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Newton Girls Softball

Newton Girls Softball

Coaches' Corner

Coaches' Corner

2024 Coach Orientation Meetings:

3/25/2024 Grade 2/3

3/27/2024 Grade 4/5

3/27/2024 Grade 6-8

We have great things planned for coaches this year. Check back soon for more information.

CORI Policy and Procedure

It is a Massachusetts state requirement and Newton Girls Softball policy that all Board members, coaches, and other adults (anyone aged 18 or older) who may have direct access to players and/or players' information must have a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background check conducted annually. A CORI check must be completed prior to the volunteer or hired worker having any contact with players or player information and a new check will be done before each Spring season.

Please CLICK HERE to download a copy of the information required.

Please email the information to Caroline at [email protected]

Rec Rules and FAQ:

Coach Selection and Participation Guidelines

Coaching Tandems – The league will honor the request of two coaches who wish to pair-up as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Their daughters select each other as their “pair me with” player.
  • Pairing these players does not create an uncompetitive team balance (e.g. placing two dominating pitchers on the same team).
  • The grade division has enough head coaches for each team.

Completion of CORI form

Coaches and all adults who choose to assist their team's coaches at practices and/or games must have a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check conducted. For details CLICK HERE . CORI information should be submitted to Caroline Wilson via e-mail at [email protected] or via U.S. mail to 21 Parmenter Terrace, Newton, MA 02465


Field Selection – Team coaches will be asked to provide the league with their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice for practice fields and days, AFTER meeting with their team and determining the “best” practice day(s) for the most players and coaches. All requests will be given equal consideration, with the exception that older grades will receive preference for the bigger fields. Once field selection has been determined, coaches will notify players and families of practice time and location.

General – Team practices are a vital element of the NGS experience and should be taken seriously. A player’s ability to develop the necessary skills to play well, appreciate the game, and improve her self-esteem is dependent upon the coaches’ commitment to planning and running excellent practices. Holding a short practice on the day of a game is not a substitute for a regularly scheduled practice on non-game days. The best practices are planned ahead of time with a variety of activities to keep players engaged and interested. A key indicator of an excellent practice is the number of times each player “touches the ball.” Therefore running three or four skill-stations is much more instructive than devoting significant practice time to playing a scrimmage.

Consistent Terminology – Coaches are encouraged to use common terms when instructing softball skills such as hitting, throwing, and fielding. Young players find it very frustrating and confusing when hearing two coaches using different words and approaches to describe the same action.

Practice Organization– The league provides a number of clinics before, during, and after the season. The league expects each coach to attend at least one general clinic and one pitching clinic per season. The league has many resources available to improve coach effectiveness (videos, books, hand-outs, mentors, etc.). Please see below for links to forms and handouts including practice drills, basics skills overviews, and other instructional tools.?

More resources: 


Player Uniforms and Equipment – Each player will receive a team uniform consisting of shirt, pants, socks, (and visor Grade K/1). It is the player’s responsibility to provide a fielding glove and sneakers or rubber cleats. Players are expected to wear their complete uniform to all games.

Team Equipment – Each team will receive a full complement of equipment including softballs, 3 infielders' face masks and catcher’s equipment (except grade K/1 and 2/3). Bats, batting helmets, and other equipment is available to borrow upon request. Parents are encouraged to purchase their own helmets.

  • Grades K/1: Helmets will be supplied by the league.
  • Grades 2/3: Helmets do not need cages. Helmets available to borrow upon request.
  • Grades 4/5: Use of helmets with cages is encouraged but not required. Helmets available to borrow upon request.
  • Grades 6-8: All players must use an ASA approved cage with chin strap. Helmets available to borrow upon request.

Equipment for Games – It is the responsibility of the home team to provide the game balls. Extra mounds and First Aid equipment will be available in field sheds.

Equipment Adjustments – Coaches should contact their commissioner if they need to exchange broken equipment or require a different size.

Game Preparation

Coaches: To maximize time, it is critical that head coaches prepare five-inning lineups before each game.

