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Discussion: Worlds 70 Major Bracket Logic?

Posted Discussion
Sept. 12
Don5
Men's 75
70 posts
I'm not sure about the logic of placing the lone 70 Major Plus team in the 70 Majors bracket. My team won the worlds 70 Majors in 2020 and we played that team several times in 2021 and got run-ruled almost every time. So then, with nobody to play, they played down(?) to the 65 Major Plus and won many of those tourneys also. They just played in the Westerns as a 65 Major Plus team taking 2nd place.
Now the 70 majors have to deal with a team that can beat 65 major Plus teams regularly, seems to be something wrong with this logic.
It's not fair to the 14 70 Major teams who may have to play against that team in the Worlds. Let them play where they have been playing since last year, 65 Major plus.

Don Angle
Animals 70
Sept. 12
captainup

4 posts
Timberworks is a great team with terrific players and highly respected skills. I think Don makes a good point regarding the upcoming Senior Softball Worlds. I don't believe the concerns have anything negative to do with any of the players, but rather an acknowledgement and a show of respect for one of the finest senior softball teams to have played the game based on the teams record over the past 7 years or more. And perhaps they can be beaten on any given day. The real question is: why and how was the 70 major bracket created to include the 70's major plus Timberworks for this year's world tournament?
We know Timberworks has an incentive to win the entire bracket. They will play as they always have, to win!
3 things come to mind when questioning how this latest bracket situation for the senior 70's age group was established. There are reasons why there are separate age groups and divisions of teams based on their skills, records, abilities, age, etc. in an effort to maintain competitiveness while attempting to add some fairness. It also generates more participation overall as lower ranked teams can maintain competitiveness against similarly ranked teams, with the primary goal of having fun while striving to win. Otherwise, why are there age groups and divisions in the first place?
1: Historically Timberworks Major plus had to give other major plus teams in their same age group 5 runs, yet Timberworks still dominated.
2: Major plus teams can draft players from all over while major teams are more limited to where they can draft from.
3: In numerous instances a major plus team playing in a big tournament either played in the same seeding age group with major teams but then played in separately against other major plus teams during bracket games……or…… if no other major plus teams in same age group, the major plus team would be placed in the next lower age group major bracketing to play both seeding and bracket games. This was done in an attempt to equalize the competition. Giving runs or adding extra players was implemented to supposedly equalize the competition. Neither necessarily works perfectly and are still somewhat subjective.
To say that placing the 70's Timberworks major plus team in the same age group with 70's major teams isn’t problematic would be naive and ignores some previously mentioned reasons. Since Timberworks has an incentive to win the entire bracket it certainly can have a huge impact on any major team matched against them during bracket play. Timberworks storied history over the past 7 years has been demonstrated over and over again, against not only other 70's major plus teams, but even against major plus and major teams in the 65 age group! Timberworks will be highly favored to win one half of its bracket with a good chance of placing the 70 major teams in that half into the losers bracket. Based on this history, a question can be asked as to why is Timberworks being scheduled to play in the lower 70 major division when it historically dominated its own 70 major plus division, even after giving 5 runs to the other teams? And again, Timberworks was very competitive against 65 year old major and major plus teams, as well.
This is not a diss of Timberworks but rather a compliment and respect to what the team has achieved. It drafts some of the best players around the country unlike the major division teams, and continues to dominate. If parity in divisions and competitiveness is a goal, especially based on records and history already mentioned, why and how was the 70 major bracket created to include the 70's major plus Timberworks for this year's world tournament?

Sept. 12
SSUSA Staff

3550 posts
Timberworks is entitled to play in their native age group (70), will give a 5-Run equalizer in all games and, if Timberworks wins, the Runner-up will be the 70-Major SSUSA World Champions and receive all 1st Place awards.
Sept. 12
Don5
Men's 75
70 posts
That seems to be just what is going on. Providing sound logic is not enough? Seems like a good non-answer that does not benefit any team except the 70 Major Plus team.

