About our Fastpitch Program
Panther Sports Club is committed to providing a quality Fastpitch program that gives girls ages 7 - 18 a positive team experience while developing their skills and growing their interest in the game of fastpitch softball.
Panthers participates in the Southwest Suburban softball (SWS) league. This organization was formed with several surrounding communities in order to provide a competitive softball environment for all teams involved. Southwest Suburban offers fastpitch softball at several levels:
All levels of Panthers Fast-pitch are travel with SOME differences:
• Travel C: Referred to as House, League or Semi-travel or House “B”
Emphasizes player development and instruction. Teams at this level are usually assembled in the spring. there are some exceptions. There is little/limited off-season instruction. Pitchers may have little formal instruction, and typically don’t practice during the off-season. Our Fastpitch program currently participates with the Southwest Suburban league which provides the opportunity for our teams to play in a larger pool against teams in surrounding communities (i.e. Naperville, Romeoville, Joliet, etc). Teams will play a league season into the month of July and teams travel to locations within the surrounding communities for half of their 20 season games. They will also compete in the end of season SWS tournament held in July. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in each of the age groups, and MVO (most valuable opponent) medals are awarded after the completion of each game played to the opposing team.
• Travel C: Referred to as House, League or Semi-travel or House “A”
Continued player development with an increased level of competition. Many Travel C “A” teams organize in the fall; some players participate in “open gym” workouts, team practices or private instruction during the off-season. Pitchers at this level have received formal instruction, and do practice during the off-season. Our Fastpitch program currently participates with the Southwest Suburban league which provides the opportunity for our teams to play in a larger pool against teams in surrounding communities (i.e. Naperville, Romeoville, Joliet, etc). Teams will play into the month of July and teams travel to locations within the surrounding communities for half of their 20 season games. They will also play in the end of season SWS tournament held in July. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in each of the age groups, and MVO (most valuable opponent) medals are awarded after the completion of each game played to the opposing team.
• Competitive Travel - plays at the ASA “B” level.
Teams are organized in the fall, practice as a team during the off-season, and players may take additional instruction on their own. Pitchers at this level take lessons and practice during the off-season. Our Fastpitch Travel "B" teams currently compete in the Southwest Suburban league which provides the opportunity for our teams to play against a larger pool of teams in surrounding communities (i.e. Naperville, Romeoville, Joliet, etc). Teams will play through June and travel to locations within the surrounding communities for half of their games. They will also play in the end of season SWS Travel tournament held in the beginning of July. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in each of the age groups, and MVO (most valuable opponent) medals are awarded after the completion of each game played to the opposing team. In addition, Travel B teams compete in several outside tournaments.
NOTE for High School Girls: Southwest Suburban starts their 14U, 16U, and 18U programs later to accommodate the spring, high school softball seasons and rules. If you are playing for your high school team, you need to follow the state guidelines regarding practice and playing during your school season.
When are tryouts for Fastpitch softball?
Panthers Fastpitch holds tryouts for our Travel "B" Level teams, and for teams that express interest in possible moving to a different level the following season, and higher commitment level. There may be tryouts for some of our Level C (house) teams, but not all teams are formed this way. Tryouts are held in late July for the next spring season. However teams will begin to be formed starting in August, and registration will begin in mid-September to early October. We will work with the coaches, players, and their families to make sure girls are positioned correctly based on their skill and commitment level.
Does your program provide any winter training and clinics?
We do provide a Winter Training program and it is included in the price of our softball program registration fee. In recent seasons, Panthers has partnered with GenuWIN Sports Training in Romeoville, IL, and Perfect Swing in Darien for All Panther fastpitch winter training starting in January. The winter training focuses on the fundamentals of fastpitch: fielding, batting, and base running skills. In addition to providing the facility for our winter training, Panthers will also have access to various player/coaches clinics. Our travel teams have their own team trainings scheduled place to be determined.
Additional clinics are also available through either Panthers or Southwest Suburban. As these are scheduled – all registered players are eligible to participate for free or for a small fee, on a first come first serve basis.
What are the fees and what do they include?
Our fees for the 2019 Travel C- (House) Spring/Summer softball season are $330 for 10U and up and $230 for 8U players. Our fees include winter training, player insurance, park district fees, and SWS league fees to Southwest Suburban, equipment/storage fees, and umpire fees.
If individual teams are interested in additional tournaments, then fees will be handled by the team through general fundraising and/or additional fees.
Are uniforms included in the fees?
Uniforms will be an additional cost. The approximate cost is $30 includes a uniform jersey with players name and number. Every player will also receive socks. A girl can reuse her uniform from the prior year to avoid this extra expense as long as the same style is used in the current year, and her number remains the same.
Which level should I sign up my daughter for?
Age qualification is determined based on your daughter’s age as of January 1st of the current calendar year. A girl may play up only one age division beyond her own age ONLY if she is the even age of the lower age group, but no player can play lower than her identified age division. If you are not sure which level to sign up for based on your daughter’s level of experience, please discuss this with our commissioner. All level changes must be approved by the commissioner, and abide by SWS rules.
Age as of Jan 1st of the current playing year:
8U – Must be 8 years or younger as Jan 1st playing year
10U – 9 or 10 as of Jan 1st
12U – 11 or 12 as of Jan 1st
14U – 13 or 14 as of Jan 1st
16/18U - 15 or older as of Jan 1st
What additional equipment does my daughter need to play fastpitch?
You should plan on providing your daughter with slider shorts. Each team will have several helmets for use, or you are free to provide your own helmet as long as it is rated for fastpitch and has a chin strap and face guard. Face masks are highly recommended for all infielders.
Will teams participate in additional tournaments? Will travel be required?
Additional tournament participation varies depending on the interest, age level, and the coach.
How is fundraising handled? Will my daughter ever be forced to fundraise?
Panthers tries to limit any fundraising expectations. We look for local business sponsors, dinner nights at local restaurants, a candlelight bowl or other softball related activities. We also look to offer events that will serve as fundraisers and to promote our Panther community. Fundraising is optional and NO GIRL or family will be forced to fundraise.
My daughter is interested in pitching. How does this work?
There is no question that pitching is a skill that requires development. Many of our pitchers have developed by working with their parents, attending special clinics on pitching, and eventually working with a pitching coach. We suggest that if your daughter is interested in pitching, she should talk to our commissioner and coaches regarding next steps and different options available. Training sessions with a qualified pitching instructor is highly recommended.
I understand that Panthers also has a Slow Pitch program. How is Fastpitch different from Slow Pitch?
There are clear differences in the two styles of softball. Fastpitch is a travel softball program that competes with surrounding area teams with different competition levels available. A few other examples include: the speed and style of pitching, the technique of the bat swing, base running, stealing bases, and fastpitch softball games are faster-paced games and have time restraints.
In addition, Fastpitch softball is the style of softball played in our Middle schools and High schools.
Our Fastpitch program participates in the Southwest Suburban league which provides the opportunity for our Fastpitch teams to play in a larger pool against surrounding communities (i.e. Naperville, Romeoville, Joliet, etc). Teams travel to locations within the surrounding communities to play 1/2 of their games. Also, fastpitch sponsors additional training/winter training for participants, Southwest Suburban league fees, and the use of professional umpires. Fees for the Fastpitch program are generally a higher as well.
Bolingbrook Panthers Fastpitch is committed to providing a positive softball experience to all girls within the program.