Skip to content

Spring Rec Program

Welcome to the information page about the LGCS Girls Fastpitch Softball plans for our 2020 spring season. We look forward to a wonderful experience for our entire community of LGCS sponsors, volunteers, players, coaches, and families! Thank you for your enthusiastic support. It's going to be a terrific new year with lots of fun and excitement for the kids. Please review the following information, an overview provided for families with players in the league. We want every player and family to have an excellent experience in our league and with the game of softball.  Should you have additional questions, please email the league at help@lgcsfastpitch.org.

INTRODUCTION

The Los Gatos-Cupertino-Saratoga Girls Softball program (LGCS) is a 100% volunteer-driven, non-profit, tax exempt organization promoting athletics, education and community through fastpitch softball for girls in grades Pre-K through High School. We offer USA Softball sanctioned recreation league teams and competitive travel ball teams in the summer and fall.

The Recreation League Season

The LGCS recreation softball season runs from February to the middle of May. Registered players can participate in league sponsored indoor skills clinics starting in early January. Teams are formed in late January and practices begin soon afterwards. Players develop and gain experience, playing and participating in team practices, practice games, regular season games, and playoffs.

Our Facilities

The organization has six (6) fields total for game play located in the towns of Los Gatos, Cupertino, and Saratoga. Teams will be assigned games and practices at these locations with the goal of minimizing travel for all our families. Sites include Monta Vista Park in Cupertino, Foothill Elementary in Saratoga, and Blossom Hill Elementary in Los Gatos.

Tournament Team Seasons

Players that participate in our recreation league season are eligible to play on competitive summer and fall season travel ball teams. Our 8U, 10U, and 12U travel ball program is called Magic. Magic teams participate in USA Softball tournament play divisions defined as 8U, 10B, 10C, 12B, and 12C. Our organization also offers spring, summer, and fall travel ball at 14A, 14B, 16A, 16B, and 18A levels as part of a program called Quakes Fastpitch. Tournament travel teams play at a higher competitive level.  "A" classified teams begin tournament play in the February/March timeframe while tournament play for "B" and "C" classified teams typically begins in late May and runs through July. Teams qualifying for USA Softball Western Nationals and Nationals play through early August. Fall teams are typically formed in mid August and the fall season typically runs through the end of October or early November. Interested players and parents should watch the league web site and look for email announcements about tournament travel ball teams registration. Tryout and evaluation schedules will be posted on the Magic page on this website. Our philosophy is to try and place every player interested in playing Magic on a team for summer and fall season play. Email the Magic Director for more information magic@lgcsfastpitch.org.

Alexis Briski Scholarship

Each spring the LGCS honors high school graduates from Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Cupertino with the Alexis Briski Scholarship. In June 2019, several talented seniors from our league received the scholarship. Check out the Alexis Briski Tournament home page to learn more about recent scholarship recipients and this annual event in the fall that brings almost 1,000 players together from greater Northern CA to play fastpitch softball.

Proceeds from our annual fall tournament fund the scholarship(s) and other high value programs that benefit our community. For more information and to apply for the 2020 scholarship, contact us by email at magic@lgcsfastpitch.org.

Items Included in Registration Fee

The following items are included with each player’s registration fee for the 2020 spring recreation season.

  • League softball uniform (team jersey and socks)
  • Preseason semi-private skills clinics taught by the professionals at Cutting Edge Softball
    • Clinics offered include pitching, catching, hitting and defense skills (minor additional fee for pitching clinic participants)
  • Recreation league season games played from early March to the middle of May
  • Recognition award for each player at season's end (6U and 8U divisions)
  • Individual and team photo package for each player
  • Use of all necessary equipment except cleats and softball glove
  • Professionally trained league coaches

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Registration Process

To register your player(s) for our league, please use the online registration system. Visit the Registration page and complete the registration process. You can also click on the "2020 Registration Open" banner on the home page of the website. Registration opens at the start of November and closes mid-January.

