EYES OF TEXAS ON LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL

by Hockepuck! 15. April 2015 15:51

 

GEORGETOWN TOURNAMENT AGAIN DRAWS THIRTY TEAMS

 GEORGETOWN,TX – The recording stars ALABAMA said, “.....if you're going to play in Texas, you have to have a fiddle in the band.”

 Senior softball players say, “If you're going to play in TEXAS, you have to play SPA'S LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL tournament.”

 Not to sound like a broken record but the MCMASTERS ATHLETIC COMPLEX in GEORGETOWN, TEXAS again drew THIRTY PLUS teams to the ANNUAL LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL SPA tournament.

 I think the drawing power of the event is a great tribute to LAYLA,” SPA PRESIDENT/CEO RIDGE HOOKS said, “This tournament was LAYLA'S baby, she put her heart and soul into it every year and today it continues to flourish in her memory.”

 Seven divisional bracket champions were crowned this year starting with HILL CONTRACTING in the four-team 75/80 bracket.

 The TEXAS team went 3-0 in bracket play beating TEXAS CLASSICS 24-9, HARRIS AUCTION 18-11 and edging HARRIS AUCTION 12-11 in the title game. ALAMO CITY TRAVELERS rounded out the field.

 Five teams squared off in the five-team 70 PLUS group. OKC RELICS ran the table on the way to the title. OKC disposed of STILL (25-10), TEXAS LEGENDS 70's (24-18) and beat the TEXAS LEGENDS again, this time 15-13 for the championship. Others in the bracket were AUSTIN WIZARDS and TEXAS CLASSICS 70's.

 In a three-team 65 PLUS SILVER bracket the DALLAS SPURS took the top prize after beating TEXAS RATTLERS (41-19) and TEXAS EAGLES (22-17).

 CENTEX 65'S won the 65 PLUS GOLD wrapping it up on a forfeit win over SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS. Earlier CENTEX beat BOYD METALS 29-14 and SAN ANTONIO 23-19. The TEXAS LEGENDS were the fourth team in the bracket.

 HOUSTON FIRE beat AUSTIN WIZARDS 18-16, OOPS SOFTBALL 23-8 and TEXAS THUNDER 23-18 in the title game of the five-team 60 PLUS group.

 TACOMA MB FLYING also was in the 60 PLUS bracket,

 The 55/60 MAJOR CROWN was won by SAN ANTONIO 55 SOFTBALL CLUB. LEGENDS OF TEXAS were SECOND followed by GONZALES INSULATION 60's.

 A neighboring state team, TEAM ARKANSAS won the 50 PLUS PLATINUM crown beating TEXAS PLAYERS twice including 37-19 in the title game. The TEXAS PLAYERS reached the finals by knocking off TEXAS MAVERICKS 37-24.

 TEXAS ELITE swept the competition in winning the 50 PLUS GOLD bracket championship. TEXAS ELITE beat MIXED BREED 26-15 in the finale. MIXED BREED came out of the loser's bracket by beating AUSTIN ROCK 29-24.

 It was a tough tournament for AUSTIN ROCK who lost their two bracket games by a total of only six runs, five runs to MIXED BREED and one run (15-14) to TEXAS ELITE.

 SPA will return to the LONE STAR state AUGUST 26-30 when COLLEGE STATION will host the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS NIT.

 Please contact SPA OFFICE at (405) 376-7034 or E-MAIL spaoffice@softballspa.net for further information.

 

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Tournaments

SPA MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT TOPS FORTY TEAMS

by Hockepuck! 30. March 2015 13:32

            LAGOON PARK SOFTBALL COMPLEX IS A GREAT HOST

 MONTGOMERY, ALABABMA - Combine a great location with the reputation of a well-run tournament and the result is predictable.

For the third straight year the SOUTHERN SPA NIT IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA an increased attendance, this year attracting FORTY TEAMS.

 Over the past three years the MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT has increased from thirty teams to thirty-five teams and this year to forty teams,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “ That is an increase of over ten-percent each year and this year's total of FORTY TEAMS is higher than THIRTY-SEVEN other senior tournaments conducted east of VEGAS by all other senior organizations in 2014.”

 Tournament Director for the 2015 MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT DON CHERRY also was excited about the continued increase in teams.

