Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by Vince Den » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Has the ASA 18-under Gold Division served its purpose?

We've given this thing a try for three years now, and I keep wondering
whether or not creating this division was necessary. Why was it created?
Has it fulfilled the ASA's ideas of a new division?

I think ASA had a couple ideas about this. To "showcase" future Olympians.
To collect the "elite" of softball for college scouts. If I'm not mistaken,
however, I do believe both of these criteria were met when there was no
Gold Division.

The REAL reason for Gold: To eliminate California, which has
dominated...no, a better word for it is DEVASTATE the rest of the nation to
such a degree that the rest of the nation has chickened out. California has
been the neighborhood bully for so many years, ASA voters in regions
outside the Pacific Coast Region effectively expelled CA with the Gold
Division.

Take a look at the scores from the 18-A Division Nationals in Minnesota.
Where are the CA teams? They were in CA...the West Coast clubs in MN are
largely 16-under clubs or BARELY 17. And the Midwest likes to think it is
"catching up" to California. Their 18-under teams are "catching up," all
right ... catching up to CA's 16's. Look at the winning pitcher in the Gold
championship ~ Amanda Freed, who is in all respects, a little girl. A
high-school junior. A kid who would smoke each and every team playing in
Eden Prairie. And the "trickle-down" effect has turned the 16-under
division into 14-under, and so on, as far as California is concerned.

People like Tim Adams, who are oblivious to the travel-ball circuit anyway
and have no room to comment, think California brought the Gold Division
upon itself with some kind of snotty attitude. The reality is that, instead
of "showcasing" the best teams in the nation, the 14 regions outside of the
Pacific Coast (CA, NV and HI) blessed the Gold because it gave them a
better chance to compete in the A Division. Rather than "catching up," they
create the illusion of "catching up" by making the best teams legislatively
disappear from their view. Ostriches do this well.

On top of that, the Gold Division is frought with problems I attribute to
ASA greed. ASA knew full well it would not be able to fill the 42-team
field spelled out in its rule book. It instituted a bogus "points system"
based on a team's finish in National Qualifiers to keep teams competing
each week. So, the weekly qualifiers continued; normally only a couple
qualifiers would be held in the CA region, but so many were turned back to
the ASA office due to lack of interest from other regions, CA wound up with
seven consecutive qualifiers in a season that lasts only nine weeks before
Nationals begin.

A perfect example of ASA greed is the tournament in Big Bear July 19-21.
Don't have the wrong idea about that wonderful place. Big Bear, situated
along a seven-mile lake and surrounded by a pine forest at 6,750 feet
elevation, is on top of the world and a perfect place to play softball
(unless you're an outfielder). I wish we could play there more often. Big
Bear is a madhouse for the skiing freaks in the winter. In the summer it is
a peaceful place and a gorgeous place less than an hour's drive from
Smogsville USA (San Bernardino), where you can cut the atmosphere with a
knife.

But, that same knife twisted in the backs of teams that were forced to
travel the windy road up the hill. What were the circumstances surrounding
this qualifier in Big Bear? This tournament was a qualifier returned to the
National office from another region. On the Tuesday preceeding the
tournament, ASA made the decision to accept ALL Gold teams into the
Nationals, regardless of how many points they had or had not collected.
Many coaches were informed of this fact on Thursday ~ the coaches that
already had qualified. Yet, teams participating in the Big Bear Tournament,
those that believed they NEEDED those points, were not told of the decision
until Saturday night, with more than half of the tournament completed.

Why? MONEY. ASA collected tournament entry fees from 14 teams ~ $3,500 in
all. Where did this money go? As a participant in ASA tournaments, don't I
have the right to know exactly where every dollar of the entry fee went?
And how about the minimal hotel rooms available? Who made out in this deal?
Not the teams participating, that's for sure. They could've used that money
traveling to Stockton for Nationals. They could've saved the money they
spent traveling to Lodi. Stockton (for regionals). Cypress. Las Vegas.
Corona. Yorba Linda.

Are you aware of how many parents of kids from California are flat-ass
broke? A bunch. I would say most of them. California teams and California
families are not rich. They're scraping by hoping that their kids, who have
special, if not unique, talents, can use those talents to make a better
life in an increasingly competitive world.

