The Lebanon Raptors program was formed in 1998 to allow talented youth softball players in the Lebanon recreational league, previously known as Lebanon Baseball & Softball Association (now Lebanon Fastpitch), to compete at a higher level. The program was designed to instruct players at a level between select and fundamental softball skill sets.
These teams compete in the Southwest Ohio Girls Fastpitch Softball Association (SOGFSA) as an “A” level recreational team. Based on team dynamics, the teams may elect to play a higher level schedule and/or tournaments. The level of play is at the discretion of the Softball Board and the Head Coach of the respective team. The “A” level teams will typically play more games than the “B” level teams and will attend a number of tournaments. The coaches are expected to work independently to develop their understanding of the game, best practices in skill development and overall coaching skills. The intended result is to provide a higher skill level development program for girl’s fastpitch softball players within the Lebanon community.
Lebanon Fastpitch follows SOGFSA by-laws governing player eligibility. These by-laws permit players to remain on a Lebanon Fastpitch team under circumstances which their primary residence has changed and places them outside the approved Lebanon Fastpitch district.
In order to develop a sustainable Raptors program, coaches are encouraged to maintain age diversity within their roster such that, in any one year, a few players are either advancing an age division or remaining in an age division. This will insure experienced players are available for the next team advancing into an age division and potential slots are available for players already at the next age division from within the Lebanon Fastpitch organization. In seasons with multiple teams at an age division, coaches will be permitted to designate a ‘core’ group of players to remain together consistent with core principles in the general Lebanon Fastpitch league. The core concept was developed to maintain continuity with players and allow teams to be competitive with the other teams they were playing in the SOGFSA program.
The Raptors program is overseen by the Lebanon Fastpitch Board who has the responsibility to select and nominate the head coaches and establish the tryout dates & procedures. The selection of the head coaches for the teams is subject to background checks. The selection of players is at the discretion of the head coach in consultation with the Lebanon Fastpitch Board. The head coach will select their assistant coaches from the parents or legal guardians of the players selected for the team. The head coach is responsible to notify all players regarding their selection to the team and collecting the required Lebanon Fastpitch registration forms and fees to confirm commitment to the program. The final roster is to be completed and submitted to the Lebanon Fastpitch Softball President no more than 2 weeks after the completion of tryouts.
RAPTOR SELECTION PROCESS:
· Tryout Dates: Tryouts are held at the end of the regular season for the following year.
o Time slots for each age group 10U, 12U, and 14U
o One make-up date for all divisions
· Head Coach Selection:
o Lebanon Fastpitch Board is responsible for selection of Raptor head coaches
o Lebanon Fastpitch Board will select a head coach for each age division before tryouts and post on Lebanon Fastpitch website.
§ Raptors head coaches must have coached at least 1 year in Lebanon Fastpitch
§ If during the tryouts it is determined that a sufficient number of players can fill a roster for a second competitive team, the Lebanon Fastpitch Board will assign a coach from the pool of interested coaches.
o Assistant coaches will be selected by the Head Coach
· Core Player Identification: In seasons with more than one team at an age level, a coach will be permitted to designate a core from their previous year’s official roster.
o The core list will only be activated in cases where there is more than 1 team formed at an age level.
§ Coaches must provide a list of core player candidates to the Lebanon Fastpitch Board in advance of tryouts.
o Any core player who does not participate in tryouts or does not effectively communicate non-availability for tryouts and has not scheduled a make-up tryout will be removed from the returning core player listing.
o The Softball Board will verify that core players do wish to remain on the core; otherwise they are placed in the draft pool.
· Tryout Notification: An open tryout invitation will be posted at Colonial Park East, on the Lebanon Fastpitch website, and an email sent to all softball players to tryout out for the 10U, 12U, and 14U Raptors program.
o An email will be sent to coaches asking them to encourage talented players to try out and to provide any recommendations on players to the Softball Commissioner for follow up.
· Tryout Process: Tryouts will consist of softball skill evaluations defined by the Lebanon Fastpitch Board and returning coaches to include items such as: hitting, throwing, fielding, and base running.
o All players must go through the tryout process (including core players)
o Scoring will be done by a panel of judges selected by the Lebanon Fastpitch Board
o Players are expected to play in their respective age division. Players desiring to play up an age division must obtain pre-approval from the Softball Board prior to trying out for the next higher age division.
· Player Selection Process: Selection of the roster will be done by head coach in consultation with the Lebanon Fastpitch Board.
o Coaches are advised to achieve some level of age diversity within their roster to help build a sustainable Raptors program wherein talent is developed and shared between teams over time.
§ While the number is not mandated, and will vary from year to year based on available talent, coaches are requested to target at least 25% (e.g., minimally 3 out of 12 players) of their roster in each age range.
o The judge’s scores, comments from the judges, recommendations from other Lebanon Fastpitch coaches, and other input will be used in the selection process.
o In age divisions with more than one team:
§ The team with the fewest core players will draft first
· if equal number of core players à coin toss decides
§ Coach’s draft alternately until a team reaches their maximum roster size, thereafter, the remaining coach drafts roster from remaining tryout participants.
§ A player declining an offer to join a team is placed at the bottom of the drafting list and cannot be drafted onto the other team until all other tryout participants have been offered a spot.
o Players not selected for a Raptors team will be notified by the head coach or the Lebanon Fastpitch Board.
§ Players not selected for a Raptors team have the option to request their previous core during the regular Lebanon Fastpitch sign-up process.