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Discussion: 11 Players For 65 Brackets

Posted Discussion
Oct. 9, 2022
Bruce303
28 posts
11 Players For 65 Brackets
I have spoken with many players at the 65 level (and many about to move up to 65s) and the general consensus is that they are not in favor of the extra player at the 65 higher skill levels. Has any decision been made, based on player feedback, regarding keeping 65s at 10 players on the field defensively? Thank you!
Oct. 9, 2022
NYTX
Men's 65
52 posts
With all due respect to Bruce303, having just played my first year of 65's, I think the extra fielder is warranted and a positive thing. Who wants to watch 5 ground singles up the middle every inning anyway? I hope it does not change.
Oct. 9, 2022
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1434 posts
Bruce303, oddly several years ago the players in my state asked me to present the 11th player to the rules committee because they felt that it was needed to play the same defense in all associations. I believe that it was voted against unanimously. I did what the players asked me to do and relayed the result back to them. I believe that someone has presented that request for change almost every year. So I believe that more 65s have wanted it over the years than didnít based on many opinions shared with me.
Oct. 9, 2022
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4194 posts
Nancy ... Item #14 from last year's National Rules Committee Meeting Minutes ...
__________

14. Menís 65 Divisions to play with 11 on defense
Recommendation: To make the Menís 65 Division have a base defense of 11 players.
Passes 12-0
__________

Reversing that decision would require seven (of 13) votes for a change ... Personally, I would be surprised if that's a reasonably achievable number this year ...

Oct. 9, 2022
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1434 posts
Dave, thanks. I knew that you would know all of the history.
Oct. 9, 2022
LMR
16 posts
I would understand the need for the 11th fielder if teams were scoring their 5 runs in the majority of innings. However, in my experience playing 65 major the last 5 years that has not been the case. All this has done from what I have seen is lowered the number of hits/runs scored.
Oct. 10, 2022
TooOldToFight
Men's 60
18 posts
I've been part of Sr. Softball for years but my first time using the message board. I must have talked to the same people as Bruce303 bcuz everyone I've talked to has said they prefer to play 65's with 10 defensive players. The common sentiment is that 11 players is making the game less like the game of softball that we all know and love. I agree with them, I prefer to play the game straight up with 10 defensive players. Also agree with LMR, most 65 games I've watched have failed to score 5 runs in the majority of innings so I guess I'm missing the rationale behind going with 11 defensive players.
Oct. 10, 2022
NEW TEAM
27 posts
GREAT RULE DONT CHANGE IT
Oct. 11, 2022
TimMcElroy
918 posts
60 AAA seeding play data from Las Vegas (10 defenders)-
> 16% of games resulted in 1 team scoring less than 10 runs.
> 36% of games resulted in 2 teams scoring (a total of) less than 20 runs.
.
65 AAA seeding play data from Las Vegas (11 defenders)-
> 7% of games resulted in 1 team scoring less than 10 runs.
> 36% of games resulted in 2 teams scoring (a total of) less than 20 runs.
.
Small sample size but early returns don't appear to suggest that an 11th defender causes a drop in offensive output.
.

Oct. 11, 2022
TooOldToFight
Men's 60
18 posts
Tim, thanks for sharing those Vegas stats. I would expect a 60 team's defense to be a fair amount stronger than a 65 AAA team. For a more accurate comparison wouldn't we need to compare last year's 65 AAA scoring with 10 defenders to this year's 65 AAA with 11 defenders? Just a thought.
Oct. 11, 2022
TimMcElroy
918 posts
We could nit pick this thing to death... Last year the 65s played with 10 on defense, this year they played with 11. Last year they hit with The Rock ball, this year they hit the Baden ball....


TooOldToFight- I took the bait and did the research you asked for-

2021 data
65 AAA seeding play data from Las Vegas (10 defenders)-
> 18% of games resulted in 1 team scoring less than 10 runs.
> 7% of games resulted in 2 teams scoring (a total of) less than 20 runs.
.
2022 data
65 AAA seeding play data from Las Vegas (11 defenders)-
> 7% of games resulted in 1 team scoring less than 10 runs.
> 36% of games resulted in 2 teams scoring (a total of) less than 20 runs.

Again- a small sample size but early returns don't appear to suggest that an 11th defender causes a drop in offensive output. Going to 11 defenders certainly didn't impact the 65s participation numbers as we had 71 teams in 2021 & 2022.

I'm a rules committee member and don't see anything in those numbers suggesting that the committee got it wildly wrong.


