this would never have arisen had the umpire required all balls entered into play to come through him/her ... There were TWO of these incidents at Golden Eagle during Session #2, both of which could/should have been easily avoided (as Pgh Yinzer observed) ... It's as easy as 1-2-3 ...

1 ē Teams should have ONLY the official tournament softballs in their dugouts;
2 ē ALL softballs entered into the game should go through the umpires; and
3 ē Pitchers be more observant of what softballs they are pitching to the opposition ...

June 4, 2017
cronin51
Men's 55
20 posts
I have known Doug now for 8 years, my whole experience in SSUSA, I find this highly offensive and petty. Air your grievance in person not on the school yard. I played in session one and as entering the complex on Saturday I picked up a freshly hit home run by a fifty team that had the team name and an LV on it, it was a Rock that was obviously from Vegas. I walked the ball in returned it and pointed out their mistake. The guy was genuinely taken aback, said "holy crap" and I left it at that.

Not all is a conspiracy.

John Cronin
Sonoma County Crush 55 major
June 4, 2017
mad dog
Men's 65
4184 posts
come guys...accidentally threw in illegal balls.....got to throw the flag on this one......i will guarantee the manager knew exactly what he was throwing in for balls.......so quit trying to excuse his behavior of attempting to cheat........play by the rules people....
June 4, 2017
breeze53
Men's 65
57 posts
After reading my friends post on illegal balls used in Reno, I knew he would received nothing but venom. If he asked me I would have advise him not to post this issue. But that being said, I would guess that all of those that responded to this post are major plus and or home run hitters that would like nothing more than the use of rock balls be part of all of SSUSA tournaments.
Sure there is history between DD and Timberworks. But that is another story. But,I would like to say that "major plus" and home run hitters should not dominate this post and senior softball. But we all know the huge egos of most of the major plus players. Here are my thoughts, but from a AAA player, this was the 3rd day of the tournament. Not the 1st day, The stote ball was provided by SSUSA . It was not 1 ball but 3 that was given to the umpire. You can claim ignorance if you want. But it makes me wonder, does this manager provide, maybe, shaved bats to the team? Just wondering out loud.
Bob Farmer no team
June 4, 2017
Fabe
Men's 60
452 posts
Only the person who made this ball decision knows his heart's motives. Yet, evidence speaks clearly, from umps, to manager n also the pitcher. Maybe the ONE ball solution should be considered, by those in authority. We are bless to be healthy enough to play this great game, let's be those that are "Gatekeepers" for the generation after us! Just my humble thoughts. Aloha, Fabe
June 4, 2017
EJRivercity
2 posts
OK-Time to put this to rest & I am a current member of Timberworks and a prior member of the Hitmen.DD is actually a most personable guy who is dedicated to softball. He has put together many competitive teams over the years as well as his personal $$ to making softball better.

He is a relentless organizer and recruiter. Just look at what he accomplished after Timberworks and he parted company. He developed a a new and competitive team again. His current players include not only some of the finest ball players but really great guys. They include : a former Chicago Bear LB ( played a # of years at a high level and is a super guy) ; many accomplished individuals; successful businessmen & educators; and even a DR ( a neurotester, another great guy) . BUT, does he sorta get misguided occasionally, like many of us. Maybe ? probably yes...at least occasionally. That is why the Hitmen and he did not continue.....just simple differences.

Certainly he was mistaken in his recounting of the current issue. 4 singles were hit before the inappropriate ball was determined to be used....only after the Stote was inserted into play and the penalty determined ( an out and loss of a potential run & runners returned to prior base)was the HR hit.

Before I recount how this mistake MAY have occurred, I'd like to describe Doug. He happens to be the SSUSA guy who uses his vehicle and trailer to transport all the equipment incl home plates, balls, awards and water jugs to the many west coast events and gets them to the various game sites. He spends much of his time.....most of it on the days he is even managing the Timberworks guys by doing extra work for SSUSA. Work he feels important to make the event a success for SSUSA and the ballplayers.Yes, so much time, he only occasionally at best is able to enjoy team dinners. He takes his responsibilities as a SSUSA rep very seriously. He simply views SSUSA as important.....even more so than a team actually. His players understand this.

He was actually recruited as manager /sponsor some short weeks after players of the Hitmen left. This was done at a lunch with 5 players present. Doug refused to consider it till he was fully assured that the relationship with the Hitmen was over contrary to other thoughts.

