Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
If you have a question that is not answered here, please try contacting a member of our executive directly (registration related questions should be directed to the Registrar), or select Contact Us to find out how to submit a general inquiry by email, phone or postal mail.
1. How long is the season?
The regular season typically starts in early April and ends in late June. Some teams may hold indoor practises in the weeks leading up to the season. Teams in older divisions (U12 and up) may play into July if they qualify for a provincial or regional championship tournament.
2. Where are games played?
The U6 division typically meets at Loutet Park (east of Grand Boulevard). From U8 through U14, games are played primarily at Loutet Park, Lynn Valley Park, and McCartney Park. The U16, U18, Rep, and Junior/Senior divisions interlock with other Lower Mainland associations - home games are typically played at McCartney Park and away games are played off the North Shore.
3. My daughter was born in... What division will she be in?
Categories or "Divisions" are based on players's age as of December 31 of the previous year.
- U6 (Blastball): 4 - 5 years
- U8 (Mini Mite): 6 - 7 years
- U10 (Mite): 8 - 9 years
- U12 (Squirt): 10 - 11 years
- U14 (Pee Wee): 12 - 13 years
- U16 (Bantam): 14 - 15 years
- U19C (Midget House): 16 - 18 years
- U18A/B (Midget Rep): 16 - 17 years
- U21 (Jr Ladies): 18 - 20 years old
- Sr Ladies: 21+ years old
Although we are primarily a minor + junior (under 21) female fastpitch association, we do support specific senior team(s) when there is sufficient demand.
4. What days and times are the games and practices?
The following applies mainly to House league (C) teams and may be indicative (but not definitive) for many Rep (B or A) teams.
U6 and U8 teams meet twice per week for a combination of Learn-To-Play skills development and mini-games. U10 teams have 1 game plus 1 practice per week. For U12 and up, teams typically play 2 times per week plus practices at the discretion of the coach. Some teams (typically U12 and up) may also enter tournaments on some weekends during the season.
- U6 – Mon + Wed, 6:00 pm
- U8 – Tue + Thu, 6:00 pm
- U10 – Mon + Wed, 6:30 pm
- U12 – Tue + Thu, 6:30 pm
- U14 – Mon + Wed, 6:30 pm
- U16 – Mon + Wed, 6:30 pm
- U18/U19 – Tue + Thu, 6:30 pm
- 19+ – varies
Please contact your Division Coordinator (bottom of executive page) for further information with respect to your specific division.
5. What equipment is required?
The association provides uniforms, bats, balls, bases, catching equipment, and pitching masks. Your daughter will need a proper glove, helmet, and shoes (sneakers okay for U6 and U8, non-metal soccer/softball cleats required for U10 and up). Mouth guards are highly recommended. Masks for other selected infield positions (e.g. 1st and 3rd) are optional. Players may bring their own fastpitch certified bat.
Important: it is important to choose a properly sized bat, glove and helmet based on current age. Players are required to use certified fastpitch bats, not baseball bats. A bat that "she will grow into" will often negatively impact current season play/development because it is too heavy and slows down the player's swing. A helmet that is too big may not provide required protection and is often a distraction for the player. A glove that is too small makes it difficult to catch the ball properly.
6. How do we pick a glove or bat?
A glove should fit the player's hand without weighing it down or feeling awkward or uncomfortable. A full size 12" softball should easily fit inside the mitt. The best thing to do when buying a glove is to take an 12" ball with you. Try the glove on and have her catch a lightly-tossed ball. If it sticks in the glove and doesn't fall out of her hand, it's probably a good fit. If the ball doesn't fit in the glove or she has trouble hanging on to the ball, or if its too tight to put on her hand, it's too small.
We supply a selection of high quality certified fastpitch bats based on the ages/sizes for each team. If your daughter wants her own bat, it must be ASA Certified Fastpitch bat and should be properly sized for the specific player. Bat length should be based on player height (size chart) while weight depends on quality of material and manufacturing (good quality lighter bats cost more). Please note: a bat that she "will grow into" (i.e. too long or too heavy) will be difficult for her to swing properly and fast enough to hit the ball, and may impair player development. A good quality aluminum or composite bat may cost up to $200 to $300 and should last several years before the player grows out of it. A good bat should never break or "lose its pop" (but may bend or dent if abused). For more tips on chosing a bat see: http://www.justbats.com/buying-guides/softball-bats/fastpitch
You can also ask for professional help at Prostock, MVP Athetics, or Time-Out-Sports (see our links page).
