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Alabama high school softball "outside participation rule"

Apr 7, 2014
18
1
You are correct this would be a step down as far as high school competition is concerned but the coaching would be better and my daughter would be able to enjoy all those ancillary things that comes from playing for her high school. This is just an option but not one we would prefer.
 
Oct 4, 2011
663
0
Colorado
Colorado has an interesting rule: a student may open enroll into any school that has room. Each student has guaranteed access to his/her "neighborhood" school. If the student does not wish to attend the neighborhood school, he/she may open enroll anywhere else. Some schools do not have room at all, so the enrollment is closed. Others, such as some charter schools, accept students on a lottery basis.

This has created some shifting regarding athletics, but not as much as one might think. For example, some high schools are better known for certain sports programs or coaches. Students will open enroll into those schools specifically for the program or coach. Additionally, sometimes a student athlete will transfer, but then has to sit out half of the next season, so this doesn't happen very often. The vast majority of kids choose their high school based on where their friends are going, so there aren't very many "super programs" consisting of open enrolled kids (though there are some).

Bamadad, I do agree with you that the system, in general, is broken. I have also seen what GD has experienced, in that if a high school hits upon a hot TB program year or years, the school will be very good for that class or two. Some here have experienced recruiting out of HS but my observation, with several sports, has been that the recruiting occurs during the TB season. This could be why we don't see as many "super programs" as might be expected as an outcome of Colorado's free choice system.

High School has a unique opportunity to really meld athletics into the whole learning environment of the student athlete. I would love to see athletics and academics working together. There is the academic eligibility rule, of course, but I see this rule as more of a "stick" other than as a "carrot". Unless HS sports can capitalize on their unique opportunity to grow and shape the student athlete, I fear that this valuable resource may go away - like art programs, librarians, music, etc - which would truly be a shame.
 
Apr 7, 2014
18
1
I have enjoyed the experience of posting and receiving the variety of responses. I learned long ago that the answer I have may be the wrong answer so why not ask for others opinion. I agree that college coaches are not able to do much if any recruiting during their season. They are not able to attend high school or travel ball games during their season. Our plan for being recruited is to attend camps and play for the summer travel team we are currently involved with. My point with mentioning the lack of recruiting during high school season is to point out that whether my daughter play high school softball or not will not really affect her recruitment. Another post made a point about having to re-teach certain skills after the high school coach messed up a players swing or pitching delivery for example. That is exactly what is happening with my daughter and her teammates. There is also a correct way to "conduct" the game, for instance 1 out, runners on 3rd and 2nd and lead off batter at plate. This is a perfect opportunity to bunt but that didn't happen. Batter swings away and pops up to infield and next batter grounds out to third. Lost opportunity to plate a run. Batting practice consist or getting a bucket of balls shot at them from a pitching machine in the batting cage. They never get any live pitching except during a game. We are half way through the season and have 1 home run, by this time last year we had 15.

This coach is a nice person but is not knowledgeable enough about the game. I don't blame the coach for this lack of knowledge but at the same time I have to consider making a change next season so my daughter doesn't waste 4 months of the year not developing or honing her skills. I really appreciate your willingness to provide your prospective which encourages me to consider all possibilities. this is very helpful.
 
Jun 1, 2013
840
18
Since you are so close to Georgia and Florida, I wonder if there is a loophole somewhere. As in you could play across state lines and not count against you in Alabama. You may talk to them and see. Besides that, Florida is probably your best bet at finding numerous teams and playing opportunities. You said Southeast Alabama so I am thinking Enterprise, Ozark, down to state lines south and east. That isn't that far from Florida for sure and a good team is worth that drive. If you are a little further down around the Dothan area, HA might be where you want to go for private school.
 
Nov 1, 2008
224
0
HA is a private school, but they play in AHSAA. Not sure why that's allowed, but not my call. They are generally on par with the public schools in the area in terms of sports. I too, feel your pain bamadad. DD was smoking the ball when she and I were working during the fall. Now she's barely reaching the fence when we have the rare chance to practice when she's not worn out from HS ball.
 
Jun 1, 2013
840
18
Lowlife, I know they play the area schools baseball/softball but I thought they were still in their own seperate conference with other private schools....I guess it probably has to do with enrollment compared to other private schools. I thought you were in North Alabama anyway.... I must have misread something somewhere.
 
Last edited:
Nov 1, 2008
224
0
They're ahsaa for football and all that too. Class 2A. They don't do the Aisa thing like pike liberal arts does. We're just south of Troy.
 
Apr 10, 2014
9
0
San Diego
California has a similar rule. As a travel coach I think it is a good rule. In southern California our girls play upwards of 125+ travel games per calendar year (plus 30 or so high school games), so a little three month break from the rigors and pressures of travel is a good thing. It gives the girls the opportunity to represent their school, play with old friends and classmates and have a little fun.

In the San Diego area very few high school programs would be anywhere as competitive as the top travel programs, so the girls can chill a bit, do the best to keep their swings and softball skills relatively sharp until travel cranks back up Memorial Day weekend.

Now there has been talk about changing the rule in the San Diego CIF region to allow dual participation in travel/club and high school sports in season but I don't think it's going anywhere. It was a push by the club soccer community threatening litigation that gave the idea the limited legs it has. Bad idea in my opinion for the reasons I stated above. However, the dynamics may be different in Alabama.
 
Apr 7, 2014
18
1
HA is a private school but they are still part of the AHSAA. Several private schools are part of AHSAA. They are classified differently than public school because they are not limited to a geographical area for students. Each student in 10th - 12th counts is multiplied by 1.5 to decided which their classification. HA has the same student body as a public 1A school but because they can recruit the math puts them in 2A. We are very close to Georgia and Florida and will most likely wind up playing travel ball next spring in one of those two states rather than play high school softball. I have already made a call to the AHSAA to ask about this rule and learned that the coaches organization lobbied for this rule and that there is no way around it. Unless something drastic happens at our high school to change the situation my daughter will not be on the roster next year.
 
Apr 7, 2014
18
1
The problem for me isn't as much that we can't play games it's that we can't even practice. Only one-on-one training is a possibility. It is hard to keep the skills sharp for 4 months with the poor quality of practice and training my daughter is getting with her high school.
 

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