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Arlington Softball Baseball League


Spring Training Evaluation Program (STEP)

7 to 18 year-olds registered for CP 78, Minors, Majors, Juniors and Seniors attend Spring Training Evaluation Program (STEP) where League Official and Coaches’ recommendations are used to place players. These evaluation sessions are kept fun, friendly, and informal.

  • 7 to 18 year-olds registered for CP 78, Minors, Majors, Juiors and Seniors must attend STEP
    • Exception: League Official Approval 
  • We make a concerted effort to place players in time slots so parents can manage their time.

Note: League officials provide coaches with their baseline ratings. Coaches use this, as well as their own information, to draft players.

Parents and Players Guide to Spring Training Evaluation Program (STEP)

Location –TBD

Dates & Times -TBD

Bring your glove. A batting helmet and bat are recommended, but can be provided by the league.
Dress the same as you would for a baseball/softball practice: sneakers (if in door) or cleats, hat, tee shirt or sweatshirt, and baseball pants, or sweatpants. 
Purpose – STEP is to allow the league and the coaches to rate players in order to form balanced competitive teams. Every player will get placed on a team. 

We know that many kids have not played since last season. We also understand that a player’s ability to hit the ball or throw a strike on so few repetitions is not necessarily indicative of their skill level. Please trust us to evaluate form and mechanics as much as, if not more than, results. 

PLAYER EVALUATIONS WILL NOT BE SHARED WITH PARENTS. This policy is non-negotiable. The information gathered in STEP is only for use by the league officials and coaches involved in the drafts for the purpose of assisting AYLL in forming balanced, competitive teams. It is not designed to provide specific feedback on individual players. All coaches have been instructed not to provide STEP information to parents, so please do not ask them for it.

Process – Players will be asked to:

  • Hit 3 pitches
  • Hit 3 more pitches
  • Run to first base, whether they hit their last pitch or not
  • Field 3 ground balls and make three strong throws to “first”
  • Field 3 fly balls and make three strong throws to “home”
  • Throw 3 pitches - Not CP 78

Volunteers will lead the kids through the different drills one at a time, so every evaluator sees every child perform each task. Two league officials will evaluate every child (this provides a consistent baseline). Coaches from their divisions will evaluate the players.  The evaluations will be on a five-point scale

Evaluations – Players are evaluated in the following areas:

  • Hitting
    • Hand to Eye
    • Stance / Form
    • Hustle / Speed
  • Fielding
    • Fielding Grounders
    • Fielding Fly Balls
  • Throwing
    • Throw Accuracy
    • Throw Strength
    • Pitching form

Draft –Arlington Softball Baseball League will hold one draft per division. League officials provide coaches with their baseline ratings. Coaches use this, as well as their own information, to draft players. Coaches fill their teams to the limit of 11 to 12 players.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why would STEP be held in a gym? 
A: While we would love to be outside, spring weather is unpredictable. There are too many families involved to reschedule at the last minute based on weather. We will work with the local government to get the best location we can.

Q: Why does each child get so few repetitions? 
A: We have several hundred players who need to get evaluated. The only way that we can give each child an equal opportunity is to limit the number of repetitions.  

Q: How can you possibly evaluate my player based on so few touches? 
A: While more repetitions would be great, coaches are actually quite good at evaluating the skills based on limited repetitions. The purpose of STEP is to organize competitive, balanced teams, not to provide specific individual feedback on each player. Coaches understand that players may not have touched a baseball since the prior season. Coaches are looking less at results and more at form. For example, when a player is pitching, the coach is looking at the pitching form. When the player is fielding, the coach is not only watching their ability to get in the proper fielding position, but they are also watching their throwing mechanics, arm strength, and accuracy. 

: Does this draft mean my child won’t know anyone else on her or his team? 
A: It’s the rare case where a child who is age 7 through 18 is placed on a team with no one from his or her school, a prior team, a prior team in a different sport, or their neighborhood.  While the primary purpose of the draft is intended to ensure competitive balance so that every team has a decent chance of success over the course of the season, we repeatedly remind coaches during the drafting process to also take account of factors such as where a child goes to school, her or his prior teams, or any specific requests to play with other players, and we strongly encourage the coaches to identify friends or schoolmates to place onto a team together where possible.  We also find, especially as players get to the ages of 10 through 12 and start looking toward middle school, that this is a terrific opportunity for them to make new friends and connections across the broader Arlington community.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Under no circumstances will any Arlington Softball Baseball League board member, evaluator, or coach reveal the STEP information of an individual player. Please, don't even ask!

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