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Travel Ball is Killing Rec Ball

May 24, 2013
9,493
83
So Cal
Same rule applies here but they have to make the HS roster. You're not making Varsity, JV or Frosh softball teams at the local HS here without a few years of competitive travel ball.
It varies from place to place. A majority of the JV team at my DD's HS have never played at all before, and there are only 4 TB players on the Varsity team. By contrast, one of my DD's TB teammates is on Frosh team of mostly TB players.
 
Jul 28, 2016
8
3
Locally we were in what was probably a very similar situation. Our city runs all the parks & has a Sports Commission (old boys network) that controls all the sports in the area. So between them they decide who gets to run the various sports, field allocation, etc, etc. So in our case, rec softball was included in rec baseball and run by the group that used LL. Softball was always treated as second class to the boys and we were basically told year after year that we should be grateful for the scraps they threw us (and genuinely were surpised that we were not) and we often told that if we compained they would just reassign the fields to baseball.

It has taken 8+ years of work and pain to get past the old boys network so we could get rec softball away from their control and into the control of the people who care about the girls directly.
I think what you are describing is very common. Girls come in 2nd and that sucks. As a dad of 3, no greater joy for me than to watch my 2 girls and son play their preferred sport. Unfortunately though when it comes to resources, boys win out. My middle DD started playing softball 9+ yrs ago and fields were scarce then and nothing has changed. Lots of support here for rec baseball but softball, not so much.
 
Jul 16, 2013
2,947
48
Pennsylvania
I think what you are describing is very common. Girls come in 2nd and that sucks. As a dad of 3, no greater joy for me than to watch my 2 girls and son play their preferred sport. Unfortunately though when it comes to resources, boys win out. My middle DD started playing softball 9+ yrs ago and fields were scarce then and nothing has changed. Lots of support here for rec baseball but softball, not so much.
I agree as well. We were also faced with similar problems when DD played rec ball. The thing that drove me crazy is that while over half the board members had daughters that played softball, they still pushed most of the funding towards baseball.
 

sjw62000

just cleaning the dugout
Sep 1, 2018
18
13
North Carolina
I've been watching this thread since it began, trying to decide how to craft a reply, and making an attempt to not repeat things that have already been said, and still there's a risk that I might repeat someone else's sentiments. Bearing in mind that anything I might say represents my location and experiences and doesn't pretend to speak for anyone else. For context, I coach both Rec Ball and TB, and have for many years (8U through 12U). Having said that, here goes...

Rec Ball is killing rec ball; there are many rules that are implemented to artificially level the playing field and ensure everyone gets a chance to play (e.g. everyone must bat and play 6 consecutive outs on defense, 5 runs is the same as 3 outs). This is great to ensure that everyone gets experience, no one is left out, and games are not lopsided. Rec Ball is designed to give everyone experience. I personally support these rules, however, there has to be somewhere for more talented girls to expand their abilities and enjoy the game. Rec Ball and School Ball usually end in May. What sport can a DD play during the summer, if not TB?

If coaches aren't letting girls play other sports, find a new team, or start one. I can say for certain that there are plenty of TB organizations that operate on a shoe string budget and are sensitive to families' financial concerns. Speaking from a considerable amount of experience I've never heard of a player not getting to play TB because of finances. Certainly, there are organizations that operate that way, but there are others that have parents pitch in to ensure that all girls get a chance. To reiterate if organizations are operating in a manner that doesn't suit a DD and you are committed; find one that does or start your own.

All rec ball sports and school sports have a very short season, competition is limited and specific to location. There is no way to overcome these challenges unless you participate in TB. Finally, speaking from a coaching perspective, there are parents that are delusional and Rec Ball forces coaches to deal with this. If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
 
Mar 21, 2019
108
28
Yeah our rec ball runs a lil longer. Check the date on top the pic



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Feb 8, 2019
137
18
I coach REC softball and the issue is the great disparities in talent. I have 10YOs that can pitch 50 and hit rotationally. I also have a kid that never comes to practice and after 6 games has yet to swing at a pitch. She is usually outside of the box. If you are kid A, you want to play with other kid A types but you don't always get that in REC. Hardly ever. Now my favorite part of coaching REC is taking a kid that can't catch or hit and finding small successes but I can't begrudge the A type player that wants more.
That was the case with my DD. She even played up at 12U as a 9 year old because she was tired of having teammates afraid of the ball or catchers who were scared to catch her. At 10 she started travel


It varies from place to place. A majority of the JV team at my DD's HS have never played at all before, and there are only 4 TB players on the Varsity team. By contrast, one of my DD's TB teammates is on Frosh team of mostly TB players.

At the school my DD will go to, OLHS, if you haven't played travel for 3 or 4 years, don't even bother with tryouts. She has teammates on her travel team who live in the IE and the whole league out there (Big 8) is nothing but travel players, even on the teams at the bottom of the league
 
Aug 12, 2014
530
18
That was the case with my DD. She even played up at 12U as a 9 year old because she was tired of having teammates afraid of the ball or catchers who were scared to catch her. At 10 she started travel
The effect builds on itself. Some of the better players leave rec, so the good players who are left don't have as much competition/support. So more good players leave to get better competition. So there are very few good players left in the rec league.

Our rec leagues are a mix. The fall league (which is the better one) is pretty competitive for a rec league. There are always a few travel teams that play, with a mix of intermediate teams and some inexperienced ones. The spring league has more new/inexperienced players join who end up getting put on teams together.

The fundamental problem with both leagues is that most of the teams (especially 10U and up) come in formed or mostly formed. There isn't any effort to draft/assign players to make balanced teams. So there ends up with a wide disparity in the quality of teams.

At the school my DD will go to, OLHS, if you haven't played travel for 3 or 4 years, don't even bother with tryouts. She has teammates on her travel team who live in the IE and the whole league out there (Big 8) is nothing but travel players, even on the teams at the bottom of the league
This is definitely very dependent on the area and specific school. Our HS has had a very good varsity team over the last 5-10 years. They haven't lost a conference game in years, and went to state two of the last three. Most of the other teams in the conference are not very good - they have a few good players and a lot of inexperience. I don't think there are many TB players.

Our JV on the other hand.... The school didn't even have a JV team until two years ago and over half the players and never played organized softball.

Our HC stepped down after the season last fall and they still haven't found a new coach yet. It will be interesting to see what happens from here. There are only a couple of good varsity players returning, and the cupboard is pretty bare at JV.
 
Last edited:
May 24, 2013
9,493
83
So Cal
At the school my DD will go to, OLHS, if you haven't played travel for 3 or 4 years, don't even bother with tryouts. She has teammates on her travel team who live in the IE and the whole league out there (Big 8) is nothing but travel players, even on the teams at the bottom of the league
OLHS? Is that OLu?

There are areas that are very heavy with TB players, and areas that aren't, even in So Cal. One of my DD's teammates is the only TB player on her school's varsity team. She's severely frustrated.
 
Apr 20, 2015
209
18
Whack you are just on the wrong team. My 12u plays for one of the top programs in the country. She plays local travel basketball and soccer as well as middle school for all 3 and no one has ever ask her to choose. It's a crazy life and softball is her primary because that's the way she wants it

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
Feb 8, 2019
137
18
OLHS? Is that OLu?

There are areas that are very heavy with TB players, and areas that aren't, even in So Cal. One of my DD's teammates is the only TB player on her school's varsity team. She's severely frustrated.
Yessir, she chose Orange Lutheran, can't go where her brother goes
 

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