Central Ohio Thunder Softball 2023 - What to Expect
We appreciate your interest in our program. On this page, we'll do our best to lay out how we expect the next year to go.
We conduct a “pro-style” softball tryout, modified to reflect the age of the players. This includes evaluations of each player’s running speed, throwing accuracy and strength, and skill at fielding, hitting, and where applicable, pitching. Players are evaluated by a range of coaches, board members, and other members of our organization.
For tryouts at Liberty H.S., please bring tennis shoes or turfs, as well as plastic cleats. No metal cleats, sunflower seeds, or gum are allowed at this facility.
What to expect after tryouts
We plan to begin making offers shortly after tryouts, but with the need for makeup tryouts, etc., don’t draw conclusions from the fact that you do not immediately receive a call. However, the fluid nature of the process means that if your child receives an offer to join a Thunder softball team, the coaches will expect a response within 24 hours. We know this is both an exciting and stressful time of the year and are committed to handling the process as quickly and transparently as possible. If you have not heard from Central Ohio Thunder softball and are contemplating an offer from another organization, feel free to contact the applicable coach for an update.
Individual teams will be officially announced at https://ohio-thunder.com/teams as soon as they have been formed. Average roster size is 11-12 players.
If you were given an offer to join a Thunder team and you accept a roster spot, you will be expected to pay a non-refundable $300 deposit within 72 hours of your acceptance. This deposit will be credited towards your final fees. Final fees range by team based on number of tournaments, amount of extra/specialized training, and beyond. Please contact the head coach of your team for a more detailed overview of player expenses.
You should expect a mandatory program-wide “Parents Meeting” in the fall, to outline what to expect for the upcoming season. Individual teams will probably schedule their own meetings, to introduce new players and explain their plans. Depending on community conditions, this may be in-person or via video chat.
Some Thunder teams practice and/or play a few games in the fall; others don’t. As an organization, we strongly support multi-sport athletes, and conflicts with fall or winter sports are not held against anyone. By the same token, we expect our players to make softball a priority during softball season, which generally runs from March through June-July. The expectation is that players are not missing softball for other sports/commitments during this timeframe.
The Thunder organization has actively fundraised over the years to help offset organizational fees. The Thunder expects all families to participate. We have been fortunate in past years to raise over $20-$30K. These fundraisers have dramatically reduced the overall player fees and have contributed to field improvement and maintenance. Many of our teams were credited over $1,500 in past seasons.
There are many factors that contribute to player fees. Detailed fee summaries are available, displaying team cost and credits. Some examples of these costs are:
- Umpires: ($50-100 per umpire, per game, depending on age groups and whether an umpire works alone or with a partner).
- Indoor and Outdoor Field rental.
- Tournaments: Range from $300- $1500 per tournament depending on age group.
- Game Balls: The average cost $50 per dozen.
- Equipment: Practice softballs, catcher’s equipment, hitting tees, etc.
- Organizational: applicable league memberships, insurance, website fees, etc.
More detail about our finances can be found here.
The Thunder organization will have a uniform fitting in the late fall. You will be expected to pay for all your uniform and personal equipment costs at the time of the fitting. For a new player in the organization, this can be between $350-$400 per player. Included in player uniform and equipment cost are: Helmets, Bat Bags, Hoodies, Jerseys, Pants, Tee Shirts, Hats etc.
We work very closely with our uniform vendors to receive significant discounts on uniforms and equipment and strive to pass these savings onto each player.
While bats, gloves, and cleats are not included in the uniform cost, the Thunder does have relationships with major manufacturers that offer deeply discounted pricing to our ballplayers.
We look forward to building out a competitive softball program in Central Ohio that holds values of integrity, sportsmanship, discipline, hard work, and respect. We want players to have fun, play competitive softball, and grow as individuals.