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Discussion: Vegas 65 AAA observations

Posted Discussion
Sept. 26
local

169 posts
Our team was out early,that happens. Here are a few thoughts. The tournament was well organized. Games were pretty much on time. We came across only one umpire that made the game about him. The rest were great. No need to mention names. I spoke with the manager of a Texas team that told me that a California team they had just played were using a ball with blue stitching. I thought that was not possible because teams are only allowed to use tournament issued balls. I talked with the tournament director about this and she told me that SSUSA allowed this ???? I am hoping SSUSA can provide some clarification.
Oct. 7
Guns Coach
Men's 65
19 posts
Is SSUSA going to provide clarification on the question concerning the use of a ball with blue stitching?
Oct. 7
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
There is no "clarification" required ... At least one of the following happened, none of which should have ...

• The manager of the team that introduced the non-authorized ball was not at the Manager Meeting where the ball rules were clearly discussed, or he was there and chose to ignore the rules as explained;
• The pitcher of the team throwing the non-authorized ball(s) failed to notice them and bring it to the attention of the umpire; and/or
• The umpire failed to instruct both teams, and require compliance, that all softballs put in play come through the umpire for verification ...

An unfortunate circumstance for sure, possibly bordering on shading the rules or cheating ... However, this should be self-policing since one team's pitcher handles every softball presented for pitching to the offensive team ... Advice for the future: Don't hesitate to inform an umpire and ask for a Director if in doubt as to the correct softball being introduced for play ... Sometime people cheat and sometimes the opposing team and the umpire are not aware it's happening ...

Oct. 8
missouridave
Men's 60
166 posts
Dave Dowell, I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately you do not know the true story in this case. My team played against the California team in the winners bracket. We were told by the team that played them before us that they were allowed to use a different ball. I went and spoke with the Director on site. He informed me that they were balls that had been used last year. He also stated that Terry Hennessey had personally approved them to use a different ball. Did it make a difference in the game? No. But they did use a different ball than everyone else. I told the Director that they were potentially undermining the integrity of the whole tournament by allowing the team to use a different ball. The Director to his credit did not take a position one way or the other, just stated that the boss had OK'd the use of the ball. I will be greatly surprised if you respond to this note. I know we could have a conversation in private but sincerely doubt that anyone who works for SSUSA will take on the boss in public. Want to avoid this next year? SSUSA should provide EVERY ball for EVERY game. Do not allow ANY team, let alone one from near Sacramento to bring their own balls. Over to you DD. Your old buddy from Missouri.
Oct. 8
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
"Other" Dave ... I, too, believe everything you said, but there is an obvious administrative inconsistency here somewhere ... I was the lead Director at BLD for Sessions #3 (40-Major) and #4 (50-AAA), and there was a very different instruction there ... A few teams were advised, also quoting Terry, that we were authorized to trade out any non-compliant balls for the tournament issue balls ... We took in over five dozen of those balls, on a straight non-monetary trade basis, to get the right ones in the hands of the teams ... Consistency and a level playing field for everyone is critical in any tournament ... Although the balls we encountered are a LESSER performing ball, it can still be an advantage to hit them if, say, you are out of home runs ... It's not my position to question other Directors at fields where I wasn't present, but I'm absolutely certain of the instruction we received and fully complied with at BLD on our watch ...

Oct. 8
missouridave
Men's 60
166 posts
Dave, again I believe you. Please talk to the Director who was at the 65AAA park. I am not going to put his name here as I am sure you know who was there. Not only did I talk to him, but so did several other managers and players. We all got the same story. Terry personally approved this particular team using balls from the 2018 tournament. I am not suggesting there was anything untoward going on. But the PERCEPTION is all wrong. Again I don't blame the Director at our fields. He was just following orders from the boss. Great tournament, the umpires were great, fields were OK (except for the gopher mounds and holes). You get it, you risk the integrity of the tourney by allowing this to happen. Thanks for all you do.
Oct. 8
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
Thanks, Dave ... I'll make some private inquiries, but the results of that will remain private ... Thanks for your insights and for the heads-up ...
Oct. 8
jackbrun
Men's 70
60 posts
Let me address this as I am the manager of the team that was allowed to use last year's balls. I was not at the managers meeting nor was anyone from my team there as I do not want to subject my non-smokers to the second hand smoke that is always present at the hotel's where the meeting are held for all Las Vagas tournaments.
That being said, I brought two of last year's balls as backup balls only and that is how they were used. I went to the field director and the UIC and officially inquired about using these balls. The both said the Terry had approved their use. I would have NEVER used them if they were not approved.
I am deeply saddened that someone who doesn't even know me or my team is questoning our/my integrity. There was absolutely no intention of "shading the rules or cheating". That would never happen! I respect the game and the people that are still playing it way too much to do such a thing.

Respectfully,
Jack Brunschmid
Manager
No Guts No Glory
Oct. 8
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
Thanks Jack ... I have been a Tournament/Field Director on many occasions with NG² in the mix of teams and can affirm the integrity of you and your ball club ... Never a doubt in my experience ... The apparent confusion is only in trying to determine why a different policy was implemented at B.L.D. allowing us to trade out the non-compliant balls on a non-cash basis for the tournament-issue version ... We'll figure that out here internally and would recommend that if you pass on attending the Manager Meeting in the future, please be aware that you are presumed to be fully informed on all that transpires there ... Don't be shy about asking what was discussed! ... Thanks! ...

Oct. 9
missouridave
Men's 60
166 posts
Jack, please let me be clear. I was in NO way attempting to say that your team did anything wrong or unethical. My point was that SSUSA should NEVER allow anyone to bring in a different ball in any tournament let alone Vegas. My point was that someone could in fact get an advantage by using a different ball than everyone else. In my opinion all of the balls should be provided by SSUSA. I know that after 6 they charge you but that makes sure that no one has an advantage. Thanks.
Oct. 10
jackbrun
Men's 70
60 posts
Thanks Dave. My issue was when it was brought up that we may have been bordering on shading the rules or cheating. That would never happen on a team that I had anything to do with.

Jack
Oct. 10
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
▲ ▲ Agreed 101% ▲ ▲
Oct. 10
nails
Men's 70
71 posts
Jack would never cheat Clearly a Mix up
Oct. 10
missouridave
Men's 60
166 posts
Nails, no mix up. Read all the notes. No one accused Jack or his team of cheating. The point of the entire post is that SSUSA allowed one team to use a ball different than every other team. The point is that SSUSA (not Jack or his team) risked the integrity of the entire tournament by not requiring everyone to use the same ball. Based on Dave Dowell's post at BLD they not only required everyone to use the same ball, but even allowed teams to trade in the incorrect ball for the SSUSA provided ball. I hope at some point SSUSA will publicly state that this was a mistake and won't be repeated. Thanks.
Oct. 10
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4330 posts
MO-Dave ... SSUSA didn't intentionally allow anyone to use a ball that would have resulted in a competitive advantage ... There was a communication mix-up somewhere (on our side) ... And yes, that qualifies as OUR MISTAKE that we will endeavor to prevent from happening again ... In the meantime, lets not "mountainize" this "molehill" ... The ball in question was a LESSER performing ball than the tournament official "The Rock" flavor ... Thanks to all who commented! ...
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