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Discussion: Balls in St George

Posted Discussion
March 15
tnacty
Men's 50
6 posts
Tell me more please.....

We were assured we'd be using the Trump Stote exclusively this year and now in the first TOC of the year we're being asked to buy a different ball....and only a week to a week and a half before the event. That ain't right.

My team did our due diligence, asked the right questions of the right people, planned ahead and are now sitting on 14 dozen Stotes we can't use to supplement what you provide in St George and perhaps the rest of the season.

I understand supply problems but they are YOUR supply problems, not those of your customers. Changing the ball this close to the tournament and adding expense to teams that have acted in good faith is no way to do business or treat your clients.

I ran both adult and youth events for 25 years and I understand the advantages of eliminating variables like the ball by mandating we all use the same ball. That said, when you can't provide the ball you've previously advertised as the exclusive for your events and teams have purchased same in good faith planning for their year, it makes sense to compromise.

Makes sense to me that given the short notice you should allow the Stote for this tournament at minimum and probably for the year.

Absent that, maybe it's time to get out of the ball business and let us bring our own with a few caveats- like must be 44/375 and have your stamp and no Vegas Rocks, etc. I get that balls are a profit center but is it really worth the headache in the end?

Pretty sure I know where this argument will go because I saw the same issue get shot down in short order last year but someone had to ask. My co-coach wrote the office and got a one sentence supply chain answer this afternoon.

What the heck is an ISA X-Rock? Is it comparable to the Stote? If it is, lets use both! Is it a Vegas Rock? Then let's all bring our supply of that stupid thing I had hoped I would never see again.

In the meantime, tell us more. Why now? Why this ball? Why can't we use Stotes as well since so many of us have them or if it's like the Vegas Rock (God Forbid) let us use those.

Some will call this much adieu about nothing and I'll respectfully disagree. I don't care if this new ball is good, bad or ugly, that's not my point. Springing this on us a week (or less for the older teams) before we leave and adding cost to teams that already invest a small fortune to play with you all year is.

I was on the utrip senior FB page the other day and one of the things I said I really appreciated about SSUSA was that you provided a reliable, consistent product. This is neither.

Thanks for your time and I appreciate any consideration/ thought you give to this.

Scott




March 17
BigG66

3 posts
So the only ISA X-Rock Softball I could find is a 44 COR / 400 Compression ball? Is this the ball we will be using? Mark
March 17
AJC
Men's 60
222 posts
They make them in 44 375 also.
March 18
NYGNYY

215 posts
Day 1. Which ball was used and how did it perform? Thanks
March 18
Jon44
Men's 55
149 posts
I play 60M. The ball is 44 cor/400. I was at Hunter Park and played in 2 games and watched at least 2 or three others. I did not see a single home run. The wind did kick up a bit in the afternoon. It's true both teams use the same ball, so no sense making too big a deal about it. It definitely favors the base hitters.
March 18
nickname36

98 posts
I'm waiting to hear what the big guy has to say about this.
It seems he has disappeared off the site his screen name
and posts are no longer in any of the threads, Hmmmmmm....
March 19
tnacty
Men's 50
6 posts
Jon44, thanks for the update. I care less about the performance frankly than finding out if this is a permanent change, a one tournament change, what....just some clarity. It's definitely a first world problem but my team is sitting on a shit ton of balls we were told would be good all year.

I'm not really a bitch and moan kind of guy; having run tournaments most of my adult life I get that you have to react on the fly sometimes; but there is no excuse for the lack of communication here or via email when a respectful question regarding a major change is asked. It's kind of the point of having a message board in the first place.

Not looking for a fight, just some clarity moving forward.
March 19
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
Jon44 ... You might need to enlist the services of a statistician on the HR count ... There were 17 HR's hit on Fields #1 & #2 (none on #3) at Hunter Park Friday ... And I had to dodge an incoming mortar from Field #1 earlier this morning ... Good luck today!
March 19
IDon'tKnow 3rdBase
Men's 65
28 posts
Thanks tnacty for the question still unanswered although your personal resume was unnecessary. Dave, you know most, what is the 2022 tournament ball? Will there be one ball or is that in flux for the season?
March 21
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
IDK3B ... The reason tnacty's question remains unanswered is because there is no known answer, let alone one he would like ... But to respond to your inquiry, the 2022 Season SSUSA Official Tournament softball is the STOTE/Trump 44 cor/375 comp. optic yellow Microcell™ technology softball ...
• It will be the Official softball for every event, unless BSN Sports fails to meet it contractual obligation to provide that ball ... When BSN Sports is able to meet it's procurement targets and shipping commitments to SSUSA, THAT is the ball we will use ... If/When BSN is unable to do so, like now, we, along with other softball associations, are forced into the marketplace for an acceptable replacement ... For the Spring World's, that substitute Official softball is the ISA X-Rock 44 cor/400 comp. optic yellow ball ...
• In the interest of level competition, we will NOT be allowing teams to "B.Y.O.B" ... One tournament / One Softball is and will continue to be the rule.
• As the substitute Official softball, that is the only permitted softball for this event ... Attempting to introduce any other softball for potential use in a Spring World's game will, if discovered, result in the following penalty:
__________