 The increase has a lot to do with LAGOON PARK ,” CHERRY said, “ LAGOON PARK is one of the best complexes on the senior softball circuit and the people in charge of the facility do a tremendous job in keeping it that way. we had a great tournament with lots of new teams and new winners”

 The forty-team tournament at MONTGOMERY, MARCH 12-15 saw EIGHT CHAMPIONS crowned in the 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 age groups.

 ADIKTIVE MERCHANTS ran the table in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET downing TEAM ARKANSAS (31-14), DOC C'S (34-33), MONSTER SOFTBALL (32-25) and MONSTER SOFTBALL again, this time in the title game 35-24 to take the top prize.

 Others in the six team bracket were ALABAMA BRICK and ATLANTA MONRACH MIKENS.

In the 50 AAA team, another GEORGIA TEAM, MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN, went home with the “brass ring”.

 MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN downed AFINITY ELEVATOR 10-5 and BLUEGRASS SOFTBALL twice (20-15, 28-15) for the 50 AAA crown.

 Filling out the five-team bracket were MONTGOMERY SWARM and NORTH GEORGIA OUTLAWS,

 Three teams battled in the 50/55 MAJOR PLUS BRACKET with TSC MIKEN coming out on top, TSC had to beat PLE 41-34 in the “IF” game to escape with the title after PLE forced the deciding match with 31-25 win over the “champs”.

 NEXT LEVEL was the third team in the field

 TENNESSEE'S EDGE SOFTBALL bested FLORIDA'S DAVID BOWEN SPORTING GOODS 34-15 and 23-22 in a best two-out-of-three showdown for the 5/60 MAJOR CROWN.

 The 55AAA title went to DT EXPRESS, who had to survive a late rush by GAS.

 In the four-team bracket, DT EXPRESS sent GAS into the loser's bracket with a 19-18 win in the opener. The EXPRESS gang took care of the BAMA OLD GUYS 31-20 in the next game and then sat back and waited for their next opponent.

 In the meantime, GAS eliminated JR TRUCKING 24-9 and the BAMA OLD GUYS 17-7 to earn another shot at DT EXPRESS. This time GAS won 24-15 to force an “IF” game. The title game was close all the way but DT EXPRESS held on for the 16-12 win and claim the 55 AAA crown.

 SIX TEAMS squared off in the 60 BRACKET with RANDY SMITH going undefeated to win the championship. It wasn't easy though as the champs had to survive a pair of one-run wins on their way to the title.

 RANDY SMITH knocked off COLUMBUS LX 24-19 and BOYS OF SUMMER 23-22 before beating COLUMBUS LX 16-15 in the title match.

 COLUMBUS LX after losing the opener to RANDY SMITH beat ATLANTA RECYCLING, STRYKERS and BOYS OF SUMMER to make it to the championship game.

DIXIE SOFTBALL and RANEW rounded out the six-team bracket.

 MUSTANGS won the four-team 65 BRACKET with three straight wins over EXTREME HEAT and HUFFMAN ELECTRIC twice.

 SLO SOX was the fourth team in the bracket.

 SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS made up for their 2014 runner-up spot by winning this year's 70/75 title. The 75 MAJOR LEFTOVERS claimed the crown beating 70 AAA BROOKS AND CRIM 12-11 and 75 MAJOR ED'S ALUMINUM 20-4.

 The 75 AAA GEORGIA CLASSICS filled out the four team bracket.

"It was a great tournament and we expect to increase attendance again next year," concluded CHERRY.

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Tournaments

WOMEN'S MARCH 2015 EDITORIAL

by Judy Lee Schrieber 20. February 2015 21:06

MEMORIES

 Michigan Mavericks, the Oldest Women’s Senior Softball Team.  Kay Oswait, 90-years-old was the coach and Jerry Gawara, at the time was 92-years-old.  Kay just passed away three weeks ago after suffering from cancer for 12 years.  The Michigan Mavericks are from Garden City, Michigan. 

 Kay Oswait was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.  She played fast pitch, modified fast-pitch, and then slow-pitch softball.    She was a pitcher, catcher and outfielder.  She began playing senior softball in 1989.  She was manager and player despite some major health issues.  She had a fall in 2007 resulting in a fractured hip and thereafter became the manager of the Mavericks 75+.  Kay is one of those pioneers that paved the way for all the younger female players.

