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Additional Information about Playing with NPGFA

By NPGFA, 09/15/17, 3:15PM CDT


New to fastpitch?  Here is some information about our program with New Prague Girls Fastpitch Association (NPGFA).

      New Prague Girls Fastpitch Association Mission Statement

New Prague Girls Fastpitch Association is committed to teaching the fundamentals of competitive Fastpitch softball. We are here to promote leadership, cooperation, team skills, to deal with accomplishments and disappointments, to improve self-confidence and self-esteem and to have FUN! We do this as a feeder system to New Prague Schools.

Don’t be afraid of the name “fastpitch”.   Girls do not need to have experience playing softball and we encourage anyone to give fastpitch a try.  They will learn the game and develop their skills as the season progresses.  Fastpitch is basically a faster paced version of slowpitch softball, with the main difference being pitchers use the “windmill” motion to pitch the ball and there is no required arc to the pitch like in slowpitch.  Players are also allowed to bunt, lead off bases and steal, unlike slowpitch softball. 

As noted in the mission statement, ‘NPGFA is committed to teaching the fundamentals of competitive Fastpitch softball.’  We encourage girls of all skill levels to join at any level of play.  It doesn’t matter how old your daughter is and if she has never played any type of softball before.  NPGFA offers training opportunities during the offseason with clinics that start in January.  The clinics are great for beginners along with girls who are currently playing with NPGFA.  Players work on throwing, fielding and hitting during clinics, which are run by current and former New Prague high school fastpitch players.  Register with NPGFA on our website to receive information about upcoming clinics.  It’s a great way to let your daughter try fastpitch to see if they like it, without having to commit playing through a season. 

New Prague Fastpitch is in a traveling league, meaning away games for all levels are in surrounding communities such as Belle Plaine, Chaska, Chanhassen, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Eden Prairie, St. Peter, Mankato, Le Sueur, etc.  There are two seasons that can be played.  The first is the summer season which typically starts with practice in April and league games begin in early-mid May and go through the end of June.  Most teams play in at least two weekend tournaments throughout the season and it ends with the state tournament in early July.  The fall ball season goes from mid August to the end of September.  It’s a 5 week season with games played on Sundays and the last two weeks are played on Saturdays for 8U/10U and 12U.  Fall ball is a great time for girls to play fastpitch who aren’t sure if they want to play the longer summer season. 

Level of play is determined by the players age that they will be on December 31st, Current Year.   There are 6 levels of play, starting at 8U and going up to 18U, which are broken out as follows:

8U – Ages 6 to 8 on December 31st, Current Year

  • 6 year olds must be in 1st grade

10U – Ages 9 and 10 on December 31st, Current Year
12U – Ages 11 and 12 on December 31st, Current Year
14U – Ages 13 and 14 on December 31st, Current Year
16U – Ages 15 and 16 on December 31st, Current Year
18U – Ages 17 and 18 on December 31st, Current Year

Game play at the 8U level is quite different than that of 10U.  10U and up are more similar with the big difference being the pitching distance.  Here’s a quick overview on each level of play:


8U is an introduction to fastpitch.  This is the age level where the most common question from parents is “My daughter has only played ball through community ed or has never played before, is fastpitch a good fit for her?”  The answer to this question is Yes, they will do just fine in fastpitch regardless if they have played softball or not. 

  • The girls DO NOT pitch at this level and a mechanical pitching machine is used during games.  With the machine, pitches are much more accurate and are all at the same speed. 
  • Coaches remain on the field while the team is both on offense and defense to help the girls in what they should be doing. 
  • There is no bunting, leading off base or stealing at 8U.  It’s all about learning the game of softball.
  • 11” softball is used.



At 10U, the girls are on their own in the field without coaches out there to help.  Girls that have never played softball are encouraged to join.  Some of the main differences from 8U are:

  • Players pitch at a distance of 35’ from home plate. 
  • Bunting is allowed.
  • Leading off the base and stealing is allowed.
  • 11” softball is used.      


The main difference with 12U is the pitching distance and size of the softball. 

  • Pitching distance is 40’ from home plate.
  • 12” softball is used.


  • Pitching distance is 43’ from home plate.
  • 12” softball is used.