7. My daughter lost her glove/helmet/slider/hoodie. Is there a lost & found where I could look for it?
Our Lost & Found is at the McCartney Concession. If you find a lost item, please drop it off at the Concession. If you lost something, check for it there.
8. How do I volunteer?
We are always looking for more people to get involved! We have many smaller jobs each season. Please contact your Division Coordinator or any Board member for more information.
9. For social or car-pooling reasons, it is important that my daughter be placed on a team with her friends. Can we request specific teammates?
The following applies to House League only. Rep teams are formed based on a try-out process that starts in September (see the Rep Program page for details).
We try to accomodate teammate requests as best we can (players may request up to 3 teammates) but placement is not assured. The following criteria (in no particular order) are considered when forming teams:
- Team placement last season
- Requests to play with friends
- School placement
- Geographical area
- Payment of fees
- Board judgement
Please note that team placement may be prioritized based upon when completion of registration and payment of fees. Your registration may be delayed (and team placement may be impacted) if incomplete or erroneous information is submitted, or until payment is received in full and/or any prior outstanding balances are settled. Players typically are not placed on a team unless and until all fees are paid. We encourage prompt payment of all fees online in order to avoid delays.
10. I registered and paid on-line but have still not heard anything about what team my daughter is on?
Team forming occurs in late March (typically during or shortly after spring break). You should be contacted (usually by your coach or team manager) at least a week before the season starts in early April. Please contact your Division Coordinator if you have any questions. Please note that team placement may be delayed if your registratoon is incomplete or you requested to pay off line.
11. My daughter is a very athletic. What is your policy regarding "playing up"?
Any request to play outside your birth year division must be made in writing to the Board (via email to the Registrar) prior to the commencement of the season. Generally such requests are granted only in specific circumstances and are not based on the skill level of the player. Girls who wish to play at a higher competitive level are encouraged to try out for our rep program.
12. My daughter is switching from Rep to House; where will she be able to play?
In order to balance the teams and keep the House league competitive, as a guideline usually no more than 2 ex-rep players are placed on a single House team. A player may be considered ex-rep for 2 years after playing on a rep team. This does not apply to Supermite or U10 All-Star development team players.
13. We live outside the North Shore; can my daughter play in your association?
Players residing outside District 4 (North Shore) may register with our the North Shore Girls Fastpitch Association. Previous Softball BC rules regarding cross-boundary players and permits were recinded in the fall of 2015, leaving no restrictions on where a player may register to play. Players may not change teams, however, once the team roster has been finalized with Softball BC.
Registration & Fees
14. What are the fees for registering to play softball?
Registration fees cover the cost of fields, uniforms, equipment, Softball BC insurance/membership, umpires, and other costs to operate the association. Our 2017 registration fees remain the same as last season: $100 to $180 for the learn-to-play program (U6 to U10), $215 for other house league minor players (U12C to U19C), and $365 for rep players (U12B to U18B). These fees exclude any applicable early bird discounts, or the $10 Softball BC Lifetime Membership Fee required for new players. Additional fees also may apply for late registrations/payments or to pay off-line. Players selected to a Stars rep team pay higher fees to cover extra uniform, tournament, and equipment costs. Players selected to a SuperMite development team pay the U12 house league fee.
14(a). Do I get a Rep tryout credit?
As of July 2013, the rep try-out fee no longer qualifies for a credit or reduction of registration fees. The try-out fee is non-refundable regardless of whether or not the player is selected for and placed on a rep team.
15. What payment methods do you accept?
Our online registration system uses WePay to process credit card payments. You may pay by cheque (additional service charges may apply) after submitting your online registration. Registration is not confirmed and team placement may not occur until after payment for all applicable fees (and any outstanding balances) has been received in full by the association. Your daughter's request to play with friends or on a specific team is given priority when final payment is received, not when the registration form was submitted. Early bird discounts and late fees are based upon when payment is received or, if paid by cheque, the postmark date.
16. How do I get a receipt?
You are solely responsible for retaining required evidence of payment of registration fees, and for determining which amounts (if any) may be deductible for tax purposes. Receipts may be printed by logging on to your Team Snap account used for registration purposes. You will receive confirmation of registration and payment by email which you should retain. These messages cannot be re-created by the NSGFA.
17. What is your refund policy? Can I withdraw if there is a scheduling conflict?
Before registering, please check the game and practice days/times applicable for your division (FAQ#4 above).
