Dixie Softball, Inc. is a youth softball organization for girls who are 18 years of age and younger that was created to promote local league play in the state of Alabama. While each local organization associated with Dixie Softball has some autonomy, there are some rules such as playing and eligibility that are determined by the organization as a whole.
Girls play in different leagues within Dixie Softball based on their age. Girls must be at least 7 years old by January 1 of the current calendar year to play in the Dixie Sweetees league. Girls who are 9 or 10 play in the Dixie Darlings, 11 or 12 play in the Dixie Angels, 13 through 15 play in the Dixie Ponytails, 16 and 18 play in the Dixie Belles and 19 and older play for the Dixie Debs. All players must provide league officials with proof of age including an official birth certificate.
Dixie Sweetees, Angels, Ponytails and Darlings play no fewer than 15 games against teams from Dixie Softball. Dixie Belles and Debs play no fewer than 12 games. These limits do not include championship games or games against outside league teams not affiliated with Dixie Softball. If necessary, teams can count games against other leagues to meet the minimum with the approval of the National President of Dixie Softball. It is recommended that teams schedule a minimum of two games per week and that each league play a split season with the first half champion playing the second half champion for an overall championship.
A team that fails to field at least ten players in the Dixie Sweetees, Darlings and Angels or nine players in the Ponytails, Belles and Debs within 15 minutes of the scheduled game start time will be forced to forfeit the game. If ineligible players are used to fill the vacancies, the team may also have to forfeit. Different leagues can choose different rules for this situation, like allowing the borrowing of players of the same or less age without a penalty as long as the players are registered.
There is a different official ball for different age groups for Dixie Softball. The Dixie Sweetees, Darlings and Angels use a ball that is between 10 7/8 inches and 11 1/8 inches in circumference. The ball must weigh between 5 7/8 oz. and 6 1/8 oz. The official ball for the Ponytails, Belles and Debs must be between 11 7/8 inches and 12 1/8 inches in circumference and it must weigh between 6 ¼ oz. and 7 oz. Balls must be stamped or approved by a preferred manufacturer of Dixie Softball.
- Photo Credit softball image by Steve Brase from Fotolia.com
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