Raptors Softball is a non-profit youth athletic club serving the principal areas of Douglas County (Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Larkspur, Sedalia, Franktown) areas. The softball program includes recreational and competitive levels of play.
Recreational softball is a fast-pitch softball program for beginning and intermediate girls in 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U levels, and typically starts in May-June and runs through October. Raptors rec ball is played through the Arapahoe Youth League, with various youth athletic clubs that operate the various territories of the Denver metro area. No tryouts are required for rec ball; all eligible players (regardless of skill level) are placed onto teams.
Competitive softball is a program for more advanced players who have typically been through at least one season of recreational fast-pitch ball, and are looking to commit to higher levels of practice and games. The Raptors hold enrollments for organized competitive softball (typically at 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U levels) in July/August, that involve playing in various tournaments (typically organized as day-long or multi-day tournaments with multi-game guarantees) and/or league competitions throughout the Colorado front range that are attended by talent scouts. Tryouts are generally required for both new and returning competitive players in order to secure a spot on a team. High school and university coaches as well as talent scouts are in agreement that competitive club softball is a must for serious players wanting highly-coveted spots on school teams.
How much does it cost to play softball? And where do my fees go? Fees are subject to change each season. For fall 2017, the fee for recreational softball is $350. Competitive year-round softball has a price that varies by level, which is spelled out in the tryout pamphlet. Fees go toward tournaments, league costs, mandatory training/screening for coaches, equipment, uniforms, liability insurance, and other administrative fees. We keep our costs to a bare minimum in order to provide a high-quality experience at a cost that is less than half of the typical $3000-$4000 annual cost we have seen other clubs charge (average local and nationwide club price for a year of softball).
How much do coaches and staffers get paid for their service? All Raptors Athletics staff and coaches are unpaid volunteers who believe in giving their time and talent back to the community.
Where do we practice when the fields are wet/snow-covered? From late fall through early spring, practices are typically held indoors. Raptors Athletics has partnered up with various local facilities (the Douglas County Events Center, Bardo Diamond Sports, and the Miller Activity Complex (MAC)) for indoor practice time in the spring. Outdoor fields are generally usable during light rain in accordance with league rules and common sense safety. Fields must be cleared when there is lightning in the vicinity or any other safety hazard.
Did you say lightning? Yes, lightning is a serious safety risk for players and coaches and one we take seriously. Raptors Softball policy is to have one coach for each team responsible for monitoring the weather using smartphone weather apps during inclement conditions. We will clear the field when lightning is within 5 miles of the practice field, and practice will be suspended for a minimum of 30 minutes and until the lightning has retreated at least 5 miles away. During games, umpires follow similar protocols and will provide instructions to keep players, coaches, and fans safe.
How much practice time is required? Like learning a musical instrument, softball takes many hours of practice to develop world-class skills. The more practice, the better! Team practices are scheduled by each coach, and individual practices (batting cage time, pitching instructors, etc.) are encouraged for everyone outside of team practice times. Please note that it is common for coaches to schedule additional time and practice sessions as everyone’s schedule permits.