WELLESLEY GIRLS SOFTBALL U12 TOURNAMENT TEAM
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Wellesley Girls Softball is forming a competitive 12U team to represent Wellesley in some weekend tournaments in the late spring and early summer of 2023. Led by a professional coach, the team will hold tryouts this August/September and then practice together this fall and winter.
Age eligibility: Girls who were born in 2010 or 2011 (or, in exceptional cases, 2012).
Team emphasis: The team will be more competitively oriented than WGS’s existing programs. Still, as always, there will be a strong emphasis on promoting the girls’ development as softball players; their well-being; and simply having fun.
Coaching: We expect that the team will be led by Keliann Kirby, a professional coach from DC Academy.
Tournament schedule: Although the exact weekends are not yet known, we are expecting to enter three tournaments in 2023: two during the late spring before school lets out (one of which will likely be over Memorial Day weekend), and one in late June after school lets out. The exact tournament schedule will be announced as far in advance as possible, likely by February 2023.
Level of commitment: Higher than other WYBS softball programs. In general, girls are expected to be available for the tournaments.
Relationship to other WGS programs: The team is intended to be supplemental to, and not a replacement for, existing WGS programs. Thus, girls will be required to play Junior/Senior League in Spring 2023. They are also encouraged to play Fall Softball this fall, and Summer Weekday Travel Softball in Summer 2023. Program schedules will be coordinated to minimize conflicts.
Tryout schedule: Girls are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of the following tryouts:
Saturday, August 6, 9:00-10:30 a.m.; Sunday, September 11, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Both at Lee Field.
Cost: We are projecting a total fee of $950. This will be split into 3 payments: $25 due at registration to cover evaluations, and the remainder due in 2 installments (early fall, early winter).
(1) June 2022: Registration opens / At registration, $25 evaluation fee due
(2) August/September: Tryouts (2) / Team selection is made / First installment payment due, immediately after team selection
(3) September - November: Outdoor team practices, one or two per month / Encouraged to play regular Fall Softball
(4) December 2022 - March 2023: Second installment payment due, before winter practices begin / Weekly indoor team practices at DC Academy (Jan-March) / Sign up for tournaments; communicate schedule to families (hopefully by Feb.)
(5) Spring 2023: Must play spring Junior/Senior League / Some outdoor practices
(6) Late Spring - Early Summer 2023: 3 weekend tournnaments (two before school lets out, one in late June after school lets out) / Some outdoor practices / Encouraged to play Summer Weekday Travel Softball
QUESTION WE EXPECT TO BE FREQUENTLY ASKED
Question 1: I see that age eligibility is based on birth year and not school grade. Why is that?
Answer 1: The tournaments we will be entering use USA Softball ages, which are based on birth year and not school grade. Girls born in 2010 and more recently will be eligible for 12U tournaments in 2023, but girls born in 2009 will not be.
Question 2: My daughter was born in 2012. May she try out for the team?
Answer 2: The team is primarily intended for players born in 2010 and 2011, but we may consider players of exceptional ability who were born in 2012. Please contact us if you think your daughter may fit this category.
Question 3: When are the tournaments and how many will there be? Where will they be located?
Answer 3: Although the exact weekends are not yet known, we are expecting to enter three tournaments in 2023: two during the late spring before school lets out (one of which will likely be over Memorial Day weekend), and one in late June after school lets out. The exact tournament schedule will be announced as far in advance as possible, likely by February 2023. They will be located within commutable distance from Wellesley, likely in eastern Massachusetts. We will not be doing overnight tournaments.
Question 4: What are the tournaments like?
Answer 4: In general, there are pool games on Friday afternoons/Saturdays and potentially playoff games on Sundays. Be prepared for an all-weekend commitment.
Level of Commitment
Question 5: Our daughter may be unavailable for a weekend or two during the late spring / early summer of 2023. Is that OK?
Answer 5: Families generally should plan their vacation, camp, etc. schedules to avoid potential tournament weekends. Girls are generally expected to be available for tournament weekends. Please disclose in the registration form when registering for the team if your daughter will not be available for a tournament weekend. Here are some recommendations for families seeking to plan vacation, camp or other activities in advance:
(i) We expect to conclude the tournament schedule by the end of June. Consider scheduling vacation/camp for July or August.
