Just like any other popular sports, softball has its own season of competition where teams battle their way into a hierarchy of levels. The question of many is that when does softball season start? The season of softball doesn’t simply start in a random date and a random competition level. For every softball player, the season starts in conditionings, practice and until the competition and championship days.
Every softball team’s main goal is to reach the higher level of competition up until they reach the championships, and in order to do this there are preparations that are involved that are crucial in a team’s performance. And when the preparations are done that is when the real season of competition starts and all the teams will gather to battle each other for the championships. The competition starts in the lower levels all the way up to the finals. Although these dates are used by other schools, the seasons of softball vary in the states’ size and location and the divisions or classes of players. To give more clear understanding, we break down the season of softball with its preparation and levels of competition.
Softball is not an exception in a very crucial step of any sport, and it is the conditioning. For the softball players, the coaches usually give the current players and the aspiring ones the conditioning drills during the last quarter of the year but is often in the month of November. Conditioning are done in order for the players to gain the needed energy to play through all the innings because after all, softball is not just about the need of speed towards the bases or on the field. Some of these conditioning drills are cross jumps, jump rope, triplets, roundabouts, shuffle cones and more. These preparations do not come naturally for everyone it is made for either two purposes, to condition the players or eliminate those can’t finish making them unfit for the competition.
Unlike the conditioning stage who doesn’t involve any pitching or use of a bat, the first practice initiates the player’s preparation for the game plays. The first practices usually start in second or third week of January. The players will now have the hands-on training on the pitching and hitting the ball. Pitchers will be fine-tuned in their pitching techniques to power-up their arsenal and also sharpen their decision-making ability for every crucial moment of the game.
On the other hand, everyone will be trained to improve their hitting techniques, their speed to go through every base and their decision-making process. Through the completion of the practice, everyone will be ready for the competition very well equipped with physical ability to hit, pitch, run and play all throughout the game and the mental ability to make decisions that would be best to choose in a crucial moment of the game.
The Start of the Season and First Contest
And now, all the hard work will now be put into action as the games commence for the first stage, the district competition. The season starts usually at the last weeks of February. This marks the start of a regular season of softball competition of schools from different districts of the states. For most of the states the first contest then is held during the month of March and ends until the month of April.
When the districts’ final top standings have been made, the top teams will now battle for the regional quarterfinals which are conducted in either the month of April and May – like the state of Illinois. Few days after the results of quarterfinals, the contender teams will then compete in the semi-finals and then eventually be battling for the championship. Remember that the dates or schedules might vary to different states.
The sectional tournaments now have the list of all the top seeding teams from the regional and will compete for the sectional semi-final. The top teams in the divisions are now in the verge of competition in the semi-final to take a seat at the sectional final championship round. There is also another stage called the super sectional tournament which is the round before the state championships. This tournament is usually scheduled in the month of May or June like in the case of Illinois.
This is now what everyone has been waiting for. After all the relentless battles in the lower stages of the tournaments, only the best teams will face the best coming from different divisions. The stages of State championships are held in the month of June but still vary from different states. Only the most strategic and best teams will face each other at the State finals and battle for the supremacy for the State’s softball champions. Days after crowning of the champions of the states, the regular season of softball will officially be ended an example of which: the Illinois softball 2015-2016 season ends June 11.