LEARN ABOUT SOFTBALL AGE DIVISIONS

Safe, fun sport for 4-18 year olds

West Valley provides safe, fun, inclusive softball opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. Learn how each age division provides age-appropriate rules, gameplay, equipment and fields to help develop player' skills.

A player's age division is determined by their age prior to January 1 of the year in which the season is played. (e.g.: A 10 year-old will play U10 if they were nine years old on December 31, even if they have a birthday prior to the start of the season. Parents can easily determine their child's division by birth years associated with each age division (see below).

Learn to Play (Under-7)

2022 Season | Birth Years: 2015, 2016, 2017

Learn To Play was designed to address the specific needs of 4-7 year olds and is replacing the old game of T-Ball.  The first and most important goal of the program is to make Softball FUN for kids.

The Learn to Play Coaches manuals contain 18 prepared lesson plans that are easy to follow and understand. The games and activities that make up the lesson plans were created to increase the activity levels of the children and to challenge them in appropriate ways. Not only will the kids be tired from all the fun they will be having but they will be developing their individual softball skills as well as building life skills like co-operation and team work.

This program differs from sports like mini-soccer where only the aggressive children touch the ball. In the Learn to Play Program, the players are broken down into small groups where they can get the required repetitions to make improvements in skill development and feel that sense of accomplishment that increases their self-confidence.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 8-11 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 6

Ball used: 11-inch (softer, 'indoor' ball)

Pitching distance: 30 feet

Base distance: 45 feet

The U7 season does not include indoor pre-season training

Gameplay details

Six (6) players are on the field in place of the usual nine. Outfielders are replaced by a home run line marked by pylons 20 feet beyond the bases.

A hit that goes past the pylons is considered a home run, which keeps the game moving while providing incentive for the players.

Pitchers are given the opportunity to face a batter. Should they throw four (4) balls before recording an out, a coach from the hitting team pitches the remainder of the at bat. The child pitcher stands next to the coach pitcher, no closer to home plate. There are no walks.

 

Strikes throw by the child pitcher are carried over and each pitch thrown by the coach is considered a strike regardless of location or whether the child swings. Once the at bat is complete, the child pitcher takes over for the subsequent batter.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 9 to 10 inches - child should be able to open and close)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Recommended

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Optional

Batting gloves (more for warmth)

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Learn to Play (Under-9)

2022 Season | Birth Years: 2013, 2014

U9 is a continuation of the age-appropriate, no walk concepts introduced in the LTP program. The game has fewer players and simplified rules to increase the pace of play and provide more opportunities to hit and field the ball.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 8-11 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 6

Ball used: 11-inch (softer, 'indoor' ball)

Pitching distance: 30 feet

Base distance: 45 feet

The U9 season does not include indoor pre-season training

Gameplay details

Six (6) players are on the field in place of the usual nine. Outfielders are replaced by a home run line marked by pylons 20 feet beyond the bases.

A hit that goes past the pylons is considered a home run, which keeps the game moving while providing incentive for the players.

Pitchers are given the opportunity to face a batter. Should they throw four (4) balls before recording an out, a coach from the hitting team pitches the remainder of the at bat. The child pitcher stands next to the coach pitcher, no closer to home plate.

 

Strikes throw by the child pitcher are carried over and each pitch thrown by the coach is considered a strike regardless of location or whether the child swings. Once the at bat is complete, the child pitcher takes over for the subsequent batter.

For complete rules, visit Calgary Minor Softball - U10 Modified

NOTE: Premiere division teams may play games with nine fielders.

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 10 to 11 inches - child should be able to open and close)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Optional

Batting gloves (more for warmth)

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Under-11
2022 Season | Birth Years: 2011, 2012

U11 is when most players are introduced to 9 versus 9 softball. The game expands on rules introduced in earlier divisions, while remaining a suitable environment to teach young players.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 8-11 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 6

Ball used: 11-inch (softer, 'indoor' ball)

Pitching distance: 30 feet

Base distance: 45 feet

Gameplay details

Nine (9) players are on the field. The home run line and coach pitching are eliminated. The pace of play increases, allowing teams to complete four or more innings in a 90-minute game.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 11 to 12 inches - influenced by player size, preference and position)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Recommended

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Optional

Batting gloves

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Under-13
2022 Season | Birth Years: 2009, 2010

U13 expands on 9 versus 9 rules introduced in U13, while remaining a suitable environment to teach young players.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Monday and Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 11-13 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 9

Ball used: 11-inch

Pitching distance: 35 feet

Base distance: 55 feet

Gameplay details

Nine (9) players are on the field. The home run line and coach pitching are eliminated. The pace of play increases, allowing teams to complete four or more innings in a 90-minute game.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 11 to 12 inches - influenced by player size, preference and position)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Recommended

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Optional

Batting gloves

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Under-15
2022 Season | Birth Years: 2007, 2008

U15 expands on 9 versus 9 rules introduced in U13, while remaining a suitable environment to teach young players.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 11-13 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 9

Ball used: 12-inch

Pitching distance: 38 feet

Base distance: 60 feet

Gameplay details

Nine (9) players are on the field. The home run line and coach pitching are eliminated. The pace of play increases, allowing teams to complete four or more innings in a 90-minute game.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 11+ inches - influenced by player preference and position)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Recommended

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Optional

Batting gloves

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Under-17
2022 Season | Birth Years: 2005, 2006

U17 expands on 9 versus 9 rules introduced in U15, while remaining a suitable environment to teach young players.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Monday and Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 11-13 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 9

Ball used: 12-inch

Pitching distance: 40 feet

Base distance: 60 feet

Gameplay details

Nine (9) players are on the field. The home run line and coach pitching are eliminated. The pace of play increases, allowing teams to complete four or more innings in a 90-minute game.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 11+ inches - influenced by player preference and position)

Fielding mask (ASA approved)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Recommended

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Optional

Batting gloves

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.

 

Under-19
2022 Season | Birth Years: 2003, 2004

U19 is the final minor softball age division. Players have improved and refined their skills. Gameplay is consistent with the Softball Canada rulebook and field dimensions are expanded to senior levels.

Fast Facts

Game nights: Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Number of Players on the team 11-13 (dependent on number of registrants)

Number of Players on the field: 9

Ball used: 12-inch

Pitching distance: 43 feet

Base distance: 60 feet

Gameplay details

Nine (9) players are on the field. The home run line and coach pitching are eliminated. The pace of play increases, allowing teams to complete four or more innings in a 90-minute game.

Further rule modifications are provided to coaches, players, parents and volunteers prior to the season. 

Equipment

Required

ASA approved batting helmet with a softball face guard

Glove (recommended 11+ inches - influenced by player preference and position)

Jyl or Jock strap (cup)

Recommended

Cleats (non-metal spikes)

Optional

Batting gloves

Personal bat (ASA approved)

Team bats, balls, bases, hitting tees, catcher gear and other coaching equipment will be provided.