Minor division softball is responsible for youth (18 and under) softball. It is organized into the following age categories (Ages are based on the players age as of December 31 in the year in which the season is played): U18, U16, U14, U12, and U10. LTP programmes are also available.
Here is an overview of the structure of the Minor Divisions in Manitoba (from Softball Manitoba). This explains the various categories of play, which are now A (community ball, formerly referred to as “B ball”), AA (regional teams) and AAA (formerly referred to as “A ball”).
WAIT, AREN’T SOFTBALL AND BASEBALL THE SAME THING?
Softball is directly descended from baseball, but there are marked differences. First, there are three forms of softball:
- Fastpitch (full motion pitching – competitive)
- Orthodox (arm does not make a full circle when pitching – semi-competitive / recreational)
- “Slo pitch” (arm does not make a full circle and pitch has an arc minimum of 6′ from the ground.
Second, where baseball has nine innings, softball has seven.
Third, the size of ball is different. Baseball uses a 9 inch ball, which requires a three finger grip. Softball uses an 11″ or 12″ ball (depending on age) and uses a full finger grip.
Fourth, there are big differences in pitching:
- Baseball pitches overhand, while softball uses underhand windmill or orthodox pitching styles.
- The pitching distance is further in baseball which provides more time to react to the pitch.
- Baseball pitches from a raised, sloping mound, while fast pitch softball pitches from a flat surface.
In softball, the plays can be quick and complex, but incredible to watch and, of course, execute as a player. We are constantly amazed at the calibre of our players, even those as young as 10 years old.
Here’s a great video from ESPN explain more about softball and the differences to baseball:
Last update: 31 March 2017 @ 19:16CDT