Softball

SOFTBALL SEASON OVERVIEW

Once the season begins, you can expect two team-related activities (practice and/or games) to occur each week. Dates are general and are subject to slight change from year to year.

Please note that practice times/dates/locations are entirely dependent upon the number of player registrations. We will not know exact dates or times of practices/games until all teams are formed for the season. Rain-outs will occur; we intentionally increase the number of games scheduled and do not typically re-schedule rain-out games.

Valley Little League is broadly categorized into two divisions: Upper Division and Lower Division.

  • Upper Division (i.e., League Ages 9-14) consists of Juniors (LA 14), Intermediate (LA 13) Major, Coast, and AAA teams.
  • Lower Division (i.e., League Ages 4-8) consists of AA, A, and Mickeys.

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS (see here)


VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL DIVISIONS

Sno-valley Little League offers softball to players ages 5-16 in brackets by "league age". League age is set by Little League International and can be determined using the age chart linked below.


SOFTBALL DIVISION DESCRIPTIONS

Mickeys T-Ball

Mickey's level T-Ball introduces LA 4 year-old boys and girls (coed) to the fundamental rules and skills of baseball. Players will be introduced to hitting, throwing and catching mechanics in a safe and fun environment. Players will learn to hit T-Ball style baseballs during practices and game play. Mickey's teams will meet 1-2 times per week beginning in April through June (exact dates change each year). Games are up to 3 innings in length and every player bats in each inning. No scores are kept during games. Games are typically played for approximately 60 minutes regardless of innings. T-ball bats (<26" and with official sticker) will be allowed for use in this division.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team baseball gear and team uniforms. The volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a baseball glove, long-sleeved T-shirt, baseball pants, and athletic supporter (including cup for boys). Baseball cleats (rubber) are recommended, but running shoes will suffice. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants to purchase. The League provides all players and three coaches with a team hat and jersey. Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more. Teams are generally organized by volunteer managers, school, and neighborhood.

 

Single A Softball

Single A softball introduces girls to the fundamental rules and skills of softball. Players will be introduced to hitting, throwing and catching mechanics in a safe and fun environment. Hitting will be done off of a tee for new players, and for returning players a combination of underhand coach-pitch and a tee.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team softball gear, jerseys and visors for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a softball glove, softball pants, softball cleats, and socks. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase.

Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more. Teams are organized by school, neighborhood and buddy requests, all of which is indicated during online registration process. It’s recommended that any buddy requests you make during registration are reciprocated by the buddy’s parents, so please coordinate with other parents prior to registration.

 

Double A Softball

AA continues the skill building that starts in A Softball. Players will continue to develop hitting, throwing and catching mechanics in a safe and fun environment. In addition, they'll start to learn more rules of the game, and base running and team fielding mechanics. This year we introduce girl-pitch, as well as continue with coach pitch. There will be no tees in this division.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team softball gear, jerseys and visors for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a softball glove, softball pants, softball cleats, and socks. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase.

Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more. Teams are organized by school, neighborhood and buddy requests, all of which is indicated during online registration process. It’s recommended that any buddy requests you make during registration are reciprocated by the buddy’s parents, so please coordinate with other parents prior to registration.

 

Triple A Softball

AAA Softball begins a more competitive program level. While we build on fundamentals of past levels of softball, at this level teams are built using pre-season evaluations and a player draft. Girls will have the opportunity to continue advancing their pitching skills, although coaches may still pitch when needed.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team softball gear, jerseys and visors for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a softball glove, softball pants, softball cleats, and socks. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase.

Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more.

 

Coast Softball

Coast level is an introduction to true competitive softball. Coast teams are built using pre-season evaluations and a player draft.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team softball gear, jerseys and visors for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a softball glove, softball pants, softball cleats, and socks. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase.

Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more.

 

REGULAR SEASON TEAM FORMATION

Valley Little League regular season teams are formed following Little League specifications. New teams are formed EACH season and do not carry over from the previous year.

Lower Division teams (Mickeys, A, and AA) are formed in consultation with the volunteer managers/coaches and by loosely grouped according to their school that the players attend. Mixed aged teams are equally populated with age classifications. Managers are allowed to select three players (in addition to their own player) to begin their team formation.

 

Upper Division teams are formed at a player draft that occurs in mid-February of each season. Each player that registers for the upper division MUST attend a player evaluation so that the managers and player agent can form equitable teams. Managers are selected at BOD Meeting from a list of candidates that applied to manage a team for that season.

 

Draft Procedures are stipulated according to VLL charter rules. Draft order is selected randomly between managers within the same division of play. Draft occurs in a serpentine fashion (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1). The Majors draft is conducted first, followed by Coast and AAA drafts. The manager will select their team name and practice time/locations at the conclusion of the draft. Following the draft, mangers will contact their roster via TeamSnap communications.

 

General Criteria: VLL attempts to roster twelve players on each Upper Division team. The number of teams are determined early in the season based on previous year registration information that is projected for the current season. Care is given to form teams so that players follow the normal ascension through the system and do NOT skip a division of play. Siblings can play on the same team at the request of the parent/guardian.

 

Team Meeting: Shortly after team formation, players will receive notification from their coach regarding an initial TEAM MEETING. Each manager has the authority to structure their individual team meetings. At a minimum, players will be introduced, communication protocol will be finalized, team structure will be conferred, and schedule information (game and practice) will be relayed to the players and their family.

 

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

VLL provides most of the equipment that will be required for baseball players. Players will need to provide their own pants, athletic shoes (turf shoes or cleats are recommended), socks (pack an extra pair), belt, athletic supporter, and glove. Rain will occur during our early spring practices, a light jacket or wind breaker is helpful during those periods. You will be appraised by your coach regarding color of uniform during your initial team meeting. Many coaches put together a uniform package so that all players have the same attire, this is not required but can save time searching for individual items. Beginning in 2018, a new bat standard is in place for Little League Upper Division teams. Please take time to review those standards (see New LL Bat Standards) .

VLL will provide uniform jersey, hat, bat, balls, catcher equipment, first aid kits, batting tees, catch nets, throw down bases, and helmets. Many families opt to purchase their own baseball equipment (i.e., bat and helmet) for their player along with a backpack so that they have everything they will need in a concise location. While this is convenient, do not feel that it is a requirement. Helmet face guards are optional for baseball players; they are NOT included on VLL helmets and should be purchased by the parents if they are needed. Coaches will adjust their equipment inventory to suit the needs of their team. Please let us know if you need assistance with any of these items. Risan Athletics and Dicks Sporting Goods are both local sponsors of our program and stock all of the items that you will need for your player.