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Softball Assessment are coming up quickly.  Below is a long (sorry) explanation of the assessment process, including times

Assessments for softball can be intimidating.  What’s going to happen during the assessment?  What if I don’t get picked?  I haven’t played in so long – what if I mess up?  This email is intended to explain the process so that both parents and players understand what’s to come and why.


Assessments are Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Cornerstone Elementary School (our main fields!)


Why do we have to go through an assessment?

A key tenet of PVPGSL is promoting team equality and fair play.  This forms the foundation for a fun and successful season.  Assessments provide the league and managers with a forum to evaluate player abilities and assist with the drafting of balanced teams.  While the drafting process may not be perfect, we strive to provide managers with as much information as possible to understand the talent pool and select a competitive team.  THAT IS WHY ASSESSMENTS ARE MANDATORY.


Is there a chance that I don’t make it?

Absolutely not.  Regardless if you swing and miss at every ball or drop every fly ball, you are guaranteed a spot on a team in an age-appropriate division.


What do we do during Assessments?

Every player is evaluated on four things: Hitting, Running, Fielding and Throwing.  We believe that these four categories give the league and managers a concise overview – in other words, we don’t want Assessments to be an all-day event for each player.  We want to give a glimpse of ability across all aspects of the game.

Additionally, we ask that pitchers and catchers go one step further and assess for pitching and catching (or both!).  This is different and required because we have rules in our league that only allow pitchers to pitch more than one inning per game if they go through this extra assessment.  We do this so a great pitcher doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere to be the star on a team.  But, we also do this so we encourage all pitchers to show us what they have so we can evenly spread the talent across all of the teams.

Players are separated by division and last name for Assessments.  Then, typically, they are arranged by alphabetically by last name.  Each player will have a number affixed to the back of her shirt.  Then the skills assessments begin:

  • First, the players hit.  They will get three or four machine-pitched balls pitched to them.  The speed of the machine will be based on the age group.  They will try and hit each ball.
    • Once the fourth ball is pitched, regardless of whether the player connects, the player will run the bases.
  • After all players in the group have completed this, we move on to fielding and throwing, done in two sequential components:
    • All players line up in the third-base dugout.  A player’s turn starts when they get set at the shortstop position.  The player will be hit two ground balls, and the player will throw each to first base.
    • Immediately after the two ground balls, the player will move quickly to the second base position and field two (thrown) fly balls, with each being thrown to first base.
  • Once all of that is completed, the pitchers and catchers will organize in the first base dugout
    • Pitchers will pitch approximately six pitches
    • Catchers will likely catch a few pitchers, but will have opportunities to make throws down to second base, simulating a stealing situation

And that is it.  It is quick and painless.  But fundamentally important to our goal of balanced teams.


When should I do my assessment?  What time should I arrive to the field?

Every player should do whatever they can to tryout with their age group or the age group they will be playing with throughout the season.  The schedule, while tentative, is currently:






8U A-H



8U I-Z



10U A-K



10U L-Z



12U All


There are a couple points to note:


IF YOU ARE TRYING TO PLAY UP TO A DIVISION HIGHER THAN YOUR SOFTBALL AGE, YOU MUST TRYOUT IN BOTH YOUR ASSIGNED DIVISION AND THE ONE YOU ARE TRYING TO BE IN.  For example, if you are softball age 8, and you want to play in 10U, you must go to both the 8U and 10U assessment.

Also, 6U does not need to come to assessments.  14U is being handled differently, as well, due to numbers of players.


What should I bring?

At a minimum, please bring your glove and helmet (with face cage).  It would also help to wear cleats and bring a bat, but not mandatory.