SPA 2014 WORLD TOURNAMENT SETS RECORD

by Hockepuck! 24. October 2014 14:27

TOURNAMENT CONTINUES TO GROW IN BOTH MEN AND WOMEN

 DALTON , GEORGIA – It was another banner year for the SPA ORGANIZATION in 2014 as the SPA WORLDS ATTENDANCE hit a new high with 166 teams attending.

The increase in the WORLDS attendance kept pace with SPA'S overall growth for 2014. In the mid-west and east alone, SPA averaged over 40 teams per tournament drawing over 800 teams for the twenty tournaments in that region.

This has been a very good year for SPA,” SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS said about the 2014 tournament attendance,”The totals and the increase show that SPA is continuing to put on quality well attended tournaments which are drawing teams to our events.”

 Overall SPA crowned in the 80, 75 GOLD, 75 SILVER, 75 MAJOR, 70 AAA, 70 AA, 70 MAJOR, 65 AAA, 65 AA, 65 MAJOR, 65 MAJOR PLUS, 60 AAA, 60 AA, 60 MAJOR, 60 MAJOR PLUS, 55 AAA, 55 MAJOR, 50 AAA, 50 MAJOR and 50 MAJOR PLUS.

(ARTICLE ON THE 75'S, 80'S , 50'S MAJOR, 50'S MAJOR PLUS, 60 MAJOR, 60 MAJOR PLUS and 75 MAJORS have been covered previously):

2014 CHAMPS

50 AAA - 1. TEAM ELITE CC MIKEN (MD), RATED ATHLETES (CAL); 2.DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN (OH) (13 TEAMS)

50 MAJOR – 1. RATED ATHLETES (CAL), 2. GOOD TIMES (FLA) (15 TEAMS)

50 MAJOR PLUS – 1. DLB SOFTBALL (WIS), 2.MID-ATLANTIC (VA) (8 TEAMS)

55 AAA – 1.DAVID BOWEN SPORTS (FLA), 2. DT EXPRESS (TN) (7 TEAMS)

55 MAJOR – 1. DOCS (OH), 2. SWEET CONSTRUCTION (NJ) (10 TEAMS)

60 AA – 1. CAVCO SPORTS (ONT,CAN); 2. TENNESSEE 60'S (TN) (5 TEAMS)

60 AAA - 1.ELITE 60'S (GA), 2. REALITY CHECK (NC) (23 TEAMS)

60 MAJOR – 1. GONZALES INSULATION (TX), 2. CRYSTAL COBRAS (NC), 2. KC KIDS (KS) (5 TEAMS)

60 MAJOR PLUS – 1. SUPERIOR SR SOFTBALL (VA), 2. MN MASTERS WHITE (MINN) (3 TEAMS)

65 AA – 1. CHICAGO HITMEN (IL). 2. THE FIRM (TENN) (9 TEAMS)

65 AAA - 1. CARRIAGE HOMES (AR), 2. US DOT JOBS (IND) (9 TEAMS)

65 MAJOR – 1. BEACH BOYZ (FL), 2. SW FLORIDA THUNDER (FL) (9 TEAMS)

65 MAJOR PLUS – 1. HAMEL BUILDERS/SUPERIOR (VA), 2. BEEF O'BRADY'S (FL) (3 TEAMS)

70 AA – 1. CHICAGO GRAT SOX (IL), 2. DAYTON LEGENDS 70'S (OH) (4 TEAMS)

70 AAA – 1. SCRAP IRON LEGACY (CO), 2. SENIOR REDBIRDS (IL) (15 TEAMS)

70 MAJOR – 1. FRANKIE BRIN FINANCIAL (FL), 2. SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS (GA). (2 TEAMS)

75 SILVER – 1. PEACHTREE RESTAURANT (PA), 2. LOUISVILLE THUNDER (KY) (7 TEAMS)

75 GOLD – 1. CHICAGO GEEZERS (IL), 2. NEW JERSEY JAGS (NJ) (6 TEAMS)

75 MAJOR – 1. THE LEFTOVERS (GA), 2. HAMELS 75'S (MD) (4 TEAMS)

80 AAA – 1. PROHEALTH CARE (WIS), 2. TEXAS CLASSICS (TX) (5 TEAMS)

 POOL AND BRACKET PLAY SCORES MAY BE FOUND ON THE SPA RESULTS PAGE AND ALSO FRONT PAGE.

