Softball Tournaments: Fitting the competition to the team caliber

One of the biggest jobs for the coaching staff is determining which softball tournaments to attend. This is usually based on several things, including team aspirations, which national tournaments they would like to attend, success in a given tournament in previous years, and expectations of the team’s level of play (A vs. B vs. ??). Oh, and of course one more thing … cost. Cost not only of the tournaments, but also if it is overnight because of traveling distance; hotel rooms, meals, and other out of pockets must be factored in.

This is what the parents will want to understand, since they are bearing the cost. A glimpse of this should have been provided in the team letter, but now it’s time to lay out the “who”, “what”, “where” and “when”.

Your players will also be anxious to hear about what softball tournaments they will be playing this year. And, for them, the highlight, for the younger girls especially, will be the overnight hotel stays. This is also an important time of team building and camaraderie for both players and parents. So, as you are building that schedule, make sure you have an early one built into your schedule that will take into consideration school, but also get that team building opportunity early enough to matter.

Also, make sure you have a calendar out. You don’t want to schedule a tournament on a “family weekend” if you can avoid it. In our area, that was always Mother’s Day. Nothing worse than having an all male coaching staff schedule a tournament on Mother’s Day … tends to get you in the dog house real quick.

Runner getting ready to lead off first during a softball tournament

Now where to find the tournaments. Instead of providing an actual listing, it was decided to provide you the links to a few sites so you could find those appropriate for your area and team.

NOTE: If you know of other great sites not listed below, feel free to use the Contact Us form and let us know about it and we will add it below. If you are sponsoring one and would like to post it here, simply add it to the invitation at the bottom of this page.

The first site, SoftballTournaments.com does a great job of providing information from across the spectrum of softball governing bodies (ASA, PONY, USSSA, NSA, etc.). Use the second section, and leave only youth (up to 23U) and Fastpitch checked and then choose the state or province from the drop down. It will then provide you all of the various tournaments in that state. Click on “more information” for whom to contact to register and the price.

Batter up at a softball tournament

The rest of the sites are all affiliated with one of the softball governing bodies. Below is a listing of each and the search page for that organization. ASA is a little tricky, as they have it broken down into several groupings. PONY, USSA, and NSA have one search page that gets you pretty much everything.

The ASA also suggest contacting the local state ASA office for a complete list of other fastpitch softball tournaments available.

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