New to Softball

You're interested in playing – or finding out more about playing – either slowpitch softball or fastpitch softball.  You've never played before and you don't know where to start.  Maybe you're not even too sure about the differences.  Or maybe you've played one or more of these sports before and want to find a team to join.

Whether you're a beginner, a relative novice or an experienced player, you'll find information in this section that will help you get involved in the format of your choice.  The 2017 outdoor season ended at the beginning of October, but there will be open indoor training sessions and competitions around the country over the winter, designed to attract new players and provide them with basic training and experience.

Below is some basic information about slowpitch and fastpitch softball, followed by a list of winter activities that you can join if you want to get involved in either format.

You can also use our Diamond Finder to check out softball leagues in your area.

 

SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL

What is it?

Co-ed slowpitch softball is a recreational, social and enjoyable game that's easy to learn and play, even for people who are not “athletes” or don't have much experience of team sports – and the game offers particular opportunities for women.

It's a lot like baseball in terms of the rules, but because the ball is pitched slowly to each batter (as the name implies!), it's easy to hit the ball and succeed at the sport's central skill.  The fact that men and women play together in the same team and on an equal level gives the sport a social buzz, and most softball games are followed by sessions at the local pub!

But there is also a competitive side to the sport, with serious tournaments and national championships, and there is a Great Britain Co-ed Slowpitch National Team that has won ten straight European Championships.

There are softball leagues and teams in major cities and town throughout England and also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  League play tends to be on weekday evenings after work during the summer, and there are weekend tournaments for keener teams.  During the winter, many leagues run indoor taster sessions, training sessions and tournaments.  Most leagues run beginner sessions and offer coaching to help people learn to play and find a team, and many of the activities listed below are designed for that purpose.
 

Winter activity

UNIVERSITY SOFTBALL

All of the universities listed below have slowpitch softball teams and programmes -- open to students at the university -- and many of them run open training sessions or competition during the winter months.

Search for the club or search BUBS -- British University Baseball & Softball -- on Facebook for more information, or check out the individual university's Student Union website.

University of Bolton
University of Brighton
Bucks New University
University of Cardiff
University of Chichester
University of East Anglia
University of Essex
University of Hertfordshire
Imperial College London
University of Kent
Loughborough University (3 teams)
University of Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan University
Oxford Brookes University
Queen Mary University London
University of Reading
University of Swansea
University of Nottingham (2 teams)
University of Portsmouth (2 teams)
University of Salford
University of Southampton
University of York (2 teams)

 

MIDLANDS

The East Midlands Indoor Softball League runs on Sunday afternoons from 1:30-4:30 pm at Bilborough Sports Centre, Nottingham NG8 4DQ.  For more information, email: emslsoftball@gmail.com.

 

SOUTH EAST

MK Softball is running slowpitch sessions for players 14+, of all abilities, every Tuesday from 6.30-7.30 pm at The Radcliffe School, Aylesbury Street West, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5BT.  The cost is £3 per session.  For more information contact Leah on: mkdiamondssoftballclub@gmail.com or on: 07581 844570.  Or visit  www.mksoftball.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/MkDiamondsSoftball/.

 

NORTH WEST

The Manchester Softball League is running open training sessions for adult beginners and existing players on Sundays from 3.00-5.00 pm at the Platt Lane Dome, Yew Tree Road, Manchester M14 7UU.  The cost is £5 per session.  For more information, email recruitment@manchester-softball.co.uk or visit http://manchester-softball.co.uk.

The Sefton Softball League is holding open training sessions for adult beginners and existing players on Monday evenings from 7.00-9.00 pm at The Hawthorne’s Free School, Fernhill Road, L20 6AQ.  The cost is £4 per session.  For more information, email seftonsoftball@hotmail.com or visit https://www.seftonsoftball.com.

The Liverpool Junior Baseball/Softball Club is holding open youth sessions on Monday evenings from 6.00-7.00 pm at The Hawthorne’s Free School, Fernhill Road, L20 6AQ.  The cost is £4 per session and beginners are welcome.  For more information, email linni.mitchell@bsuk.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/JuniorBaseballSoftball/.