What does "entitled" mean?

en·ti·tled
/inˈtīdld/
adjective

1.
believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment:
"kids who feel so entitled and think the world will revolve around them"

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Sept. 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
OK Don5, here's the "logic" we employed ... For advance clarification, we chose a definition of "logic" from Merriam-Webster • Logic: 1 : a proper or reasonable way of thinking about something : sound reasoning. : ... [On a related note: The definition of "entitled" we used in the prior post was from the Collins English Dictionary: "..having the right or permission to do something.."] ...

• We believe that in the World Championships, every team will have the opportunity to compete for a title in their native age group ... In a 660± team tournament, there are enough teams for everyone (except for the one 55+ Women's Senior team) to play in that native age group;
• As the tournament authority for the event, we have the right and obligation to use our best judgment in formulating the competitive balance structure for tournament "finals" ... Despite your honorable opinion to the contrary, in our view we have done so;
• There are 15 teams entered in the 70+ age group that have either a 70-Major+ or 70-Major rating ... The sole 70-Major+ team was placed in the group of their native age group closest in rating to theirs AND we utilized a structure to protect the awards and championship status for the Runner-up in the event that singleton team might win; and
• The final bracket grouping decision was solely ours and was reached only after extensive internal discussion ... It was made absent input from, or consultation with, ANY team ...

Interestingly, your team is "entitled" (either definition is fine) to receive a #1 or #2 Seed in the bracket ... If you win the USA National Game, that will put you in the opposite end of the bracket from the target-team of this discussion, who has the #3 Seed locked in ...

Conclusion: The 70-Platinum division of the World Championships will play next week under the structure as currently presented ... Your observations are respectfully noted ...

Travel safely, and good luck!


Sept. 13
HSquared
Men's 60
153 posts
Thanks for a very respectful narrative. Just curious, where is it defined (outlined/stated) that the "contested" team gets an automatic (locked-in) #3 seed?
Sept. 13
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
H² ... They were the Western National Champion in 70-Major+ and would normally in the absence of a National game have been awarded the #2 seed ... But there is a USA National Game in the 70-Major, and the top two seeds go to those teams ... That pushed the other team down a click to #3 ... That was an "on the fly" adjustment from the norm ...
Sept. 13
softball4b
Men's 70
1250 posts
First of all, I believe the SSUSA puts forth their best effort at serving their membership/players as a whole. There ill always be disagreements on rankings, restrictions, and rewards. Every 4 or 5 years there is a dominant team/manager in an age group or division. Doug has done an excellent job of obtaining and maintaining his roster. These athletes have done well when playing together, not always the case when a roster of excellent players are put together.

If it wasn't one thing it would be something else when it comes to rankings and teams. Teams outside CA, NV. and AZ fly under the radar. They can play in other associations and maybe they are stronger than their assigned ranking.

CA, NV. and AZ can create stronger rosters because of the amount of players in their area of draw. I can go on, but it is too long of a read.

I do believe because of the ability of M+ teams to draw from a larger Area, East or West of the Big Muddy, they should give 7 runs not 5. 5 run differential is common among division mixing, but does not account for roster creation differences. 14 M+ players verses a roster of 11M and 3M+ at best. IMO

I look forward to seeing old and I mean old friends in Vegas, be safe and God Bless.

Mike Adair
Scorpions 70
Sept. 13
softball4b
Men's 70
1250 posts
will always not ill always, maybe Freudian slip.
Sept. 13
captainup

4 posts
Reviewing the various comments and replies it is interesting to note how subjective the decisions have been.
Looking at the big tournaments since the Vegas Worlds in 2021 here are the results (in order of finish):
note; that there were no other 70 major plus teams for Timberworks to play against so they instead played in the 65 division and, with one exception, all were 65 Major Plus tournaments.
So curiously, if Timberworks has successfully played in the 65 division all year, including winning the 2021 65 Major Plus World Championships, why has Timberworks now been added to the 70 major division, instead?