The following applies to regular league play registration fee. Other policies may apply for clinics, tryouts, etc: Withdrawal/refund requests should be submitted by email to the Registrar and need to be approved by the VP Finance. Refunds should be requested by the original payer and are refunded to the original payer. An administration fee may be deducted to help cover our costs. Delays may occur for refunds that need to be paid by cheque. Late fees, Softball BC membership fees, and tryout fees usually are not refundable. House League: A full refund of regular registration fees paid (excluding late fees, off-line payment fees, and Softball BC Lifetime Membership fees) is available prior to the first day of the season. Rep League: A full refund of registration fees is available prior to the team`s first practice, after which a 75% refund may be granted after the first practice and prior to the team`s first game, and may be increased (up to 100%) if the player can demonstrate she did not participate in more than one practice due to injury. All players: A 50% refund is available from the first day/game of the season until the end of April (end of May for Junior/Senior Women), after which no refunds are available.
18. What if I don't have or can't find my Softball BC number? Is the Softball BC (Lifetime) Membership fee non-refundable?
All players and coaches are required to have a Softball BC (SBC) membership. If you previously played or coached with an official Softball BC team anywhere in the Province of British Columbia, you should have a SBC lifetime membership number (SBC#) already. We will obtain a SBC membership for you the first time you register as a player or a coach. Softball BC charges a one-time fee of $10 for each new membership. The NSGFA absorbes the cost of such fees for coaches. For new players: During player registration, we charge an additional $10 SBC membership fee for new players who do not have an SBC membership. Please take note of your neiw SBC# for future reference as you will need it to register next time and for any official Softball BC dealings. For returning players, we also charge the additional $10 if you fail to provide your existing SBC# during registration (or we may assess this extra charge later if you enter an nvalid number). In all cases: if you do not provide a valid SBC# when you register, you will be charged the extra $10 fee for us to either obtain a new SBC membership or to look up your existing SBC# for you. This fee cannot be refunded once your registration has been submitted.
>>> HOW TO FIND YOUR SOFTBALL BC NUMBER (SBC#) FOR FREE!
If you played or coached before and don't know or can't find your SBC#, you can look it up FOR FREE:
|(i)||Use the Member Look-up tool on the Softball BC website.||SBC Member Look-up|
|(iii)||If you played with NSGFA last season, your SBC# should be in your Team Snap player profile from last season (log onto Team Snap, click "Show Archived Seasons", click on your team from last season, select "Roster", and click on your name).||Team Snap Log-in|
|(iv)||Try contacting your team manager from last season.|| (sorry, we can't give
you a link for that)
If none of these FREE options appeal to you:
You can enter 0 for your Softball BC number when your register to play, and pay the extra $10 for us to look it up for you (using one of the above 4 methods).
Team Snap Problems
19. When I try to register I get an error that my 'login already exists'. I already have a Team Snap account for myself or another family member other than that player I want to register. What I try to sign the waiver, it tells me I have to enter my kid's name. PayPal won't accept my credit card. What do I do?
We use Team Snap for registration, roster management, scheduling and communications. At the start the registration process you need to either log in using your existing Team Snap account or (if you don't have one) create a Team Snap account. Your Team Snap account is based on your email address (or you can use your Facebook account). If you already have a Team Snap account (for yourself or any family member, and for any team or sport) please use it! You don't need (or want) a separate account for each player, sport, team or registration. In fact, you can have only one Team Snap account per email address or Facebook account, but you can have multiple family members involved in multiple teams, leagues and even sports all under one Team Snap account. Team Snap will keep them all organized separately, while allowing you to access them all under one simple log-in based on your email address from any Internet connected computer, or using the (free) Team Snap iPhone/iPad/Android app.
PARENTS: if you do need to create a Team Snap account, please use your own name and email address when you set it up. If your Team Snap account was previously set up under one of your children's name, please correct this before registering to avoid confusion (especially when it comes time to sign the consent). To make this correction, log into Team Snap (at http://go.teamsnap.com) using your existing Team Snap account, click on My Account, click Edit to change the account to you own (parent's) name, then scroll to the bottom and click Save, and boom! You are now good to go. This will not affect any of the family members and teams already linked to your Team Snap account. Once you are ready to register, you need to start with the link at the bottom of this page.
Once a player has been registared and placed on team you can give other family members 'Shared Access' to the team page and schedule via their own Team Snap account. This is especially helpful for multiple parents and the players themselves to each have access to the team schedule etc.
When paying via credit card using PayPal, you must first ensure the country is set to Canada before you can enter any of your credit card other information.
We have received reports of problems when attempting to registrate via a mobile device. We recommend using a full desktop computer. If you do not have a home computer, we understand they may be available to use at the local public library.