Information Needed to Complete Registration

The following items will be needed to help complete registration using the online system.

  • Name, address and telephone number of player's doctor
  • Medical insurance policy name and medical record number
  • Emergency contact person name, phone number
  • Full contact information for parents/guardians

Returning players, please review and update the information we have on file when registering (especially medical info).

Late registration (after close date of standard registration) places a player on our wait list. Wait list players are not guaranteed a spot on a team.

Registration Fees

The registration fee for "AA", "AAA", and "AAAA" division players is $275 for spring rec 2020. The registration fee for the "A" division player is $175 per player.

All "A" division and "AA" division players registered by November 30 will have a chance to win a customized LGCS softball bag (~$100 value). Please register your "A" and "AA" division players no later than November 30, 2019 for a chance to win.

All "AAA" division and "AAAA" division players registered by November 30 will have a chance to win a 2020 Louisville Slugger LXT or 2020 DeMarini CF Zen softball bat (~$350 value). Please register your "AAA" and "AAAA" division players no later than November 30, 2019 for a chance to win.

Families registering two (2) or more siblings will receive a $25 discount per player.

A late registration fee of $50 will apply on or after January 15, 2020 to cover additional costs incurred for uniforms and equipment as well as the management of our waiting list.

Registration fees are non-refundable after teams are formed in late January.

Volunteer Work Commitment

All families have a mandatory obligation to volunteer time for league activities which include working at the snack shack, field prep, and activities for Softball Appreciation Day. If you are unable to fulfill your volunteer hours, the league offers a $200 volunteer work “buyout” at registration. In recognition of the significant time and effort put in by our team managers and coaches, the league will waive the volunteer requirement for two (2) team managers/coaches per team. League officials will be sending out a volunteer signup list towards the beginning of the season. If you have not purchased the volunteer buyout, please signup for the requisite number of volunteer slots. If you do not fulfill your volunteer requirements, you will be required to pay for a volunteer buyout.

Financial Scholarships

The LGCS recognizes that there are children within our community who would like to play but cannot afford the fees. As a result, LGCS can provide scholarships for those who are in need financial assistance. You must satisfy the requirements of the program to be eligible for full or partial financial assistance. You can email info@lgcsfastpitch.org for more information.

PRESEASON LEAGUE SPONSORED PLAYER DEVELOPMENT CLINICS

Clinics Program

The LGCS is committed to the best possible experience for players. To help each player improve and enjoy the game, we've established a preseason clinics program that offers additional expert instruction by professionals.

The LGCS partners with Cutting Edge Softball (CES) to teach a wide variety of skills including fielding, throwing, pitching, hitting and catching. Clinics are also provided to coaches to improve their teaching methods, drills, coaching strategies, and game day preparation. There is no additional cost for clinics (except pitching clinics) as the expense is included in a player's league registration fee. Space is limited so complete your league registration early and then immediately sign up for clinics.

Clinics Registration

Interested players that want to participate in clinics must register for spring rec league season using our online player registration system. Before completing the clinic registration please read the description and time commitment required for each clinic on the Clinics page. Make sure your player is age level appropriate and agrees to attend all sessions of the clinic. As space will be limited, any player missing a clinic is subject to being dropped and replaced. Reach our clinics coordinator via email to info@lgcsfastpitch.org.

Cutting Edge Softball

For more information about the full scope of CES services including camps, private lessons, small group lessons, and facility rental, please contact Cutting Edge Softball (www.cuttingedgesoftball.com). CES has a dynamic staff of instructors and maintains an indoor training facility.

Cutting Edge Softball is located at 1844 Stone Avenue, San Jose, CA  95125.

RECREATION LEAGUE DIVISIONS AND RULES

A player’s division is determined primarily by the school grade in which she is currently enrolled.

