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FAQ'zzz

What is EGFA?

EGFA (Edina Girls Fastpitch Association) is a volunteer, non-profit community based highly competitive traveling fastpitch softball program.  EGFA offers area girls the opportunity to participate in the increasingly popular sport of fastpitch softball. A traveling summer program is available for girls looking for a relatively high level of skill and competition. The program helps players develop skills necessary to compete at the High School and University levels. The Association offers teams in the 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under, and 14 and under. Players are placed on teams based on their ability, skill level, effort, enthusiasm, and number of registrants. The fees we charge for our league programs are priced to cover our costs. We have several fundraising efforts, that allow us to provide scholarships, reduced priced off season training, and top end equipment for teams. Registration does not guarantee playing time as in any highly competitive traveling sport.  Playing time is left up to the volunteer coaches of each respective team.  Players can prepare for placement by participating in a winter skills clinic, including Pitching, Catching, and Hitting.  These clinics are run by paid professionals and are designed to bring every player, from beginner to experienced, to the next level. The summer season begins in March and continues through the state tournaments in mid-July. The association also enters teams into a fall league that plays Sunday afternoons during August and September. The Association will schedule registration dates for each of its programs. Summer registration is in February and fall registration is in July. Winter clinic registration is in October, continuing throughout the winter months.

 

Is EGFA part of a league or some larger organization?

Age levels 10U and up are part of the Big West League, which is a sanctioned member of the Minnesota Softball. EGFA competes with local Twin Cities teams during regular season play and may compete with several out-state Fastpitch softball teams at tournaments we attend.

 

What is the difference between fastpitch and slowpitch softball?

Fastpitch and slowpitch softball are different sports. Fastpitch softball is the sport played at the high school and college levels. Girls who wish to play for the Edina High School Softball fastpitch team should choose to play fastpitch softball as the game of slowpitch softball is not a high school sanctioned sport.
Compared to slowpitch softball, fastpitch softball more closely resembles baseball and utilizes skills such as base stealing, sliding, bunting and advancing to first base on a dropped third strike. Fastpitch softball is a highly competitive, dynamic, fast-moving game which requires split second decision making and attention to the finer points of the game. The game changes on a pitch by pitch basis which makes for a high level of concentration and strategic thinking.
Fastpitch softball attracts talented, athletic girls who wish to compete in the sport at a high level. Girls who participate in the fast pitch softball program tend to develop softball skills more quickly than in slowpitch and become better prepared to play at high levels, including high school. The game is fast moving and our girls are trained in both the physical and situational aspects of the game. It is best to learn the mechanics and fundamentals of fastpitch early as it can become more difficult to transition from slowpitch as you get older.  EGFA is a strong supporter of our Edina Highshool Softball fastpitch team and have created a direct link from our homepage.

 

Why choose fastpitch softball?

Girls interested in playing softball in high school should play fastpitch softball because the game of slowpitch is not a high school sanctioned sport.  The high school program accepts girls as young as 7th grade. 

 

Should my daughter start by playing slowpitch softball?

Actually slowpitch softball is a completely different sport.  It is best to learn the mechanics and fundamentals of fastpitch softball early as it can become more difficult to transition from slowpitch softball at later ages.

 

Is my daughter too young to play fastpitch softball?

Absolutely not!  Fastpitch softball is for girls of all ages.  EGFA fields several 8U teams in the summer and fall season specifically for 6-8 year old girls.  For more information on the 8U program please reach out to the 8U Program Director.

 

My daughter has never played fastpitch softball how can we give it a try?

Fall Season and the Winter Clinics are an excellent time to try fastpitch softball.

 

How Do I Determine My Daughter’s Age Level?

How Age Levels are determined:
8U's   
(age 8 or less on January 1st)
10U's (age 10 or less on January 1st)
12U's (age 12 or less on January 1st)
14U's (age 14 or less on January 1st)
16U's (age 16 or less on January 1st)

 

Playing Up?

Playing in ‚Äčanother age group is not permitted except for circumstances approved by the EGFA Executive Board.

All players requisition to "play up" must still register and try out at their current age level (the youngest age group in which they qualify). 

