COFL Tournament Ohio
The Central Ohio Fastpitch League (COFL) was started in 1996 as an instructional league. It is organized by Coach David Beckham of Pickerington, Ohio and includes the following communities: Pickerington, Carroll, Bloom Township, Canal Winchester, Groveport, Bexley, Grandview, St Mary’s (Lancaster) and Baltimore. Our intent is to teach first or second-year players the game of Fastpitch Softball. The smaller communities in the Columbus area don’t have the luxury of having tryouts for “travel teams” and the larger towns like Pickerington want to have a place for kids that want something more than slow pitch. We started three divisions in 1998; 10U, 12U and 14U, and have since added a 8U coach pitch league in 1999.
The 8 and under program is the first rung on the ladder for girls in fastpitch. The coaches pitch a “no arc” pitch and the girls get a chance to swing the bat, and make plays. By the end of the first season the kids were doing real well and the parents had a good time watching it.
The 10 and under league is probably the most impressive. Each year we have 12 to 14 teams of girls eager to learn the sport. We teach pitchers to pitch at this age. We have modified the ASA rules some so that kids can learn. The biggest rule change is the “No Walks” rule. If the pitcher throws four balls, the coach of the batting team goes out to the mound and pitches up to 3 pitches to his batter. This rule is helpful because it takes the pressure off the pitcher. It doesn’t punish the girls for not throwing strikes, and the ball gets hit in play a lot which teaches everyone else how to play the game. The games are exciting to watch because there are no walks and a 4-3 score is common. Another big rule change for the 10U age is that the runner can only take one extra base on an overthrow or error, no matter how many errors are made. This keeps a girl from scoring a home run on a bad throw to first. It also doesn’t punish the kids for trying to make plays at the bases instead of throwing it into the pitcher to stop play. No runner was put out by a throw into pitcher.
We have other rules, too, for each of the age groups like continuous batting order, 10 batters per inning and free substitution. The 12 U league has a couple rule changes and the 14U is full ASA.
If you would like copies of our rules and info on our very successful instructional league, e-mail me.
At the end of the season the Classics Fastpitch Club sponsors (but doesn’t compete in) the COFL Tournament at the Pickerington, Ohio, High School diamonds. This has become a major event in the area. It is not uncommon to have 150-200 fans at each diamond during the games. The first year 16 teams participated. In 1999, we expanded to 34 teams. The whole 12 and under bracket play was held at Canal Winchester. The finals were all held at the Pickerington complex on Sunday.