Below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding our tournament teams. Many decisions, such as what tournaments to enter, and how many to play, in addition to how often each team practices, are left up to the discretion of each coach and the families involved with each team.
How Does Coach & Player Selection Work?
Coach Selection & Tournament Team Selection Process
- Coaches apply, are interviewed and ranked by the board, in order of preference – the votes are sealed and kept secret at each age level.
- Players attend tryout and are evaluated and scored by objective, independent evaluators across various criteria.
- Rec and Tournament Coaches evaluate their players across multiple criteria, to be utilized along with tryout scores for overall ranking.
- WDMGS board ranking committee assembles to review tryout evaluations and coaches' player evaluations to rank all players from 1 to 50 (or however many participants there may be at an age group).
- There are 2 key factors in the ranking process: 1) the top 6 girls, and 2) the top 15 girls. The top 6 girls are required to be offered a spot to play on the first team that is formed by the coach. The remaining girls from the top 15 may be offered spots at the discretion of the coach, to complete a roster (likely of somewhere between 10-12 girls).
- The coaching vote is then counted and the coach of the first team is named, based on the highest ranked coach from the board vote, who has a daughter ranked in the top 15 players.
- Any players from the 15 that are not selected for the first team become available for the next team to be formed and the process repeats itself.
We hope to have all teams created and each girl called by mid-July.
What age group does my child fall into?
Age classification is determined by your daughters age on January 1, 2017 (after the new year). If your daughter turns 10 on or before January 1, she will try out at the 10U level. USSSA offers an age calculator, but note it's showing the current 2016 season, so you may have to add 1 year, since we're trying out for 2017.
Are these "All Star" Teams?
Teams are structured a little differently than they were back in the 80's (when many of the current parents were kids) and while some teams are more competitive, teams are formed with players of similar skill level, to play against other teams of similar skill level. If your child enjoys the game, they should consider joining a team, as they will gain great experience, regardless of whether they are one of the best players or athletes in their class.
How much will they "travel"?
The term "travel" can also be somewhat misleading, as most tournaments are played in the Des Moines metro area. While "how far" a team may travel to compete in a tournament is up to the coach and families on any given team, most teams won't travel beyond Indianola and likely won't spend a single night in a hotel room during a season.
When is the Tournament Team season?
Tournament teams are formed in July and typically begin Fall season play in August and finish around October. In the Spring, team will play April through June.
How many practices can my daughter expect on a Tournament Team?
Most teams will practice 1 or 2 times per week during softball season.
Can we practice in the Winter?
Yes, our Tournament Teams have access to an indoor hitting and practice facility so our players can train all year long. WDMGS also partners with Valley High School to offer instruction to pitchers in the Winter, as well as to all players at select times throughout each year.
How many games are played, and when?
Tournament games are typically played on weekends, sometimes (but not always) beginning on Friday evenings, then Saturday and Sunday. Normally you'll play 2-3 games over the course of a 3-4 hour stretch on a given day. Each tournament usually has 4-6 games, depending on how far a team advances with wins. Most teams will enter 5-6 Fall Tournaments as well as 5-6 Spring Tournaments. You could expect to play 20-30 games in each season.