 

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General | Tournaments | Women

PROHEALTH CARE TAKES SPA 80'S WORLD CROWN

by Hockepuck! 12. September 2014 11:33

    WISCONSIN TEAM HAS TITLE FROM FOUR AGE DIVISIONS

COLUMBUS, OHIO – PROHEALTH CARE 80'S added the SPA 80'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AUGUST 11-14 in COLUMBUS, OHIO to their growing list of accomplishments.

 They have now won NATIONAL TITLES in 65, 70, 75 and 80 age divisions.

  We won our first at the SPA WORLDS at PANAMA CITY in 2000 when we won the SPA 65 AA title, “PROHEALTH CARE and SPA 80 AAA MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR DON BARDONNER SAID,” In 2005 we won the SPA 70 AAA WORLDS at DALLAS and in 2010 we won the HUNTSMAN and SSUSA PHOENIX 75 AAA, so this year's 80's title keeps our string intact.”

  In their run, they couldn't have had many easier titles then COLUMBUS. In five games they averaged 19 runs to their opponent's 12.8 and also compiled a lofty TEAM .697 batting average.We didn't do very well in pool play but made up for it in bracket play,” BARDONNER said, “We lost two close games at the start but after that we were pretty much at the top of our game, playing better defense and especially hitting better,”

  After losing a pair of one-run games in pool play (20-21 TEXAS CLASSICS and 12-13 SOUTHWEST STARS), the WISCONSIN team defeated TEXAS CLASSICS (23-11), JIMMY'S MINNESOTA LEGENDS (19-4) and the TEXAS CLASSICS again, 21-15 in the title game.

  According to BARDONNER competing in and even winning tournaments is fun. "The biggest problem for PROHEALTH CAREis finding 80 old tournaments to play,” he stated, “The only other one we played in this year was THEE SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC, who had an 80's division. We will probably go to VEGAS and FORT MYERS because they will have more than two teams in an 80's bracket.”

 BARDONNER is also hoping that in 2015 and future years, that the number of teams in the 80 age group will increase.

  SPA, thanks to THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC has been a huge promoter of the 75's Division and now the 80's,” he explained, “ I'm expecting a lot of those 75's teams will soon be moving up to 80's and SPA will probably be the organization that will have tournaments for them.”

  The PROHEALTH CARE team was started in 1997 by BARDONNER, BOBBY JOHNSON, LARRY RODABAUGH and CHUCK JOHNSON. In the early years they were sponsored by a BINGO HALL and AMERICAN LEGION.

  We were fortunate to obtain PROHEALTH CARE as our sponsor,” BARDONNER said, “If SPA had an award for the top sponsor each year, PROHEALTH would win it hands down.”

 WISCONSIN'S PROHEALTH CARE, which has been the team's sponsor since 2009, has taken care of obtaining uniforms, equipment, entry fees and team jackets.They are tremendous people and very highly respected in our area,” BARDONNER explained, “They take a huge interest in senior activities and are just an outstanding community asset for the people in this area.”

  The PROHEALTH CARE DOCTORS, although being great sponsors. come up a little short as softball players.Every year we have a small outing where our team plays a team of doctors and administrators from PROHEALTH CARE,” BARDONNER joked, “ The Doctorshave won only one game out of the five (5) games played."

 If the next game between the sponsor and the team will feature the roster of the SPA WORLD CHAMPS, the doctors will be in for another rough outing, because that roster is loaded with ALL-AMERICANS .

  Winning the MVP AWARD at COLUMBUS was DON SCHREINER. The left center fielder batted .688, with five extra base hits and over 15 RBI's.

  Joining SCHREINER on the SPA 80's WORLD ALL-AMERICAN squad were PAUL HERRMANN (P,.733), CHUCK JOHNSON (LF, ,692), JIM O”CONNOR (P, .889), BLAKE WATERHOUSE (SCF, .846) and WILLIE WOOD (SS, .778).

  Others on the 2014 PROHEALTH CARE 80'S ROSTER are: ANDY ANDERSON (3B/1B, .538), JAY AVERY,JR 2B,.800), JOE DEFRAIN (3B,.643), LARRY RODABAUGH (1B. .529), MEL SCHEIBEL (RC, .714), ROGER SCHRODER (2B, 5/5 1.000), HAL SCHWIND (C/RF,.600), BILL JANKOVICH (RF, .692), WILF ANTONATION (RC, .500), HENRY SMITH (DNP), DICK STEINMETZ (DNP). and BOBBY JOHNSON (DNP).

