Birmingham Softball League is here to stay!

Wed 29 Jan 2014

By Kate Page-Smith

2013 was the first season for the new Birmingham Softball League (BSL) and while it was hard work for those doing the organisation, with inevitable teething problems and a team folding half way through the season, the league managed to run successfully for 15 weeks. 

The BSL consisted of two teams from the Birmingham Bobcats Club (the Roosters and the Tadpoles) and two new independent teams – the Stourbridge Titans and the Birmingham Minotaurs.  Each Thursday evening the teams battled it out at the Bobcats' home ground at Hallfield School and the League’s new venue at Birmingham City University's ground on Moor Lane.  

With marked-out pitches and BASU umpires, the progress made in a year was astonishing, especially considering that a few years ago softball in Birmingham consisted of a few players messing around in a local park.
 

Minotaurs hold on

For much of the season, the league was mostly dominated by the Minotaurs, who were undefeated until late August.  However, as time went on, the games became much closer and in the final weeks the Minotaurs had to fight hard to remain at the top of the standings, with the Roosters and the Titans hot on their heels.  To say each game was tense was an understatement.

However, the Minotaurs managed to remain in first place, with the Titans coming a very close second. 

In addition to the league games, the BSL also ran two six-week Softball 4 Beginners courses, funded by Sportivate, and are in the process of developing an indoor training programme with Aston Villa Football Club's women's team. 
 

Tournament

To finish off the season, the BSL held a tournament on Sunday 29 September at Moor Lane.  The event was attended by eight teams, including the Aachen Aixplosives, a fastpitch softball team from Germany who returned for a second year.  The weather was beautiful and the venue, with its manicured grounds and terrace bar, was ideal – and will be a perfect home for the BSF Single-Sex Nationals this year. 

The teams played a round-robin format in two groups of four, followed by head-to-head games for placings, with the two higher-placed teams from the initial round-robins playing in the Cup Division and the two lower-placed teams in the Plate Division. 

The Plate was won by the Manchester Fish after a close game with the Leeds Puddings and the Cup was awarded to the Dragon Warriors from Cardiff.  The Cup runner-up was the Stourbridge Titans from the BSL who, as a new team to softball, surprised everyone with their result. 

The final placings were:

1 – Dragon Warriors (Cup Winner)
2 – Stourbridge Titans (Cup Runner-up)
3 – Leeds Terriers
4 – Aachen Aixplosives

5 – Manchester Fish (Plate Winner)
6 – Leeds Puddings (Plate Runner-up)
7 – Monmouth Rockets
8 – London Bashers

The presentations were accompanied by a buffet, made up of food contributed by players.  This brought all the teams together at the end of the day to celebrate the results and to thank our guests the Aixplosives for attending.
 

New season

Preparation is under way for the upcoming season and although we are in for another roller coaster year, everyone is optimistic and excited.  The BSL has a strong Committee that is dedicated to continually improving the standard of softball in the city and ensuring that the BSL meets the needs and ambitions of its members. 

At the start of 2014, the BSL launched its new website (http://birminghamsoftballleague.co.uk/) and is in the process of setting up a one-day BASU course and a Level 1 BSUK coaching course. 

With support from Sportivate, a beginner’s course is scheduled to start in early April and will lead nicely into the league season, which will start in May.

As always, watch this space!

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