The Juniors League is for girls in 3rd and 4th grade. It is an instructional league that emphasizes having fun while learning softball fundamentals. This is a player-pitch league, and all parents are asked to participate in some manner (managing, coaching, scorekeeping, coordinating team activities, etc.). Games and practices are intended to be fun for all players, no matter what their talent level, and should build a foundation for all kids moving up to the next level of AHYAA softball.
Prior to the season, and generally in March (before Spring break), the league will conduct evaluations. The evaluations are not tryouts, but we do keep a record of player performance for use in forming teams. Players will participate in several stations, usually hitting, fielding, throwing, pitching, and running. Evaluations generally run 30-60 minutes depending on turnout.
Season Schedule; Practices & Games
Teams are normally formed in early April, with practices beginning as soon as teams are formed. Games generally begin on the first weekend in May, and continue through the end of June. After the conclusion of the regular season, there will be playoffs, which usually run through the end of June. All teams qualify for the playoffs, with seeding based on regular season records.
The timing of games and practices varies, and depends on what fields are available (we use only Arlington Heights Park District fields), as well as the weather. The coaches of the teams determine how often and where practices occur, but for the Varsity League you can expect 2-4 practices/games per week. Count on 60-90 minutes for practices. Games will run a little longer, but will be completed within 2 hours.
As noted above, all parents are asked to participate in some manner. For a complete list of volunteer positions click here. At the Varsity level, the most important volunteer positions are the manager and coaches. Managers generally run the teams, and coaches help out at games and practices. Each team needs a manager (or co-managers if anyone wants to split the job with a friend), and can have any number of coaches. Please note, however, that in order to create balanced teams, all requests from managers for coaches (or vice versa) must be approved by the league rep. and commissioner. When registering your daughter, please consider managing/coaching a team.
Teams in the Juniors League are formed by the league based on player ability. Decisions regarding placement of players are governed by manager evaluations from previous seasons, and player performance at pre-season evaluations. We do our best to form balanced teams and to create parity in the league.
All players will receive a game jersey, headband, and a pair of socks. The league also supplies each team with batting helmets, infielder face masks (all infielders are required to wear face masks while playing the field), catcher’s equipment, and bats. Players must supply their own gloves, softball cleats, and pants/shorts. Many players also bring their own batting helmets, face masks, and bats. The Juniors League uses 11" softballs.
Questions & Comments
If you have any questions or comments about the Juniors League please contact:
League Rep. – TBD
Softball Commissioner - Dan Blumenfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 987-9712 (cell).