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Sixteen teams representing nations, continents or regions from across the globe descended on the National Baseball & Softball Complex at Farnham Park on the weekend of 9-10 September for the 24th running of the British Softball Federation’s annual Softball World Series.

With two new entries – SAFFA's, made up of South African ex-pats, and Pinoy Pride, featuring players representing the Philippines -- this year’s edition was sure to feature a few surprises.

The competitors were a mix of national teams from Ireland, Guernsey, and Belgium; the German club team UCE Travellers; three British teams – England, GB Masters and GB Futures; and ex-pat teams representing Africa, South Africa, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, as well as a team – the Misfits -- made up of players from a mix of European countries.

Because of WBSC regulations, the ex-pat teams representing specific countries – America, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the Philippines –had to be called by different names. These teams became Murica, the Canucks, Godzillas, SAFFA's, and Pinoy Pride.


Before play started on Saturday, the teams playing on Field One began their play with a minute’s applause in memory of longtime umpire and British Softball and WBSC Europe Hall of Famer Chris Moon, who sadly passed away last year.

The Softball World Series was one of Chris’s favourite events on the annual calendar, and he often served as the tournament’s Crew Chief, so British Association of Softball Umpires (BASU) umpires Chris Lunn and Pete Saunders had a special commemorative coin minted for the event in his honour, used for the coin toss in the Cup Final.


Saturday saw the 16 teams play in two round-robin groups, Red and Blue, across Farnham Park, and the heat was on early – and not just on the diamond. With temperatures reaching 32 degrees under cloudless skies, the hottest day of the year matched the intensity of the softball on the field!

Match-ups of note included the GB Futures team eking out a 9-8 win over England, England defeating fellow commonwealth entry the Canucks by a 28-0 margin, and seven contests decided by one run – an unusual sight in the slowpitch world.

It was a long, hot day of softball, with games wrapping up just before 7:00 pm, and Home Plate was filled with tired but smiling faces after the day’s play concluded.

Sunday morning started slightly cooler, with hazy conditions, as round-robin play concluded, after which teams split into four different competitions for playoffs: Cup, Plate, Trophy, and Spoon.

Ireland was responsible for the biggest upset of the day, an 11-7 win over the GB Masters to eliminate the Masters from contention for the Cup playoffs, while there were several one-sided affairs to help decide the final standings, including Belgium’s 29-0 performance against the SAFFA's, the largest margin of victory over the weekend.

The round robin wrapped-up just before 1.00 pm, and calculations were rapidly made to determine the playoff groups.

Full round-robin results were:

Saturday GB Futures 18, ANZACs1
Ireland 15, Godzillas 8 England 28, Canucks 0
GB Masters 17, Misfits 8 Guernsey 24, SAFFA's 6
Latinos 15, Africa 4 Belgium 18, Pinoy Pride 6
UCE Travellers 20, ‘Murica 12 UCE Travellers 17, Africa 7
Belgium 21, ANZACs 4 Ireland 11, Latinos 11
GB Futures 9, England 8 Misfits 10, Godzillas 6
Canada 22, SAFFA's 3 Belgium 29, SAFFA's 0
Guernsey 17, Pinoy Pride 6 GB Futures 18, Canucks 2
GB Masters 14, Africa 4 England 18, Guernsey 9
‘Murica 27, Latinos 5 ANZACs 11, Pinoy Pride 2
UCE Travellers 8, Godzillas 4 Sunday
GB Futures 18, Pinoy Pride 4 GB Futures 12, Belgium 6
England 15, Belgium 5 England 20, SAFFA's 3
Gurnsey 8, Canucks 7 Guernsey 17, ANZACs12
ANZACs 23, SAFFA's 6 Canucks 6, Pinoy Pride 5
UCE Travellers 15, Ireland 2 UCE Travellers 22, Latinos 1
Misfits 8, Latinos 7 ‘Murica 11, Misfits 10
GB Masters 18, Godzillas 10 Ireland 11, GB Masters 7
‘Murica 11, Africa 5 Godzillas 17, Africa 6
GB Futures 14, Guernsey 1 GB Futures 21, SAFFA's 0
Pinoy Pride 15, SAFFA's 4 Belgium 13, Guernsey 7
England 19, ANZACs 8 Canucks 8, ANZACs 1
Canada 12, Belgium 4 England 5, Pinoy Pride 4
Africa 8, Misfits 7 UCE Travellers 15, Misfits 4
GB Masters 9, UCE Travellers 8 Africa 14, Ireland 12
‘Murica 11, Ireland 9 Godzillas 10, ‘Murica 2