2021 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 65 Major Plus
Men’s 65/70 Major Plus (6 Teams)
1. Timberworks/Suncoast 70 (CA) – 70 Major Plus Champion
2. McDowell & Sons/Drobena Builders 65 (IN) – 65 Major Plus Champion
3. Texas Crush Sixty Fives
4. Top Gun Elite 65 (CA)

In 2022 rules were changed allowing 65’s to play with 11 on defense just like the 70’s)

2022 SPRING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 65 Major Plus
Men's 65/70 Major+:
1. Timberworks/Suncoast (70s - CA) (70 Major Plus) - TOC Berth
2. Demolition (65s - CA) (65 Major Plus) - TOC Berth
3. Top Gun Elite (65s - CA) (65 Major Plus)

2022 SOUTHWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS 65 Major Plus
Men's 65/70+ Major Plus
1. Cal Energy (65 Major Plus) - TOC Berth
2. Timberworks/Suncoast (CA) (70 Major Plus)
3. Demolition (CA) (65 Major Plus)

2022 ROCK 'N RENO CHALLENGE CUP 65 Major Plus
Men's 65/70+ Major+:
1. Demolition (65-CA) (65 Major Plus) - TOC Berth
2. Texas Crush Sixty Five (65 Major Plus)
3. Timberworks/Suncoast (70-CA) (70 Major Plus)

2022 JIM SHERMAN MEMORIAL/NORTHWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS 65 Major
Men's 65/70+ Platinum
1. Oregon Crabs 65 (65 Major) - TOC Berth (65 Major)
2. Timberworks/Suncoast (CA) (70 Major Plus)
3. REH Second Wind (WA) (65 Major)

2022 WESTERN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 65 Major Plus
Men's 65/70+ Major Plus
1. Cal Energy - TOC Berth/USA Game Berth (65 Major Plus)
2. Timberworks/Suncoast (CA) - USA Game Berth (70 Major Plus)
3. Texas Crush Sixty Fives (65 Major Plus)
Sept. 13
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
That's good info that ratifies the grouping decision and should yield a competitive bracket ... In our discussions, we didn't even consider that the "target-team" has lost their last four tournaments ... Thanks for that ...

At the risk of redundancy: The 70-Platinum division of the World Championships will play next week under the structure as currently presented ... We'll all see how it plays out together ... I'll be one of the on-site Directors at B.L.D. for Sessions #2, #3 and #4 ... Travel safely and good luck! ...

Sept. 13
softball4b
Men's 70
1250 posts
Actually Dave, target team lost against 65s not 70s, just sayin...maybe we should get 10 runs. ;-)
Sept. 13
captainup

4 posts
Dave
With all due respect you have never truly answered the questions that cite actual history and facts. Rather you have created your own spin which I doubt anyone takes as nothing more than a subjective rather than an objective response. I never expected anything to change because of how close we are to the tournament. In fact I don’t normally respond to or write comments on this message board. But Don Angle brought up a good point in the start of these posts “not sure about the logic of placing the lone 70 Major Plus team in the 70 Majors bracket?”. A logical assessment was mostly ignored.
As I mentioned previously, Timberworks is one of the finest senior softball teams in the history of senior softball, great players and people. How they’ve played is a credit to their reputation. As I recall they were so good as a 65 major plus team they were giving 5 runs to other 65 major plus teams and still winning! As a 70 major plus team they were still giving 5 runs to other 70 major plus teams and still winning big. Apparently, there are no more 70 major plus teams for Timberworks to play so they have been playing mostly in the 65 major plus division. It was in this 65 major plus division where they not only won the 2021 65 major plus worlds but also discovered that their competition was at least equal. Perhaps the biggest concern is why one would switch their competition to a somewhat lower division in the 70’s after playing competitively in 65 major plus all year? What are divisions for other than to provide some sort of parity between teams in the same division, especially when the rules for creating these teams differs? Mike Adair appropriately noted a big difference between major plus and major within the same age group. And as a reminder, Timberworks was previously giving 5 runs to other major plus 70 year old teams when they existed! And now the staff has placed Timberworks into the 70 major division and you call that parity?

