Author: Andrew Craven

Home plate with a bat, balls and helmet.

Softball Ireland Return to Play Framework

Softball Ireland are fortunate to have two doctors on the Board, representing North and South of the border respectively, as our medical committee. Following the most recent public health advice from the HSE and the NI Executive, they have presented initial return to play timelines to the Board. Following receipt of feedback from the regions, the Board have approved these as our national framework. The committee will now consider detailed return to play protocols (including playing rules), while the Board works with the regions on challenges such as insurance costs, field availability and competition structure. 

1. Seek to reactivate Softball Ireland insurance as of 20th July 2020.

2. Teams may train from 20th July 2020 provided insurance is in place, no more than two teams are present at the diamond and the Softball Ireland return to play protocols are adhered to.

3. Games may commence from 1st August 2020 provided insurance is in place, no more than two teams are present at a diamond and the Softball Ireland return to play protocols are adhered to.

4. No tournaments will be sanctioned in 2020, including BWC, IOST, SINCC, and club/national tournaments at home or abroad.

5. Team captains must submit electronically a list of attendees at training or games, within 24 hours, in line with HSE contact tracing requirements, for 6-week retention.

6. SI will make a final decision on Softball Ulster activity after the NI Executive publishes timelines for their recently published roadmap.

Expected return to play timeline
Expected Softball Ireland Return to Play Timeline

This position is subject to change as further information is made available to the public by the HSE and NI Executive. Final decisions on when games will be played, competition structures and fees will be set by Softball Ireland and the regions, subject to this framework and the SI Return to Play Protocols (TBA) being adhered to. The Softball Ireland Return to Play Protocols will be issued no later than the 30th of June 2020. Any questions to secretary@softball.ie.

Softball Ireland Constitution Review

The Softball Ireland Board would like to take this opportunity to review our governance, including the constitution and regulations. We are setting up a working group for this purpose, but would also like invite thoughts from all members. Please see attached our current constitution (with the 2018 & 2019 AGM changes marked as tracked changes), our current regulations, the proposed changes from the 2019 AGM which were not progressed following the COVID-19 cancellation of the EGM, and a form to submit ideas. This consultation period will be open for three weeks until Sunday 7th June. The working group will propose changes to the constitution at the next EGM/AGM. We will also be taking the independent report shared at the AGM, and Sport Ireland guidelines, into consideration.

View the SI Constitution

View the SI Regulations

View the Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Download the Consultation Response Document

Send all completed responses to secretary@softball.ie by Sunday 7th June 2020.

New Softball Ireland website in 2020

Updated Softball Ireland Website

You may have noticed the Softball Ireland website undergoing a makeover over the last couple of weeks. The Softball Ireland Board are pleased to reveal the new-look website, which we hope you will find easier to navigate with improved content and features to help members and non-members alike.

New Softball Ireland website in 2020
New Softball Ireland website in 2020

Some of the updated website features include:

  • an improved and simplified navigation menu.
  • more prominence for the regional leagues in the navigation menu.
  • more visibility for all teams and clubs affiliated with Softball Ireland.
  • Areas for ‘Slow Pitch‘, ‘Fast Pitch‘, ‘Indoor‘, ‘Coaching‘ and ‘Umpiring‘, which will have up-to-date news and resources available.
  • An updated and simplified ‘Tournaments‘ area for the website.
  • Greater integration with our social media outlets: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Some of the new website features include:

  • A new ‘Find a Softball Club‘ area, to help new members find clubs.
  • A new ‘Resources‘ area, putting all SI documentation in one place.
  • A new ‘Softball Ireland Committees‘ area, updating the membership on what committees and working groups are meeting.
  • An event list in the side bar, showing all upcoming SI events.
  • A direct link to ‘Softball Ireland TV‘, our YouTube channel, on the home page.

To improve the website experience for new and existing members, Softball Ireland would like to include photos and content from all teams in Ireland. If you have any interesting photographs that could be used, or any burning suggestions for content, then feel free to email webmaster@softball.ie and these will be considered for inclusion.

COVID-19 Update from Softball Ireland

The Softball Ireland Medical Committee is currently assessing the recently published HSE guidelines on the phased reopening of Ireland and the impact this will have on our sport. As Softball is an all-island sport, the proposed return-to-play roadmap will require finalisation following discussion of the UK Government’s planned announcement this weekend.

We are aware of our members’ eagerness to open the season as soon as possible, but we must balance that with the safety of everyone on the field. Consideration is being given to the most up-to-date medical evidence, the best practices of other national Softball Federations and the ever-evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic.

Softball Ireland’s proposed return-to-play roadmap will be reviewed by the Softball Ireland Board at its May 14th Board Meeting and announced on May 15th.

Website Maintenance

Please excuse us here at Softball Ireland as we make the most of a bad situation and take some time to upgrade and update our website. You may have noticed some changes already taking place, with more changes to come in the near future. Some links may be broken, or content missing, but we will have this back shortly.

In the mean time, if you want your fill of Irish softball, can we direct you to our new YouTube channel, Softball Ireland TV, where you can watch classic league and tournament games from across the Softball Ireland network.

Softball Ireland TV

To get you started (because I can), here are the Smokin’ Aces playing the Sliders in Belfast in Summer 2019.