Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tell me a little about tournament softball and what it involves?
Most weekend tournaments during the Spring and Summer are within an hour or so of this area, and the tournaments generally take all day Saturday, and sometimes all day Sunday. The occasional tournament may involve Friday or Monday games as well, if it is on a holiday weekend, etc. Each age group generally also does one or two overnight weekend tournaments farther from home. In addition, some teams may schedule a few fall tournaments. Most teams will do between 8 and 11 weekend tournaments during the Spring/Summer season. The typical tournament involves playing three games on Saturday, the results of which seed you for Sunday’s championship round. Sunday then usually involves single elimination, where you play, and keep playing, until you lose your first game. This can sometimes mean you will play as many as five games on Sunday to win a championship.
What is the practice schedule like?
Outdoor practices will be held during nice weather in the Fall, usually at Clayton Park and generally about once a week. When Winter weather arrives, the teams move to various indoor facilities with Sunday morning practices every week. The locations are usually Glen Mills School in Garnet Valley. Also, hitting practice/lessons are held one weeknight per week for all teams during the winter in Newtown Square.
Is attending practices and tournaments mandatory?
Yes. There are a select number of players on each team, and while we have fun, tournament softball is taken seriously. We do not carry large rosters, because kids join to play, not sit on a bench. Hence, barring injury, illness or some sort of emergency, your child will be expected to attend every tournament and just about every practice, as the team will be depending on them. Family vacations should be planned to occur after the tournament season is over, or around tournaments once the schedule has been determined
How about playing time for my child?
On Saturdays during pool play each player is promised to play the equivalent of at least two full games. On Sundays during championship/single elimination play, the coaches will generally play to win the tournament with the best team they can field. On Sundays your child’s playing time will depend on their skill level, the opponent’s skill level, the number of games played and the coach’s judgment. The format of the tournament may alter these general guidelines. For example, if your team is only playing two games, you will not be guaranteed two games. As for the U-18 teams, playing time is shared but these rules do not apply to those teams.
How do I know what age group my child should try out for?
Age groups for tournament softball are generally categorized as 10 and Under, 12 and Under, 14 and Under, 16 and Under, and 18 and Under. Players may play up in age groups but not down. For example, if your child is 14, she could play for the 14 and Under team or the 16 and Under team. However, she could not play for the 12 and Under.
What is the age cut-off for each team for the 2016 Season?
12U – The player may not be older than 12 on January 1, 2016
14U - The player may not be older than 14 on January 1, 2016
16U - The player may not be older than 16 on January 1, 2016
18U - The player may not be older than 18 on January 1, 2016
What are the dues and what do they cover?
Net dues for each player varies by team. You can obtain Sponsors for your child . . . your doctor, a company, a family friend, who will make a contribution to the organization on your child’s behalf. The entire amount of the contribution is credited towards your child’s remaining dues with the exception of literally a few dollars on larger sponsors, as they may receive a plaque or something in recognition of their generosity. There are a few players who get enough sponsors to cover all their dues when combined with the fundraisers.
Dues cover uniforms (including sweats, jerseys, shorts, socks, under-armor, equipment bags, etc.), tournament fees, rentals for winter practice facilities, insurance, team equipment & supplies for practices and tournaments, etc. The fees for entering a tournament can now run between $800-$2500. So, just the tournament fees alone can add up to about $700+ per player as a part of their dues.
Dues do not cover: Gloves, bats, cleats, hotel bills for away tournaments, food, travel expenses, etc.
What is expected of parents?
Parents are expected to see that their player attends practices and tournaments and are there on time. For the younger players this means you will be driving them to practices and probably staying. Feel free to offer your help to the coaches for warm-ups, running pitching machines, lugging around equipment, etc. Extra hands are often welcome.
While it is not always possible, it is desired that with very few exceptions at least one parent attend every tournament with their child,and bring the necessities for them:food,drinks,ice,etc. Also feel free to bring some treats for some other kids. Things like cut up fruit and snacks are always appreciated. Chaos isn’t just about softball. It is also about fostering a team spirit, both with the kids and their families. Parents are also responsible for selling tickets for a few fundraising events held for the kids’ benefit during the year.
Parents are always expected to act in a reasonable, courteous and sportsmanlike manner, be it at tournaments, practices, social events, etc. We want parents to foster the “team spirit.” If you think there is a problem that warrants attention, please discuss it privately with your coach.