Did he purposefully and willfully give the umpires the ROCK balls for game use ? ABSOLUTELY NOT ! AND WHY ? He is quite honest but he does forget things like : BP times and when team awards are to be presented....sometimes a few months after the particular event. Issues that the team does not think too critical actually. BUT, YES and CERTAINLY he made a mistake----one which seemed sorta somewhat a little understandable ( not really liked by the Timberworks guys though) as he is usually so busy that someone may just pick up after him. He grabbed his equipment and package(bag) of balls from that trailer & game site before the first game that day. Embarrassing when he gave the umpires the game balls ? YES and I discount the comments of Mad Dog and Breeze. Were they there and do they know Doug ? I was and I do.

BUT...let's put this baby to rest . Is this a life -threatening issue or one to be of significance to the readers ?? Many of our guys and probably players of other teams have critical family health issues, player health remedy questions, and personal issues that dwarf this Board issue. I don't think other players all over the country even care that the Hitmen had a change in managers a couple of years back or that those players found another manager/sponsor. I'd be concerned about my new team. SO...who cares ?? move forward. No need to talk about crap when there are many more essential issues of importance. I sorta like reading some of the many messages on the BOARD. SO Terry, Dave , Fan....just consider dumping this thread. It does no good and only fosters unneeded differences when the issue was corrected at the game site/time.

Ellwin
Timberworks




a mistake


June 4, 2017
team1st
4 posts
Iíve never posted on this message board before. May never again. Just not my thing. But others have asked me to look at this discussion.

It is admirable that Timberworks teammates speak up to defend their manager and sponsor. Iím sure they want to believe in and support him. I have great respect for them. Iíve been proud to be the teammate of many of them for decades. One at least 30 years. Iíve had many wonderful softball experiences with many of them and certainly respect them. They are an excellent team. They do not need unfair advantages to win a softball tournament.

Now, letís look at the facts in this case unemotionally and objectively. The Timberworks manager is an experienced SSUSA Tournament Director. I personally played for him for years. He may have known exactly what he was doing when those balls were entered into the game or he may have just made an honest ďmistakeĒ. Regardless, it is really NOT relevant that he did it intentionally or unintentionally. Intent is not relevant in court in defense of an automobile driving infraction and it is not relevant here.

Maybe the umpire should have noticed the illegal ball. But as a registered experienced SSUSA umpire myself, I know that up until now the emphasis has been on ensuring that teams hit the balls with their name on it and not those of the opposing team. To my knowledge, there has never been a strong emphasis on the brand name. Iím sure that will change now.

Per the SSUSA post, it is the managerís responsibility to ONLY have tournament softballs in the dugout. It is the managerís responsibility to use ONLY those balls given in the half-box to him upon checking in his team. There is no doubt that the Timberworks manager knows this policy extremely well. Iím certain he would be quite upset if an opposing manager broke this policy or a manager broke this policy when he was the Director. I canít help but wonder if the Rock was used in Timberworks' prior seeding games.

It is absolutely NOT the opposing teamís responsibility to inspect the balls given to them by the umpire. To claim that it is, is a copout and a distraction. It is SOLELY the managerís responsibility. If the wrong ball is entered, he is SOLELY responsible, NOT the other team and NOT the umpire.

The penalty for this offense is totally inadequate. One out? If SSUSA rules say the penalty is one out, that penalty should be increased immediately. Timberworks should have forfeited that game for entering the Rocks into the game regardless of whether it was an accident or not. What is to stop the next team from perpetrating this same infraction in the future? One out? The appearance of integrity, ethics, fairness, and sportsmanship must be protected. They are critical to the camaraderie and future of the game we love.

Additionally, was it also an ďaccidentĒ that in this same tournament, Timberworks was initially given the number one seed in the elimination bracket when they did not earn the number one seed? Was it also an ďaccidentĒ that when it was repeatedly brought to the attention of the appropriate 65 Major Plus Tournament Directors, they didnít have to look up the runs allowed tie breaker rule being only from games between the tied teams? At first, they insisted it was all seeding games. Then, they insisted it was too late to change the seeding, although it was still 30 minutes before elimination bracket game times. Then, they reluctantly, upon repeated inquiry, just ďfixed itĒ.

Since the change to only two seeding games, the runs allowed tie breaker is a very common occurrence in every SSUSA major tournament. Every Tournament Director has seen it used many times. It is absolutely totally unreasonable to believe the Timberworksí manager did not know they had not earned the number one seed. I played for the Timberworks' manager for years. The Timberworks' manager is very sharp in this regard. There is no doubt in my mind. He knew they had not earned the number one seed. He either chose to ignore the ďmistakeĒ or he may have even helped apply the runs allowed tie breaker rule.

There is no way to positively identify if these two separate incidents in the same tournament involving the Timberworks' manager are really coincidental ďaccidentsĒ or ďmistakesĒ. Itís remotely possible. Or, maybe, just sometimes, if it walks like duck and quacks like a duck, it just really might be a duck.