The Didsbury Donuts Junior Baseball/Softball Club is holding open youth sessions on Sunday afternoons from 4.00-5.00 pm at Parrs Wood High School, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 5PG.  The cost is £5 per session and beginners are welcome.  For more information, email linni.mitchell@bsuk.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/JuniorBaseballSoftball/.

The Urmston Ripper Nippers Junior Baseball/Softball Club is holding open youth sessions on Sunday afternoons from 2.00-3.00 pm at Powerleague Trafford, Trafford Way, Manchester M17 8DD.  The cost is £5 per session and beginners are welcome.  For more information, email linni.mitchell@bsuk.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/JuniorBaseballSoftball/.

The University of Manchester Maelstrom Softball Team is running training sessions for UoM students on Mondays from 5.00-6.00 pm at the Sugden Centre, Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HL, and beginners are welcome.  Contact uomsoftball@gmal.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/UoMSoftball/.

The Salford Swifts University Softball Team is running training sessions for Salford University students on Wednesday evenings from 7.00-9.00 pm at the Albion Academy, London Street, Manchester M6 6QT, and beginners are welcome.  For more information, contact Joe at ussusoftball@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/UOSSoftball/.

The Manchester Metropolitan University Softball Team is holding training sessions for MMU students on Tuesday evenings from 6.00-8.00 pm at the Platt Lane Dome, Yew Tree Road, Manchester M14 7UU.  Beginners are welcome.  For more information, contact Brodie on bjcaress@hotmail.co.uk or visit https://facebook.com/MMUsoftball/.

 

SOLENT & SOUTH COAST

Watch this space -- winter activities will be listed soon.

 

FASTPITCH SOFTBALL

What is it?

Fastpitch softball in the UK and around the world is played mainly (but not exclusively) by women and girls and is the international competition format of the sport.

Women's fastpitch softball was the Olympic format while the sport was on the Olympic Games programme from 1996-2008, and it is looking ever more likely that the sport will rejoin the Olympic programme in Tokyo in 2020.  Fastpitch is more challenging than slowpitch softball, and requires more skill and game awareness, but it is a tremendously rewarding game and the format is growing in both quantity and quality in the UK.

Most fastpitch activity is based in the southeast of England, but there is also fastpitch activity in the East Midlands, Manchester and Chichester.
 

Summer activity

GREAT BRITAIN FASTPITCH LEAGUE

The Great Britain Fastpitch League (GBFL) is open to all players, female and male, from 14 years upwards.  There are men's and women's leagues playing on six Saturdays during the spring and early summer.  Watch for information on the GBFL schedule for 2018. 

The league plays at Farnham Park, Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Royal, Slough SL2 3BP.

New players are always welcome, regardless of ability or previous experience with fastpitch softball or any form of softball.  If you would like to get involved, contact Lee Grafton.
 

Winter activity

BASEBALLSOFTBALLUK ACADEMY

BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK runs National and Regional Academy sessions over the winter months from October through March, open to all female and male players from 10-25 years of age.  For information on dates, venues and cost, go to the Academy Page on the BSUK website.
 

BASEBALLSOFTBALLUK HIGH PERFORMANCE ACADEMY

BSUK also runs a High Performance Academy over the winter, by trial and invitation, for female players aged 14-20.  For more information or to trial for a place, contact Johanna Malisani.
 

TOWCESTER TIGERS

Fastpitch softball sessions for all ages and abilities will be held by the Towcester Tigers Fastpitch Club on the following Wednesdays from 6.30-8.30 pm: 29 November; 6 December; 10, 17, 24 and 31 January; 7, 14, 21 and 28 February; 7, 14 and 21 March.  The venue is: Campion School Sports Hall, 7 Kislingbury Rd, Bugbrooke, NN7 3QG and the cost is £4 per session.

For more information, contact Joss on towcesterbc@hotmail.com or on 01327 350190 or 07923 612093.  Also, check out:
https://www.facebook.com/Towcester-Tigers-765102266905806/.