One of the common questions among people who like softball is, when is softball season? The answer is, the season of softball commences way earlier than you think. It begins when players start their practice to pitch and bat in the field.
They gradually gain strength, form, speed, and endurance as the days of the competition advances.
The softball players endeavor to give their best shot to reach their goal of getting to the top of the level where they would be the champions.
Of course, this involves face-offs with all other teams and unleashing their best in the field. But players cannot become the best version of themselves without practice.
They train hard and build up their skills, which is essential for the performance of their team. After the teams have had enough time for preparation, they head off towards the final championship through a route that requires passing various stages of competitive play.
The face-offs of the teams begin at lower levels, which advances and culminates in the finals where the best teams play to lift the trophy.
The dates of the softball season might vary owing to the size of the state, the class or division of the players as well as the location. For us to give you a more comprehensive idea about when is softball season, we have strategically divided this write-up into several parts.
Here we have discussed the stage of preparation and all the levels of competition that are there in this sport.
Conditioning of the players begins towards the end of the year. Technically the time is the fourth quarter,' but generally, the conditioning of the softball players starts during November. This is a crucial time for both the players and coach as it forms the bedrock of a player's performance in the upcoming games.
Conditioning is very important because it is during this stage a player harnesses the energy to put forth his best foot throughout the innings. This is utterly necessary because the game of softball needs more than just speed.
For better performance, the coach makes the players exercise several softball drills. The most common ones are jump ropes, cross jumps, roundabout, triplets, shuffle cones. Other drills like the last man standing, three-man down, triangle, the T, progression drill, etc. aren’t uncommon either. The players practice these for being in their best form.
The reason for practicing conditioning drills has two-fold reasons. While performing these drills, some players perform them better than others. The coach notes the performances of the players. Based on his observation, he retains the players who are doing the drills great in the team.
The ones who can't finish the drills or aren’t performing great are eliminated as they are deemed not to be fit to participate in the upcoming matches.
While a player is in the conditioning phase of Softball, he is getting his body ready for the upcoming games. He sets his energy, agility, and speed in the right momentum. However, the conditioning phase does not require using a softball bat. But it is very different when a player enters the stage of the first practice.
The first practice of the players starts during mid-January. It is usually the second week, but in some states, it can as well be the third week of the month.
During the first practice, softball players are trained to have hand-on experience of batting and pitching the ball. Coaches train the players to be better in every aspect.
The first training equips them to have an advanced technique for pitching, batting, and fielding. This practice sharpens the player's ability to make the correct decision when the situation arrives. The coach puts the players under various critical circumstances that test them on several levels.
Also, all the players are trained to brush up their batting skills for making the maximum score. At the end of their practice, the players will be well-trained in pitching, running, hitting, playing, and retrieving throughout the match.
As the decision of each player largely impacts the performance of the team, they are coached to think and act swiftly in critical situations by keeping in mind the best interest of the team while playing.
The Start of the Season and First Contest
The players get about a month and a half to complete their training and prepare their arsenal before the actual softball season commences. Whatever the players have learned is put to the test during the district competition. The first contest is generally held during the last week of February.
It is the time when the regular season for softball starts in several districts of the nation. But for some states, the beginning is slightly delayed. It starts during the first weeks of March. The first contest phase of softball generally continues till April.
After all the district level matches have been played, the teams in the top position meet for competing in the regional games in Softball. First, the teams face each other in the quarterfinal. The games of the softball quarterfinal are held during April, and it continues till May.
The commencement of semi-finals takes a few days, post the declaration of the results of the quarterfinal. The contender softball teams compete in the semi-final before they meet for the ultimate championship. You must note that dates for the quarterfinal vary a bit depending on the states.
In softball, the top seeding teams that have won in the regional games make it to the sectional. These softball teams are now eligible for entry into the round of the semi-final. Through elimination and competition, the finalists for the semi-finals are decided.
These finalists will now be facing each other in the round of the softball final championship ship. The sectional semi-final is generally held during May.
In some cases, it is June. The state of Illinois generally commences its sectional season during May. However, weeks might vary depending on different states. Also, there is another additional round that these teams participate in, which is the ‘super-sectional tournament’ before the leading teams head off for the final competition.
When you asked, when is softball season? What you probably meant is when the final season of softball starts? The whole purpose of all the matches at the lower levels was to churn out the crème de la crème.
Through relentless performance, the winning teams prove their worth and pass off to the championship stage, where they face competition from another team that is equally good and has crossed the sectional semi-finals.
The state championship season for softball is during June. However, weeks might vary with the states. However, in the case of Illinois, it is generally the first or the second week. A few states prefer to go about it during July. This is the final stage of the softball that fans wait to watch.
The best of the best teams combat each other to gain supremacy for the ultimate victory. After a few days of the final state championship match has been held, the season for softball officially ends. For instance, the 2015-2016 Illinois softball season ended on the date of 11th June.
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