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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can play Spring Recreational Softball?

4S Softball is open to girls from ages 5-14.

Can I join even if I have never played softball?

Absolutely! We encourage all skill levels, at any eligible age, to join. Our league is built around girls having fun, making new friends,  as well as learning the game and improving skills. All girls, regardless of ability or experience, will be able to play.

What is the cancellation policy?

Refunds are subject to the current Rules & Regulations applicable to the season you are registering for. There will be NO refunds after assessments. After assessments, the Executive Board may elect to provide a prorated refund upon receipt of a written request and explanation from the player's parent/guardian.

How long is the season?

Our recreational teams are formed in mid-January, and practices start at the end of January. Games run from mid February through late April-May.

How are the teams and age groups organized?

Teams are organized by age divisions, determined by players' year of birth. Each division spans two years. When you hear someone say "8U," they are referring to the 8-and-younger division, and so on.

What time commitment is necessary to play softball and when/where do practices take place?

The chart provides the general time commitment and scheduling for each division:

DivisionEvents/wkPractice LengthGames/wkGame Length
6U (T-Ball)21 hr1-2*1 hr
8U31.5 hrs1-21.5 hrs
10U31.5-2 hrs21.5-1.75 hrs
12U31.5-2 hrs21.5-1.75 hrs
14U3-41.5-2 hrs21.5-1.75 hrs

 

* For 6U, if a team has 2 games scheduled during a week, there will be no practice that week. The max events for 6U is twice per week. Our games are instructional by nature for 6U.

Game Times

Midweek games generally start at 4:00 PM. Saturday games generally start between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Coaches will require their players (excluding 6U) to arrive 45-60 minutes before game time to warm-up properly and be ready to start the game on time.

Game Locations

4S Ranch Sports Park is our home field complex and has multiple softball diamonds for 8U+ games as well as multiple locations for 6U games. We also have games at Kaeser (formerly Wells Fargo) Field. Additionally, the 8U, 10U, and 12U divisions may play Interleague games throughout the local area. 14U teams play in a Super League with games throughout North County.

Practice Times/Locations

Practice start times are generally between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Younger divisions have earlier practice times. Practices are generally at 4S Ranch Sports Park fields; some practices may be at Kaeser Field and Liberty Park.

How can I get ready for softball or start to practice? Will there be clinics?

4S Softball hosts clinics both before and during the season. All clinics, and sign up information, are communicated to the league through email.

Can I drop off/pick up my daughter for practices and/or games?

For safety reasons, you may NOT drop your player(s) off for practices and/or games UNLESS you have explicitly worked this out with the Manager. If you have arranged to  have another player’s parent, or other guardian, do so, please notify the Manager. Further, unless previously arranged, you MUST pick up your player from the field (not the street/field entrance) after practices/games.

What is expected of the parents?

4S Softball is a 100% volunteer run organization and each player’s family is asked to help out in some volunteer capacity. This helps keep our costs reasonable but also contributes to the community feel of the league. The girls really like having their parents involved and most parents find that it is a fun experience and enjoy getting to know other families from the area. The specific positions available can be found on this website. You will have the opportunity to specify your preferred role(s) during the registration process. In addition, most  Managers appreciate any extra help they can get, so please let your team Manager know if you are interested in volunteering and they will let you know how to sign up. Don’t worry if you know nothing about softball-- every parent has something to offer.

We encourage you to attend your daughter’s games. In addition to lots of cheering and your wild enthusiastic support, your daughter will appreciate and benefit enormously from your presence. 

In addition, 4S Softball has a code of conduct and good neighbor policy by which all families are expected to abide. This information will be provided to you as you register and will be reviewed with you by your Team’s Manager.

Can I get information on the new 4S Ranch turf?


Here is a site that you can visit to give you information regarding the turf at the 4S Ranch Community Park. Please visit http://www.syntheticturfcouncil.org/?page=CRI


Spring Rec Team Formation FAQs

How are teams formed?

Teams are organized in age divisions, determined by players' year of birth and aligned with the policies of USA Softball (USAS), the national organization which governs our league. Each division spans two years and is consistent with national USAS standards, and most leagues in neighboring communities. Players register for the division that corresponds to their birth year and must provide proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or passport copy. Refer to Spring or Fall season pages to determine your daughter’s division.

