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Making Softball More Exciting for Really Young Girls

Dec 12, 2008
39
0
Albany NY
Does anyone know of a variation on the game for really young girls that makes it more entertaining for them. I'm talking about K-3. The feedback from parents in our rec league (and I have lived through it with my own DD) is that is just painful to watch. Our K-1 girls hit off the tee the first 1/2 of the year, and then coaches pitch from about 20 feet in the second 1/2. My thought is that we would have better retention and attract more young girls if we could offer a game with more movement - something - soccer is big in our town. Any thoughts out there?
 
Dec 28, 2008
390
0
I've seen leagues that do similar to you but:
1. They choose 5 girls that have to hit the coach pitch, but others continue to get to hit off of the tee.
2. Others allow X amount of pitches by coach, and if girl would strike out she gets 1 more chance using T.

To me the more brutal games to watch are when the girls start pitching. For most leagues that is 10U, and they are just walk fests. Some leagues near me have even gone now to where a player gets 5 pitches from the pitcher, but there are no walks, but there can be strikeouts. So if after the 5 pitches the batter had say 2 strikes she then has the coach pitch to her and she gets 1 strike. If the coach comes out and the girl had 0 strikes, she then gets up to 3 strikes to get a hit off of the coach.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,898
83
Dallas, Texas
My suggestion is to put a 60 minute time limit on the game. At that age level, the kids learn ZERO at the game. Practices are much more important than the games.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,460
48
Mundelein, IL
Instead of the coach pitching, you could try the coach soft tossing. You might get a few more hits that way. I've never seen it done, but I've used it for practice to get random balls to field.
 
Dec 12, 2008
39
0
Albany NY
My thought is to shorten the games and incorporate skills drills prior to the game commencing. I just want to get them moving and involved - make it fun for a 1st grader...
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,460
48
Mundelein, IL
Tough to compete with soccer for "easy to get started" and "keep them all moving." I coached very young kids in soccer years ago so I have first hand experience with it. Compared to soccer at age 6 or 7, softball is like watching paint dry. The skill level (or more accurately coordination level) required to play softball even with a minimal amount of competence can be beyond most kids that age.

If you have the coach hit the ball and the girls run the bases, that might help. That way you can spread the ball among the fielders so more kids get involved instead of standing around in right field for three innings doing nothing. Doesn't teach all the skills of the game, of course, but it might help them learn the strategies better. And keep them moving better.
 
Dec 12, 2008
39
0
Albany NY
After some research, I have discovered a game called BlastBall - designed for girls and boys ages 4-8. (we're going to use it with 5-6). our game plan - we're going to give coaches a program for drills to run prior to games each of the 8 weeks of the season. First 30 minutes - the drills, next 30-45 is BlastBall. it requires small teams and very little space to play - the base 'honks' - yet it lets the girls hit and field and throw. Let's face it - at that age they are not playing real softball anyway - I want to give them an activity that is fun for them, yet teached them the fundamentals of hitting, catching, throwing. Our old way was two 1:45 games an an hour practice each week - guess what got cut first - practice. now they were 'playing softball' for 3.5 hours a week and learning almost nothing. I'm hopeful this change will help attract more young players and keep them in the league until they reach the next level - we'll see.
 
Jan 6, 2009
8
0
In our league it's 3 pitches from the coach and if they don't get a hit off the 3 coach pitches, then they get 2 swings off the tee if they miss both them then it's an out...
 

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