Pet Peeves with Travel Softball

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
My pet peeves with travel softball:

1. 8AM games (or sometimes earlier). This is especially true for the Fall Ball games when it's usually cold and wet most of the morning.
2. Subs that are significantly better and play primary spots. Play with your team. If you bring a sub on, bat them at the end of the lineup. The paying girls deserve more respect.
3. Constant recruiting of new players. Always looking to add a better player instead of working with your own.
4. Constant movement of players. Playing for a new team every year means that the player or parent is most likely the problem...not all those coaches that "didn't know anything."
5. Time limits. I understand it makes more money for the TD and gives teams a chance to play more games but I prefer an old-fashioned 7-inning game. Worst thing about it is the bottom hitter gets far fewer at-bats than the leadoff hitter. Play 30 7-inning games instead of 60 3-inning games and that differential gets cut in half.
6. Trophy chasers. A tournament is listed as B/C and a big name organization A team shows up with players from 3 different states on the roster.

What are your pet peeves?
 
 
Parents that pay for their daughter to play and then think that since they are on a travel team that they will get to go to college for free because they are so GOOD.
 
Guest Players and some supposed “Showcase” Events. Saw 1 of these a few weeks ago. 90 minute Time Limit, and No Run Rule. Watched a 16U Team get drilled twice as Home Team. They gave up around 40 Runs in 2 Games that I watched. No College Coaches at the event. Basically was a Showcase in name only.
 
The bend over and take it without lube mentality of tournament directors toward the families in how they fleece them at every trurn.
 
Tournaments that charge $800-1000 for team fees and then charge families $25 or more per person to attend for the weekend.

The 8am games in the fall suck, but the ones in mid-July aren't too bad.

I don't mind time limits. I get the necessity, but I hate drop dead rules and reverting back to the last inning. You should always finish an inning that has started. Obviously 7 inning games are far better and truer to the sport, but no way should we expect TD's to sacrifice half their draw. Good teams should get at least 5 innings in with a 90 minute time limit.
 
Tournaments that charge $800-1000 for team fees and then charge families $25 or more per person to attend for the weekend.

The 8am games in the fall suck, but the ones in mid-July aren't too bad.

I don't mind time limits. I get the necessity, but I hate drop dead rules and reverting back to the last inning. You should always finish an inning that has started. Obviously 7 inning games are far better and truer to the sport, but no way should we expect TD's to sacrifice half their draw. Good teams should get at least 5 innings in with a 90 minute time limit.
Drop Dead Time Limit plus high entry fee definitely has $$$ grab written all over it!
 
Bringing this back to the top since we are in season. Still hate 8AM games. For me, nothing worse than having to wake up for an 8:00AM game at 5:15AM, especially when it is the only game of the day.
 
Cost is also getting to be seriously out of whack with the product being offered. It is very annoying to pay $800 for 4 games guaranteed and they never touch the field except for getting ready for the first game. The worst is when the 5'8" pitcher looks like she is 5'3" because of the groove at the pitcher's plate by the end of the day.
 
The time limits are my biggest pet peeve. 4 to 5 innings is not a softball game. 70 minutes is terrible. Then it leads to much gamesmanship from some coaches. Too many umps start the clock several minutes before first pitch so it's not even really 70 minutes. Then too many teams feel the need to huddle between each inning using even more precious time.
 
The time limits are my biggest pet peeve. 4 to 5 innings is not a softball game. 70 minutes is terrible. Then it leads to much gamesmanship from some coaches. Too many umps start the clock several minutes before first pitch so it's not even really 70 minutes. Then too many teams feel the need to huddle between each inning using even more precious time.
It’s been a few years but the last usssa tournament I worked we had to have a timer clipped on the backstop and were told to tell the Coaches after we break Ground Rules I’m walking over to start Timer. Home Team take the Field. Rules are also in place for Warm Up Pitches for start of Game through the end. If the “Travel/Select” Softball Team that you follow is only consistently playing 4-5 Innings in 70 minute Tournament Games maybe their not really Travel/Select?

Last but not least, how much do You think the Umpire should get Paid for an Untimed 12U Travel/Select Tournament Game? How much do they get Paid for the 70-75 Minute Time Limit Games? What suggestions do You have for being able to provide and keep a Tournament somewhat on Schedule/Time with Untimed Games?
 
