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We would like to take the time to welcome you to Ridley Park Softball and tell you a little bit about our organization. Softball, like all other sports, can be a great way for children to learn new skills, make new friends and most importantly have fun! Ridley Park Athletic Club wants to make sure that every girl has the opportunity to experience these things by providing a safe place to play softball at the recreational level close to home.
Ridley Park is one of many teams that make up the Del Val Youth softball league. Within the league and especially within our organization, we strive to offer competitive softball that is fun for the girls to learn and play. Our coaches are provided with the skills needed to help the girls improve and be successful in a positive atmosphere.
We have determined the skills and knowledge of the game that we feel should be learned at each age level as described below. A girl will typically spend two years at each age level, so please remember that these skills will be developed over the course of two years and on into the next age bracket.
For example, we do not expect a girl to be catching high pops as she enters the 8U level. That skill is not likely to even be taught on the first-year teams at the 8U level. However, as a girl finishes her second season at 8U, we do expect high pops to be something she is learning. At the 10U level, she will continue to work for two years on perfecting the skills and coordination needed to catch a high pop. Please keep this type of progression in mind as your player moves through the program.
In addition to athletic skills, at each age bracket we also teach our players about teamwork, sportsmanship and fairness which they will use on and off the field throughout life. Although it is only the game of softball, we strongly believe it helps shape each player in their own way. In conclusion, we are here to welcome every girl that is interested in the sport to come out and have a great time on a softball field with us and our coaches! We will do everything we can to help the girls enjoy the game as much as we do.
6 & Under, Girls T-Ball
Introduction to softball. Girls hit off a tee, run the bases, field ground balls, begin to throw the ball. Most importantly, girls have fun playing against a couple of other local teams. This is the only age bracket that is not included in the Del Val Youth league.
8 & Under, Farm Division
Coach-pitch softball. 10 players on the field (4 OF); everyone bats. Learn the fundamentals of throwing and fielding ground balls correctly, as well as batting fundamentals. Learn the positions on the field. Learn how to make outs in the field of play, and learn basic base running skills. Begin learning how to field a fly ball (line drives + high pops) in the 2nd year at this division.
10 & Under, Peewee Division
Girls pitch, 9 players on the field, up to 10 girls bat. This age bracket is a huge adjustment in softball, including a pretty big learning curve. A few girls will learn pitching and catching fundamentals. At the plate, batters learning to hit a girl’s pitching is one of the most challenging aspects of this age bracket. Since a girl’s pitching is much less accurate than a coach’s, the duration of the innings can be a challenge to many players’ attention span. Base running will begin to include pick offs at first and/or third, and in the A division stealing 2nd & 3rd base is allowed. Base runners will learn to slide at this level. Players continue to improve fielding and throwing skills, while learning situational base coverage. Focus on outfield skills include catching high pops and throwing to cutoffs. Learning to bunt and to defend the bunt begins typically in the 2nd year of play at the 10U bracket.
12 & Under, Midget Division
All regular softball rules apply. Stealing, bunting, sliding, fielding skills, fielding strategies and base coverage. Pitching and catching continue to be a focus at this division. Fundamental skills in hitting, fielding, and throwing will begin to develop into more intermediate – advanced skills.
14 & Under, Intermediate Division
The game becomes more competitive as players begin to really prepare for softball at the high school level. Learning the strategy of the game is essential at this point. Focusing on position specific skills and strengths while developing team chemistry, stronger throws and better at-bats is important at this level. Advanced skills such as slap bunting and diving for balls in the field are learned at this level.
16 & Under, Junior Division
This division of Del Val competition is probably the pinnacle of recreational softball. It is a competitive and fun division, which can serve as either an alternative for high school softball or a complement to JV / Varsity ball. Players work to reach an advanced level of understanding of the game and the skills necessary to succeed in competitive play.