In our area, most leagues have enough teams where you only play against teams in the league during the regular season. Typically, the all-star season starts around Memorial day, and teams will play 3-4 weekend tournaments before Districts, with one of those tournaments being a hotel-stay trip. Top teams from Districts qualify for States. You might be shocked by how well the top 8U teams play the game.I guess people have different expectations of what 8U softball is, based off of their own experiences. For us, our community had two or three league teams, and we played teams from the surrounding communities who did the same thing. At the end of the season, we put an "all star" (I use that term loosely) team together and played in a tournament a couple of towns away. There were, maybe, eight teams. We played a Friday evening game, a couple of Saturday games, and the championship game on Sunday. That was it...One season end tournament. After that, the girls when back to playing with dolls and swimming the rest of the summer.
If our rec director would have said that we were putting an 8U "All Star" team together to travel hours away and stay in hotels, I would have laughed at him. I do not see the point at that age. The idea of 8U travel teams is ridiculous too. Save the money for when it matters.
It only seems ridiculous to you because it's not what you have experienced.
This group of 8yos created a bond during their all-star season that is still strong 6 years later. None of them are currently playing together, but when they see each other again, the softball-sister bond is still there - vividly.