Group standings at the end of the round-robin phase were:

Red Division

1 UCE Travellers 7 6 1 0 18 105 41 64
2 'Murica 7 5 2 0 15 87 68 19
3 GB Masters 7 5 2 0 15 91 56 35
4 Misfits 7 3 4 0 9 58 69 -11
5 Godzillas 7 3 4 0 9 62 65 -3
6 Ireland 7 2 4 1 7 65 75 -10
7 Africa 7 2 5 0 6 48 93 -45
8 Latinos 7 1 5 1 4 47 96 -49

Blue Division

1 GB Futures 7 7 0 0 21 110 22 88
2 England 7 6 1 0 15 87 68 19
3 Canucks 7 4 3 0 12 57 67 -10
4 Belgium 7 4 3 0 12 96 56 40
5 Guernsey 7 4 3 0 12 83 76 7
6 ANZACs 7 2 5 0 6 60 91 -31
7 Pinoy Pride 7 1 6 0 3 42 79 -37
8 SAFFA's 7 0 7 0 0 22 154 -132



The eight semi-final matchups were based on round-robin results.  The top two teams from each pool went to Cup playoffs, third and fourth-placed teams to the Plate playoffs, fifth and sixth-placed teams to the Trophy playoffs, and seventh and eighth-placed teams to the Spoon playoffs.  The match-ups were:

England v UCE Travellers
Murica v GB Futures

Belgium v GB Masters
Misfits v Canucks

Guernsey v Ireland
Godzillas v ANZACs

Africa v SAFFA's
Latinos v Pinoy Pride

In the first Cup semi-final, England took on the UCE Travellers in what was expected to be a close game, since the Travellers had secured the #1 seed in the Red pool with 105 runs scored. However, England showed absolutely no mercy, scoring 20 runs in the first two innings enroute to a 28-7 victory in five innings.

England’s opponent in the Cup final would be the winner of Murica v GB Futures, with the star-spangled Americans, winners of last year’s competition, looking to reach another final. In a back-and-forth affair, both teams traded runs, but it was the GB Futures team that was able to push ahead, winning a close 17-16 game to set up an all-British Cup final.

In the Plate semi-finals, the GB Masters took on Belgium in a battle across the English Channel, while the Misfit battled the plaid-clad Canucks. The Misfits team, made up of players with mixed European nationalities, bested the Canucks in an 11-5 contest, while the GB Masters kept the game close before falling to the Belgians by 14-9.

The Trophy semi-finals saw a battle of the Pacific as the Godzillas took on the ANZACs, while Ireland faced their island neighbor to the south in Guernsey in the greenest matchup of the weekend. The Godzillas did as their namesake does and ran roughshod over the ANZACS in a mercy-rule 21-7 victory, while Guernsey knocked off Ireland by a score of 12-11.

The final semi-finals came in the Spoon tier, and saw the Latinos take on Pinoy Pride, while Africa faced the SAFFA's in a continental affair. With the power of 53 countries against the SAFFA's single nation, Africa defeated their South African foes 18-4, while the Latinos were able to double up Pinoy 12-6.


In an all-British final, contested under British weather conditions thanks to a few fast-moving downpours in the area, England, three-time Softball World Series champions, took on the GB Futures, who were looking to finally break through for their first World Series victory.

With three players from the NSL1 and European Slowpitch Cup Champions H20, the England squad was hot out of the gates, with a leadoff single followed by a Steve Hazard home run enroute to a 3-0 lead after just half an inning.

