Conference Questionnaire – Final Results
I would like to be clear on something. This questionnaire is meant to bring the issues in the Conference to the forefront. This is not meant to bash the USSSA, bat testing procedures, umpiring or anything else. This is meant to see what teams are feeling and see if anything can be tweaked. The next questionnaire will include softer questions that will show that almost unanimously teams love the conference, conference umpiring, bat testing etc…
The questionnaire was sent to managers and sponsors of the Conference teams that completed the season, so 2 votes per team.
2 Major teams, 10 'A' teams, and 5 'B' teams responded.
So 17 out of the 22 teams that completed the full Conference season responded.
The following teams did not participate
Here are the results:
1) Did opposing Conference teams use shaved bats against your team this year?
2) Should softball go back to using one piece aluminum bats?
3) Should there be bat testing at every conference tournament?
4) When should bats be tested during a tournament weekend?
29% First game of tournament, final 8 on Saturday, and again Sunday morning
19% First game of tournament, 6 PM on Saturday night, and again Sunday morning
52% First game of tournament, and Sunday morning
5) What ball should be used on non-baseball fields?
25% 52/300 ball
75% 40/325 Dudley ZN Conference Ball
6) Should an independent firm be responsible for bat testing?
7) Should bats that fail compression be examined further for alterations?
8) What should the punishment be for using an altered bat?
6% – 3 tournaments
22% – Remainder of season
36% – One Calendar year
19% – Remainder of season and following season
6% – Two Calendar years
11% – Lifetime ban
9) Should the number of Major players allowed per Major team be reduced?
28% No, leave it like it is at unlimited.
34% Yes, reduce it by 2 per year until it gets down to 5 starting in 2013
13% Yes, reduce it to 3 in 2013
25% Yes, reduce it to 5 in 2013
So 72% feel that reducing the amount of Major players is what needs to be done
10) Should USSSA implement player ratings below the major level?
11) Should the Western teams have more "double" tournament weekends
12) Should Conference tournaments be seeded on points?
94% Yes, it rewards the teams that support the Conference
6% No, random draw
13) Should teams be required to go to the Conference Championships if they qualify?
14) Do you like the Conference Championships?
33% Neither yes or no
15) Should the Conference Championship be moved to different locations around the country each year?
16) What format should be used for the Conference Championships?
68% The 2011 format with the losers of the first two rounds falling into their own tournament
10% Straight double elimination
0% 3 game guarantee
23% Pool play followed by single elimination
'B' WORLD TOURNAMENT
17) How should the 'B' World tournament be seeded?
68% By Conference points like it is now
32% By USSSA points like it was in the past
B Teams voted 100% – By Conference Points
18) Where is the best place in Florida for the 'B' World tournament?
73% Fortune Road in Kissimmee, Florida
9% ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida only using the softball fields
18% ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida with the stadium as the main field
B Teams voted 80% for Fortune Road
19) Where should the 'B' World tournament be played?
22% Should be moved around the country every other year and Florida every other year
41% Should be moved around the country every year
38% Should remain in Florida every year
B Teams voted 78% – Should remain in Florida every year
20) What is the best weekend for the 'B' World
7% A) The weekend before Labor Day Weekend
14% B) Labor Day Weekend in conjunction with the Conference Championships
14% C) The weekend after Labor Day Weekend
34% D) 2 weeks after Labor Day Weekend like it is now
34% E) Weekend of the Major
B Teams voted 22% each for A,C,D,E and 11% for B
'A' WORLD TOURNAMENT
21) Should local host 'C' teams and lower be allowed into the 'A' Worlds
52% Yes, when you get the host teams in, it makes the bracket so none of the big teams go home 0-2
48% No, those teams didn't qualify and cause extra games in the heat
22) Where is the best place in Florida for the 'A' World tournament?
55% Fortune Road in Kissimmee, Florida
12% ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida only using the softball fields
33% ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida with the stadium as the main field
23) Where should the 'A' World tournament be played?
13% A) Should be moved around the country every other year and Florida every other year
30% B) Should be moved around the country every year
57% C) Should remain in Florida every year
A Teams voted 53% for B, 35% for C, and 12% for D (very interesting)
24) Are teams cheating on their stats by counting FC's as hits or not including SAC's or HRO's?
25) Should stats be kept by both participating teams at all conference events on carbon copy triplicate scoresheets with one copy going to an official stat keeper for compiling and posting, one to USSSA for official record, and one to the team?
79% Yes, stats will be 100% accurate if each game is available to see on the internet because you can see how many outs were made and how many innings played.
UMPIRING and RULES
26) Is the strike zone different for a Major team vs an 'A' or 'B' team?
27) Is the strike zone different for a Major player vs a Non-Major player?
28) Should the Conference Umpires be in a rotation behind the plate for all teams and all big games?
29) Should umpires strictly enforce the batter's box?
30) Should the Conference utilize the floating rubber pitching rule?
31) Should the Conference utilize a safety bag at first base?
32) Should all Conference games starting after 11 PM on Saturday night be reduced to 5 innings?
This was one of my questions. Obviously a stupid question…sorry
33) Should the number of trips to the mound be limited per game?
21% Yes, 3 per game
27% Yes, 2 per game
0% Yes, 1 per game
34) Should warmups between games be stopped once weather has caused start times to be delayed?
35) Should warmups between innings be stopped once weather has caused start times to be delayed?
36) Do you wish another association had a competitive upper level tournament schedule to play?
37) Do you have any questions that you would like to have included in the questionnaire?
There were 12 additional questions which will be sent out to the teams in the next couple of weeks.
38) Do you have any suggestions on how Conference USSSA can be improved?
Limit the roster size.. No more than 12 players on a roster. If a coach/sponsor wants on the roster he counts.
Force Major teams to play across the country, allowing them to opt out of 2 events, 1 west and 1 east.
Create an MLS Umpiring rotation.
The top 16 teams should qualify for the Conference championships regardless if you plan on going to the Major.
In this order clean up the favoritism, bats, and rotate the umps.
Limit the number of major players per team.
The new bats.
Create regional mini conferences with rankings applicable to the region and play regional conf championships so the upper level is developed.
I don't like the idea of bat sponsors sponsoring teams like Easton, Worth, TPS other than providing equipment. It is a disadvantage to the other teams when the big corporations can pay players either with equipment of "player contracts"
39) Do you have any suggestions on how softball can be improved?
Limit roster size
Move all B teams to A, all C teams to B and so on. Then standardize the rules using Conference rules for all levels.
Reduce number of divisions to 2 or 3.
Stop making the upper game all about catering to a few teams and players. Ban the cheaters.
Marketing and Promotions.
Go to wood bats.
40) Do you think the cost to sponsor Conference teams is a reason the upper divisions are losing teams?
40A) If you answered yes to #40, do you think regionalizing the game in some manner would reduce costs?
40B) If you answered yes to #40, do you WANT strong limits on list players for Major the division?