Archive for Softball
How do you know if your softball player is ready to play at the next level? Ask yourself a few questions:
- Is your young softball player always making the All Star team?
- Does she seem bored playing softball with her recreational team because her talent level is way above theirs?
If you answered yes to either question, don’t worry, there are options.
With a little research you can find select level/tournament level teams that will be a better fit. At this level your daughter will need to tryout to make a team unlike rec where you just sign up and are assigned to a team. A website that can help you with this search is www.usssa.com.
There are three levels of competition at this point. They are class A through class C with C being the lowest and getting progressively more talented at each level. Also the amount of tournaments played by each team will increase as the level increases. It is very important to meet the coaching staff of the teams you are thinking about trying out for with your daughter to make sure you like each other. You and your daughter will spend the next year with them so be sure there are no personality conflicts.
As a parent it is imperative that you make sure that you are ready for the commitment as well. My daughter currently plays class A 14u and she practices two to three times per week in addition to playing a tournament three out of four weekends each month. It doesn’t leave much time for much else during the season which typically ranges from April through October. Consider the investment as well; your daughter will need quality equipment and high end softball bats to compete.
This can be the most enjoyable time of the year or dreadful depending on your own interest level. I hope this helps in making the decision to play at a higher level!
Written by guest contributor, Chris Houck, girls softball and co-ed softball team coach and softball Dad.
- A bat generally should not be any taller off the ground than your waist.
- You also need to pay attention to the weight of the bat. For younger players it is a good rule of thumb to get bats that have a -12 weight ratio. This means if a bat you choose is 30 inches long, the weight of the bat would be 18 ounces. This helps with bat speed which is critical when hitting against faster pitchers. An exception to the rule would be if your child is much taller and stronger than most of her peers.
- The next thing to consider is the type of material you want the bat to be constructed out of. The three most common are steel, aluminum and composite. The first two are going to be the most cost effective and provide a decent “pop” off of the bat when making contact off of the bat. Composite bats on the other hand range in price from $100 to $300. They provide an extreme amount of “pop” off of the bat when making contact with the ball. This essentially means that a hitter making contact with a ball is going to hit the ball further when using a composite softball bat versus a metal bat. One downside to a composite bat is durability. You should never use a composite bat when the temperatures are below 55 degrees.
- The last option to consider when buying a softball bat is weather the bat you choose is balanced or endloaded. A balanced bat means the weight of the bat is evenly balanced over the full length of the bat making it easier for younger and smaller players to have enough bat speed to hit the ball against all types of pitchers. An endloaded bat puts more weight towards the end of the bat making the ball go even further when hit. It makes the bat feel even heavier than the listed weight making it ideal for the bigger, stronger, power hitters in the game.
Softball is a game played all across the country and girls of all ages and ability levels can find programs that fit their needs. If you are looking for a place to play softball or just want more information on the sport, check out the following resources:
- Your local parks and recreation department
- Your local YMCA or YWCA
- Amateur Softball Association
- World Softball League
- American Fastpitch Association
- SYA Softball Links
- Little League Softball