But, the teams from regions outside California are teaching the opposite
values; if you can't compete, then don't try. Don't try to better yourself
by taking on those who might be better than you, try to change the
legislation so that your inferiority is acceptable.

Roy Barnes, coach of Hot Stuff, ***ed at me that I complain in this forum
but don't attend any legislative meetings to make real changes. Roy seems
to be intent on keeping the Gold Division and as far as I'm concerned, he
can have it. Making rules, changing rules, eliminating rules, none of that
will solve the problems the Gold Division has. Gold is a Lemon; it cannot
be fixed. Roy's solution is to keep wiggling wires on a car with burned-out
headlights. Gold is like having bad brakes; instead of replacing the
brakes, Roy would reduce the speed limit so you wouldn't need the brakes in
the first place.

No, let's just send the faulty vehicle (Gold) to the scrapyard and go back
to what worked in the first place. ASA attempted to fix something that was
not broken.

I am extremely disappointed in the attendance of college scouts in
Stockton. It was way down from '95. Way, way down. Many of the players in
Stockton had either signed, or will sign, with top schools. Or, college
scouts at smaller schools with limited budgets were unable to travel to a
small town in Northern CA. So all the scholarships available elsewhere are
unavailable to those who were in Stockton, because they have been misled
into thinking that playing Gold would be more or less of an automatic free
ride into college.

Was there something wrong with the 18-under division before Gold? If there
was, what was the problem? The problem was this: the same teams from the
same state keep winning. Take a good, hard look at Gold. In Year One,
Gordon's Panthers beat Hot Stuff in the championship. In Year Two, Orange
County Batbusters, coming off the A Division title the previous year, beat
Gordon's Panthers in the final. In Year Three, Gordon's beats Panthers Gold
(the third-place team from the previous year) for the title. Notice a
trend? No wonder the Midwest and East support Gold so mightily. Because it
is the same old shit, year after year. So let's kick California into
another area where it does nothing but fracture like a 7-point on the
Richter scale. The Midwest can hardly wait for CA to drop into the ocean so
it can say it is No.1.

In the A Division, I do believe the Top 5 finishers will be completely
different than the Top 5 finishers of 1995. And almost every state in the
Union is represented. In Gold, 24 of 36 teams were from CA. The other 12
were spread among six states. BORING. The lack of interest from other
regions has indeed affected California as well. NOBODY CARES, including CA.

Don't misunderstand my feelings about the Panthers. Larry Mays, who seems
to be a little kooky and obsessive but he still wins, this year did more
with less than he's done in a long time. The Panthers put together a great
season and they deserve the title of No.1. Not whoever wins in Minnesota.
They do not deserve a No.1 title in any respect at all. I don't care who
wins. Come on down and let's see how you hang with the teams that were
legislated away from you.

The failure of the Gold Division is the fault of the Amateur Softball
Association, one, and the fault of the Midwest and East pansies, who like
the crybaby on the street, own the ball and the bat, but if they can't win,
they won't play.

Vince

USENET: rec.sport.softball
WEB: http://SportToday.org/~goatropers/

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by Peter Campbel » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00

I don't understand your rantings and ravings.  The creation of the Gold
division has leveled the playing field.  According to your logic there
should be no "B" leagues, either.

As to your complaint that Gold is boring, I would think playing teams of
your own skill level would be more exciting and educational than mopping
the floor with some little non-California team.  So Mike Tyson can KO
Oscar de la Hoya.  Big deal.  Should we eliminate all the boxing
divisions?  If so, then only the heavyweights will win.  That, to me, is
boring.

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by A PASTI » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Yes, I agree the Gold Division is nothing more than an attempt to limit
the power of California teams at the 18 & Under "A" tournament.  In fact I
know Minnesota had a Gold team which did not want to make the trip and was
allowed to play "A".  If we are the only teams held to any sort of real
criteria for our placement we need to say....enough.....enough already.
The other states are basically sending mature 18 & Under teams and we are
sending our young almost 16 & Under teams.  An example is my American
Pastime team.  I have 11 players which can return next year to play out of
14.  Because next year I will have an old team I will be forced by our
rules to be Gold.  I don't mind if the other states comply.  If they do
not I will not be gold.

