2023 SPRING SOFTBALL REGISTRATION INFORMATION
THIS SPRING, GRAA SOFTBALL WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN SEVERAL LEAGUES TO MAXIMIZE GAME EXPERIENCE ACROSS ALL AGE GROUPS.
The GRAA softball program does not have a traditional "In-Town" league. Instead, teams travel outside of Glen Ridge for approximately ½ the games (but most towns are in close proximity). See below for further information.
For Pre-K and K: The GRAA softball program starts at 1st grade. We encourage Pre-K and K players to participate in tee ball with the GR Baseball program as part of Bloomfield Little League. Please visit the GRAA baseball page for additional information on registration.
Equipment: What Girls Need for Softball Season:
· Batting helmet (with cage)
· Softball defensive fielders mask
· Batting gloves, probably more important for older girls
· Heart protector
For 1st Graders (or 2nd Graders that have never played softball): we will be having an in-town clinic that meets 1x per week. It will be fun, constructive, and focus on the fundamentals.
For Grades 2 - 8: Our intent is to place every player on a team and to maximize participation and skill development. Rosters will be formed based on the number of players eligible.
This season, teams will have approximately 8-10 games, mostly in April and May, concluding to mid-June or so.
Each coach will be contacting their team to provide the weekly practice schedules once we determine field allocations for the Spring.
Registration fee for 2nd-8th grade is $235. ($25 increase after Feb 17th) which covers our expenses for the leagues, umpires, insurance, and supplies for the season.
3rd-8th Uniforms will be provided as a part of the registration fee. - socks, pants, belt and shirt.
Clinic players will be given a T-shirt to keep as part of their registration fees. They will not need an additional uniform.
Rec / In-Town Programs
GRAA In-town (recreational) programs are focused on developing knowledge of the sport and introducing playtime and positioning during games for all kids who wish to play. Play time and positions are based on an equal rotational basis to allow kids the chance to learn all aspects of the sport. Our rec program is intended to give the kids a fun learning experience, and either an introduction to the sport, or to build upon the skills they already have.
The GRAA Travel program is geared toward further developing and honing the skills, awareness and fitness level of players on travel teams. Our mission for the travel program is to properly equip players for high school level sports. This means our coaches follow two main guidelines:
All players will be provided a fair and unbiased opportunity to develop their skills (specifically during game play), and coached through the areas where they need development. We recognize that these are still young players learning and developing the skill sets they will need to succeed. Travel players will develop skills to play across multiple positions, which will prove valuable to both the team and the individual players as they move into high school. Coaching staff evaluates throughout the season with an emphasis on optimizing them for success.
If you have concerns about your daughter’s playing time, please approach the coach(es) outside of the game environment to discuss this confidentially with them, or escalate to the commissioner if this is not addressed satisfactorily.
Spring recreational (in-town) softball is an opportunity for all girls in Glen Ridge to participate in the game of softball, regardless of their skill level. All players will receive approximately equal playing time, with a trio of goals: increasing softball skills, competing to win, and having fun.
Recreational softball teams are coached by parent volunteers.
Registration fees include a uniform (shirt, pants, socks), plus use of team equipment. Players should have their own softball glove, batting helmet with face mask, and a fielding mask. Girls without bats may borrow one from the team or from other players.
New Format and League
For In-Town softball, we have joined a local recreational league that consists of neighboring towns to Glen Ridge - the Passaic Valley Softball League (PVSL). This league has teams broken out by grade - 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th grade and Glen Ridge will send at least three in-town teams to the PVSL, one in each of these age-groups.
Towns participating are: Glen Ridge, Montclair, Cedar Grove, Verona, Little Falls, Caldwell, East Hanover, West Essex.
We have also encouraged Glen Ridge travel players to participate in our In-Town softball program in order further their softball skills - and have fun with their friends that don't play on travel.
Regarding in-town practices, we are implementing some changes for this upcoming season. This includes carving out certain days for both travel and in-town softball, to minimize conflicts in schedules.
