BSF looking for new President to take office in 2021

Tue 1 Sep 2020

BSF President Jenny Fromer will be stepping down from the role after the 2021 BSF AGM next February, and the BSF is looking for people who might be interested in succeeding her.  In this article, Jenny provides a description of what the job entails.

 

Responsibilities

The BSF President is responsible for leading the BSF Committee by chairing meetings and ensuring that she/he is prepared and able to discuss all key issues.  The President should take the lead as the voice of the BSF both internally and externally with regard to issues affecting the sport, including governance matters, domestic competition structures and national teams (in support of the National Teams Officer).

In addition, the President will serve as a Director on the BSUK Board.  The President will also become a Director of the BSF, but this does not carry additional workload.


Time commitment

Formal meeting attendance requirements are as follows (annually):

  • Monthly BSF Committee meetings (1.5 hours), plus preparation time.
  • Annual Face-to-Face BSF Committee meeting (1 weekend), plus preparation time
  • National Teams Face-to-Face meeting (up to 1 weekend/may attend in part).
  • AGM and League Heads Forum meeting (1 day), plus preparation time.
  • 6 x BSUK Board meetings (2 hours).
  • 4-6 BSUK Committee meetings (2 hours).
  • European Softball Federation (ESF) Congress (3 days)
  • World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Congress (every other year) (3 days).

Additional time is required in the following areas:

  • Preparation of budgets/accounts/affiliation fee schedule (with the Treasurer).
  • Website oversight.
  • Negotiation and oversight of Service Level Agreement (SLA) with BSUK
  • Review of Softball Calendar.
  • Input to National Championship discussions including NSL development, competition structure and dispensations.
  • Input to GB Management Committee and national team matters.
  • Contact with key people in international federations (ESF and WBSC).
  • Governance arrangements.
  • Safeguarding matters (optional, would ideally be a separate role).
  • Correspondence.


General job description

For the most part the BSF Committee operates informally and collaboratively.  There are almost never formal votes and decisions are reached by discussion and consensus.  Some of the work of the BSF is managed through smaller groups (sub-committees) of interested parties, but the President is usually involved.  To operate effectively, the President does need to stay abreast of most areas of BSF activity in order to lead discussions and to ensure that decisions are reached.  The President also needs to understand and input into the BSF’s intersection with BSUK and needs to be aware of the Federation’s responsibility to support both slowpitch and fastpitch.

Many of the day-to-day activities of the BSF are carried out by other members of the Committee.  Administration (agendas, minutes, correspondence etc) is carried out by the Administrator.  Payments and financial reporting is carried out by the Treasurer.  The organising of events and the tracking of membership is managed by the Competitions/Membership Officer and National Teams are managed by the National Teams Officer through the GB Management Committee.  The Coaching Officer focuses on coach development in conjunction with BSUK and the Technical Officer provides a link to BASU and is a resource on technical issues.  General Officers (there are currently three) can be assigned tasks or projects as circumstances require.

However, it should be noted that there has been limited turnover and a decreasing number of Committee members in recent years, which has impacted what the BSF can do and has required that everyone be prepared to step in where they can.  It has also meant that performing the role of President requires a reasonable amount of capacity, especially in the task of maintaining a good response rate to correspondence.

Going forward, the new President should focus on growing the Committee, thinking about succession and being proactive in ‘leading British Softball’.  The BSF is a committee of volunteers, except for a small stipend paid to an Administrator and a larger amount paid to maintain a Fastpitch Development Manager role, which is shared with BSUK.  In my view these paid roles are critical to the BSF maintaining a consistent, organised and professional outlook and service to members, and the BSF should aspire to creating more paid positions in order to become more effective.  Additionally, the new President should look to work closely with BaseballSoftballUK, both to understand the wider environment that we (the BSF) are part of and to identify ways that BSUK can most effectively provide support.

The role of BSF President can be both satisfying and rewarding.  There are really good people involved with organising and administering British softball on both a national and regional level, and much of the work that supports the sport is in their hands.  But to hold all this together and take the sport forward does require regular and consistent attention and direction on the part of the President.
 

Interested?

Anyone who might be considering putting their name forward for election as BSF President at the AGM in February 2021 should start by contacting Jenny Fromer or BSF Administrator Bob Fromer for an initial chat.

Officers are elected to the BSF Executive for two-year terms, and may serve a maximum of three terms.

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