A few parents have voiced concern about using player pitch in Junior League this year. Making the transition from machine pitch to player pitch will create some adjustments for players, parents and coaches to make. We started player pitch in Senior League 3 seasons ago. We saw that there were very few players that had experience pitching. This caused the games to slow down, because there were walks, etc. as compared to machine pitch in which the games move a lot faster because the batter either hit the ball or would strike out. When you are used to watching games with machine pitch and then switch to player pitch, the games will seem to move slowly.
Using player pitch in our league has been part of the long range plan for the past 5 or 6 seasons and we have been phasing in these changes. Starting player pitch is not just about creating pitchers. The cry from parents and coaches has been to let our girls play “real softball.” By starting player pitch at a younger age we will of course develop pitchers and catchers which are necessary. The three basic skills of fastpitch softball are throwing, catching and hitting. Hitting a pitched ball is the most difficult of these to master. The best way to learn this is to stand at the plate and swing at pitched balls. So while we are developing pitchers and catchers at a younger age, we are also teaching ALL players to become better hitters at a younger age. From taking our players to games outside our league, we quickly realized that the areas our league is behind on is pitching and hitting. What we discovered is a pitching machine hurt their abilities to hit a ball. They become dependent on the ball being delivered at the same place and the same speed every time. Real softball isn’t like that. The ball is never delivered the same way each time.
After this season, players interested in pitching will work on their skills in the off season and next year, the pace of the games will speed up and be more like what parents are used to. In a few years, when your player moves up to junior and senior high school, or play on a summer team, you will see that our efforts to increase the player’s skill levels will have paid off.
June 17- tournament trail begins
We have sanctioned with Babe Ruth this year. There are many advantages in doing this. One of the biggest is being able to participate in their Tournament Trail starting in June.Reminder to all parents: Please arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled game or practice. Game and practice times are limited, and by arriving early your daughter will have time to properly warm up to help avoid injury. If the players are warmed up, they can begin at the scheduled time instead of spending limited practice and game time for warm ups.