West University Softball Association Tournament Teams are highly competitive girls fastpitch softball teams which are formed in order to participate in selected ASA, NSA, USFA, USSSA, AFA or other sanctioned Girls Fastpitch Softball Tournaments. These teams, especially at older levels, are typically formed in order to win Regional Level Championships and qualify for advancement to the respective National Championship Tournaments. At all levels, some tournament teams are formed for development purposes and play only at the local tournament level at somewhat less rigorous levels than other tournament teams. Developmental teams are formed based on interest and are usually formed as an adjunct to more competitive teams in the same age group.
Tournament play is a rewarding experience and an excellent way to build softball and life skills while forming life-long friendships among both players and parents. Depending on interest, WUSA actively supports Tournament Teams at the 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U age levels. The "first" team in each age group is generally called the West U Wave and other teams can select their own names. The 8U and 10U teams are formed by tryouts in April and play in local tournaments from mid-May until late June or early July. The 12U and 14U teams may have team tryouts as early as January and the "A" team will play from early spring through late July with some travel outside the Houston area for Regional Tournaments and outside Texas to attend National tournaments.
Tournament Team Facts
- Past tournament teams in WUSA have posted enviable results. WUSA tournament teams (8U-14U) have won numerous Houston Metro ASA titles and performed well at National tournaments.
- While they normally are classified and play in "All-Star" tournaments, these teams are not necessarily "all-star" teams implying any form of selection other than merit-based tryouts. These teams are organized and selected to play in highly competitive environments, primarily against teams that are developed and play on a year-round basis (select teams).
- There is no participation requirement in tournament competition; i.e., There are 9 players only on the field, 9 players only in batting order, no required substitution and no minimum play rule. Players and parents should be prepared to accept team roles which may emphasize a position as substitute, designated hitter, designated fielder, designated runner, relief pitcher or utility player based on team requirements, not individual needs and desires. Managers and coaches commit substantial time and effort to teams with a focus on competitive play and have final say in player positions and playing time based on team needs. Parents must accept and respect managers' decisions regarding playing time.
- Tournament Teams play in very competitive environments using official ASA/USFA/USSSA/etc. rules.
- Players and parents should be willing to commit substantial time to the teams from tryouts until early to mid-July. Beginning in May (unless otherwise specified), tournaments will be scheduled on most weekends, with a minimum of two practices and one batting cage time per week. Most teams play 6-7 tournaments over an 8-10 week period.
- Tournaments are played throughout the greater Houston area, including some relatively remote locales (Magnolia, Conroe, etc.). Typical locations are Sugar Land, La Porte, Deer Park, Kingwood, Spring, Humble, Katy and Tomball. Out-of-town travel to some tournaments is possible, especially at ages 12U and up. Tournaments generally run all weekend from Friday evenings (occasionally Thursday or even Wednesday) thru Sunday.
- Parents should be ready to support their children at the tournament location throughout the weekend. A typical tournament schedule would be two games on Friday night, two games on Saturday afternoon or evening, and 2-5 games on Sunday (beginning on Sunday morning) based on success in the tournament. It is possible that a team may have to play until 10-11pm on a Saturday and start at 8:00am on Sunday morning (this is not typical, but possible). Teams occasionally have to play as many as 7-8 games in a tournament, although 4-6 games are typical. Occasionally a team may play as many as 5 games back-to-back on a Sunday, depending on circumstances.
- There will be additional costs to parents if player is chosen to a team. These costs are typically in excess of $300 per player to cover uniforms and tournament fees and depend on sponsorship activity. For older teams, travel costs are hard to estimate, but could be significant, and will be in addition to the basic team fee. Separate sponsorship and fund raising activities may be pursued in order to cover extensive travel costs.
- There usually will be written Team Rules which players and parents will be expected to follow.
- Players will be selected by the respective team managers in conjunction with the WUSA tournament director and/or his or her designee, based upon a number of factors, including ability, attitude, commitment, availability, and team needs. For more information about the Tournament Team selection process, refer to section V of the WUSA Administrative Rules below. The rosters for the Tournament Teams will be posted as soon as practicable after tryouts are completed.
- A calendar sheet outlining player(s) availability will be required to be completed for each player at Tournament Team tryouts.