The appearance of integrity and ethics and the appearance of a lack of favoritism are just as important as reality to many of us and our continued participation in senior softball. In my opinion in order to ensure the appearance of integrity and ethics, SSUSA should do two things. First, immediately increase the penalty for entering the wrong ball into the game in the future. Second, the Timberworks' manager should not be assigned as a SSUSA Tournament Director for a minimum of one year.

Yes, my longtime dear friends, with all due respect to your manager and SSUSA, I sadly agree with DD. And, he positively has every right to address the question of the appearance of your managerís ethics and integrity. SSUSA should not just blindly defend its employee, who in this case is the Timberworks' manager.

Love you all and God Bless
June 4, 2017
DCPete
409 posts
If the Stote ball wasn't such an inferior, under-performing product compared to The Rock, this wouldn't even be an issue.
Wonder what would happen if a team put a Stote ball in a game where The Rock ball was being used . . .
June 5, 2017
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
It always amazing that we provide our own balls first of all... secondly, EVERY TEAM KNOWS the balls... Penalty should be forfeit of the game! IMO
June 5, 2017
softball4b
Men's 70
1208 posts
Step away from the message board for one minute and chaos ensues. I do not know team1st and he made some very interesting points, but let's add to the discussion. All questions to be responded to by "likely or unlikely".

It appears we are trying to make a legal argument. Since this occur in Nevada. Nevada employs a doctrine known as ďcontributory negligence.Ē This means that liability will be spread proportionately according to fault. ... Generally speaking, if you were more than 51% negligent in the accident, you may not be eligible to recover damages. Therefore, fault with DR for having a non sanctioned ball in the dugout, fault with DR for putting in a non sanctioned ball, fault with Umpire for not reviewing ball prior to use, fault with Pitcher for not recognizing this ball was different from the ones used in the previous 4 games, fault with catcher for same, to a limited degree fault lies with DD for not checking opposing teams ball prior to use.

In any action there must be damages. Here is the rub. Granted it was a 3 run homer and subsequent runners on base. There is no clear path the use of the Rock was the final determining factor in the score of the game. It can be argued it was a momentum shifting event. Likely, but not conclusive.

Conclusion, a reasonable individual would have to conclude that DR was so fixated on winning that he deliberately cheated jeopardizing income, reputation and ultimate suspension. Ultimately we each will decide what we believe regarding DR's intent or lack there of and individually it will affect how we may feel about DR personally.

From a business standpoint, I expect SSUSA will take a hard look at actions (not necessarily intent) and consequences. Emphasize training, responsibility of umpires, TDs, and personal team responsibility.

On a side note. Sure the Rock travels better than a Stote in Hot weather. It was Reno, 5000 feet and major plus players, either ball flies and we all know it. Does not change the use issue, only do not muddle the discussion with ball comparisons.

My humble opinion and no dog in this fight.

Mike Adair





June 5, 2017
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4097 posts
Randy (team1st) ... I seldom respond to specific ill-informed and factually deficient posts because it's simply not the best utilization of time in this generally anonymous opinion board ... This is one of those exceptions because you have questioned the integrity of the SSUSA in general, and two of our National Tournament Directors in particular, one being me ... Just to get it out there first, all of us are human and as a human, I make mistakes ... Even you do too, but more on that later ... The measure of responsibility in handling mistakes is NOT whether or not mistakes are made, but rather how they are rectified ...

ē The Rock Ball issue WAS a failure of three parties, [1] the offense for allowing the presence of non-tournament approved (read: illegal) softballs in the dugout, something almost ALL teams that play in Las Vegas do; [2] the umpire for not following the stated protocol of having all balls entered into play come through him/her; and [3] and the pitcher, who in this case erroneously presumed the penalty would be a batter ejection and, therefore, waited until the clean-up batter came to the plate before raising the controversy ... Your assertion that neither the defense nor the umpire has ANY obligation in enforcing this rule is a mistake (#1 for you) ... Three parties for enforcement is the goal ... As an umpire registered with SSUSA, you should have known the penalty for this circumstance, and you should also know that we consider rule changes only once annually, at the meetings of the National Rules Committee during the SSUSA/ISA Convention ... Your assertion that the rule should be changed immediately, and possibly even retroactively last week, is your mistake (#2 for you), notwithstanding that your team wasn't even playing in that game ... You didn't "have a dog in that fight" ...

