The BSF Athletes Commission, established early in 2023, is a team of four softball players -- Tim  Bishop, Dani Briggs, Jenny Horton, and Matt Tomlin -- who work together to ensure that the views of all softball players are listened to, represented, and presented to the BSF Executive and/or to BaseballSoftballUK.  We take a players' point of view at Executive meetings and look to share responses to questions that players have asked.

The group shares a combined passion, enthusiasm and commitment to softball, whether it's slowpitch (co-ed and single-sex) or fastpitch, and whether it's competitive, recreational, or social.

2023 was our first season in operation.  We were asked to get answers on a number of issues affecting players and thereby make a positive change to the playing experience.  These issues -- and the responses to them -- are as follows:

  • What's the difference between the BSF & BSUK?  Even experienced players struggle to define the difference between the two organisations!  An article was published here on the BSF website on 7 Aug to inform everyone of the different roles and responsibilities of the BSF and BSUK.  Worth a read!
  • Farnham Park pitches (they are either rock hard or flooded).  We now have tarpaulins on some of the pitches to pull over the diamonds when it rains.  Players are asked to help get these into position to protect the playing surface and allow matches to restart more quickly.  Also, field maintenance knowledge is increasing, and pitches will become less weather-dependent.
  • Farnham Park facilities.  Regular meetings with BSUK are now being held throughout the year to check on progress and accountability.  For example, the current shower and toilet facilities are not fit for purpose, and discussions are now ongoing with the Council, which owns the buildings.  Mobile showers as seen at festivals and other events are being investigated.
  • Fastpitch development to encourage new players of all ages.  Athletes Commission member Dani Briggs has now joined a BSF Working Group to make recommendation to BSUK on this issue.
  • Player insurance costs (it was unclear why some players pay 'twice').  It turns out that NSL fees are slightly reduced to reflect this, and new insurers are being sought and should be confirmed in the new year.  This issue may link to the one below: player registration.
  • Player registration: why should I do it?  Only 20% of individual players registered on Teamlinkt in 2023.  A new system is being investigated by BSUK and all players may be asked to register in 2024.  This will help with team rosters, ringer issues, insurance, and safeguarding, and will provide valuable data for future planning.
  • Review of NSL scheduling to consider the removal of unrequired games on Sunday, allow better timings for NSL games, and avoid late finishes on Sunday.  NSL captains will be surveyed, and feedback from their players will be essential.  If extra pitches can be made available by the Council, in 2024, which BSUK is currently negotiating, this will help with these issues as well.
  • Consistency requested in publishing NSL and other tournaments results.  NSL results are currently published on a separate website owned by BSF Competitions Officer Liz Graham -- -- as it has the functionality needed for fixtures, results, and tables for this competition.  All tournaments are asked to publish information in a timely manner to support players at those events and supporters further away.  But it was considered impractical for the BSF to coordinate this centrally.
  • Queueing times at Home Plate are too long during periods when games have just finished.  BSUK has monitored times to ensure minimal delays and Home Plate will have additional staff on duty next season.
  • Children's Menu needed at Home Plate as more and more children are attending tournaments and are the next generation of players.  BSUK has said that a Children's Menu will introduced and advertised.  Feedback on Home Plate is always welcome and a suggestion/feedback box will be introduced next season.
  • Softball Academy plans and schedules to be published and promoted as soon as possible to allow potential attendees to plan.  This has now been done.

It's clear from the above that the Athletes Commission has helped to bring about a number of changes tin 2023.  We will continue to engage with players during the winter period and look forward to seeing more results from player feedback in 2024.

Please reach out to the Athletes Commission with any softball feedback, whether positive or negative, and with your experiences and suggestions: