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 2019 outdoor season is now under way, with plenty of opportunities for new players to get involved, and there will also be open indoor training sessions and competitions around the country over the winter, designed to attract new players and provide them with training and experience.

Below is some basic information about slowpitch and fastpitch softball, followed by a list of 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

Co-ed slowpitch softball is the most popular and easily accessible format of baseball and softball that exists today in the UK. 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 get involved in the game. 

Slowpitch is a game that's easy to pick up and accommodates mixed abilities, with both experienced players and novices able to play on the same team. Teams are mixed-gender and slowpitch is a popular sport among players from the LGBTQ+ community.  All this gives the sport a great buzz, and most softball games are followed by social sessions at the local pub!

Slowpitch is played both recreationally and competitively in summer leagues after work, in winter indoor leagues and during weekend tournaments across the country, including at the Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex, the UK’s only national facility, operated by BaseballSoftballUK.  There are over 20 leagues and hundreds of teams set up across the country with thousands of players in London alone.

Use our Diamond Finder to check out teams, clubs and leagues in your area.

 

Summer slowpitch softball activity
 

LONDON (ADULT PLAYERS)

Softball 101 Development Sessions
Sessions for new and inexperienced slowpitch softball players, run by the Greater London Softball Mixed League, are under way on Monday evenings in Regents Park and Friday evenings at Colliers Wood Recreation Ground.  The sessions will run through August.

Monday sessions start at 6.30 pm in Regents Park and run until the light fades, after which everyone usually heads to the nearby Edinboro Castle pub for a drink!  Friday sessions run from just after 6:30 pm at Colliers Wood Recreation Ground, a five-minute walk from Colliers Wood tube station, until the light fades – after which everyone usually heads to the nearby Charles Holden pub for a drink!

Sessions cost £3 per week and cover the fundamentals of softball -- throwing, batting, fielding and softball rules – and participants get a chance to put their new skills into practice with a game at the end of each session.  When the sessions have finished, one or two new teams will usually form to enter late-season recreational tournaments in 2019 and then play in the GLSML the following year.  Anyone who has their own fielding glove should bring it along, but if not there are plenty of gloves for everyone.  

For more information check out this article on this website or contact development.glsml@gmail.com.
 

Go Mammoth Softball Leagues
Go Mammoth runs social softball leagues throughout the summer in different parts of  London, with levels of play for all, equipment provided, friendly umpires, prizes and post-match bat deals.  Over 50% of people join not knowing anyone in the league and are placed with similar players or small groups of friends looking for a team.  Individuals pay from £7 per week.  For more information go to https://www.gomammoth.co.uk/softball/london/.

 

LONDON (YOUTH PLAYERS)

LondonSports
LondonSports is London’s largest and longest-established youth baseball and softball league, giving boys aged 5 to 17 and girls aged 5 to 18 the opportunity to learn and play baseball/softball in a safe and fun environment. Children and young people of all nationalities are welcome, whether they are newcomers to the game or experienced players.   Every player is given instruction which allows them to improve their skills and develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

The playing season runs from March through mid-June, and every year LondonSports plays nearly 300 games on 18 fields.  There are nine leagues including two Instructional baseball leagues (ages 5-8), four competitive baseball leagues (ages 9-17) and three girls softball leagues (ages 9-18).  There is also a full Travel Team programme for players looking for more baseball training.  The value of teamwork and above all good sportsmanship is emphasised.

For more information visit https://www.londonsports.com or email admin@londonsports.com.


London Mets Baseball and Softball Club
The London Mets Baseball and Softball Club offers youth baseball for boys and girls aged 6 to 18 and fastpitch softball for girls aged 13-18.  The club’s main venue is in Finsbury Park, London N4, and there is a second facility for youth baseball at Enfield EN1.

The club’s youth activities typically include:

  • Winter training which runs on 6-8 weekends from January through March.
  • A spring Little League season from April to June.
  • Domestic competitions during June.
  • Training and friendly games on Sundays for female fastpitch players.
  • The possibility of European competition for our elite youth players in both baseball and softball.
  • A summer camp, generally during a week in late August.
  • Autumn competitions in September.

To register for either youth baseball or softball, go to https://www.londonmets.org/youthregistration, and for more information about girls’ fastpitch softball go to https://www.londonmets.org/fastpitch.

 

SOUTH EAST

Come Try Softball Fridays (Adult Players)
Maidenhead Softball Club is running free open sessions for anyone 13+ who would like to try softball.  No experience required, all abilities welcome, all equipment provided. 
Sessions will take place from 6.30-8.15 on Friday evenings throughout the summer at North Maidenhead Cricket Club, Summerleaze Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 8SP.  For more information, contact: Alan Le Marquand
 

Maidenhead Youth Softball (Youth Players)
Maidenhead Softball Club is running free open sessions for anyone aged 10-14 who would like to try softball. No experience required, all abilities welcome, all equipment provided.  Session will take place from 6.00-7.15 pm on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer at North Maidenhead Cricket Club, Summerleaze Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 8SP.  For more information, contact: Alan Le Marquand.

 

NORTH WEST: SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL FOR TEENAGERS AND ADULTS

Manchester Softball League Rookies/Beginners Sessions
Rookie sessions for players aged +14 -- no experience needed and everyone welcome -- will be held at Parrs Wood Playing Fields, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 5PG on Tuesdays from 6:30-8.00 pm until 27 August.  For more information or to sign up, contact recruitment@manchester-softball.co.uk or visit http://manchester-softball.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/manchestersoftballleague/.
 

