Month: January 2020

2020 Tournament Calendar

Softball Ireland have published the provisional 2020 tournament calendar on its website.

The calender currently outlines the 2020 Softball Ireland, Softball Leinster and Softball Ulster calendar of events. Any clubs wishing to host a tournament during 2020 will shortly receive a link with an application form for tournament approval.

The calender will be updated throughout the season as additional club tournaments are announced and the Softball Leinster dates are confirmed.

Softball Ireland 2020 Tournament Schedule

Baden Sports

Softball Ireland Announce Baden as Official Slowpitch Ball Partner

Baden Sports
Baden Sports

Softball Ireland have announced Baden as the official Softball Ireland slowpitch ball partner. The partnership will see Baden Balls made available to Softball Ireland clubs at a promotional cost and will be the official ball for the Brian Walshe Cup, Irish Open Softball Tournament and the National Club Championship game. In addition, the ball will be used by the Slowpitch National Teams in their preparations for international tournaments.

From 2021 onwards the Baden Ball will be used for all Softball Ireland sanctioned slowpitch Leagues and tournaments and this ball will carry the Softball Ireland logo alongside the Baden logo on the balls, as part of the agreement.

Speaking on the announcement, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Ransome Sporting Goods to supply Baden Balls to Softball Ireland and our clubs. Baden’s balls are of the highest quality and have been used in UK and European tournaments for the last number of years. We are confident that the partnership will benefit our members by making high quality balls available to them at a promotional cost. We look forward to working with Ransome Sporting Goods in the coming months and years.”

Alan Ransome, managing director of Ransome Sporting Goods commented ‘We are pleased to support Softball Ireland with the supply of Baden Softballs to teams and players throughout Ireland from 2020 onwards.  We pride ourselves on offering the best products with the best value and we look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with Softball Ireland for many years to come.’

Click Here to order your team balls for the 2020 Season 

In addition to softball’s Ransome Sporting Goods provided a range of other Softball and Baseball equipment, full details of which are available on their website.

SI Adopts Safegaurding Policies – Immediate Effect

The independent panel report issued on Janaury 29, 2020 identified that Softball Ireland’s existing Underage Player Guidelines needed to be amended and appropriate safegaurding policies put in place.

Softball Ireland is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members. Every person associated with the organisation should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of others and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the organisation and supports the guidelines contained in the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport. Softball Ireland’s first priority is the welfare of its members, especially young people.

Softball Ireland are committed to providing an environment that will allow players and participants to perform to the best of their ability, free from bullying, intimidation, harassment or abuse.

The Softball Ireland Board having noted the recommendation of the indpendent panel agreed that with effect from Janaury 28, 2020 that Softball Ireland will adopt the current Baseball Ireland policy as a transitional arrangement to allow a Softball Ireland specific policy to be drafted. The Softball Ireland, Board, Regional Associations, National Teams and all members (teams and individuals) are bound by the Softball Ireland Code Of Ethics & Good Practice For Children’s Sport as adopted by the Board on January 28, 2020.

The additional existing playing requirement for under 18 slowpitch players playing adult softball as set out in the Underage Player Guidelines remain in force.

Softball Ireland Board member Amanda Ní Ghabhann has agreed to draft the Softball Ireland specific policy and has a vast experience in this area from her time with Swim Ireland. 

Access the Code Of Ethics & Good Practice For Children’s Sport

Softball Ireland Underage Player Guidelines

Report of Independent Panel

The Independent Panel, appointed to review the 2018 Men’s Slowpitch National Team accounts, and the subsequent behaviour of the Team Manager and the Softball Ireland (SI) Board, has issued its final report which is available here.

The SI Board welcomes the findings of the report, and accepts that internal controls were not effective enough to identify and address this mismanagement of funds. The Board acted promptly to revoke the suspension of Jonathan Spielberg on the advice of the panel, and has already begun to progress the recommendations.

Softball Ireland wish to thank the Independent Panel, Jonathan Spielberg, Anthony O’Grady and the Board for fully engaging in an open, transparent and constructive manner.