To be considered for "playing up" to a higher age level, all the following must apply:

  1. Player must be in the final year of their age group to be considered. 
  2. EGFA must be notified by a parent or guardian of the request to play up prior to try-outs.
  3. Players must try-out for both age levels and meet the following requirements: 
  4. Must finish ranked in the top 5 in evaluation points/ranking of the higher age level tryout final totals.
    1. A position must be open at the higher level in order for a player to be moved up.  A new team will not necessarily be created in order to accommodate players at the higher age level.
    2. After evaluations (tryouts), the Board will take all information into consideration and make a final decision.  
    3. If players are needed at the next age level as a result of position play (i.e.: pitcher, catcher) or team size, the Board will identify player(s) to be invited to play up. Consideration will be made regarding impact to teams at the player’s actual age level.

The Board can make exceptions to the above on a case-by-case basis. Any changes must be approved by the EGFA Executive Board (excluding any Board member parent of the player) and the team formation committee. 

 

How about FALL BALL?
Players must play fall ball at the level they will be playing at the following summer.
 

When and how do we sign up for Fastpitch softball?

Registration dates for fastpitch softball are in February (summer season) and late July (fall season).

EGFA conducts registration events for both the summer and fall seasons. For more information on registration dates and locations go to the Registration tab and Home page.

 

Are there space limitations in the fastpitch softball program?

EGFA will make every effort to place all registered Edina players on a team, however, at age level 10U and up the number of teams formed will be limited to the extent there are sufficient pitchers, catchers and coaches to support a team. 

 

Can we sign up for Edina Girls Fastpitch softball if we don’t live in Edina?

League regulations classify age levels 12U and below as Closed Community Based Divisions.  If you can answer Yes to the list of criteria points below then you will need prior approval from your local community association and the league to register for EGFA.

  • Your daughter is 12 or under on January 1
  • You do not live in or attend school in Edina school district 273

  • Your local community or school district has a fastpitch softball program

This approval is required each season you wish to register with EGFA.  The 14U, 16U, and 18U age levels are classified by the league as Open Divisions allowing girls to play outside their local community based association.  If you have any question please feel free to email info@edinafastpitch.org.

 

What do you offer for training?

Outside of our in-season training fastpitch players are made during the off-season.  Because the development of the pitcher, catcher, and other positional players is fundamental to the overall success of the EGFA softball program, EGFA is offering to assist families in the offsetting some of the cost of the specialized training required.  In partnership with TC Fastpitch Academy EGFA will be reimbursing families for each athlete (assuming the player meets the eligibility requirements described in winter training registration) for the following approved TC Fastpitch Academy training (Note: The cost of these programs is established by the service provider and will be reviewed on a yearly basis by the EGFA board as well as reimbursement schedule.):

Pitching

Catching

Hitting

Skills Training 

 

What is the financial commitment?

Registration Fees:  Please see the Summer Season and Fall Season registration tab for current year registration fees.  Player registration fees cover the cost of the League team registration fee, participation in league games, fees for tournament play, League membership (10U and up), field rental from Edina Park and Rec and player insurance.

Other Costs: EGFA provides some but not all equipment.  You will need to purchase any personal equipment your daughter needs, but does not already have. 

 

What equipment is needed?

Must haves are softball glove, cleats (metal cleats can only be worn by 14U and up), batting helmet with face cage and chin strip, fielding mask (8U-12U required to play any infield position). 

Good to have but not required are; bat, batting gloves, knee pad for sliding, sliding shorts, bat/equipment bag.  

The coaches’ bag stocked by EGFA includes team balls, catcher equipment and a variety of bats. Many girls prefer their own bat, but it is not a requirement. If you would like assistance in choosing a bat for your child, please talk to the coaches at practice. They can assess your child’s strength, size and bat swing speed and give you a recommendation.

Choosing a bat

Your bat must have either the ASA 2000 or ASA 2004 Certification stamp put on by the manufacturer to be legal.

ASA CERTIFIED EQUIPMENT - BAT DIMENSIONS (3/2/2015)

  • Max bat length 34 inches

  • Max bat weight 38 ouncesMax bat barrel diameter 2.25 inches

 

Choosing a Glove

Level Type Position Glove Size
Youth Fastpitch Infield 10.5" - 11"
Youth Fastpitch Outfield 11" - 11.5"
Adult Fastpitch Infield 11.5" - 12"
Adult Fastpitch Outfield/1st Base 12" - 13"

What if I have a financial need?

