Why a Middle School Softball Program?
While Loudoun County has a number of recreation, travel softball, and high school softball programs providing opportunities for female athletes, it does not have a middle school program like those in neighboring counties and the boys’ baseball program currently in place in Loudoun. Additionally, youth sports organizations sponsor other middle school programs (basketball, volleyball, wrestling, etc.). Both parents and players alike have consistently shown an interest for a middle school softball program.
What is the benefit of the Middle School Softball Program?
The middle school program provides young ladies at participating middle schools the opportunity to represent their school, enhance school spirit, develop camaraderie, encourage teamwork, and to further develop their softball skills while developing relationships with the girls they will play with in high school. The program will also provide an opportunity to encourage participation from the high school programs as the middle school players practice and play together before they try out for their respective high school teams.
What Leagues/Schools are participating in the Program?
Ashburn Girls Softball League schools – Belmont Ridge, Eagle Ridge, Farmwell Station, Trailside
Leesburg Girls Softball League schools – Harper Park, Simpson, Smarts Mill
Dulles Youth Sports schools – Brambleton, Lunsford, Mercer, Stone Hill, Willard
Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League schools – River Bend, Seneca Ridge, Sterling Middle
Western Loudoun Girls Softball League schools – Blue Ridge, Harmony,
How does the Middle School Softball Program differ from House League and Travel Team Softball?
The middle school softball program provides interested players an opportunity to play a more competitive level of softball than house league, but not with the full commitment of a travel program. It also provides the opportunity to represent their school, enhance school spirit, develop camaraderie, encourage teamwork, and to further develop their softball skills while developing relationships with the girls they will play with in high school. However, this is not a developmental program. Therefore, it is a participation requirement that each girl be currently participating in either a house or travel program. Teams will be encouraged to make sure players get playing time, however there are no guaranteed playing time minimums. Rosters will be staffed to accommodate different skills levels and potential schedule conflicts.
How will the Middle School Softball Program work?
Registration for House and Middle School Teams will occur congruently. House League Registration will continue after Middle School Registration has closed. Middle School Registration will open at the same time as LLGSL house league registration. Middle School Registration is scheduled to end January 31st. Middle School tryouts will be held in February or early March. Announcements will be made through the league websites. The season will run from late March through May with playoffs to be held at seasons end.
- We expect to have a 10-12 game season with single elimination playoffs or possible tournament style playoff (pool play and championships).
- Time commitment is two evenings per week. As of now, it is anticipated that practices will be on Monday with games on Friday. Due to scheduling conflicts and rain dates, there may be very few practices as practice days will serve as make-up game days.
All middle school female athletes (grades 6th– 8th) are eligible to tryout. One team will be formed for each participating middle school from players that attend that school or are homeschooled or attend private school, but live in the attendance boundary for their school.
Schools may be combined if numbers do not support adequate team size or at the league's discretion.
Each participating league will be responsible for managing tryouts, field allocations, coach selection, team selection, practice schedules, and uniforms for the middle schools in their jurisdiction. Games will be officiated using Virginia High School League (VHSL) rules.
What are the expectations of the Middle School Program?
This is to be a competitive league. Most of the players are expected to have extensive playing experience. The coaches will expect players to be highly motivated to play. Lineups will have strict limitations, unlike house leagues, there is no full roster batting. Due to the competitive nature of this league expect teams to have as many as 14 or 15 rostered players, (Note this will diminish playing time for some.) It is conceivable that we may have to contract down to one or two teams, should we not get enough players to form three teams (one from each school)
What is the anticipated cost to play in the Middle School Softball Program?
$150. This fee will be added to the registration of players selected for the team which must be paid prior to February 28. Non-Payment will result in de-registration of Player. This fee covers the player jersey and socks, along with coach's equipment and field fees. Middle school players must provide their own gear and black sliding pants.
Can a player only register for Middle School Softball?
No, a player must either be a rostered Travel Team player or registered to play on an LLGSL House League team to qualify to be on a Middle School Softball team.
How can a player simultaneously play in both Middle School Softball and other Softball programs?
Games will only be scheduled on Fridays with make-ups scheduled on Mondays. The individual leagues schedules will be drafted to avoid major conflicts, i.e., games will not be scheduled on same days. Since no Middle School games will be scheduled on the weekends, there should be no Travel Ball conflicts. House league games are usually scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays for both 12U and Seniors 13+ division, therefore there should be no conflicts with Middle School games. It will be very important that each player discuss her individual situation with her coaches to set expectations.
Will a separate registration be required for House League team?
Yes, unless your daughter is a Travel Team player, she will need to be on an LLGSL team. If your player is not selected for the Middle School team, she will enter the player pool for the appropriate LLGSL age division. There will be no late fee assessed for the house league registration if the player was registered prior to the Middle School registration deadline.
How will team selection be determined?
Player selection and team size will be determined by individual coaches and the process established by participating leagues.
What Affiliation does this program have with Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS)?
None, other than utilizing LCPS Middle School boundaries for team alignment and LCPS fields via arraignment with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS). This program is administered by the local leagues involved in conjunction with scheduling assistance from the Loudoun County Softball Alliance (LCSA).
Who can I contact if I have questions not answered here?
Rob Smith is serving in the role of LLGSL Middle School Softball Coordinator for this year and will be the head coach of the team: Please contact Rob at
, if you would like to volunteer to be a team helper.