Team that you follow is only consistently playing 4-5 Innings in 70 minute Tournament Games maybe their not really Travel/Select?
I've been around high level fastpitch for many years through pretty much all the sanctions and Showcase formats. Oldest played in college and has graduated and youngest still playing showcase schedule. 5 14 minute innings puts you at 70 minutes. Thats getting on and off the field, warm up pitches, meetings, top and bottom of the inning. So even at high levels hitting 70 minutes in 5 innings is common.

Last but not least, how much do You think the Umpire should get Paid for an Untimed 12U Travel/Select Tournament Game? How much do they get Paid for the 70-75 Minute Time Limit Games? What suggestions do You have for being able to provide and keep a Tournament somewhat on Schedule/Time with Untimed Games?
I'm not sure what umpires are compensated, but any amount that gets you to 30 an hour seems fair for a part time job. USSSA is the worst for time limit complaints in my book, but thats also a lower level of play in Ohio and thankfully none of that sanction for us this year.
The issues are really a combination of tournament directors, coaches/teams, and umpires. Each could have a role in mitigating the issue.
USSSA recommends 90 minute games for youth but TDs schedule games 90 minutes apart and therefore shorten time limits. USA requires 140 minutes for their A level nationals and qualifiers and sticks to that. Most games seem to go a full 7 innings in that setting.
 
I had never been around youth softball. My dau never played. She was all hoops. But my granddaughter is a fairly gifted softball player - at least she can hit, catch, and throw the ball. They play her at short. Anyway, last year as an 8 yo, it wasn't too serious. Coach pitch and the things that happen at that level are mostly amusing. It's kinda about having fun, introducing the girls to the game, and teaching them some basics.

This year, not much different. The fundamentals are better, but from a fan/grandparent pov, still mostly an amusement.

So, Punkin is in the league tournament as a middle seed, but they are out-playing their seed and are advancing in the winner's bracket. They ran into one of the top teams and lost by 1 run to shift them over to the loser's bracket. That loss came in part due to 2 really unfortunate calls by the lone teen ump. In one instance, we had the go ahead runner reach 3rd base safely, but the SS dove to try to tag her before she reached, knocked her off the base, and then tagged her. The ump didn't see that because a bunch of players had herded up around 3rd base. Lol. Can't call what you can't see.

In the bottom of that last inning, the other team had the winning run on 3rd with 1 out. The batter pops out to my granddaughter, she threw home after the catch, but the catcher can't catch. Lol. But the runner at 3rd went halfway down the line when the ball was hit, and once the ball was caught, just went on home without tagging up. My granddaughter runs and gets the ball, goes to 3rd base and steps on. The ump gives the safe sign. Ballgame. The ump was focused on whether the ball was caught and had no way to know if the runner tagged. Again, can't call what you didn't see.

No big deal. We are talking about 9 year old girls softball. Who will care in 3 days?

Well, an uncle of a teammate of my granddaughter's cared a lot, evidently. This guy is in his late 20s, about 130 lbs, tatted up the neck, and just scraggly. Looks like a heroin addict. The other team's coaches take their girls out into shallow left field for their little meeting. Mr. Heroin starts threatening the teen girl ump and those coaches, cursing by using the F word as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunction, article, etc.

I let it go on for about 30 sec, but he wasn't going to stop, so I said, "Hey! Zip it! You don't talk and act like that in front of little girls." For a second I thought I was going to be rolling around on the ground with this guy - and I'm a little too old to be doing that nonsense. My wife later told me that my son, who is the size of a small mountain, came and stood behind me, which probably offered some serious discouragement. Regardless, he shut up, went to his car, and left.

But what in the world? Is this normal?
 
Last edited:
Is this normal?
I would say that it is not normal but happens way too often. Seems every other team has that one crazy parent that takes things too far. Maybe the problem with the youngest age groups is the parents don't know how to behave yet and take every bad call as the end of the World.
 
I would say that it is not normal but happens way too often. Seems every other team has that one crazy parent that takes things too far. Maybe the problem with the youngest age groups is the parents don't know how to behave yet and take every bad call as the end of the World.
It was SO out of perspective and, frankly, just nuts.

