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What is the average player turnover for a softball organization?

Oct 15, 2013
328
18
Seattle, WA
Our organization has 6-7 teams a year 10U - 18U and one of the board members is alarmed 30% of our girls from last year are not coming back due to either cuts, leaving for other teams or just quitting the sport. This does not include girls that aged out. It does seem high to me, but I don't have anything to compare it to, either other years or organizations.

Any thoughts or comparisons?

With our org I know one 16U team blew up due to some very complicated issues among two of the star players (I'm not even...) and most of what was a first year 12U team left because the team was so poor last year. Again I have know idea how common this is and am looking for some outside perspective.
 

Oct 2, 2011
2,978
48
Florida
Our organization has 6-7 teams a year 10U - 18U and one of the board members is alarmed 30% of our girls from last year are not coming back due to either cuts, leaving for other teams or just quitting the sport. This does not include girls that aged out. It does seem high to me, but I don't have anything to compare it to, either other years or organizations.

With our org I know one 16U team blew up due to some very complicated issues among two of the star players (I'm not even...) and most of what was a first year 12U team left because the team was so poor last year. Again I have know idea how common this is and am looking for some outside perspective.
For travel:
On a squad of 12, I expect that the bottom 2-3 girls are at risk of not returning and at least 1 more is at risk to move on for some reason. Some seasons more, some less. Some teams more, some less. But that is somewhere in the 25%-33% turnover.
Exceptions abound I am sure, but that is probably somewhat about right.

It sounds high, but if you have a DD in 14U or older and you think about it, there was a lot more turnover than you would suspect.
 
May 24, 2013
9,255
48
So Cal
For travel:
On a squad of 12, I expect that the bottom 2-3 girls are at risk of not returning and at least 1 more is at risk to move on for some reason. Some seasons more, some less. Some teams more, some less. But that is somewhere in the 25%-33% turnover.
Exceptions abound I am sure, but that is probably somewhat about right.

It sounds high, but if you have a DD in 14U or older and you think about it, there was a lot more turnover than you would suspect.
This sounds about right to me, but things vary. My DD has been on teams where a lot of players left, and teams where only a few left. We have not yet been with a team with 100% return. Last year (14U), on our team of 13, 9 returned. One stopped playing softball, 2 left for teams where they would be #1 at their position, and 1 just didn't come back without a word said. We were happy that our best 9 all returned. The 3 new players that have been added are upgrades. I have seen more that a few teams - highly competitive teams - that have completely exploded at the end of a season.
 
Apr 26, 2015
544
18
DD played on a team where the turnover was 50% or greater every year. It was horrible. The year she left they carried 13 on the roster and only 5 returned. All coaches kids.
The team she is on now has a very low turnover rate...for years they didn't even hold tryouts because everyone returned. This year one player chose to move on (thankfully - because 4 players would have left had she returned).

I really think it varies so much!
 
Apr 20, 2015
200
18
Agree with the above poster. On a competitive travel team in most of the country you are looking at a roster of 12 to 16 kids. If you aren't in the starting 9 on Sunday then you are in danger of being replaced or leaving for greener pastures. So I'd say 30% hits about right. A less competitive team might expect less turnover because it's more of a feel good and learning experience but I wouldn't be alarmed at 30% even there.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 
May 24, 2013
9,255
48
So Cal
Agree with the above poster. On a competitive travel team in most of the country you are looking at a roster of 12 to 16 kids. If you aren't in the starting 9 on Sunday then you are in danger of being replaced or leaving for greener pastures. So I'd say 30% hits about right. A less competitive team might expect less turnover because it's more of a feel good and learning experience but I wouldn't be alarmed at 30% even there.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
From my observations, less competitive teams tend to have a higher turnover rate with better players (or their parents) looking to be with a better team. Again, this varies.
 
Jul 17, 2012
101
18
Kenmore, WA
In our organization turnover is generally less than 10%. Never zero, but we make it a point as an organization to keep teams together. You aren't guaranteed a spot next season, but we sure try. Sometimes a girl might move to a different team in the org, but we try to keep the girls in the program.

If you had two teams disband that is really going to skew the overall number. If you took those two teams out of the equation your turnover would obviously be much less. Maybe it would help the board to look at the turnover on the returning teams and then look at why the two teams the folded did so. Keeping the teams together and thriving will keep your turnover low.
 
Jun 29, 2013
571
16
What Marriard said is what it used to be around here (and still is for a lot of teams, just not all). Our previous team went like this for 3 seasons: 1) 13 players, 11 eligible to return per their age, 4, came back (two were coaches daughters); 2) 12 players, all eligible to come back as they aged up, 7 returned; 3) 14 players, 11 eligible to return, 4 returned. The current team (only 1 season): 12 players finished the season, 6 eligible to stay without moving age groups, 2 stayed (only 1 of the other 6 stayed with the org. Of the other teams in the organization, one had nearly 100% turnover, one had 50% more or less, and another lost 3 or 4 out of 14.
A well-respected coach told me things used to be like Marriard said, where coaches expected the bottom of the roster to move on. Now, he sees his starters leaving for other opportunities as well. There are a lot more teams now, and everyone is looking for the best fit for their DD. What that means differs for everyone.
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,583
38
It's gotten a little ridiculous IMO. We started first year 12U with 5 girls from second year 10U. Then from fall to spring we lost 4 or 5, all but one girls who'd only been with us for fall, basically had to rebuild the team. Squeaked by, took some very inexperienced girls who really came along. They all left at the end of the year. We have the same girls we started with from 2nd year 10U, minus one who quit softball entirely, plus one from first year 12U that we added. I'm watching other teams' rosters (I score keep) and I see very similar things happening to the majority of teams. 5-6 stay, the rest all bounce around to whatever other team they think is going to be better.

Sometimes it is a bad fit, and changing teams is a good idea. That's just not the sense I get from all this team hopping though. I think a lot of parents want their kid on a team where:
1. They win the majority of the time
2. They're an "A level team."
3. Their kid is the #1 in her position and plays almost all the time

These 3 things might not all coincide for every kid but the parents think if they change teams often enough they'll find one where they do, I suppose.
 
Jul 16, 2013
2,836
48
Pennsylvania
The first organization DD played for typically had 2 or 3 players leave per season. This was a combination of quitting softball or moving to a higher level team. Coaching staff consisted of 3, each having a daughter on the team (including me).

DD joined a more aggressive team at 16u. She was asked to guest for a fall tournament and was offered a spot afterwards. That was her tryout. During their third tournament I was asked to keep score, then help at practice. At the end of the summer the head coach resigned and announced I would be head coach (didnt know this until he said it at the family meeting...) DD just completed her 3rd year with that org and we have never had a tryout. We lost two the first year and one the second year. All decided they were not playing softball beyond high school and wanted more time during the summer after their senior year in high school. Two of them actually played as pick up players for us. All were replaced by players that called me directly. I knew them so no tryout was needed. All 3 coaches had/have daughters on the team.

I have also seen the other side of this. One team I know would typically change over half their roster every year.

Personally I would use 33% as a benchmark (4 from a roster of 12). If a team turns over more than that, I probably would not want to be involved. To me 4 may even be high but it depends on the make up of the team and the reasons each player left.
 

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