Why such large gaps in talent in softball?

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Talking to a couple of parents tonight, they mentioned some scrimmages over the last few years where the quality of play by one team was very high and the quality of the other team was very low. They felt bad playing the teams and knew that it didn't do good for either teams to play each other. These were similar school districts with similar demographics. The difference appeared that the good team always put good teams out on the field while the other communities seemingly had girls playing softball for the first time.

Is it like this in all parts of Ohio where there are pockets of good players at some schools while others have no travel ball players at all?
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
I think part of it is coaching. The better programs with good coaches have a solid off-season programs and these coaches are encouraging girls to play summer ball and in some cases even helping them find teams. In fact, some of these teams are even coached by summer ball coaches. Many schools are coached by teachers that aren't necessarily softball coaches, good people, good role models, but don't know enough about the game to teach the fundamentals. I also believe communities that have good solid starter youth programs for the tee ball and coach pitch ages help to build these programs and develop girls that move on to travel ball as they get older. Also softball has become a bit of a country club sport where on average more affluent communities are going to have more girls playing travel play because of economics.
 

SMARTY22

Well-known member
Saw a 4 Game Guarantee Fast Pitch Tournament in Cincinnati area that was 525$? I know FP uses 2 Umpire System but is 525$ for 4 Game Minimum a “normal” Tournament rate for FP?
 

14Red

Well-known member
Couple of thoughts...
This isn't just a softball thing, it's all sports, especially girls. Two weeks ago the girls high school basketball tournament was completed and 3 of the 4 championship games were blowouts. That just should not happen at that level. I saw first round tournament scores where games were50-60-70 point differences. People get angry, but we have too many sports and we have too many "specializing" in one sport. The best athletes are choosing to play one or two sports.
High school softball is an incredibly difficult sell. You have some programs with great youth systems and alot of good coaching, and you have others who have a new coach every other year and it's a train wreck. Some of the kids who should be playing don't want to because they lose all the time, so you have some programs with kids LEARNING to play softball at the varsity level, simply because no one else wants to play.
Yes, a high school coach should be invested in the youth, but high school coaching contracts are year by year. There is no guarantees the varsity coach will even be around 5 or 10 years later to reap the rewards. I think the community has to be the driver of this. And as we've said before, club volleyball and AAU basketball cover the spring seasons and many of your best girl athletes don't play softball.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Like many things there are more than one factor involved, I believe this is where the competitive balance equation that also included things like $s and a tradition factor comes into play. Let's face it, softball has one of the highest athlete responsible for equipment cost factors of any HS sport and this should be taken into account when deciding Leagues and Divisions. Also, because there are a lack of high level HS teams in Ohio some of the best programs are magnets for the better players and have the support systems in place that includes better coaching & facilities; to me it looks like the same names appear every year at the top of the heap in this sport than any other.

There is also the weather factor; some girls, especially in NEO, just don't want to deal with cold and snow in the early part of the season. Then at the back end of the season are key once in a lifetime right of passage events that bubble up during the post season, prom, graduation, and graduation parties that always seem to be in conflict. This means only girls heavily invested in the sport seem to play and you lose the athletes that take a good volleyball or basketball team and make them that much better. In a perfect world I would make softball and baseball follow the golf calendar and start play in early August with state championship played in late October with soccer moved to the spring. But then again these club calendars are set and as we all know this is the real deal when it comes to these sports and not the HS teams.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Saw a 4 Game Guarantee Fast Pitch Tournament in Cincinnati area that was 525$? I know FP uses 2 Umpire System but is 525$ for 4 Game Minimum a “normal” Tournament rate for FP?
Depends on sanctioning. I would say that $525 is a little on the high side.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Depends on sanctioning. I would say that $525 is a little on the high side.
Maybe a little, but I've also seen much higher. I depends on the age group as well. The older they get the more expensive the tournaments get, especially when they start adding "showcase" to the title. My daughter's travel team regularly played in the south and we played in many tournaments with 5 or 6 game guarantees that were in the $1100 range.
 

HSFB Fan

Well-known member
In the Cincinnati area for many schools Softball programs struggles to even get girls out.

Naturally; your GMC/ECC/GWOC schools have more ladies to pull from and the top teams in these conferences have many travel ball players that allows them to field competitive programs. Most cannot field competitive programs because of no pitching....I know of several schools that only have varsity teams this year.

The REDS offer FREE training and programs/teams for CMAC teams and some others but even when there is little to no cost its a struggle to get commitment from ladies or parents.
 

14Red

Well-known member
Like many things there are more than one factor involved, I believe this is where the competitive balance equation that also included things like $s and a tradition factor comes into play. Let's face it, softball has one of the highest athlete responsible for equipment cost factors of any HS sport and this should be taken into account when deciding Leagues and Divisions. Also, because there are a lack of high level HS teams in Ohio some of the best programs are magnets for the better players and have the support systems in place that includes better coaching & facilities; to me it looks like the same names appear every year at the top of the heap in this sport than any other.

There is also the weather factor; some girls, especially in NEO, just don't want to deal with cold and snow in the early part of the season. Then at the back end of the season are key once in a lifetime right of passage events that bubble up during the post season, prom, graduation, and graduation parties that always seem to be in conflict. This means only girls heavily invested in the sport seem to play and you lose the athletes that take a good volleyball or basketball team and make them that much better. In a perfect world I would make softball and baseball follow the golf calendar and start play in early August with state championship played in late October with soccer moved to the spring. But then again these club calendars are set and as we all know this is the real deal when it comes to these sports and not the HS teams.
There really isn't anything on here that can't compare with other girls sports and I don't want this to turn into a gender thing, but we still continue to pound the drum of equality in numbers and opportunities and it just isn't there, it never has been. I've often said that girls athletic peak for MOST, not ALL is from about age 10-15, 16 years old. When alot of girls get to their junior years, if they've played sports year around for 6-7,8-10 years, many are just done. They want to hang out with friends, have boyfriends, go to parties, drive cars, have jobs. Yes, the really good programs can string along some of the less committed because of the success rate. But when you see a program starting to tank, it's like rats running off a sinking ship. A good program can go bad in a the matter of year or two.
As for softball, it's a skill, like basketball, In 2021, if you want to compete at a high level. picking up your glove in February and putting it away in June isn't going to cut it. It takes alot of years to hone the skills to be a successful softball player. So in high school now, the gap between the really good softball programs and the programs who are begging kids to learn the game as juniors and seniors is as high as ever, and it shows in the scores and the records.
Also consider that there simply are not THAT many athletic girls in your school. The more you split up the group between, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track, softball, some lacrosse in places and there just isn't enough athletes to cover the sports, or at least be good at them.
 

LNation

Member
On another note...... the travel ball girls find out pretty quickly whether they have the ability to compete at a very high (D1 type) level or not. Being in a social media driven world and all the tremendous facilities at big schools, many who have solid talent; don’t wanna put in the extra work to play at d2 or 3 with mediocre facilities and no fanfare
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Fact of the matter is simple: less females are interested in athletics than males.
less emphasis overall is put on female sports.
less females have that futuristic drive to get a scholly or go pro.

it is just the way it is.

there are the haves and have nots in boys sports, and a whole lot more in female sports and the gap is bigger.

you can see it even on college with the lack of upsets. Just not enough good enough talent to go around.
 
.
Top