Oct. 11, 2022
TooOldToFight
Men's 60
18 posts
Thanks for your additional research, Tim. Didn't mean to cause an irritation. The rule of 11 defenders is set and I will simply accept it.
Oct. 11, 2022
TimMcElroy
918 posts
No irritation here. No worries.
Oct. 11, 2022
k man
Men's 65
318 posts
Not sure if this had anything to do with the committee voting for the 11 players last year but I remember there being some griping when a 65 team had to give an equalizer to a 70 team they were grouped with. Many tournaments had 65 and above playing together and some resulting in 65's facing 70's. The equalizer resulted in the 70 team getting the 5 extra runs AND the 70 team also had the 11th fielder because that was the rule for all teams 70+. I think some felt they were getting a double advantage. So by making the 65's fit under the 11th player rule that was approved, the equalizer didn't feel like a double whammy. Makes sense? You be the judge.
Oct. 11, 2022
Dbax
Men's 65
2080 posts
K Man, that is exactly the real reason.
Oct. 11, 2022
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4194 posts
k man and Dbax ... It was a minor contributing factor because many of the 65+ teams apparently couldn't grasp the concept that every team, regardless of age, is entitled to play it's normal defensive alignment ... No matter how many times they were told, and it was a bunch, the 70+ 11th defender was NOT an extra equalizer ... There was ample support for the 11th defender at age 65+ already, so eliminating this misconception was an added bonus when the Rules Committee made the change to 65+ and 70+ defensive alignment conformance ...

Oct. 11, 2022
Dbax
Men's 65
2080 posts
👍👍
Oct. 12, 2022
garyheifner
636 posts
Besides the obvious, being the 11th defender allows another teammate an opportunity to play. Every once in a while, the subject of pitcher safety comes up. When U add in the 11th defender between the SS and 2nd base there will be less balls hit up the middle especially when there is a runner on 1st and less than 2 outs.
Oct. 12, 2022
cujo9
4 posts
Dave, the bottom line is all the 65ís players I have talked to do not like the 11th defender at the 65 level. The solution for the 65 vs. 70ís games would be to give the 70ís the option of playing with 11 defensive players OR take the 5 run spot. Since there is ďample support ď why not let the players decide this issue with a vote, as you did with the 1&1 count?
Thanks for all your time and effort.
Oct. 12, 2022
titanhd
Men's 60
632 posts
65 Major and or M+ should not have 11 defensive players.I don't think that it makes the game of softball BETTER! For anyone to suggest that 11 players doesn't cut down on runs scored. I say again "CMON MAN! Too many rules.

It really says a lot when we have a rules committee meeting EVERY Year!

Where or what are we trying to get to? Whatever it is, I guess it's obvious we aren't there yet!
Oct. 12, 2022
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1434 posts
Titanhd, did you know that all major softball associations have conventions where rules are discussed and voted on every year?

I just want whatever makes the players happy and have never heard a 65+ speak against it, and I talk to a lot of them. I kind of think of it as an older solution to a 5 man infield because as you get older, it is harder for 3 outfielders to cover that ground. I prefer the short fielder but rarely see that played in the Midwest.

For those with strong opinions, take the proper steps, and submit your proposal(s) to the rules committee for consideration. Nothing will happen by arguing about it here. When our players asked me to submit it, I did through proper channels. The rules committee voted against it then, and I reported that back to the players here that had asked me. Their major reason for the request was because they felt like different defense make up between senior associations impacted their rosters. They did not ask for it on the basis of defense itself.
Oct. 15, 2022
Mikelmart
147 posts
I think anyone complaining about the 11th fielder for 65's is to short sighted about the game to begin with.
Slowpitch is just not ALL ABOUT OFFENSE.
If your team is scoring less runs or you're not hitting your normal average then you let it get into your head.
Defensively it is not that easy to play that extra 11th man position. It is unnatural especially for those 65 teams who have had only a season to try to adjust to the extra player. Our team struggled all year to find the right combination especially with communication.
If anyone as a hitter struggled then get it out of your head and try and become a better hitter instead of a bitter hitter.
Oct. 17, 2022
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1434 posts
Mikelmart, thank you, very valid points. We had an older team force our guys to use 11 in one of our spring training games (we would meet them at their park) like them, and you are right; they just could not play it correctly. Very smart older team.
Oct. 19, 2022
cujo9
4 posts
Mikelmart, I had my best tournament average in 40 years this past year. But since I am not a big guy, teams tend to cheat me in and the 11th defender makes it that much tougher to get on board. I am OK with it for 70s but I feel there are still a lot of good infielders with great arms at the 65 level. Letís put it to a player vote. Dave D?
Oct. 20, 2022
Webbie25
Men's 65
2379 posts
Interesting topic. I lost a few hits to the extra infielder at 65's this year. I knew he was there and hit it to him. My bad. But nobody has mentioned the option of playing 5 deep in the outfield if you have a good infield and a good defensive pitcher. I saw it a couple times, and the power alleys disappear. It might prove to be a better move than 5 infielders for some teams. Having said that, I do think the reasoning behind going to the extra fielder is sound.
Oct. 20, 2022
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4194 posts
cujo9 ... So long as 65's and 70's play in the same session at most tournaments and they have to occasionally be combined for play, I will be a solid Rules Committee "NO" vote on changing the base defensive alignment number for either age group ... There will NOT be a binding membership vote on this ... Historically, we have polled the membership on a topic of interest (like the "1-1 Count"), but those polls are advisory only ...