I know there is a movement under foot to change things and I will be
watching carefully to see the outcome.

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by JGaw5946 » Tue, 13 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Congrats to the Orland Park Sparks 18 & Under "A" National Champions. This
has been a fine program for years. They can be very proud of their
accomplish-
ment.

Yes, I agree the Gold Division has seperated California teams from the
rest
of the nation, but only our own legislation has done so. By ASA code the
only Gold teams for 1997 are the top four finishers at the Gold Nationals
and
the top three finishers at the "A" National Championship. Every region
sets
their own criteria for establishing Gold teams. Our Pacific Coast Region
selects a committee to create criteria for Gold teams each year. Our own
Region, and no one else's,  is responsible for forcing teams to play in
the
Gold Division. I have heard that this year teams for Region 14 will be
able
to self declare. With both tournaments being in Oklahoma there will be no
money savings from travel expenses and I think you will see more Calif.
teams competing at the 'A" level.

You talk about California not being dominate in Minnesota. I think what
you
must consider is that California sent 36 teams to 18 & Under ASA National
Championships.I believe that is quite dominate in itself.

The failure of the Gold Division is the fault of the Amateur Softball
Association
alone. They needed to set criteria on a natiionwide basis. They needed to
involve every region with that criteria. They invented to Gold Program to
secure
another National Championship and the income derived from it. Just like
they
created the National Qualifier in 1992 to increase the number of teams
attending
National Championships.

What would their Gold Program be if Region 14 decided not to participate.
How long would we have the program if only 12 teams nationwide, none from
California, decided to play Gold. Well if they don't make neccessary
changes
soon this could be the case.  

John Gaw
Calif. Pirettes

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by EVEREX » Wed, 14 Aug 1996 04:00:00

"The failure of the Gold Division is the fault of the Amateur Softball
Association, one, and the fault of the Midwest and East pansies, who like
the crybaby on the street, own the ball and the bat, but if they can't
win,
they won't play."

As usual VD likes to run off at the mouth and act as he is god's spokesman
to the sport of girls softball.  If each region determines who is gold and
what the criteria - then why is "ASA and the Midwest and East pansies" at
fault?

Just for the record - the "Midwest and East pansies" beat the SD Power in
Midland.  (VA Shamrocks and OK Cardinals knocked them out).

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by wdgoodi » Thu, 15 Aug 1996 04:00:00

What people (outside So Cal) do not realize is how the Gold division has
changed the ages of kids that play in the different divisions. As John
pointed out, 36 teams qualified for the 18 "Gold" and "A" divisions. Now
where did all the kids come from that played on those teams. The 17 & 18
year olds moved up to the Gold level. The 16 and the top 15 year olds moved
up to the 18 "A" division. The team that I put on the field for the winner's
bracket championship game was comprised of the following ages:
1 15 year old
7 16 year olds
2 17 year olds
(10 because of a DP)

Cal is sending their 16&U teams to compete against the 18&U from the rest of
the country. The USA Athletics and Case BB were much the same. I think it is
great. It is no secret that SO Cal has an abundance of great players. The
Gold division now gives many more kids the chance to get some great exposure
at Nationals. Now that two teams from IL placed in the top two, Gold will be
around forever. On the otherhand, I do not look for that to happen again.
There were too many factors that aligned themselves for that to happen.

Make no doubt about it, California still dominates Girl's Fastpitch
Softball. The fact that a non Cal team won the 18&U "A" is meaningless. I
will save the rest for some later replies.

Wes Goodin
So Cal Stealth

ps: I think we are going after Snapple as our team sponser... "We are #3!'

 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by Dale Moo » Sat, 17 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Dan,
These are only the views of some of the California people . The
one's that are boasting
that California teams are the best are the one's that are getting
beat by teams outside of
California. I think teams in other parts of the Nation are
improving every year. My team
came in 2nd a the Gold Nationals this year but a team from
Illinois,( I think it was the
Sparks team that won the "A" Nationals) beat us 5-1 in Colorado
this year. The
Batbusters were knocked out of Nationals by a Texas team. The last
time We played
Stealth (Wes) He beat Us 1-0.

I think your team and the others that came to the Gold Nationals
to try and get past 25
California teams deserve allot of respect for looking past your
egos and doing the right
thing for your players.

