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Frequently Asked Questions

We are gearing up for an exciting season with some updates to make it the best one yet!  We see some questions come up more often than others.  On this page you can find quick answers to more common questions, let us know if your question isn't answered here.  

FAQ 2024

This season brings exciting changes to update our league to current Softball Canada guidelines and rules.  Don't worry - some things never change, like how much fun we have as a community and how much we look forward to seeing you all on the diamonds! 

Equipment

Q. What equipment does my player need?
 

A. All players will need to have their own fielding glove and batting helmet - running shoes are also required however cleats are optional.  *Batting helmets are required to be fitted with a facemask* In the older divisions, your player may choose to also bring their own catching and/or pitching gear.  Fielding masks will be worn by all youth pitchers in all divisions.

Q. What equipment is provided by the league?

A. We will provide one set of catcher gear, one pitcher's fielding mask, approved training-style softballs, and a selection of bats for each team.  Disinfectant sprays will also be included in each team bag.  Your coach can contact the Equipment Manager if any items need to be replaced over the course of the season.

Q. Will my U5 player use a tee?  (aka, Is this t-ball or softball?)

A. At the youngest level, our softball program closely resembles t-ball. We partner with the TimBits organization to provide an hour of active skill building, involving hitting and fielding in a game-like setting. Parent involvement is highly recommended at this stage as well.

Uniform

Q. What should my player wear to games?

A. The league will provide one team shirt per player that should be worn to all games and tournaments.  Your player is not required to wear pants, but if they want to slide it is highly recommended!  Running shoes with closed-toes are the only other requirement.  

Q. What if my player loses their team shirt?

A. When a team shirt is misplaced we recommend that the player attend games in a shirt of the same colour.  Replacement shirts can be ordered at the full single-unit cost, please let us know if you need to order one and we will work with you at that time.

Schedule

Q. When will I get the season schedule?

A. The full season schedule will be created and posted before the season starts in May. Since we are changing our division format, the standard playing nights of seasons past will also be updated.  All teams will play at least 1-2 games per week, these are always on weekdays and usually starting at 6-6:30pm.  Our season starts in May and runs through the summer ending mid-August.

Q. Who can I contact if I have a question about my team's schedule (once it's posted)?

A. Your first point of contact will always be your coach.  If they cannot answer your question they will reach out to the Coach Coordinator for support.  You can also always get in touch with us via the Contact Us page, but during the season your best source of information is your coach!

Q. Will the players in each age bracket play only within their specific bracket?

A. The quick answer is maybe!  There will be some age groups with enough players to support a full schedule of only their age bracket.  More likely, we will be grouping adjacent brackets to form a similar structure to the past league formats (i.e. U17 & U19 may be grouped for "Peewee", etc).  There are limitations for some groupings for player safety and for keeping within guidelines for pitching distance and ball sizes.  

Q. What can I do if I believe my player should be placed in a higher division?

A. Please contact us by email to admin@stthomasoptimistsoftball.com to discuss moving your player "up" a division.  These exceptions can be made after a review of skill level and experience, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  Player safety is our number one priority, players may only play "up" one division above their own.  

Fees

Q. How can I pay for the registration fees?

A. Online via etransfer to admin@stthomasoptimistsoftball.com (make sure to reference your player's name in the notes of the transfer).  Or, in person at one of our registration events via cash/debit/credit.

Q. Can I register my player before fees are paid?

A. We will receive your player information and send a confirmation once we have added them to the tentative roster.  Full payment of fees (and acceptance of our league policies & terms) is required to ensure your player is assigned to a team and placed on the final roster.

Q. We registered for the season and paid fees, but now we aren't able to play.  Can we get a refund?

A. If there is a scheduling concern, or other non-medical reason to not participate, STOS will only provide a refund of fees if the league is notified before teams are formed.  Prior to forming teams, we will communicate the age-group schedule (i.e. which nights each group plays through the season) via email as well as posting online.  STOS will not issue refunds after teams have been formed unless there is a medical reason that the player cannot participate. In the case of injury or illness occurring after the season has begun, a prorated refund may be issued.

 

Q. Is there any financial assistance available to cover costs for equipment or player registration fees?

 

A. There are some local organizations and some sponsors who are able and willing to help.  Many families apply for and receive a player grant from Jumpstart - you can find the information needed for an application in the Resources section of our website.   

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