Who can play?
MVLAGS is open to girls from ages 5-16 living or attending school in or near the Mountain View-Los Altos area.
Can I join even if I have never played softball?
Absolutely! We encourage all skill levels to join. Our league is built around girls playing with friends and having fun as well as learning the game and improving skills. All girls, regardless of ability or experience, will be able to play.
How long is the season?
How are the teams and age groups organized?
Teams are organized in age divisions, determined by players' year of birth. Each division spans two years. When you hear someone say "8U", they are referring to the "8-and-under" division.
Age Divisions For 2014 Season:
What time commitment is necessary to play softball and when/where do practices take place?
The chart gives specifics about the time commitment and scheduling for each division:
WEEKLY PRACTICE AND GAME GUIDELINES:
Midweek games generally start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday games generally start between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Coaches will require their players to arrive 30 – 45 minutes before game time to warm-up properly and be ready to start the game on time.
Stevenson Park in Mountain View is our home field complex and has three softball diamonds for 8U+ games as well as multiple locations for 6U games. We also have games at Graham, Callahan and Springer. Additionally, the 12U and above divisions also play Interleague games throughout the local area. Check the individual Field Locations for more information.
Practices take place at various local Mountain View and Los Altos schools: Theurkauf (Stevenson Park), Graham, Crittendon (Callahan field), Slater, Oak and Springer. Practice fields are typically divided into an early and late slot to fit two teams per field on weekdays with practice times for a given team typically dependent upon the coaches' availability and the game schedule, so practices are coordinated by the League’s Scheduler (email@example.com) for the 8U and above divisions.
What equipment does MVLAGS provide and what do I provide?
MVLA provides the uniforms, fields, bases, batting helmets, bats, balls and catcher's gear. Uniforms in the 6U and 8U divisions include jerseys, black shorts, visors and socks. Uniforms at the 10U level and above include jerseys, visors and socks.
Players must provide a softball glove (please put her name on it!).
Softball or soccer cleats (plastic bottomed) are recommended in the 6U/8U
divisions and required at 10U and above.
If you choose to purchase additional softball equipment:
Helmets must have a face mask and be NOCSAE-approved. We suggest an adjustable helmet rather than a one-size-fits-all model.
Bats must be marked "ASA Softball approved" with a date of 2004 or later. Do check with a coach first if you are uncomfortable making a selection (correct bat size is critical). Note that high-performance bats (i.e. composite, titanium, or multi-walled) are NOT ALLOWED in MVLAGS play, though they may be allowed when playing teams from other leagues (12U and up).
See the Resources page for suggestions on where you can purchase equipment.
How can I get ready for softball or start to practice? Will there be clinics?
MVLAGS hosts clinics both before and during the season. Information will be sent to all registered players via email and will be posted in our Events Calendar.
What is expected of the parents?
MVLAGS is a 100% volunteer run organization and each player’s family is asked to help out in some volunteer capacity. This helps keep our costs reasonable but also contributes to the community feel of the league. The girls really like having their parents involved and most parents find that it is a fun experience and enjoy getting to know other families from the area. The specific positions available can be found on this website. You will have the opportunity to specify your preferred role(s) during the registration process. 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.
We encourage you to attend your daughter’s games. In addition to lots of cheering and your wild enthusiastic support, your daughter will appreciate and benefit enormously from your presence. Please note, for safety reasons you MAY NOT DROP YOUR PLAYER OFF FOR A PRACTICE/GAME UNLESS YOU EXPLICITLY WORK THIS OUT WITH THE CHAPERONE/MANAGER. FURTHER, YOUR PLAYER MUST BE PICKED UP AFTER PRACTICE/GAMES.
In addition, MVLAGS has a code of conduct and good neighbor policy by which all families are expected to abide. This information will be provided to you as you register, and will be reviewed with you by your Team’s Manager.
How are teams formed?
Teams are organized in age divisions, determined by players' year of birth and aligned with the policies of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), the national organization which governs our league. Each age division spans two years. Players register for the division that corresponds to their birth year and must provide proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or passport copy if registering for the first time. Each division spans two years and is consistent with national ASA standards and most leagues in neighboring communities.
The 2014 age divisions are as follows:
This two year divisional structure allows girls to learn new skills and stretch themselves in their first year in a new division and then gain confidence and leadership skill during their second year in a division. This is at the heart of the League’s philosophy to develop the ‘whole girl’ as well as good softball players.