§3.5 • OFFICIAL SOFTBALL
F. Penalty for use of an illegal softball: If a softball is suspected of being illegal, a tournament official will determine if the softball is allowed to be used. If the softball is found to be illegal, the following penalties shall be imposed:
1. First offense in a game: The batter shall be called out;
2. Second and subsequent offense(s) in a game: The half-inning at bat shall be terminated.
NOTE: An illegal softball is deemed to be in play when the ball is in the possession of the pitcher and a batter is in the batter’s box.

__________

tnacty ... You gambled on BSN being able to supply SSUSA with our official softball for the entire 2022 Season when you loaded up ... We did, too! ... You are now sitting on currently unusable inventory and seem to incorrectly infer that is our fault ... It's just unfortunate timing on your part, and not our fault any more than the recent rise in gas prices at your local service station ... You are just on the wrong side of the supply/demand curve at the moment ... However, to eliminate your perceived economic "detriment", we would be happy to purchase your currently unusable softball inventory ... If someone is driving down to St. George this week and has room, toss the balls in with their gear and we'll buy them back immediately ... If that doesn't work, we can make arrangements to ship directly, on our dime, to Sacramento ... Look me up when you get here ...

Good luck! ...

March 21
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
I like Scott's suggestion of BYOB. SSUSA differentiates between the way they think about softballs and the way they think about bats (or any other equipment). SSUSA does not mandate the use of one specific bat manufacturer per tournament. It's BYO Bat, BYO Glove,....but you can't bring your own SSUSA stamped balls. As long as the bat has the proper stamps on it and is in good condition, it is legal to use. However, if one brings a ball that has a SSUSA stamp on it and is in good condition, that ball may not be used. Why exactly? The explanation is that "out of fairness of competition, we will not accept that." Well, that's an answer, but not really a rationale.

By the current rationale, I could argue that a team swinging Suncoast SSUSA approved bats has an unfair advantage over those who swing Onyx, Mike, or Worth SSUSA approved bats. (or vice versa)

It's great that we can bring our own equipment. Let's keep doing that. We should also be able to bring our own SSUSA approved softballs. If that becomes the rule, teams could prepare. If I had to swing with a 52/300 rated ball (because that's all we had) and the other team had the Stote 44/375....I'd say, "Hat's off to the other team for being better prepared).

So, maybe SSUSA could revisit this. Maybe they could think about certifying more than one 44/375 ball and allow people the same principle we enjoy with bats and gloves.

March 21
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
Bruce ... "B.Y.O.B." is not going to be in play unless everyone brings exactly the same ball ... The logistics of arranging that in advance, not to mention the enforcement logistics, isn't something we're going to even attempt ... "One Tournament / One Softball" in March is/was/will be the STOTE/Trump 44 cor/375 comp. optic yellow Microcell™ technology softball for the Spring National's, the ISA X-Rock 44 cor/400 comp. optic yellow ball for the Spring World's and the AD Starr Tattoo Ball for the Tidewater Classic ... The next time there might be an opportunity to discuss this for possible change will be the National Rules Committee sessions this coming November ... Good luck everyone ...

March 21
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
Thx Dave! - I think it should be discussed in November. by the above argument, why doesn't SSUSA mandate that everyone use the exact same bat model? Why does it have to be the exact same ball if it has a SSUSA stamp on it? If a team decides to bring 30 year old ASA alloy bats stamped ASA (in good condition) to a tournament...the other team brings all carbon fiber composite bats 2022 stamped SSUSA...and the former team cries that it isn't fair?

Enforcement could be simplified. Either the ball has a SSUSA stamp on it...or it does not. If it doesn't have the stamp, you can't use it. Regardless of what some critics believe, I personally think umpires and directors have good vision. :=) Yes, there are heat factors and cold factors one could consider...but the same goes for bats...which are not generally controlled or bucketed.

