SPMSA has a lot of the same questions come in over the past few seasons and we have now started to track those questions. In our new "Ask the Coach" section you can read our most common questions. If you still have questions, no worries just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer your questions
SPMSA offers Timbits Learn to Play for children as young as 5 years old.
There are 4 designations in Alberta. A, B, C and D. A teams are considered travel ball teams or Rep teams and typically train throughout the year to compete in Provincials with the ultimate yearly goal of qualifying for post provincial championships such as Westerns or Canadians. B teams are competitive teams who extend their training times but perhaps do not commit as much time as an A-Team. Often the players in B are those who are very skilled but often have other responsibilities that do not allow them the time commitment to play A or are players looking to improve their skills and earn a spot on an A team in the future. C & D teams will typically play in local tournaments and compete for a Provincial Championship. There are no post provincial championships for C & D softball and the season typically ends a bit earlier than A or B. This is more of a recreational division with an emphasis on having fun and doing well at Provincials.
An ID camp is open to players of all abilities to participate in a day or two of softball activities and meet the coaches and instructors from the association. This is the time to introduce SPMSA to the players and parents who are interested in this sport. Tryouts are held to evaluate players who are interested in playing for a specific SPMSA team.
Evaluations are used to identify the current skill level of the players in specific age divisions to create similarly skilled teams and ensure each team has the necessary number of pitchers to compete. Yes, it is required that the player attends at least one of the evaluations.
In evaluations, the player will be placed with a team and coach. In tryouts, the player is trying to earn a spot on a specific team and to play with a specific coach.
Typically U14, U16 and U19A teams are formed in the fall before winter training begins. Younger A teams and B teams usually start in January and C & D teams are formed in March/April after registration closes.
Personal equipment is not only hygienic but typically is fitted to the player for comfort. I recommend players have their own protective face mask once they reach U12 and their own helmet when they start the sport. Again, it will go a long way of the Player is comfortable. With bats, I suggest purchasing a good quality composite bat when the player reaches U14 and is playing more competitively. Team bats may still be used for younger players or lower divisions but players moving into B and A should consider their own. As there are many options, be sure to talk to a knowledgeable salesperson who can properly fit the bat to the player.
SPMSA maintains one of the lowest registration fees in the Province, however, we do require the help our fundraising money provides us to offer the programs we do. This money helps to support our ID Camps, Development camps, In-school learn to play program and purchasing new equipment and uniforms.
Playing on shale is hard on regular clothing and shoes. I recommend all players purchase properly fitted ball pants and cleats. For safety please only purchase ball shoes with rubber or plastic cleats. This will help with not slipping while running around the bases and won’t cut someone like a metal cleat could.
Check out our classifieds. http://www.spmsa.com/classifieds
Unfortunately, we don’t earn any sponsorship for recommending one vendor over another but there are several sporting goods stores that cater to baseball and softball in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Leduc. However, when you are a member of SPMSA you are entitled to a 10% discount with two of them. Ask your team coach about it.