Welcome to the wonderful world of fastpitch softball!! We hope your player will enjoy this fun sport and learn many things from this experience. If you are new to the GVGSA, please read on for further information.
In softball, girls are placed in 2 year age groups. Younger girls (6U and 8U) are placed in teams with classmates and/or friends whenever possible. 10U and up typically participate in player evaluations, which are simply to make sure that all teams are fairly balanced in skill levels.
All GIRLS within the age groups below and who live in the Goleta Union, Hope, Santa Barbara and Montecito School Districts.
Division 6U: Born after December 31, 2011
Division 8U: Born after December 31, 2009
Division 10U: Born after December 31, 2007
Division 12U: Born after December 31, 2005
Division 14U: Born after December 31, 2003
6U and 8U Players:
Practices may begin in February. 6U Girls usually practice once a week. At the start of the season girls will hit off a tee; this will progress to coach pitch around the middle of the season.
Teams will tentatively be formed in early February.
8U girls usually practice twice a week.
We try to place girls with their classmates as much as possible; if you have a request to be with a specific player please indicate this when you register; the earlier we know of special requests the easier it is to make it happen. Also, if there are any days of the week you have unavoidable commitments it’s a good idea to mention this too.
Once games begin, teams play 2 games per week, usually once during the week and once on the weekend. Some 6U teams do not practice once games begin, while other teams continue to hold 1 or 2 practices per week.
Parent involvement is welcome and needed! There are many ways to get involved - you can manage/coach a team or be an assistant coach, be a team parent, team scorekeeper or help refresh the fields after use.
We especially need coaches!
Many of our coaches and assistants at this level are new to the game. No previous experience is necessary, just an interest in developing your player's love of the game. We will be holding “coach the coach” training sessions before practice begins and all managers/coaches will be supported during the season by highly experienced division representatives and our GVGSA Board of Directors.
Evaluations will be held in late January/early February. If your player is new, reassure her that this is a 'no pressure' event and that we are simply gauging the levels to create fair and balanced teams. Evaluations are a time to have fun and connect with old and new friends and certainly not to cause any stress. More details on Evaluation Day below.
Can I request placement with a friend or a specific Coach?
Since the 10/12/14U teams are formed through a draft, it’s difficult to accommodate special requests except in the case of siblings in the same division. We will do our best to honor requests but please know that teams must remain balanced in the upper divisions and not all requests can be fulfilled.
Teams will typically be announced in early February and practices will begin shortly thereafter. Opening Day is usually the first Saturday in March. Games begin on opening day and continue until the Closing Ceremonies about 8 weeks later. You will be notified of important dates as they are finalized.
Where are games played?
Most of the games are played at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta. Depending on the number of players, games may also be played at San Marcos High School.
What will I need to buy?
The league will provide a uniform jersey and socks. To complete the uniform, you will need softball pants, and older divisions (10U and up) will also need sliding shorts. It’s a good idea to hold off purchasing pants until your team manager tells you what color to buy. You may also want to buy a second pair of softball pants for practice (any color).
Most importantly, you will also need a softball glove and a pair of cleats. (Soccer cleats are OK). Helmets and bats are provided by the league but many families choose to purchase these items.
How do I register?
On the home page click on "Sign Up Now!" button and follow the instructions. You may pay online or send in a check for the season fee. You will also need to bring a participation retainer check (see below) and your signed registration waiver to opening day.
Do you offer scholarships?
The league does offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships for families who may need assistance with the registration fee. To request a scholarship, please first register your player and then complete and submit the Scholarship Application, located in ‘Info and Documents’ in the left hand menu. You will be contacted by the Scholarship Coordinator 4-6 weeks prior to Opening Day.
Why was I asked for a $100 Participation Deposit?
GVGSA families are required to work 5 volunteer hours for each registered player. Your check/s will be destroyed at the end of the season. For more information on the volunteer commitment, please read the Volunteer Commitment info on the left side of the Home Page.
What happens at the Skills Evaluation?
Players should bring a softball glove and be dressed to play ball (most players come in softball pants, sliding shorts, visor, and cleats). When a player checks in she will be given a large number to put on the front of her shirt. Players of the same age will be evaluated together and will visit 3-4 different drill stations: Outfield, where they will be asked to catch several fly balls; Infield, where they will be asked to field several balls; and Hitting, where a pitching machine, or a pitcher, will throw several pitches to each player, and also a timed running exercise. The Team Managers will observe the players during the skills evaluation.
How are the teams formed?
Drafts are held for 10U-14U Divisions. Team Managers will take turns choosing players, based on their ratings for each player from the Skills Evaluations. There are no drafts for the 6U or 8U divisions.
When and how will I know what team I am on?
Following the drafts, you will hear from your Team Manager via email or phone. Practices typically begin in early February. Team rosters will be posted on our website soon after the draft. 6U and 8U teams are formed in February and you will hear from your Manager via email or phone.
How do I apply to be the Manager or Coach of a GVGSA team?
Please consider volunteering for this worthwhile and rewarding experience! We welcome coaches and assistants, experienced or inexperienced alike, and offer training sessions for anyone who wants them.
If you would like to volunteer as a manager or coach, all you need to do is indicate this when you complete your player's registration form. All team managers are chosen by the GVGSA Board of Directors; a Manager takes responsibility for the team, drafts the players, and acts as the Head Coach. After the team is drafted, the Manager will recruit a coach (or coaches) from the team parents. The Manager will receive your registration form, so if you have indicated an interest in helping to coach, the Manager will have that information.
Another way to volunteer is to be a Team Parent
Every team needs a Team Parent! Team parents keep the team organized and act as the communication link between the league and the team parents. When you register your child you will be given the opportunity to indicate your willingness to be a Team Mom or Team Dad. This information will be given to the Team Manager after the draft. It is the responsibility of the Team Manager to recruit a Team Parent.
All teams need a scorekeeper (or two). We offer training in this too.
The Start of Spring Season
What is Opening Day?
Opening Day typically occurs on the first Saturday in March and is a celebration of the new season! It's also our main fundraiser and Picture Day all rolled into one! All team and individual pictures will be taken in the morning (schedules to be posted in February). During the formal ceremonies, each team marches onto the field together and is introduced to the crowd, displaying their team's banner. Following a short program, a BBQ lunch is served along with team and individual games. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this fun event!
Who determines if games or practices are canceled due to rain, and how will I know?
The decision on whether to close the fields is made by the GVGSA board members. Conditions will be checked and field closures or special instructions will be posted on the website as early as possible as a News Alert (you won't be able to miss it!). Status of practices held away from the GVGSA fields are up to the Team Manager.
Will rained-out games be rescheduled?
Yes, whenever possible. There is a rain make up week scheduled at the end of the season to accommodate canceled games.
What about rained-out Concessions Shifts?
Games rescheduled due to rain will also have concessions shifts rescheduled. Plan to have your volunteer shift rescheduled if your player's game is rescheduled.
What about rained-out Field Work Days?
If a Field Work Day is canceled due to rain, it will be rescheduled - the work still needs to get done! Volunteers will be contacted with the new date.
If you need more information, please feel free to contact any board member.
GVGSA Mailing Address: PO Box 1286 Santa Barbara, CA 93116