This two-year divisional structure allows girls to learn new skills and stretch themselves in their first year in a new division and then gain confidence and leadership skills during their second year in a division. This is at the heart of the League’s philosophy to develop the ‘whole girl’ as well as good softball players.

In the 6U divisions, teams are “school based”, which means that to the extent possible, teams are formed with girls from the same school. If a particular school doesn’t have enough players or coaches to form a complete team, nearby schools are sometimes combined to form a team. We encourage you to invite all your classmates to come out and play softball with you this Spring! In 6U, you may request a buddy during the registration process.

In our Upper Divisions (8U, 10U, 12U & 14U), teams are not school based as they are in 6U. Instead, 4S Softball makes every effort to create teams balanced by skill and experience to create an equal playing field for fun and fair competition. To create teams balanced by experience and skill level, all players in the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U divisions, players attend a Skills Assessment session in early January. Teams are composed of girls from various schools, and everyone makes new friends. 

Does my player have to try out?

In our Spring recreational league, everyone plays. There are no tryouts to determine who makes or does not make the league. In the 6U age divisions, teams are formed based on the schools the players attend. For the upper divisions (8U and above), we hold player skills assessments in early January to help create balanced teams. Again, this is not a tryout. Once these players are evaluated, we use a draft system to balance skill level at each division. Pitchers and catchers are also balanced across these teams. 

My player is ready for the next level of softball. Can she "play up" despite her age?

4S Softball requires all players to play in their correct age division by birth year. Placement in an upper division requires that a player meets criteria set forth in our Rules & Regulations that can be found on our website.

Can my daughter play down a division?

4S Softball requires all players to play in their correct age division by birth year. Placement in a lower division requires that a player meets criteria set forth in our Rules & Regulations that can be found on our website, 

Can sisters play on the same team?

Sisters in the same age division will automatically be put on the same team UNLESS the parent requests otherwise. Note, having sisters of the same or similar age placed on different teams can be challenging on a parent's schedule and is therefore not recommended.

Can my daughter play with her friends?

In the 8U-14U divisions, there are no friend requests. Priority is given to balancing the skills across all  teams. Teams are composed of girls from various schools and everyone makes new friends.

Can my daughter play with her sister and a buddy?

A 6U player can request to be placed on a team with a friend OR a sister, but NOT BOTH.

How and when will I know what team my player is on?

Teams are formed by draft just prior to the start of the season. Final Team formations are reviewed and approved by the Board. You will receive an email directly from your team manager with all pertinent information related to the season.

What position will my daughter play?

Many factors such as skill, attitude, and participation in practices determine playing positions. While the Coaching Staff make the final decisions, they are encouraged to rotate players through a variety of positions throughout the season to expose players to all positions. 

What are the pitching policies at various age levels?

  • 6U: Coach pitch or players hit from a batting tee. There are no strikeouts. All players hit every inning.

  • 8U: Player/Coach pitch. Pitching is introduced at this age level but is limited to keep up the pace of play. We encourage all players interested in pitching to try it in game situations.

  • 10U - 14U: Player pitch only. Refer to our Rules & Regulations for pitching rules for your division. 

Equipment FAQs 

What equipment does 4S Softball provide and what do I provide?

4S Softball provides each player a practice tee, game jersey, and a pair of socks. Players must have their own softball pants, fielding face mask, and softball gloves. Refer to glove size information below.  

Managers are issued fielding face masks, batting helmets, bats, balls, and catcher's gear for players to use throughout the season. Note that this means equipment may be shared with other players. If you are not comfortable with this, we suggest borrowing/purchasing your own equipment.

Optional: 

  • Softball cleats, plastic bottomed only, are recommended 10U and above players wear softball cleats. (14U players may have metal cleats as they will not play on 4S Sports Park turf fields.)

  • Sliding shorts (or pants) and knee pads are recommended for girls at the 10U level, and up.

If you choose to purchase softball equipment:

  • Helmets must have a metal face mask and be NOCSAE-approved. We suggest an adjustable helmet rather than a one-size-fits-all model.