 Kay wrote about Jerry Gawara – She is now 91-years-old and would still be playing if we had enough players over 80 to play.  In 1988, Jerry played shortstop in the Women’s Senior Olympics in St. Louis.  One of Jerry Opponent wrote, “I had the privilege of playing against her (Jerry) as well as with her.  She played various positions but noted for her stamina with her pitching.  She was a good hitter.  Jerry’s personality is one of graciousness and humbling demeanor.  She is competitive, but in a civil way.  She cares about others on the team and opponents.  Because of Jerry, Judy Lee had  the pitching rule changed to allow her to pitch 2 innings, rest, and then come back into the game; plus allowing 12 players on the field for this age group.

 Judy Lee Schreiber wrote, “They (Jerry and Kay) are an inspiration to all of us younger ladies and they keep us on our toes because they are not sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.”  Kay is the one that always said to me, “NEVER give up on helping the Senior Women to play ball. “  She was my encouragement all of these years.  I loved this lady.  She is one in a million.”

 Below is the Women’s Softball Tournament Schedule for 2015.  If you happen to live or happen to be in one of these cities during tournament play, please stop by and cheer them on and welcome them to your city.

 

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General | Women

Women's Program Clarifications

by Bobby Graham 20. January 2015 15:22

Okay, Ladies, let me try to clarify some of the confusion around the rules changes concerning the SPA Women’s program.

First of all, the exemption from the rules concerning qualification to World tournament play has been removed.  This means yes, teams must now qualify in order to advance to the World Tournaments.  Along with this qualification comes the necessity for the most miss-understood thing of all “frozen rosters.”  So let’s talk about what that really means and try to make sense of it as best we can.

Women’s teams this year in SPA will be divided into at least two classifications, AAA and Major.  In order for these classifications to have meaning and to keep that meaning as we move through the year, as I said in my previous article, rosters must be “frozen”.  That does NOT mean that there is no way that a player can play on more than one team.  The term frozen only applies to play within an age group.  So for example, if a player plays and is frozen on a 55+ AAA team, that player is still free and perfectly legal to play with a 50+ AAA team, in different tournaments on different weekends.  In fact any number of players could be on both teams and still be legal.  In fact, if the two teams were to play in the same tournament on the same weekend, two of the players could use the “double-rostering” rule to play on both teams, and any additional players that happen to be on both rosters, would simply choose which team that they are playing with in that tournament (doesn’t matter which team), “sign-in”, and play with only that team for the weekend.  There is no need for anybody to be removed from either roster that weekend, as only those that “sign-in” on both rosters that weekend are at issue.

The only other example that I can think of that might get sticky would be if the two teams were not of the same classification.  For Example, if a player or players were playing on both a 55+ Major team and a 50+ AAA team.  In this case there are restrictions on how many players from a “Major” roster are allowed on a “AAA” team, even though they are of different ages.  No team is allowed more than 3 players from the next higher classification to be on their roster, so playing in multiple classifications does have restrictions.  Also, no player on a 50+ Major team, would be allowed to play on a 55+ AAA team.  The thinking being that a player good enough for a younger Major team, should not be playing with an older AAA team. We usually say that “the water must run down hill so to speak.”

One other point of confusion that we need to discuss has to do with the mixture of team classes within a tournament.  I would really like to be able to tell you that this doesn’t happen, but we all know that sometimes it just isn’t practical to conduct a tournament for very small numbers of teams.  I can say that whenever there are sufficient numbers of teams available, it is definitely SPA policy to keep the classifications separated.   Are there times when circumstances may force teams of different classifications to play one another?  Sadly yes there may be.   SPA will work diligently to prevent this from happening, but when it does, we have changed our “Equalizer” rules to try to make it more fair for everybody.

This year when teams of different ages OR classifications play, extra points will be scored for either the older or the lower classified team.  That award will be 1 run in the 1st, one run in the 2nd, one run in the 3rd, and 2 runs in the 4th inning.  So if the game makes it through the 4th inning, the equalizer award will be 5 runs total.  By the way no team will get more than 5 “equalizer” runs in a game.  No longer is the “extra infielder” used as an equalizer in SPA.

I truly hope that my rambling here is helpful, and look forward to seeing you all somewhere at the ball park this year.

 

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Women

Oh No, My Roster’s Been Frozen! …. What Now?

by Bobby Graham 16. January 2015 12:04

 The question is asked again and again at softball events everywhere, and the answers may not be the same depending upon the sanctioning organization rules for any particular tournament.  So let’s talk about SPA’s rules, what they mean, and why they might be the way that they are.

