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SOFTBALL 12U TRYOUTS: Monday, 6/6, 5:00 pm at Ward/Kelly Field
POSTED:  6/4/11

The tryout for the Softball 12U All Stars will be Monday, June 6 at Ward from 5-7 PM. Your daughter should come prepared to play, including equipment, sliders, water, sun glasses, etc.  We will have a second session on Wednesday, June 8 for girls who will be on Outdoor Ed on Monday.

Tryout will be closed to parents. Also, players should wear their regular season uniform.  that means NO TRAVEL OR SCHOOL TEAM UNIFORMS, T-SHIRTS OR OTHER APPAREL.

Please drop your daughters off around 4:50 PM and pick them up at 7:00 PM.



SENT:  5/3/11


Hello, again, softball families.  We’re off to a great start with the weather in May.  Let’s hope it continues.  We still have a lot of games to make up, so it will be a busy month.
I wanted to send you some information about All-Stars, or Post-Season, softball.  Many of you are familiar with how this works, but many of you are not.  I want to make sure all of our families understand how it works, so if your daughter wants to try out, she can.  Registration for All-Star teams will open next weekend, and it will be important for any players who want to try out to register early.
All-Stars, also called “Postseason”, is comprised of several tournaments that Little Leagues can participate in.  The best players, managers and coaches are selected to represent our league to compete with teams from other leagues. 
There are two basic types of postseason tournaments that WWLL is eligible to play in, house tournaments and the District Tournament.  House tournaments are competitive, but they are their own thing…the tournament winners don’t advance beyond that specific tournament. 

In contrast, the District Tournament for each age group is very competitive, and the District Tournament Champion advances to the Section Tournament, and Section Tournament Champion advances to the State Tournament, and so on.  12U teams can advance all the way to the Little League Softball World Series held each year in Portland, Oregon and 10U teams can advance as far as the State Championship.  WWLL belongs to District 12, and we have some extremely good programs in our district that won State Championships and one that actually advanced to play in the World Series in Portland.  Those programs will be very strong again this year.  Any of our teams would have to do EXCEPTIONALLY well to advance beyond the Districts.  That said, we’re going to play in the tournaments, play our best, and see how we measure up.
TOURNAMENT DATES: (updated 5/26 via email)
Here’s a list of this year’s tournament dates (click here for additional dates if either District team were to advance): 
  • 10 and under District Tournament begins June 24 and ends on July 7;
  • 12 and under District Tournament begins on June 21 and ends on July 1 
  • 8U Tournament:  Held in Florence, begins on Thursday evening, June 9th, and will continue for approximately one week. 
  • 9U Tournament:  Held in Bordentown, begins on Monday evening, June 13th, and will continue for approximately one week.
All of these tournaments are double-elimination format.  Once a team loses twice, it is eliminated.  Therefore, we will play at least 2 games, and if we win, we keep playing.

If one of our teams should catch lightning in a bottle and advance beyond the Districts, that team would continue play.  It gets progressively harder to advance, but conceptually the 12s District team could play into August and the 10s team could play until late July. 
If more girls register than the number of roster spots available, tryouts will be held.  There are strict limits on the roster size any team can have.  Because of the competitive nature of the tournaments, we want to send our very best players to represent us in these games.  Each and every girl in WWLL has had strong coaching and has had several clinics available to them to hone their skills.  During the tryouts, girls will be asked to play their hardest to show the managers of the teams what they can do.  Unlike the regular season, the mandatory playing time for is reduced, so there will be some players that play considerably less than others, but they are still important parts of the team.  Playing time is allotted on a merit system; the stronger a player’s skills and attitude, the more playing time she will get.
Tryouts will begin in the middle of May for the younger teams and in subsequent weeks for the older teams and will most likely be held on Sundays to make sure they don’t interfere with regular season games.  If a player wants to play but can't make the tryout date, we'll do our best to accomodate her, but we get the best result when all the girls can participate on the same day.
In order to be eligible to be selected to an All-Star team, all players, managers and coaches must have participated in at least 60% of their team’s regular season games.  That’s important to keep in mind as your season progresses.  Players must meet the strict age requirements, which of course goes by “Little League age”, not real age.  So, for each team, here are the birthday ranges: 
  • 12U:  Born between Jan 1, 1998 and Dec 31, 1999
  • 10U:  Born between Jan 1,2000 and Dec 31, 2001
  • 9U:    Born between Jan 1, 2001 and Dec 31, 2003
  • 8U:    Born between Jan 1, 2002 and Dec 31, 2004
The only age qualification for coaches is that they must be at least 21 years of age.
All players will be expected to play all practices and games throughout the tournament.  Our policy is that when trying out, a player must disclose any known time conflicts such as family vacations, summer camps or other sports commitments so the team manager and the Post-Season Coordinator can be sure to choose girls who will be able to make a contribution to the team. 
I can’t overlook the need for volunteers. 