Nov. 18, 2022
Montanapnc
5 posts
I was against the rule before it was implemented without much input from the players. I am a 65 major player who plays in park leagues and occasionally at the AAA level. The 11 man rule changes the game but not substantially at the AAA or AA level. At the major level, its ruined the game. Its running older players out of the game as the quality of major arms and fielders far outweigh the aging legs of the players. Not just one extra out but two... . With quality infielders its a rolling buffet of double plays, not only getting the first out ( the guy who got a hit) but the second guy who has no speed and hasn't learned to hit it elsewhere. Hint, don't hit it there ever at all. I hate the rule at the major level. I know of no one at my level who likes the 11 man rule but mostly it kills batting averages of guys who go up the middle which used to be a good thing. We saw an average of three or more double plays in a seven inning game. I could care less about five outfielders but five infielders with good gloves and arms literally kill run scoring innings one after the other. The extra player replaces footwork on the second baseman and a good arm because its no longer necessary.

I doubt its going to change and I don't care for the way in which it is implimented but personally, I see people leaving the game because they are so disappointed in their performance against an 11 man infield. I personally, think its hurt traveling teams at from normal places, ( not southern teams who play a lot and can learn to adjust) They just aren't coming to tourneys because of that, high travel expenses and inflation.

Moral of the story, don't hit it there and I wish it was only a AAA or below rule.
Nov. 21, 2022
shortstop44
7 posts
I'm SS and hate having the extra infielder. No more diving plays up the middle or turning DP's (the middle infielder turns them). Takes away the effectiveness of SS's who still have range. At 68 I still want to play competitive ball (not old man ball).
Nov. 21, 2022
Webbie25
Men's 65
2379 posts
We just got done with 70M and there were a tremendous number of double plays.That really keeps the scores down.
Nov. 21, 2022
NEW TEAM
27 posts
11 PLAYERS ON DEFENSE GREAT RULE SHUTS THE CHEAP MIDDLE HITTERS DOWN KEEP IT
Nov. 21, 2022
LMR
16 posts
I didn't realize a hit between the third baseman and the shortstop counted more than one between the shortstop and pitcher.
Nov. 22, 2022
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4194 posts
shortstop44 ... You are certainly allowed to play with any 50's or 55's or 60's team for which you are otherwise eligible as to residency and experience rating history if the challenge at 65's isn't high enough ... And there's always the 65-Major+ option ... Good luck!
Nov. 22, 2022
softball4b
Men's 70
1213 posts
Does the 11 man for the majority of the 65 teams dilute or uplift defensive play. I would say it increases the defensive capability of the majority of the teams. Is that a bad thing? We play a game where the ball is thrown underhand and must be between 6 and 12 feet. 6/12 on a good day most pitches are barely above 10.

Assuming of course we play with a decent ball and decent bat, the 11 man is something to deal with not a deal breaker. If you have an espn infield then put the 11th player in the OF. The infield rover does in some extent protect the pitcher, with "hot" bats any help is appreciated.

I admire the player with extra ordinary range and glove, but the 11 man is not BAD for the game. I believe everyone will agree, your bat is the last of the skills to decrease so a balancing of the offensive and defensive advantages is reasonable. Same as the differences between AAA, M, and M+. And I say this from someone who has lived up the middle.

Mike Adair
Scorpions 70
Nov. 22, 2022
garyc
Men's 55
9 posts
I don't think the 65 age group should have 11 players yet. The skill level on the majority of the people is still at a level to play and have fun with 10. Don't dumb it down yet at 65 to 11 players, wait until 70 or 75 when the majority of the people are more physically challenged. I believe the people at 65 that want it are the ones that are already lacking mobility, which is not the majority. Let us play real softball at least until 70. Don't take real softball away yet.

If people are concerned with hits up the middle improve the pitcher fielding or bring the extra outfielder into the infield. I look at it the other way, the extra fielder takes hits away from people that can place the ball, which is unfair.

