Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When do you play? When can I register my daughter(s) for DGSA softball?
- Online registration for Spring Ball generally begins in January and runs through the end of February or early March. The season generally runs from April into June with games being played on weekday evenings and on Saturdays. Online registration for Fall Ball generally begins in June and runs through mid- to late-July. The season generally runs from September into early October, playing double-headers on Saturdays.
What divisions do you offer?
- Our divisions are age-based, not skills-based. We offer divisions in 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U (6 & under, 8 & under, etc.). Girls may play up one division (for example, an 8-year-old can play 10U if she wants), but they cannot play down (for example, an 8-year-old cannot play 6U).
- 6U: Girls must be between 4 and 6 years old, as of January 1. 6U is non-competitive. No score is kept, no outs are recorded and no umpires are on the field during games. This is very much an instructional division where girls learn the basics of the sport. In games, every player bats in every inning, and every at-bat results in a single. Batting tees are allowed during games for girls who cannot hit a pitched ball from a coach. In Fall Ball, we have a combined 6U/8U division playing by 8U rules.
- 8U: Girls must be 8 years old or younger, as of January 1. 8U introduces the girls to competition, but it is still coach-pitch. No batting tees are allowed during games, however. Umpires are on the field, score is kept, outs are recorded, and wins and losses are recorded. This is still an instructional division with girls learning the basics of the sport. Girls who have never played softball before will do just fine in 8U.
- 10U: Girls must be 10 years old or younger, as of January 1. Girls begin pitching in 10U (fast-pitch). Instruction is still the focal point at 10U, but competition starts carrying more weight at this level.
- 12U: Girls must be 12 years old or younger, as of January 1. Girls fast-pitch. Competition is pretty important at this level, although the girls are always receiving instruction, too.
- 14U: Girls must not have turned 16 as of January 1. Girls fast-pitch. Competition is the focal point, with instruction along the way.
What is the birthdate cutoff date for age categories?
- January 1 of the year in which you are registering your daughter(s) to play in the DGSA.
How young can girls be and play softball with the DGSA?
- Girls must be 4 years old as of January 1 to play in the DGSA. Any younger than that, there are serious safety concerns.
Does DGSA have a residency requirement?
- We don't care where you live. As long as you can make it to practices and games, you're welcome to register for the DGSA no matter what town you call home.
Can parents request teammates and/or coaches?
- Yes. However, the DGSA cannot guarantee that those requests will be fulfilled because 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U teams are drafted by coaches. (The exception is for sisters in the same age division, as we have a system to ensure that they play on the same team.) All coaches are made aware of parent requests on Draft Day and do their best to accommodate those requests, but in a draft format, nothing can be guaranteed. Still, we encourage parents to request teammates and/or coaches so that we can make our best effort to make them happen. In the non-competitive 6U division, teams are assigned by the board, based heavily on parent requests.
Where do you play?
- Click here to see where our fields and surrounding facilities are located. We occasionally travel to other communities within Hendricks County and the western portion of the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
How much does it cost to play in the DGSA?
- For Spring Ball 2014: 6U is $50, 8U is $75, and the other three age groups (10U, 12U and 14U) are $90 for Spring Ball. There is also a $20 concessions fee/deposit added to your registration fees in Spring Ball. Registration for Fall Ball 2014 is $55, regardless of age, and there is no concessions fee/deposit for Fall Ball.
I want my daughter to play softball, but I can't afford it. What can I do?
- A local not-for-profit organization called Sports for All Kids (SFAK) exists to help parents with the cost of kids' sports. Our understanding is that children who receive free or reduced lunches through the Danville school system are eligible for SFAK. This is a separate entity from the DGSA, though, and the DGSA has no control over SFAK's ability or willingness to pay part or all of kids' fees, but we include a question during our online registration about SFAK, and we are happy to request funds from them on your behalf. If you are not eligible for SFAK, or SFAK doesn't fund your daughter's registration, and you still can't afford registration fees, please contact us. We are willing to work with parents. Any SFAK requests or alternative arrangements made with the DGSA board are kept strictly confidential.
Why do I have to pay a $20 concessions fee/deposit with registration?
- Over the past several years, our concessions stand has been staffed by a number of volunteers that can be counted on one hand. As you might imagine, that quickly leads to burnout, especially when those volunteers miss their daughters' games to work concessions. Last year, we discovered that some parents are interested in working a little bit to get their $20 back (and we encourage parents to work shifts that do NOT conflict with their own daughters' games!) while other parents would just rather contribute their $20 to allow the DGSA to hire help. Either way is fine with us. We also learned that coaches HATED collecting that $20 from parents, so we added it to registration this year instead. You only pay/deposit $20, regardless of how many girls you register with DGSA.
What do I need to do to request financial assistance from Sports For All Kids?
- There is a question during registration about whether or not you'd like to apply for Sports For All Kids (SFAK). Answer "yes." Then when it comes time to pay to complete your order, indicate that you will pay with a check. That will complete your registration, and our registrar will be alerted that you're requesting SFAK. After Spring Ball registration closes, he will send all of the information to SFAK. They will then determine if, and how much, they will fund of those registrations in question. SFAK is a separate local not-for-profit organization that has nothing to do with the DGSA, so their decisions on funding are outside of our control.
