BSF Executive Meeting Report: 9 March 2017

Mon 13 Mar 2017

The BSF Executive held a conference call meeting on the evening of Thursday 9 March.  Below is a journalistic account of discussions and decisions.


Present:  Jenny Fromer (President-Elect), Stella Ackrell (Administrator), Liz Graham (Competitions Director), Mike Jennings (General Officer), Steve Getraer (General Officer), Chris Moon (BASU Representative).

Apologies:  Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Jana McCaskill (National Teams Officer), Bob Fromer (BSUK).

BSF Development Grants​

The Executive approved a BSF Development Grant application for £250 from Paul Cooper for equipment and a portable backstop for a new Under-10 youth fastpitch programme in Nottingham.  A follow-up report on the use of the grant will be required.

National Championships​

It had been announced at the AGM that the BSF is looking for a volunteer to lead on running the Softball World Series, and Lesley Morisetti has now offered to help.  However, this role and the other vacant roles on the BSF Board will be advertised on the BSF website under a new Recruitment section.  It was agreed that those present should proactively approach people for these roles who might be a good fit.

Competitions Director Liz Graham reported that no further response had been received from Jersey Softball regarding their request to play in the Co-ed Slowpitch Nationals, so no decision was required.  However, concerns were expressed about Jersey’s recent withdrawal from the ESF as a member Federation. 

A request from the Cardiff League winners to be allowed to play in the Co-ed Slowpitch League Nationals despite not attending the AGM was considered.  It was agreed that an automatic place will not be offered, but if there is space they will be invited to play.


Administrator Stella Ackrell told the Committee that the Chichester Falcons had won an ESF video competition run in 2016 for imaginative softball drills.  This achievement will be announced in a story on the BSF website and Stella will write to the Falcons to congratulate them on the award.

With the new playing season approaching, President-Elect Jenny Fromer raised the need to update registration information on the BSF website.  It was suggested that registration could run through Spawtz, and Jenny will find out if this is possible and report back to the next meeting.

Jenny has requested admin rights to the BSF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and she suggested that anyone else on the Executive interested in pushing out information on social media should also be added.  The Executive agreed that it would be good to step up BSF’s social media presence by supplementing what BSUK already does.

BSF Executive​

Team registration numbers.  Some tournament organisers request a BSF registration number as evidence that a team is affiliated.  This can be pulled from the Spawtz system on the BSF website and Jenny Fromer will 'test drive' how to do this and then produce guidelines.  This will then be added to the list of requirements that tournaments must fulfil to have their event sanctioned by the BSF.

BSF mailing address.  Jenny Fromer reported that BSUK will be moving out of its current office shortly and will not move into a new office until May, which means that the BSF will be without a mailing address for that period.  Jenny will ensure that any BSF mail is forwarded in the interim.  As the BSF is a limited company, Mike Jennings will update Companies House when a new address is confirmed and will update the list of BSF Directors at the same time.

BSUK Board Committees

Members of the BSF Executive attend meetings of the various BSUK Committees, and brief reports on these meetings are reviewed during each BSF Executive conference call.

The Farnham Park Committee met on 15 February.  Jenny Fromer reported that discussion was largely about the new clubhouse, which is nearing completion, and a new caterer who will service the site.  March will be used for a 'soft' opening, with the goal to be fully ready for April events.

The Finance Committee met on 23 February.  Mike Jennings reported that the Committee discussed the expected reduction in funding from Sport England and a provisional budget based on the maximum possible award while considering how to manage further cuts.  He recognised the impact on BSUK staff and capacity with the departure of Jenny Fromer at the end of March and Will Lintern in May.

The Development Committee met on 8 March.  Steve Getraer reported on a productive meeting in which initial discussion about Sport England funding led to a discussion about BSUK re-focusing on income development and operating as a business while concentrating on the new Sport England objective of maintaining the ‘core market’ of current players.  This provides a new opportunity for the Federations to use the Committee to discuss their development needs.

Steve said that BSUK would be heavily focusing on Hit the Pitch corporate days, led by a new Business Development Manager, and encouraged anyone who could suggest useful company contacts to provide these to BSUK.

Any Other Business

Umpire Matters.  Liz Graham said that she had been asked what the BSF view would be on a tournament running with volunteer umpires (as opposed to BASU umpires).  It was agreed that BSF-sanctioned tournaments must run through BASU, with a BASU Crew Chief appointed to manage umpire provision.

Stella Ackrell asked if BSUK's National University Softball Championships meet this criteria (as they are included on the BSF website calendar).  Steve Getraer (who also serves as BASU Treasurer) confirmed that they do, but told the meeting that BSUK pays BASU a fixed amount and BASU in turn pays the umpires in full, so BASU subsidises the cost to support development.

Chris Moon reported that BASU is running two advanced umpiring courses this year, one in the North and one in the South.  Places are by invitation only and the courses are free to attendees.

Coaching in Germany.  Mike Jennings reported that the German Coaches Association wants to run a slowpitch coaching course on 8-9 April and is looking for a male and female coach from the UK.  The ESF is covering the cost for one coach, and the German priority is for a woman, so former GB Slowpitch Team Manager and Assistant Coach Sara Vertigan has been approached and has agreed to go.  It is not yet clear if Germany will pay for a male coach, but if they will, it would be good to line up an option for this.  As current GB Slowpitch Team players and coaches will be tied up that weekend with the GB Challenge and GB Open tournaments, the group suggested Brett Gibbens and/or Liam Carroll.  Mike Jennings will follow up.

Next meeting

The next BSF Executive conference call will take place on Thursday 20 April.  Anyone with matters to bring to the meeting should contact BSF Administrator Stella Ackrell (

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