In the 6U and 8U divisions, teams are “school based”, which means that to the extent possible, teams are formed with girls from the same school. In the event that a particular school doesn’t have enough players or coaches to form a complete team, nearby schools are sometimes combined to form a team. We encourage you to invite all your classmates to come out and play softball with you this Spring! For more info on how lower division teams are formed, please click here.
In our Upper Divisions (10U, 12U & 14/16U), teams are not school-based as they are in 6U/8U. Instead, MVLAGS makes every effort to create teams balanced by skill and experience to create an equal playing field for fun and fair competition. It is still possible to request a particular playing buddy, although there are a few types of buddies that are not allowed (2 pitchers, 2 catchers or 2 Nova players). The MVLAGS Buddy Policy has these limitations to ensure that the most skilled pitchers, catchers and their parents (who are frequently among the most experienced team staff members) can be spread-out fairly amongst all the teams in the division. Teams are composed of girls from various schools and everyone makes new friends. There are no tryouts and every girl (ages 5 to 16) is welcome to play. In order to create teams balanced by experience and skill level, all players in the 10U, 12U and 14/16U divisions take part in a Skills Evaluation session in early January. For more info on how upper division teams are formed, please click here.
Does my player have to try out?
In our recreational league, everyone plays. There are no tryouts to determine who makes or does not make the league. In the lower age divisions, teams are formed based on the schools the players attend. For more information, please see our 6U/8U Team Formation Info Sheet. For the upper divisions (10U and above), we hold player skills evaluations in early January in order to help create balanced teams. Again, this is not a try-out. Once these players are evaluated, we use a draw system to balance skill level and age (see Age Divisions above). Pitchers and catchers are also balanced across these teams. For more info, see the 10u+ Team Formation Info Sheet. MVLAGS Player Agents make the final determination of placement for any individual player according to the guidelines outlined above
My player is ready for the next level of softball. Can she "play up" despite her age?
MVLAGS requires all players to play in their correct age division by birth year. The one exception to this policy is outlined in the 2014 MVLAGS Playing Up or Down Policy.
Can my daughter play down a division?
Requests to play down to an age division lower than a player’s birth year cannot be accommodated with the exception of those few girls who would normally move up to a new division, but are an academic grade lower than the standard grade for girls with the same birth year. For the upcoming Spring 2014 season, this exception would only apply to girls in the following groups:
For more information, please see the 2014 MVLAGS Playing Up or Down Policy
Can sisters play on the same team?
Sisters in the same age division will automatically be put on the same team UNLESS the parent requests otherwise or if the player submits a buddy form naming a same age-division buddy instead. Note: having sisters of the same age placed on different teams can be challenging on a parent's schedule and is therefore not recommended.
Yes! If your daughter would like to be placed with one buddy, please download and fill in an official Buddy Form. Scan and email a copy to the Player Agent or postmark it no later than December 16th 2013.
Can my daughter play with her sister and a buddy?
A player can request to be placed on a team with a Buddy OR a Sister but NOT BOTH.
How and when will I know what team my player is on?
Teams are formed just prior to the start of the season by the League Player Agents. You will get a call or email from your team manager just ahead of our Team Meeting Nights in mid-February, to invite you to that event and let you know that you are on their team. Check the Events Calendar for the date / location of your divisional Team Meeting Night.
What position will my daughter play?
Many factors such as skill, attitude, and participation in practices determine playing positions. While Team Staff make the final decisions, many teams rotate players through a variety of positions throughout the season to achieve this goal.
What are the pitching policies at various age levels?
6U: Coach pitch or players hit from a batting tee. There are no strike-outs. All players hit every inning.
8U: Player/Coach pitch. Pitching is introduced at this age level but is limited to keep up the pace of play. We encourage players interested in pitching to try it in game situations.
10U: Mostly Player pitch with some exceptions*. Pitchers are allowed to pitch a maximum of 6 innings per week.
12U: Player pitch only. Pitchers are allowed to pitch a maximum of 6 innings per week. Pitchers are encouraged to develop their pitching skills through focused practice and clinics.
14U+: Player pitch only. Pitchers are allowed to pitch a maximum of 7 innings per week. Pitchers are encouraged to develop their pitching skills through focused practice and clinics.
* For more detailed information in division pitching rules, see resources.
Do you offer more competitive play?
