Senior Softball-USA Ratings Guidelines
The foundation of the National Senior Softball Rating System is that separating teams by age and skill level will result in safer play and more competitive games.
Therefore, the competitive divisions are separated into the 40-Masters and Senior 5-year increments (50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+ and 85+) and into four skill levels, AA, AAA, Major and Major-Plus (for Men's 50+ through 70+.) The 40-Masters divisions comprise three ratings levels (MEN: AAA, Major and Major Plus and WOMEN: AA, AAA and Major.) The Men's 75+ also comprise three rating levels (AAA, Major and Major Plus), the 80+ comprise two rating levels (AAA and Major) and the 85+ comprise a single Major rating level. As a result of these separations, Senior Softball is the safest division of softball in America.
Team Ratings and appeals are reviewed ONLY two (2) times per year: December and June. SSUSA reserves the right to change a team at any time if it becomes clear the team is too strong or too weak for its current division.
IF A TEAM WANTS ITS RATING REVIEWED IT MUST SUBMIT AN APPEAL FORM
Appeal forms are available at www.seniorsoftball.com under the FORMS tab.
WE WILL NOT REVIEW RATINGS OF TEAMS BASED ON E-MAILS, PHONE CALLS OR LETTERS
A team MUST file a formal appeal to be considered.
Here are the guidelines used by the SSUSA Ratings Committee in changing a team’s rating:
- The Senior Softball-USA Ratings Committee’s First Priority is to protect teams in the lower division. That means if a team is losing by large margins in it’s own division, but beating teams in the lower division by large margins, then the team should remain in its original division in order to protect the lower division.
- Over three (3) tournaments, is the team beating or losing to its opponents in the same age and skill level by an average of five (5) runs or more?
- For AA Teams: are they producing double-digits runs consistently (one of the key indicators of AA teams is that they are inconsistent in run production)
- Here are the guidelines for teams winning the SSUSA World Championships or the SPA National/World Championships:
- Teams winning in a division of 6 or more teams and may not appeal their rating increase during the following SSUSA Season.
- Teams winning in a division of 3-5 teams and may appeal their rating increase during the following SSUSA Season after playing in a few SSUSA tournaments.
- Teams winning in a division of 2 teams will not be moved up.
- SSUSA reserves the right NOT to move a team up if there is a preponderance of information showing the team should remain in the original skill level.
- The rating of a new team is determined by the rating / ratings of the teams from which the players came. A team with all new players begins as AAA if no other information is available. If there is a question, the team is assigned the higher rating.
- A team retains its rating unless it falls below 3 players from the original team. The new team ranking is then determined by the playing history of the current team members.
- Major-Plus players may only play on Major or Major-Plus teams in the same age division, unless it is determined that the player is not a "key" or "impact" player. This is decided on proven medical circumstances or if the player is determined to be a pickup player for only one tournament for the team. These exceptions are decided on an individual basis and approved in writing by the association.
- NOTE: Teams that are moved down in rating cannot add higher skill level players for up to one year from the move-down.
How the Rating Process Works
Here is the SSUSA process for reviewing team ratings and appeals two times per year (ONLY in December and June):
- We do an internal review of all teams based on all results of games played in SSUSA. The SSUSA database program flags teams that win or lose by an average of 5 (or more) runs per game.
- We also independently review all teams that have filed appeals, and look at umpire recommendations on Game Cards for the teams and reports from Tournament Directors.
- After that review is complete, we send a list of recommendations to our 12 key SSUSA Directors for their review and comment. When their comments comes back, we may modify the recommendations.
- As soon as the decisions are made, the team ratings are changed electronically and managers are sent a letter (and/or an email) confirming the decision.