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Thread: 12U roster size

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    Default 12U roster size

    I'd love to get some input from those on the other side of 12U in particular. We're talking about roster size lately as we move into spring. Of course we have no way of knowing if we will lose any players for spring or how many, but right now we have 11. We've been holding our 12 spot for a pitcher. But we're running into more and more issues of girls not being available for various reasons (school functions, other sports, etc.). It seems as though this will only get worse as they get older & have more scheduling conflicts.

    Is 12 players the max you'd take on a 12U team? We play travel ball, right now focusing on playing wherever the best competition is. We had to pick up 2 this weekend just to have 9 at a friendly. We had to play with 9 for a couple of games in A state because of injuries and scheduling conflicts. At the same time, we don't want kids to feel like they're on the bench too much. If you've coached a 12U team that played high level ball I'd love to hear your input on roster size, how to balance having enough players (we prefer not to pick up players if we don't have to but of course we will), with not making everyone unhappy because there are too many.
    Softball Mom

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    Checking out the clubhouse gamommax3's Avatar
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    We just moved up to 14u this fall, and have played a straight A schedule for two years. We carried 12 the last few years, but we are also pretty strict on them being at tournaments. We may have one miss here and there for a basketball game, or a church retreat, or a major life event. But that is about it. So we have been fine with 12. We have 11 right now, as we are looking for a first baseman. I do think we will eventually go to 14 in the next year or two.

    The max I would carry on a 12u team is 13. That is four kids sitting the bench on defense, and four kids not hitting in most bracket games. If you have two kids out, you still have two alternates or one sub with a DP/Flex also. Anymore than that and I think you are asking for issues with parents about playing time and opportunities. Just my two cents as a HC's wife!!!
    Coach's wife and #7's mom

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    12 is okay, but there are times when it's not enough. Injuries and absences can quickly limit your options. In a tournament, I prefer to have a minimum of 12 on the bench, 13 if I have it. DP/Flex will use up 10 players. Runners for P and C is another 2. If someone gets hurt, having a sub without having to use your CRs is preferable.

    That said, many parents have a hard time watching their kid be "just" a CR in a tournament. As a coach, however, sometimes that's the situation that creates the best chance to win. I'm of the mindset that friendlies are for everyone getting playing time and developing skills, and tournaments are about winning.
    Hit hard. Run fast. Turn left.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamommax3 View Post
    We just moved up to 14u this fall, and have played a straight A schedule for two years. We carried 12 the last few years, but we are also pretty strict on them being at tournaments. We may have one miss here and there for a basketball game, or a church retreat, or a major life event. But that is about it. So we have been fine with 12. We have 11 right now, as we are looking for a first baseman. I do think we will eventually go to 14 in the next year or two.

    The max I would carry on a 12u team is 13. That is four kids sitting the bench on defense, and four kids not hitting in most bracket games. If you have two kids out, you still have two alternates or one sub with a DP/Flex also. Anymore than that and I think you are asking for issues with parents about playing time and opportunities. Just my two cents as a HC's wife!!!
    Thanks! I'm an HC's wife too but he doesn't really do message boards so that falls to me. haha
    Softball Mom

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    JAD
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    We tried to carry 12 players at 12U, but all of our players were dedicated. If you have multi-sport players who are not dedicated to softball you may want to go to 14.
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ~Bruce Lee

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    I can talk softball all day KPower's Avatar
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    DD played on a team for the past 4 years that carried 13. I hated it. DD was always playing - he never sat her. She was lead off batter and was either catching or in CF so I didn't have much to complain about - but I hated seeing the same 4 girls sit every game. DD was the only kid who played other sports and occasionally missed practices - so really if anyone sat more it should have been her. I don't think the coach gave any thought to changing up his line up at all. It was the same thing every weekend. At one point he said he was going to sit every girl for one full game during pool play on Saturday and then play the 9 who performed best on Sunday. That lasted one weekend. That was the one weekend DD sat for a game. I would sit in the stands and listen to people complain that DD hadn't sat. It had nothing to do with anything I did or said so I shouldn't have felt bad, but it was still very uncomfortable.

    This year (new team) they have 11 as a first year 14A-B team. Actually more like 10 because one of the players plays out of state most weekends and only plays with DD's team on her off weekends. So far it has been perfect. Plenty of play time and everyone is committed. (They've played fall league and 3 tourneys so far).

    I like 11 or possibly 12. I do not like huge rosters of 16-17. Several teams in our age group have that many and the girls are always complaining.

    I get that as girls get older sometimes rosters need to grow...but for now we are very happy.

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    BadMonkeys (11-10-2017)

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    We went with 11 or 12. We rotated pitchers every two innings in pool play and with all the 6gg around your area now there are plenty of innings for all the kids regardless of position.

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPower View Post
    DD played on a team for the past 4 years that carried 13. I hated it. DD was always playing - he never sat her. She was lead off batter and was either catching or in CF so I didn't have much to complain about - but I hated seeing the same 4 girls sit every game. ...I would sit in the stands and listen to people complain that DD hadn't sat.
    I've seen this, too, but it's most often been with parents who have recently moved from rec to TB, and haven't fully grasped the reality that there is no guaranteed playing time in TB.

    There is one pretty sure-fire way to make sure that you get more playing time...Be better. Be undeniably better. Be so good you can't be ignored. If you're not there, work harder at getting there.
    Last edited by Eric F; 11-09-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    We always had 11 at 12U with a spot open if a great player was available. 14u we kept 12. 18U we have 15 usually only have 11 for most tournaments. It really stinks when everyone can play.

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    I can talk softball all day Bob516's Avatar
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    We had 14 on our roster for the fall. Two went down with season ending injuries, and on the Saturday of one tournament, 4 had to go to the morning parochial school high school entrance exam. It sucked starting the first game of the tournament with 8 players.

    Makes sense that 12 would be an ideal number, until...

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