  WATERHOUSE, STEINMETZ and ANDERSON also serve as assistant coaches on the team. BARBARA ANTONATION is the team's scorekeeper.

  Heading up the cheering section at COLUMBUS were, RONI O'CONNOR, AUDREY WATERHOUSE, SUZANNE JOHNSON, BARABARA ANTONATION. and LYNDA AVERY.

 We have a great group including players, wives and sponsor,” BARDONNER said, “We are really a very close family and get together at most tournaments. The majority of our team has played together for several years. I think our closeness off the field is also an important factor in the success we have on the field.”

  As for his take on the SPA 80's program, the manager had this to say.

  The COLUMBUS tournament was great especially the fields, umpires and number of teams,” he said, “To be able to get back on the field right after a huge rain storm was amazing.”

 I still think SPA has to look at their scheduling when you only have five-or-six teams in a group. Three days is enough, we don't need four days. Also I think it would help to have official scorekeepers and if the whole tournament (75 AAA, M and 80's) continues to grow, they need a couple of more fields. But all-in-all it was a great tournament.”

  BARDONNER had comments on the SPA SENIOR PROGRAM in general.

  Thanks to the efforts of THEE SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC, SPA is ahead of the other organizations for 75 & 80 teams he said, “ The promotion and communications between SPA and the teams via e-mails and phone calls shows SPA really IS INTERESTED in building the 75 and 80's Divisions.”

  I just wish SPA could have a few more tournaments west of OHIO like maybe Des MOINES, IOWA to make it easier to travel to a tournament.”Right now, most of the tournaments PROHEALTH CARE attends are over 450 miles away. They drive to the OHIO/INDIANA tournaments but the others require flying.

  Finally, BARDONNER had this to say.

  RIDGE and SPA have really shown they do care for the 75 and 80 program but I am worried that some of the things they have planned for 2015 might set us back,” he said, “The “birthday rule” will not help the older teams, it will hurt them. I also wouldn't change the age levels , we have a good program going. Why change it?”

  I would think it would be better to have the other organizations try to adjust their rules to SPA'S rules and not the other way around. SPA is the leader in the 75 and 80 age groups, let's keep it that way.” All organizations should have the same age rules.

 

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Tournaments

75'S AND 80'S FLOCK TO COLUMBUS, OHIO SPA WORLDS

by Hockepuck! 25. August 2014 12:36

    TWENTY-TWO TEAMS PARTICIPATE AAA AND MAJOR TOURNAMENT

COLUMBUS, OHIO – TWENTY-TWO 75 and 80 AAA teams along with the 75 MAJOR DIVISION surprised even SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS with the turnout for the SPA WORLDS at COLUMBUS, OHIO'S BERLINER PARK AUGUST 11-14.

“It was a pleasant surprise though,” HOOKS said, “ Think about this. In 2010 we had SEVEN TEAMS in those DIVISIONS (75 AAA, 75 M, 80 AAA) play at the SPA WORLDS in DALTON and in 2011 there were only four.”

 “We took a small survey and it showed the majority of that age group is from the mid west and mid east, so we moved the tournament to COLUMBUS, OHIO where teams suggested we hold it,” HOOKS explained, “I am certainly glad we listened.”

 The total of 22 teams may not sound like a big deal but when you consider how many teams actually are in those divisions it is amazing.

 SPA has 23 registered 75 AAA TEAMS which means 56-percent (13 teams) attended the tournament. It was even higher for the 80's as 5 of 7 (71-percent) made the trip to COLUMBUS while 4 of the 9 registered 75 MAJORS participated.

 The attendance was also spread among 15 states, so the attendance was definitely not regional as teams from INDIANA, MICHIGAN, ARKANSAS, NEW YORK, KANSAS, ILLINOIS. NEW JERSEY, WISCONSIN, TEXAS, OHIO, MINNESOTA, GEORGIA, MARYLAND, KENTUCKY and PENNSYLVANIA attended.

 Four DIVISION champs were crowned with WISCONSIN'S PROHEALTH CARE 80's going undefeated in bracket play, ending it up with a 21-15 win over the TEXAS CLASSICS finals to win the 80 AAA crown. Others in the bracket were SOUTHWEST STARS, COSSA 80'S and JIMMY”S MINNESOTA LEGENDS.

 In the four-team 75 MAJOR group, the LEFTOVERS claimed the title with a 23-8 win over HAMEL'S 75's in the championship game. The LEFTOVERS also defeated JIMMY'S MINNESOTA GOLD 27-12 and HAMELS 75's in an earlier game 21-20. CANTERBURY CRUISERS was the fourth team in the field.

