Frequently Asked Questions
- How are teams formed each season? It seems like there are always some stacked teams. What’s done to prevent this?
- How are fees set and where does the money go?
- How are SYA Little League Softball Board Members selected?
- My daughter needs to play up in the next league (or play down in a lower league). How do I get permission to do that?
- My daughter wants to be a pitcher, but I have no clue how to teach her. What can you suggest?
- I’d like to coach a team, but I don’t know much about fastpitch softball. How can I get up to speed?
- What equipment is provided for my daugther?
- How are teams formed each season? It seems like there are always some stacked teams. What’s done to prevent this? We try to make teams as competitive as possible while maintaining some flexibility for parents who want their kids to play with friends for social and car pooling reasons. For all levels, we hold assessments (tryouts) and a draft in the spring and fall. In the spring, players are put through drills and coaches evaluate them. In the fall, the coaches get together to evaluate players without having a formal assessment. One way we try to make teams more competitive is by ensuring that pitching talent is spread out between teams as much as possible. All teams are drafted so requests have to be agreed upon by the coaches, ensuring a competitive balance on paper is maintained.
- How are fees set and where does the money go? Each year we establish a comprehensive budget, in conjunction with other SYA sports. Our sources of income include registration fees, business sponsorships, other fundraising, and limited contributions from SYA and Fairfax County to pay for field improvements and other amenities. Registration fees must be set at a level that covers our expenses which include: field maintenance (grass cutting, dirt, other maintenance), equipment, umpires, uniforms, insurance, and the SYA and Fields of Dreams fees. We add a small amount to the fee to cover field and equipment upgrades. We also try to carry over a reasonable amount of money from season to season in case of emergencies.
- How are SYA Softball Board Members selected? We always need volunteers. During our Annual Meeting in the fall, those in attendance set the size of the board as well as elect nominees. The board then convenes and the board members determine the positions. If we have open board positions anyone who wants to support the efforts of SYA Little League can do so by contacting one of the Board Members and volunteer for an open Board position.
- My daughter needs to play up in the next league (or play down in a lower league). How do I get permission to do that? We encourage girls to play at the level of their peers. However, in the rare instance that a player has a legitimate need to play up or down in age, we have an evaluation and approval process that must be followed. First, the parents have to make a formal request to the Player Agent stating the reasons why they want their daughter to play up or down. Then the player must be evaluated by the Vice President, Player Agent, and coaches. If the evaluators agree that the player’s needs would be best served at the level requested, then the move is approved if we are within Little League regulations for doing so. If not, we have to also go through a waiver process with Little League.
- My daughter wants to be a pitcher, but I have no clue how to teach her. What can you suggest? Start by reviewing Pitching Fundamentals and Pitching Drills on the SYA Softball web site and attending SYA and high school clinics that are offered periodically. Parents and coaches can be effective in getting girls started in pitching, but eventually it will be necessary to obtain the help of an experienced teacher to take her to the next level. There are several pitching coaches in the area who can take her beyond the basics of pitching. Their fees for individual instruction range from $30 to $50 per hour or more. These coaches also conduct clinics where the fees will be lower because they are teaching several girls at once. For more information on coaches and clinics, contact the Vice President or Player Agent.
- I’d like to coach a team, but I don’t know much about fastpitch softball. How can I get up to speed?There are many resources available. Start by reviewing material on the SYA Little League web site, including drills (Pitching, Catching, Hitting, Fielding, Throwing, and Running), Practice Organization, Pitching Fundamentals, and Hitting Fundamentals. Little League University offer a bounty of information. In addition, check out some of the web sites under our Fastpitch Links. There’s nothing like talking to experienced coaches before plunging in, so don’t hesitate to contact a Board Member to get the names of coaches who would be willing to share their experiences.
- What equipment is provided for my daugther? The League will provide each player with a Washington Nationals team hat and team shirt. Teams are not provided with any further equipment as all players must have their own equipment - no sharing with other players (unless family). Each player is required to provide an face mask, softball glove, cleats (optional at lower levels), batting helmet, bat, and softball pants. Catchers must have their own gear. Players also need to provide a water bottle and a strap for glasses. Glasses must have non-breakable lenses.