The History of the
Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association
Forward: Many of us show up routinely for our league games and most of us joined up to play in the DFW area Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association (MSCSA) for various reasons. Over the years, a great deal of time and effort has been spent in developing and running a well organized league. All organizational and administrative effort has been done voluntarily and without any compensation so that we could enjoy our games and competition safely, inexpensively, and in a well structured manner. Duties of elected officers and coaches include negotiation for our fields, the purchase of balls and equipment, and the establishment of league rules and schedules. Our Board of Directors consists of one voting member from each team, and our five elected officers, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Member-at-Large.
History: What would be your best guess as to when the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association began? If you surmised 1980, you could be right. As best as can be determined, senior softball in the Dallas area began in the spring of 1980. The “league” or competition then consisted of just two teams – one from Grand Prairie and the other from Irving. These two teams played an informal schedule on each others home field during their initial season.
Cooperation with senior citizens centers and the Parks and Recreation Departments of Grand Prairie and Irving led to more formal competition. Games then were played during the daytime. Teams were composed of retired or semi-retired players, ages fifty-five years and older, who formed teams to play during the mornings. The league was organized to provide friendly competition, good fellowship and some physical fitness activities. In 1981, Mesquite formed a team and joined in the competition with Grand Prairie and Irving. The three teams played each other, taking turns playing on each others home field.
In 1982, word was out about senior softball and seniors and retirees from several new cities in the Metroplex formed teams and joined the three existing cities. Representatives from the various teams held meetings at the Senior Citizens Center in Irving to draw up playing rules and schedules. However, there was no official organization until 1986, when the constitution and by-laws of the newly-named “Metroplex Senior Softball Association (MSSA)” were written and adopted. The league now had a formal name, laws and regulations. A Board of Directors for the league was set up with one representative from each team serving on the board. The board created an Executive Committee, consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer as well as one member-at-large. Together, they guided the new league forward.
The league continued to prosper and grow as teams were formed from the Richardson-Garland area, Ft. Worth, Arlington and the Oak Cliff-Duncanville areas. Beginning as a day league, the MSSA in 1987 organized a night league for that spring and summer. This enabled men, who were fifty-five years and older, and who were still working during the day, with an opportunity to participate. While the age limit for playing was set at 55, each team was allowed to have no more than three players who were between the ages of 50 and 55.
As the league expanded and developed, age and physical ability differences among the
players became evident. Thus, an “A” division for those players who had stronger running, throwing, hitting and fielding skills was set up. Correspondingly, a “B” division league was formed at the same time for those players with good softball skills but who would be unable to compete with the stronger “A” division teams.
By 1991, both the “A” and “B” divisions had five teams. Additionally, there was a new division created - the “C” division - which consisted of six teams and generally included less able players. All three divisions played day games. Also that year, a night league was formed consisting of eleven teams with players age 55 and up. Games were played at LTV Corsair Park in Grand Prairie using two fields provided to the Association at no cost. In addition, six teams comprised of players in the 50 to 55 age group played night ball at Fritz Park in Irving.
In 1992, because of the differences in abilities of league players, the night leagues implemented a strict group age limit on their teams. The day league remained 55 and above. The night leagues were set up thusly: 50 through 54, 55 through 59, 60 through 64 and 65 and up. This caused changes in the make-up of several teams and created the formation of some new teams in various age brackets. The competition subsequently became more evenly balanced. All teams played in Grand Prairie on Monday nights. On Thursday nights, the teams from Dallas County played at Huffines Park in Richardson, while the Tarrant County teams played at Waggoner Park in Grand Prairie.
1993 was a pivotal year for the league. Because of widespread play in different cities, the league heads decided that the association and leagues needed to be split. A new league of night time teams located east of Irving became the new Dallas Area Senior Softball Association (DASSA) (www.quickscores.com/dassa). By 2011, this league now consists of 20 teams that play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Heights Park in Richardson. Also, a new league of night teams west of Irving was formed and became known as the North Texas Senior Softball Association (NTSSA). Originally they played their games at Corsair Park in Grand Prairie on Monday and Thursday nights. By 2011, this league now consists of 12 teams that play on Monday and Tuesday evenings at Trinity View Softball Complex in Irving.
While these changes were being implemented, the day league teams were combined and directed by what is now called the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association (MSCSA).
The day league ( MSCSA), www.dfwseniorsoftball.com, now plays on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by 2011 has grown to 32 teams; 5 “A” Division, 11 “B” Division and 16 “C” Division teams playing throughout the DFW Metroplex. It is organized into east and west groups to minimize travel time with two teams playing each other twice in one week, once each on their respective home fields. Today MSCSA continues with a Board consisting of one voting member from each team; and it also has a non-voting Executive Committee consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.