And after seeing the competitiveness and parity with 65 major plus teams, where perhaps Timberworks didn’t win every tournament but placed 1st in two of them, 2nd in three of them and 3rd in one, you responded with the following: “That's good info that ratifies the grouping decision and should yield a competitive bracket” Competitive bracket for whom, exactly? And how does one justify Timberworks historically giving 5 runs to other 70 major plus teams and only the same 5 runs to 70 major teams? So why are there brackets within an age group anyway?

I think we all appreciate all the work you and all your staff do for this organization. And I’m sure it sometimes feels like a thankless job. Yes, we’ll play in what has already been set up but many of us feel we have a right to speak up with concerns as members when the occasion arises. And I do appreciate and support civil and respectful discussions.

As you say and I agree,
Travel safely and good luck! ..
Lenny Meinecke
Sept. 13
Benji4
Men's 55
290 posts
If only we could go back in time when BEING COMPETITIVE was the most important thing rather than winning the
T-Shirt then Dave wouldn't have to answer the question.

Why are grown men complaining about having to play a team that is good. It's softball. Anyone can win. Try harder.

Just sayin.

Benji
Sept. 13
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
Lenny ... Please don't overthink this ... It's really not a logic issue at all ... There is one simple fundamental premise we have scheduled under for years: Teams play in their native age group at the World Championships ... That differs from what can happen in mid-season events leading up to the World Championships ... So the final analysis is: "Is Timberworks a 70+ team? ... Yes ... Good, they're in the right age group" ... The rest of it is just structuring the equalizer and protective status for the Runner-up in case that singleton wins ...

It appears a couple of posters object to that fundamental governing premise and want us pluck that 70+ team out of their native age group and, in a purely subjective move, drop them in some other age group ... That is not happening, as you noted ... Respectfully, we're going to play the games as presented, see who's willing to compete and who's setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure ... I'll be happy to talk with anyone face to face on site, but this (hopefully) last comment on topic from me is not the best utilization of time until the Session #4 schedule set is complete ... Good luck!

Sept. 13
DRobb

16 posts
Lenny,
This is my only comment on this thread and I am not going to get into a discussion about this but If you’re going to put information on the message board make sure your information is correct. Timberworks Construction has never given a 5 run equalizer to another 70 Major+ team. Secondly it was Timberworks decision to play 65 Major+ last year and not SSUSA.
Sept. 13
captainup

4 posts
Dave, Thanks for the response. I believe the confusion was the fact that Timberworks did play and win the 65 Major plus worlds last year and won as a 70 major plus team. I believe Doug has responded that it was Timberworks decision to play in the 65 major plus division worlds. Also, I was inaccurately told that the other major plus 70 team last year was getting 5 runs from Timberworks. I normally try to verify first before taking info. Don verified that the team did not get 5 runs from Timberworks (my fault for assuming the info from others was true. It wasn't hard to believe because of how Timberworks supposedly was asked to be major plus plus as a 65 team).
Doug, I believe that was you responding? I stand corrected and apologize for not validating the 5 run issue first. I stand by my compliments to the Timberworks team and players. I believe the current bracketing, especially after last year, caught many off guard. I was not aware you could volunteer to play down one age level. That makes it even more impressive!