York Romans
York Romans are a brand-new and inclusive co-ed slowpitch softball club, welcoming players of all abilities from ages 16 and above.  Sessions will be held at 22 Acres, Garrowby Way, Heslington, York YO10 5NF on Tuesdays from 6.00-7.30 pm until 2 July.  Contact Kate at yorkromanssoftball@gmail.com or on 07926-262232 or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/yorkromanssoftball/.
 

Leeds Softball League Rookie Sessions
Sessions for new players will be held at Bedquilts Recreation Ground, Adel Lane, Leeds LS16 8DB on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm until dark throughout the summer.  No equipment is needed; we provide everything.  Just turn up in jogging/sportswear and bring a bottle of water.  No experience is needed either, just willingness to give it a go.  For more information contact LeedsSoftball@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/LeedsSoftballAssociation or http://www.leedssoftball.com.
 

Liverpool Softball League Rookie Sessions
Beginners sessions for men and women aged 14+ -- no experience needed and all welcome -- will be held at Childwall Sports College, Queens Drive, Liverpool L15 6XZ on Mondays from 6.00-7.00 pm throughout the summer.  For more information contact Mike on 07553-318488 or visit https://www.liverpoolsoftball.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/LSLSoftball/.
 

Women's Rookie Sessions at Lytham St Annes
Rookie sessions for women (girls 14+ are welcome if accompanied by an adult) will be held at the YMCA Ansdell Arena, Albany Road, Lytham St Annes, FY8 4AR on Thursdays from 7:15-8:30 pm throughout the summer.  For more information contact Natalie on LSASoftballUK@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/LythamStAnnesSoftballClub/.
 

Urmston Rookie Sessions
The Urmston Softball Club is holding Rookie Sessions for players 14+ -- no experience needed and all welcome -- at Urmston Sports Club, Moorside Road, Urmston, Manchester M41 5UU on Sundays from 12.00-1.00 pm through the summer.  For more information or to register contact Linni (linni.mitchell@bsuk.com).
 

Manchester Tigers Softball Club
Beginners (14+) are welcome at training sessions held by the Manchesster Tigers Softball Club at Trafford Metrovicks, Finny Bank Road, Sale M33 6LR on Mondays starting at 6.00 pm.  For more information contact Dave on recruit@tigersoftball.co.uk or visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/Tigersoftball/ or http://www.tigersoftball.co.uk.
 

Sheffield Bladerunners Softball Club
Slowpitch softball is a sport for everyone (women and men, girls and boys) from 14+ to retirees, and your sporting background doesn't matter: softball offers everyone the chance to be involved.  The club provides all equipment need and will be running beginner sessions, training and games at Forge Valley School, Sheffield S6 5HG (dates and times TBC).  For more information contact Rich on rich@sheffieldbladerunners.co.uk or visit www.sheffieldbladerunners.co.uk.


NORTH WEST: YOUTH BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL

Lytham St Annes
Junior baseball/softball/teeball sessions for boys and girls in school years 2 through 6 will be held at YMCA Ansdell Arena, Albany Road, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 4AR on Fridays starting at 5.00 pm throughout the summer.  For more information contact Natalie on LSASoftballUK@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/LythamStAnnesSoftballClub/.
 

Urmston Ripper Nippers
The Urmston Rippers Softball Club is holding baseball/softball sessions for juniors aged 8-14.  These fun sessions, focusing on skills and drills and always ending in a game, will be held at Urmston Sports Club, Moorside Road, Urmston, Manchester M41 5UU on Sundays from 2.00-3.00 pm throughout the summer.  For more information contact Linni (linni.mitchell@bsuk.com).

 

MIDLANDS

Opportunities to be posted soon.

 

SOLENT & SOUTH COAST

Opportunities to be posted soon.

 

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, 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)

 

COMPANY SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL

Baseball’s coming to town this summer when the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees at the London Stadium -- and also next summer when the St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will slug it out. Get in on the action by having a go at slowpitch softball, the most accessible version of the game. Join a new generation of players and fans by enjoying a summer’s day in the park with colleagues, clients and friends, socialising and playing a game that everyone can quickly get to grips with.

Softball appeals to all abilities, is inclusive and suitable for any gender, creates a great team bond, leads to improved physical and mental wellbeing and is also great for client entertaining! BaseballSoftballUK has put together a package of “Hit the Pitch” softball events tailored to the needs of companies and their employees. Whatever your goals, we have a package of activities that is right for you.

We can help you run an introductory day, set up a new team or organise a whole league! Visit the Hit the Pitch website to find out more. 

 

FASTPITCH SOFTBALL

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 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 fastpitch softball 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 a number of Saturdays during the spring and early summer.  There is more information on the GBFL league page on the BSF website or on the GBFL's own website: www.fastpitchsoftball.co.uk.

The league plays at the Farnham Park Baseball and Softball Complex, 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, email admin@fastpitchsoftball.co.uk.

 

Winter fastpitch activity

BASEBALLSOFTBALLUK ACADEMY

BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) runs National and Regional Academy fastpitch softball sessions over the winter months from October through April, 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 Robbie Robison