Should Youth/Rec league reintroduce slow pitch softball and abandoned fastpitch

Discussion in 'General Softball' started by TheSoftballZone, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    After making a few comments on another post. I brought up "that I've seen a great decline" of participants in girl softball since the introduction of fastpitch softball at the recreational and youth league level and believe it's had a negative impact to the sport especially in rural communities.

    Do you believe reintroducing slow pitch softball and abandoning fastpitch would help increase participation in softball at the youth and rec league level?

    *Especially in rural communities?
  2. #4mom

    #4mom Member

    No, I know our rec league declined due to waiting too long to introduce fastpitch! Parents started taking the girls to play baseball at the little league park.

    Also, the coaching isn’t there anymore!
  3. City Slicker

    City Slicker Member

    No, but leagues should consider adjusting their rules to make pitching easier for the rec girls.

    In our rec league, these are the pitching distances: 10u - 33'; 12u - 37'; 14u - 40'

    It is not the norm I know but it works great for our kids. Nobody wants to see a walk-fest - not the parents, umpires or players - it's not fun for anyone.
    TheSoftballZone likes this.
  4. Passion4theGame

    Passion4theGame Active Member

    No, The answer is not bring back slow pitch.

    Here's a few issues and why our Rec leagues have declined in recent years.


    2.) Parents decide their DD is a travel player and she goes and plays for the Blah County Dirt Devils and Mom this DD is just way to good to play in the league that she started out in. The kids there suck. She forgets thats where her DD found the love for the game.

    3.) The Rec league I was part of for years was a great league. I went back this season (with no kid on the team) and Volunteered to coach a HS division team for the league. WOW......... By 13yrs old they should know how to throw catch and hit....... It was BAD... No Softball IQ at all and absolutely no talent at all either. For me as a coach the IQ is huge. I like kids with high softball IQ, we can work on the other stuff relatively quick. Another issue with the League i Volunteered and helped out, their board President is also a HS coordinator and coach so you have to deal with the board members stacking teams.

    4.) Most good coaches once they get their start in Rec and decide their DD is travel material they go and start looking for more competitive ball "Travel Ball"and never look back at their local rec league.

    I could go on and on about this but I'm not good at putting words to paper.

    I am guilty of leaving my local league and i took a lot of Talent out of our league at early ages but i came back and wanted to give back but ultimately it would take all the talented kids and parents in every area to help build their local league back up.

    Great topic though.
  5. nwbackstop

    nwbackstop Member

    No ,im not sure what the answer is but in our case we left rec because my dd wasnt having fun there anymore.our commissioner said your dd is one of the best players so out of fairness she will play with the 9 worst girls. Essentially punishing my dd for working hard,she doesnt want to play with kids who cant catch or throw and really dont care that they cant because out of fairness they will play anyway.i want my kids to know the best way to accomplish anything in life is hard work and more hard work.
  6. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Anything to get kids and parents back interested in the game is a good thing and I think it would be better for the ladies than playing baseball.
    If I was a recreational league director I would consider it as an option. Then let it sink or swim on its own.
    As far as high school readiness...If you go to an inner city and even some of the smaller community schools fastpitch games you would think it is slow pitch. A lot of these schools the ladies first softball experience is at the high school level because there is no rec. league.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  7. 9ball

    9ball Member

    It's called rec for a reason. Don't expect it to be something it's not
  8. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

  9. Long Baller

    Long Baller Active Member

    Those slow pitch kids will be in for a rude awakening when they get into H.S. ball :(
    01softballmom likes this.
  10. City Slicker

    City Slicker Member

    90% of kids playing youth sports won't play HS sports anyways so why not make it fun for them while they are playing?
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  11. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Not really, the ones interested in fastpitch will choose that route, the others where no fastpitch rout is available will still be better off playing slow pitch over nothing.
    As as I stated in my previous post, Circumstances like the Admin. mentioned in his original post he is not talking obout power areas but the rural and inner city organizations where in these areas they do not have fast paced fastpitch (for the most part) same with inner city areas. You need to go watch some inner city games or surrounding areas. Pitched balls have an arch and come in 20/30 mph with scores 15 to 20 runs per team.
    Now I will say programs like Stay in Softball and the Cincinnati Reds RBI/urban youth academy are doing a lot to improve inner city play but these programs can only help a select few.
    City Slicker likes this.
  12. Softball Dad

    Softball Dad Member

    The practice of making it easier for rec pitchers causes real problems when these kids try to switch to travel or move up to the high school team. I feel we need to teach the young girls the right way to pitch. If you can’t do this yourself then bring in someone who can
  13. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    From the high school ball I've seen it most likely would be a improvement because at lease they would play some softball before high school.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    chixdad and CARDS like this.
  14. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Does anyone ever read the original post? He was asking about developing participation in playing in general.
    After reading some of the post I think a lot of people do not understand the sport is not the same around the state or in every community. There are many communities and parents that do not even know about travel/select softball or even care. As far as HS goes a lot of these communities just need girls to come out.
    TheSoftballZone likes this.
  15. nwbackstop

    nwbackstop Member

    In my small rural community only about half the parents/players know about travel ball and half of them think it is i said we are a small community but our high school numbers are good,most years we have enough to do a freshman ,jv and varsity teams. Unfortunately most other schools around are lucky to have jv teams. Their rec/ youth numbers are good but once they get to high school they really drop off,i wonder if lack of getting better through rec ball makes them not want to play and other sports like soccer and track may steal some players and the also the ones who just lose interest in the sport all equal the lower numbers
  16. Captain_Thunder

    Captain_Thunder Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cards, you talk about GMC & how things were......Middletown probably had the best Rec program going! They used to have all kinds of teams playing slow pitch & Rag ball. And they continued on that path when everyone switched to fastpitch. Their high school program has severely suffered because of that for the last decade!

