Blazer FAQ's (Brampton Girls Softball Association)

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The Blazer Rep program is intended to provide a meaningful, positive, supportive and competitive environment for athletes. It comes with a higher level of commitment than our House League & Select program. 

How do you choose players?

Players are able to register for tryouts. We generally open registration in the last weeks of August each season for pre-registration.

Blazer team coaches will hold try-outs to evaluate and choose players for their teams. The try-outs for rep teams are usually held after Labour Day in September to allow the coaches time to prepare and plan for off-season training. Players will be chosen based on parental commitment, player attitude, behaviour, playing ability and potential for improvement. Coaches will conduct various skill set drills for the players to perform in order to assess and evaluate the players i.e. base running, hitting, throwing, and catching. The evaluation process requires coaches and their chosen volunteers to make assessments based on their observations and their personal opinions of the player’s abilities. There is no appeal process for the try-out process.

Depending on how many players attend the try-outs, coaches may be seeking a particular age year to form a core for the team. Each Blazers age group may form two rep teams in a Division if there is enough interest and if the criteria described above is evident amongst the players attending the try-outs. It is the discretion of the Brampton Blazers to permit a rep team and/or allow a second team to be formed. 

There is no commitment or obligation for any player to attend a try-out. Those players not chosen will be encouraged to participate in the House League program and continue to develop their skills. Players not chosen will have an opportunity to try-out for a Select Team in the spring. At the conclusion of the try-outs, players (families) selected to the team by the coach will be asked to sign a letter of commitment.

How do you choose coaches?

Each season, generally in the last few weeks of July, we will open our coaching applications for the following season. The league 
provides an opportunity for any persons interested in coaching a Blazer team to apply. A selection committee is formed with the task of selecting the best candidate to be the head coach of the team. The selected “head coach” makes the decision on choices for assistant coaches & team managers to assist them through the season

What is the level of commitment expected for the Blazers?

Rep players generally are expected to attend at least 80% of practices and games (including tournaments). Coaches are encouraged to track player attendance and rep coaches have significant discretion regarding individual playing time as well as selection of players with poor attendance records (regardless of try-out ranking). Coaches tend to be understanding that players may not be able to attend every practice and may miss the occasional game or tournament, provided you give them reasonable notice and it is not a frequent occurrence. Coaches tend to be in-tolerant of players regularly missing or showing up late (or unprepared) to practices or games. Expectations regarding attendance and reasonable notice for an absence should be discussed up front with the specific coach.

How many days per week do the Blazers practice & play?

The number and frequency of practices and associated days/times are set by the coach. Most rep teams start with at least one or two indoor practices per week from October through to April, than at least one outdoor practice per week after the season starts. Some coaches may expect players to do some additional practice on their own (or with a parent) or may hold extra practices for specific players. The regular season for rep teams runs from the first week in May until August. 

Rep teams will participate in league play, likely in the Peel Halton Softball League loop which includes teams from the Region of Peel & Halton. League games are approximately 16 games throughout the week and may average around 4-6 games per month. 

In addition, Rep teams participate in at least 4 -6 weekend tournaments during the season which includes the Provincial Championships. Scheduling of tournaments is up to the coach, based on what tournaments are available. 

What if my daughter is a Multi-Sport athlete and has to miss games/practices?

Most coaches tend to be supportive (within reason) of players involved in multiple sports, provided it does not significantly reduce attendance at practices and games and does not negatively impact the team. However, this is something that needs to be discussed and worked out with the specific coach, preferably before the player is placed on a rep team. Please note the amount of flexibility extended by the coach may vary depending upon the particular player and circumstances.

Is there travel involved?

Yes, there is frequent travel to games and tournaments. All home games are played in Brampton (usually the Fairgrounds on McMurchy) while away games (half of regular season games) are scattered across Peel & Halton. Most tournaments are played in Southern Ontario. Most coaches require players to be at the field at least 1 hour before a game. Some tournaments such as the Provincial Championships may require overnight travel and accommodation.

What does it cost to be a Blazer and what is included?

Costs associated to rep players are higher than for house league & select players. This helps to fund the significant additional costs associated with the rep teams, including special uniforms, gym time, insurance, equipment, instructor fees, field permits, umpire fees, league fees, tournament fees etc.

Individual teams usually maintain their own budget as well, and may ask for additional contributions or participation from parents and players in team fundraising activities to help pay for costs not otherwise covered by the Association or private sponsorships.

The Association typically does not pay for special clothing such as hoodies. Some of these items may be paid from the team budget, or by the individual player/parents. Required team budget contributions and fundraising activities as well as other individual equipment/clothing costs shall be discussed with team families held by the particular head coach or team manager. It is estimated that a player cost for the season will be approximately $2000 - $2500 but may vary depending on the teams' commitments.

Player registration fees do not include personal items i.e. ball glove, cleats, backpacks and does not include travel costs i.e. hotels, meals.

What if I have additional questions?

Please feel free to contact us and send any additional questions to [email protected] and your question will be directed to the correct person to get you the information you need.