Kings' Courier

The Problem With Indoor Tournaments

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If anyone plays on a travel baseball or softball team, she would know the troubles of indoor tournaments. This essay doesn’t explain how these work rather the cons to these tournaments. Recently, the travel team I play on played in Lafayette for the last tournament before high school ball started. I am going to list the top three reasons indoor tournaments don’t reflect a team’s true ability.

  • The nets– Imagine playing a sport in a cage. Got the picture? Yes, this resembles an indoor tournament for softball players. With the ceiling nets low and the nets all flimsy, no one can truly gage the correct deflection of a ball. For example, this weekend we played a team known as the “Evolution.” Up until the fourth inning, we were tied 0-0. During their at-bat, a few girls hit pop-ups right above the pitcher. What would be a traditional pop-out outside turned into a single base hit. Although we can play a ball off the net, no one truly has the ability to see and expect how the ball will deflect off the netting. A ball was hit against the net above second base. Being a shortstop, I needed to drop step to grab the ball, normally. N. Instead, the ball deflected back to the pitcher. I don’t know about baseball, but a softball doesn’t normally switch directions in mid-air. This type of hit caused our team to lose confidence in our ability. We would’ve won the game if we were outside.

 

  • The turf structure- As most know, turf fields don’t truly replicate a normal dirt field. With crazy bounces, the turf doesn’t resemble a similar bounce in an outdoor field. Instead of staying low to the ground to field the ball, most players end up basically standing up to field the ball as it bounces toward their faces. Also, the shape of the turf doesn’t resemble the shape of a softball field. In fact, the turf we played on also houses indoor soccer tournaments meaning the field resembles a soccer field. With this being said, left field gets pushed far back while right field basically stands behind the second baseman. I got up to bat and hit a solid line drive in between second and first resulting from an outside pitch. My hit easily would have been at least a single outside, but, since the right fielder stood so close, she easily threw me out from right. The structure of the field truly affected the batting and fielding averages.
  • The times- We lucked out in our tournament this weekend; however, some teams did not. From times ranging from 6:00 in the morning to 10:30 at night, games constantly continue. I remember when I played in 12u travel ball. We watched teams walking into the facility as we left around 11:00 p.m. I dreaded growing up because I knew we would have to play those midnight, 1:00 a.m. games. Luckily, we didn’t play in any indoor tournaments once I started playing in 16u; otherwise, we would have some early mornings. Luckily, I will not be facing these tournaments ever again.

 

Although I just focused on the cons of indoor tournaments, they do have some perks. Being a new team, we needed to bond and figure out how we could work together. Although none of us liked being indoors, we still found a way to bond and grow together as a team.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “The Problem With Indoor Tournaments”

  1. Morgan Miller on March 6th, 2018 8:34 pm

    I don’t know much about softball, but as a tennis player, I know that playing a sport indoors is nothing like playing outdoors. The weather is unreliable, and you never know what will end up happening. I’m glad this seemingly negative experiences till helped the team bond. Great article!

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  2. Olivia Salyers on March 9th, 2018 8:33 am

    I didn’t know that softball and baseball could even be played inside. I obviously have never been inside an indoor complex like this. I can definitely see how playing in a confined area can even mess with a player mentally. I know, playing golf, it’s hard to swing when you feel like anything is close to you. Great article!

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  3. Zach Fields on March 9th, 2018 12:34 pm

    I didn’t even realize indoor tournaments for softball and baseball were a thing. I see how having nets in air would make the ball’s path very unpredictable. Having turf fields would also be interesting considering you would have to learn how much the ball bounces opposed to normal grass fields. I’m glad it helped your team get to know each other though. Great Article!

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  4. Hannah Young on March 15th, 2018 6:46 pm

    Great article Holly! I ran into the same issues when I would play travel ball tournaments. Having virtually no right field makes it very difficult to get a hit. I like how you expressed your frustrations throughout the article. Great job Holly!

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
The Problem With Indoor Tournaments