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New to Fastpitch Softball

New to Fastpitch Softball?

If you are new to Fastpitch Softball, this page will provide you with information about the various options available for players - including time commitment, competitive level, and structure.

See the table below for a quick comparison of the playing options.

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Softball Levels

Program In-House Traveling
In-house 8U C-Ball /League-only 10U & 12U C-Ball / League-only 10U-16U Traveling
Registration Period Registration close April Registration close March Registration close March Registration close Jul/Aug
Ages Grades K-3 (Ages 5-8) 7-8 9-12 9-16
Time commitment 2 days/week 2-3 days/week 3-4 days/week 4+ days/week
Competitive Level Fun and development Fun and development with moderate competition Moderate Moderate to high
Pitching Coach/Machine Pitch Machine Pitch Kid Pitch Kid Pitch
Practices can begin Late April Late March / Early April Late March / Early April Late March / Early April
Season begins Late April Late April Late April Late April
Season ends Late June Late June Late July Late July
Activities League games 1 League game week, 1 State Tournament in Bloomington League games, season ending traveling tournament League games and tournaments
# Tournaments 0 1(State Tournament) 1-2(State Qualifier & potential State if team qualifies) 4-6(Inseason: 3-10U, 4-12U and higher, State Qualifier, State, potential Nationals)
Cost 85 100 $170+ (10-12U) $245+ for 10U. $275+ for 12U

What is Fastpitch Softball?

Fastpitch softball is generally the most competitive form of softball and is the same sport you see in High School and College competition. Fastpitch differs from slowpitch softball in that the pitchers deliver the ball with a speedy windmill motion as opposed to a slow, looping motion. Slowpitch softball is offered in some youth programs and also adult leagues but fastpitch is the competitive sport girls advance to as they get older.

Fastpitch Softball Programs

Traveling Fastpitch Softball serves girls from age 8-16. Traveling Softball includes league games and practices on weeknights and tournaments on weekends. The Summer season runs from April through July. Girls do the pitching at all age levels, and the Traveling program involves competition against the better players in the South Metro and beyond. Girls are grouped based upon their age as of January 1 of the current year and play at four levels - 10U (10 and under), 12U (11-12 years old), 14U (13-14) and 16U (15-16). Teams are formed on the basis of tryouts.

League-only (LO) Traveling Softball serves girls age 8-12 with a summer season running from May through July. League-only differs from full Traveling Softball in that LO teams generally don't participate in weekend tournaments so the time commitment is moderate. Girls do the pitching, and LO involves competition generally one tier lower than full Traveling. Girls must be 8-12 years old as of January 1 of the current year. Teams are formed based on interest level - no tryouts are required. If a player tries out for the full Traveling program but does not make a team she will be placed on a LO Traveling team.

In-house Fastpitch Softball serves girls age 6-9 (Kindergarten through 3rd grade) with a Summer season running from late April through June. Teams generally play two games per week. At the youngest ages, coaches pitch. At the 2nd-3rd grade level the program transitions to machine-pitch. The In-house program is focused on both fun and skill development. Girls play at their current grade level as of the start of the season. Teams are formed, when possible, by placing girls with other players from their school or neighborhood.

How do I get started?

Many players start by playing in-house softball at a young age. If you are unsure of whether to start with in-house softball or a traveling program, there are numerous options for getting started:

1) Explore this website. This site contains information besides what is on this page, and you can get a small flavor of the differences in rules and atmosphere in the different programs.

2) Read the Handbook. The EVAA Fastpitch Softball Handbook has detailed information about both the In-house and Traveling programs. The Handbook is available on the front page of both the In-house and Traveling sites.

2) Talk to a Board Member or other program participant. This is a great way to learn more. You can contact a Board Member by accessing the "Board" page on this site and clicking a link to email a Board Member.

3) Attend the winter skills clinic. The winter skills clinic is to help players develop their skills and to assist them in choosing which level of play they are interested in.

4) Start with Fall Ball. Fall Traveling Softball is a low-pressure option to give traveling a try. The season is short (games on weekends only during a season that lasts slightly more than one month) and is focused on player development. (~Sept)

5) Consider League Only Traveling. League-only is a a program for 8-12 year old players and allows you to "travel" to neighboring communities to play league games without participating in weekend tournaments, other than the season-ending State qualifier and State Tournament.  (Summer season)