Play has now finished in most BSF slowpitch leagues around the country for 2023.  In this report, a number of leagues describe how their seasons went, and who won the prizes.

Oxford Softball League

This season, the Oxford Softball league had its biggest year since before the pandemic, with 10 teams battling for trophies.

After an initial round-robin, the league split into two five-team divisions based on the round-robin standings.

Division 2 was hotly contested between two teams, the Beavers and the Knights.  Going into the final round of fixtures, the Beavers had a one-win advantage over the Knights, with the two teams scheduled to play each other in a winner-takes-all match.  In this game, the Knights overcame the Beavers to take the Division 2 crown.

Honourable mentions go to the Sharks, in their second year, who built on last year’s performance and are constantly improving as a team and bringing MVP costumes to another level; the newly-formed Guardians, who finished in ninth place and put in some impressive performances for a new team; and lastly, the Tigers, who didn't quite manage to win a league game, but won the plate in the OSL Tournament hosted on 26 August.

In Division 1, three teams pulled away from the rest, all vying for the top spot. 

The Angels and the Oddsox went into the division split with the same won-lost record of 7-2, but the Rebels, in their third year, went into the split with a perfect record of nine wins.  Was anyone capable of defeating them?

In a crucial game, the Oddsox beat the Angels to secure second place, while the Angels had to settle for third, marking the first time in over 10 years that the Angels have finished outside the top two.  

However, no one could touch the Rebels, who finished the season with a perfect 100% winning record – a very impressive achievement that goes to show how well teams have developed in the Oxford League.

The Mavericks placed fourth, their highest finish yet, and are looking stronger each year.

The Spirits, the displaced champions, finished fifth in Division 1.

This was a thrilling and successful year in Oxford which saw a brand new champion crowned.  Congratulations to the Rebels!

Solent Softball League

Division One

With the season coming to a close, the focus was on the bottom of the table on 16 August as a late-season proverbial six-pointer saw the Southampton Spitfires outlast the Chichester Falcons by a score of 12-6.  This result confirmed the Falcons' relegation only a year after winning the title and will see new visitors to Oaklands Park next year.

On 23 August, two table-topping teams played, with differing outcomes.  The Itchen Knicks inched closer to the title with a 23-3 win over the Falcons, but the Solent Sluggers beat the Portsmouth Dodgers by 17-9 to end the Dodgers’ title challenge for the year.  During the second half of the season, the Sluggers had drawn level with the top teams, with an outside chance of finishing as runners-up.

With the title all-but mathematically won by the Knicks, the only team that could theoretically catch them, the Oddballs, had to not only win their remaining two games in hand, but do so without conceding more than three runs.  With this outside possibility gone from their grasp, the Oddballs fell to the Chichester Falcons 17-12 to round off the month.

With one fixture outstanding, the Sluggers and Oddballs were to play for the runners-up spot on 6 September.






Division Two

A Super Sunday on 13 August saw the Sharks triumph over the Brewers in their morning friendly, 20-2.  They then had to wait quite a while for their afternoon opponents, as the Vikings survived a seventh-inning rally from the Pirates to eventually win out in a two-and-a-half hour 34-33 epic.  The Sharks then dispatched the Vikings 21-6 to secure the Division Two title and return to the top division for the first time in four years.

The Hurricanes finished their season with two wins, a 31-18 friendly win over the Brewers followed by a 17-12 win over the Vikings.  The Pirates followed suit with two victories to finish their own season, with a 27-25 win over the Redbridge Raiders followed by a friendly win over the Brewers by 24-13.

Rounding off the month and the fixtures for this year, the Sharks finished strong with a 16-8 win over the Raiders.  Remarkably, three teams ended up on 14 points this season in a very competitive Division Two.





We all look forward to see what 2024 brings!

Bristol Softball Association

This felt like the first season that was truly back to normal after the pandemic.

Division 1 was really close this year, with the league title and relegation going down to the last game.

At the top end, it was very much business as usual, with the Sliders and the Jets level on points, with their last head-to-head game deciding the Championship.  In this game, the Jets won by 25-14 to keep their grip on the trophy. 

