Building on the tremendous legacy of strong player development, on-field achievement, and academic excellence working with young female athletes, the leadership teams of four South Bay Area fastpitch softball programs in Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, West San Jose, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale joined together to launch Quakes Fastpitch. Our dynamic softball program was created to optimize player performance and to maintain the ideal life balance that assures continued academic and athletic achievement through middle school and high school. Our mission is to prepare skilled young women for leadership roles, leveraging the skills and work ethic gained on the field for a lifetime of success.
What is Quakes?
Quakes is a 14U/16U collaborative effort among four leagues; Campbell Girls Fastpitch Softball (CGFS), Los Gatos-Cupertino-Saratoga Girls Softball (LGCS), Sunnyvale Girls Softball (SGSL), and West Valley Slammers Softball (WVS). The purpose is to meet the challenges of the 14U and older divisions by combining our resources, which creates a level of participation that ensures girls from each of the four leagues will have a pathway to 14U and above softball. In addition, by having greater numbers we will be able to offer multiple levels of play so that a team exists for every player’s skills and desires (Rec, "C", "B", and Inferno).
How is Quakes Related to Affiliate Leagues?
Each of the affiliate leagues should think of Quakes as their 14U and older division. To bring consistency and fairness to the 14U recreation division, and to streamline the registration and administrative process, each of the participating leagues links to Quakes for 14U recreational registration. Quakes also offers summer tournament travel ball at 14U and 16U (playing "B" and "C"). Players may also try out for our "A" program, Inferno.
Quakes benefits the participating leagues in three primary ways:
The first benefit is the ability to have a 14U pathway that covers all skill levels from Rec to "A" . This should encourage players to stay in their 12U and even 10U divisions, instead of leaving because of uncertainty about the future and whether a player’s league will have a Rec team at 14U, an All-Star team at 14U, or an A ball level team. Since Quakes runs programs at all levels (A, B, and C) and runs 16U and 18U programs, players will have the ability to stay within the program regardless of age or skill.
The second benefit, is the consistent offering of a 14U recreational division for its players each spring season. 14U is always a unique division because many of the second year players in the division (14 year-olds) are often playing on their high school team, leaving only the 13 year-olds to fill rosters for the rec season. The numbers of participants flowing into Quakes will help provide a true 14U Rec Division. In 2019 Quakes had over 70 players playing in the 14U recreational division playing on 6 teams. Most leagues had been filling the 14U program by having a Middle School Division of players who are 11 and older, which often stunts the growth of 11 year-old players who do not play as significant of a role because they are now competing against both 12 and 13 year-olds for playing time. It also limits the 13 year-olds as they only play against players their age or younger, they are not raising their games by playing against skilled 14 year-olds. By having a large number of 13 year-olds together as well as some middle school 14 year-olds, players from each league should now be able to play in a competitive 14U program that is beneficial for all skill levels.
The third benefit is the availability of coaches. At 14U, there is often a lack of qualified coaches as many parent-coaches are no longer interested in coaching at this level. Prior to the formation of Quakes, several member leagues had years when they had enough players to have formed a 14U team, but did not have a volunteer coach. By joining forces, there should always be enough coaches at the 14U level to ensure each spring Rec team has a qualified coaching staff and that players won’t be prevented from playing due to a lack of coaching. Coaching resources, along with available players, pitchers and catchers are reasons many softball leagues are unable to field 14U teams.
Does Quakes Have an A-Ball Program?
Yes, Quakes is a multi-level program that is a combined effort of each of the four affiliate leagues. By having a large number of players, we are able to offer teams at all levels of play, including our "A" program, Inferno.
How Are the Recreation Level Regular Season Teams Formed?
Like all Rec programs, we try to make sure that every player is placed on a team but the goal for team formation is competitive balance as well as balancing players from various affiliate leagues onto the teams. The players will go through evaluations in January and teams will be formed shortly thereafter. We do not want a situation where a team has ten players from one league and then three single players from three other leagues. We want some familiarity as well as a chance to integrate, therefore the mixing of players onto each team will occur but we strive to never put a player by themselves without other players from their previous league on the team (unless they requested such).
Does Quakes Have All-Star ('B' and 'C') Summer Tournament Teams?
All-Star teams will be formed in accordance with USA Softball rules, similar to how member leagues have formed their own All-Star teams. Tryouts are typically conducted on the last weekend of April. We will form as many viable summer teams as we have players, coaches, catchers and pitchers for.
Are There Quakes Teams Beyond 14U?
Yes. One of the founding leagues, LGCS, has long offered A Ball Magic teams at 16U and 18U, so those levels of play (for summer and fall) are now part of the Quakes program. This is yet another benefit offered by being part of the Quakes program that most individual leagues have not had the ability to offer. For more information about 16U and 18U teams, take a look at our Inferno program.