BSF Executive Meeting Report: 17 October 2019

Mon 21 Oct 2019

With its annual weekend face-to-face meeting coming up on 2-3 November, the BSF Executive held a brief conference call meeting on the evening of Thursday 17 October.  Below is a journalistic report on the main discussions and decisions.


Present:  Jenny Fromer (President), Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Liz Graham (Competitions Officer), Bob Fromer (Administrator), Mike Jennings (General Officer), Jana McCaskill (General Officer), Chris Moon (BASU Representative).

Apologies:  Stella Ackrell (General Officer).

Slowpitch World Cup

Mike Jennings recently attended a World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) meeting in Shanghai, China, and spoke to officials about the likelihood that a WBSC Co-ed Slowpitch World Cup (effectively a World Championship tournament for national teams) would take place in 2020 as previously announced.

Current indications are that it will go ahead, almost certainly at the WBSC’s new base in Clearwater, Florida, either in the autumn of 2020 or the spring of 2021.  One requirement for the tournament to go forward is for the USA to nominate a host organisation.

The WBSC has rigorous requirements for hosting and attending World Cup tournaments, and Mike has suggested that a light touch on some of these requirements might help get this competition off the ground, a point noted by WBSC officials.

A key opportunity to promote the tournament and get more countries interested will come at the WBSC’s biennial Congress in Japan in November, which both Mike and BSF President Jenny Fromer will attend.  Along with interest in North America, Europe and the Caribbean, there has also been interest from Australia and especially New Zealand, where Stan Doney has been appointed as their Team Manager.

Motion to ESF Congress

The BSF Executive is working on a motion to be submitted to the European Softball Federation Congress in February 2020 asking for the Page Playoff system to be restored as the way to determine final placings at European slowpitch competitions.

Following the lead of the WBSC, the ESF has recently abandoned Page Playoffs for its competitions and now mostly uses a system whereby the last four teams in the tournament play bronze and gold medal games based on round-robin results.

Motions submitted by the BSF at ESF Congresses in 2018 and 2019 to restore the Page Playoff system for all competitions were opposed by the ESF Executive and therefore rejected by the Congress in plenary session.  But the hope is that the ESF will be more responsive to a request to restore the format for slowpitch only, especially since the motion will have the support of key slowpitch countries in Europe, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Belgium.

National Softball League

A document asking for opinions from National Softball League teams on proposed changes to NSL play in 2020 has now gone out to all NSL1 and NSL2 teams.

Responses, which are due by 28 October, will be discussed by BSF Executive members at their annual face-to-face weekend meeting on 2-3 November and decisions will be announced shortly thereafter.

BSF website

Tim Stride at BaseballSoftballUK is progressing revisions to the BSF website, and the Executive has been presented with several design options for the site.

A decision will be made shortly so that the project can move forward.

Tournament Pack information

The Executive has approved a document that will be circulated to all Tournament Organisers next year for mandatory insertion in Tournament Packs.

The document covers the rules governing the use of under-18 players in adult slowpitch or fastpitch competition in some detail, including physical, administrative and safeguarding requirements, and also covers actions that can be taken by umpires if players at tournaments are deemed to present a danger to themselves or others due to the effects of alcohol or recreational drugs.

The document has been uploaded to the BSF website and can be found here

Next meeting

The next meeting of the BSF Executive will be its annual weekend face-to-face meeting on 2-3 November in London. 

Anyone with items to raise at the meeting should contact BSF Administrator Bob Fromer by 31 October.

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