Spring Rec Season Program
LGCS SPRING REC SOFTBALL
The Los Gatos-Cupertino-Saratoga (LGCS) Girls Fastpitch Softball program is a 100% volunteer-driven, non-profit, tax exempt organization promoting youth athletics, education, and the local community through fastpitch softball for girls in grades Pre-K (starting age 5) through high school. We offer USA Softball-sanctioned spring recreation league teams and competitive travel ball teams (Magic) in the spring, summer, and fall.
The LGCS 2024 Spring Recreation softball season starts in January and ends in early to mid-May. We will hold our evaluations on Sunday, December 17, 2023 at Foothill Elementary in Saratoga, CA. Team formation is expected by early January with the first practices starting as early as mid-January, weather and field conditions permitting. We do not cut – we hold evaluations so that balanced teams can be formed.
LGCS has six primary fields for practice and game play located in 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 Blossom Hill Elementary in Los Gatos, Monta Vista Park in Cupertino, and Foothill Elementary in Saratoga.
- The registration fee for "AA", "AAA", "AAAA", and "AAAAA" division players is $400 for the spring rec season. The registration fee for the "A" division is $250 per player.
- A late registration fee of $100 will apply on or after registration ends 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.
Items Included in Registration Fee
- League softball uniform (team jersey and socks)
- Preseason clinics
- Individual and team photo package for each player
- Use of all necessary equipment except cleats and softball glove
- Professionally trained league coaches
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 support of league events like Softball Appreciation Day and Opening Day. If you are unable to fulfill your volunteer hours, the league offers a volunteer “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 three team managers/coaches per team and league board members. 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 the volunteer buyout at the end of the season.
LGCS can provide scholarships for those who are in need of financial assistance. To speak with us confidentially about your need, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
PRESEASON LEAGUE SPONSORED PLAYER DEVELOPMENT CLINICS
LGCS is committed to the best possible experience for players. To help each player improve and enjoy the game, we have established a preseason clinics program that offers additional expert instruction by professionals.
LGCS will 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 these preseason clinics as the expense is included in player registration fees.
RECREATION LEAGUE DIVISIONS AND RULES
A player’s division is determined primarily by the school grade in which she is currently enrolled.
Typically 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 pitches, the girls will then bat off a batting 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.
Typically 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 after a player-pitcher throws four balls to a batter (there are no walks). Teams are created based upon the player’s school as well as any friend/coach requests made on her registration form.
Typically 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.
Typically 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.
Typically for players enrolled in 8th and 9th Grade, the AAAAA Division generally follows USA Softball championship rules and guidelines. Teams are created through a draft system for competitive balance.
RECREATION LEAGUE PRACTICE/GAME INFORMATION
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.
Weeknight games start at 5:00pm until Daylight Saving Time when that changes to 5:30pm. Weekend games start between 9:00am and 4:00pm (with younger divisions typically earlier in the day).
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.
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
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 College 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
A day in April will be designated Softball Appreciation Day; on that Saturday, all our players, coaches, and families will come together for a huge party including dunk tank, games, and activities. 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, your kids, and our community.
TEAM FORMATION AND PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS
Softball is a team sport, so regular attendance is important in all divisions.
Consistent attendance is especially needed in the AAA and older divisions. 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
LGCS has a policy to allow play-up or play-down requests in unique circumstances when the player population requires a small number of additions or subtractions to balance team roster sizes or based upon other extenuating circumstances. 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 to players with birthdays late in the calendar year.
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 is 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.
Softball Equipment Needs
For the spring rec season, LGCS provides players with their jersey and socks. 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 -- no metal). It is also recommended that players in the AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA divisions wear black 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 and be NOCSAE-approved.
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 all infielders in all divisions.
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, 12U, and 14U travel ball program is called Magic. Magic teams participate in USA Softball tournament play divisions defined as 8U, 10B, 10C, 12B, 12C, 14A, and 14B.
Tournament travel teams play at a higher competitive level. Teams qualifying for USA Softball Western Regionals 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 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.
Questions? Email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.