Parents: Parents must notify the head coach the evening before a game if their child is unable to attend or will be late. It takes a great deal of effort to make a “fair” line-up for a five inning game and even more time to adjust it at the last minute due to a player unexpectedly not attending. It is acceptable for a coach to reduce the playing time for players who repeatedly offend this guideline.

Pre-Game Meeting - Just prior to the start of the game, the opposing head coaches will meet at home plate with the umpire, to exchange batting orders with players’ name and uniform number. We place great importance on the ceremonial meeting as it signifies that the adults take the game seriously, displays the authority of the umpire, and expresses good will between coaches. It also ensures that each coach presents a line-up to the other team's coach, thus avoiding any confusion regarding improper player assignments.

Pace of game - There are approximately 90-100 minutes to play a five-inning game. Should each team require five minutes to change from offense to defense, then 50 minutes or 50% of the playing time is spent not playing softball. To maintain an appropriate pace for the game, it is important that the coaches plan inning transitions effectively. This includes:

  • Determining defensive position assignments before the previous half-inning ends and announcing them immediately after the third out is made.
  • Anticipating the catcher assignment and ensuring that the catcher is dressed and ready to take warm-ups as the team is ready to take the field. Use use a courtesy runner for the catcher, as needed.
  • Limiting pitchers to five warm-up pitches from the rubber before the start of an inning.

Reporting Scores - Each head coach must notify their grade commissioner of the game’s final score within 36 hours of its completion. Grade 4/5 and Grade 6-8 coaches must also report who pitched and for how many innings.

Pitching Management

Pitching Eligibility – Pitchers must demonstrate an ability to throw strikes more than 50% of the time in practice before being eligible to pitch in a game. This guideline should be communicated to pitchers and their parents before the start of the season. Allowing players to pitch who have not demonstrated sufficient accuracy dilutes the quality of the game for all players and often is not a positive experience for the inaccurate pitcher.

Pitching Motion – NGS runs clinics to teach windmill-style pitching from September through April each off-season. Windmill-style pitching in games is encouraged for those pitchers who have received instruction and practiced to meet the above accuracy threshold but others should feel comfortable pitching bowling-style to improve accuracy.

Walks/Hit Batter Limits – Each grade division has specific rules governing how many batters can walk and/or be hit by a pitch before the pitcher needs to be replaced. Please review your specific grade rules for details.

Game Postponement and Make-Up Games

Mutual Agreement for Postponement – Games are postponed only after the head coach from EACH team agrees to postpone. If there is not an agreement, the game should be played as scheduled. Opposing head coaches should stay in touch during the day of a game, knowing each other's schedule and preferred communication medium.

Postponement Timing – Coaches are urged to take careful consideration before deciding to postpone a game. Postponing a game for reasons other than inclement weather is strongly discouraged. Experience has proven that it is better to play on your assigned day with only 5 or 6 players than to try and reschedule the game. NGS has a very limited spring season and there are few make-up field options other than Saturday. New England weather conditions can change very quickly so coaches are advised to wait until 3:30 p.m. or later before making a final decision.

Notifying your Teams – If both teams agree to postpone, coaches must notify their respective team as quickly as possible.

Notifying Umpire Coordinator and Rec Director – The head coach of the home team is responsible for notifying the Umpire Coordinator, Aileen Pollard, AND the Rec Director, Jason Margolis, as quickly as possible by both email and text of a decision to postpone a game. If Aileen/Jason does not hear from the home team coach, they will assume the game will be played as scheduled. Aileen's email address is [email protected] and her mobile phone number is 781-738-5005. Jason's email address is [email protected] and his mobile phone number is 415-307-9906. 

Make Up Games – Saturday is the designated day to play make-up games. The following schedule will be used for each division (Sunday is considered to be the first day of the week):

Grade 2/3 teams will make-up their first postponed game of the week on the following Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Grade 4/5 teams will make-up their first postponed game of the week on the following Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Grade 6-8 teams will make-up their first postponed game of the week on the following Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Should two games in one week be postponed, the second game of the week can be re-scheduled by the team coaches with the support of the grade commissioner as to day, field, and umpire availability.

