"Sin City" Classic – Las Vegas Conference Tournament Preview!
Big League Dreams Vegas has 6 fields
The 2012 Conference USSSA season is set to open this Friday night March 30th at the Big League Dreams park in Las Vegas, Nevada. First game is 5:40 PM Pacific time.
31 teams from 11 different states including 13 Conference teams and a breakout of:
The weather looks like we will have 3 very different types of days with Saturday being "very windy", should be interesting.
"Wall Ball" – The outfield fences at BLD fields are approximately 280 down the lines and 310 to center field. The fences for the most part are very short but the walls are about 30 feet high. Upon request it was decided to play with "Wall Ball" rules, meaning homeruns have to go over the 30 foot high fences and balls that hit the wall are in play. These rules were used at one conference event so far (Houston 2011) and the games for the most part are very good. I want everyone to know that I (DW) had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DECISION TO PLAY WALL BALL. The poll on TheOldScout.com was put up after it was decided to play with Wall Ball rules and shows that 84% agree that you should have to hit it over the wall for a homer. Last year when I ran the same poll it was 87% positive.
Homer's have to clear the whole wall instead of just the 6 foot high Yankee stadium fence.
In all honesty both ways have their good points and bad. There is nothing more silly than a 280 foot popup going for a homerun when you don't have wall ball, and when you do have wall ball it is at times silly to see the major players peppering the wall at will. So it is a no win situation. Vegas will still be a great tournament either way.
Look for the chat room to be open all weekend where you can ask questions and get updates and I will try to have some twitter score updates on the front page of softballcenter.com throughout the weekend as well.
Also look for pictures from the event and a full report next week after the tournament.
Broadcasting – I will have my broadcast camera with me. I will have to play it by ear as to how much I can do based upon where the power outlets are. My goal is to do the winner's bracket championship game on Saturday evening at 7 PM Pacific time and the 3 or 4 games on Sunday starting at 8:30 AM Pacific time.
I am still looking for someone to provide analysis and their picks each week for this preview. I know teams like to use my weekly picks for motivation and I get a lot of grief for them but until someone else steps up and provides the weekly picks, here it is:
Laser Vision gets the #1 seed. I'm not sure how, unless last years points went with the Laser Vision sponsor Pierre instead of Cooper? This tournament features teams #2 through #5 in the pre-season rankings. Only #1 Resmondo will not be there out of the top teams. I am also unsure how Team 454 has to play their second game at 8 AM when everyone else plays at 10:40 AM considering they are the #4 seed and it would be a long day for any team if they have success. But these are minor issues and it isn't easy to make everyone happy.
In the top half of the bracket an early SBS/Combat vs West Coast Doerflinger/Easton game will be a good one. I'll take West Coast in that one and Laservision to beat West Coast to make it to the final 4.
In the 2nd part of the bracket I'll go with Sonny's over a good Baugh Ford team and then a great battle of 'A' teams with Sonny's going against Team 454. This will be a good test for Sonny's who dominated western conference events last year matched against the reigning 'A' World Champs, and the game is scheduled for Fenway Park no less. Wow. I'm going with 454 in this one. I can't seem to get Sonny's less than stellar performance at the Vegas tournament a year ago out of my head but this could be the game, or at least, the matchup of the tournament.
Sonny's vs Team 454 at Fenway Park and all turf infields! 3 PM Pacific Time on Saturday!
Be there or be square…
In the 3rd part of the bracket an early match between Line Drive Sportz/SSS Softball and the new 'A' team Demarini/FamousSports.com will be an interesting one on Saturday morning. Line Drive has the giant killer reputation from a year ago and have re-tooled and look to be a great defensive team. I will take Line Drive in an upset although if its windy like the weather says then Demarini may be able to out power them. I will take Nordkap to beat Line Drive to make the final 4.
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In the last part of the bracket, a Saturday matchup between class 'B' titans "4 The Fallen"/Easton/3n2 and Down2Earth.com/SBC/Worth could be the best matchup of a stacked 2nd round of the tournament. "4 The Fallen" will try to rally around their new pickup Denny Crine and their military veteran based team has built in chemistry and hustle. D2E has been playing softball all winter long and re-tooled a top 'B' team from a year ago and are ready to start the season with a bang. Wow. Toss a coin in this one with the winner getting shot at a Team Combat major team that might be prime for an early season upset. If these games were in Atlanta I'd take D2E in the upset over Team Combat but I'm going out on a limb and saying "4 The Fallen" to beat D2E and Team Combat to pull out a close one to make it to the final 4.
The local teams which could provide some upsets are Classic Glass, MaddSkills, AZM, and Custom Truck. The problem is those 4 teams play each other in the first round. It will also be interesting to see how ABRA from Utah does. They won the 216 team 'D' World last year by going 11-1 and have moved up to 'C'.
"Let the games begin"
As always, leave your picks in the comments section below before bashing my picks…