A Division

For players enrolled in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade, the A Division is designed to teach girls the basic fundamentals of softball.  Scores are not kept and emphasis is placed on having fun. All girls will bat with their own team pitcher (a coach or manager). After four (4), pitches the girls will then bat off a hitting tee. All players will bat and play in the field each inning so that they learn the game and develop team spirit and good sportsmanship. Teams are created based upon the player’s school as well as any friend/coach requests made on her registration form.

AA Division

For players enrolled in 2nd and 3rd Grade, the AA Division introduces player pitching and specific softball skills and strategies. Games are scored but with a limit on runs in the first three (3) innings. Continuous batting is used and coach pitching takes place only when a player issues a walk. This assures consistent pace of play. Teams are created based upon the player’s school as well as any friend/coach requests made on her registration form.

AAA Division

For players enrolled in 4th and 5th Grade, the AAA Division introduces players to regulation softball play and rules. There is a combination of player and coach pitching, stealing bases is allowed (one at a time), but the dropped third strike and infield fly rules are not used. Teams are created through a draft system for competitive balance with consideration given to the player’s school.

AAAA Division

For players enrolled in 6th and 7th Grade, the AAAA Division generally follows USA Softball championship rules and guidelines. However, all the girls will continue to bat in continuous order and there will be an open defensive substitution policy to maximize play and experience. Teams are created through a draft system for competitive balance.

Recreation Season Rules by Division

Please see the Rules page for details.

RECREATION LEAGUE PRACTICE/GAME INFORMATION

Practice and Game Locations

The following chart gives general information about the time commitment and scheduling for each division including practices and games.  Managers make the final decision on their team’s practice schedule.

Division

Events Per Week

Practice Days

Practice Length

Games Per Week

Game Length

Game Days

A

2

1

1 Hour

1

60 min +

Sat

15 min warm-up

AA

3-4

1-2

1-2 Hours

2

90 min +

Sat +

30 min warm-up

Weekday

AAA

3-4

1-2

1-2 Hours

2

90-120 min +

Sat +

45-60 min warm-up

Weekday

AAAA

3-4

1-2

1-2 Hours

2

 90-120 min +

Sat +

45-60 min warm-up

Weekday

Game Times

Weeknight games start at 5:00pm until Daylight Saving Time when that changes to 5:30pm. Weekend games start between 9:00am and 7:00pm (with younger divisions typically earlier in the day).

Game Locations

Recreation league home games are played primarily at Foothill Elementary in Saratoga, Monta Vista Park in Cupertino, and Blossom Hill Elementary in Los Gatos. Some games are scheduled against other local leagues (interleague play) and will be played nearby. Check the Locations page for more details. Game schedules will posted and shall include the location information.

Practice Times / Locations

The practice times and locations will be decided by each manager and communicated to each family on that team. The league assigns fields for team practices at Foothill Elementary, Blossom Hill Elementary, and Monta Vista Park.

RECREATION SEASON SPECIAL EVENTS

Photo Day

Early in the season on a Sunday to be determined each team and all the individual players will have their pictures taken. Families receive an individual and team photo as part of the player's registration fee. Families can purchase additional photos and photo-based items including buttons, key chains, etc. Forms will be available at photo day, and each family should complete a form for their player. Volunteer coaches with our league have a special bonus, a buddy photo that is taken with their player and provided compliments of the league. Photos will be delivered to each team prior to the end of the season.

LGCS Night at Stanford University or Santa Clara University Women's Softball

Experience a great evening of high caliber Division I softball, giving our players the opportunity to meet collegiate athletes and learn more about the game while being inspired to practice and develop their skills.

Softball Appreciation Day

The most exciting event on the LGCS calendar each year is Softball Appreciation Day. A day in April will be designated Softball Appreciation Day, and on that Saturday all our players, coaches, and families will come together for a huge party including dunk tank, yearbook distribution, games, activities, and a terrific raffle with major prizes. The day includes a full schedule of softball games to go along with the other fun and surprises. The event takes place at Foothill Elementary. The barbecue is fired up so plan on lunch at the field and spending all day with us to celebrate softball and our kids.