A Newton Girls Softball Coach's Guide to Sports Connect

This document is designed to be a guide for how Newton Girls Softball uses the Stack Connect platform.  While the platform has a lot of bells and whistles, this document focuses on what you actually need to know as a NGS coach.

  1. Schedule: To schedule events, please use the website to ensure that things work properly.  
  2. Manage RSVPs: Families will use the app, Game Changer, to see schedules and RSVP. This is also where you will see RSVPs. 
  3. Messaging:  You have multiple options for messaging parents.  The platform provides you with (1) chat via the Game Changer app and (2) email blasts via the website.  You can also use anything else you desire.

The document below walks you through each of these.

Pre-Season Checklist:

  1. Make sure you have a login to the website (  If you are a parent-coach you have this from enrolling your child.  If not, please sign up.
  2. One coach on the team needs to activate your team in the Game Changer app ( To do so, login to the app using the same email of your account on the website.  Click the + symbol in the upper right corner and then select “Import Sports Connect.”  Your team should appear.
  3. Email families asking them to download the app and sign in using the same email address that they used when enrolling their child.    

Scheduling Events

As a coach, the primary thing you will be scheduling are practices. Here are instructions for how to schedule a practice. 

In short:

  1. Log into the website (
  2. Navigate to your team’s homepage.  The easiest way to do this is to find your and your child’s team name on your account homepage which is the first page you see after logging in.  Click on the relevant team name.

  3. Click on Calendar.
  4. Click on Create Event.

You can use the same approach to update your events later on. This information will be automatically published to the Game Changer app.  Parents will also get an email with the new information if you wish.   Note that you can do this from a mobile device as well.  It is not as pretty but works fine.

Note that information flows from the website to Game Changer but not from Game Changer to the website.  So you can NOT update events on Newton fields from the Game Changer app. 

To ensure that you are booking on fields and times for which we have permits and to avoid conflicts with other teams, all events on Newton fields MUST be booked through the website.  If you create an event solely in Game Changer (e.g., a tournament game not on a Newton field), it will work but will not show up in the website.

Checking Event RSVPs

The website publishes roster and schedule information to the Game Changer app.  As a coach, you can check the RSVP status of your team by clicking on the event and then the Player RSVP line in the middle of the screen.  

You can send a notification reminder to families who have not RSVP'ed by selecting the No Reply tab.

Note that information flows from the website to Game Changer but not from Game Changer to the website.  So you will not see the RSVP information in the website.


To communicate with your team, the options are limitless.  We provide technology for two approaches.

  1. Chat is available in the Game Changer app.  This tends to be best for quick time sensitive things.   This can be found in the Messages tab at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Email blasts are available via the website.  To send one, go to your Team page and select Email (two to the right of Calendar).

Of course other techniques (text threads, Whatapp, regular email, etc) also work.  One thing about which to be sensitive is that some families ask for multiple parents/caregivers to be on the communications so we advise doing something for which the entire coaching staff can be sure to include all appropriate people.  For email, Google Groups can be an easy tool.

Roster and Coach Evaluation Forms

Each coach must fill out and return their player evaluation sheet at the end of the season. This is our primary tool to create relatively even teams for the following year. At the end of the season, parents will be asked to fill out a confidential on-line, coach evaluation. The evaluation gives NGS leadership the necessary input to provide coaches with constructive feedback and to ensure that the league is aware of any potential problems. The NGS President and Rec League Director keep player and coach evaluations strictly confidential.

ACE Certification

The Amateur Softball Association offers an excellent coaching certification program. ACE is an acronym for Achieve, Certify, Educate. The program has three levels and consists of video-based training followed by tests to confirm absorption of the material. All NGS coaches are encouraged to complete Level 1. It takes approximately an hour to complete and costs $25. After completing the training, you will receive a certification card as well as a very helpful coaching manual that help you deliver consistent high quality instruction to players. More information is available at the following web site:

Player Clinic Drills and Softball Skills Handouts


Contact Us

Newton Girls Softballl

Newton, Massachusetts  

Email Us: [email protected]
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