When it comes to family sports, few summer activities for kids are as all-American as softball. While you do need the equipment, you don’t need much else. No memberships to sport and health clubs, no tryouts or cuts to endure and you don’t even really need other teams to play against. With opportunities to engage muscles throwing, catching and swinging bats at softballs as well as base running, softball encourages exercise for children and parents alike and is facilitates healthy living. Softball is a great sport for the whole family.
Softball hits 3 Fat Chick’s number one spot for family sports. The Chicks point out that it’s a terrific game for any size of family. If there aren’t enough members to form an official team, a lot of exercise can be had and skills sharpened just by going through the motions of a real game, pitching, catching, batting and running bases. You don’t even really need an official softball diamond. Simply set up some improvised bases and a pitcher’s mound in the backyard and your mini family softball team is ready to rock.
More Than Just Physical Benefits
Besides providing exercise, softball is an activity for kids and parents to enjoy together in a wholesome environment that also teaches sportsmanship. That’s likely the reason many churches and community organizations coordinate softball leagues each summer. As the Family Driven Softball League explains, promoting a family-centered activity that would facilitate the nurturing of parent-child relationships was at the core of its origin.
All games that the FDSL plays are on Saturdays, but family softball leagues across the country set their own timetables and game schedules. For example, the City of Sparks, Nevada, Family Coed Softball League holds all games on Sundays — every Sunday evening all season long from May through August.
Some Age Restrictions
The one issue that may put a damper on joining a family softball league may be the age requirements. If you have young children in your family, younger than junior high ages, they may not be allowed to play. It’s understandable that, for the purposes of safety as well as fun, children are typically required to be at least 14 years old and, sometimes, as old as 16, to play in a family softball league. If the younger kids enjoy watching the games enough, it could be an opportunity to teach them about following rules, having patience and they might even look forward to the day they’re old enough to join the team. If not, though, you still have the option of backyard games played with all members of the family regardless of age.