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USSSA Update - April 5, 2012
By Gerry Turnberg
It sure is great having an early spring! A lot of the teams have been outside taking swings for three weeks already!
Next weekend, April 14-15, we kick off our NIT schedule with an “Open” NIT in Burnsville. A paid berth to your World Tournament will be given out in each class. We will also have a D/E National qualifier at Burnsville’s Lac Lavon Park.
What’s new and what will be emphasize again in 2012:
Bat Standards: The performance standard for all the bats will be a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) or 1.20 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 1.20 or less by the manufacturer. This is the last year these bats will be “grandfathered” for use. Starting in 2013, all bats must have the new permanent USSSA mark on its taper or be a wood bat.
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.
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 pounds.
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 the 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 the 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-feet 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.
Mixed Class “D”: Will have competitive and recreational divisions again in 2012. We ask that league directors register teams in their proper class.
Bat 12: Team 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 the umpire clinics. It is a MUST that you, as a league director, go over this in your team manager and local umpire meetings.
Team Registration ID #’s: All teams will receive 11-digit ID #’s. All tournament reports must include the team ID # and game scores.
Roster Online: All teams that play in tournaments must put their roster online at www.usssa.com.
Minnesota Concussion Law: All youth leagues must be aware of and abide to the Minnesota concussion law.
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 participate 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 and Park Association (MRPA) Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) takes 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 www.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 website at www.mnusssa.com.
State Hall of Fame Golf Tournament: Our Hall of Fame Golf Tournament will be Thursday, June 14 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.
Incentive Program for Men’s “B”, “C”, and “D” Teams: Visit our state website at www.mnusssa.com to learn more about our incentive programs. Pay early and save money. We will also have a season-long point system for Men’s “B” and “C” teams participating in NIT’s and payout an additional $3000 in travel expenses.
Minnesota USSSA/MRPA Website:
National USSSA Website Access:
If I can be of any assistance in any of your softball needs, please call me at 763-571-1305 x 108 or 1-800-862-3659 x 108, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by my office at 200 Charles Street NE, Fridley, MN 55432.
REMEMBER – It is you, the player, coach, fan, director, umpire and association that make USSSA a GREAT organization and the place to be!