Softball MB recognized that there was a large gap between the community level softball and the AAA softball leagues. Some players in the community A leagues felt they were not getting enough development or challenged, while the AAA league was left with a very small pool of players to choose from during tryouts and subsequently an almost non existent pool to call up from. The result was that community softball associations were "stacking" one team, while making the other "developmental", when the reality is ALL community softball should be developmental. By creating the AA program, associations can now have the more "stacked" team for those more developed players with their own provincial tournament of the same caliber, while creating a safe, fun, developmental environment for the rest of the kids who just want to play.
Because the registration numbers are not very high, the players that play on the AA team will still have to play on their community A team. The goal will be to incorporate some leadership of these players on the A teams for the ones who might need more skill development in softball. "A" team Coaches may ask their AA players to set up drills, or help new players on a one on one basis to teach them how to throw or catch, or just simply teach the rules of the game.
The idea of AA softball is to hopefully establish it's own league. Much like hockey. The kids that don't make AAA, usually play AA, and those that don't make AA, usually play A. Subsequently, when AAA needs a player, they pull up from their sister AA team, and when AA needs a player, they will pull up from the A team. But this will take time to establish in softball. Especially in the urban associations where numbers of registrants is much lower than the rural. BUT, we are not there yet.
CLICK HERE for more information from Softball Manitoba about the AA Program
CLICK HERE for more information from Manitoba Thunder about the AA Program
1. Because the program is in its early stages, players who make it onto an AA team must still play with an A team and play in the A league games. There would be no available days to play AA league games for them. Until the AA program can be firmly established, AA players will have their regular season games with their A team. For also this reason Softball MB is arranging 2 weekend tournaments for the AA teams with a 3rd weekend for provincials. There is also the potential for teams to have exhibition games against other AA teams that coaches can set up on the established Friday practices for AA teams.
2. UMPIRES! There are not enough umpires at this time to even ump 2 leagues, let alone adding a 3rd league.
With their A team
With their AA team
During the interval between the A provincial tournament and the AA provincial tournament, coaches may incorporate more exhibition games. Being that the AA season is well into August, coaches may elect and are encouraged to either give the team a week off, or allow individual players a week off for any summer plans their families have arranged.
There is no cost to register for AA. Fees will be collected by the team, once formed.
AA costs may include:
Boundaries are different for A and AA Softball, especially within the NESA catchment. If you can vote for the City of Winnipeg's mayor, you are eligible to play for a Storm AA team.
If you live outside the Winnipeg electoral boundaries, and you play A ball with NESA, you are eligible to play AA Softball with the Phillies. For more information about the Phillies AA program and to register, click HERE. For more information on a Spring camp the Phillies are running, click HERE.
Please visit Softball Manitoba's website for more information about boundaries. AA Boundaries follow AAA Boundaries. If you have questions about where you would play, please contact Sarah Shotton firstname.lastname@example.org