SOFTBALL SEASON & PROGRAM INFORMATON
Enjoy a fun-filled season and improve your skills
Spring means girls and boys on the field enjoying the fun, challenge and camaraderie a traditional softball season. West Valley also provides other opportunities for players to grow their skills throughout the year.
Division 1 ID Camp: September
Registration: Late December
Pre-season indoor training sessions: February - March
Player Evaluations: April
Outdoor season runs April - June/July (depending on division)
Dates and details subject to change
Pre-season Indoor Sessions: Softball activities related to the spring season begins in February with weekly indoor sessions held at gymnasiums or field houses primarily in northwest Calgary. This gives players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with basic skills, drills and game concepts. The cost of these sessions is included in registration fees.
NOTE: LTP Seasons (U7 and U9) do not include indoor pre-season training.
Evaluations and Team Selection: Players hoping to play Division 1 can choose to participate in tryouts held in late February. Player evaluations for those not placed on the Division 1 team are held in March. Based on performance, players are placed on tiered teams. Premier Division 1 (Warriors), Division 2, Division 3 and Division 4. The number of teams in divisions 1-4 is dependent upon the number of registrants and the skillset of those groups.
Team Practices: Ideally the final indoor sessions (early April) will allow for the players to practice and become familiar with their newly formed teams. Prior to the opening weekend and weather/schedules permitting, coaches are encouraged to run one or two outdoor practices for their team. During the season, coaches may choose to run 1-2 weekly practices in addition to scheduled games. The frequency of practices will vary depending on the age division, skill division and player/parent feedback.
Opening Weekend: The first games of the season may begin during a weeknight, but will generally include multiple games on the weekend. These initial games allow Softball Calgary and association administrators to re-tier teams to ensure competitive balance for the season.
Regular Season: Each age division will have two night allocated for league games. Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Make-up games for those cancelled due to weather or other circumstances may be scheduled on other weeknights or weekends at the discretion of coaching staffs in consultation with their parent groups.
City Championships: Regardless of regular season record, every team qualifies for Softball Calgary's City Championships held in late June, which are included in your spring registration. Teams may be reseeded to align with similarly performing teams. City Championships generally begin on weeknights, with the game on the Championship Weekend determined by performance.
Provincial Championships ("Provincials"): Softball Alberta hosts Provincial Championships for all age divisions and skill levels. Participation is optional and requires coach certification and completion of the registration process. Some age and skill divisions will require winning qualification games for inclusion in the provincial tournament.
Other Tournaments: Tournaments provide the opportunity for players, coaches and parents to bond, while competing against new teams in new locations. Softball associations from across Alberta host a number of tournaments annually. There are fees and travel costs associated with most tournaments, so participation should include consultation between coaches, players, parents and volunteers.
Game Nights, Equipment, FAQs
Do you have questions about specific age divisions? Visit our Age Division page.
Do you have questions about your child's participation? Visit our Player & Parent page.
Do you have question about logistics or certification? Visit our Coach & Volunteer page.
West Valley Warriors
(Division 1 Teams and ID Camp)
Division 1 attempts to bring together the most talented and dedicated players at each age division, beginning with U11. Premier teams in the West Valley Association are referred to as West Valley Warriors across all age divisions and earn the privilege of wearing uniforms and team gear featuring the Warrior logo.
Division 1 ID Camp: The ID camp, held outdoors in the fall, helps identify of potential athletes for West Valley's most competitive division. Teams are not chosen at this stage and there is NO CHARGE to attend the camp.
Commitment: Warriors teams will have a higher frequency of practices and tournaments, which requires a larger time and financial commitment from players and their families, relative to other players in the same age division.
The Warriors are coached by experienced West Valley coaches. If you have questions about your child's participation in the Warrior program, coaches are happy to clarify expectations prior to the season.
Participation: Division 1 participation is not mandatory for those identified. Interested players should plan to register for and attend the Division 1 ID Camp in September.
Winter Skills Sessions (Indoor)
West Valley's indoor Winter Softball Skills Sessions run from October to December. We determine how time is divided based on the number of registrants in each age division. Though times may vary between groups, we do our best to ensure equal swings, throws and catches for all players.
Instructors are lead by NCCP certified coaches and aligned with Softball Alberta standards
Our goal is to give each athlete the tools to reach their goals in a fun and inviting atmosphere.
Each 90-minute session includes:
Fitness & Conditioning
Batting drills to improve technique, consistency and power
At-bats facing pitching machines to improve through experience & repetition
Defensive & offensive drills to increasing confidence and skill level
Gameplay & Strategy
Fall Ball is a program run jointly by Softball Calgary and its member associations.
The program consists of four Saturday sessions running from late August to mid-September that provide skill development and game-play opportunities.
Pitching & Skills Sessions
Throughout the year, West Valley provides added training for technical aspects of softball based on player and parent interest. These sessions are intended for players aged U10 and older.
Pitching: Quality pitching is essential for the success of any team. Young pitchers are taught proper technique to improve consistency and velocity. More experienced pitchers learn how to throw different types of pitches, in addition to batter approach & game management.
Pitching training consists of 10 indoor sessions running from February through to April.
Head Instructor: Lance Block
Lance has taught softball and pitching for close to a decade. Lance is a certified CANpitch Regional Pitching Instructor and Level 1 NCCP certified coach. He has two daughters who pitch and was a pitcher himself. He understands that practicing the proper mechanics and techniques is almost as important as having fun! He enjoys working with the athletes and challenging them with new creative drills.
NOTE: Pitchers must supply their own catcher (parent or teammate) at every clinic.
Hitting: Proper technique and approach can significantly improve hitters of all levels. Young hitters are taught fundamentals to keep them balanced, while generating power through a consistent, efficient swing. More experienced hitters learn advanced techniques (types of bunts, opposite field hitting, situational hitting) and mental approach.
Position of Catcher: As players advance to higher age divisions and levels of competition, the responsibilities and skills required of a catcher increase. Young catchers are taught proper technique as well as game & pitcher management.
Head Instructor: Chris Robertson
Chris has taught softball and catching skills for close to a decade. Chris is a certified NCCP coach who played the position of catcher competitively for several seasons. He understands the skills, techniques and mental approach of catching and enjoys passing on that knowledge to young players.
NOTE: Teams may choose to arrange a one-time instructional opportunity during a practice. If coaches are interested, they are encouraged to contact West Valley for more details.