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Sandy Plains Softball Association - East Cobb County Girls Softball

Frequently Asked Questions

REGISTRATION:

·        When do I register?

Registration typically begins about a month before the coming season’s evaluations.  For the spring season, estimate registration to begin in December and for the fall season, expect registration to begin in July. 

·        Where is registration?

Registration can be done online <click here> or you can walk up register at Sandy Plains Fun Day or at Evaluations.  

·        Can I register online?

Yes.  This is the preferred and easiest way to register.  You can sign up, fill out all the necessary forms, and pay your registration fees online. 

·        Where is walk-up registration held?

Walk-up registration is typically done at the main building in front of Sandy Plains Field 1 or the Upper Building by the playground and picnic tables.

·        What forms of payment do you accept?

When you register on-line, you can pay using Visa, Master Card or American Express.  You can also mail in your check or drop it off at walk up registration/Fun Day.

·        What do I need to bring with me to registration?

You do not need to have any special information or documents to register.  We will ask basic information like your daughter’s name, address, birth date, current school and high school district as well as any allergies or physical conditions we need to be aware.  You will have to acknowledge the refund policy and complete the county concussion waiver.

·        Do you have to be a resident of Cobb County to play for SPSA?

No, we welcome players from all areas.  However, you may be subject to a $25 “out of county fee” depending on your zip code.

·        What if I cannot make the registration date or I miss registration?

If online registration is still open you can register there; otherwise you will need to contact the SPSA Coordinator for your daughter’s age division to register.   We do accept limited late registrations until the age groups are full.

ELGIBILITY/EXPERIENCE:

·        Who is eligible to play in the league?

Girls age 4 through 16.

·        Does my daughter need experience to play?

No.  Sandy Plains Softball welcomes girls of all experience and ability levels and has many opportunities to develop and play at the appropriate levels.

·        How will I know what age group to register my daughter for?

The age divisions listed on the website are determined by the Amateur Softball Association and are based on the calendar year your daughter was born.

FEES & COSTS:

·        What are the fees for the current season and what do these fees include?

The registration fee varies by age group.   Rates are subject to change.

6U

$85

8U

$135

10U

$145

12U

$145

13+

$145

·        What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers the cost associated with playing at Sandy Plains including insurance, umpire fees, coaches’ background checks, certifications, trophies, field care, and basic equipment including balls and catcher’s equipment, as well as the cost of the player’s jersey.

·        Will there be any additional fees?

Each team has the option, but is not required, to order other items that can require additional funds.  These items could include visors, socks, pants, names added to the jersey, spirit wear, etc.  Teams can also look to raise funds for end of season parties and/or coaches gifts. 

·        Is there a volunteer fee or discount?

Sandy Plains does not charge, nor requires parents to work in the concession stand.  Discounts are not provided to volunteers.

PRACTICES & GAMES:

·        Where are games and practices located?

Games and practices will be held at Sandy Plains Park (2977 Gordy Parkway, Marietta 30066) or Bells Ferry Park (2334 Bells Ferry Road, Marietta 30066).  Occasionally, girls may play outside of Sandy Plains against teams from other parks.  This is typically a limited number at the 8U and 10u age division, but becomes more frequent in the older age divisions.

·        Are there games/practices during the week?  What time do they start?

Yes, games and/or practices will be held during the week.  Practices and games for the younger age groups start at 5:30/6:00 during the week with older age groups starting at 7:30.

·        How often will the girls practice? How often are games?

Sandy Plains looks to have 3 “touches” per week for each team, whether it is 2 practices and 1 game, or 2 games and 1 practice. The park does its best to keep the schedule as consistent as possible.  Teams play between 10-15 games, including an end of season tournament.  Typically there is a game each Saturday when Cobb County schools are in session and sometimes there is an additional game during the week.  Coaches provide a game schedule to the team within the first 2-3 weeks of practice.

·        When does the season start and end?

In the spring, practices typically start mid-February with the first games either the end of February or beginning of March.  The Spring Fling end of the season tournament is typically the last weekend before school ends.  In the fall, practices typically start in mid-August with the first games either the end of August or beginning of September.  The Spooky Ball end of season tournament is typically the last weekend in October.  You can check the SPSA Calendar for more details.

·        How do I check on the current condition of the fields for inclement weather on practices and game day?

Communication regarding practices will come from your head coach.  Games also can come from your head coach, but can also be checked on the front page of the SPSA website at the “Field Status” widget or by calling the Park Hotline at 770-281-7202. 

·        How long before the game do I need to show up?

