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When is it too much?

Ken Krause

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May 7, 2008
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Mundelein, IL
I was just on the Web site of one of our local fastpitch organizations (not the one I belong to) and saw that they have announced tryout dates for 2010. Any guesses as to when tryouts are? August 8th, which is the week after ASA Nationals are finished.

To me, that just insane. Every sports psychologist, physical training expert and even high-level coaches will tell you it's critical for players to shut down for a while, take a break from the sport, overcome those little nagging injuries that occur over the sesaon and just generally recharge the ol' batteries. In our area, where many of the high schools start in mid-August, that time after nationals is likely the only opportunity families have to go on vacation together.

So why are they doing it? It's the competition for players. If everyone else has tryouts at the beginning of August and you don't, you might miss out on your shot at some good players. Not the best, necessarily, because I'd bet any program that has a shot at a top-level player isn't going to stick to their guns on the whole "you have three days to commit or you're out." Nor do those players have to worry about finding a place to play. But for everyone else, especially at the younger ages where kids are less known, there's a fear that the kids won't be able to find a team so they go along with it.

People, it's time to stop the insanity. I know our legislators have a lot on their minds right now what with the economy and bailouts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all. But I sure wouldn't mind seeing one of them pass a law requiring teams to wait three weeks after the official end of the season before they can hold tryouts. I don't think three weeks is asking a lot. But it sure could help out some kids and families. It might also help stop some of the softball burnout players are getting that is causing them to quit playing by the time they're 15 or 16 or so.



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Jun 6, 2009
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I was just on the Web site of one of our local fastpitch organizations (not the one I belong to) and saw that they have announced tryout dates for 2010. Any guesses as to when tryouts are? August 8th, which is the week after ASA Nationals are finished.

To me, that just insane. Every sports psychologist, physical training expert and even high-level coaches will tell you it's critical for players to shut down for a while, take a break from the sport, overcome those little nagging injuries that occur over the sesaon and just generally recharge the ol' batteries. In our area, where many of the high schools start in mid-August, that time after nationals is likely the only opportunity families have to go on vacation together.

So why are they doing it? It's the competition for players. If everyone else has tryouts at the beginning of August and you don't, you might miss out on your shot at some good players. Not the best, necessarily, because I'd bet any program that has a shot at a top-level player isn't going to stick to their guns on the whole "you have three days to commit or you're out." Nor do those players have to worry about finding a place to play. But for everyone else, especially at the younger ages where kids are less known, there's a fear that the kids won't be able to find a team so they go along with it.

People, it's time to stop the insanity. I know our legislators have a lot on their minds right now what with the economy and bailouts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all. But I sure wouldn't mind seeing one of them pass a law requiring teams to wait three weeks after the official end of the season before they can hold tryouts. I don't think three weeks is asking a lot. But it sure could help out some kids and families. It might also help stop some of the softball burnout players are getting that is causing them to quit playing by the time they're 15 or 16 or so.



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In spirit Ken, I agree with you 100%. It is insane but it has been that way in my area since at least the inaugural ASA 10u nationals. I only differ in method of execution of the ideal (assuming you really mean legislation.) Perhaps its just my libertarian beant but it seems every time a new law is created it just makes things worse. IMO I think perhaps more emphasis on trying to institute new rules within the organization might be a fairer approach.....But thats just me :)
 
May 12, 2008
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Everyone wants to be first and get the best kids. Human nature will win out as Karl Marx failed to understand.
 
Jan 15, 2009
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Ken,

Many kids at the 12U/14U tryouts in early August are transitioning from Rec/Community ball to club travel ball and may have already been off since their State Tourneys in Mid July. The only reason teams wait until August 8th to do tryouts is so that the staff of the existing club teams can be back to help evaluate.

Short season of good weather also drives this. We pay $250-$350 an hour to use a full field in a Domed facility in the winter. That means that when the sun is shining and the outdoor fields are playable and for rent at $25 a day(many times free) the kids need to be working when they can. The cost of indoor facility time enforces a fairly light off season schedule for nearly half the year, and our players are free to participate in all HS athletics without fear of losing their summer spot, but all can at least work one day a weekend during the fall while the weather holds.

Yes, it's in part an arms race to make sure you get the earliest look at the best kids. Yes it's a lot of softball with little break, but we try to offset that by setting aside certain weekends as "OFF" far in advance to help families plan non-softball activities.
 

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