WAC Softball Age Divisions, Division Goals and USSSA Classifications

8U (ages 8 and below as of Dec. 31 of the current year)

The goal of this division is to inspire each player’s confidence through attentive instruction not only in practice but in the games as well.  Coaches pitch to players using an 11″ ball for all games, however some begin to introduce player pitch when nearing their 10U age up. All games are played on a 60’ diamond with the coach pitch distance set at 35’.

Players will learn how to play several positions in the field. League and tournament games are typically 4 innings or 50-55 minutes. Leagues maybe played both in spring and fall and games are held on Saturday or Sundays for approximately six weeks. Tournaments are typically held in the Des Moines metro area and most teams play in 2-3 in the fall and again in the spring. More advanced 8U teams may also opt to travel for a tournament. Coaches will discuss plans with players and families.

Practices are two to three times per week for 60-90 minutes. The organization allocates access to one hitting and two fielding practice sessions weekly during fall and spring and one hitting session during winter to all age divisions and coaches decide practice plans.

10U (ages 9 & 10 as of Dec. 31 of the current year)

The goal of this division is to continue building on the foundation from 8U.  Girls may begin learning how to will learn how to pitch in 8U but upon entry to 10U they will have to pitch an 11″ ball in games and leagues. Players continue to play several positions in the field–but may begin to see more focused time in specific positions based on skills and team needs.

Games are typically 5-6 innings or 70 minutes in league and/or tournament games. All games are played on a 60’ diamond with the pitching distance set at 35’ using a 10″ ball. Leagues maybe played both in spring and fall and games are held on Saturday or Sundays for approximately six weeks. Tournaments are typically held in the Des Moines metro area and most teams play in 3-6 in the fall and again in the spring. More advanced 10U teams may also opt to travel for a tournament. Coaches will discuss plans with players and families.

Practices are two to three times per week for 60-90 minutes. The organization allocates access to one hitting and two fielding practice sessions weekly during fall and spring and one hitting session during winter to all age divisions and coaches decide practice plans.

12U (ages 11 & 12 as of Dec. 31 of the current year)

Our 12u division offers more advanced instruction and more competitive play. Coaches are experienced and focused on taking each player’s game to the next level. Games are typically 5-6 innings or 70 minutes in league and/or tournament games. All games are played on a 60’ diamond with the pitching distance set at 40’ using a 12″ ball.

Most 12u teams focus primarily on tournaments but may play leagues if they wish.  Tournaments are typically held in the Des Moines metro area and most teams play in 5-8 in the fall and again in the spring. More advanced 12U teams may also opt to travel for  tournaments. Coaches will discuss plans with players and families.

Practices are two to three times per week for 60-90 minutes. The organization allocates access to one hitting and two fielding practice sessions weekly during fall and spring and one hitting session during winter to all age divisions and coaches decide practice plans.

Elite (ages 13 and up of the current year)

Our Elite division offers the most advanced instruction and most competitive play. Coaches are experienced and focused on preparing player’s for high school ball. Games are 6 innings or 70 minutes in league and/or tournament games. All games are played on a 60’ diamond with the pitching distance set at 43’ using a 12″ ball.

Elite teams focus on tournaments.  Tournaments are typically held in the Des Moines metro area and most teams play in 5-8 in the fall and again in the spring which include travel. The organization allocates access to one hitting and two fielding practice sessions weekly during fall and spring and one hitting session during winter to all age divisions and coaches decide practice plans.

Players at this level should be well rounded ball players.  Opportunities will be made available to help fine tune technical skills, but focus will move towards more tactical play.  Games/Practices will be scheduled as not to interfere with school ball.

USSSA Classifications and Age Divisions

Girls’ Fastpitch Class “A” – Any team considered to be the highest level competitive travel team. If a team is normally in or should be in contention to win a tournament they are entered and/or they beat the “better” teams in our area, and you have multiple front line pitchers, then you should consider yourself an “A” team. A smaller percentage of teams qualifies for A.

Girls’ Fastpitch Class “B” – Any team considered to be an solid but average travel team. If a team is occasionally in or should be in contention to win a tournament they are entered and are competitive with most teams, and you have good but not overwhelming pitching, then you should consider yourself an “B” team. The majority of teams qualifies for B.

Girls’ Fastpitch Class “C” – Any team considered to be an entry level or new travel team with kids new to travel softball  and lacks the experience and number of skilled players and pitchers to compete with the higher skilled Class “A and B” teams.

Age Classification – USSSA allows teams to sanction their team with actual age levels (10U, 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, 18U). If a team is comprised of players all of the same playing age they are registered with the exact age level. This will allow USSSA directors to create tournaments and divisions within a tournament with teams of the same age level.  Teams are still free to “play up”.

“OPEN Tournaments”– Most tournaments will be classified “OPEN” that allows “A”, “B” and “C” teams to play together. As team register for tournaments divisions for the different classes may be created. There are always some C events each year and several B events.