After the Futures went down in order in their half of the first, the floodgates opened for England. A leadoff single for Leone Colley and a double by Aaron Thomas put runners on second and third for Chelsie Robison, who struck for a two-run single. Robison’s hit was followed by a single from Steve Hazard before a three-run home run by Joe Grantham gave England a commanding 10-0 lead after only an inning and a half.

GB Futures would not go quietly into that good night, however, and they responded in kind. With Katie Jessop reaching on an error to start the bottom of the second inning, the comeback was on, and after a walk to Jake Elmy and an RBI single by Zoe LeRoux, Tom Russell’s three-run shot cut the lead to six.  And the Futures weren’t done, as they would score three more times – highlighted by a pair of RBI doubles from Josh Smith and Adam Hugill – before Katie Jessop was retired to end the inning.

With just two innings completed, England and the GB Futures had combined for 17 runs – and would combine for a grand total of just nine runs across the remaining five frames.

England extended their lead to 11-7 with an RBI single by Aaron Thomas in the top of the third inning, but the Futures would narrow that lead in their half. A leadoff single by Jake Elmy started the rally, and he was brough home by another Tom Russell smash, this time a triple.

GB Futures pulled within two, but that was as close as they would get, as England responded with a rally of their own.  After a one-out single by Chelsie Robison, Steve Hazard struck again with his second homer of the game, this time a two-run shot, and the deficit was again four runs.  Hazard’s hit was followed by three straight singles to load the bases, with Kris Hadwin’s sacrifice fly bringing home Jess Page-Fenner to extend England’s lead to 14-9.

The fifth inning flew by, with neither team scoring, before England would cap off their scoring with a flourish. The fourth home run of the game for the Lions, a two-run shot by Joe Grantham, extended their advantage to seven runs, and despite a late run in the top of the seventh inning for the Futures, Jodie Cherson’s grounder to Chelsie Robison at third allowed her to apply the tag on Macy Cortez to end the game and give England their first World Series title since 2014.

Final score: England 16, GB Futures 10.

Jess Page-Fenner and Joe Grantham, both from England, were awarded MVP honours for the Cup final.


The Plate final saw a resurgent Belgium team take on the Misfits in a decidedly one-sided affair. Belgium scored early and often enroute to a 19-1 mercy rule victory, with Amelie (Misfits) and Andreas Meurs (Belgium) named MVPs.


In a battle of “G” teams, Guernsey took on the Godzillas for the Trophy final, and this game saw the most runs scored in any final – and in any game across the weekend --with 44. Godzillas finished just shy of the 30-run mark with a 29-15 win over the Channel Island’s entry.  Nanako and Shun of the Godzillas took home the MVP honours from the Trophy final.


The Spoon Final was contested by Africa and the Latinos, with the Latinos victorious by a 13-9 score. Manny (Latinos) and Crista (Africa) were awarded MVP trophies.

A Celebration of Softball Around the World

While tournament play was the focal point of the weekend, national pride was on display as well.

The Canucks were the weekend’s unanimous winner for fashion, with the team wearing matching plaid vests and jorts for a fantastic uniform, while Pinoy Pride, in their first Softball World Series, set up camp by Field 2 and put on a party, complete with noodles, chicken adobo, rice, and karaoke.

Murica, never a team to shy away from an eye-catching display, were out in their most patriotic regalia, while Guernsey brought a number of supporters to Farnham Park for a home-field feel. With more than 30 different nationalities represented across the 16 teams, the weekend capped off a great summer of slowpitch softball played in Britain.

BSF Softball World Series history

2023 -- England
2022 -- Murica
2021 – GB Masters
2020 – No tournament played due to Covid-19
2019 – UCE Travellers (Germany)
2018 – Murica
2017 – Murica
2016 – Murica
2015 – UCE Travellers (Germany)
2014 – England
2013 – ANZACs
2012 – ANZACs
2011 – Lakenheath Eagles
2010 – Lakenheath Eagles
2009 – England
2008 – ANZACs
2007 – ANZACs
2006 – Rest of the World
2005 – Murica
2004 – Africa
2003 – Africa
2002 – Murica
2001 – Africa
2000 – Africa
1999 – England

Photos: Jody Demay-Davies