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Firecracker Fastpitch - Player, coach and parent development program

Firecracker Fastpitch

Designed or young softball players – Ages 8-18

Firecracker Fastpitch is a new and innovative program designed for sole purpose of bringing excitement, skill development and fun back to the game of softball.

In locations all over North America, communities can form talented teams, but then they have nobody to play against. There is no competitive league available, so in most cases, the kids have to play “up” a division. This in turn leaves behind all of the other kids in the same age group who will now not get a chance to develop because now they do not get the opportunity to play against skilled competition.

We need to make sure that all of the kids are getting proper skill development and we need to make it fun.

Firecracker Fastpitch solves these issues.

How does Firecracker work?

We change the game a little bit. We don’t change the rules, but what we do change is the situation. It is tough to practice a suicide squeeze play offensively or defensively unless there is a runner on 3rd base with less than 2 outs. How many times does that happen in a game? When it does happen, many coaches would never try it because they can score the run in so many other ways. Runs can score via a pass ball, an error etc. In other words, it is highly unlikely that any player will every get the opportunity to be involved in a suicide squeeze play. The same goes with so many other situational plays;

1st and 3rd play
Taking the lead runner
Double plays
Hotboxes or pickles
Drag bunts
Sacrifice bunts
Delayed steals
Push bunts
Or any other skill or situation you want to work on

These are all situations and skills that can be practiced but it becomes a lot tougher for the players to perform in a game setting. Firecracker Fastpitch puts the players in the situation in a game setting and allows them to practice the situation or skill effectively and rewards them for trying!!

We set the situations up by starting with runners on base. They start on base every inning. That means that every inning, there will be runners on base to deal with. Pressure for all of the players…all of the time.

Firecracker Fastpitch also involves some other major adjustments. If we really want to focus on skill development and fun, we need to address some of the games issues. We need to make the game fun and we can do this by changing the game a little to suit the needs of the participants. Please remember, this is not necessarily “league play” (although it can be), this is simply a high intensity practice program.

These are just a few of the most important adjustments.

I am not here to sell you anything. There is no cost involved. It’s about the kids. It’s about the parents and coaches. It’s about the sport itself. We need to make it fun again. For everyone.

The numbers keep going down. If we continue to do what we have always done, we will get the same results. It's time to think outside the box.

For more information about Firecracker Fastpitch, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Bruce Dougherty
ACES Academy of Softball
Calgary Diamond Devils
cell – 403-998-2152
Last edited:
May 8, 2008
South Florida
Very Interesting

Bruce thank you this is very interesting. I can't wait to pass this along to to my daughters coaches. I love to see involvement from Canada even more so from ALBERTA my daughters and I are from your rival Edmonton :) We have lived in Florida for 5 years and my daughter is off to college this year. It is nice to see all the different coaching methods out there I just love this site for that reson!!!

Thanks Lori
Apr 29, 2009
the idea is not bad but the organizers have one clear direction and are out to line their own pockets with your money and asking to see any books is an insult to them. having spent time in this over the past couple of years the individuals are great salesman for this program and will talk your ear off until you sign up then they don't have the time of day for you. i am told the organizers of this thing have a pending lawsuit against other softball parties in calgary and are now banned from playing in any city tournaments. they preach that your kids can play anywhere but what they don't tell you is that you can't play in your own city. leave the program and find out if it is indeed all about the kids as you are told. being you can't play in the city thousands of your dollars are spent travelling just to play. league play is a laugh and the older kids just rot playing against younger poor talent.

i would avoid and save yourself both money and pain
Isn't it funny how this works. This information was posted simply as that. It's just information. It very clearly states that we have nothing for sale. It's just information. people can read it and take it for what it's worth. Why the attack?

I have no idea who Midgetmom is. She apparently needs to hide behind a veil of secrecy and attack. That is her choice. Just as it was the choice of CMSA and GASP (local softball programs) to handle things the way they did. They are free to do what they wish.

10 years ago, Calgary minor Softball had about 3000 players.
In 2009, I believe Calgary Minor Softball has about 800 players.
A 70% drop in 10 years.

ACES / Firecracker / Super League is innovative and exciting. Some people don't want that. They want it done the old way. That is fine with us. We don't understand the problem. If they believe in what they are doing, then do it and leave us alone. If Midgetmom has a better way to reverse the trend of dropping numbers, then she is welcome to put in the effort to effect change. It's much easier just to sit back and make stuff up though isn't it.

If you own a burger restaurant and another burger place opens up across the street, do you think it a really good marketing idea to stand out on the street just yelling at everybody that the other guys burger sucks and he charges too much?

Maybe you should get back into your restaurant and make a really good burger. If you would have done that in the first place, we would still have 3000 kids playing ball in Calgary.
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