 Why do we have such rules?

 When softball players or athletes in general come to the park to compete, it’s just human nature that everybody wants a chance to be competitive or at least a glimmer of hope that they might win.  For that reason, most softball organizations, SPA included, try to “classify” the teams, such that similar skill levels wind up competing together.  Let’s face it nobody (win or lose) enjoys the “run-away” games that wind up forty to nothing embarrassments.  So teams are grouped and classified to try to give everybody a sporting chance.

 Classifying teams is a difficult task at best, when one considers that these teams are traveling and playing all around the country, sometimes with one organization and sometimes with another.  The task of evaluating and classifying teams becomes almost impossible, when the teams show up with different players at every tournament.  Let’s face it there are too many teams out there that will “load-up” with new and better players at every opportunity.  While we all understand that it is a necessity for teams to occasionally replace players, constant wholesale change just to “sandbag” and build a team that is stronger than its classification is wrong, and destroys any chance of proper classification for that team as the season progresses.

 To make classification meaningful in both its men’s and women’s programs, SPA has chosen to “freeze” each team’s roster, when that team plays its first tournament of the year.  In other words, when a team “qualifies” for the World Tournament by playing in any SPA tournament, that team’s roster is going to be held to rules designed to maintain the team’s classification.

 What does “frozen” mean? Are we stuck?

 Does this mean that I can’t play anywhere else?

 There is a great deal of misunderstanding as to what a “frozen roster” really is in SPA, so let’s see if we can answer some of the concerns.  First of all, a player is NOT stuck on a roster once it has been “frozen”.  SPA has no restrictions on players being dropped from a qualified roster, except to say that once dropped a player may not return to that same qualified team.  No releases or approvals are required. So if a player wants to leave their team to join another team, he/she may certainly do so, as long as he/she is eligible to be added to their new team’s roster.  Likewise, it is legal in SPA for a player to be on more than one roster and play with more than one team, as long as those rosters are for different age groups. There are special rules concerning “double-rostering” that allow for playing on two teams in the same tournament with restrictions, but as long as a player is playing with another age group on separate weekends, then there is no problem or restriction.

  What if a player is sick or injured? Are we just out of luck?

 Once a team’s roster has been “frozen”, everybody understands that there will be times when illness, injury, or unforeseen circumstances will require an additional player.  To try to accommodate these needs, SPA allows any team to add 2 players to its “qualified” (frozen) roster, but to try to keep the classification issues in line they require that these players come from a higher age division.  This way a team can still keep their qualification to World, continue to compete, and yet still remain within their current classification rating.

 Is there any way that a roster can be “Unfrozen” so that we can start over?

 Sure, we all know that a situation may arise that forces a team to have to totally regroup and just start over.  Whatever the circumstance that might cause this to happen, because now we are dealing with groups of new players from the same age group, it necessitates the need for a brand new evaluation of that team’s classification rating.  For that reason, SPA requires a team that needs to be “unfrozen” to officially register that need, so that the roster can be opened and the classification review process can begin anew for that team.  In line with this review, the team is required to “re-qualify” for the World tournament by playing in an additional SPA event.  This re-qualification gives the classification committee an opportunity to evaluate the newly formed team in a game situation.

 We all wish that this was an ideal world, where every team is competitive and the old “you get yours and we’ll get ours” mentality could work, but that’s just not the world that we live in.  The rules that SPA has put in place represent a very honest attempt to make the game more enjoyable for all.

  

 

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General | Tournaments | Women

About the Editor

Ho Hoffman of Wadsworth,Ohio is a sports writer for the Medina (Ohio) Gazette daily newspaper. Hoffman also has been playing competitive softball for nearly sixty years and 3,000 games starting in the adult fast pitch leagues as a teenager and continuing through into today's 70's senior division.  

Hoffman for the past twenty years has also been playing on senior softball travel teams. In addition, he along with Red Bole are the tournament directors of the highly successful SPA Ohio Buckeye Classic June senior softball tournament which last year drew 77 teams, in the 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 AA and AAA only divisions. 

He is also married. He and his wife Sue have three sons who are also active in softball and baseball. The youngest Matt plays adult slo-pitch softball, Mike plays Roy Hobbs 40-and over baseball and Marc is the founder, owner and president of U.S. Baseball Academy, the nation's largest baseball training program.

 

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