And I the Illinois teams did a great job winning the "A"
Nationals. They had to get by
Four very good California teams that could play with any of the
Gold teams. Stealth,
Athletics, Case Batbusters, and Pastime all were competitive with
gold teams they played
last winter.

I think its time for We Californians to get off our high horse and
just play this game, with
sportsmanship and class. I hope you don't think because a couple
of guys in rec. sport.
softball are speaking for the rest of us.

Dale Moore (Panthers Gold)


Quote:

>Date:       16 Aug 1996 22:46:16 GMT

>Newsgroups: rec.sport.softball
>Subject:    Re: Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

>This message was written by and sent for Dan Robinson:

>ASA GOLD NATIONALS

>I've been following the comments regarding the ASA Gold Division.
 I coach
>the Arizona Cats Gold team.  The California coaches are upset
because they
>spent a lot of money trying to qualify for the Nationals.  When
they
>arrived they found out that all of the Gold teams were allowed to
compete.
>I agree with them to a point.  We traveled to the Yorba Linda,
Cypress, and
>Las Vegas tournaments  trying to qualify.  We spent as much money
as anyone
>and failed to win a game in the qualifiers.  We are working very
hard
>trying to raise our level of play in Tucson.  We don't have the
population
>base to be able to compete with California teams position for
position.  If
>we could have our choice of all the players in Tucson, we would
be capable
>of competing with anyone.  But, there are 10 other 18 and under
teams
>competing for talented players.  We made the jump to Gold to gain more
>exposure for our girls to college coaches.  We are trying to do what is
>best for our girls and feel that playing at this level with more coaches
>watching is more important than winning less competitive tournaments.  I am
>sorry if the California coaches think us unworthy of competing in Gold.
>Eventually, with more and more teams forming in California and our girls
>playing at this level we will be competitive.  So, with all do respect,
>please California coaches lose the egos and allow us to do what we feel is
>best for our girls.  There are plenty of scholarships to go around.

>Dan Robinson



 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by Robert H. Snap » Sat, 17 Aug 1996 04:00:00

This message was written by and sent for Dan Robinson:

ASA GOLD NATIONALS

I've been following the comments regarding the ASA Gold Division.  I coach
the Arizona Cats Gold team.  The California coaches are upset because they
spent a lot of money trying to qualify for the Nationals.  When they
arrived they found out that all of the Gold teams were allowed to compete.
I agree with them to a point.  We traveled to the Yorba Linda, Cypress, and
Las Vegas tournaments  trying to qualify.  We spent as much money as anyone
and failed to win a game in the qualifiers.  We are working very hard
trying to raise our level of play in Tucson.  We don't have the population
base to be able to compete with California teams position for position.  If
we could have our choice of all the players in Tucson, we would be capable
of competing with anyone.  But, there are 10 other 18 and under teams
competing for talented players.  We made the jump to Gold to gain more
exposure for our girls to college coaches.  We are trying to do what is
best for our girls and feel that playing at this level with more coaches
watching is more important than winning less competitive tournaments.  I am
sorry if the California coaches think us unworthy of competing in Gold.
Eventually, with more and more teams forming in California and our girls
playing at this level we will be competitive.  So, with all do respect,
please California coaches lose the egos and allow us to do what we feel is
best for our girls.  There are plenty of scholarships to go around.

Dan Robinson


 
 
 

Has the Gold Division served its purpose?

Post by XT 80 » Mon, 19 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Nearly every sport has different levels of play based on the abilities of
the players that compete.

Californians need to take pride in their Gold Division representation and
success.
When you are one of the best I would think you would prefer to play the
rest of the best.  If all you want is a trophy, shuffle your roster and
compete in whatever Division you want.  

The NCAA holds National Championships in 3 Divisions.  Division III teams
can't compete with Division I teams.  I have no problem with Division III
teams declaring a National Champion.  

If you are a Gold Team you should play Gold!  Regardless of whether 2/3 of
the Gold Teams reside in California.  

It sounds to me that California was well represented in all age Divisions
at all tournaments.  Is the alternative to restrict California to X spots
in National Tournaments based on league registrations or the top 2-3 from
regional tournaments.