An honourable mention must go to the ever-improving Greasy Mitts, who beat the Jets during the season, and the evergreen Guppy Spotters, who beat the Sliders and had a fantastic last game against the Mitts, winning by 8-7 after both teams scored five runs in the final frame.

More last-night drama followed when the newly-promoted team the Force won their last game of the season to dodge relegation, leaving the Flyers to re-group in Division 2 next season.     

Division 2 was more straightforward, with the Scorgs winning the title to return to Division 1, with Victorious Secrets second.  Again, the relegation battle went down to the last hit of the last game, with the Vandals beating the Scorgs 16-15  to maintain their Division 2 status, leaving the ever-green Creamers to re-group next year in Division 3.

In Division 3, Buccs Whiz are immediately bouncing back to Division 2, and with the ever-improving BAM finally turning their tournament form into league form, finishing second, Division 2 beckons next season for them as well.

Current plans are that Division 3 will return to eight teams next year, with two new teams for which coaches will be required.

Bristol’s two big tournaments held at Somerdale both went very well under the stewardship of Jo Newton and Neil Butterfield.  There were 28 teams each time, the wRECk sold out in 24 hours, and there were some great fancy dress entries.

The Bristol League contributed to a South West fastpitch team this year, had four players helping H20 win the European Co-ed Slowpitch Super Cup, and had many players in NSL1 and NSL2.

Bristol’s tradition of providing European umpires continued, with Chris Lunn and Pete Saunders at the Super Cup.

Here’s to next season!

Edinburgh Softball League

The Edinburgh Softball League had runaway winners in 2023, with Souls completing a 15-0 season to win the Edinburgh Premier League, while Bolts, with a 14-1 record, took Division 1.

Runner-up races were much closer and went to the final week.  Storks held off the Haar Hitters to take second place in the Premier League, while Division 1 saw a tie for second place between the Unicorns and Vultures, with the Unicorns sealing second place on the basis of head-to-head results.

Bolts will be promoted back to the Premier Division for next season, and Dohnuts will go back to Division 1.

Our one-day Summer Cup event held in July saw eight teams play in a format that included timed games, a 1-and-1 count, and seeded handicaps for all teams.

In the semi-finals, Souls defeated Dohnuts and Dodgers prevailed over Haar Hitters, setting up a final where Souls defeated Dodgers by 17-11.

Manchester Softball League

By Harry Somers and Abbie de Zwart

League play

The 2023 Manchester Softball League season saw Thunder regain the Division 1 trophy from last year’s winners for their second title.  Their main rivals were the Mavericks, and it was neck-and-neck all season.

The pair beat each other and suffered only one other loss each until the penultimate week, when a third loss for the Mavs, who finished the season 13-3, handed Thunder (14-2) the title.

At the bottom, Speeders’ 2-14 season was not a huge surprise, but Greensox, nine-time winners, found themselves out of the top flight for the first time in their history with a similar record.

In Division 2, Dodgers, relegated for the first time last year, bounced straight back, and narrowly missed out on a perfect season with an unexpected loss with just two weeks to go.  Camels II will join their senior colleagues in Division 1, having come second with a 12-1-3 record.

Heading back to Division 3 are the two other promoted teams, Hackers on 2-14, and Freeze, who avoided a fruitless season only in their final game, a dead rubber tie with Camels II, as bad light prevented a result, so ending 0-1-15.

Division 3 went to the wire with an exciting final-day finish.  Three teams dominated the division, which began with an 11-game rotation including interleague games with Division 4 teams.

Bandidos, who were in Division 2 last year, and Screwballs, promoted from Division 4, started strongly, as did the Stingers.  Bandidos fell behind with two defeats in the first rotation, while Screwballs did not lose a game until their twelfth outing.  

Fast forward to the final day, with Bandidos unable to catch the other two, playing a crucial role as the team Screwballs had to beat in order to take the title assuming Stingers won their final game.  And a sting in the tail there certainly was, as the Bandidos stole the win to hand the Stingers the title.

