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Fastpitch Q&A

Q & A

Why Play Fastpitch?

What is the difference between the fastpitch and slow-pitch programs?
Fastpitch softball is the sport played at the high school and college levels. Girls who wish to play for the Coon Rapids High School Fastpitch team should choose to play fastpitch as the game of slowpitch softball is not a high school sanctioned sport.
Compared to slowpitch, fastpitch more closely resembles baseball and utilizes fun skills such as base stealing, sliding, bunting and advancing to first base on a dropped third strike. Fastpitch is a dynamic, fast-moving game which requires split second decision making and attention to the finer points of the game. The game changes on a pitch by pitch basis which makes for a high level of concentration and strategic thinking.
Fastpitch attracts talented, athletic girls who wish to compete in the sport at a high level. Girls who participate in the fastpitch program tend to develop softball skills more quickly than in slowpitch and become better prepared to play at high levels, including high school. The game is fast moving and our girls are trained in both the physical and situational aspects of the game. It is best to learn the mechanics and fundamentals of fastpitch early as it can become more difficult to transition from slowpitch as you get older.

What if I’ve never played fastpitch before?
The summer season is a great time to experience fastpitch, especially for beginners. open gym sessions begin in December which will allow your skills to develop well before the start of the season. In addition, you will be placed on a team with comparable players, considering both age and skill. The league will also be structured to provide for competition from other metro area associations fielding teams of similar skill level.

Are there any space limitations in the program?
CRFA tries hard to provide playing opportunities for all girls in Coon Rapids. We will make our best effort to form teams to accommodate the number of players registered.


What equipment do players need?

Required equipment:

-Batting helmet with a face guard and a chin strap


-Rubber cleats (metal cleats are allowed in 14U and older)

-Bat  USSSA sticker and 1.2 BPF or lower

-Water bottle

-Pitchers must wear a fielding mask

-Catching equipment is provided for each team

Optional Equip:

-batting gloves


-fielding mask (optional but strongly recommnended in the infield)

-slider (leg pad to protect the leg during sliding)

How often do teams practice?

8U will practice once a week.  10U and above will practice 1-2 times a week.  “A” teams will typically practice 2 times a week.

Can I wear shorts to practice?

No.  We do lots of drills that require pants, sliding, etc.

What nights do they play games?

8U plays either Monday OR Wednesday evenings

10U plays Tuesday evenings

12U plays either Monday OR Wednesday evenings in May, and both Monday AND Wednesday evenings in June.

14U plays Tuesday and Thursday evenings

16U plays Monday and Wednesday evenings

How many games do teams play each night?

2 games.  Each game has a 60-65 minute time limit

How much travel is involved?

All practices are held at local Coon Rapids parks.

8U games are all played at the Ham Lake Lions Park.

For 10U and above, most away games are played in the NW metro area and are within ½ hour drive.   Tournaments can be further away.  Overnight tournaments are an option left to the discretion of the team and coaches.  State tournaments are mostly local but have the potential to be as far away as Mankato, St. Cloud, Hastings and Farmington.

When are tournaments?

The 8U end of season tournament is typically the weekend after the 4th of July.

10U-16U teams participate in the annual Coon Rapids Cardinal Classic Tournament the first or second weekend in June.

10U -14U teams have 2 additional weekend tournaments in the months of May and June.

10U and 12U state qualifier tournaments are typically the weekend before the 4th of July

14U and 16U state qualifier tournaments are typically the weekend after the 4th of July

10U and 12U state tournaments are typically the weekend after the 4th of July

14U and 16U state qualifier tournaments are typically the weekend after the qualifying tournament

How much does it cost to play?

The 8U registration fee is $50.  Players are responsible for buying a glove and a batting helmet.  Cleats and a bat are optional but suggested.  CRFA will provide a T-shirt uniform.  Parents will need to purchase black pants.

The 10U-14U registration fee is $300.  Players are responsible for buying a glove, bat, helmet and cleats.  Fielding masks are optional but suggested.

CRFA will purchase one free uniform for NEW players.  Additional uniforms are available for purchase for when they wear out or get too small.  They run approx. $40-$45.

Financial assistance for the registration fee is available on a limited basis.  Contact Laurie Anderson CRFA Treasurer for details.

When does the season start? 

The season typically starts in late March to early April.  It all depends on how soon we can get outside to practice.

8U thru 12U games typically start the first week in May.

14U, 16U and 18U seasons do not start until the High School seasons have ended in mid May.

When does the season end?

The 8U season ends after the end of season tournament which is typically held the weekend after the 4th of July

The 10U and 12U season ends after the state tournament which is typically held the weekend after the 4th of July

The 14U, 16U and 18U season ends after the state tournament which is typically held 2 weekends after the 4th of July.

Teams can also qualify for Nationals.  National tournaments are typically 1-2 weeks after the state tournament.  10U and 12U National tournaments are held in Bloomington and Eagan respectively.

Where can I go to get more information?

Go to the “links” page for links to league and sanctioning body websites (coming soon!)

At what level do the players pitch?

8U is a coach pitch league.  Player pitching starts at the 10U level.

Should my player wear a fielding mask?

All pitchers who pitch for CRFA are REQUIRED to wear a fielding mask.  Players playing 1st base and 3rd base are strongly suggested to wear a fielding mask.  Bottom line, if you or your player desires to wear a mask, wear one!  Even college teams are wearing masks at all positions.

Does my batting helmet need a face guard and a chin strap?

Oddly enough 8U players helmets do not require a face guard, however  CRFA recommends that 8U players have a helmet with a face guard.  They will need one for when they move up to 10U anyway.

Face guards are REQUIRED for 10U players and above.

Chin straps are required for 10U and above.

What approvals are needed for my bat?

USSSA label with a BPF of 1.20 or lower

What is a slider and do I need one?

A slider is a knee pad of sorts that is worn below the knee to protect the “tuck” leg during sliding.  It is not required.  It is STRONGLY suggested that PANTS be worn to both practices and games.

What does my registration fee go toward?

Registration fees collected are actually LESS than the cost to field a team.  CRFA does a number of fundraisers and hosts a tournament to help keep the cost to play as low as possible.  Costs incurred to field a team include tournament registration, league registration, state tournament gate fees, umpires, equipment and insurance.   We pride ourselves in the fact that most area associations charge more than CRFA does.