Frequently Asked Questions (Rep Program)
DISCLAIMER: The following is unofficial information for parents and players. It is not part of and does not in any way override, replace or supplement the official NSGFA Rep Guidelines (see the Rep Program page). It does not constitute any (official or unofficial) NSGFA policies, rules, guidelines, etc. The NSGFA and its teams are under no obligation to follow any of the below, and the Rep Committee will not consider any requests or complaints based upon this information. Any information or interpretation regarding Softball BC rules is unofficial and subject to confirmation by Softball BC in its sole disretion.
1. What is rep softball?
The rep softball program is intended to provide a positive, supportive and competitive environment for players with higher levels of commitment and ability. Our aim is to provide players with advanced skill and development opportunities; encourage positive attitude, team work and team spirit; and ensure coaches are constantly upgrading their skills and abilities to enable players and teams to reach their desired potential. The program is governed by the Rep Committee and the Rep Program Guidelines. Coaches are appointed based on applications and need. Teams are formed based on an annual tryout process (usually the first weekend after labour day) and start practicing indoors in the Fall for the following Spring season.
2. What is the level of commitment expected for rep softball?
Rep players generally are expected to attend at least 80% of practices and games (including tournaments). Coaches are encouraged to track player attendance and rep coaches have significant discretion regarding individual playing time as well as selection of players with poor attendance records (regardless of try-out ranking). Coaches tend to be understanding that players may not be able to attend every practice and may miss the occasional game or tournament, provided you give them reasonable notice and it is not a frequent occurrence. Coaches tend to be in-tolerant of players regularly missing or showing up late (or unprepared) to practices or games. Expectations regarding attendance and what is reasonable notice for an absence should be discussed up front with the specific coach.
3. How many days per week do rep teams practice and play?
The number and frequency of practices and associated days/times are set by the coach. Most rep teams start with at least one or two indoor (gym) practices per week from October through to March, then at least one outdoor practice per week after the season starts. Some coaches may expect players to do some additional practice on their own (or with a parent) or may hold extra practices for specific players. The regular season for rep teams runs from the first week in April until the end of June, during which teams play two games per week (Mondays and Wednesdays for U14 and U18, Tuesdays and Thursdays for U12 and U16) in addition to weekend tournaments and practices. Rep teams participate in at least 4 tournaments during the season in addition to District 4 play-downs at the end of May and (if the team qualifies) Provincial Championships in July. Scheduling of tournaments is up to the coach, based on what tournaments are available. On average rep teams will play in 2 or more weekend tournaments per month from April to June, and possibly into July.
4. What if my daughter also plays [sport] and has to miss softball games or practices?
Most coaches tend to be supportive (within reason) of players involved in multiple sports, provided it does not significantly reduce attendance at practices and games and does not negatively impact the team. However, this is something that needs to be discussed and worked out with the specific coach, preferably before the player is placed on a rep team. Please note the amount of flexibility extended by the coach may vary depending upon the particular player and circumstances.
5. Is there a lot of travel involved?
Yes, there is frequent travel to games and tournaments. All home games are played on the North Shore (usually McCartney Park) while away games (half of regular season games) are scattered across the lower mainland. Virtually all tournaments are played off the North Shore (with the possible exception of District play-downs). Most coaches require players to be at the field at least 1 hour before a game, so typically they need to be there by 5pm for regular weekday games (home or away). For weekend tournaments the arrival time can be early as 7am for an 8am game. Some tournaments such as the Provincial Championships may take place outside the lower mainland, requiring overnight travel and accommodation.
6. Does it cost more to play rep ball?
Yes. In addition to the rep try-out fee (which helps to offset the cost of running the try-outs and team forming process), regular registration fees for rep players are higher than for house players. This helps to fund the significant additional costs associatiated with the rep teams, including special uniforms, gym time, etc. Rep teams also receive additional funding from the association to help pay for allowable expenses such tournament fees and extra equipment; however, the amount of such funding depends on how much the team raises in the annual Ball Toss fundraiser. All rep teams are expected to attend and participate fully in Opening Day activities including the Banner Parade and Ball Toss.
Individual teams usually maintain their own budget as well, and may ask for additional contributions or participation from parents and players in team fundraising activities to help pay for costs not otherwise covered by the Association or private sponsorships. The Association typically does not pay for special clothing such as hoodies or special training instructors/facilities. Some of these items may be paid from the team budget, or by the inidvidual player/parents. Required team budget contributions and fundraising activites as well as other inidividual equipment/clothing costs should be discussed with the particular coach or team manager.
7. What's the difference between Rep Level A and B?
For minor players (under 18), softball is categorized into 3 levels:
- C - recreational or house teams
- B - competitive rep teams
- A - highly competitive, top tier rep teams
NSGFA rep teams typically play at the B level.