This post was never intended or meant to be anything against the Timberworks team or players and hopefully, it was not taken that way. I pretty much know most everyone on the team and have played ball with or against them many times. It is because of that which I have so much respect for the Timberworks team and players. Had there been another major plus 70 team to play against in this year's worlds perhaps this thread would never have been created.
Sept. 13
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
Having been tremendously fortunate to have played with Timberworks for 2 years, I have a couple observations. When I played with them in 2017-2018, it was, by far, the most well rounded and complete team I had ever played on. We were M++ and gave 5 runs to the other M+ teams in 2018, but not every team actually took those runs. Anybody who thinks this is just a matter of this team hitting the field and having the games won is totally incorrect. We won those games because we attacked from the beginning with hitters that always came through to start the games, and we didn’t let teams get back in the game with a very good defense. Everybody here knows of some of the great M+ teams that won every tournament up to worlds and then disappeared early in Vegas. This NEVER happened to Timberworks. This is a tribute to a team that finishes every year and has for 8 years. The criticism here levelled at them for opting to play their own age group is incredibly unfair. The criticism should go to the other 70 M+ teams that will not even go to play them. It’s not Timberworks fault. People also forget this is the SECOND year that a 70 M+ team was competing in 65 M+, which make them 2 years into the next age group, and those of us that have reached that age realize there is an increasing separation of talent for every 5 years after 60. My hat is off to the Timberworks organization. As an aside, next year Mike Adair has put together a real good Scorpions 70 M team that I am happy to be included on. We will be 70 M, but personally I hope we get a chance to play Timberworks. They are a great group of guys, my friends, and the best out there. Have too many of us lost the drive to PLAY AND BEAT the best? Maybe that is the problem…….
Sept. 13
breeze53
Men's 65
57 posts
Webbie, while I disagree on most of what you posted on this matter, let us get one statement you made straight. I'm keeping it as nice as I can. The 70 M Scorpions were put together by Dennis Dalton with Kenny S. and coached by DD. All the new players were being recruited by DD and Kenny before Mike took over the team. Reasons we will not go into. The others players added to the roster were from the 65 Scorpions moving up to 70. So, Mike Adair did not put together anything. But Mike is reaping the benefits of others hard work.
That being said, I wish the 70 Scorpions good luck in the worlds and good luck next season.
Sept. 13
Mr.E

1 posts
New to senior ball this year, so I really have no knowledge of these teams. Just by looking at their results since last year, it seems putting them to pay with 70s major isn't right. It's obvious they can compete with the younger age group. Not just compete, but beat them. This is almost like (usssa) having a D team being able to compete with C teams and beating them, only to allow them to play at E worlds, because D worlds got canceled for whatever reason.

I totally understand thinking you're doing what's right, by giving the championship to the 2nd place team. What about the teams that were sent to the losers bracket by Timberworks? How is that fair to them? There are reasons why they're ranked higher.

"we have the right and obligation to use our best judgment in formulating the competitive balance structure for tournament "finals""

I think the best judgement was not used here. Hey we're all human and we all make mistakes, but if the "authority" is a collective group of people and not just a single person, how can the judgement be so off? The competitive balance isn't balanced at all.

What do I know though? Just new here...
Sept. 14
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
breeze, you are welcome to your opinion. I am sorry you chose to air a situation that should have stayed within the team and not on the message board. My point was only that I would welcome the chance to challenge the best out there again. And I question those that run and hide from them, because THAT creates the situation where Timberworks has nobody to play at their age group. And whether they can compete down an age bracket or not does not change the fact that this is the world tournament and they deserve to play their age group. They are the 70 M+ champions until somebody beats them. I guess as we get older, the desire to beat the best wanes for some.
Sept. 14
Webbie25
Men's 70
2416 posts
I also would like to clarify one other point. I think most will agree that as we age our skills are diminishing and the older we get the faster they have been going away. I am one of those Scorpions aging up from 65 to 70 next year. I could have played 70 this year. The difference in me from 65 to 70 is big. I am much slower, now hit for occasional power and not consistent power, and I get tired much more easily despite pretty hard training. My arm is not nearly as strong. I compete at 65 M+ but those 65 year olds sure look strong and fast.....For a team to compete with the 65 M+ teams for 2 years while being 70+ is remarkable in many ways.
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