How is tournament travel softball different from House League softball?

Travel softball is competitive softball played against teams from other towns or communities.  Travel games are played across WNY as part of either the Niagara Frontier Girls Softball Association or the Metro Girls Softball League.  Travel softball demands a higher level of commitment in time, effort, training and competition.  Girls that display a higher interest and greater playing ability than most house league players can benefit from playing travel softball.


How long does the travel season last?

The travel softball season generally begins with practices starting in the fall and continuing through the winter season.  This can vary depending on each coach.  Heat teams are also offered the chance to begin playing games weekly in an indoor season beginning in January of each year.  The outdoor season generally begins its league games in May and runs through July.


How far will our team travel?

Heat travel teams take part in either the NFGSA or MGSL.  Games in those leagues are concentrated in WNY.  Each Heat team will usually participate in 5 weekend tournaments throughout the summer, with most of those tournaments taking place in WNY.  Each individual Heat team can choose to play in a tournament(s) outside of WNY.  Based on the discretion of the Heat coach, those tournaments outside of WNY can take place anywhere in the U.S. or Canada but are usually in areas within driving distance.


How often do travel teams practice?

During the travel season teams generally practice one or two times a week with the exact schedule being determined by the coaching staff.  During the winter months each team will be assigned time in our indoor batting cages and many coaches will also rent indoor space around the area to work on fielding drills.  Attending practices requires a commitment from the player and the family and this needs to be considered prior to trying out for a travel teamDo not expect to receive much playing time if you just show up for games and not practices.



Can my daughter play other sports if playing travel softball?

Travel softball is not for everyone and a substantial time commitment is required.  Even so, many of our Heat players are able to participate other activities that may include, basketball, cheerleading, dance, band, etc.  Heat coaches are expected to offer some consideration during the fall and winter months for conflicts.  Once the outdoor season begins in the spring, softball should become the travel player’s first priority when it comes to extracurricular activities.  The coaching staff will usually hold a pre-season meeting to go over the expectations.


Why are tryouts held so early compared to when the season starts?

The travel season usually ends around July 31 and it is best to hold tryouts for the girls when they are in top softball form and at a time of year that is conducive to being outdoors.  Also, by forming the teams early it enables the league to spread the fee payment schedule over a longer part of the calendar year.


Can my daughter tryout for an older age group?

It is encouraged that players stay within their age group.  However, we realize that some girls may be talented enough to tryout for an older team.  The player should attend the tryout for their own age group.  If the child would also like to tryout for an older age group they should contact the Travel Coordinator for approval.  By attending both tryouts it will ensure that the player has an opportunity to be considered for their own age group if they are not selected for the older team.


Can my daughter request to play for a certain coach or team?

Players are able to tryout and obtain placement based on a demonstration of their skills.  If there are enough girls to make up multiple Heat teams in a particular age group, the Heat coach with the senior level team within that age group has first priority in picking his roster.  However, if a player for reasonable needs would prefer to play for another team in that same age group, a request can be put into the league.  A decision to allow that player to play on the requested Heat team must be mutually agreed upon by the coaches involved and the Travel Coordinator.


How much playing time can my daughter expect?

Playing time is not guaranteed in travel softball.  Each player will receive the amount deemed appropriate by their team’s coaching staff.  Playing time can be based on the player’s skill level, their attendance at practices and games and their overall attitude among other factors.  The league does encourage all coaches to make every effort to ensure that all players have a positive and enjoyable experience.



Can my daughter play for the Heat and another travel organization at the same time?

Because of the time commitment that is required to the Heat team, it is highly discouraged for a player to tryout for the Heat if they are already playing for or planning on playing for another travel organization.  In the rare instance when a girl does play for two travel organizations, the Heat coach may require the player to put the Heat team first whenever there is a scheduling conflict.  In addition, if a player is playing for another travel team that happens to be entered into the annual tournament hosted by the Lancaster Depew Ponytails, this player is obligated to play for her Heat team during the tournament.


Can my daughter play for the Heat and the House League?

Yes.  Girls playing for the Heat are more than welcome to sign up to play in the Lancaster Depew Ponytails House League.  In fact, girls playing for the first year Heat team (the 9 year old team in the 10u division) are required to play in the House league for that season.  Any girl who plays for both the Heat and the House League must prioritize the Heat schedule ahead of the House schedule when it comes to practices and games.


What are the estimated costs to play for the Heat?

The Heat remains one of the most affordable travel softball options in the area.  This season the cost to play for the Heat is $550 per player (made in three installments).  That cost covers the team’s entry into regular season league play plus entry into 5 tournaments.  The player’s uniform is also covered under the player fees as well as the team’s use of our indoor batting facility.  In addition, each team may incur extra costs throughout the year based on what the coach feels is needed.  Examples of extra costs may include purchasing extra practice time at a larger indoor facility, participation in the winter indoor league or participation in an extra tournament.


How many tournaments will our team play in?

The league will pay for each team to play in 4 outside tournaments, plus they will get entry into the annual Lancaster Coca-Cola Classic for a total of 5.


How do I become a manager for a Heat team?

If you are interested in managing a Heat travel team you can reach out to a board member or go to our Contact Us page on the website and let us know your wishes to coach.  The league is always looking for qualified coaching candidates to help with the mentoring of our young ladies.  To be accepted as a Heat manager you must go through an interview process with the League President, the Travel Coordinator and the other current Heat managers.