Managers and Coaches:  We need a manager and 3 coaches for each team.  Just like the players, we’ll be choosing the best available managers and coaches to lead our teams.
Other volunteer needs:  Just like the regular season, we’ll need volunteers for games that we host for things like the concession stand, and field prep.  We will also need volunteers for other things like parking since the lot fills up quickly when Ward is at full capacity.  All All-Star families are responsible for fulfilling 1 or 2 volunteer duties, depending on our final numbers.
50/50:  Each home game is a fundraising opportunity for the league, so we have parents from teams that aren’t playing walk around Ward selling 50/50 tickets.
We know that you want to actually watch your daughter play, so we make sure that no parents are asked to work during their own daughter’s games.  So, for example, the 8U team will be asked to work during, say, a 10U Baseball game. 
Lastly, are the costs, and what your daughter gets.  We’re still working out the numbers, but we’ll strive to keep the cost as reasonable as possible.  I will include more detail on the exact costs when we announce that registration is open. 
The uniforms are, dare I say, pretty cool.  They’re much better quality than regular season uniforms, and that much more expensive.  We’ve made a few changes to the uniforms for all of the all-star teams, all of them, in our opinion, are improvements.  We’ve decided to outfit the youngest teams in the same uniforms as the big girls.  That will be a big improvement over last year (as last year’s teams might remember, standing in T-shirts across the field against teams with very cool uniforms).  All players will once again receive a practice t-shirt which she should wear to all All-Star team practices.  One of the ways we’d like to control costs going forward is to use the same uniforms next year if they make the team.
The only real way for us to be able to do things quickly enough is to collect payments at the time of registration.  Any girls that do not make the team will receive a prompt, full refund.
One thing we didn’t do a great job with last year was fanware, i.e. "WWLL” tee-shirts in club colors to show the girls we’re there cheering them on.  To fix that, this year each player registration will also include one tee shirt for Mom, Dad or sibling, and additional t-shirts will be available for purchase.  The more of us wearing these T-shirts at the field, the better for the girls.  These shirts should be ordered at the time you register your daughter; if she doesn’t make the team, the order will not be completed.  This will simply tell us how many we need to order in each size.  Some towns have them lettered and numbered with the players names, but for this year at least we’re going to do without that personalization to make sure we receive them in time for the first game.
I’m sure many of you will have questions, and I’m sure there are things I forgot to put in here.  I’ll be posting this email on our website’s Post Season/Softball page, and as more good questions come up, I’ll post them in FAQ style there as well.  In addition, I’ll be at Kelly Field Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights this week at my kids’ games, so feel free to stop by and ask whatever you’d like. 
Once we set prices later this week, we'll open registration, and I'll send another (shorter) email around to everyone giving the details such as prices for each team, details on how to complete registration, deadlines, and any tryout dates and other information that’s been decided.
Sorry for the long email, but wow, there’s a lot of information to cover.  Enjoy the games and the weather, and I’ll see you out at the fields.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Bill Kramer
WWLL Softball