Since 2003, OBGC has been proud to offer a recreational fast pitch softball program for girls from age 5 through ages 18. Our mission is to provide children with safe after-school sports programs that emphasize physical and emotional development, build self-esteem and cultivate a lifelong interest in sports, health and teamwork. Our emphasis is for the girls to have fun learning softball. Because this is a recreational program, players who are on a travel team’s roster are not eligible to participate in this program.
The following is a list of some important features of our softball program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age Groups/Game Schedules: OBGC fastpitch softball is separated into the following four age groups. Eligibility for an age group is based on grade and age. Please see our explanation of eligibility below.
- 8U - Machine Pitch (Grades K – 3) is an introduction to softball with the emphasis on instruction, fundamentals and enjoyment. The girls use an 11” ball with the pitching machine placed at 35 feet. Games for this age are scheduled during the week on either Monday or Wednesday. Games are also played on Saturdays.
- 10U - Modified Player Pitch (Grades 4 – 5) is the next step to understanding softball, with the introduction of more fundamentals plus pitching, but with the emphasis still being on instruction and enjoyment. The girls use an 11” ball with the pitching machine placed at 40 feet or they pitch from 35 feet. Games for this age are scheduled during the week on either Monday or Wednesday. Games are also played on Saturdays. In addition, professional umpire officiate these games.
- 13U - Player Pitch (Grades 6 – 8) is a competitive league where the fundamentals are reinforced and more strategy is introduced while still keeping some rules modified as well as keeping participation rules in place. The girls use a 12” ball and pitch from 40 feet. Games for this age are scheduled during the week on Tuesday and/or Thursday. Games are also played on Saturdays. In addition, professional umpire officiate these games.
- High School Eligible - Player Pitch (Grades 9 – 12) offers fastpitch softball to high school age girls. Teams will play in-house and/or other local in-house sport associations. The girls use a 12” ball and pitch from 43 feet. Games for this age are scheduled both during the week and the weekend. Game schedules depend on the league in which our teams participate. Professional umpire also officiate these games. Please note that teams for this leaguer are only formed if enough players and coaches register.
Seasons: Softball has both a spring and fall season. The spring season typically runs from the end of March to the middle of June. We target ending the spring season before MCPS’s last day of school. The fall season begins after Labor Day and ends in late October. Weeknight games scheduled after October 1 are typically played on lighted fields.
Please note that as with any outdoor sport, but with softball particularly due to the fact that we play on dirt infields, our seasons can extend past these dates as a result of weather make-up games or playoff/all-star games.
Playoffs/Tournaments: League standings are not maintained during the season. This is in order to promote players learning the game of softball and enjoying the experience of playing. However, all teams make the playoffs, typically a double elimination format, and playoff seeding is based on a random draw. Because of limited lighted fields during the week and a shorter season, the fall season is considered instructional, therefore there are no playoffs held during that season.
Practices: Softball practices are generally held during the two weeks prior to the first game of the season. Our goal is for each team to have 4 to 5 practices before the season starts. Preseason practice schedules are based on field availability and coach’s discretion. Once the season starts, a limited number of fields are available for practice and are distributed evenly to teams requesting practice slots.
Game and Practice Locations: All softball teams will play a similar amount of games at the OBGC Park. The remaining games and practices are usually held at the local parks, elementary and middle schools. We may also play some of our neighboring sport association teams and may have games scheduled outside the immediate Olney area.
Game Schedule: www.olneyfastpitch.org
Team Formation and Player Grading: Teams are formed approximately 3 weeks prior to the first game of each season. Players are placed on a team via a blind draft system. Before being placed on a softball team, players are evaluated for their throwing, catching, hitting, and pitching skills in order to ensure fair and equal play for all teams. League Coordinators are tasked with balancing the talent level of each team; with the goal being that all teams are evenly matched.
Grading is performed in the spring only and doesn’t apply to HSE players. No grading is held for the fall season. Fall teams are drafted using spring season coach’s evaluations. New players are contacted by league coordinators to obtain player evaluations.
Also when forming teams, we only consider two-way reciprocal carpool requests given at the time of registration. No coach requests are honored. Any carpool requests not a two-way reciprocal pair are only considered if it maintains the competitive balance within an age group.
Coaches: As a community organization we rely heavily on parent volunteers. We are always looking for both assistant and head softball coaches in all age groups. The time commitment for a coach is approximately 10 hours a week for approximately 8 – 10 weeks. Games for the 8U and 10U divisions are scheduled for Mondays or Wednesdays and Saturdays. Our 13U division plays on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Practices are at the coaches’ discretion and are scheduled based on the availability of fields.
To be a coach, you must be over 18, register with OBGC, go through a background check and attend NYSCA training. Dads and moms are both welcome. Experience playing or coaching a diamond sport is helpful but not required. We’ll provide you equipment, training, training aids, a hat, a shirt and a special opportunity to share the softball experience on the field with your daughter.
Rules: Participation rules are in place, there is minimum playtime for players and maximum innings at individual positions. All players bat every game in a continuous batting order. For a complete set of rule, please visit our scheduling website at www.olneyfastpitch.org.
Equipment: Each girl will need to have her own softball glove. Cleats are also recommend. OBGC provides the rest of the required equipment, including team shirts.
Face Guards are mandatory on batting helmets.
Girls can use their own softball bats provided they are approved fast pitch softball bats; slow pitch softball bats and baseball bats are illegal and not allowed.
*Eligibility for each age group is determined by grade and age. For example, to be eligible for the 10U age group, a player must be in either fourth or fifth grade or 10 years old on December 31 of the previous year. This enables fifth graders who have late birthdays and are 11 on January 1 to play with their classmates. It also provides third graders with late birthdays the option to “play up” in the 10U age group