If we are talking about a group of men and someone goes off like that, that's one thing. But to expose a bunch of little girls to that? I don't get it. Have we lost the distinction about what is permissible in the presence of children and ladies?

Good thing is he hasn't been seen since. I don't know if that was his choice, but I hope the powers that be made that happen.
 
I've been around high level fastpitch for many years through pretty much all the sanctions and Showcase formats. Oldest played in college and has graduated and youngest still playing showcase schedule. 5 14 minute innings puts you at 70 minutes. Thats getting on and off the field, warm up pitches, meetings, top and bottom of the inning. So even at high levels hitting 70 minutes in 5 innings is common.


I'm not sure what umpires are compensated, but any amount that gets you to 30 an hour seems fair for a part time job. USSSA is the worst for time limit complaints in my book, but thats also a lower level of play in Ohio and thankfully none of that sanction for us this year.
The issues are really a combination of tournament directors, coaches/teams, and umpires. Each could have a role in mitigating the issue.
USSSA recommends 90 minute games for youth but TDs schedule games 90 minutes apart and therefore shorten time limits. USA requires 140 minutes for their A level nationals and qualifiers and sticks to that. Most games seem to go a full 7 innings in that setting.
USSSA in SW Ohio is definitely a joke! I’m not sure how Umpires play a big role in Time Limit though. Everybody works for someone. The Umpires should be applying Tournament Rules and a Time Limit as the TD or Assignor has instructed them to do. How about the Players Not throwing Strikes and making routine plays for Outs? If You gonna rip Umpires about Time Limit you have to speak about level of play.

Umpired a 17U Baseball Game Today, 7 Innings, 2-1. 1 hr 23 minutes. Baseball Pitchers always throw more Warm Up Pitches than Softball.
 
I am sure 1hr 23 is not the norm for a 7 inning baseball game, but if it was a 70 min time they would not have played 7. Softball is generally a faster game.
If you read all my posts you would hopefully comprehend that I never placed sole blame on umpires.
I've seen umpires hold pregame conferences as girls are still entering the dugout. They are starting the clock before the home team is even ready to warm up. Pitcher warm up between innings should be 1 minute or less. Plenty of inattention in that aspect. Seen umpires try to end games early.
 
Can also apply to softball. My fave is the snack mom, every team daughter played on had at least one.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2479.jpeg
    IMG_2479.jpeg
    492 KB · Views: 29
I'll add another one to the list of pet peeves after this Sunday's bracket play. Tournaments that put two novice umpires together to work multiple games.

Had three umpires that looked the part of experienced umpires standing behind the backstop telling the homeplate umpire how a drop third strike worked.

Basically, the catcher caught the ball but threw it to first base out of habit. First base missed the ball and the batter/runner ended up on 2nd. The home plate umpire said he did not see the ball hit the dirt. The field umpire said it was a clean catch by the catcher. After conferring with the three umpires behind the backstop, the home plate umpire threw his hands up in the air and sent the runner back to 2nd (after telling her she was out on the field umpire appeal).

I understand trying to get new people into umpiring softball but this was the worst combination of umpires I have ever seen. Called a fair ball because the girl's body was in fair territory when she fielded the ground ball in foul territory. If they need to get novice umpires, every tournament should pair up a novice umpire with a seasoned umpire.
 
I had never been around youth softball. My dau never played. She was all hoops. But my granddaughter is a fairly gifted softball player - at least she can hit, catch, and throw the ball. They play her at short. Anyway, last year as an 8 yo, it wasn't too serious. Coach pitch and the things that happen at that level are mostly amusing. It's kinda about having fun, introducing the girls to the game, and teaching them some basics.

This year, not much different. The fundamentals are better, but from a fan/grandparent pov, still mostly an amusement.

So, Punkin is in the league tournament as a middle seed, but they are out-playing their seed and are advancing in the winner's bracket. They ran into one of the top teams and lost by 1 run to shift them over to the loser's bracket. That loss came in part due to 2 really unfortunate calls by the lone teen ump. In one instance, we had the go ahead runner reach 3rd base safely, but the SS dove to try to tag her before she reached, knocked her off the base, and then tagged her. The ump didn't see that because a bunch of players had herded up around 3rd base. Lol. Can't call what you can't see.