ē The 65-Major+ Seeding issue was solely my error ... It was my mistake for not knowing and following the exact process in a full round robin environment with a multi-team tie that does not involve all teams in the division ... When you asked how I seeded them, I told you "..aggregate runs allowed in all games.." ... You then said that was wrong, and after consulting the rule book, I immediately, and without argument, made the change and apologized ... Your accusation that I did this either independently or in collusion with the Timberworks manager to benefit their team is a grossly irresponsible insult ... After you left the Director Table area and I had made the change, the Timberworks manager was in my face about it, too ... Showing him the applicable rule reference stopped that immediately and he offered an apology for being upset, something you must have forgotten to do after the correction was made in your favor ...

ē The Batters' Boxes at Golden Eagle issue one that arises every time we play on artificial turf facilities with permanent batters' boxes ... You must have left this item out because of how wrong you were about it ... But in every one of those tournaments, there is "that guy" who makes a scene ... That guy was YOU last week ... We also occasionally run the "tape-measure-show" as a demo, knowing every time what the results will be ... Your rant was that the boxes were the wrong size and improperly placed ... Technically, you were correct ... They actually measured 7'-1" in depth, 3'-1" in width, and 1" closer to the pitcher's rubber than they should have been ... In NO event were they too small (#3 for you) or too far back (#4 for you) ...

It appears your message may have been just a venting from the frustration of giving up 15 runs in the top of the open inning to lose by four in the Championship game and following that up by losing the "If" game to complete the double-dip ... It certainly wasn't due to any meritorious analysis of what transpired on site ... We don't presume the worst of anyone who plays in our events ... You may wish to consider the same approach ...

June 5, 2017
softball4b
Men's 70
1208 posts
Sorry my error - Granted it was a 3 run homer and subsequent runners on base. (No homer, 4 singles in a row with the 4th batter being out). This does not change any of my foundation statements.
June 5, 2017
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
As the mgr of the Omen 65 team, I can say that TW double dipped us because they out executed us at the right time. Whatever happened between them and old A's had zero to do with the outcome of our games.
It puzzles my why Dave would speculate on something that he knows little about.
Let me be as straightforward as I can possibly be... we lost because we didn't do what we should, when we should. To my knowledge, NO ONE ON OUR TEAM blames our loss on anyone but ourselves.
It seems to me that there is a hell of a lot of speculation about what others are thinking and I'm not sure which of you are the least qualified to make these assumptions... i.e. was the TW mgr aware or not? I wasn't even at the park when it went down so I do not know the answer to that... I don't really care, one way or the other...
Randy spoke for himself... and in doing so may have offended the powers that be.
Dave, please leave our team out of this horseshit... unless you know something I don't. If so, please share it with me first... that's a consideration I'd give you.
Bob Woodroof
June 5, 2017
Matt43
22 posts
I can say pitching for a long time I always know what ball
I have before I pitch. Because, over time, I have found the wrong ball to have been tossed in. Do I think every time it happened it was on purpose, no. To want to suspend teams when this occurs is over board and if a rule, needs to be changed.
June 5, 2017
team1st
4 posts
Dear Dave,
I have not questioned the integrity of SSUSA in general. In fact, as far as I am aware, SSUSA as an organization has always handled rule violations with ultimate integrity. The current issue relates specifically to two Tournament Directors, you and DR. DD, myself or any other ballplayer has every right to examine the facts regarding last weekís Rock-N-Reno. Many also believe SSUSA Executives should also examine the facts regarding the ball swap and seeding issues and make its own internal evaluation.

As a retired CPA and Fraud Investigator and Auditor, Iíve had decades of experience studying deceit and dishonesty. Often the first reaction of a perpetrator is ďIt was a mistake or it was an accident.Ē The next response is often to verbally attack the messenger personally. Thatís what I see in your post attacking me and othersí posts attacking DD. In my studies and examinations, Iíve learned guilt can be very painful. Please letís all agree to keep our discourse on topic, professional and courteous.

You distract from the serious ball and seeding issues with other issues. Letís address the issues individually.

First, despite your attempt to do so, the teams, players and managers I play ball with have absolutely nothing to do with my examining these issues. I play with the teams I play with because I have unequivocal confidence in their integrity and ethics. Specifically, since you brought them up, the quality and character of the players and manager on the Omen team is phenomenal. They are the finest teammates and quality individuals I could ever expect to be associated with in my life. I am truly honored and blessed to be associated with them. I am certain many, if not all of them, would prefer I not address the ball and seeding issues. However, my conscience and internal nature is to address inequity and deceit head on. I find I sleep better.

Second, the balls: It doesnít matter what ball we use as long as we all use the same ball. Violations should be punished at the same level of icing balls and altered bats.

