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May 24, 2013
11,905
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So Cal
But if you went and saw true high level A ball, with most players destined for WCWS schools, you would know it. It's a far cry from most HS softball and even quite a jump from slightly lower A ball, i.e. PGF Premier vs Platinum, Tier 1 vs Tier 2 Alliance.

100%. My DD's 18U team is what I would consider mid-level. They played PGF Platinum last year, and did respectably well, but not outstanding. Every girl on the team plays on her HS varsity team, and has the ability to play at the college level, if she wants to, including a couple that would be successful at the D1 level (but probably not on a top-25 team). The week before PGF, the team played in TC Nationals, which was an invite-only event that included the top teams of the big orgs in So Cal (Batbusters, Firecrackers, Corona Angels, etc.) . Those top teams are deep with girls committed to top-25 D1 schools. My DD's team got curb-stomped. It was brutal...but they went into PGF a little more prepared.
 
Oct 3, 2011
3,304
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Right Here For Now
And now players go from rec ball >to travel ball >then to high school...and are still in travel ball practicing and training with their travel teams during High School seasons.
Don't know about Cali but many states such as Ohio don't let the players do both when HS ball is in season. If they get caught in any formal practice setting for TB, they're done for the year in HS ball.
 
Mar 10, 2020
482
43
Don't know about Cali but many states such as Ohio don't let the players do both when HS ball is in season. If they get caught in any formal practice setting for TB, they're done for the year in HS ball.
Players continue to practice with their travel ball teams during High School season because that is allowed. They just can't play games . Their travel ball teams are priority because those are more often better players with higher level of competition for players that have goals beyond 18u and High School.
 
Mar 10, 2020
482
43
So, I was a spectator at a showcase recently. I am not a coach or a scout. But I was struck by just how little real talent attends these things. Yes, the girls play well, and they don't. They get strikeouts, they strike out. They catch balls and they drop balls. My question is, what is a scout supposed to see there that is going to make a difference to any one of these girls? I have heard, that mostly the scouts go there with a few players in mind that are already on their radar. If it's true that so few girls actually get to play college softball, is it not then logical to think that these showcases are being put on simply to give those few girls a stage? How many other families are paying for those girls to be able to do this? I wonder, if girls only played high school ball and the expensive tournaments and showcases were not a priority, wouldn't it raise the level of high school ball in general? Wouldn't many families go back to living normal lives and maybe even being able to afford real vacations with their children? What if the high school teams became the Summer/Fall ball teams too, and played teams in areas closer to home? Wouldn't college coaches find a way to find the really talented girls anyway? I don't get it. It seems that the tail is wagging the dog and maybe, it's not about the girls at all. Just wondering...
The divide in parental thinking at daughters High School is parents who are unfamiliar with playing on teams that are competitive. Those who think there are and dont. Honest assessments of their own children is the culprit here.
 
May 24, 2013
11,905
113
So Cal
Don't know about Cali but many states such as Ohio don't let the players do both when HS ball is in season. If they get caught in any formal practice setting for TB, they're done for the year in HS ball.

In CA, players on a HS team roster may not play a game or scrimmage with another team during the HS season. Some TB teams will continue to practice on weekends during that time. Others go totally dark.
 

PDM

Jun 18, 2019
118
28
NJ
I guess the question is assuming there was summer ball of some form (think back to ancient times when I played and summer baseball LL/Pony/Babe Ruth/Legion etc..travel really only occurred when you made All Stars and you kept winning or if you advanced in the Legion playoffs..although we did travel a decent amount in Legion) how much better are the HS teams now that we have TB vs then. Perhaps that is what @PDM was getting at? Lets say everybody played on local summer teams and the ability to play teams from outside the region was limited. Of course other things are better now as well (strength training, individual instruction, access to indoor facilities in the winter for colder weather regions...etc but those are not necessarily TB "features") so it isn't an apples to apples comparison

In general TB definitely has three differences than the local team model of years past which could possibly improve you over the previous local model:

a) ability to play with kids outside your area (may or may not improve you depending on how good those kids are)
b) ability to play teams outside your region (doesn't guarantee that those teams are at a level which will do much to improve you
c) definitely more games (and probably more innings..there was no time limit on games in yesteryear hence you usually had more innings per game)

I didn't mention coaching because there were good coaches 35 years ago just like there are now so while perhaps the coaching has improved (for a number of reasons) I don't want to put it in the "definite" bin...

There is also the issue that kids used to play a lot more ball outside of organized activities which probably has to get factored into the equation..might not be as much of a factor for females...I never saw any females playing pickup softball games where I grew up...

Overall I think in general the overall pecking order of players wouldn't change much, the best players now would have been the best players 35 years, etc. I also think that most players now benefit (in terms of being better) from TB. However I don't think the benefit is equal, the best players (through the ability to play against consistent good competition and with other really good players) probably have improved more over 35 years ago then the middle of the pack and lower end players (assuming equal access to the other things which I mentioned above which have helped players improve..which may be a lousy assumption...)

So based on the bolded above, I believe that the quality of HS teams has improved in general for teams that have a good number of TB players. For teams that don't, even assuming they play local team ball, then it probably has gotten worse because the quality of local ball has definitely taken a hit over the years...

On a personal note, I will say that I actually chose to play in a Pony League a few towns over rather than my local Sr. LL when I was 13 because it was a better league and also because I went to HS where my father taught, I was able (and chose) to play on a better Legion team then the town where I lived..that is to say that many players have always sought out the best..it is just now that the options are much more abundant (and expensive...lol)
Take away the current TB system with the high cost and instead have local kids all playing together through the year and all of those town kids will benefit and the level of play will rise. TB benefits some of the kids that play it and benefits none of the kids whose parents can't/won't write that big check. Local teams would benefit every player and the overall level of play will rise. Very few TB coaches are geniuses who make great players. Most are no better than average. They just market themselves well.
 
Oct 3, 2019
170
28
Take away the current TB system with the high cost and instead have local kids all playing together through the year and all of those town kids will benefit and the level of play will rise. TB benefits some of the kids that play it and benefits none of the kids whose parents can't/won't write that big check. Local teams would benefit every player and the overall level of play will rise. Very few TB coaches are geniuses who make great players. Most are no better than average. They just market themselves well.
Not to mention funneling some of that TB money into the high school and local programs and the quality will get better. Not to say there couldn’t be smaller tournaments, County vs County to make things interesting. I’m just sayin’. I just don’t think travel is that much fun. Playing games is fun, hotels and driving and having other kids in the family having to tag along, is just too stressful. Again I say, it’s the tail wagging the dog,
 
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