There are opportunities through the MVLAGS NOVA Travel Ball Program for players in 8U and above who want to play at a more competitive level. The Travel Program takes place primarily in the summer at ASA B/C level tournaments. To be eligible to participate in the NOVA Summer Travel Ball Program, a player must have actively participated in the MVLAGS recreational league in the Spring. Interested players and parents should check off the appropriate box during registration and/or email the MVLAGS NOVA Travel Ball Coordinator at any time before the early May tryouts, to let us know of your daughter's interest in playing on an MVLAGS Summer Travel Ball team. More information will be sent via email to all players before to the start of the NOVATravel Ball season.
How and when do I sign my daughter up?
Registration opens November 1st, 2013. Early bird discounts will be offered until November 8th, 2013. The deadline to be guaranteed a spot on a team is December 15th, 2013. To register, go to our Registration Page -- the link to register is in the yellow box at the very bottom of the page.
After December 15th, you may still register but will go into a Wait Pool and you will not be guaranteed a place on a team. The Wait Pool will be used to fill spots that become available due to cancellations and where the number of registered players on December 15th is not sufficient to create viable numbers of teams.
I see MVLAGS is using TeamSnap.com to power its’ registration. What do I do if I don’t have a TeamSnap account or have forgotten my password?
If you already have a TeamSnap account, you will be asked for your user name and password at the start of registration. If you don’t, you will create one as the first step of registration. If you have a TeamSnap account but forgot your password, you can use their password retrieval tool which can be found here: http://go.teamsnap.com/login/forgot_password
Why do you ask for school attended?
In the 6U/8U divisions, teams are 'school based' meaning that to the extent possible each team is formed with girls from the same school. In the older divisions, it helps us ensure players attend school in an MVLA-area school or neighboring district.
What if my 6U/8U player wants to play for another school?
To request your player be placed on another school team, please indicate this during registration or send an email to our Player Agents. Please note that this request may not be able to be honored.
How do I make a Buddy Request?
For all age divisions, players need to submit a Buddy Form.
How do I request sisters be placed on the same team?
Sisters in the same age division will automatically be put on the same team unless the parent requests otherwise during registration, or if the player submits a Buddy Form asking to be on a team with someone other than her sibling.
How do I sign my daughter up to be a pitcher or catcher?
If your daughter was a primary or secondary pitcher or catcher on a team last season, check the Pitcher/Catcher box on the registration form. If your player has not played the position but is interested in learning, please inform the Coach at the first practice and watch your email and events calendar for information about pitching clinics.
What if my daughter would like to play in a higher (or lower) age division, or just missed the cut-off for the next higher/lower division? Can she sign up for the higher/lower division?
It is the league's policy that all players play in their correct age division by birth year. The exceptions to this policy are outlined in the 2014 MVLAGS Playing Up or Down Policy.
I missed the cutoff date for registration. Can I still sign my daughter up?
While registration is not guaranteed if your registration is not received by December 15th, we do have a Wait Pool and do our best to place players onto teams if at all possible so by all means, please register your daughter into the Wait Pool if she would still like to play.
How much does it cost?
The fee is based on the player's age division (see Age Divisions above). The fees for the 2014 season are outlined below.
Do you offer a family discount?
Families with more than one player receive a $10 discount for the 2nd and 3rd siblings and the 4th sibling plays free.
Do you offer scholarships?
What is your refund policy?
If a player has registered and then decides not to play, we will refund fees according to the following schedules.
6U & 8U REFUND & WITHDRAWAL POLICY:
Please email our Player Agent immediately if your player decides to withdraw from softball.
MVLAGS relies completely on the generosity and good will of many, many volunteers to organize our league and complete the numerous tasks that must be done throughout and even after our softball season. Opportunities are available at the Team, League and Board level with a wide range of time commitments. Because of this model, parents are expected to volunteer in some fashion during the season to support the league and enable a positive softball experience for their daughter(s). You will be given the opportunity to specify what role you’d like to take on for your daughter’s team during registration.
I'm new to MVLAGS -- What should I volunteer for?
For a complete list of volunteer opportunities and estimated time requirements, please visit the Volunteer area of our website. You may either volunteer for a position during registration or you may email us at any time. You will be contacted as soon as possible. Note that softball skills are not a requirement for many volunteer opportunities within the League.
How do I become a Coach or Manager?