Sluggababes (8-9) found themselves relegated to Division 4, along with Tiggers on 3-14.

Division 4 was a slightly odd confection this year, with only five teams.  There was a tussle for second place between the Swingers and the Phoenix Fireballs, with the latter scheduled to play a three-game play-off for the title, though anything but a win for the runaway leaders, Barflies, would have been a travesty.  

As it was, the Barflies confirmed the title with a win and a walk-over.  At the bottom, Thunder IV had the misfortune to suffer a winless season at 0-16. 


The MSL loves its stats, and one long-standing record was broken this season as Sluggababes and Tiggers shared 91 runs in a 46-45 win for the Babes, beating the previous record aggregate score of 88 which had stood since 2009.  The Sluggababes’ 45 runs was also a new highest losing score, easily surpassing the previous record of 34, which had stood since records began in 1996.

Finally, the much-loved weekly magazine, Bases Loaded, celebrated its 500th edition.


The Manchester Main tournament saw 22 teams compete through some very wet weather at the beginning of August, with teams travelling from Scotland, London, and the Midlands.

Camels were the overall winners in Gold, with Nottingham friends Famille Casling taking the Silver trophy, and Speeders winning Bronze.  

Manchester players also joined in the BSF Single-Sex Nationals tournament that was hosted at Parrs Wood this year.


Manchester teams represented the league all over the country and the world this season.

Division 1 team Travelling Dodgers proudly flew the Manchester flag at the European Co-ed Slowpitch Super Cup in Bulgaria, where they finished a respectable fourth, returning to the UK to reach the League Nationals Platinum final.

Manchester was also well represented with two players each in the GB Under-18 and Under-16 Men’s Fastpitch squads that travelled to Czechia for European Championships, with both teams reaching the Bronze finals.

One of our women travelled across the pond to play with a GB Under-17 Women’s Team in the prestigious Canada Cup.

Meanwhile, five Manchester teams played at Farnham Park in the National Softball League, as well as Tempest and Tempest II being largely formed from Manchester players.

Four Manchester teams joined the BSF League Nationals this year, with Bats, Meerkats, and Travelling Dodgers all reaching their respective finals, and there were several other Manchester successes at tournaments up and down the country.

It’s been an exciting year, with a chocka softball calendar.  We look forward to welcoming travelling teams next year at the First Ball and Manchester Main, and eagerly await the start of the 2024 season.

Milton Keynes Softball League

The Milton Keynes Softball League has broken a number of records as the 2023 season draws to a close.

An incredible 92 players signed up for the second season at our new home at Conniburrow, and efforts to grow the league and reach new audiences have paid dividends with 29 new players joining the league, 11 of which are new to softball, with an increase in diversity and geographical reach.

Games are now played on Thursdays as well as the traditional club night on Tuesdays, where training is offered alongside the main game.  The league’s roster of experienced coaches has been supplemented by Rachel Hunter, and player development is helped by Milton Keynes Diamonds teams being entered in a wide range of tournaments, from rookie-friendly to NSL2.

Alongside the league and the external tournaments, the Committee has organised two tournaments based in Milton Keynes this year.  

The Charity Cup in April raised significant funds for MK-Act, a charity that has provided safe emergency accommodation in Milton Keynes for people and their children escaping domestic violence for over 45 years.

On 23 September, the Codebreakers Cup will return with 16 teams after selling out in less than two minutes!  There will once again be plenty of World War 2-era theming as well as the addition of some BaseballSoftballUK Slowpitch Academy clinic sessions for players to enjoy.

League play

The league season kicked off with four-time finalists Willow Lakers taking on the OddSox, with the latter taking the opening game.  

The injury-hit Lakers would end the regular season with three wins, three losses and a draw, landing them in fifth place.  However, they went on to win the Plate, beating the Towcester Tigers by 16-12 and elevating their final result to fourth.

The Tigers narrowly missed out on the Championship playoffs, finishing the regular season in fourth place with the same record as the Lakers but with the head-to-head in their favour.  After their loss in the playoffs, however, they ended the season in fifth.

