We have BIG NEWS to share with you! We are excited to announce that Edina's slowpitch and fastpitch programs are MERGING in 2023! By combining efforts, we will be able to expand and enhance the softball offerings in our community and offer a variety of options for girls ages 5-14.
Why are we doing this? There are many reasons it makes sense for both of our organizations to come together.
From the slowpitch side, program participation has fluctuated throughout the years and we simply don't have the parent board volunteers we need to continue the slowpitch program alone. Our board works hard all year, but especially in the off-season, to set up registration, schedule fields, organize teams and communicate with families about the upcoming season. Many hands make light work--and we have struggled to find enough hands to make it sustainable for the current board members.
Secondly, there is always confusion from new families about which program is appropriate for their child. And until now, we have been two entirely different organizations, each with our own structure, schedule, volunteer board, and line of communication. We think there is an easier way!
There are differences between the programs, but a lot of the fundamental skills are the same. By merging, we will still be able to provide many of the same quality softball offerings but streamline communication and have one "home" where parents can explore these options and choose what is right for their child.
There will be some growing pains, of course, as we make these changes. There are also some details we are still working out. For example, the slowpitch program has historically offered teams based on current grade level (K-1, 2-3, etc). The fastpitch teams form teams based on age (8U, 10U, etc). We understand there will be some overlap when we combine and we are working hard behind the scenes to make this transition as simple and clear for families as possible. We thank you in advance for your understanding!
Here's what you can expect from our new merged organization:
- You won't need to register for "slowpitch" or "fastpitch"--we will be one organization: Edina Softball!
- We will provide teams ranging from recreational to highly competitive. with varying time commitments.
- Recreational teams will not require try-outs. The more competitive travel teams will be formed after try-outs, consistent with the fastpitch approach in previous years.
- Fundamental skills (throwing, hitting and base-running) will be a part of the experience for all levels!
- The recreational leagues for the youngest girls will be formed by CURRENT grade level (Kindergarten through 2nd grade). Girls will be placed on teams based on school affiliation and friend requests. There will be exposure to the pitching machine and development opportunities, but most of the time, players will have coaches pitch or use a tee.
- Starting with our 8U league, we will form teams based on birthday (for 8U, players have to be 8 or younger by December 31, 2022).
- Our 8U league will have two "paths:" a recreational league with inter-league play only and use of the pitching machine, or a more competitive, travel league that will play teams around the metro area.
- It is possible a child will qualify for both leagues, the youngest K-2 league AND our 8U league. We will help you decide which is the best fit for your child and family!
- Our 10U, 12U and 14U leagues will also have two paths: competitive, travel teams or less competitive, recreational teams. These teams will also be formed by birthdate as not by grade level.
Thank you again for your patience with us during this time of transition. More information will be emailed in the next week about registration for the 2023 summer season! We hope you will join us for this fun and exciting new venture! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
We appreciate your many years of support of our slowpitch program and we look forward to what's next!
Former President of the Edina Softball Association (Slowpitch)