Click Here to Download Independent Panel Report

Slowpitch National Team – Expression of Interest

Expressions of interest are sought from Irish eligible players who wish to be considered for the Slowpitch National Teams in 2020

Ireland will participate in two tournaments in the summer of 2020. The Men’s Slowptich European Championships will be held in the summer of 2020, most likely June, on the continent. The exact dates will be confirmed at the ESF Congress on February 8, 2020. The annual BSF World Series in London will be held at a new venue in 2020. The date for the tournament has yet to be confirmed but will most likely be the end of August/September time frame – Ireland will enter a Coed Slowpitch National Team in this tournament.  Players who are interested in representing Ireland at either of the 2020 tournaments are invited to complete the below survey which will be provided to the newly appointed Director of Slowpitch National Teams and Coaches. Please click the below link to register your interst to prepresent Ireland in 2020, players should complete the form by February 21, 2020 at which point trial dates will be announced. 

Register Expression of Interest to Represent National Slowpitch National Teams

Director of Slowpitch National Teams Position

Softball Ireland are seeking applications for the voluntary position of Director of Slowpitch National Teams. 

The newly created position will report directly to the Softball Ireland board and provide oversight for all Slowpitch National Teams operations including, but not limited to, programme finances, personnel (hiring, evaluations) and programme operations, team logistics (scheduling, programme needs). The Director will oversee, coordinate and evaluate all coaches and players and is responsible for overall team operations, while reporting directly to the Board of Softball Ireland. The Head Coaches of the programme will report directly to the Director of Slowpitch National Teams.

The job specification for the position is available below and candidates are requested to submit a cover letter and curriculum vitate to the Softball Ireland Secretary, Conor Sayles (secretary@softball.ie) by 5pm on Friday February 14, 2020.

Click Here To Download Director of Slowpitch National Teams Job Specification.

ALSAA

Annual General Meeting – Feb. 15, 2020

The reconvned Annual General Meeting of Softball Ireland will be held in ALSAA on Saturday February 15, 2020 at 12 noon. The documentation for the Annual General Meeting, previously circulate in November 2019 is reposted for members information. There has been no changes to the documents previously circulated which may be viewed by clicking here.

Annual General Meeting Documentation

To Softball Ireland Membership

Acting in accordance with the Constitution, the 2019 Annual General Meeting Pack is attached as follows (please click links for papers):

Board Meeting Summary of Decisions & Actions

The Softball Ireland Board held its latest meeting on the evening of Monday January 13, 2020

Attendees:

Colum Lavery (President), Conor Sayles (Secretary), Massimo Lepri (Treasurer)

Reginald Clark (Softball Ulster), Amanda Ní Ghabhann (Softball Leinster)

Declan Carty (Ordinary Member), Andrew Craven (Ordinary Member), Jordan Sylver (Ordinary Member)

Apologies:

Melanie Cunningham (Fastpitch Ireland),

The below is a list of key decisions/actions of the Board taken at its Monday January 13, 2020 meeting

Confirmation of Decisions & Actions Since Last Meeting

  1. The Board confirmed and ratified its decision to further postpone the Annual General Meeting to February 15, 2020 and the Extraordinary General Meeting to February 15, 2020. The Board noted that the decision to postpone was based on the recommendation of the independent panel and noted that the final report of the panel would be available before the end of January 2020.

Softball Ireland Umpires Working Group Report

The Board recalled that in response to growing concerns at the quality and quantity of umpires in the regions, the outgoing Softball Ireland setup a working group in September 2019 chaired by the Softball Ireland Secretary to assess the current state of play and recommend actions to move forward. The board noted the detailed report and recommendations and APPROVED the implementation of the reports recommendations in 2020. The Board further APPROVED that the report and recommendations would be circulated to the Softball Ireland Members. The full report can be viewed by clicking here.

