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Playing all players

Jul 16, 2013
3,199
83
Pennsylvania
While I appreciate that timed games are necessary when you're running a tournament, it is valuable to play a full seven every once in a while, especially to prepare for school ball where they typically play a full game.

This goes to marriard's point, that finding scrimmages against comparable teams should absolutely be a part of any travel team's itinerary. If you're just paying for an umpire and maybe field time, there's no rush to get through four innings. You can just play the game, and get everyone in, without worrying about the trophy hunt.
At 14u and 16u we would schedule 2 or 3 "friendlies" throughout the late spring and early summer. We would have 3 teams playing in a round robin fashion (Total of 3 games in which each team plays twice). These games were full 7 inning games. After game 2 we would make hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill for all 3 teams, and then play game 3 to finish the day. In many ways I enjoyed those days more than tournaments, although I did enjoy both in different ways.
 
Jul 14, 2018
449
63
We would have 3 teams playing in a round robin fashion (Total of 3 games in which each team plays twice). These games were full 7 inning games. After game 2 we would make hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill for all 3 teams, and then play game 3 to finish the day.
That sounds like softball nirvana!


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Oct 4, 2018
1,317
113
At 14u and 16u we would schedule 2 or 3 "friendlies" throughout the late spring and early summer. We would have 3 teams playing in a round robin fashion (Total of 3 games in which each team plays twice). These games were full 7 inning games. After game 2 we would make hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill for all 3 teams, and then play game 3 to finish the day. In many ways I enjoyed those days more than tournaments, although I did enjoy both in different ways.
I'd love this. We have friendlies, but we have to fit them into a time period, which then creates the tournament experience for the most part.

Granted, we experiment more in the friendlies, and have mulligans and breaks to explain stuff. Sometimes we even change up the format, or don't allow walks, etc. etc. A full 7-inning game would be fun.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,199
83
Pennsylvania
I'd love this. We have friendlies, but we have to fit them into a time period, which then creates the tournament experience for the most part.

Granted, we experiment more in the friendlies, and have mulligans and breaks to explain stuff. Sometimes we even change up the format, or don't allow walks, etc. etc. A full 7-inning game would be fun.
When we did this at 14u (and any scrimmages we had at 12u), we permitted coaches to be on the field so that they could instruct their players during the game. The entire purpose was for the players to learn. Winning/Losing was secondary in these events. By having coaches right on the field, they could quickly provide some instruction without interrupting the flow of the game. As I'm typing this I am realizing just how much I miss those days.
 
Oct 15, 2013
378
28
Seattle, WA
At 14u and 16u we would schedule 2 or 3 "friendlies" throughout the late spring and early summer. We would have 3 teams playing in a round robin fashion (Total of 3 games in which each team plays twice). These games were full 7 inning games. After game 2 we would make hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill for all 3 teams, and then play game 3 to finish the day. In many ways I enjoyed those days more than tournaments, although I did enjoy both in different ways.

What a great idea. Might have to give that a try with our organization.

What part of PA are you in, if I may ask?
 
Oct 27, 2017
95
18
Agreed.

We were in a tournament this weekend that had Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper. Giving 4 teams a chance to win.

Only problem was the initial pool games weren't set up well and we played three creampuffs just to be rewarded with getting clobbered in the Gold Bracket. We were probably the 4th worst team there (and were predicting a Copper Championship). :)
I think we were in the same tourney. Last pool game was playing for a spot in Gold, pitched our 3rd string and gave up too many runs. Ended up playing in the Copper bracket and won with 2 run rule games, it was not pretty. We should have been, at a minimum, in the Silver bracket if the pool games were set up properly.
The 2 teams we beat in pool play were in higher brackets then we were.
 
Last edited:
Apr 1, 2017
75
18
I think we were in the same tourney. Last pool game was playing for a spot in Gold, pitched our 3rd string and gave up too many runs. Ended up playing in the Copper bracket and won with 2 run rule games, it was not pretty. We should have been, at a minimum, in the Silver bracket if the pool games were set up properly.
The 2 teams we beat in pool play were in higher brackets then we were.
In theory, I like the idea of gold/silver tournaments, but it really is impossible to get a true gold and silver brackets based on a couple pool games. Start out with pools that aren't balanced with each other and then mix in a couple teams that will purposely throw weaker pitchers trying to get "silver", and it would be almost as accurate to draw names out of a hat.
 
Feb 7, 2013
3,188
48
Thanks for all the input....not worried about keeping the mamas and daddy's happy....care less, just trying to provide opportunities for girls to get into the game...coaching basketball is much easier to get kids in...lol
If this is a travel ball team you better care about what the parents think as they are the ones paying the monthly dues, etc. and will jump ship at a better opportunity in a heartbeat. If it's rec league, not as much of an issue but all families want their kids to get playing time, taught by good coaches (preferably no daddy ball), and have a good time in the process. No one wants to attend an overnight tournament and watch their kid ride the pine, especially at 12U.

IMO, 14 is way too many players for 12u and will be difficult to properly manage the game time for the players. The max number should be 12 players unless this is an "elite" travel ball program trying to qualify for PGF nationals, ASA nationals, etc.

Another point, pool play shouldn't be taken lightly if you are trying to advance as far as you can in the tournament (and get valuable semi-final and championship games experience). While I would rotate the players more generously in pool play, you still want to win games so you don't fall victim to the losers bracket with single elimination or you have to win 5 or 6 games on Sunday which is a nightmare for your pitching staff and catchers. Again, having less players (12) allows you enough in-game flexibility while allowing maximum playing time for ALL players. My DD one year was on a 14U TB team with 17 players and it was a joke (and obvious money grab by the organization).

Bottomline is less players = more playing time for everyone. You can always pick-up a player or two for certain tournaments in case of illness, vacations, etc.
 
Apr 13, 2015
62
8
I don't have anything to do with who is on or off the team....I was asked to coach this team because I have no ties to anyone on the team....yes we have too many and they all have played in every pool game we have played.....which is 9 games this fall and 6 bracket games....thanks for input from everyone....we are a new 12U team with mostly 11 and a few 10 yr olds....I'm at peace with how we've handled the team just wanted to see what others have done in this situation....a few of you got fired up....awesome!
 

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