What kind of equipment does my daughter need to play in the DGSA?
- The DGSA provides shirts and shorts for Spring Ball and t-shirts for Fall Ball. Girls are responsible for their own fielding gloves, batting helmet WITH FACEMASKS (required), bat and shoes. We also STRONGLY ENCOURAGE fielding masks at all ages, especially for infielders. We have several coaches who REQUIRE their infielders to wear fielding masks, and we whole-heartedly back those coaches. Player safety is of the utmost importance to us. We have an equipment exchange in the spring, where parents donate equipment their girls have outgrown for anyone else to take for free.
Why do you make such a big deal about fielding masks? My daughter hates wearing one!
- Disastrous things can happen -- especially in the infield -- to girls who take a softball to the face while not wearing a mask. It's not difficult to find very graphic videos on YouTube that show just how fast it happens and the extent of the damage. We don't want our DGSA girls suffering head injuries, broken bones, damaged eyes, scars or anything else that can be prevented by a face mask. At the younger ages, girls don't have the skills or reaction times yet to defend themselves from a hard hit or a weird bounce. At the older ages, girls can really crank the ball off the bat at high speeds. It's the same concept as seatbelts and airbags in cars -- most of the time, you don't need them, but when you do, you're darn glad to have them. One mask that we like is the RIP-IT brand that you can find on Amazon for about $40 (or less sometimes): http://amzn.com/B0036NOCKC
What are the skills assessments (for 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U) all about? What if my daughter fails the assessment?
- There is no failing the skills assessments, so don't stress about that. We use these to help the coaches at each age level determine how well each girl can throw, catch, run and bat (and pitch at 10U and older). We also use them as part of our draft, where coaches pick which girls will play on their teams this spring. Our coaches and board members are sworn to secrecy about the skills assessment results and anything that happens during Draft Day, so please don't ask them to reveal anything. You can probably imagine how ugly it would get if the girls knew how they scored or where they were drafted. (Plus, coaches draft girls for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with skills assessments -- parent requests, prior history with players, their own daughter's friends, etc.) We don't do skills assessments to destroy girls' self-confidence or to make any sort of judgment about them as human beings. We do them in an effort to make all of our teams as equally-competitive as possible. We encourage all DGSA girls to just relax at skills assessments and have fun knocking the ball around a little bit. It's a fun day for all of us!
What happens at skills assessments?
- Each girl in the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U age groups will throw the ball with adult volunteers, field some fly balls, field some grounders, run a couple of short sprints, and hit some softballs in the batting cage. Girls in 10U, 12U and 14U will also have the opportunity to pitch. Girls will need to bring their fielding glove, bat, batting helmet WITH A FACEMASK and fielding mask to skills assessments. They can just wear comfortable clothes and sneakers with non-marking soles (they'll be in a gymnasium). The DGSA will provide all of the softballs. We will also collect any softball equipment that parents would like to donate for the Equipment Exchange in April. And all parents who indicated that they will pay for registration by way of a check will need to bring that check to skills assessments if they haven't already mailed it to us. We bring a few uniforms, too, if parents want to double-check their daughter's shirt and shorts size. As you can see, there's a lot going on at skills assessments!
Coaching / Adult Involvement
I want to coach in the DGSA. How do I sign up to do that?
- Registering to coach or to be an adult volunteer within the DGSA is easy. As you register your daughter(s) online for softball, register yourself as an adult, too. There is no fee for adult registration. (There's usually a free t-shirt in it for you, too!) Registering yourself online alerts us to your interest in coaching, identifies who your daughter is (to make sure you coach for her team), and allows us to easily communicate with you and assign you to a team. All adult volunteers are required to submit to a criminal background check and a check against the Indiana Sheriff's Sex Offender Registry on a yearly basis. Criminal background checks are at no cost to adult volunteers, and we will give interested volunteers instructions on how to complete one.
What if there are more coaches than teams? How do you prioritize coaching requests?
- This very rarely happens, but if it does, we give top priority to DGSA board members, then to adults who have coached within the DGSA in the past, then to adults who have coached in some other capacity outside of the DGSA. Even if we have too many adults requesting to head coach a team, we can always use assistant coaches. If you want to help out, we'll find a way to make it happen.
I don't want to coach, but do you need help with anything else?
- You bet! We always need help in the concessions stand and picking up trash around the complex. We often need help with maintenance of the facility, too. We frequently need help with various tasks during the season and during tournaments, so if you've got the desire to help and/or a special skill set that you think would benefit the DGSA, by all means, CONTACT US!!!
Are the DGSA board meetings open to the public?
- Absolutely! We welcome and encourage all parents to attend DGSA board meetings and contribute to the discussion. We alert all parents via email and on our Facebook page when we set a board meeting.
How can I become a DGSA board member?
- We elect DGSA board members at the end of Fall Ball to serve for the following year. We strongly encourage anyone interested in serving on the DGSA board to attend board meetings throughout the year to get an idea of what's going on within the association.
Did we not answer your question here? Contact us and ask away!