(ii) We will communicate the tournament schedule as soon as we know it, hopefully by February. Once we communicate the tournament schedule, you are welcome to plan activities for weekends that we aren’t playing tournaments.
Coordination with Other Programs/Sports
Question 6: My daughter loves playing softball as much as she can. Can she participate in Weekday Travel Softball in Summer 2023, in addition to playing on this team?
Answer 6: Yes, we encourage girls to participate in both programs. Schedules will be coordinated to avoid conflicts.
Question 7: My daughter plays [soccer/hockey/basketball/volleyball/etc.] during the fall/winter. Does she need to attend the fall/winter softball practices?
Answer 7: We encourage girls to play other sports. We are supportive if, during the fall and winter, girls choose to prioritize other sports over softball, but we ask the girls to attend softball practices when they are available. During spring/summer, we expect the girls to treat softball as their athletic priority.
Question 8: I understand the team will have some practices this fall. Can my daughter both attend the practices, and participate in regular Fall Softball?
Answer 8: Yes. The practices will not conflict with regular Fall Softball.
Practices and Other Games
Question 9: When are the practices?
Answer 9: The practice schedule will be set by the head coach. There are many variables that go into scheduling and we cannot set the practice schedule now. In general, there will be outdoor practices from September to November (one or two per month), weekly indoor practices from January to March, and some outdoor practices prior to the tournaments. Winter practices will likely be held late afternoon/early evening on Sundays. Fall practices will likely be held on either Saturday or Sunday. Spring/summer practice days are TBD.
Question 10: Where are the practices?
Answer 10: Fall, spring and summer outdoor practices will be held in Wellesley. Winter indoor practices will be held at DC Academy, 10 Central Street in Framingham.
Question 11: If we miss the tryouts, can my daughter still be considered for the team?
Answer 11: Participation in at least one of the tryout sessions is not required but is highly encouraged. Yes, she can still be considered for the team, but if we are not sufficiently familiar with her level of play we may not be able to offer her a spot..
Question 12: How will you decide who makes the team? And who decides?
Answer 12: We will base the decision on our observations at tryouts together with our existing knowledge regarding the girls. Decisions will be made by the head coach and the program director, neither of whom have daughters in the player pool.
Question 13: How will playing time and positions be allocated?
Answer 13: As this is a competitive team, girls must earn their playing time and opportunities at premium positions. Some girls will play more than others. That said, we are committed to making the team a positive experience for everyone, and all girls on the team will receive significant playing time in each tournament that they attend. (It is possible that some girls will “rotate” and not necessarily attend every tournament.)
Question 14: Will this 12U tournament team be offered every year? Will there be tournament teams for other age groups in the future?
Answer 14: We are forming this 12U team on a pilot basis. If it goes well, we expect to do it again in subsequent years, and hopefully add a 14U team.
Question 15: If my daughter doesn’t make the team this year, will she have a chance in future years?
Answer 15: Yes. The team will be re-selected annually.
Question 16: If my daughter makes the team this year, does that necessarily mean she’ll have a spot in all future years?
Answer 16: No. The team will be re-selected annually.
Question 17: Will there by opportunities for parents to volunteer?
Answer 17: Yes. We are looking for parents to volunteer as assistant coaches, scorekeepers, administrative helpers, etc.
Question 18: The fee is quite a bit higher than other WGS programs. Why is that?
Answer 18: The fee pays for professional coaching, tournament fees, indoor practice space, and other expenses over a year-long period. While the fee may be higher than for other WGS programs, we believe it is substantially less than what private “club” teams typically charge for comparable programs.
Question 19: Will you be offering developmental opportunities for girls who don’t play on this team?
Answer 19: Of course! As in recent years, professional instruction will feature prominently in both spring and fall softball, which are open to all. This winter we will again offer our Offseason Softball Training Club, consisting of weekly indoor sessions with a professional instructor, which is open to all girls with some softball experience. And this winter we hope to again offer our Softball Rocks program run by high school players.
Question 20: Who can I contact with additional questions?
Answer 20: If you still have questions after carefully reviewing all of the material above, you may contact the