    You start off with T-ball, then coach pitch (train the girls to hit a straight line pitch), then kid pitch. No different then a boy learning to play baseball. I take it to be a sexiest thing saying more girls would play at younger age if it was slow pitch.
  17. wical_29

    wical_29 New Member

    Don’t think slow pitch would boost rec league numbers. I would say it’s mutliple reasons on why rec league numbers continue to decline.
    1. Speacialzation of 1 sport- Soccer is probably the biggest offender of this. Fall soccer- Indoor Soccer- Spring Soccer. I know this firsthand with my daughter and we had a girl on our team this year that missed half of our softball season because of soccer. So she/parents has decided that she is not playing softball next season because she missed so much.
    2. Travel Ball Teams or Players being allowed to play in a rec league - Your either a travel ball player or your a rec player. This is very crucial when it comes
    to pitching. Should be regulated
    3. Poor coaching - coaches have left to coach travel ball or they don’t want to deal with the parents and the drama.
    4. Electronics
    5. Poor home life/parenting
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  18. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Thunder you are correct about communities with schools that are similar to the GMC and GWOC needing to play fastpitch "if that is what the ladies want to play in HS". However they do not all need to do it at a travel level. If they want to pitch and be competitive in these conferences you also need several ladies getting private pitching instruction.
    You are right Middletown has not had a winning season in over a decade but Middletown in the early to mid 2000s did have fastpitch with B level teams and events but the HS never seen any benefit. I think because the fastpitch softball players went to parochial schools.

    The OP was talking about communities in rural areas or like the ones feeding the CMAC and many MVC conference schools in SW Ohio that have the issues the original poster alluded too and would benefit from ladies just playing rec. ball of some kind preferably fast pitch but slow pitch would not hurt them either.

    I was asked to go to a lockland-St Benard Elmwood place game a couple years back by one of our students. Trust me it is not fastpitch that many on this board are use to seeing.

    It is slow pitch with 9 players and I mean that literally. They had 9 on the field and one or two on the bench. The ladies did have fun, cheered each other on in a score fest with both teams scoring over 20 runs.
    I remember a D1 playoff game at Colerain vs. vs.West High a CMAC school where they showed up with 9 and asked if the girl in a west high t-shirt could be sub/pinch runner, (She was also the first base coach).
    During warm ups the umpire told the coach her pitcher could not pitch like that and the coaches response was she is all we have. The umpire consulted with both coaches and they allowed her to slow pitch the game and the other to sub it was ugly.

    Middleton, Hamilton, Fairfield and Colerain at one time had very strong recreational programs they are all now almost non existent especially over the past five years.
    Middletown and Colerain its not due to travel/select ball taking kids away they just are not playing in general. At Colerain tryouts have dropped from having 60+ trying out to the 40s. Middletown is also struggling with numbers in all sports.
    Hamilton/Fairfield travel play could be a factor with a small % leaving their rec. leagues with the Hawks, Magic and other travel organizations pulling from the rec. leagues.

    Colerain TWP has 16 of some of the nicest fields/ball parks in the city/state that sit almost unused. All are regulation 200 or 300 ft and the boys baseball AA park with the wide 400ft center fences covered concrete dugouts, restrooms etc..

    I have been working with a township trustee to try to get more park utilization including summer youth activities around softball and baseball but its a slow go.
    The TWP actually turned one of the Harbin Park fields into a dog park at the beginning of the summer...Dimonds for Dogs

    I would add a number 6 to wical_29 list and that is cost.
    While rec is considerably cheaper than travel the rec. league fees in 2011 were $110 and the family had to sell another $100 in gift cards to play 12/15 games. If they had more than 2 kids playing parents did get a $35 break on each additional kid but that still adds up.
    The issues are many and each community has unique and common problems to get kids back involved on outdoor sports.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  19. Jose_canusee

    Jose_canusee Banned

    I don’t know,
    In our area our rec league was free and it still didn’t boost the numbers. In fact it sorta ruined it because of parents not caring since they weren’t out money.
    I don’t think going backwards is the key , slowpotch went out around here a long time ago.

    I think making parents realize that their daughter is not a travel/ Tournament team type player is the best key. Make the rec leagues more involved , have atournament at the end of year , talk to those around your area and get your rec league involved with theirs and compete against each other. Then these girls can “travel” in rec community.
    Slow pitch I don’t think so
    RedsDad and Softball Dad like this.
  20. DanMaz

    DanMaz Active Member

    slow pitch, coach pitch did us some good when my girls were very young. Everyone hit the ball...... there were not 100 walks, or 100 strike outs.... we played defense a lot. learned how to run bases and tag up etc at a young age. learned how to field a ball, throw a ball, catch a ball etc..... BUT they wanted more. Fastpitch we were pretty good especially on defense due to slow pitch. there is a transition period and many did not go our route and still enjoy playing slow pitch or rec ball. It was not for us... BUT travel is not for everyone either. why would a community take away something IF it is active and kids are having fun. there is a place for slow pitch fastpitch rec and travel. well, now travel A B C and elite programs i guess. lol
    CARDS likes this.

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