LGCS Fundraiser and Social

Families and friends of the LGCS are invited to join us for a big night of food and bocce ball. Last year nearly 50 people participated to raise money for our organization. Food, drink, and lots of laughs are the focus with some interesting bocce play being demonstrated as well. The schedule for this year's event will be posted soon. Contact us at info@lgcsfastpitch.org to receive more information and reserve your spot.

TEAM FORMATION AND PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS

Attendance Expectations

Softball is a team sport, so regular attendance is important in all divisions.

Consistent attendance is especially needed in the AAA and AAAA divisions as teams are no longer school based. Participation is essential to maintain the competitive balance that LGCS works to achieve each season. We ask everyone to be very mindful of the playing days and time commitments for their division before signing up to avoid scheduling conflicts. It is not fair to the other players when players regularly miss events, arrive late, or leave early.

Playing Up or Down a Division

The LGCS has a policy to allow play up or play down requests only in very unique circumstances when the player population requires a small number of additions or subtractions to balance team roster sizes. If you would like the league to consider a play up or play down request, please note that on your registration form. Consideration is also given for players with birthdays late in the calendar year as their school grade may not line up with their official USA Softball age.

Team Formation

As the focus of LGCS recreation season play is purely for enjoyment and skill development, everyone plays and there are no tryouts. Teams are formed in early February, a few weeks after registration has closed. There are, however, player evaluations for the AAA and AAAA divisions to determine skill levels and aid in the formation of balanced teams via a draft.

LGCS Player Agents, with input as needed from the Vice President, make the final determination on team formation issues and placement of players. Managers and coaches are not able to make any changes but have a draft format in the AAA and AAAA divisions. Your manager will communicate the team’s roster to all families in the week following our annual orientation meeting of the Coaches and Managers in early February. Manager notifications will include the team's practice schedule information.

Friends Requests Policy

For players registered in the A and AA divisions, LGCS supports and encourages players to submit requests at the time of registration for particular friends with whom they wish to play. This might include playing with siblings as well. While fulfillment of requests is not guaranteed, the A/AA Player Agent will do his/her best to support each request. It’s important for the kids to play with friends and inspire the best in each other as they get comfortable and learn more about the game of softball.

Parent Participation

The LGCS is a 100% volunteer based organization, and all parents are required to volunteer their time in some capacity including in the snack shack, at tournaments, or during Softball Appreciation Day. If families would prefer not to volunteer their time, each family can choose to purchase a “buyout” from this obligation. A $200 buyout can be purchased at registration.

It’s our experience that your daughter will appreciate and benefit enormously from parental involvement, and we highly encourage you to attend your daughter’s games and related softball team activities. In addition, most Coaches and Managers appreciate any extra help they can get so please volunteer to help at practices, games or in team support positions. Don’t worry if you “know nothing about softball”- every parent has something to offer.

EQUIPMENT

Softball Equipment Needs

LGCS provides a uniform for each player including jersey, and socks.  The league also provides almost all necessary equipment for game play including fields, bases, batting helmets, bats, balls, and catcher’s gear.

Players are responsible for a softball glove and cleats (either softball or soccer cleats as long as they are plastic or rubber on the bottom). It is also recommended that players in the AAA and AAAA division wear softball pants along with sliding shorts and/or knee pads.

If families choose to purchase additional softball equipment for their player(s), please read the following notes and be certain that equipment meets the following USA Softball rules/standards:

1. Helmets must have a face mask, be NOCSAE-approved and we suggest an adjustable rather than “one size fits all” model.

2. Bats must be fastpitch models, marked "ASA Softball approved" or "USA Softball approved" with a 2004 date or newer. Check with a coach first if you are uncomfortable making a selection (correct bat size is critical).

3. Gloves should be size and weight appropriate for each level with special attention given to the younger players new to the game.

4. Defensive fielders mask is recommended and encouraged for all players by LGCS Girls Softball and is mandatory for pitchers in all divisions.

Play Ball!