USSSA All American Games Review

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Aug 3, 2019
156
28
For those considering USSSA All American games in future years—Just wanted to share my experience.

For context: DD is 13u plays 14A PGF, Triple Crown, Scenic City type events. She no longer plays USSSA but had always wanted to try out the games and some of her friends were going. She tried out, got Direct Invite.

Parade:

—Rained out the first night. Got delayed for two hours the second night because of lightning being spotted in the area. Basically teams walk in through the center field gate in the “big” stadium and get announced by team name.

Fields:

—All turf and facility is pretty nicely kept. There are 3 field groupings (red, white & blue), each with 4 fields. Red and white fields are all modified baseball fields, blue are standard softball fields. Red has limited shaded seating, making is the least desirable of the three.

—They shut everything down for safety if any lightning is in the area. There were no less than 5 lightning delays during the week.

Coaching:

— One of the coaches was a college player, I believe D3. Great kid but super quiet and admitted she had never coached anyone before. She was assisted by one of the player’s moms who manages the local rec program in her area.

They were great with the kids, but it was clear their coaching experience was limited.

—For example, we had 3 girls thrown out on delayed steal attempts trying to advance as catcher returns the ball to the pitcher. This is 13u we’re talking about. We got caught stealing 2nd to end a game where we were down 3 runs. We had our best hitter who tripled twice in a row given the bunt signal while down 3 in the final inning with none on and 1 out.

—Equipment was scarce for some reason. Coaches could not always find a tee or a bownet, so pregame warm-ups consisted only of side toss. Prior to the final game, outside of work on their own, the girls literally went all week without any practice swings other than side toss.

Practice:

—Only 1 session, got shortened from 90 minutes down to 75 due to weather.

—Ground balls (approx 10 per kid) were hit extremely slowly, like 8u little league slow. The coach could not get the ball consistently to the outfielders in the air, so they mostly received ground balls also.

— Asst Coach couldn’t find a screen, so attempted to do front toss behind a bownet. Threw about seven pitches from 20 feet and none were close. Decided to do side toss instead. Each kid got 5-7 swings.

—After the practice, they spent 45 minutes making a team tik-tok. Seemed to enjoy this.

Games

— The entire lineup hits every game and when one game ends, the next game just picks up where the lineup left off. There is a 6 run maximum limit per inning.

—Kids were typically rotated defensively every two innings.

—Games are 90 minutes, finish the inning which is nice. But unfortunately, the level of play was such that we still struggled to get in five innings each game.

—This seemed to vary among coaches, but for the most part, even in bracket, the game was coached to get everyone playing equally. On a neighboring field, I watched a girl with an injured elbow take 2 game ABs while swinging one-handed. She struck out both times.

Level

— Overall, the level of play was not high. I’d compare it to low B level. I got to watch six of the 13u DI teams play. Wild pitches and passed balls were plentiful. As were walks and errors on routine plays. Baserunning was not good, swings were raw mechanically. Pitching was low 50s with very little spin and few offspeed pitches being utilized. This was the direct invite level. The regular selection level was even lower.

Ultimately, it’s as most here have described it. If you go into it knowing it’s largely a money grab and you are just looking to have your DD meet some kids from across the country while playing a little softball, you’ll be ok. The kids who seemed to enjoy and benefit the most were the top players of various B/C teams who play a lot of USSSA events.

If you go into it expecting to play high-level softball, or get structured practice/in depth coaching, then you will likely be disappointed.
 
Nov 13, 2020
92
18
we have done it before. Great for 12U and younger - fun experience but would not do it for my DD older than 13u. At the older age level, I'm saving my money on taking my daughter to less expensive college camps just to get more experience. When she gets to HS age, then we will start focusing on specific colleges and attending their college camps.
 

LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
2,763
113
NY
I know one of the D3 players who coached down there. If it's the same person, I can agree she has zero experience.
 
Aug 18, 2018
188
28
Thanks for the wrap up. My DD was going to go but she tore ucl in thumb right before nationals. Wiped away nationals and AAG. She wanted to do it today she did it and for the experience.
I'll let her know she did not miss any crazy good competition.

Sent from my LE2115 using Tapatalk
 
Aug 3, 2019
156
28
Thanks for the wrap up. My DD was going to go but she tore ucl in thumb right before nationals. Wiped away nationals and AAG. She wanted to do it today she did it and for the experience.
I'll let her know she did not miss any crazy good competition.

Sent from my LE2115 using Tapatalk
Talking to some parents who had kids do this 8–10 years ago, it seems the level of play used to be better.

I don’t know this for a fact, but my guess is the selection criteria has been significantly reduced over the years in an effort to increase the number of paying players.
 

inumpire

Observer, but has an opinion
Oct 31, 2014
274
43
Just curious about how much you paid to participate in this grand event?

in the state I live in, there were 1143 players that participated. At $85.00 each. Do that math……can you say money grab? Parents where are your heads? You do realize you are just building new homes and buying new cars for the USSSA directors that host these type event, and as long as parent are willing to throw money around for wasting your time and efforts for little or no return, they will keep taking it.
Next, please tell me how these helped your players become better players?
Tell me how you all play B and C level in USSSA, and then think all those players as All-State Caliber players??
Am I missing something here? Are the parent today really this naive to think this is money well spent?
 
Aug 3, 2019
156
28
Just curious about how much you paid to participate in this grand event?

in the state I live in, there were 1143 players that participated. At $85.00 each. Do that math……can you say money grab? Parents where are your heads? You do realize you are just building new homes and buying new cars for the USSSA directors that host these type event, and as long as parent are willing to throw money around for wasting your time and efforts for little or no return, they will keep taking it.
Next, please tell me how these helped your players become better players?
Tell me how you all play B and C level in USSSA, and then think all those players as All-State Caliber players??
Am I missing something here? Are the parent today really this naive to think this is money well spent?
Yup.

I think it was $150 or so to try out and then another $175 or so to participate.

Then spectators need to pay $10 a day to get into the complex, and they make $$ from the stay to play aspect. Money grabbed at every turn.

Your last statement is correct. The vast majority of parents in attendance were unaware that they were watching lower level play and genuinely believed it was national level.
 

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