SEBASTIAN SENIOR SOFTBALL
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What sort of rules are used to support senior players?
A: There are several different types of rules we use. We use rules for safety such as offset bases at first and home that help avoid collisions. For speeding up the game, we start each batter with a ball and a strike and we play two innings at a time in the field meaning the team in the field stays in the field for two innings, then the batting team goes to the field for two innings. We also play two 7 inning games each day to allow the teams to recover from a bad game. A complete list of rules is available on the website.
Q: How often are games played?
A: We play Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting at 8am and usually ending around 11am. During the local league season (Jan-Mar), we may not get enough players on some days but those interested can come for batting and fielding practice or we may play with a cut-off field to reduce the number of fielders needed. All members are welcome on any regularly planned days. We typically play two 7-inning games each time we get together.
Q: How are the games run on any give playing day?
A: A list of players that show up and wish to play is created each day from that a couple of people are assigned to pick the teams usually trying to balance defensive and offensive capabilities and strength. Most players have a position or set of positions they normally play so we try to balance the teams as closely as possible while providing each team with a full complement of positions. We then play two 7 inning games alternating home teams and if necessary re-balancing the players a little after the first game. People have on and off days so this re-balancing is usually only in heavily one sided situations or in case of injuries where someone has to sit out the second game.
Q: What happens if we get too many players on any given day?
A: Many times some players will opt not to play if there are too many. Normally we will play 11-12 players in the field when we have a surplus of players we will sit a few for each set of innings in the field. Everyone bats but some will not play in the field for two innings. Those that sit are alternated so everyone gets to play and to sit.
Q: How are disputes decided?
A: We utilize first and third base coaches from the batting team to be responsible for making calls on their sides of the field. These coaches have the final say in specific situations. They call high and low pitches as well as plays at their respective bases. They also cover foul balls and other situations where they have the best view. New people are helped to understand those responsibilities and all are encouraged to coach so its not always the same people having to do this job.
Q: How is the organization managed?
There is an Operating Board of 3-5 members containing a President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. This group meets every month or two as needed and monitors rule changes, manages equipment, works with the Sebastian City Park officials on maintenance and organizes periodic gatherings of the members pizza parties, annual picnic, etc. Board members are elected by the league members and then board positions are sorted out by the board members. All members are encouraged to bring up issues or suggestions and the board will discuss them at their next meeting.
Q: What is the general focus of the league how serious is the play?
A: While everyone likes to win and anytime you get a group of people together to play sports there are some that take it very seriously, our focus is to provide fun, healthy exercise for guys of all capabilities. If a person is having a lot of problems at a particular position we can usually swap players around to allow them a position that will not impact the game as much. Some people are not as good at playing as others and you have to be able to accept that some will not make all the plays they should. Those that are very serious generally join in the area leagues and play in senior softball tournaments around the state and around the country. We try to provide a year round game for all to come and play in a more relaxed environment. All that said, the games are usually competitive as many of the players have been playing for several years.
Q: How much does it cost to play?
A: Our current annual fee is $15 for the entire year. Check with a member at the field but that was the cost at the time of this writing. These fees are used to cover equipment such as softballs, pitching safety nets, rakes, scoreboards and other minor items needed. The fees also cover an annual picnic where all members (current and former) are invited. The league supplies the main food and beverages and members usually bring additional sides and desserts. We also tend to have a couple of pizza parties one in the winter while the seasonal players are around and one in the summer for the year-round regulars. Excess funds, when they exist, have been used to support the Local Little League Association.
Q: What about injuries?
A: We are a group of old guys. Injuries will happen and usually its muscle problems. Make sure you are healthy enough for this activity and to keep healthy by stretching before and after playing as much as you can. Florida is hot in the summer so be sure to bring lots of liquids to drink while playing. When injuries do happen, we are fortunate to have a large number of former firefighters playing in the group as well as have a Sebastian Fire Station right next door to the fields. The city of Sebastian also has some first aid equipment in the concession stand building at the fields which we have access to in the case of more serious problems.
Mostly we notice new players have a lot of problems with legs, shoulders and groin muscle injuries. We encourage all new members to take it easy for the first several weeks and months while their muscles catch up with their memories of their former sporting highlights. We see too many of our new players play a few times and never show up again when they realize they dont have what they used to have and/or end up with pulled or torn muscles. It can take several months to get some of that conditioning back if you have not been active for many years. Some people find playing 1-2 days a week instead of all three allows their bodies to build back to good conditioning.
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