In the bottom of that last inning, the other team had the winning run on 3rd with 1 out. The batter pops out to my granddaughter, she threw home after the catch, but the catcher can't catch. Lol. But the runner at 3rd went halfway down the line when the ball was hit, and once the ball was caught, just went on home without tagging up. My granddaughter runs and gets the ball, goes to 3rd base and steps on. The ump gives the safe sign. Ballgame. The ump was focused on whether the ball was caught and had no way to know if the runner tagged. Again, can't call what you didn't see.

No big deal. We are talking about 9 year old girls softball. Who will care in 3 days?

Well, an uncle of a teammate of my granddaughter's cared a lot, evidently. This guy is in his late 20s, about 130 lbs, tatted up the neck, and just scraggly. Looks like a heroin addict. The other team's coaches take their girls out into shallow left field for their little meeting. Mr. Heroin starts threatening the teen girl ump and those coaches, cursing by using the F word as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunction, article, etc.

I let it go on for about 30 sec, but he wasn't going to stop, so I said, "Hey! Zip it! You don't talk and act like that in front of little girls." For a second I thought I was going to be rolling around on the ground with this guy - and I'm a little too old to be doing that nonsense. My wife later told me that my son, who is the size of a small mountain, came and stood behind me, which probably offered some serious discouragement. Regardless, he shut up, went to his car, and left.

But what in the world? Is this normal?
What a great story...and I applaud you because YOU get IT!! It's 9 year old softball!!!! You are right, who's knows in 3 days. It's a chance for the girls top play better competition in a different environment to push them a little. Winning is secondary, development is primary. Sad part is probably half those girls will never play high school softball because they either won't be good enough, will take a liking to something else or just decide not to play.
Heroin addict, tatted up....Omg I'm crying....:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
And sadly yes, this happens way too often. I think it's mis guided anger because they either really don't want to be there, or they spend a thousand dollars that weekend staying in motels, eating and they feel that gives them a right to berate a youth umpire. I applaud you for standing up to the idiot. Most people wouldn't interject themself. We actually need more people to stand up to people when they get out of line. People's personal conduct and common courtesy is the worst I've ever seen.

Looney Tunes Applause GIF by Looney Tunes World of Mayhem
 
I usually sit in the "Dads who still think they can coach" or "Dads who use to coach sections". Just depends on the field.
A tip, get a halfway decent camera ( heck, you're already into the kid's sports for thousands of dollars) and take pictures of the games. If you take pics of other kids, get the parents approval. Make them available to the parents on a drive or facebook. It really distracts you from getting too involved in the game, you'll have some really good pictures of your kids and they other parents will love you for it.
 
I'll add another one to the list of pet peeves after this Sunday's bracket play. Tournaments that put two novice umpires together to work multiple games.

Had three umpires that looked the part of experienced umpires standing behind the backstop telling the homeplate umpire how a drop third strike worked.

Basically, the catcher caught the ball but threw it to first base out of habit. First base missed the ball and the batter/runner ended up on 2nd. The home plate umpire said he did not see the ball hit the dirt. The field umpire said it was a clean catch by the catcher. After conferring with the three umpires behind the backstop, the home plate umpire threw his hands up in the air and sent the runner back to 2nd (after telling her she was out on the field umpire appeal).

I understand trying to get new people into umpiring softball but this was the worst combination of umpires I have ever seen. Called a fair ball because the girl's body was in fair territory when she fielded the ground ball in foul territory. If they need to get novice umpires, every tournament should pair up a novice umpire with a seasoned umpire.
Pairing a novice Umpire with a seasoned Umpire is probably one of the hardest things for an Assignor to do. There are many Umpires out there that will only Umpire certain Ages and will only work with Bob or Fred. There are also many Umpires that will say “I’m not being Paid” to train Johnny and Umpire the Game. This stuff stinks, but happens more often than people think.
 
You know the other thing that occurs to me as I scroll through these complaints...you signed up for this. Travel sports isn't required. In fact when you consider the fact that probably less than a percent of these kids will play college sports, and even a fraction of that will get any athletic scholarship money for sports, is it really worth the time and money? Local rec leagues provide athletics opportunities for kids and your not paying thousands of dollars in hotels, rooms, uniforms, equipment and team fees.
 
