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The Bedford Girls Softball League is a parent-led organization for girls between the ages of 4 and 16.
Our goals are to promote a balance of sportsmanship, team spirit, and competition for the youth of our community. SAFETY, FAIRNESS, and CAMARADERIE are our HIGHEST PRIORITIES.
On behalf of the Bedford Girls Softball Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support and hope you will continue to allow your children to participate and grow in our program.
Bedford Girls Softball League
BGSL is organized into recreational and competitive. The recreational division also "competes" but the emphasis is weighted more toward learning the game, and rules may be modified for reasonable game length and to keep the girls from getting bored.
The competitive teams play spring and summer tournaments. Tryouts are generally in late summer. If you feel this level of commitment is right for your girl, please reach out to BGSL staff for further information.
There are limits to which division a girl can play in based upon birth year. Girls can "play up" based on ability and comfort zone, but Girls who are too old for a division can't "play down". Don't worry if you've never played, we have newbies at all levels, they end up getting a lot of support from the girls who have played.
A players age is determined by the age they are on 12/31 of the year before the registration year. So for a 2018 season, a girl who turns 8 on January 14th is league age 7 - because on 12/31/17 she was 7 years old.
Rookies: Designed for our youngest players, ages 4, 5, 6 to learn fundamentals and introduce the game of softball. Hitting is off the tee, intended to be fun and very basic in a small group setting.
8U/6-7-8: This is for players ages 6-8 (league age). This is machine pitch to allow for consistency of location and speed of the pitch. The tee is also used for those who are uncomfortable with the machine. An 11" ball is used and games are limited to around an hour.
10U/9-10: For players 9-10 (league age). Players pitch, then at a count of 4 balls a coach steps in for the pitcher. The intermediates play with amended rules, including a starting pitch count of 1 ball and 1 strike. The rules are intended to encourage the girls to swing and hit, not just wait for an inevitable walk. Games are limited to 90 minutes. As of the 2017 season, 10U teams travel and host other towns in the league. Rules may be adopted per game by coaches agreement.
Playing up: For some of the girls, playing in a division above their age is appropriate. If you think your player is one of those, register in the age-appropriate division and then send an email to a league rep with your play-up request.
12U: 10/11/12 No coach pitching, girls can steal, there are up to 6 innings played, rules are mostly Babe Ruth standard. Balls are 12", pitching distance is 40 feet. Games are limited to around 2 hours. These are "real" softball games, including advanced hitting techniques, game strategy, and player development. Players who turn 10 by April 1 are usually moved up to this division.
For all Town Teams:
Rules are amended by Souhegan Valley local rules, determined by representatives of the towns in the league. One that comes up often is "The Mercy Rule". In NHIAA and Middle School, if a team is ahead by 10 or more runs after a game has become regulation the team ahead is awarded the win. In SV league there is no 10 run rule, instead there are per-inning run limits. The intent is to keep the girls playing for the whole game. When it's obvious that a team is overmatched, the other coach will usually switch pitchers or use other methods to keep from running up a score.
5 run per inning limits are used for all SV games. There is no "continuation rule" in SV. With a continuation rule, if 4 runs have scored and a player hits a grand slam a side could score 8 runs - 3 runs past the limit. The problem with the continuation rule is that coaches would hold runners at third to load up bases to game the extra runs, and when the potential grand-slam comes to the plate they would be intentionally walked to keep the last 3 runs off the board. It's better to allow the batter to hit away, so we dumped the rule.
Innings for pitchers are limited - this gets more girls involved in pitching, and eliminates some of the advantage a team has when they have a pitcher that nobody can hit.
Rookies: have one weekday practice and one Saturday Morning "game" a week.
U8: One weeknight practice and one to two games weekly,
10U: 1-2 practices a week and 1-2 games, randomly throughout the week.
12U: Two practices per week and 1-2 games weekly, randomly throughout the week.
The Bulldogs Summer program is available for Girls league age 6 through 14.
Team selections start in late summer and teams are finalized near the end of the Spring season. Expectations are two practices per week, weekend tournaments with a guarantee or 4 games per weekend, travel will be required.