Scholarships are available on a confidential basis by submitting at time of registration.  Please go to Financial Assistance tab on the left hand side of the Home Plate page.

 

Volunteer Commitment?

EGFA hosts an annual Mayfly Tournament in May. Each family (10U and up) is required to work 8 hours (4 hours per parent).  You have the option to buy-out of your volunteer obligation.

 

How are teams formed?

Our goal in establishing teams is to place players on a team that best positions each player to be successful as an individual, contribute to the team, and maximize play time to learn and improve as a player.  At the younger age level (8U) we seek to achieve this through parity of teams with the primary focus on skills development.  Age levels 10U and up will have an upper team to the extent tryout scores show a clear competitive level differentiation between players, and the remaining teams will be balanced. 

Tryouts follow a blind, closed door process. No one will be allowed in the tryout area except the players and evaluators. Tryout evaluators have fastpitch softball experience and do not have a daughter playing at the age level they evaluate.

The Team Selection Committee consists of the Player and Coach Development Officer as committee chair, two board members and a neutral third party selected by Player and Coach Development and approved by the President and Vice President.  The President or Vice President will be present to assure Teams are selected based on blind score results in a fair and unbiased manner. 

 

How are opponents determined?

Once teams are formed, the coaches will assess the skill level of the team to determine if the team will be classified as A, B, or C for league and tournament play.  See the summer and fall season sections for game locations.

 

What can I do to help my daughter become a better player?

Practice outside of practice.   Just playing catch is probably the easiest and most enjoyable way to help your daughter.  Good throws and good catches are central to playing the game well.  Talk to your daughter’s coach about what your daughter needs to work on to improve and how you can help her.  EGFA supports winter skills fastpitch softball clinics on Sunday’s beginning in November.  EGFA also provides subsidized pitching and catching clinics and has a reimbursement program for private hitting, pitching and catching lessons.

 

What are the coaches’ qualifications?

The majority of EGFA coaches are parent volunteers.  Head coaches (and many of our assistant coaches) have participated in at least one of our coaching clinics as well as skills & drills training.  They also have a binder with the skills and drills that are expected to be taught at each age level.   EGFA has instituted a consistent training program throughout our entire program using the same training methods in an age appropriate manner.  Background checks are conducted on all coaches.

 

How do I become a coach?

At time of registration there is an option to select that you are interested in becoming a coach. You will need to take a concussion certification course and background check will be conducted and approval by the Coaching Committee.  Contact an EGFA board member for more information.

 

I don’t want to coach, but I’d like to help out.  Who do I contact?

At time of registration there is an option to select that you would like to assist in coaching.  You may also talk to your team’s head coach after team formation.  Let the coach know you would like to help and the time commitment that you can make.  Even just being an extra pair of hands at practice can be an enormous help.  If you would like to get involved with a committee or the EGFA board contact the EGFA President.

 

How do I receive up-to-date information?

In addition to the information provided on the EGFA website, every Edina Fastpitch softball team has their own team page.  Once teams have been determined, you will be able to find team specific updates on the appropriate team page.  We recommend looking at the team page daily as well as immediately before leaving for any practice and/or game.  The coaching staff will also have a roster with contact information and may send items needing immediate attention via email in addition to posting to the website. Additionally, SportNgin has a mobile application that can be downloaded and you select your team (a number on your team page will help with search) that will provide you with team messaging and up to date calendar information and game locations.  We also have created a Facebook page that you can link to from our homepage.

 

What is a “club” team?

Most travel teams in the Twin Cities metro are formed by community-based associations, which draw their players from families living or attending schools within their local school district boundaries.  “Club” teams draw their players from anywhere in the metro area, sometimes even from outside the metro area.  Club teams are usually comprised of 14U, 16U, and 18U players.  In 2012 it was decided at the annual suburban league meeting that club teams would play in the A level of the Suburban League.  Club ball is usually more intense, with players often competing with each other for playing time.  Club team tournament play may include out of state travel.  Off-season usually involves dome-ball participation and additional training.  Club teams have paid coaches and registration fees are typically much higher than those of community associations. edina softball softball edina edina girls softball girls softball edina 

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