BSUK building fastpitch in the North West

Mon 1 Feb 2016

BaseballSoftballUK is setting out to re-ignite fastpitch softball in the North of England with a series of indoor sessions that will run through March, after which a team will be formed to play in the Great Britain Fastpitch League (GBFL) this summer.

That was then….

Fastpitch softball has been played in the UK since the 1970s, and teams in the North of England, particularly on Merseyside, were plentiful in the 1980s, with female teams based in Southport, Skelmersdale, Litherland and Bootle.

These teams were made up largely of teenage girls from the area, with some experienced older players, and the Southport Redsox travelled regularly to European club competitions in the early 1990s.

But in 1994 the last of these teams, the Skelmersdale Jets, folded, and since then fastpitch teams have been hard to find in the North. 

This is now….

However, BSUK is constantly looking for ways grow our sports, and North West Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas wants to revive the glory days of fastpitch in the North by starting a new fastpitch community.

In December 2015, Luis put this post on Facebook:

Fastpitch is coming to the North!  We are aiming at entering a mixed team in the Great Britain Fastpitch League, which is played over five Saturdays in the summer at Farnham Park.  We will start Saturday 16 January with a pitching and catching session at the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Soccerdome at 12 noon.  We want to teach people how to pitch and catch, then we can move to the fielding positions and batting, which is similar to slowpitch and baseball.  Please let me know if you are interested in playing/coaching/organising.

The post provoked a lot of interest, with both baseball and slowpitch players coming forward, keen to play alongside ex-fastpitch players who could offer their experience as coaches.

First session

The first session was held on 16 January and focused on pitching and catching. Ex-GB Women’s Team player Amy Tanner led a clinic on catching, while Rachel Khoo from Singapore broke down the basics of pitching.  Twenty-five budding fastpitchers pitchers windmilled their way through the session, with great potential shown by many.

Fastpitch sessions will continue on a fortnightly basis at Urmston Grammar School, Moorside Road, M41 5UU, at 12.00 pm on the following Saturdays (please use the back entrance):

6 February
20 February
5 March
19 March

The map below shows how to get to the venue:

Manchester in the GBFL

Meanwhile, the search is currently on for a Team Manager, preferably someone with fastpitch experience, to help organise the Manchester team that will play in the Great Britain Fastpitch League this summer.  The league will play on Saturdays at Farnham Park on 30 April, 7 May, 21 May and 4 June, with a date for a Finals Weekend still being considered.

The GBFL schedule is set up to avoid conflicting with major slowpitch tournaments or with BBF baseball.

If you would like to get involved in the Manchester team, or know someone who could bring leadership skills and a knowledge and passion for fastpitch, contact Luis Arrevillagas on:

You can follow the Manchester Fastpitch initiative through Facebook:

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