Q. Do I need to be registered with a certain sanctioning body?
A. NO, we are not affiliated with a particular sanctioning body. Teams sanctioned or unsanctioned can participate.
Q. What insurance do we need to play?
A. Any team policy (Bollinger, Gagliardi, K&K, etc.), or individual insurance cards (ASA) are acceptible.
Q. Have you ever cancelled a tournament / What's your 110% guarantee?
A. Yes, but it is rare, especially to cancel a whole tournament. Should we ever have to cancel, we give teams as much notice as possible. This notice is generally 3 weeks to a month. Should we ever cancel with less than 3 weeks notice to a team, we will provide a 110% refund of your entry fee.
Q. How do you handle seeding and bracketing teams?
A. We’ve spent a significant amount of time developing a program to automate our seeding process, which in turn allows us to call you with your seeding very quickly. As soon as an age group is seeded, we begin calling teams. DO NOT CALL US – you will be called at the contact number you register with. Brackets are also posted on the internet as soon as seedings are finished. The contact person for the team will be emailed as soon as the pool results and championship brackets are posted online (generally within 1 hour AFTER the last round of games have finished).
As far as seeding itself goes, a win will count as 2 points, a tie as 1 point, and a loss as 0 points. Should a team forfeit, it will count as (-1) point. A forfeit will be recorded as a 7-0 victory. No team can forfeit more than 1 game of pool play and be able to advance in championship play. First criteria for seeding will be points per game played, followed by runs allowed per game, then runs scored per game, and then a coin flip. Unfinished games will be recorded as such and will be finished if feasible prior to scheduled championship play. If teams have the same win percentage but have played an uneven amount of games, the team with the most attempts will be seeded higher (6-0 ahead of 5-0, 5-0 ahead of 4-0) if undefeated and the team with the least attempts will be seeded higher (0-3 ahead of 0-4, 0-4 ahead of 0-5, etc) if a team has won no games. Score slips are to be filled in by the umpire and signed by both coaches at the conclusion of the game. Coaches must check their game scores at the conclusion of pool play to ensure they have been recorded properly. Once teams are seeded, all seeds are final and there will be no changes.
For larger tournaments we are able to split brackets into ability based brackets for championship play, allowing teams to be competitive in Sunday games (typically done with age groups with 16 or more teams). For example, if we have 24 teams we might do an upper "Gold" bracket of 16 teams and a bottom "Silver" bracket of 8 teams. The breakdown between brackets often depends on park locations, number of fields per site, bracket flow, etc. This bracketing system gives more incentive to playing well during pool play (in all games), gives teams that might not normally get a chance to play for something on Sunday teh opportunity, makes for very competitive championship round games for all, allows teams to stay at the same park all day Sunday, and encourages teams who may have played poorly in pool play to excel against teams of their competition level and vice versa. As our Sunday games tend to be pretty competitive, we also give teams the opportunity "play back" with our playback brackets, ensuring teams play at least 2 games on Sunday instead of teh typical 1 and done for 50% of teams. The play back bracket allows teams to rebound from an opening loss, play those whom didn't get sufficient playing time in prior games, and get in more game time.
Q. Where can I find tournament information?
A. You can find a direct link to each tournament under the current year 'Tournaments' heading on our homepage (http://pa-softball.com). Also, under 'tournament info', you will be able to access the date, location, complex(es), awards, game minimum, cost, hotel info, tournament deadline, teams entered, etc. If you can't find the information your looking for, please feel free to email us
Q. Where are the tournaments located/How far are they?
A. PA Softball tournaments are located in or near South Central Pennsylvania, just north of the Maryland border off I-81, and just West of Harrisburg, also off I-81. We are easy to get to as the PA Turnpike, I-81 and PA turnpike are within a few minutes of most complexes. Each tournaments uses different complexes due to a varying amount of teams in each tournament, however, we typically use fields in Hagerstown, MD, Chambersburg, PA, and Mechanicsubrg, PA areas. We are located approximately 2 hours from Philadelphia, State College, Washington DC, Baltimore, Sterling, Scranton, Johnstown, and Allentown and 3 hours from Pittsburgh, Richmond, New York City, & Binghamton.
Q. How do I get to the fields?
To get directions to the fields off I-81, you can use our park directions area, which also includes GPS addresses.
Q. What hotel should I stay at?
is recommended that you e-mail
or call Kate, our hotel coordinator at 717-300-1300 before making your
hotel reservations. he will be able to determine where your team is
expected to play and can make hotel recommendations. Site locations
vary from year to year and tournament to tournament so please do not
make any assumptions of location based on prior years or prior
Kate is familiar with the area and has information on the hotels’ amenities, rates and availability. Hotels are screened, room blocks are arranged and group rates are negotiated in advance for the teams benefit. There is no cost or obligation to you for this service.
As some teams have found out in the past, area hotels can fill quickly over the summer months due to the many special events held throughout the summer. Rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis and the earlier you make your reservation, the better selection you will have to choose from.
Kate and PA Softball are not responsible for finding you and your team lodging, rather we provide a free, non-required service to try and help locate decent, affordable housing for teams in our tournaments. Generally the only problems in the past have been with teams asking for help at the last minute, which is too late.
Finally, please contact Kate irregardless of what you choose to do as it will help us with the scheduling process. When you finalize your plans, please drop her a note to let us know where and when you will be staying. If we know where you are staying, we are often times able to place you at the complex closeest to your hotel in the event that it's a big weekend and we are using multiple parks for your age group.
