Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
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blownonfuel

Ball Question?

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Hello All. I am coaching a Shetland Pony girl's team (6 yr. olds) and received the "hard" softballs when I was given my equipment, these same balls will be used during the games. I thought all the beginner levels (T-Ball) used the softer versions since these kids are not that skilled yet? I spoke to one of our league reps and they said that's what they use in the allstars so they want them using them during the season.Does this sound correct or should we be using the "softer" versions?

Thanks for helping a newbie.

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In girls' softball, like boys' baseball, the younger leagues use whatever ball that the league determines as long as everyone in the given league is using the same. My personal experience, I have rarely ever seen a league that uses a "mush" ball or "limited flight" ball. I've seen only one tournament that used a "mush" ball but they changed because too many teams complained. Something else of importance is the size of the ball because they do come in different sizes. Unfortunately, too many people gear their leagues to tournament rules, which is what they did here in my city after I stepped down as President. These idiots, behind all the coaches' backs, changed to a bigger ball size and changed the age guidelines, among other things, in the name of getting ready for tournaments. The result has been the younger girls have more trouble throwing and catching and sit the bench more because older girls has been added to their league. Needless to say, more and more girls are quitting and we are losing teams. In my 3 years as President, the number of girls and teams tripled, now it is all being undone. I hope your organization does not go down the same path by putting too much emphasis on all-stars and concentrate what what is best for ALL THE GIRLS in the league, including the ones that don't make all-stars. Good luck!

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Thanks Coach for your help. The answer I got from the league did not make me feel any better, like you said, they are geared around allstars and tournaments so that dictates the ball we use. This is my first year coaching T-Ball and I would hate to lose kids because they get hit by a "tournament" ball and never play again. I'm going to speak with the league and see if we can at least change it for the beginner levels. Sorry to hear about all your hard work going down the tubes, what ever happened with it's all about the kids?

Thanks Again.

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As I read your response, it shocked me to realize that your association even sends teams of that age to tournaments. The youngest tournament I know of around here is a couple boys' 8 & under tournament and those kids are 7 & 8 years old (which I have umpired for a number of years-you'd think it was the World Series!). Why in the world would anyone want to send 6 year olds to a tournament/all-stars anyway? Don't you think that is a little young for adults to be determining what little girl is an "all-star" and who isn't? I can't imagine the impact on the kids and parents of those who "don't make it". Sounds like it is much more for the parents and/or coaches than it is the kids. Just my opinion, good luck coach!

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Yeah Coach, when I found out about an "allstar" team I was surprised. I don't know whats going on to tell you the truth since this is my first year coaching. I guess we will see what happens.

Thanks

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I am like you entering my first year of coaching as well and my team is made up of girls 9-12yrs old, but in the lower leagues and in the beginning of the year the league provides us with indoor softballs to help the girls gain confidence in catching the ball without the fear of getting bruised up. Maybe your league would like to at least start the year with softer balls and towards the end of the year switch to the tournament balls, after the girls get used to catching without shying away from the ball. I dont know if that is an option with your league or something you want to take on in your own practices. It does seem to help the girls with less experience go after the ball rather than close thier eyes when the ball gets close to them out of fear.

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I agree Coach. I spoke with the president of the local league here and they are going to discuss the matter at this weeks board meeting, I hope they make a change.

Thanks

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