Age Divisions for the 2017-2018 Season

For travel softball, teams participate in age groupings defined in two-year increments.  Cut-off dates run in conjunction with the calendar year (January 1—December 31).

The following age categories apply for the 2017-2018 season:

  8U:  Includes players with birthdays in 2009 and 2010
10U:  Includes players with birthdays in 2007 and 2008
12U:  Includes players with birthdays in 2005 and 2006
14U:  Includes players with birthdays in 2003 and 2004
16U:  Includes players with birthdays in 2001 and 2002
18U:  Includes players with birthdays in 1999 and 2000

Frequently Asked Questions:

If my daughter was born on January 1, 2011; is she eligible to play?

Generally, the appropriate age group for this player would be 6U.  However, since Southern Express does not field a 6U team, the player would be eligible to tryout for a 8U team.  In competitive softball, girls are allowed to play up an age division.  However, we caution parents that our teams play at a high level of competition.  Please do not try your child out for an older age division if their physical skills, size, and mental capabilities are not comparable with players up to 2+ years older.  Serious injury can result.

I noticed that in some age categories, Southern Express fields two teams.  How does that work?  Which team should my daughter tryout for?

As teams develop from the younger age levels, groups of players generally pool together with their appropriate age division to form teams.  For example, the 10U division has two teams for 2017-2018 season:  Southern Express 2007 and Southern Express 2008.  Girls with birthdays in 2007 would generally tryout for the older 10U team [Southern Express 2007].  Girls with birthdays in 2008 would generally tryout for the younger 10U team [Southern Express 2008].  However, it is also acceptable for girls with birthdays in 2007 or 2008 to tryout for either team.

Parents need to exercise extreme caution when trying out your child for an older team.  Our teams play at a high level of competition.  Please do not try your child out for an older age division if their physical skills, size and mental capabilities are not comparable with players on the older squad.  Serious injury can result.

Is there a fee for attending tryouts?

Yes.  There is a $20 registration fee for attending tryouts. The registration fee is NON-REFUNDABLE.

Are there team fees associated with playing Southern Express Softball?

Yes.  Players that make the team will be charged a NON-REFUNDABLE fee.  Currently, the fee for players in the 8U, 10U and 12U divisions is $400.  The fee for players in the 14U, 16U and 18U divisions is $500.

If I make the team, and then decide it is NOT for me, can I receive a refund of my fees?


What do the fees cover?

Fees are collected to cover costs.  Southern Express Softball is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to girls softball.  There is no profit made.  Each team is allotted a budget which is used to pay for tournament sanctions, registrations, etc.  A small portion of fees goes directly back to the organization to pay for insurance, various team equipment, etc.  None of our coaches are paid.  All coaches volunteer their time and talents.

 I heard travel softball is expensive?  Can you provide some insight?

Yes, travel softball can be expensive.  The largest expense centers around travel costs.  Tournament registration fees are generally covered by each team’s budget.  However, travel expenses (lodging, food, gasoline, etc.) associated with attending tournaments is the responsibility of the player’s family.  In addition, players are required to buy a set of uniforms, and furnish their own personal softball equipment (bats, gloves, gear, catching equipment, etc.).  When budgets do not cover the cost of tournament registrations and training facility rental, coaches may ask parents to provide additional funding for such expenditures.  Each team’s schedule is the responsibility of the coach, and is handled differently by each coach.

Where does Southern Express play tournaments?

Southern Express Softball generally attracts families from Southern Illinois and surrounding regions who are interested in competitive softball.  Because Southern Express is a regional select travel program, there are also several players that join from Southern Missouri, Western Kentucky, and Southern Indiana.  Since there are not many sanctioned tournaments located in the immediate vicinity, most teams attend tournaments that involve 1-4 hours of travel to the location.  Because Southern Illinois is located within one hour of several different states, it is not unusual for teams to travel to tournaments in Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas and northern Illinois.