Second-year team the Base Cadets, who had a whopping four new players join their ranks, enjoyed a creditable mid-table finish and were only denied a place in the Plate final by fading light.  They ended their regular season with three wins and four losses, and finished sixth for the 2023 season.

The Homerun Hornets and OddSox found themselves in the Spoon trophy after finishing seventh and eighth respectively, but they ended the season swapping places as the Hornets came out victorious 17-16 in a dramatic decider.

First-year team the Tribe finished the regular season in an impressive second place.  The team was made up of a mixture of experienced league players and new players, some with years of softball experience and some brand new to the game.

They faced off against the Double Ds, who had their best regular-season finish since their first season, with three wins, two losses and two draws, landing them in third place and in with a chance of making the Championship final.  However, their hopes were dashed as they went down to the Tribe, who became only the third first-year team in MK Softball history to make the League Final.

The reigning champions, the Roundabout Rhinos, finished the regular season in the top spot for the third time in franchise history, topping the Lakers’ record of two first-place finishes.  They were hoping to become the first team to ‘threepeat’ and match the Homerun Hornets’ three titles.

The League Final

A number of young ‘Dinky Diamonds’ players opened the proceedings at the League Final, throwing the ceremonial first pitch and celebrating the start of MK's new youth sessions this year, which have been a great success.

In the top of the first inning, Rhinos pitcher James Bradley struck out three Tribe batters, leaving the bases loaded, and the Rhinos then charged into an early lead when Carl Billson's triple scored Steve Lamb and Leah Holmes.

However, the Tribes’ bats started to unsettle the Rhinos, and the Tribe built up a 9-4 lead after three innings.

On the sidelines, there was the customary excellent crowd for the final despite the chilly weather and rain, which worsened over the course of the evening.  A sign competition kept everyone entertained, with commentary supplied by Hedley Bevan.  Prizes were won by Trevor Sykes and Marcie Gray in the sign competition, and Chris Russell won the prediction competition.

Meanwhile, on the field, Tribe bats continued to fire, with a home run from Miguel Marraco.  MVP Fyona Shannon reached home an impressive four times and Jake Clarke five as the Tribe extended their lead to 19-12 with one inning remaining and the rain beginning to fall heavily.

Carl Billson had done his best to keep things close for the Rhinos with an MVP performance of his own, going 5-for-5 with two home runs, including one over the fence.

The game came down to the final inning, with the Tribe easing nerves in the top of the inning with Trei Edghill's triple a highlight.  In the drizzle, now facing a 23-12 deficit, the Rhinos showed great determination and got nerves jangling with home runs from Steve Lamb and Carl Billson reducing the arrears.  However, a brilliant line drive catch at first base by Michelle Chiem secured the final out, a 23-19 win, and the League Championship for the Tribe.

Coaching now continues until the Codebreakers Cup at the end of September, which will be followed by a short two-week pause which includes our annual Awards Night, before we head indoors and into the warm for our indoor league.

Visit for more information or to get in touch.

Windsor & Maidenhead Softball League

The 2023 WMSL season saw the two tightest finishes ever.  Both divisions were decided by head-to-head records and across both divisions several of the other placings were decided that way too.  In Division 1, only third and fourth place were decided on a clear points margin.

The weather also played a factor, extending Division 1 by three weeks as teams worked hard to fulfil their programmes, though for the second year in a row Division 2 played the whole season unaffected by the weather.

The league grew for the second season in a row in 2023.  The newly-formed Farnham Falcons entered Division 1, while Bracknell Scorchers Yellow returned to the league in Division 2 after a year away.  That brought the league up to 16 teams for the first time since 2018 and required a minor adjustment over the winter to balance the divisions at eight teams each.

Division 2

The main protagonists in Division 2 going into the season were the Rattlesnakes, relegated in 2021, and one of the league’s original founders, the Wildcats.  However, it would be one of the division’s dark horses that would come through the pack to steal the limelight.