 PEACH TREE RESTAURANT took no prisoners in rolling through the seven-team 75 AAA SILVER bracket. The PENNSYLVANIA team beat LOUISVILLE THUNDER 27-13, INDIANA SILVER FOXES 32-9, INDY CROWNS 15-0 and LOUISVILLE THUNDER 14-8 in the championship game.

 Others in the group were COSSA 75'S, MICHIGAN LAKERS and NAMI CONSTRUCTION.

 The CHICAGO GEEZERS lost their first game in bracket play 13-8 to the ANTIQUES and had to come out of the loser's bracket winning five in-a-row to take home the 75 AAA GOLD top prize.

 Along the way the GEEZERS beat HARRIS AUCTION28-23, NY STATESMEN 30-29, PROHEALTH 75'S 24-16, JERSEY JAGS 22-21 and the JAGS again, this time in the :IF” game 22-15.

 “I thought it was a great tournament,” TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR DON CHERRY said, “BERLINER PARK was an excellent facility. We had thunderstorms all over the place on MONDAY and I mean big ones but when they stopped we went right out and played.”

 “They have artificial turf and you just go back on them and play without needing grounds work,” CHERRY added, ”there was really some great competition with over half the games going to the last inning to decide the winner.”

 The SPA office also took a survey among the managers dealing with 2015 age rules, tournament locations, etc. and the results will be released as soon as they are compiled.

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Tournaments

SPA TOURNAMENTS TOP DRAW FOR 75 AND 80 TEAMS

by Hockepuck! 25. August 2014 12:18

MUSTANG, OK - For 75 and 80 teams it has become a "no brainer", if you want to play tournaments where you will find other 75 and 80 teams you play the SPA MID-WEST and MID-EAST CIRCUIT.

That was verified again in 2014 when five SPA TOURNAMENTS again proved to be the top draw east of VEGAS in all SENIOR TOURNAMENTS hosting 75 and 80 Division teams.

"Over the past six years we have seen the attendance at just our WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS for 75 and 80 quadruple in attendance," SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS said, "This year alone we are expecting 22 teams (13 75 AAA, 4 75M, 5 80'S)  in that age group. That is expecting not projecting."

The high attendance figure is not only in the SPA WORLDS. THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC drew fifteen 75's and three 80's to the JUNE BARBERTON,OHIO tournament while the JUNE COLUMBUS,OHIO HEART OF OHIO tournament has six 75's. SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA'S JULY HOOSIER CLASSIC pulled in seven 75's while GLEN BURNIE, MARYLAND had five 75's. 

That may not soul like many teams but when you are a 75 or 80 team it is a breath of fresh air.

"We just got back from the SSUSA MID-WEST NATIONALS in Kansas and we had to play 70's teams," TOM NORMAN, manager of the TEXAS CLASSIC'S 80's said, "It isn't much fun playing teams 10-to-15 years younger than you."

What the TEXAS CLASSICS experienced is not an exception but more like the norm. Out of all the SSUSA and ISSA tournaments east of VEGAS this year only one had three or more 75/80 teams entered.

"The 75 Division teams all know, if you want to play in a tournament where you see a lot of different 75's teams you have to play SPA and mainly in the mid-west," BILL REGAN, manager of PENNSYLVANIA'SPEACHTREE RESTAURANT team said," "You would hope the other organizations would try to put on a few "75/80 division friendly" tournaments together but that hasn't happened."

These aren't just local teams making the trip to the mid-west tournaments for 75's and 80's, they are coming from KANSAS, TEXAS, MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, MARYLAND, GEORGIA, INDIANA, ILLINOIS, KENTUCKY, MICHIGAN, PENNSYLVANIA and the CAROLINA's.

"You go where the other teams go and right now they are playing in INDIANA and OHIO," BOB NAMI, managerof NEW JERSEY'S NAMI CONSTRUCTION said, "I don't know what their (SPA) secret is but they sure turn out the 75 and 80 teams at their tournaments." 

JACK HAYDEN of the 75's LOUISVILLE THUNDER said it best.

"Teams have to decide if they want to pay $450 to go to a tournament a hundred miles away and play 70's teams and/or one 75 team or pay the same price and travel 400 miles and play different teams in their own age class," HAYDEN asked. "We prefer to go those extra miles and play lots of different teams in our own age group." 