Grade 1-2 (8U) Rec Softball:
Games: TBD, approx 1 per week max
Grade 3-4 Rec Softball:
Games: Mondays 6pm or Saturdays (1 or 2 per week)
Grade 5-6 Rec Softball:
Games: Wednesdays 6pm or Saturdays (1 or 2 per week)
Grade 7-8 Rec Softball:
Games: Mondays 8pm (or earlier) or Saturdays (1 or 2 per week)
Glen Ridge softball consists of 4 separate age groups:
(Note: PK - K: The Pre-Kindergarten / Kindergarten program (t-ball) for GRAA is co-ed. Please register your daughter for PK-K t-ball via the Baseball registration page.)
8U (generally grades 1 - 2):
This year we are placing more emphasis on the early stages of development for our softball program. As a result, we are creating an 8U developmental team for our 1st and 2nd graders (and some eligible 3rd graders) where they will gain experience through both practices and real games (coach pitch), and we are happy to take all girls that are interested in joining and learning the game of softball. This is an upgrade from years past where we only offered "clinic" for our 1st-2nd graders and missed game opportunities that lead to better understanding/learning of the game. The 8U team will be playing in the Verona 8U League and games will all be relatively local to Glen Ridge and surrounding towns. Practices will be 1-2 times per week, with approx. 1 game per week.
In order to be eligible to play 8U, your daughter must be born on or after Jan 1, 2011. If you have a second grader that is born in 2010, then she will be eligible to play up onto the 3rd-4th grade in-town team, but can not play on the 8U team due to age restrictions. If you happen to have a 3rd grader that is born in 2011, then she is also eligible to play on the 8U team and you will be given the option later in this registration process to choose.
The focus on softball at the Grade 3-4 level is on developing a more advanced knowledge of softball. This includes moving to a player-pitch game, and participation in the Passaic Valley Rec League where our 3-4 grade team will compete against other 3-4 grade local teams. The emphasis on these games will be learning and fun! There will generally be 1-2 practices per week beginning in April, and 1-2 games per week once the season starts in May (played either on Monday evenings or Saturdays).
The focus on softball at the Grade 5-6 level is on continuing to build their knowledge of softball and add a slightly higher level of competition during the games. We will have at least one team in the Passaic Valley league at this level. There will generally be between 1-2 practices per week beginning in April, and 1-2 games per week once the season starts in May (played either on Wednesday evenings or Saturdays).
The focus on softball at the Grade 7-8 level is to teach kids more about softball while getting real game play. Our goal here is to both provide a fun sport for 7th and 8th graders that are not already in Travel, but also give them the chance to see if they want to continue playing softball when they get to High School. We will have at least one team in the Passaic Valley league at this level. There will generally be between 1-2 practices per week beginning in April, and 1-2 games per week once the season starts in May (played either on Monday evenings or Saturdays).
All practice days of the week will be determined in the near future and your coaches will send the details after sign ups are completed.
Spring Travel Softball is a competitive softball season, focused on developing girls with a strong interest in softball. Girls are instructed and trained in multiple positions in accordance with their abilities so they can learn the game of softball from a variety of perspectives on the field. Travel coaches are focused on building both a strong team as well as strong players. Ensuring a fair and equitable amount of playing time amongst all the players is more important than fielding the strongest line-up to win games.
Practices (usually once per week, occasionally a second practice may be held) are critical to develop & demonstrate skills so that our parent coaches can best allocate positions and playing time in accordance with their players’ abilities.
Teams will play 1-2 games per week starting in early April, continuing until the end of May, with playoffs in early June. The season will be completed by mid-June.
Fall Travel Softball is a semi-competitive softball season, focused on developing girls with a strong interest in softball. Girls with strong abilities typically will play up with their Spring 2020 age group in the Fall, while those with developing abilities may remain at their Spring 2020 age group before moving up in the Spring.
Girls are instructed and trained in multiple positions in accordance with their abilities so they can learn the game of softball from a variety of perspectives on the field. Travel coaches are focused on building both a strong team as well as strong players. Ensuring a fair and equitable amount of playing time amongst all the players is more important than fielding the strongest line-up to win games.
Practices are held once per week to develop & demonstrate skills so that our parent coaches can best allocate positions and playing time in accordance with their players’ abilities.
Teams will play 1-2 games per week starting in early September, continuing until the end of October, with playoffs in late October / early November.