South Salt Lake softball tournament ends with SSL Old Timers repeating as champsOct 05, 2018 02:30PM ● By Jana Klopsch
The Old Timers repeated as both league and tournament champions of the South Salt Lake adult softball league. This is from their victory last year. (Dustin Permann/South Salt Lake)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
With so many teams and so much competition to be had, the city of South Salt Lake Parks and Recreation Department had to come up with a viable solution to an issue to its ever-growing adult summer softball league.
“It was so good in our league this year that we had 12 teams enter,” said Dustin Permann, recreation coordinator.
The SSL Old Timers, headed up by a longtime employee in the city's own Public Works Department and also featuring the guy's friends, son-in-law and grandson, ended up winning the tournament again and before that, that 12-team league title yet again after a tight race for the top spot.
The Old Timers have now not only kept winning in the family, so to speak, they've won all three tournaments they've entered and two out of three league championships over the three years the tournament and league have been in existence. Talk about a dynasty.
But the outcome didn't come without challenges. In order to get all 12 teams on the field in one week, Permann had to devise a solution.
Permann explained that having this many teams presented a unique problem. Because three teams play at one time, of course—one bats while one plays in the infield and the other in the outfield—getting all 12 teams on the field in one week requires some interesting algorithms to solve.
“Randomly every team plays each other,” explained Permann. “For this to occur in one week, everyone has to play each other evenly, so we've had to come up with our own strategies.”
For Permann and his staff, this is where it gets interesting. In league play, Permann had everybody play everybody for the first half of the season.
Halfway through the season though, Permann and his staff devised a plan in which the top six team formed one bracket and played each other on Wednesday nights—while the bottom six played each other on Monday nights.
But they weren't done there. Once the season had ended and SSL Old Timers had picked up yet another cool trophy for their efforts, Permann and his staff came up with another interesting wrinkle for the tournament coming in late August.
“In our estimation we needed to up the level by having nine teams play,” added Permann. “So we took all six of the top teams from the top bracket and added the top three teams out of the bottom bracket.”
Starting on Aug. 22, the tournament began in earnest with the first place team playing the fifth and ninth place teams, and the second place squad faced the fourth place team and the eighth place team—while the third place team took on the sixth and seventh place teams.
From that format, the SSL Old Timers prevailed yet again, using their experience to capitalize on other team's costly mistakes, according to Permann.
“The other teams hit and field well,” explained Permann. “But the champs just seemed to jump on blown opportunities and a lot of times they're good but lucky.”
Though the champs did defend their title, added Permann, trophies were also handed out to the top team in the bottom bracket after league play ended, giving everyone, regardless of their skill, an opportunity to play hard all season long.
According to Permann, the next adult summer softball league starts its registration in May, league play starts in early June, and the tournament will begin at the end of the league's season.