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

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

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

GONZALEZ INSULATION HEATS UP AT SPA WORLDS

by Hockepuck! 18. September 2014 12:04

     TEXAS TEAM WINS 60 MAJOR WORLD TITLE

 DALTON, GEORGIA - GONZALEZ INSULATION made it two SPA WORLD titles in two years as they added the 2014 SPA 60 MAJOR title to their growing list of achievements July 17-20 at DALTON, GEORGIA'S HERITAGE PARK.

 Two years ago the GONZALEZ team claimed the 2012 55 AAA SPA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN.

 That 2012 was a good year for us,” SPA 60 MAJOR MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR and GONZALEZ INSULATION head man BILLY STARRY said,” We won DALTON, VEGAS and TOC, This is our first big tournament win this year, so we hope it will be a repeat of 2012.”

 The GONZALEZ team has been together for eight years with five of the originals still on the roster. STEVE BURRIS, DAVE ESCALANTE, JOE RAMON,JR, DAN SILKWOOD and STARRY were all on that first team.

 We have only been playing senior ball for eight years, but most of us have been playing together off-and-on for thirty years,” STARRY corrected.

 Over those thirty years, the gang probably hasn't won many tournaments in a quicker fashion then they did in DALTON.

 Counting two pool games and two bracket games, they only played four games, winning them all and most by a very wide margin.

 They beat K.C. KIDS 35-14 and HIGH STREET BUCS 15-13 in pool play and COLUMBUS LX 26-11 and CRYSTAL COBRAS 34-20 in bracket play.

 We hit pretty good, around .760 as a team,” STARRY said, “But actually it was our defense which was the difference.”

 You score 110 runs and hit .760 in four games and defense was the difference?

 Exactly, “ STARRY replied, “Everybody in major can hit and if you give them extra outs in an inning they will pound you. We did not give any teams extra outs, but they were giving us extra outs and that was the difference.”

 Leading the attack in DALTON was TOURNAMENT MVP TYRONE MCCLELLAN. The speedy gold glove outfielder was retired only once in four game compiling a .928 batting average.

 Joining MCCLELLAN on the ALL-AMERICAN squad were DH BILLY BLAKE (.866), ROVER STEVE BURRIS (.866), PITCHER RON FOREE (.846), SS DAN SILKWOOD (.866) and OF JULIAN TAMEZ (.857).

 Others on the GONZALEZ INSULATION team are: DAVE ESCALANTE (OF,.666), RANDY FULTON (DNP), WILL JOHNSON (2B,.615), DAVE PERKINS (P,.714), JOE RAMON, SR (3B,.555), JOHNNY SUTTON (1B,.642), DAVE WHITE (DNP), KENNY MORGAN (OF, 733), RICHARD WILSON (OF, .769) and RICHARD GIDDENS (INF, .692).

 We also have a great cheer leading squad which always travels to the tournaments,” STARRY said, “They do a great job keeping our spirits up.”

 Members of the group are MARY SILKWOOD, BEVERLY ASHER, CHRISTIE PERKINS, JULIE STARRY, KAREN MORGAN, DIANE BLAKE, KATHY ESCALANTE and ERMA GIDDENS.

 So far this year GONZALEZ INSULATION has played in six tournaments compiling a winning percentage of.800 and hope to equal that or better it in the remaining two tournaments.

 It has been tough to find good tournaments with other 60 major teams,” STARRY said, “ Usually we have to play 55'S and in one TEXAS tournament we played 50'S. Giving away ten years in age is a rough way to go.”

 STARRY also said the reason they are able to play so many tournaments and travel long distances to do it is because of their sponsor, GONZALEZ INSULATION.

 ARNULFO GONZALEZ is in my opinion, one of the top sponsors in senior softball,” STARRY said. ' He covers our entry fee, uniforms and some other incidentals”

 We are fortunate to have him as a sponsor and we really do appreciate everything he does for us. Having a sponsor like him also makes it easier on recruiting players,” STARRY explained.

 The big question for STARRY right now is what division will they play in 2015.

 If we end up winning the SSUSA title then we should be moved to 60 MAJOR PLUS but if we don't win it then we should stay at 60 MAJOR,” STARRY said, “ I don't think a team should be raised a level just for winning two games in a WORLD TOURNAMENT and that is all we played at DALTON.”

 Due to a heavy downpour the 60 MAJOR tournament was called prior to the finals (losers bracket winner vs winner's bracket top team).

 Regardless of what happens and what DIVISION they are placed STARRY has only one request for SPA.

 Give us some tournaments to play where there will be other teams in our rating group,” he requested, “We don't mind playing at a higher level, that should be every team's goal but finding tournaments which take majors and major plus teams is pretty tough.”

 It seems like the only tournaments where there are more than two or three teams in MAJOR or MAJOR PLUS are the WORLD events and that requires big money to enter and a big travel expense,” STARRY said.

 As for the SPA organization and DALTON tournament, STARRY had a positive take.

 I really like the SPA tournaments and we play everyone we can,” STARRY said, “They are all well run and competitive. I just wish they (SPA) could get more teams involved.”

 Finally STARRY had this to say.

 We have had a great year,” STARRY said, “But you know it takes an entire group to accomplish winning a WORLD TITLE. For us it starts with our sponsor GONZALEZ INSULATION, the players, the manager and the support we receive from the wives and girlfriends. It really did take a village to be a champion.”

 

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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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