OBGC HOUSE SOFTBALL
Fall House Softball 2021
Mission: OBGC provides children with safe sports programs that emphasize physical and emotional development, build self-esteem, and cultivate a lifelong interest in sports, health and teamwork. Since 2003, OBGC has been proud to offer our fast-pitch house softball program for girls grades K through 8. We emphasize softball fundamentals, teamwork and fun. Because house softball is a recreational program, players who are on a tournament/travel team roster are not eligible to participate.
Athletes learn softball fundamentals in the 8U league and then improve their skills in our 10U and 13U leagues. Our players learn advanced skills and strategies as they prepare for high school softball. We participate in a county-wide softball consortium that gives our players at all levels the invaluable opportunity to play teams from Clarksburg, Damascus, Poolesville, Burtonsville, Rockville and other programs as scheduled. This broadens our players’ perspectives and exposes them to competition throughout Montgomery County.
Seasons: OBGC house softball has spring and fall seasons. The spring season typically runs from the middle of March to the middle of June, and the fall season begins in late August and ends in early November. These dates are subject to change. As with any outdoor sport, softball is impacted by weather. Our seasons can therefore start later or extend longer because of weather make-up games or other events.
Age Groups: OBGC house softball is separated into three groups. Eligibility for each age group is determined by grade and age. For example, to be eligible for the 10U age group, a player must be in the fourth or fifth grade or 10 years old on December 31 of the previous year. This enables fifth graders who have late birthdays and are 11 on January 1 to play with their classmates. It also provides third graders with late birthdays the option to “play up” in the 10U age group. Exceptions to these age groups can be made with approval of the player’s parents, the house softball commissioner, and OBGC.
8U – Machine Pitch (Grades K – 3) is an introduction to softball with the emphasis on softball fundamentals, teamwork and fun. Players use an 11 inch ball with a pitching machine placed at 35 feet. Games are normally Mondays and Saturdays.
10U – Modified Player Pitch (Grades 4 – 5) continues our players’ understanding of softball with a continued focus on softball fundamentals, teamwork and fun but with the introduction to pitching. Players use an 11 inch ball and follow a player/coach-pitch format from 35 feet. 10U uses umpires to officiate games. Games are normally Wednesdays and Saturdays.
13U – Player Pitch (Grades 6 – 8) is a competitive league where the fundamentals are reinforced and more strategy is introduced while ensuring participation for all players. Players use a 12 inch ball and pitch from 40 feet. 13U uses umpires to officiate games. Games are normally Tuesdays or Thursdays and Saturdays.
Coaches: As a community organization, OBGC relies on our parent volunteers. We are always looking for head and assistant softball coaches in all age groups. The time commitment for a coach is approximately 10 hours a week for approximately eight to ten weeks. To be a coach, you must be 19 years of age or older, register with OBGC, conduct a background check, and complete online National Youth Sports Coaches Association training at your expense unless otherwise waived by OBGC. Experience playing or coaching baseball or softball is helpful but is not required. OBGC will assist coaches in order to ensure they succeed. When our coaches succeed, our players succeed.
Team Formation and Player Grading: The house softball commissioner (with input from volunteer coaches and OBGC) is tasked with forming balanced teams so all teams are evenly matched. Teams are formed approximately three weeks prior to the first game of each season. Players are placed on a team via a blind draft system though OBGC honors two-way carpool requests (i.e., two families make the same carpool request) as best we can. OBGC reserves the right to hold player evaluations prior to the beginning of a season. If an evaluation is held, OBGC will contact registered families with details. Evaluations normally observe a player’s ability to throw, catch, hit and handle ground balls. Evaluations are not try-outs; they are a tool to create balanced teams that will be competitive.
Games and Practices: Players should expect two games and one practice per week during fall and spring seasons though this schedule is subject to change due to weather and other events. The number of teams will also impact the number of games per season. Weekday games normally start at 6:00 PM although fall games may start earlier to maximize available daylight and player safety. The number of practices during the fall season may be impacted by shortened days and less daylight and promote player safety. Saturday games are typically played between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All games have time limits and typically last two hours.
Softball practices generally start two weeks prior to the first game of the season. Our goal is for each team to have four or five practices before the season starts though this is not guaranteed. Preseason practice schedules are based on field availability and coach’s discretion. Once the season starts, a limited number of fields are available for practice and are distributed evenly to teams requesting practice slots. All teams will play a similar amount of games at the fields at OBGC. The remaining games and practices are held at local parks and elementary and middle schools. Because we play in a consortium, weekday and Saturday games may be played outside of the Olney area.
Equipment: Players must provide their own softball glove. Long softball or baseball pants and cleats are highly recommended. OBGC provides jerseys, visors and socks. Face guards are mandatory on all batting helmets. Players may use their own softball bats if they are permitted under the season rules. Players may wear face masks or face shields at the player’s discretion.
Playoffs and Tournaments: League standings are not maintained during the regular season. This promotes both learning and enjoyment of the game. Depending upon the season, OBGC will either hold an internal, OBGC-only playoff or will participate in a tournament with our consortium partners. Because of limited lighted fields during the week and a shorter season, our fall season is considered instructional. OBGC reserves the right to not hold a playoff or participate in a tournament during our fall season. OBGC may also hold an All Star game during a season if time, number of players and available fields permit.
Rules and Officiating: Consortium Commissioners approve rules for play at the beginning of each season for all teams to include rules on minimum playing time, maximum time at any one position, and batting rules. Our 8U games are officiated by our volunteer coaches; however; 10U and 13 U age groups are officiated by professional umpires. We ask our players, coaches, parents and spectators to be respectful to all officials and review our OBGC Code of Conduct that parents must acknowledge at registration.
OBGC is extremely proud of its house softball program and is fully committed to its players. We hope you register and give us an opportunity to demonstrate that commitment as we cultivate a lifelong interest in sports, health and teamwork in your players. If you have any questions, please contact the house softball commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org.