Regional Association Reports

  1. Softball Leinster
    • Update noted
    • Recruitment event to be held in March 2020 – date TBC
    • SL SINCC proposal at AGM to be revisited
  2. Softball Ulster
    • Update noted
    • SU Dates noted
  3. Fastpitch Ireland
    • Report noted
    • Day 3 of Fastpitch League to be held on February 1, 2020
    • International Tournament dates noted

National Slowpitch Team Director Role

The Board had previously agreed to create the position of National Slowpitch Team Director (title may change) to lead all Slowpitch Natioal team programmes. The final draft of the job specification was presented to the board for review and comment. The Board agreed that final comments would be submitted to Colum and the final job specification would be reviewed and circulated to members before the end of January.

International Tournaments

The Board noted that currently no hosts for the Men’s Slowptich European Championships in June or Clubs Super Cup in August had been confirmed. Colum on behalf of Softball Ireland was working closely with the ESF to ensure that these tournaments were progressing and that relevant parties were being kept appraised of the situation.

Softball Ireland Umpires Working Group Report

In response to growing concerns at the quality and quantity of umpires in the regions, Softball Ireland setup a working group in September 2019 chaired by the Softball Ireland Secretary to assess the current state of play and recommend actions to move forward.

The Working Group members consisted of the respective Regional Umpiring Chiefs, current and formed ESF umpires and active umpires from the regions. The Working group consisted of the following members:

  • Conor Sayles (Chair)
  • Maarten Blanken (SU)
  • Niall Byrne (SL)
  • Sean Gottschalk (SU)
  • Derek Harnett (SL)
  • Paul Peake (SL)
  • Phil Wallace (SU)
  • Colum Lavery (SI President)

Speaking on the report, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “Umpiring is a major challenge facing Softball Ireland, especially in the Leinster Region at this time. Softball Ireland formed this group to hopefully assist the efforts of the Regional Boards in addressing the challenges they are facing. I wish to thank the Working Group members for their honest, constructive and expert input and recommendations. The Working Group meetings highlighted the depth of experience that still exists in our sport and the enthusiasm to make real progress.”

The attached report is the outcome and will be progressed in 2020. Please contact secretary@softball.ie with any queries.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD REPORT & RECOMMENDATIONS

Ireland Team Entries for 2020 Confirmed

Softball Ireland have confirmed the National Team Entries for 2020 Season

Men’s Slowpitch National Team

The second Men’s Slowpith European Championships is scheduled to be held in 2020. To date, no host or date for the tournament has been confirmed and Softball Ireland have requested a meeting with the ESF at the 2020 congress to discuss its concerns that there is a possibility there will be no European Club or International Softball tournaments in Europe in the 2020 season.

Ireland have entered the Men’s National Team in the tournament and the full list of entered teams for the tournament can be seen here.

Super Cup Entries Confirmed

16 Teams Confirmed for Slowpitch Super Cup

Softball Europe have confirmed that 16 Clubs in total have entered the COED European Slowpitch Super Cup for 2020. The tournament is due to be held in August 2020, however at this juncture in time no Federation has put itself forward as a potential host.

It is hoped that more details on the tournament will be provided at the Softball Europe congress in February 2020 so that Dodder Dynamoes and Belfast Brawlers, the two clubs representing Ireland at the tournament, can plan well in advance for the tournament. 

More details on the tournament and previous winners may be found at europeansoftball.org/cspesc/ including details of Dodders famous win in 2009.

Confirmed Tournament Entries

A1Pioneers*GBR
A2Bandits & Witches LinzAUT
A3Chucks SoftballAUT
A4AfterburnersBEL
A5Mortsel SkywalkersBEL
A6Akademics SofiaBUL
A7DNAceCZE
A8Sparks Mladé BukyCZE
A9Mannheim TornadosGER
A10UCE TravelersGER
A11London ChromiesGBR
A12Windsor KnightsGBR
A13Belfast BrawlersIRL
A14Dodder DynamoesIRL
A15Tex Town TigersNED
A16LokomotivaSRB