This makes sense in league play when more just for fun, but in a national tournament at the highest level allowed, why do it at this age? Maybe do at AA level at best? Only people not capable at still playing at the high level are wanting it.
Nov. 22, 2022
garyc
Men's 55
9 posts
Is the decision going to be made on what easiest for the rules committee or for players who still love to play the game. For this to be done at the high level tournaments is kind of sad to say we have dropped this far.
Just making it easier for the few versus work at it to stay on top.
Nov. 22, 2022
TimMcElroy
918 posts
Perhaps, people could work on hitting the 4 hole if the middle man is favoring the SS side of the bag. Perhaps, people could work on hitting balls down the lines.

"Work at it to stay on top" - your words, not mine.
Nov. 22, 2022
garyc
Men's 55
9 posts
Major league baseball is getting rid of the shift this coming year due to negative affect on scoring and excitement of the game. This came from my wife that is an avid fan and follower of the game. The fans also want to see scoring and more challenging plays. When people hit 70 need to make the game easier.
Nov. 23, 2022
Webbie25
Men's 65
2379 posts
garyc-The best reason for going to the extra man at 65 is for combined brackets where 70's play 65's. Having played both now, there is a very huge difference in the 65 game and the 70 game. I played third base against 65 M+ hitters and there was a couple balls went by in worlds that convinced me to age up to 70 this year. There was less impact on the game at 65 from the extra player, but it did make a difference. There really is a much bigger impact on 70 plus teams. One reason is very few home runs at 70 so more balls are playable. As a hitter, I would rather not hit against it, but I see the logic. I am sure this will be debated a lot more in coming years. And, on another note in this thread, I disagree strongly (again) with MLB and their rule changes. I grew up with baseball being a huge part of my life. Watching the rare games on tv, keeping stats, copying batting stances, playing all day every day until the streetlights came on, it was a huge part of my life. A couple years ago they went to looking like Senior Softball with the international tiebreaker in extra innings and 7 inning double headers. The poor under paid and overworked players that make unfathomable amounts of money (unfathomable for us poor players) must have been too tired to play the full games. Now they ban the shift, because those same underpaid and overworked players are too egotistical to learn, or even to try to learn to break the shift. It's all about the almighty home run and that, more than anything has a negative effect on scoring. Yes, you can argue the pitchers are stronger and have nasty stuff, too, but swinging for the fences all the time results in guys with 40 home runs, hitting .185 and striking out 200 times in a year. Many will remember Dave Kingman did that, but many now are much worse. Kingman at least hit .236 lifetime and had a career best .288 one year. The fans want more scoring and excitement yet they worship at the altar of the 500 foot solo blast. You can't have it both ways. However, as a conclusion to this rant, I am waiting for the bases to be shortened to 80 feet and fences to be mandated at 300 feet in an effort to prop up scoring. This will also mean the poor babies don't have to run so far offensively or defensively. Sadly, it's all about me, me, me anymore in MLB. I think I will go put on a replay of 'Revenge of the Nerds' instead of watching baseball.
Nov. 23, 2022
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4194 posts
Two quick comments Webbie ... [1] It was great to see you and spend a bit of "quality conversation time" in PHX last week, and [2] You are the "Leader in the Clubhouse" if we decide to declare a MESSAGE BOARD POST OF THE YEAR award winner ... Happy Thanksgiving everyone ...
Nov. 23, 2022
softball4b
Men's 70
1213 posts
DD clarification - you don't see webbie, you are part of the webbie experience, but I do get the air quotes.
Nov. 23, 2022
MurrayW
Men's 65
214 posts
garyc, I still play 55, 60, and 65 Major Plus, so I think I qualify as someone who can still play at a high level AND likes the 11th man in 65's.

I've had a few hits taken away from me on grounders in the 5-6 hole that get fielded because the SS is shifted over there with the extra infielder. My plan in the offseason to combat this is to try once again never to hit ground balls and to work on my speed to beat out some of those balls that get fielded deep in the 5-6 hole.
Nov. 23, 2022
Webbie25
Men's 65
2379 posts
I am an 'experience' now Mike? Really. Wait until you hear about my idea for baseball for pitchers. They will be forced to obey a speed limit of 95 miles per hour. A "Smokie' umpire will ticket them for violations. Then hitter will have a better chance.
Nov. 25, 2022
Mikelmart
147 posts
It's so easy to see how the 11th man mess with some peoples minds. I personally gave up looking at the defense before my at bats. Who cares where the defense plays or how many people are or are not on the field.
Just remember the batter is on the offense. He has ultimate control over the final result, not always but most of the time.
I don't know how many line drives I've hit to left center for outs. I don't blame the fielder, it's part of the game. Get that 11th man out of your head and you'll be better off for it.
Nov. 25, 2022
stattad
Men's 65
233 posts
I think it's a great rule. Anything to bring down the scores from a slugfest to some meaningful runs.
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