SGSL Divisions Information

Overview of our Divisions

Sunnyvale Girls Softball League has four divisions: A, AA, AAA and AAAA. Age is defined as your daughter’s age on January 1, 2018. The Divisions are generally aligned by age as follows.

Division Primarily for Ages May also Include Ages How Teams are Formed
A 6 and under 7 Player and coach requests, school and league placement to balance team sizes
AA 7-8 6, 9 Player and coach requests, school and league placement to balance team sizes
AAA 9-10 8, 11 Evaluation and draft
AAAA 11-12 13, under certain circumstances Evaluation and draft

What to Expect by Your Daughter’s Age

The league considers a number of factors when determining which level will be best for each player. The player’s age is one factor, but several other considerations are also important, including (in no particular order):

  • Ability and softball skills
  • School grade level (very common for late calendar birthdays to opt to play with grade-mates)
  • The number of players in each division
  • The target roster size, which is tailored to the needs and structure of the different divisions. Younger divisions tend to have smaller rosters
  • The number of volunteer coaches in each division
  • The number of pitchers in the AAA and AAAA divisions to make viable teams
  • Placement requests for siblings (please refer to the discussion below, if this is of concern)

If you feel strongly that your daughter belongs in another division than her primary age division, please contact the Player Representative: playeragent@sunnyvalegirlssoftball.org

Note that while it may be allowed to play “down” during the rec season for girls who are still developing their skills, they must play at their league age for summer travel ball with Shockwave. If you are considering summer travel ball, it is recommended to have your daughter play at the recommended level for her league age.

6 and Under Years Old
  • Girls 6 and younger will generally play in A
  • Returning 6 year olds who have demonstrated the ability to hit without the use of a tee may consider playing AA
7 Year Olds
  • Most 7 year olds will play in AA
  • 7 year olds who are developing basic skills may be placed in A, especially those with late calendar birthdays still in 1st Grade
8 Year Olds
  • Most 8 year olds will play in AA
  • A few skilled 8 year olds, who the league determines are ready, may be drafted into the AAA division, with their parent’s consent.
9 Year Olds
  • 9 year olds will generally play in AAA
  • 9 year olds who are still developing their skills may be placed in AA. Players with late calendar birthdays or those who are in second grade should strongly consider playing another year with grade-mates in the AA division.
10 Year Olds
  • 10 year olds will generally play in AAA
  • Because AAAA uses a larger ball and longer pitching distance, it is extremely rare that a 10 year old would be placed in AAAA. The only players the league will consider are elite-level pitchers who would get very little from playing AAA.
11 Year Olds
  • Most 11 year olds will play AAAA. The AAAA division may be divided into an upper subdivision, Red, and a lower subdivision, White.
  • A few 11 year olds who are still developing the more advanced skills expected in AAAA may be placed in AAA, especially those with late calendar birthdays or still in 5th grade.
12 Year Olds
  • 12 year olds will generally play in AAAA. The AAAA division may be divided into an upper subdivision, Red, and a lower subdivision, White.
13 Year Olds
  • 13 year olds may play AAAA under certain conditions. Most should be playing in Quakes.
14-16 Year Olds
  • Girls between 14 and 16 should be playing in Quakes.

 

How the Rules of Play Evolve, by Division

The rules of play and expectations for players evolve significantly between each Division. Here’s a quick summary of the most significant differences.

Div Pitching Offense Defense Games Practices
A Hitting from a tee and some coach pitch.
No strikeouts or walks.
Every player bats once every inning.
No bunting.
All players play defense, and rotate through all positions. 1 per week (Saturday morning)

About 3 innings (~1 hour). Scores not recorded.

1 per week

(about 1 hour)

AA Player and coach pitch at 30′ distance.
Strikeouts, but no walks.
Continuous batting order, but half innings end after 3 outs or the run limit being reached. All players play defense, and rotate through most positions. 1 or 2 per week.
3-4 innings (about 80 minutes each).
1 per week (60-90 minutes each).
AAA AAA Player pitch from 35′, with some coach pitch.
Strikeouts, and some walks.
Continuous batting order. Half innings end after 3 outs or the run limit reached. Bunting allowed. Stealing allowed with some restrictions. All players play defense and have opportunities to play most positions. Minimum inning limits for play in infield / outfield. 9/10 players on defense, depending on team size. Usually 2 per week.
Up to 6 innings, (~1.5 hours each).
1 or 2 per week
(~1.5 hours each).
AAAA
Player pitch from 40′ distance.
Walks and strikeouts.
Continuous batting order. Bunting, dropped 3rd strike, and stealing allowed. Runs limited in early innings. 9/10 players on defense.
No minimum for number of innings played, or innings in infield vs. outfield.
Usually 2 per week, interlocking with other cities / leagues. Up to 6 innings, (about 1 hr 45 min each). About 2 per week (1.5 to 2 hours each).

 

Team Placement Requests: Siblings and Friends

By default, sisters who would normally be playing in the same division will be placed on the same team. If a parent wants siblings to play on different teams, the parent must contact the Player Representative to make the request.

Also, if parents would like daughters to be placed on the same team, although they would generally play in different divisions because of age, they must contact the Player Representative to make the request. The league will evaluate both players and determine which division both sisters should play in. This may result in the older sister playing in a lower division or the younger sister playing in a higher division.

Friend requests – Players in the A and AA divisions may make ONE friend request and ONE coach request. The league will make every effort to place friends who request one another on the same team in the A and AA divisions, but they are not guaranteed. There are no friend or coach requests in the AAA and AAAA divisions.