A tip, get a halfway decent camera ( heck, you're already into the kid's sports for thousands of dollars) and take pictures of the games. If you take pics of other kids, get the parents approval. Make them available to the parents on a drive or facebook. It really distracts you from getting too involved in the game, you'll have some really good pictures of your kids and they other parents will love you for it.
We had a guy on the JO volleyball team doing this and it was cool. Always got the prime 1st row seating and coach used some of the action shots to coach the girls on technique and spacing of the court. In travel softball no one on her teams stepped up for this responsibility.

By the way I was a pitcher's parent and liked sitting near the coach that called the pitches when I was a spectator. He would ask council about mental state of daughter some but never about calling certain pitches. It was funny how some girls reacted in the circle to fielding errors or bad calls from the ump, fortunately my daughter was good at shaking those things off. On the other hand being the 3rd pitcher on a decent team and then giving up an over the fence HR...
 
Last edited:
We had a guy on the JO volleyball team doing this and it was cool. Always got the prime 1st row seating and coach used some of the action shots to coach the girls on technique and spacing of the court. In travel softball no one on her teams stepped up for this responsibility.

By the way I was a pitcher's parent and liked sitting near the coach that called the pitches when I was a spectator. He would ask council about mental state of daughter some but never about calling certain pitches. It was funny how some girls reacted in the circle to fielding errors or bad calls from the ump, fortunately my daughter was good at shaking those things off. On the other hand being the 3rd pitcher on a decent team and then giving up an over the fence HR...
There is not much more of a team maturing process than pitchers, baseball or softball. Unless you strike out everyone swinging, you're at the mercy of teammates fielding (good plays and bad) and umpires calls. How a player handle those things are critical in their development. You almost never see college or pro baseball or softball players get upset with poor fielding, at least not on the mound.

And you bringing up the parent of a pitcher, why is it, mainly in youth softball that the Dad of the pitcher alot of times calls pitches? I've seen this all the way up to the high school levels??? You never, NEVER see Dads of baseball pitchers, youth or otherwise call pitches. Is this just a Dad / Daughter thing? And nothing is more uncomfortable than Dad/ Daughter disputes in pitch calls while the game is going on. 🤣
 
In my experience, everyone is a pitcher in baseball, at least up until 13 years old. If you have a good arm, you are a pitcher. No special skill needed.

In softball, it takes ALOT more practice to become a good pitcher. Guess who that catcher is for those countless hours of pitching practice...Dad.

Also, teaching baseball players pitching mechanics is fairly widely known by most coaches because they pitched when they were younger. Softball there are far fewer coaches who understand the mechanics.

I'm an example of a parent/coach that never called pitches for my son but now call pitches for my daughter.
 
In my experience, everyone is a pitcher in baseball, at least up until 13 years old. If you have a good arm, you are a pitcher. No special skill needed.

In softball, it takes ALOT more practice to become a good pitcher. Guess who that catcher is for those countless hours of pitching practice...Dad.

Also, teaching baseball players pitching mechanics is fairly widely known by most coaches because they pitched when they were younger. Softball there are far fewer coaches who understand the mechanics.

I'm an example of a parent/coach that never called pitches for my son but now call pitches for my daughter.
I've often said one of the most difficult / time consuming skills to develop as an athlete is fast pitch softball pitching. I sat on many a bucket and caught my daughter when she was learning to pitch, many balls going way over my head. But that still doesn't fully explain the "why". I mean how many pitches in softball do you have, especially for younger pitchers? I'd say Dad is more useful for pitch "execution" than pitch selection.

And I'm an old man, I pitched and I don't ever recall anyone other than me or my catcher calling pitches, even in little league. Sometimes I feel we over manage situations and the kids may be better off learning on their own.
 
And I'm an old man, I pitched and I don't ever recall anyone other than me or my catcher calling pitches, even in little league. Sometimes I feel we over manage situations and the kids may be better off learning on their own.
Definitely over manage. Definitely wish kids would learn on their own. Unfortunately, it is just where we are with kids' sports. I played pickup baseball, basketball, and football in the backyard nearly every day in my youth. I suspect I played more pickup baseball in one Summer than the current HS baseball team has played in their lives combined.

As an old man myself, in my Little League and beyond, coaches usually called pitches in baseball. I also happened to be around the highest level of travel softball in the late 70s and early 80s and can tell you that the Dads were calling pitches then too.
 
.
Top