50 Years of Girls Slowpitch Softball
The Glen Lake Girls Athletic League is a volunteer, non-profit association serving the girls in the Hopkins, and Minnetonka area. GAL was started 50 years ago to provide girls with an opportunity to participate in a local league of their own. Unlike highly competitive leagues, GAL is not designed for a few highly skilled athletes, but for any girls from kindergarten to 12th grade who have a desire to learn and play softball, regardless of skill. Over the years, thousands of girls have participated in the GAL league, and many later returned as parents, coaches and board members.
There have been many changes and accomplishments in the league over the years, but the core mission has not changed -- providing a safe, positive, softball experience for girls, teaching the skills that contribute to self-confident play, promoting good sportsmanship, and allowing the girls to have fun!
Slowpitch vs Fastpitch Softball
People often ask what the difference is between slowpitch and fastpitch softball. The key difference is that slowpitch is a hitter's game, while fastpitch is a pitcher's game. Once the ball is put in play by the batter, the games are essentially the same. Of course, in slowpitch there's a lot more hitting so the games have much more action in the field and on the basepaths.
Another important difference is that the higher level of hitting in slowpitch means that defense is a key part of the game. Slowpitch gives players a lot of fielding, throwing, and positioning experience in a relatively short time.
A common question is why play slowpitch when high school varsity teams play fastpitch? As mentioned, a slowpitch player will get a lot of experience in defensive and baserunning skills, so slowpitch is a great place to start playing ball and build the core set of skills. Then if at some point a player wants to consider a path to varsity ball, they can try fastpitch. In fact, a number of local varsity players got their start in GAL and switched to fastpitch in their junior-high years.
Finally, a common misperception is that the slowpitch game isn't very competitive or is played pretty loose. Our Recreational (House) games are meant to strike a good balance between competitiveness and fun You will still see the girls running hard, diving for fly balls, and throwing the ball hard to get the runner out. Come watch a High School game sometime and you'll see how competitive they are!
The Travel program offers a higher level of competition and skill building. The GAL Travel players play a lot more games and have more practices than the Recreational (House) players do, so over the course of the season their skills improve markedly. Along with the higher skills comes a higher competitive effort - the girls play very hard, and have to maintain that for weekend-long tournaments. Travel teams play against teams from other local communities, such as Golden Valley, Richfield, Burnsville, Edina and others.
GAL offers both Recreational (House) and Travel slowpitch softball leagues. Leagues are open to both residents and non-residents, and players attend a variety of schools.
The success of GAL is dependent on many people who volunteer time, effort, and resources to make the GAL program work. Parents, the GAL Booster Club, the Glen Lake Optimist Club, the Hopkins Community Education Department, and the Hopkins/Minnetonka Park and Recreation Department are all critical contributors to the success of GAL. We want to especially thank the GAL Booster Club for their generous financial contributions. It is this type of support that provides registration scholarships for families in need (no girl is turned away for lack of money), offsets the cost of program improvements, and enables us to maintain low registration fees.
We also rely on the incredible support of many area merchants who sponsor our teams, donate supplies, and advertise in our program book. We thank these merchants and ask that you show your appreciation by using their goods and services whenever possible!
Join the Board
GAL is led by an all-volunteer board consisting of parents, former players and other interested parties in the community. The Board typically meets once per month during the season, less often in the off-season. We are currently seeking individuals for the following open positions:
- Assign coaches and coordinate teams
- Be a contact person for coaches & parents during the season
- Attend & help coordinate division events
- Coordinate an end of the season meeting and gather player ratings from coaches (if applicable)
All board positions require a minimum 2-year commitment, the ability to meet one night a month throughout the year, and a desire to spend time and effort to improve the league. The amount of additional time involved depends on the position. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, please contact us at
Other Volunteer Opportunities
There is always a need for extra help! Whether it is coaching a team, taking photos, putting up signs, posting notices to Facebook, doing administrative work, or a variety of other tasks, we have plenty of work to spread around! If you are interested in helping, please let us know by contacting us at
Supporting the league with a financial donation helps to offset costs for equipment, uniforms, field maintenance, scholarships, and many other operational costs. We also have a need for donations of items such as food and prizes for various events throughout the season. Learn more.
Become a Sponsor
Our sponsor program is a great way for businesses to support the league while promoting themselves in the community. Learn more about our sponsorship program.
PO Box 1325
Minnetonka, MN 55345