This is up to the coach.  However, the batting cages are available to the visiting team for 30 minutes, 1 hour before the start of the game and the cages are available to the home team 30 minutes before the start of the game. 

·        What is the competitive environment like?

Each team is a mix of experience and talent levels.   Most 6U players are beginners. Nearly half of 8U players are beginners.

·        Where can I find information on the rules?

On the SPSA web site under the Rules tab.

SEASON & EVENTS:

·        What is Fun Day?

Fun Day is held at Sandy Plains Park the weekend before evaluations.  Everyone is welcome, whether you are a current, new or former player. All events are free, with games, raffles and other fun attractions.  Walk-Up registration is also held at Fun Day.

·        Are scores kept?

Scores are kept at the 8U age level and older in both the spring and fall seasons.  Standings are kept only in the spring season.   

·        Is there a Picture Day?

Yes.  Team pictures will be held during the rec season and are offered for purchase.

·        Is there and End of Season Tournament?

Yes, in the spring there will be the Spring Fling for 8U and older age groups.  In the fall, there will be the Spooky Ball tournament for 8U and older age groups.  The 6U age group will have an end of season party in both the fall and spring. 

·        What awards are given at the end of the season?

All players receive at least a participation trophy at the end of the season. First and second place tournament team players receive Tournament Championship and Runner Up trophies.

·        Where can I go to find the schedule of events?

Coaches will provide a schedule of practices and games.  General park events can be found on the SPSA Calendar located on the website.

ROSTERS & TEAM PLACEMENT:

·        How are girls selected for a team?

The coaches for each age division, 8U, 10U, 12U and 13+, evaluate the skills of each girl for that division at Evaluation Day.  Each girl is given a score comprised of the average of all of the coaches’ scores for the player.  Then coaches from each age group will participate in a “draft” whereby the coach selects players for their team.  The individual scores are used to "even" out the teams as the order coaches get to select players is determined by the cumulative score of their team. 

·        What are “evaluations”?

Held before the Spring and Fall season, this is where the players will run through a set of hitting, base-running, fielding, throwing, and (for older groups) pitching drills to allow the coaches to make draft evaluations.

·        Can I choose the team I want to play on?

In general, no you cannot choose your team.

·        Can I request that my daughter be placed with a specific coach or friends?

In order to make the drafts for the 8U-13+ Divisions as fair as possible, SPSA is not allowing Coach Requests at this time.  Car pool requests can be made. The association will do it's best to accommodate these requests but cannot guarantee fulfillment.

·        Are sisters assigned on the same team?

The default is yes, so long as they are in the same division. If sisters are requested to be on separate teams, that request has to be made during registration.

·        Can my daughter play with older girls (“play up a division”)?

Typically, SPSA keeps players in their given age division.  At the discretion of the Program Coordinator and Program Director league coordinator, some girls may ‘’play up’’ in age division due to experience or skill level.  The player must register in the normal age division, and make a request to play up with the Program Coordinator and Program Director.  If a spot is available, the player will then evaluate at the higher age level and determined if the player will be allowed to participate at that age level.

·        Can my daughter play with younger girls (“play down a division”)?

No.

·        How will I find out on which team I am placed?

Usually a day or two after the draft for your age division, you should get a call and/or e-mail from the coach informing you of your team and your first practice.

COACHES & VOLUNTEERS:

·        How can I become a Coach?

When registering your player, you may sign up to be a head coach, assistant coach, potential board member or team parent helper.  If registration is closed, or you forgot to sign up, you can make a request to the Program Coordinator or Program Director.

·        Does SPSA require background checks?

To help in assuring safety at our park, head coaches, assistant coaches, and board members is required to pass a background check.  The association will incur all costs associated with obtaining background checks.

·        How are Coaches selected?

Coaches are Parent Volunteers who have decided to give their time to teach our players and support the SPSA community by coaching. Once a parent volunteer has submitted a request to coach with the league coordinator, the league coordinator will present the list of manager and coaching candidates to the Program Director for recommendations to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will approve the managers and coaches. Previous season managers will be given preference in the manager selection process based on the age division in which their daughter is registered, manager seniority and acceptable coaching record.

·        How many assistant coaches can a team have?

A team can have as many assistant coaches as it wants.  However, only one can be assigned prior to the draft.  The more volunteers, the better for practices and the girl’s development.  However, there can only be three coaches on the field.

·        What if I do not have any coaching experience?

SPSA encourages all interested in coaching to volunteer.  The Board will do its best to partner less experienced coaches with more experienced coaches.  Also, the Board has 2 Coach-Player Development members to help all coaches. 

