The BSF Executive held its most recent monthly videoconference meeting on the evening of Thursday 8 December. Below is a report on the main discussions and decisions.
Present: Ieuan Gale (President), Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Liz Graham (Competitions and Membership Officer), Mike Lott (Coaching Officer), Pete Saunders (Technical Officer), Lesley Morisetti (General Officer), Bob Fromer (Administrator).
Apologies: Mike Jennings (General Officer).
Guest: John Boyd (BSUK).
2023 Softball Calendar
BSF Administrator Bob Fromer told the Executive that the 2023 Softball Calendar continues to be a work in progress, although most tournaments and other events now have confirmed or provisional dates.
Tournaments are gradually being uploaded to the BSF website Events List as they are confirmed and as details from organisers are provided.
Domestic event coverage in 2023
In 2022, for coverage of major domestic competition events beyond website reports, the BSF commissioned services from BSUK to enhance the reports from a number of events through photography, video “sizzle reels” and real-time social media rather than webstreaming a smaller number of competitions.
The BSF is now beginning to consider its strategy for coverage of major domestic competition events in 2023, a discussion that will continue when the BSF Executive holds its annual face-to-face weekend meeting at the beginning of January.
Webstreaming some events in 2023 will be up for discussion, along with a proposal to create video highlights packages from major events such as National Championships.
The ultimate goal in terms of raising awareness of softball in the UK would be to get key events televised, something that the BSF will explore.
Slowpitch World Cup
Although nothing is yet confirmed, it looks likely that the first-ever WBSC Slowpitch World Cup for national teams will take place in November next year, with the United States as the host.
Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands will represent Europe in the competition, and more information is expected soon.
GB Under-16 Men’s Team
The Executive has approved a request from the GB Men’s Fastpitch programme to create a new GB Under-16 Men’s Team that could enter next year’s European Under-16 Men’s Championship.
The decision on European Championship entry will be up to the GB Men’s programme once talent is assessed, but if the team does play in Europe, the Head Coach will be GB Under-23 Men’s Head Coach Richard Brown, as the Under-23 Men do not have an official competition next year.
The plan to add an Under-16 Men’s Team to the roster of GB National Teams reflects the increase in young male fastpitch players coming forward, primarily through the Softball Academy.
BSF Technical Officer and BASU Training Officer Pete Saunders told the meeting that online BASU training courses will begin around the middle of January.
Courses will consist of a brief introductory session and then five hour-long Zoom sessions, spaced two weeks apart, followed by an in-person day for practical instruction, mainly around umpire mechanics.
Full details are now on the BSF website here, and leagues are urged to sign up for courses.
BSF Accounts and Budget. BSF Treasurer Laura Burkhardt told the meeting that draft Accounts from the BSF’s 2021-22 financial year and a draft Budget for 2022-23 will be circulated before the Executive’s face-to-face meeting in January, where they will be discussed and approved.
League Heads Forum date
The BSF has been trying to find a date for its annual League Heads Forum, which will be a remote meeting in February shortly before the BSF AGM, and has canvassed League Heads on whether a weeknight meeting would be possible as opposed to a weekend meeting.
Based on replies, the BSF has decided to go for a weeknight meeting, and the League Heads Forum will be held on the evening of Thursday 16 February from 7.30-9.30 pm.
An agenda and meeting invitations will be sent to League Heads in the new year.
The next meeting held by the BSF Executive will be its annual face-to-face weekend meeting on 7-8 January in Manchester.
Anyone on the Executive or in the softball community who wants to put an item on the agenda should contact BSF Administrator Bob Fromer.