Q. How good is the competition / How do you level the playing field?
A. In the past we've had numerous National Champs in attendance. Most of these teams attend our holiday weekend events. Our tournaments are becoming well known out the area as approximately 70% of the teams came from out of state. Although we have some events that are very competitive, we also feature the Recreation All Stars and the Rec/Class B Championships for teams not as competitive, that would be considered B or C level.. We also have some events in Mid-June, such as the Junebug Jamboree, Amy Burdette Memorial, Keystone Cup and in July - the Summer Sizzler and Summer Finale, that have a vary mixed level of abilities. To ensure that our games are competitive as possible, we make use of gold, silver, and bronze championship brackets when the # of participating teams allow for it, as well as using play back brckets for teams losing their first championship game.
Q. Can I get a late start?
A. Some tournaments we may start early (8am) depending on the number of teams entered and the number of rounds per field that day. When possible, we try and start at 9am (six rounds of games or less per field). Late starts (2nd round games) are generally given to teams traveling about 2 hours so they can commute the first morning - Philadelphia, State College, Washington DC, Baltimore, Sterling, Scranton, Johnstown, Allentown, would be examples. Usually local teams and teams traveling 3+ hours play the first rounds. We feel as though teams from 3 hours or more should drive in the night before the tournament but we can save teams from 2 hours or so a day in hotels. Remember - most times first in equals first out. Don't expect to get a late start and get out early! While you can request a late start by sending an email, we won't guarantee it as many times we have an overabundance of requests. If it's in regards to blocking hotel rooms, I recommend booking rooms the night before the tournament just in case (be aware of the cancellation policy though).
Q. Where can I get tournament brackets?
A. Tournament brackets are posted approximately 1 week in advance of the tournament. In the event that a tournament closes early, which is often the case with our holiday events, the brackets may be set up farther in advance. Brackets are placed on our web page in viewable and printable form, and are also mailed to the head coach via snail mail, and also emailed to the coach as an attachment. Please check over the brackets for any errors. While we look over them several times, we are human and they can almost always be corrected! Any changes to the brackets will be made via email and posted on the internet. When there are significant changes made due to weather, teams dropping, etc., we will attempt to get you an updated copy when you check in at the tournament.
Q. Will you have a concession stand available?
A. Yes, concessions will be available at all complexes. While we use many complexes over the course of the season, our hosts will always be able to provide food available for the participants. Some have more to offer than others, however, they will all have something available. If you do bring your own food and beverages, please pick up after yourselves. At present, all parks allow coolers. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any of the parks and will not be tolerated.
Q. What is there to do in the area?
A. The South Central PA area offers quite a few attractions to visitors, including Hersheypark, a nearby theme park and chocolate factory. I highly recommend the park as a day trip the day before the tournament you attend. Many other things are available, including the Sports Emporium, an area entertainment complex with go karts, batting cages, mini golf, arcade, and more. The Carlisle Car Shows and Gettysburg Battlefield are in the area, as well as a number of malls, restaurants, and movie theatres. Within a very short distance of the main complex is an old fashion drive in movie theatre and a number of state parks, lakes, and campgrounds. See our area events and attractions page for more details.
Q. Are we classified as a "Recreation" team?
A. Everyone has a different classification of a "Rec" team. If you are in doubt as whether you are a rec or "class B" team, please email me specifics about your team.
Q. How long does an online entry hold my spot?
A. An online registration does not guarantee a spot in a tournament, however, it does let us know you have the intent of playing, and allows us to contact you in the event it fills or is getting full. It is advised you register online so we can confirm that we do in fact have availability. Teams are accepted on a first come, first served basis based upon when we receive your check. You will receive notice saying that we have received your entry, and well as a confirmation stating that we have received payment and you are accepted.
Q. How do I register/pay within 2 weeks of the tournament?
A. If you are entering within 2 weeks of the start of a tournament (assuming we still have room) a credit card is the only way to hold a spot. We will call and get a credit card number and run the card to make sure it is active. When you come to the tournament, you need to bring a team check. Should a team no-show, cancel once scheduled, or not bring a check to the tournament, the card will be charged the full tournament amount + 3% service charge. Note: Reason for this is due to teams getting in at the last minute, then changing their mind, causing scheduling problems and uneccessary last minute changes, which is not fair to the other teams or us. There are NO EXCEPTIONS!
Q. How do you handle tournament cancellations?
A. Although we try to work with all teams that enter our events, you must understand the problems that are created when a team registers for an event and then does not follow through with their commitment to participate. When you enter a tournament, we make a commitment to you - we expect the same type of commitment in return. These instances not only effect our organization but every other organization that has committed to play. Therefore the following cancellation policy is in effect:
Q. How do you handle rain/rainout's?
A. It is our policy to make every effort to fulfill the minimum number of games guaranteed during a tournament weekend with inclement weather. However, there may be instances when not all games can be played or the tournament format may have to be changed. In those instances, the PONY Host Guidelines will take effect.
If you haven't played at least 50% of your guaranteed games, you will receive a refund of $75 for each unplayed game under the minimum amount of games guarented (example: if you played 3 games of an 8 game event, you'd get a refund of $375). Once 50% of the games have been played, champions may be awarded and the tournament may be considered complete or finished at another date if feasible.