Softball and baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987


USSSA Update

  

By Gerry Turnberg

USSSA State Director

Central Divisional Vice President

 

 Finally, as the snow melts away, we see brown blades of grass, hopefully soon turning green. This winter was way too long, but now we all can look forward to a prosperous spring, summer and fall of USSSA softball. 

This weekend, we kick off our NIT schedule at Burnsville’s Lac Lavon Park with a men’s Open NIT and a men’s D/E National Qualifier.

 

What’s new and what we again will emphasize in 2011: 2010 brought big changes in the presentation of our softball program. We eliminated the printing of the “USSSA GUIDE/TOURNAMENT Book” and posted all of the information found in that book on our website at www.mnusssa.com. In general, the feedback received from our participants and league directors was positive with suggested changes noted and made for 2011.

Please visit our state website for all tournament listings, fliers and ads for tournaments. Umpire information, World champion’s photos, State Hall of Fame information and inductee photos are posted along with much, much more.

 

Bat standards The performance standard for all bats will be a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.2 or less. The BPF was developed by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) Softball Bat Performance Study. All bats must be permanently marked with a BPF of 1.2 or less by the manufacturer (more on this later).

 

Altered bats Use of such bats will not be tolerated in USSSA play. Players using such bats will immediately be suspended for at least one year.

 

State Tournament play that advances to National Competition – A minimum of nine players can start a game. However, an out shall be declared when the 10th position in the lineup is scheduled to bat. A 10th player may be added any time before the end of the game. Any team that starts a game with 10, 11 or 12 players may drop to the minimum nine players to finish the game. All vacant spots in the lineup will be declared an out every time that lineup position is due to bat. If the team starts with 9 or 10 players, they are not allowed to add the 11th or 12th player at a later time.

 

All Youth State Tournaments and programs that do not advance teams to National Tournaments You may start and finish the game with nine players. You may bat 10, 11 or your entire roster, and you may use courtesy runners. If someone is injured while batting your entire roster, you can skip over that spot in the lineup without penalty.

 

Pitching – The pitcher may pitch from the pitcher’s plate or from an area the width of the pitcher’s plate and up to six feet behind the pitcher’s plate. 

 

Baselines – 70-foot baselines may be used in all adult programs. Hopefully all of our parks and complexes will have their bases at 70 feet. This will give the fielders extra reaction time and put more defense into the game. This is the BEST rule since the 3-2 count was put in place. 

Women’s Class “D”& Mixed Class “D” – Will have competitive and recreational divisions again in 2011. We ask that league directors register teams in their proper class.

 

Bat 12 – Teams will be allowed to bat 12 instead of 11 if they choose to do so (two additional hitters instead of one).

 

Men’s “E” and Mixed “E” Program – In the Men’s “E” and Mixed “E” Programs, any batter who hits an untouched fair fly ball over the fence in fair territory will be declared out and it will be an Inning Ending Out. That spot in the lineup is also an out each time it comes to bat.

 

Flip Flop Rule will be used in all programs.

 

Use of Improper Language and Players outside the Dugout Area – These are two topics that will again be emphasized at all umpire clinics. It is a MUST that league directors, team managers and umpires enforce these two topics with teams.

 

Team Registration ID #’s – All teams will receive an 11-digit ID #. All tournament reports must include the team ID # and game scores.

 

Rosters Online – All teams playing in tournaments must have their rosters registered online on the USSSA National website (www.usssa.com). This should be done before you participate in any tournament.

 

Softballs – All softballs used in our program will be the Dudley Optic Yellow Classic M in the men’s program and Classic W in the women’s program. That is a 40 COR ball with a compression of 325 lbs.

 

A reminder to individuals who play on teams in different classes – You are eligible only for those weekend tournaments which include your highest-classified team. There is no reason for individuals who play on “A” or “B” teams to be participating in “C” or “D” weekend tournaments. This is something that must be policed by the players themselves. Teams found in violation of this will forfeit all awards and travel expense monies won and individual player eligibility may be placed in jeopardy. Ignorance is not an excuse; know the rules!

 

Player/Team Classifications – The Minnesota Recreation & Park Association’s Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) take great pride in dealing with classifications and doing what we believe is BEST for Minnesota Softball. This year in the men’s competitive division we classified players. In the other programs, we reclassified teams. Visit mnusssa.com for player and team classifications.

 

State Hall of Fame – We are accepting applications for our State Hall of Fame. The criteria for enshrinement into the Hall are listed on our website. To get applications for this, please contact my office or visit our web site at  mnusssa.com.

 

State Hall of Fame Golf TournamentOur Hall of Fame Golf Tournament will be Thursday, June 16 to benefit our State Hall of Fame. This is a fun-filled day. The tournament is a four-person scramble with an 11:30 a.m., shotgun start. The entry fee includes: golf, cart, golf shirt, barbecue, tee gifts, door prizes and games on every hole. Please contact me or download a flyer from our website.

 

Women’s Equalizer NIT – May 14-15 is the weekend of a Women’s Equalizer NIT where lower classified teams get runs to start the game. We will also have a women’s “D” tournament that same weekend.  Visit www.mnussa.com to view fliers of these tournaments.

 

Central Division National Tournament Sites

Men’s Class C                    Blaine, MN

Men’s Class D                    Omaha, NE

Men’s Class E           Bridgeton, MO

Women’s Class B C D Blaine, MN

 

Minnesota USSSA/MRPA Website: www.mnusssa.com

National USSSA Website Access:

www.usssa.com

 

If I can be of any assistance in any of your softball needs, please call 763.571.1305 x 108 or 1-800-862-3659 x108, email turnberg@mnrecpark.org or stop by my office at 200 Charles Street NE Fridley MN 55432.

Remember – it is you, the player, coach, fan and umpire that make USSSA a GREAT organization and the place to be!