The AWABSA Softball League has been developed over the years to offer girls the opportunity to have fun,make friends and learn a little softball along the way. Last season we had over 300 girls participate in 6 divisions.
We offer the AWABSA recreational leagues for the girls to develop their skills in the 6U, 8U, and 10U age divisions. We also place several teams in the Suburban Girls Softball League (SGS) and the FAST League which include teams from other local communities that play together. These teams include girls in the 10U, 12U, 14U and 16U age groups.
FastPitch Softball in Northwest Ohio
Like many sports, Girls Softball has evolved from the softball you may remember from your high school experience. The purpose of this article is to help you understand some of the many opportunities that are available for fast pitch softball in Northwest Ohio.
Most girls get their start in a local recreation district. Most local recreational districts have programs beginning at the 5-6 age with the player hitting off a tee. During the younger years of recreational ball there are usually enough girls to create several teams to compete within each local recreational district. By the 7-8 age there is some coach pitch while the players begin to learn to pitch. By the 9-10 ages, the pitching is completed by the girls. Most recreational programs continue with girls programs through the fourteen and sixteen year old age group. In the older groups, since there are fewer teams, teams compete against other recreational programs throughout Northwest Ohio. The Suburban Girls Softball league (SGS)in NW Ohio is one such league that provides opportunities for teams from different communities to schedule games against each other.
There may be tryouts for the older girls to determine placement on the different levels of competition in the SGS league. Recreational fast pitch for AWABSA teams is played in the evenings during the weekdays from late May thru mid July.
There are many opportunities for players to improve their skills in NW Ohio. Some girls and their parents choose to make a commitment to Fastpitch Softball and take advantage of nearly year around programs to develop skill and to play at a more challenging level. Many girls aspiring to play Fastpitch in most high school programs and certainly college commit to play Travel Softball and consider developing pitching and batting skills through private instruction due to the high level of skill at many high schools.
There are several Travel programs available throughout Northwest Ohio. The travel team’s season begin in May and end in early August. Travel teams play what is referred to as “tournament ball”. The teams enter a weekend tournament and play typically 5 to 7 games Friday through Sunday. Most travel teams play 5 to 8 tournaments per summer softball season and practice once or twice per week during the season. There are tryouts for travel ball teams in August and September for the following season, although some teams are still completing their roster throughout the fall and winter months.
Some travel ball programs have multiple teams at each age level to insure there is a travel team for a girl aspiring to get better who wants to play tournament ball. Other travel ball programs have just one or two squads per age group and limited spots available through their club.
Fall Ball softball is played on Sunday’s for approximately six weeks beginning in September. This is run by the FAST organization in our area and is another program beyond your local recreational district. It is traditionally thought of as a time for girls to work on skills in a game setting. A girl may just sign up and be assigned to a team or many travel teams enter their complete team for skill building. This is a good opportunity for a girl who wishes to learn new skills or transition from a recreational ball player to a travel ball player.
The Spring league is also ran by FAST Softball. The teams play on Friday evenings with double headers on Sundays from early April to mid May. Varsity and JV teams are made up with girls in grades 6-7-8, while the Minor division is made up with girls from 4-5-6 grades. These teams come from all over NW Ohio and SE Michigan. Games are played on Weekends from April 1 – May 15. Games are played at the team’s home field. Teams must be community based. This means that all players on a team must be from the same school district. The Spring League’s purpose is to give girls more opportunity to practice and play with girls from their own school and to develop for their high school program.
Winter skills clinics
Available through FAST Softball and other local colleges and high schools, winter skills clinics are open to everyone. Through FAST, they’re held at several locations on weeknights and on Sunday afternoons at Owens College. All participants must pre-register. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Owens’ Sessions will include 5 Sundays with 1 1/2 hours of instruction each day given by travel team coaches along with local high school and college coaches. Instruction will include drills for fielding fly balls, grounders, catching, throwing, base-running, sliding and hitting stations. For more information visit the FAST website at www.fastsoftball.org.