Third, seeding: Questions:
1) Since the inception of the two seeding game format, isnít the runs allowed tie breaker rule applied in virtually every large SSUSA tournament? Answer: Yes.
2) Shouldnít every Director be very familiar with this rule? Answer: Yes. FYI, Corky was familiar with the rule when I asked him before I spoke to you. I believe he spoke to you before I got to speak to you.
3) Didnít you tell me face to face that you were certain the runs allowed tie breaker was applied to all seeding games, not just the games between the tied teams? Answer: Yes.
4) Even after I read the SSUSA rule to you stating that only games between the tied teams are used, didnít you just smile and insist Timberworks would still be the number one seed? Answer: Yes.
5) Didnít you then state it was too late to change the seeding because it was already written on the board, even though the game times were 30 minutes away? Answer: Yes.
5) Is it true that you didnít even need to look in the SSUSA rule book or read them on my phone when you finally capitulated that Timberworks had not earned the number one seed and you would ďfix itĒ? Answer: Yes. This seems to indicate you already knew the correct rule and you knew that Timberworks had not earned the number one seed. Yet, you wanted to leave them in that spot.

I donít know whatís in your heart. Iíve always assumed the best of you and Iíve never been disappointed. However, any objective reasonable person looking at the above facts and the fact that the Timberworks' manager is also a SSUSA Tournament Director can only assume there is an appearance of a conflict of interest and favoritism towards the Timberworks' manager. That said, no one is proposing punishment nor changing the seeding rule. Iím politely asking you be a little more sensitive to the issue of the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially regarding the Timberworks' manager who is also a SSUSA Tournament Director. There is only one reason this issue has been raised at all. That is the discussion regarding the illegal balls also concerns that same Timberworks' manager.

Fourth, and least important, the batterís box: I saw numerous complaints from many teams in the tournament regarding the batterís box. While the boxes are a little different on each field, they were generally an inch or more short. Not a big issue until you recognize the box is not far enough forward of the plate. The game is changed when you increase the number of dead ball outs per game. It was not good for the game. In 45 years of softball, Iíve never seen so many dead ball outs. I talked to one player who had been called out 6 times. It was less of an issue later in the tournament due to batterís adjustments and good umpire judgement. It was odd that SSUSA chose to advice their umpires to aggressively call the out of the batterís box dead ball outs in this tournament when everyone knows it is a continual issue on these fields.

SSUSA can resolve this issue in a number of ways. My suggestion is to switch to an angled mat aligned with the back sides of the plate. Extend the length of the mat a little. If the pitch hits the plate, it is a ball. This also has the safety advantage of moving the batter a little further from the pitcher.

To my knowledge no one is asking for any punishment other than the appropriate penalty to the Timberworks' manager/SSUSA Tournament Director for providing illegal balls to the umpire. I believe we can all agree the appearance of fairness, ethics, and integrity in the game is critically important.
God Bless
June 6, 2017
team1st
4 posts
Dear Dave,
Iím sorry. After sleeping on it, I believe the seeding issue was an honest error and you fixed it. I believe our differences in recollection is likely due to my sensitivity to DRís position with SSUSA and the ball issue.

I truly respect you and admire all you do for all us old ballplayers. Thank you. You have always been and I suspect you always will be an honest and more than competent representative of SSUSA.

Again, Iím sorry. We would never have had this discussion without the ball issue. I pray we can get back to our previous respectful and friendly relationship.

Regarding the balls. If DR made an honest mistake and those balls were inadvertently brought to the first elimination bracket game, were they also used during the prior seeding games? I suspect it is very possible no one knows, not even DR. Iím certain DR feels horrible about handing those balls to the umpire. I wish him well and we need to move on.

I believe weíve all learned some valuable lessons and can make positive changes. Personally, I remember now why I donít use the message board and why we should talk person to person rather than air differences here.

I vote we abolish this thread, is that the right term?
God Bless
June 6, 2017
softball4b
Men's 70
1208 posts
Randy,

I agree we should close this tread, but leave it open for view. When an individual reflects on his position and adjusts their view, then it should be fully documented.

Your kind words to Dave/Doug should not be removed without the benefit of others seeing your final thoughts on this matter. We ALL should be judged/viewed in the entirety and not as a snapshot in time.

Mike Adair
June 6, 2017
Fabe
Men's 60
452 posts
Great game, imperfect people playing it, but good conversations! Growing pains are uncomfortable, however these moments can make us bitter or better! Mahalo to SSUSA n all the people that help us to play this great game....to those being honest n open in this thread mahalo to you! This ball issue appears to be a topic that can n should be addressed n taken cared of. Looking forward to seeing n playing with U guys soon! Aloha, Fabe
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