Another manager said, "If we are going to travel a hundred miles or more to play in a tournament and there is only one other 75 team, we would be better off staying home and inviting that other team to visit us and play a few games over a week-end and both can save the $400 entry fee."

So this winter when you start planning where to play in 2015 be sure and put the SPA MID-WEST tournaments on your list, especially if you want to play 75's and 80's and not 70's. You will not regret it.

Speaking for SPA, we hope to see you in 2015.

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General | Tournaments

FLORIDA INVESTMENT PROPERTIES WIN SPA 80 MAJOR WORLDS

by Ho Hoffman 18. November 2013 11:45

FPI IS NEW DOG ON THE BLOCK IN THE 80'S MAJOR DIVISION

DALTON. GEORGIA – Move over JOSEPH'S, MITCHELL'S, CENTER FOR SIGHT and all the other previous 75/80 DIVISION power houses because there is a new TOP DOG in charge. FLORIDA INVESTMENT PROPERTIES stamped their claim to the title winning the DALTON SPA 80 MAJOR CROWN.

FIP did it in a convincing manner beating the former king of the 80 DIVISION, CENTER FOR SIGHT four times by scores of 16-15, 13-8, 17-13 and 17-7. They also took time during pool play to split with the 75 AAA champion BECKLER CARPET LEGENDS winning 19-18 before a 18-13 loss.

We were ready for the Dalton tournament,” FIP spokesman and General Manager TED BATTISTONE said, “We put this team together this past JANUARY to be a champion and not an also-ran. We knew everyone we had on the team had a huge pedigree in senior softball.”

The 2013 results for FLORIDA INVESTMENT PROPERTIES shows they certainly put together the pieces needed for a championship team.

They started the year winning the SSUSA WINTER NATIONALS, ISSA/ISF TOC in TAMPA , SPA APRIL'S FINEST, Runner-up in the SSUSA EASTERN NATIONALS, won DALTON, LAS VEGAS and FORT MYERS again.

This may be the first year for our 80's team but a lot of us had played together in previous years,” BATTISTONE said, “ET (STRICKLAND) sponsored us when we were in the 65 and 70 Divisions and he wanted to get us all back together again.”

That meant we had to take some of our former players from JOSEPH'S and CENTER FOR SIGHT, where they had been playing the last couple of years,” he continued, “But those players wanted to come back and reform the old team.”

According to BATTISTONE the restocking of the team will never stop.

Hey, this is an 80's team and guys retire quickly,” the GM explained, “Every year we will have to pick up some 78's and 79's to fill the roster, but that is the nature of life as an 80-year young team.”

FIP realizes finding other 80 MAJOR teams to play in 2014 will be tough. They expect to end up being matched against 75 AAA teams when they go to qualifier tournaments if they're lucky. Other than that it will be only NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS.

There aren't too many 80's teams to begin with and hardly any 80 MAJORS,” BATTISTONE said, “SPA has only one (us) while SSUSA lists twelve but actually only nine of them still exist. Although ISSA/ISF rates us a 75 MAJOR, the point is to play other 80 MAJORS we have to go west.”

BATTISTONE isn't complaining, he is just stating the facts because he just happy to still be playing softball at age 80 PLUS.

It is a blessing to see guys my age still playing softball and playing it well,” he said, “Those who have never seen us 80-year olds play don't believe it, they think all we should be doing at our age is playing bingo, cards or shuffleboard. Like I say, 'We are really truly blessed to still be playing.”

The FLORIDA INVESTMENT PROPERTIES team is led on the field by 2013 SPA 80 MAJOR DIVISION MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR PAT DEVINE.

ROGER THRESHER was TOURNAMENT MVP at DALTON while EVERETT ARNOLD, RAY BOSETTI, DON GSELL, JIM THOMAS and WARREN WATSON were all named to the ALL-AMERICAN squad.

Rounding out the roster for the 2013 FIP SPA 80 MAJOR CHAMPS are: BATTISTONE, ROCCO CAMBARERI, DINO DENTALE, AL DEWORTH, WILLIAM DOUGLASS, BOB KELLY, RALPH MARTZ, BERNIE MILLER, LES PLUMB, ET STRICKLAND and LEO GREEN.

It has been a great year,” BATTISTONE said, “ PAT (DEVINE) has done an outstanding job managing and we wouldn't be here if not for ET'S (STRICKLAND) sponsorship. This is a great group of guys that really enjoy playing together. We just hope we can stay together and become the first 90's team. That would really be great.”

 

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Tournaments

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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