Division 2 started with strong showings from the Rattlesnakes and Wildcats as well as the Maidenhead Gladiators and Bracknell Scorchers Red.  At the same time, however, the division unfortunately lost a team, as the BA Flyers found it impossible to field enough players on a regular basis and pulled out for the 2023 season.

The season very early turned into a four-horse race.  As we entered the last five games, that race went down to three teams, as the Gladiators fell away by losing three of those last five.

The Rattlesnakes and Wildcats trailed the Scorchers Red by a game entering the business end of the season and when both lost at the start of July to leave themselves two back with four to play, the title looked certain to have a new home.  Things never run to form, however, and the Scorchers Red chose the last month to go on their worst run of the season.  Defeat against the Rattlesnakes was a dent to their title hopes, but when that was followed by defeat to their sibling team, Scorchers Yellow, everyone dived into the results to look at the possibility of a head-to-head record finish.

The Wildcats had also closed the gap to the top, but their season ended when they lost on the same night as Scorchers Red.  An inferior head-to-head record against Scorchers Red meant they needed the Reading Blue Bolts to do them a favour.

The title would come down to the Blue Bolts v Scorchers game.  Defeat for Scorchers Red would have handed the title to the Rattlesnakes, but the Scorchers triumphed to take the title by just two runs -- the difference in runs against from their two meetings.

Elsewhere, the team that ended the season the strongest in either division was Scorchers Yellow, who lost only one of their last eight games and will be one to watch in 2024.  That run propelled them up the table and on the final day they were able to pip the Gladiators by -- you guessed it -- head-to-head record.  With the Flyers bottom, seventh place was taken by the Blue Bolts, just behind the TV Hurricanes.












Division 1

In Division 1, the dominant teams from the last five years had their thunder stolen by two other teams.

By the third week of the season the table had a very surreal look, with the top two from 2022, Reading Blue Sox and Maidenhead Titans, facing each other -- but as seventh and eighth-placed teams!  That slow start would eventually cost both of them and they would play each other in the last game of the season fighting for third place.

The season overall was dominated by the Farnham Falcons and the Bracknell Scorchers Orange, and ironically, the season would be decided by the very first game when the two teams met, where the Falcons claimed the win.  After that meeting on 2 May, both teams rolled through the league unbeaten until their reverse meeting in late June.  

That game ended in a draw and left the two teams just a single game apart, but that was wiped out the following week as the Falcon blinked first and lost their first game.  The Scorchers matched them until late July, when they lost to the Jets to restore the Falcons’ lead.

Going into the extended part of the season, the Falcons held a one-game lead and head-to-head advantage over the Scorchers, but the one-game lead disappeared on the last day of the scheduled season when the Falcons lost and the Scorchers won.  

It now was a case of who could hold their nerve, as the rain-affected part of the season meant that the Scorchers had one game to make up while the Falcons had three.  When the Scorchers finished their campaign with a victory over the Reading Blue Jays, the Falcons had to win all three of those games, and as this included facing the top two from last season, it wasn’t the kindest schedule they could have wished for.

The Falcons eased past the Blue Sox in Game 1.  For the Blue Sox, that result set up a possible decider for third place with the Titans should they lose to the Falcons, which in a very tight game they did.

A final game against the Spartans turned into a championship party for the Falcons as they took that game and the title in their first season by six runs on runs against.

Meanwhile, the Blue Sox did face and beat the Titans to third place on points.

Elsewhere, the Reading Blue Jays and Maidenhead Spartans had spent the season battling to avoid eighth place.  Both matched, bettered and lost out to each other in a ding-dong affair that saw both teams end the season with three wins in their last five games, a pace only bettered by the top two in the same period.

The result was that both teams made up ground on the BA Jets and overtook them to finish sixth and seventh respectively.  The TV Typhoons’ first season back in the top flight was also a memorable one.  They started the season with an away win at the Blue Sox, one of a double they did over them and one of five wins that saw them finish in fifth place courtesy of their head-to-head record over the Blue Jays.











The 2023 season is in the books and if we get anything like this in 2024, it’s going to be another exciting WMSL season next year.