Palo Alto Heat

May is on the way, which means that it is time to prepare for and organize the Palo Alto Heat summer program.  The Heat program is challenging, fun, and rewarding, and we hope that everyone who is potentially interested will consider participating. Tryouts for the 2018 season will be announced at a later date.

For more information about the program and our preparations for it, here are answers to the following FAQs.

What is the Palo Alto Heat?

The Palo Alto Summer Heat Program is an extension of Palo Alto Girls Softball. The Heat fields teams that participate in highly competitive softball tournaments during the summer. The Heat is a great opportunity for girls in the 14U, 12U, 10U, and 8U divisions who love softball and would like to extend their skills beyond the spring season. While the spring season emphasizes player development and having fun in a recreational league, the Heat focuses on fielding more highly competitive teams, while at the same time maintaining a balance with softball skill development, personal development, and having fun.

How many teams will there be?

The number of teams in each age division is dependent on a number of factors: (1) the number of interested, qualified players, (2) the availability of sufficient pitchers capable of playing at the tournament level, and (3) the availability of qualified coaches willing to make the commitment to the summer program.  We anticipate fielding C teams which will be competing in C tournaments.  C tournaments are intended for teams that have not played and practiced together all year long.

What is the anticipated tryout schedule?

Tryout dates will be announced in the future.

During tryouts, experienced coaches will evaluate the players basic fielding, throwing and batting skills. Pitchers and catchers may have an additional evaluation for those two specialized positions.  We will also rely on the knowledge of experienced coaches who know the players.

What is the anticipated tournament schedule?

Tournaments will be organized in the spring. The number of tournaments played by any age group is determined by the team and tournament availability.

Typically, the Heat teams will play in 5 or 6 tournaments with the possible goal of qualifying for the State games in San Diego.  In most tournaments, the teams will play 4 games … more if they do well.  All tournaments will be governed by ASA rules.   Most tournaments are played on Saturday and Sunday, however some do have Friday games.  Teams may also participate in ‘friendly’ tournaments organized with local leagues.

What is the commitment required of a Heat player?

Summer teams typically two to three mid-week practices starting in mid May and a weekend practice when there is no tournament. Because girls tryout for the team(s) and not every player makes the team(s), it is expected that Heat will be a very high-priority Summer activity for the player.  With that said we know summer is a time when family commitments and trips are common.  We need to know during the application process of any scheduled commitments that may interfere with your daughter’s availability for planning purpose (e.g. we will forego tournaments on weekends where we do not have enough players). Please make sure to provide availability information when you complete the Heat application.

Can my daughter play on the Heat as a part time player?

The answer to this question depends on the number of players, the number of teams, and the approach of the coaching staff.  There are some structures that might permit part time players, and they will be considered in forming the teams.

What are the costs?

Final costs will be determined by the number of tournaments attended … typically, the registration fee is about $650 for the summer season. This includes tournament registration fees, field costs, insurance, and some additional expenses such as team equipment, etc.  The higher estimate is based on coaching fees which would be incurred if we utilize professional coaches.  Uniforms are separate cost and run about $80 minimum to $120 if you want all the options (samples will be available at tryouts for sizing). Travel expenses, food and lodging (for overnight tournaments), and personal equipment are extra (such as a personalized Heat softball bag, sweatshirts, etc.).  All players pay an equal share of the total costs for the summer season. If arrangements are made for “part-time” players, a pro-rata cost may be applied. Failure to attend practices or tournaments (not disclosed during the application process) will NOT result in a refund for time missed, and may result in limited or no playing time or removal from the team.  For low income families, limited scholarship aid is available. We want all interested players to tryout and, if selected, participate even if their families cannot afford the fees.

How does a player become eligible to participate in the Heat program?

To be eligible to register and participate in the Heat Summer Program, players must have been a registered player in the previous PAGS Spring League. The Heat team(s) will be selected through the tryout evaluation process noted above.  All roster selections and decisions are final.  Heat coaches together with age group commissioners will make the team selections.

What about playing time and positions?

As noted above, the Heat program is for tournament play, and tournament rules apply.  Batting orders are based on nine players (or 10 with the Flex), and substitutions.  Tournament rules apply, and are enforced.  It is a competitive environment, and players need to earn playing time and positions.

How do we apply for the heat program?

To apply for the Heat program, complete the application form through TeamSnap. Registration for Heat will open in the spring.

We do encourage girls to participate in the Heat.  It is a great program, and all who play emerge as stronger players for next year.

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