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FAQs (Softball)

Frequently Asked Questions




  • How are teams formed each season? It seems like there are always some stacked teams. What’s done to prevent this?We try to make teams as competitive as possible while maintaining some flexibility for parents who want their kids to play with friends for social and car pooling reasons. For the Minors, Majors, and Seniors, we hold assessments and a draft in the spring and fall. In the spring, players are put through drills and coaches evaluate them. In the fall, the coaches get together to evaluate players without having a formal assessment. One way we try to make teams more competitive is by ensuring that pitching talent is spread out between teams as much as possible. We try to honor all requests. However, we may not honor a request if it will make a team more or less competitive by doing so. Back to top


  • How are fees set and where does the money go?  Each year we establish a comprehensive budget, in conjunction with other SYA sports. Our sources of income include registration fees, business sponsorships, other fundraising, and limited contributions from SYA and Fairfax County to pay for field improvements and other amenities. Registration fees must be set at a level that covers our expenses which include: field maintenance (grass cutting, dirt, other maintenance), equipment, umpires, uniforms, insurance, and the SYA and Fields of Dreams fees. We add a small amount to the fee to cover field and equipment upgrades. We also try to carry over a reasonable amount of money from season to season in case of emergencies. Back to top


  • How are SYA Softball Board Members selected?  We always need volunteers. Anyone who wants to support the efforts of SYA Softball can do so by contacting one of the Board Members and by volunteering for an open Board position. If more than one person were to run for a position, our by-laws govern how that position would be filled. Back to top


  • My daughter needs to play up in the next league (or play down in a lower league).  How do I get permission to do that?  We encourage girls to play at the level of their peers. However, in the rare instance that a player has a legitimate need to play up or down in age, we have an evaluation and approval process that must be followed. First, the parents have to make a formal request to the Board stating the reasons why they want their daughter to play up or down. Then the player must be evaluated by the Player Development Coordinator and two League Coordinators (generally the coordinator for the league she should be playing in and the coordinator for the league she wants to play in). If the evaluators agree that the player’s needs would be best served at the level requested, then the move is approved. Back to top


  • My daughter wants to be a pitcher, but I have no clue how to teach her. What can you suggest?  Start by reviewing Pitching Fundamentals and Pitching Drills on the SYA Softball web site and attending SYA and high school clinics that are offered periodically. Parents and coaches can be effective in getting girls started in pitching, but eventually it will be necessary to obtain the help of an experienced teacher to take her to the next level. There are several pitching coaches in the area who can take her beyond the basics of pitching. Their fees for individual instruction range from $30 to $50 per hour. These coaches also conduct clinics where the fees will be lower because they are teaching several girls at once. For more information on coaches and clinics, contact the Player Development Coordinator, the Commissioner, or the Travel Team Coordinator.Back to top


  • I’d like to coach a team, but I don’t know much about fastpitch softball. How can I get up to speed?There are many resources available. Start by reviewing material on the SYA Softball web site, including drills (Pitching, Catching, Hitting, Fielding, Throwing, and Running), Practice Organization, Pitching Fundamentals, and Hitting Fundamentals. In addition, check out some of the web sites under our Fastpitch Links. There’s nothing like talking to experienced coaches before plunging in, so don’t hesitate to contact a Board Member to get the names of coaches who would be willing to share their experiences.Back to top


  • If our organization is called SYA Softball, why do you keep using the term SYA Fastpitch on the web site?  It’s hard for some of us to describe this game as softball. The word “softball” conjures up a different image than Fastpitch. Fastpitch is the term used by many organizations like the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. However, most governing bodies (e.g., Amateur Softball Association, National Softball Association) and the media use the term “softball” to describe the sport. While some of us would like to see “fastpitch” more universally accepted, we recognize that most people continue to know it as softball. Thus, we use the terms SYA Softball and SYA Fastpitch interchangeably in conversation and on our web site. We hope that’s not too confusing, but sometimes it just seems more descriptive to call our game Fastpitch.Back to top