WELLESLEY GIRLS SOFTBALL U12 TOURNAMENT TEAM
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Wellesley Girls Softball is forming a competitive 12U team to represent Wellesley in some weekend tournaments in the late spring/summer of 2023. Led by a professional coach, the team will hold tryouts this August/September and then practice together this fall and winter.
Age eligibility: Girls who were born in 2010 or 2011 (or, in exceptional cases, 2012).
Team emphasis: The team will be more competitively oriented than WGS’s existing programs. Still, as always, there will be a strong emphasis on promoting the girls’ development as softball players; their well-being; and simply having fun.
Coaching: We expect that the team will be led by Keliann Kirby, a professional coach from DC Academy.
Level of commitment: Significantly higher than WGS’s other programs. Families should not plan vacations for tournament weekends. The tournament schedule will be announced as far in advance as possible, likely by February 2023.
Relationship to other WGS programs: The team is intended to be supplemental to, and not a replacement for, existing WGS programs. Thus, girls will be required to play Junior/Senior League in Spring 2023. They are also encouraged to play Fall Softball this fall, and Summer Weekday Travel Softball in Summer 2023. Program schedules will be coordinated to minimize conflicts.
Tryout schedule: Girls are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of the following tryouts:
Saturday, August 6, 9:00-10:30 a.m.; Sunday, September 11, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Both at Lee Field.
Cost: We are projecting a total fee of $950. This will be split into 3 payments: $25 due at registration to cover evaluations, and the remainder due in 2 installments (early fall, early winter).
- June 2022: Registration opens • At registration, $25 evaluation fee due
- Aug/Sept: Tryouts (2) • Team selection is made • After team selection, 1st payment due
- Sept - Nov: Montly outdoor team practices • Encouraged to play regular Fall Softball
- Dec 2022 - Mar 2023: 2nd installment payment due, before winter practices begin • Weekly indoor team practices at DC Academy (Jan-Mar) • Sign up for tournaments; communicate schedule to families (hopefully by Feb.)
- Spring 2023: Must play spring Junior/Senior League • Some outdoor practices
- Late Spring - Summer 2023 (thru early August): 3 weekend tournaments • Some outdoor practices. • Encouraged to play Summer Weekday Travel Softball
QUESTION WE EXPECT TO BE FREQUENTLY ASKED
Question 1: I see that age eligibility is based on birth year and not school grade. Why is that?
Answer 1: The tournaments we will be entering use USA Softball ages, which are based on birth year and not school grade. Girls born in 2010 and more recently will be eligible for 12U tournaments in 2023, but girls born in 2009 will not be.
Question 2: My daughter was born in 2012. May she try out for the team?
Answer 2: The team is primarily intended for players born in 2010 and 2011, but we may consider players of exceptional ability who were born in 2012. Please contact us if you think your daughter may fit this category.
Level of Commitment
Question 3: Our daughter will be unavailable for a few weekends during the late spring/summer of 2023 for vacation and/or sleepaway camp. Is that OK?
Answer 3: Families are expected to plan their vacation and camp schedules to avoid tournament weekends. Here are some options for families seeking to plan vacation/camp in advance:
(i) We will not enter a tournament over the weekend closest to July 4, nor will we enter any tournaments after August 6. Consider scheduling vacation/camp then.
(ii) We will communicate the tournament schedule as soon as we know it, hopefully by February. Once we communicate the tournament schedule, you are welcome to plan vacation and/or camp for weekends that we aren’t playing tournaments.
Question 3: Our daughter will be unavailable one weekend during the late spring/summer of 2023 for a family [wedding/graduation/reunion/etc.]. Can she still sign up for the team?
Answer 3: Yes. We understand that some important family events mayl take priority over softball, but ask that you let us know of these conflicts as soon as possible.
Coordination with Other Programs/Sports
Question 4: My daughter loves playing softball as much as she can. Can she participate in Weekday Travel Softball in Summer 2023, in addition to playing on this team?