  • Bats must be marked "ASA Softball approved" with a date of 2004 or later. Do check with a coach first if you are uncomfortable making a selection (correct bat size is critical). Note that high-performance bats (i.e. composite, titanium, or multi-walled) are NOT ALLOWED.

What size glove should I buy for my daughter?

Suggested sizes:

  • 6U: 10-10.5 inches

  • 8U and 10U: 11-11.5 inches

  • 12U and 16U: 12-12.5 inches

What do I need to know before buying a glove?

Buy all-leather. The glove is worn on the left hand for players who throw with their right hand (known as a right-hand throw glove), and vice-versa for left-handers. Look for a hinged design, without extra padding in the palm, to make it easier for your daughter to close the glove. Don't buy a glove that feels too stiff. When buying a youth glove, remember softballs are bigger than baseballs; test how well the ball fits in the glove.

How do I break in a new glove? 

Apply a small amount of mink oil or lanolin shaving cream in the pocket and spread it outward around the glove. Put a ball in the pocket, close the glove evenly on the ball, and tie it closed with a strip of cloth. Then, slide it under a mattress for a day or two. Use the glove to play catch; gloves break in naturally as they are used.

What are sliding shorts?

Sliding shorts are tight-fitting compression shorts similar to bike shorts worn under uniform shorts for extra sliding protection. They have a non-slip grip on the hem of each leg to keep them in place while the player is sliding. Some versions come with padding; these are recommended, particularly for players new to sliding and those who may play on dirt fields.

What are knee guards?

Knee guards are long knee pads that protect a player's knee and calf sliding. Most players choose to wear knee guards on both legs. Buy the extended length model that protects both the knee and lower leg.

Does my player really need to wear cleats?

Cleats will greatly improve your daughter's traction. In the interest of safety, players in the upper divisions (10U-14U) are required to wear cleats. Some players wear soccer shoes with success, but softball cleats perform better. Metal cleats are only allowed for 14U.

Should my player have her own batting helmet?

Although team helmets are provided, personal batting helmets are highly recommended to ensure personalized fit and cleanliness. Helmet must be NOCSAE-approved and have both a facemask and a chin strap.

What purposes do the chin strap and face guard serve?

The chin strap keeps the helmet from bouncing off the player's head when running or sliding and is required equipment. The face mask protects the batter's face from foul tips and is required for players.

What size bat should I buy?

For fast pitch softball, choose a light bat with at least a 9 oz drop marked "official softball ASA Approved" (2-1/4-inch diameter or less) and a 2004-or-later certification. "Drop" refers to the difference between the bat length in inches and its weight in ounces. Popular sizes are 25"/16 oz. for 6U, 26/17 for 8U, 28/19 for 10U, 30/20 for 12U, and 32/22 for 14U. Note: The Batter's Box website has a bat sizing chart for youths by player height and weight (http://www.aluminumbats.com/bat_chart.htm). As a rule of thumb, the knob of the bat should come to the player's wrist when the bat is stood upright on the floor and the player's arms are hanging loosely at her sides. As for bat weight, the player should be able to hold the bat with one arm outstretched for 10 seconds. Drops higher than 10 are becoming increasingly available at affordable prices, and it is generally better to err on the side of getting a bat that is too light than one that is too heavy. Buying a bat that a player can grow into is a common mistake, as they generally perform poorly while the bat is too heavy and the player doesn’t have fun as a result. Note that certain bats, though ASA-certified, are prohibited for play in 4SRGSBL interleague games (played in Division 12U and above). Composite, titanium, or multi-walled bats are not allowed.

What size ball should I buy?

  • 6U - Worth 10" RIF 1 Sof-Dot Optic Yellow.

  • 8U - Worth 10" RIF 1 Sof-Dot.

  • 10U - Worth 11" RIF 1 Sof-Dot.

  • 12U - Wilson 9106BASA-Low 12" Optic Yellow

  • 14U - Wilson A9016 BSST NFHS 12" Optic Yellow with a Super Sea


4S Ranch Girls Softball

10531 4S Commons Drive #230 
San Diego, California 92127
Email : [email protected]
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