An active adult lifestyle can include a wide range of sports, hobbies, and recreations. For some retirees, this may mean a morning of golf or an afternoon of tennis. Others choose to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while running the bases with a healthy game of softball. Many active adult communities have their own softball fields, and players can also enjoy the competitive fun of joining a local senior softball league.
The History of SSUSA
Senior Softball traces its roots back to Florida, in the 1930s, when retired actress Evelyn Brown Rittenhouse recommended the game as a way to help older people stay active. Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA), the world's largest organization for senior softball players, was founded by Bob Mitchell in 1988 and has since grown to include teams throughout the United States and Canada. To participate in an SSUSA Senior League, players only have to meet an age minimum: 50 for men and 45 for women.
Today, SSUSA estimates that there are more than 1.5 million active senior softball players in the United States. These numbers are growing as more baby boomers enter the program. SSUSA Senior Leagues are available for men and women in communities across America. Divisions based on age and skill level are set by the National Senior Softball Rating System to ensure safe and fair gameplay for everyone. Players can take part in competitive tournaments as well as recreational tournaments.
Finding a Team
The SSUSA website makes it easy to search for local senior softball leagues by region, city or zip code. The website also brings players together with tournament information, news items, message boards, and more. You can even use the website to buy a good luck banner ad for your favorite player or team.
Many active adult communities throughout the country also have their own on-site softball fields. These communities may have their own chartered softball clubs, which organize resident teams and tournament schedules. These clubs may arrange local recreational teams or play in larger leagues. The Softball Club at Del Webb Spruce Creek Golf & Country Club is a great example of a well-organized community club.
They have a community program for local games, as well as a travel program that participates in three leagues that compete against other communities. They also offer instructional sessions and casual "hit-arounds." Residents can also join the club to umpire, run the scoreboard, or man the concession stand if they don't want to play ball.
Whether joining a small, recreational team or participating in a more competitive travel league, senior softball is a great way to stay active in retirement.