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Virginia Tech Olympic Sports

VTChip

Joined: 11/07/1999 Posts: 21323
Likes: 23243


A HUGE salute to all the travel ball parents and players


I got my first exposure as a fan to the travel ball world of softball this week and I was IMPRESSED. Yes, I had read stats on our recruits and knew a little bit about the process, but there's no substitute for experiencing it to appreciate all the commitment that goes into playing travel ball.

I knew it was a labor of love, both financially and time-wise for the parents, but I didn’t realize the extent. My previous exposure to the travel world was limited to my granddaughters’ travel soccer tournaments, and those were primarily weekend affairs during the school year. Softball is a totally different animal.

Since there was USA Softball Travel tournament in Salem this week and future Hokies Alison Carter and Catie Hopkins were playing, I thought I would check it out.

The tournament started on Monday and Tuesday with 3 round robin pool games and then went to a double elimination bracket format on Wednesday. If a team won, the schedule was not bad – one game a day until Saturday - usually in the morning. But if a team dropped into the loser’s bracket, they were looking at 3 games a game (until they lost another game and were eliminated). And the temps were in the upper 80s all week, so it was certainly a grind for both players and parents.

I don’t know that I could take staying there all day like the parents did – I cherry picked games and left for breaks several times. And for some teams, this happens week after week. A Florida team parent commented that they weren’t totally crushed by being eliminated as they had been on the road for 30 straight days.

One detail I found interesting was the brochures that the teams put out when they are playing. The brochures list each player and various bits of information about them – including whether or not they have a college commitment. Obviously they are designed for college coaches, but I thought they were cool. I posted some samples below.

Hats off to all the parents who make not only the financial commitment, but a significant time commitment as well. I remember Ivy Rosenberry’s mom telling me that she had never missed a game and that is quite the accomplishment. I'm sure there are many like her. I know we have several parents on this board, like MidloHokie and HokieAD. They can probably add more details that I overlooked. But I was very impressed.

Unfortunately Catie’s team were two and done in the bracket portion, so I only saw her play one game. Alison’s team made a deep run, and she was really impressive, blasting a couple of HRs and laying down a nice bunt at a critical time. It will be nice to see them wearing the orange and maroon soon.

As I said before, a HUGE salute to the players and coaches for doing this. You folks rock!


Posted: 07/24/2021 at 11:20AM



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Current Thread:
  Big game in OK City today - 5 future Hokies -- VTChip 07/25/2021 6:00PM
  And the Hokies represent BIG time.... -- VTChip 07/25/2021 10:18PM
  Nice summary Chip... -- 2hhoop3 07/25/2021 1:19PM
  Thanks for the info. Any coaches there? ** -- Hockeydad 07/25/2021 12:55PM
  Coach Pete had been there earlier in the week -- VTChip 07/25/2021 3:56PM
  High level youth sports requires a lot of commitment -- Happy Dog 07/25/2021 07:47AM
  I agree. -- RJHokie 07/24/2021 11:36AM

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