How to Run a Softball Tryout

Not sure how to organize a fastpitch tryout? Here are some tips on how to structure your tryouts--and ensure you find the best players for your squad.

Advantages of an Extended Tryout

This regimen allows me to see every potential player at every position over the course of 2-3 days. It also gives me solid information when trying to make cuts if they have to be made.

For those of you coaches who have to deal with questions from parents as to why their kid did not make it, it's hard to argue with the numbers when compared to all of the other participants.

Starting at Short

Start off by having all of your tryout girls lined up at shortstop. Hit them a ground ball and time their throw to first base (start the clock when the ball hits their glove and stop it when it hits the first baseman).

No time awarded for a bad throw. After three ground balls, average the player's times and rank them compared to the others.

Throwing Home

Next, do the same thing with all of the girls in the outfield, fielding fly balls and/or grounders throwing to home.

Test the girl's speed by timing them twice from home to first, and twice from second to home. Average each of their times and rank them accordingly.

At the Plate

Test their hitting ability by giving them 10 pitches from the pitching machine. Award points for the type of hit they get.

For example, I give no points for a swing and a miss, one point for a foul ball, one point for a fly ball, two points for a grounder, three points for a line drive.

Let them do this 2-3 times for a total of 20-30 cuts. I usually split this into two days. Again, rank them compared to the rest of the girls trying out.

Wrapping It Up

I usually end tryouts by having an intersquad scrimmage with my varsity girls mixed in with the tryout girls on the last day.

This has worked well for me. Being with a school you have to limit your numbers because of budgets and space available.

This gives you solid data backing up the difficult decisions made as a coach pertaining to who stays and who does not.

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