You may volunteer for either position during registration or email us at any time. You will be contacted as soon as possible. All Manager and Coach positions require Board approval.
How else can I contribute?
Consider having your business sponsor a team, or make a donation.
Where can I get softball equipment?
Check the Resources area of this website.
What size glove should I buy my daughter?
6U: 10-10.5 inches
8U and 10U: 11-11.5 inches
12U, 14U, and 16U: 12-12.5 inches
Buy all-leather. The glove is worn on the left hand for players who throw with their right hand (known as a right-hand throw glove), and vice-versa for left-handers. Look for a hinged design, without extra padding in the palm, to make it easier for your daughter to close the glove. Don't buy a glove that feels too stiff. When buying a youth glove, remember softballs are bigger than baseballs; test how well the ball fits in the glove.
How do I break in a new glove?
Apply a small amount of mink oil or lanolin shaving cream in the pocket and spread it outward around the glove. Put a ball in the pocket, close the glove evenly on the ball, and tie it closed with a strip of cloth. Then, slide it under a mattress for a day or two. Use the glove to play catch; gloves break in naturally as they are used.
What are sliding shorts?
Sliding shorts are tight-fitting compression shorts similar to bike shorts worn under uniform shorts for extra sliding protection. They have a non-slip grip on the hem of each leg to keep them in place while the player is sliding. Some versions come with padding these are recommended, particularly for players new to sliding
What are knee guards?
Knee guards are long knee pads that protect a player's knee and calf sliding. Most players choose to wear knee guards on both legs. Buy the extended length model that protects both the knee and lower leg.
Does my player really need to wear cleats?
Cleats will greatly improve your daughter's traction on the dirt infields and grass outfields. In the interest of safety, players in the upper divisions (10U-16U) are required to wear cleats. Some players wear soccer shoes with success, but softball cleats perform better. Metal baseball cleats are not permitted.
Should my player have her own batting helmet?
Although team helmets are provided, personal batting helmets are highly recommended to ensure personalized fit and cleanliness. Helmet must be NOCSAE-approved and have both a facemask and a chin strap.
What purposes do the chin strap and face guard serve?
The chin strap keeps the helmet from bouncing off the player's head when running or sliding and is required equipment.
The face mask protects the batter's face from foul tips and is required for 8U and above. Face masks are not advised for girls in 6U.
What size bat should I buy?
For fast pitch softball, choose a light bat with at least a 9 oz drop marked "official softball ASA Approved" (2-1/4-inch diameter or less) and a 2004-or-later certification. "Drop" refers to the difference between the bat length in inches and its weight in ounces. Popular sizes are 25"/16 oz. for 6U, 26/17 for 8U, 28/19 for 10U, 30/20 for 12U, and 32/22 for 14U. Note: The Batter's Box website has a bat sizing chart for youths by player height and weight (http://www.aluminumbats.com/bat_chart.htm). As a rule of thumb, the knob of the bat should come to the player's wrist when bat is stood upright on the floor and player's arms are hanging loosely at her sides. As for bat weight, the player should be able to hold the bat with one arm outstretched for 10 seconds. Drops higher than 10 are becoming increasingly available at affordable prices, and it is generally better to err on the side of getting a bat that is too light than one that is too heavy. Buying a bat that a player can grow into is a common mistake, as they generally perform poorly while the bat is too heavy and the player doesn’t have fun as a result. Note that certain bats, though ASA-certified, are prohibited for play in MVLAGS intraleague games (played in Division 12U and above). Composite, titanium, or multi-walled bats are not allowed.
What size ball should I buy?
6U - Easton IncrediBall SoftTouch 11" Optic Yellow.
8U - Wilson A9317 11" Optic Yellow Soft Compression.
10U - Wilson A9317 11" Optic Yellow Soft Compression. Note: 10U ASA-Sanctioned MVLA Nova uses a Worth Dream Seam which is a raised seam compared to the A9306BASA-Low which has a standard seam. The Worth Dream Seam is a harder ball than the soft compression ball used during rec season.
12U - Wilson 9106BASA-Low 12" Optic Yellow
14/16U - Wilson A9016 BSST NFHS 12" Optic Yellow with a Super Seam
What are the basic rules of the game?
We follow the rules of the Amateur Softball Association. The rules differ by division. Please visit the Resources area for more detailed information.
How can I sponsor a team?
For details please visit the Sponsor area of this website.