BGSL is organized into 5 Divisions - 2 instructional and 3 competitive. The instructional divisions also "compete" but the emphasis is on learning the game, and rules are modified for reasonable game length and to keep the girls from getting bored.
Girls are placed in a division based on their birth year. Girls can "play up" based on ability and comfort zone, but girls who are too old for a division can't "play down". Don't worry if you've never played, we have newbies at all levels, they end up getting a lot of support from the girls who have played.
A players age is determined by their age on 12/31 of the year before the registration year. So for this season, a girl who turns 8 on March 14th 2016 or Januray 1st 2016 is league age 7 - because on 12/31/15 she was 7 years old.
Beginner: This is for players ages 5-7 (league age). Coaches pitch to players or the ball is hit off of a tee - whichever is more likely to allow the player to hit. Eleven inch "inside" balls are used to prevent injury. Games are limited to around an hour. Teams are kept small so that every girls gets up to bat every inning, and the innings go quickly.
Intermediate: For players 8-9 (league age). Players pitch, if the count goes to 4 balls a coach steps in for the pitcher - there are no walks. The intermediates play with amended rules, including a starting pitch count of 1 ball and 1 strike. The rules are intended to encourage the girls to swing and hit, not just wait for an inevitable walk. The game is also measurably sped up, keeping the girls moving as much as possible and dandelion farming to a minimum. Games are limited to 90 minutes, and we try to keep the team
Playing up: For some of the girls, playing in a division above their age is appropriate. If you think your player is one of those, register in the age-appropriate division and then send an email to
with your play-up request.
- Play up requests are usually honored
- We usually ask parents of girls who are 10 at by March 1st if they would like to play up out of intermediates
- When you are thinking of having your daughter play up, also remember that she may be moving out of the group of girls she goes to school with.
- If a girl is registered as a Beginner and plays up to Intermediates, or Intermediates up to 12U an additional fee is assessed (to meet the non-beginners/intermediates price).
Teams travel and play other town teams at this level, games start to get more competitive, there are playoffs culminating in a Souhegan Valley League Championship game.
The 12U Majors/Minors division is for Girls league age 10-12.For more information visit the Bulldogs page here.For more information visit the Bulldogs page here.
12U Minor No coach pitching, girls can steal, there are up to 6 innings played, rules are mostly Babe Ruth standard. Balls are 11", pitching distance is 35 feet. Games are limited to around 2 hours.
12U Majors: This is the first level where Girls are likely to encounter fast pitching. Pitching is from 40 feet. Sliding is introduced, as well as more advanced hitting techniques, stealing, stealing home. Games are limited to around 2 hours.
Juniors (16U): For Girls age 13-16 More like competitive softball that you would see being played at the Middle/High School level. Pitching distance is the same as middle/high school, 43 feet. 16U also includes 14U.
For all Town Teams:
Rules are amended by Souhegan Valley local rules, determined by representatives of the towns in the league. One that comes up often is "The Mercy Rule". In NHIAA and Middle School, if a team is ahead by 10 or more runs after a game has become regulation the team ahead is awarded the win. In SV league there is no 10 run rule, instead there are per-inning run limits. The intent is to keep the girls playing for the whole game. When it's obvious that a team is overmatched, the other coach will usually switch pitchers or use other methods to keep from running up a score.
5 run per inning limits are used for all SV games. There is no "continuation rule" in SV. With a continuation rule, if 4 runs have scored and a player hits a grand slam a side could potentially score 8 runs in the inning - 3 runs past the limit. Coaches would hold runners at third to load up bases hoping to score the extra runs. The opposing coach would then intentionally walk the 4th batter to keep the last 3 runs off the board. It's better to allow the batter to hit away, so we dumped the rule.
Innings for pitchers are limited - this gets more girls involved in pitching, and eliminates some of the advantage a team has when they have a pitcher that nobody can hit.
Beginners have one weekday practice and one Saturday Morning game a week.
Intermediates have one weekday practice and one or two games, usually at Selvoski Field or Peter Woodbury School - a Saturday game and one during the week.
12U and up have 2 games weekly, either at Selvoski or West field, or away at another Souhegan Valley town.
The Babe Ruth All-Stars program is available for Girls league age 10 and above. In 2014 BGSL started 2 All Stars teams, "The Bulldogs" 10U and 12U, in 2015 we are adding 1 14U team. The Bulldogs hold clinics and sessions through the winter for players and candidates, final team selections take place near the end of the Spring season.