Fastpitch softball is a great sport. Much better than baseball. It's faster, played in closer confines, more strategic, and requires more physically and mentally from its athletes. A well played game is a thing of beauty. Tournament ball runs even deeper. The girls spend countless hours together at practice, on road trips. You can see the chemistry building, the friendships develop. You see the girls fall in love with their clubs and develop loyalty to their clubs, wearing their team t-shirts, headbands, sweatshirts and hair ribbons wherever they go. They dive for balls, skin knees, break bones all in an effort to help the team, the club, their friends win games. I love it. Then the first 2 weeks of August roll around and I get sick to my stomach by what i see. Team tryouts. Everything that is wrong with sports crammed into a 2 week tryout period. It is really a disgusting sight to behold. It's the time of year when you realize that the clubs your girls love and are so loyal to, could care less about your daughter as a person or a player. All the love and loyalty shown by the players is most certainly not returned by the club. Its the time of year when coaches, not up to the task of developing players, cut and run from their failures and just try to find better players. Its the time of year when parents use their connections, backstab friends, plot and scheme to secure their daughter a spot on their team of choice. But it doesn't end there. They do the same things to get girls cut from clubs because they are a weaker player or they don't like the parents. I say all of this with my daughter having secured a spot on her team of choice. Maybe we haven't found the right organization yet. But i've seen enough clubs and heard enough stories to know that the good organizations are much rarer than the bad ones. I really hate this time of year, and what it says about the direction of our sports and society in general.