·        Are there other areas I can volunteer besides coaching?

When registering, or even after registering, you can volunteer to be a team parent helper.  This could be a Dugout Parent who helps out managing the dugout during practices or games, or coordinates activities such as snack schedule or uniform ordering.  Each team will need scorebook or scoreboard volunteers as well.

·        Does SPSA have a coach code of conduct?

Yes.  The code of conduct is provided under the SPSA Rule Book, under the section “Regular Season Manager/Coach Selection”



UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT:

·        Do I need to provide any equipment for my daughter to play softball at SPSA?

Yes.  You will be expected to provide your daughter with:

Glove (REQUIRED)- Everyone should have their own

Cleats – Required and rubber only, for safety

Bat - Normally, there are enough bats to share, so feel free to try out the other bats until you find the size/model that works best for you. Bat Selector Chart.  

Batting Helmet - Girls will need a helmet with appropriate face mask and chin strap.  Defensive Mask – Each team is provided one mask.  This is REQUIRED for any player in the pitcher position, and RECOMMENDED for any other players. These can be found at most local sporting goods stores.

·        What about uniforms?

Player jerseys are provided by the park and included in the registration fee.  Each team may choose to add visors, socks, pants, etc.

·        Must my daughter wear her uniform to all games?

Yes, players should arrive in full uniform ready to play.

·        Can my daughter wear jewelry?

No jewelry of any kind may be worn during games. Jewelry should not be worn during practice either.

PLAYER DEVLOPEMENT:

·        Are there any other options available for my daughter to learn the game through SPSA?

Yes.  SPSA provides fundamental clinics at the beginning of each season. Also, SPSA works with Champions Fast Pitch Academy and provides professional pitching and hitting clinics for an additional cost.  You can sign up to participate online, under your registration/account and under daughter’s profile. 

OTHER:

·        Where do I go if I have more questions?

The SPSA website is a tremendous resource of information http://www.sandyplainssoftball.com/ Also, feel free to contact a SPSA Board Member or email any questions to: spsaemail@sandyplainssoftball.com.


TRAVEL & ALL STARS:

·        What is the All-Star team?

The SPSA All-Star team brings together some of the top players from each age division to participate in a more competitive program after the rec league, during the summer months. Players tryout for the team and get a feel of what more competitive softball is all about. This is a great way for players to take their game to the next level and determine if a more competitive softball experience is something they would enjoy. The All-Star team is a higher commitment level than the rec league, and players earn various positions through practice, skill and competency at that position, as well as effort in practice and in games.

·        What is the Select Team?

At SPSA, the Rec “Select” team is the “A” All Star team in each age division. During the Fall Season, the Select Coaches will choose specific Rec players to participate in the Select Winter Workouts. Participating in the Winter Workouts is not a guarantee that the player will make the Select team the following Spring. This will allow coaches to get a better look at a player before Spring tryouts. Select Spring Tryouts will be held no later than 2 weeks following the Spring Rec. Evaluations. All Spring participants are eligible to try out for Select.

·        When are tryouts for the All-Star team?

All-star teams are formed in the spring.  Tryouts are held during the rec league season, typically prior to spring break.  Details are posted on the SPSA website calendar. 

·        What is the All-Star team schedule for practices and games?

The all-star coach will provide a practice and tournament schedule once the team has been selected.  During the rec season, the all-star teams will be given one practice time during the week.  Once the rec league has completed, more practice time will be provided and the team can start participating in tournaments. 

·        What is the difference between Travel Teams & All Star Teams?

All Star teams are formed of players who participated in the current season’s recreational league.  Travel Teams are selected through a highly competitive tryout process.  Travel Team players do not participate in the rec league, play in more tournaments and typically travel further to play their tournaments.  The competitive and intensity level is higher for a travel team versus an all-star team. More information regarding All-Star teams and Travel teams at Sandy Plains can be found on the web site under the Rules – Travel/All-Star/Select Rules tab.

·        What is the difference between different travel teams and travel organizations?

Many travel teams are part of an organization, but don’t have to be.  At Sandy Plains, there are several travel options.  There are individual travel teams that are overseen by SPSA.  Also, Sandy Plains has affiliations with the East Cobb Edge travel organization and the Georgia Fire organization.  

·        What is Feeder or Metro Softball?

Metro ball is run through the local high school booster programs.  Games are held in the fall, with tryouts sometime during the summer months.  Typically rising 5th through 8th grade girls participate for their particular high school district team.   

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