And to those who think the ball doesn't matter... Why then, does SSUSA control which ball is used if it supposedly doesn't matter. Of course it matters. It usually isn't the bat which hits the roofs over at the Fields at Little Valley. It's the Trump Stotes that end up getting banned there....because the houses get bombed. Funny that, by the way. You build a house right next to a softball park...then complain because balls end up on your roof. If I build a house on a golf course...I had better expect to get some golf balls hitting my house... The groundskeeper in St. George told me that the houses came after the ball park. I guess the community there can't figure out how to put up higher mesh fences... but I'm not privy to their community meetings. And the last thing SSUSA needs is more community complaints. I get it.

So, SSUSA could use the same rule they use on bats....the ball may be used if it has a SSUSA stamp on it and is not altered. With exceptions like the fields at Little Valley...where either you need low flight balls...that could be an option. It would relieve some of the pressure of SSSUSA having to procure as much stock and keep inventory (which isn't easy...because the balls need to be stored in the right conditions)

How do we know it isn't altered? Is it possible to juice a SSUSA stamped ball? Maybe...I don't know... but each of the current balls are not tested either. SSUSA doesn't generally test all the bats at tournaments either...unless one is truly suspected of being altered...which would be an exception.
March 22
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
BruceM ... It's a competition fairness and consistency issue in our view when we dictate the ball of choice for any event ... Some 44 cor./375 comp softballs (Trump/STOTE X-Rock from the old days in Las Vegas, for example) are simply "more 44 cor/375 comp" than others ... It would be naive to state otherwise ... Personally, I have to chuckle when this "What ball?!?!?!" inquisition starts because it's largely (bordering on "exclusively") a Western phenomenon ... It doesn't matter! ... NOT ONE person asked last week what ball was being used in the Spring National's in Florida and NOT ONE person has asked what ball is going to be used this week in Virginia Beach (those two events and the Spring World's are using three different perfectly acceptable softballs) ... They seem to recognize, accept and trust that we will provide the best performing ball available in sufficient quantity to have ALL teams hitting the same ball ...

That's not likely to change ... It takes seven votes to get something thru the National Rules Committee ... The "B.Y.O.B." proponents can't, in my personal view, count that high because they aren't able to overcome the fundamental unfair competitive advantage that comes from some teams being economically able to "buy the best" when not all other teams are able to do so ... And that doesn't begin to address the broad range of what the Western Experts believe to be the "best" ... Your job is to come and play, or don't, and we'll continue to do the right thing ... We have for 30± years ... That's how the free market operates in America ... Session #2 starts in St. George in a few hours, so I'm likely done with this topic ... Good luck everyone!

March 22
Bruce M
Men's 55
123 posts
Dave - The rationale of an unfair advantage is not particularly strong when the one piece of equipment is treated differently than all others. By that argument, a team should not be permitted to bring their own bats either. For, by that argument, a team that can afford the best carbon fiber bats would have an unfair advantage of those who cannot afford top tier bats. If the ball doesn't matter, why is SSUSA so interested in controlling what ball may be used at any particular event? Why does SSUSA put their stamp on some balls but not on others? Obviously SSUSA cares about it. It matters to SSUSA. It matters to players.

We know that SSUSA has to consider fairness and safety of the players. SSUSA has demonstrated that commitment in many different ways. That is true with all equipment, hence the regulations. But, WHY does SSUSA treat the ball differently than they do with all other equipment? Yes, we are aware that a ball rating does not mean that is the actually COR/COMP of any particular ball. A lot of factors are at play in the actual COR/COMP. The same goes for bats, but the way. Not all SSUSA approved bats have the exact same performance. But that is beside the point.

Whilst I appreciate the view that nothing is likely going to change, I continue to have hope and trust that SSUSA will embrace a growth mindset when it comes to such things.
March 22
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4351 posts
Bruce ... There's no "growth mindset" involved in this ... More accurately, it's our accumulated knowledge and experience that comes with running this organization for 33 years at a high level of integrity and fair competition ... Please allow me to provide you with a much more valid analogy than the faulty one you continue to employ in this matter ...

Major League Baseball allows a wide range of bats for it's players, subject to stringent technical standards ... SSUSA does exactly the same ... MLB does NOT allow a samorgasbord approach to their ball, specifying the SAME ball for EVERY game, exactly as we do ... Our supplier of that ball is having short-term difficulty delivering, but the solution to that temporary issue is not to have a B.Y.O.B. party ... There are too many variables and too much poterntial for irregularities solely for the purpose of appeasing a handful of regionally biased individuals ... Nobody in the East, Northeast, South, Midwest or Southwest has given us ANY indication that they object to "One Tournament / One Ball" ... They are seemingly content to accept that we will do our best to maintain a level playing field so long as we provide an acceptable single softball alternative ...

I'm closing this thread because, quite honestly, it's nowhere close to an efficient utilization of time when two T.O.C. "majors" are ongoing ...

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