Guest Author - Traci Falb
You don't have to stop playing softball when your season ends. Even when you graduate high school and think you can no longer play, there are many options open to people of all ages. In the northeast, for example, there are summer, fall and spring leagues that are always looking for players for their menís, women's, co-ed or seniors teams. Occasionally you can even find those crazy winter softball leagues (that play in the snow in Ohio).
In Summit County Ohio, Barberton Sports Complex is one set of fields hosting these events. They even held the 75-plus World Championship last year that consisted of 14 teams. These are sometimes referred to as Silver Leagues. Teams from as far north as the Great lakes area comes to play and travel from as far south as Texas and Florida. You don't have to be over 75 years old, though, to play here. They are known for their seniors teams which have brackets in the 70, 65, 60, 55, and 50 age groups but also host church leagues (which can be any age ranging from 16 and up) and are sometimes co-ed. Men's teams as well as women's and co-ed leagues are always playing here too.
To find teams in your area, look online for your community sports centers or local athletic departments. There are always teams needing players and many will advertise. Some websites allow you to post your availability and teams looking for players will be posted as well. Sites like Sportsvite.com provide a lot of information and have locations all over the United States. Or www.ww.seniorsoftball.com is a forum for seniors looking for a team. The Softball Players Association or SPA is the official group for seniors all over the United States. Other adult leagues vary by state but there are plenty around for those looking for a softball team.
High school players or recreation softball players can also play, depending on the age requirements. Usually the rules vary, depending on which league is playing. Sometimes the senior teams will play shorter innings or have run limits. Co-ed teams may require a minimum number of girls and many teams may have a time limit. And donít worry if youíre too late to sign up for one of the teams that have already started. You can always be a spectator. One year, my youngest daughter, who was too young to play, was our bat girl. Check out a team near you for more softball fun.