While Big Train’s players are college athletes, older adult amateurs have a number of opportunities to join softball teams across the Washington area.
- Northern Virginia Senior Softball (NVSS) is a slow-pitch softball league open to men 50 and up, and women 40 and up. NVSS has more than 550 players.
There are three conferences based on skill level. There are both spring/summer and fall seasons, when seven-inning doubleheaders are played Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as well as a winter conditioning program.
NVSS started in 1980. David Scheele, 85, the nonprofit organization’s publicity chair, has been playing since 1985. He took up softball as a way to help de-stress after his first wife was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. He’s one of at least 40 players over 80.
The NVSS motto is “fun, fitness and friendship,” and Scheele believes this combination helps explain why no league members that he knows of have developed Alzheimer’s disease while they are part of NVSS.
“No one is getting it. Why? The exercise. You’ve got to be in shape,” Scheele said. “And there’s the mental exercise. How many outs? Where do I throw the ball? There’s constant thinking out there.
“And the social aspect, let’s have a beer together after the game. The combination of those three factors has made it really special,” he said.
To learn more, see www.nvss.org. Forms to register to play are on the website.
- The Golden Girls league began more than 25 years ago, for women ballplayers over 40. This 180-member league, based in Vienna, Va., is composed of teams that play each other twice a week — on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Women who have never played softball are welcome to join, and are provided special coaching. Organizers work to balance teams with players with a range of ages and skill levels. Skill drills are held Monday mornings during the winter.
- Fairfax Adult Softball is the largest ASA nonprofit private softball organization in the United States. It was recently voted the Number 1 amateur sports organization in Northern Virginia.
While it includes dozens of men’s, women’s and coed teams of all ages, the Fairfax Adult Softball’s senior league is for men over 50 only.
To learn more, see www.fairfaxadultsoftball.com or call (703) 815-9007.
- The Montgomery County Senior Sports Association manages eight leagues: three daytime and five nighttime. All games are played on fields located in Olney, Wheaton and Cabin John.
Among its numerous leagues are ones for men over 50, 55, 60 and 70. Women’s leagues include players 40 and older.