Answer 4: Yes, we encourage girls to participate in both programs. Schedules will be coordinated to avoid conflicts.
Question 5: My daughter plays [soccer/hockey/basketball/volleyball/etc.] during the fall/winter. Does she need to attend the fall/winter softball practices?
Answer 5: We encourage girls to play other sports. We are supportive if, during the fall and winter, girls choose to prioritize other sports over softball, but we ask the girls to attend softball practices when they are available. During spring/summer, we expect the girls to treat softball as their athletic priority.
Question 6: I understand the team will have some practices this fall. Can my daughter both attend the practices, and participate in regular Fall Softball?
Answer 6: Yes. The practices will not conflict with regular Fall Softball.
Question 7: When are the practices?
Answer 7: The practice schedule will be set by the head coach. There are many variables that go into scheduling and we cannot set the practice schedule now. In general, there will be monthly outdoor practices from September to November, weekly indoor practices from January to March, and some practices prior to the tournaments. We are looking to schedule the winter practices for late afternoon/early evening on Sundays, but that is not cast in stone.
Question 8: Where are the practices?
Answer 8: Fall, spring and summer outdoor practices will be held in Wellesley. Winter indoor practices will be held at DC Academy, 10 Central Street in Framingham.
Question 9: If we miss the tryouts, can my daughter still be considered for the team?
Answer 9: Participation in at least one of the tryout sessions is not required but is highly encouraged. Yes, she can still be considered for the team, but if we are not sufficiently familiar with her level of play we may not be able to offer her a spot..
Question 10: How will you decide who makes the team? And who decides?
Answer 10: We will base the decision on our observations at tryouts together with our existing knowledge regarding the girls. Decisions will be made by the head coach and the program director, neither of whom have daughters in the player pool.
Question 11: How many tournaments will there be? Where will they be located?
Answer 11: We are expecting to enter 3 weekend tournaments. They will be located within commutable distance from Wellesley, likely in eastern Massachusetts. We will not be doing overnight tournaments.
Question 12: What are the tournaments like?
Answer 12: In general, there are pool games on Friday afternoons/Saturdays and potentially playoff games on Sundays. Be prepared for an all-weekend commitment.
Question 13: How will playing time and positions be allocated?
Answer 13: As this is a competitive team, girls must earn their playing time and opportunities at premium positions. Some girls will play more than others. That said, we are committed to making the team a positive experience for everyone, and all girls on the team will receive significant playing time in each tournament that they attend. (It is possible that some girls will “rotate” and not necessarily attend every tournament.)
Question 14: Will this 12U tournament team be offered every year? Will there be tournament teams for other age groups in the future?
Answer 14: We are forming this 12U team on a pilot basis. If it goes well, we expect to do it again in subsequent years, and hopefully add a 14U team.
Question 15: If my daughter doesn’t make the team this year, will she have a chance in future years?
Answer 15: Yes. The team will be re-selected annually.
Question 16: If my daughter makes the team this year, does that necessarily mean she’ll have a spot in all future years?Answer 16: No. The team will be re-selected annually.
Question 17: Will there by opportunities for parents to volunteer?
Answer 17: Yes. We are looking for parents to volunteer as assistant coaches, scorekeepers, administrative helpers, etc.
Question 18: The fee is quite a bit higher than other WGS programs. Why is that?
Answer 18: The fee pays for professional coaching, tournament fees, indoor practice space, and other expenses over a year-long period. While the fee may be higher than for other WGS programs, we believe it is substantially less than what private “club” teams typically charge for comparable programs.
Question 19: Will you be offering developmental opportunities for girls who don’t play on this team?
Answer 19: Of course! As in recent years, professional instruction will feature prominently in both spring and fall softball, which are open to all. This winter we will again offer our Offseason Softball Training Club, consisting of weekly indoor sessions with a professional instructor, which is open to all girls with some softball experience. And this winter we hope to again offer our Softball Rocks program run by high school players.
Question 20: Who can I contact with additional questions?
Answer 20: If you still have questions after carefully reviewing all of the material above, you may contact the