Author: Colum Lavery

Softball Ireland Injury Policy Launched

As teams begin to return to training and tournaments and leagues on the horizon, Softball Ireland have today issued the “Softball Ireland Injury Policy”.

The policy has been developed by the Softball Ireland Medical Committee (Dr. Andrew Craven and Dr. Melanie Cunningham).

Softball Ireland (SI) takes the health and safety of its members seriously, especially in the case of head injury or in the event of a player becoming unconscious during a game or training session. This policy has been developed to assist the regional associations, national teams, clubs, and players promote good practice regarding general safety and injury to players, with a specific focus on head injuries.

SI expects all regional associations, national teams, clubs, and players to follow this policy and the guidance contained within it in full.

We would encourage all teams, tournament organisers and Regional Boards to become familiar with the document and implement it as appropriate. 

The “Softball Ireland Injury Policy” is available under the resources section of the Softball Ireland website (www.softball.ie) and throught the following link – http://www.softball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Softball-Ireland-Injury-Policy-2021-v1.0.pdf 

For further information, or clarification on any aspects of this policy, the medical committee can be contacted by emailing: medical@softball.ie.

Brian Walshe Cup 2022 – Registration Open

The 2022 Brian Walshe Cup will be held on Saturday April 23, 2022 in ALSAA, Dublin. The 2022 BWC will be the first tournament hosted by Softball Ireland post COVID restrictions and we are looking forward to returning to normal with a big turnout in 2022!

Team entry cost is €175 with registration closing on Friday 15th April at 5pm. Game Balls will be provided by Softball Ireland on the day.

IWD: Leadership in Sport – Softball Leinster

For International Women’s Day 2022, Softball Ireland wish to highlight the female leaders in our sport who continiously help us govern, grow and develop softball in Ireland

Gillian Sinnamon

This is my first year on the Softball Leinster Committee, although I was on the Softball Ireland Committee a few years ago (Ok quite a few years). I started playing softball through an ex-boyfriend, his team were short a girl so I filled in and I’m still playing over 25 years later.

I’ve only played for 2 teams, 24 years with Beachers and a couple of seasons ago I joined the Titans.

During the day, I’m the accounts payable executive for Oxendales Ireland, which I love, no two days are the same.

Over the years I met some amazing people and made so many great friends through Softball, its my little escape on a Wednesday evening.

I’ve volunteered my time to the committee because after all these years I think its time to give back to the sport I love that has given me so much over the years. My ultimate goal on the committee is to help grow the sport and make it more visible.

Lisa Brady

Lisa Brady – Finance Business Partner
Playing Softball for Usual Suspects since 2017.

Am an absolute Softball Nut love it so much. It’s a sport that’s so inclusive easy going and there is such a wonderful collection of people in it.

I joined the Committee to try and give something back to a sport that has given me so much. Every little helps as they say. Want to inject some fun and development into the Sport and I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t play it

Heather Foust – Usual Suspects

I started playing softball at age 10 back home in Texas and joined softball in Ireland in 2019 playing with the Suspects.

To pay the bills, I am a Manager in the Financial Services Advisory department at Grant Thornton. My main focus is internal audit and AML so you could say I’d be fit to ensure the accounts at SL are appropriately managed. Over the last couple of years I’ve met and made lots of friends through softball and built a real family with the Suspects.

I truly enjoy playing the game and have always wanted to help build the sport across the country. It’s great to be part of something bigger and hope that by being a member of the committee I can assist in achieving great things. Impatiently waiting for a full season!

IWD: Leadership in Softball – Gillian Fitzpatrick

For International Women’s Day 2022, Softball Ireland wish to highlight the female leaders in our sport who continiously help us govern, grow and develop softball in Ireland.

Gillian Fitzpatrick, Board Member, Softball Ireland

I’m still relatively new to the game – but this is my second year on the board of Softball Ireland. I like to think I add a bit of an outsider’s perspective! It’s important that we build and nurture a strong board, and for me that means drawing on different experiences, backgrounds, and areas of expertise.

I founded my own advertising and marketing company, Bolter Media, last year and currently act as its MD. I work with start- and scale-up brands who have put significant blood, sweat, and tears into developing their products and services – and then struggle to know how they’re going to acquire their customers. That’s when I come in.

If you’re looking to make a splash with a new brand, I always recommend the following: streamline your messaging, develop brilliant social media platforms, be confident, and don’t panic. That last one is really important!

Playing softball offers me a nice bit of respite from the madness of running my own business. It’s competitive but it’s also an accessible sport – you don’t need to have played before and or be typically ‘sporty’ to get going. And this year, after two years of Covid-19 disruption, we’re hopefully now going into a more normal season. I can’t wait!

IWD: Leadership in Softball – Jacinta Kelly

For International Women’s Day 2022, Softball Ireland wish to highlight the female leaders in our sport who continiously help us govern, grow and develop softball in Ireland.

Jacinta Kelly, Treasurer Galway Softball

Playing softball since 2005 with the Galway Tribes. Started playing through people from work as they were short of girls and asked me to give it a try. I always like trying new things so I gave it a go and I’m still playing.

In my day job I’m the VP of Finance for a travel technology company, OpenJaw Technologies Limited. I’m a Chartered Accountant so probably inevitable that you’ll be asked to be treasurer at some point. Over the years I’ve met and made lots of friends through softball of all ages and nationalities, it really is an inclusive sport. We’ve had players from 16 to 70 play with us.

It’s also nice to give something back to the club by being part of the committee. I’d encourage anyone to give it a try.

Ireland Mens/Co-Ed Slowpitch National Team Trials Confirmed

Ireland will participate in the Mens Slowpitch European Championships in Colorno, Italy from June 14 – June 18, 2022 and the Co-Ed Slowpitch European Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia from July 12 – July 16, 2022, the first time either Championship will be held since the beginning of the pandemic.

Senan Dormer, Slowpitch National Team Head Coach, has confirmed that trials for the Mens and Co-Ed national teams will be held on March 5, 2022 and March 26, 2022 at Castleknock College from 1100am – 1400pm each day.

To offset the costs of renting the grounds for the trials, players will be asked to contribute €5 p/p on the day.

Male players will also be asked to indicate if they wish to be considered for both the Mens/Co-Ed European Championships or wish only to be considered for one tournament.

Players wishing to register their interest in advance of the trials or have any queries on the programme should email Senan Dormer: Senan_dormer@yahoo.co.uk

Softball Ireland looking forward to supporting Senan, his coaching team and the players challenging for European gold in 2022.

*Note: A player wishing to represent Ireland at European Championships needs to be in possession of a physical Irish passport AND be able to present it to officials at the European Tournaments.

Winter HitTrax Slowpitch League

Softball Ireland in conjuction with Softball Leinster are delighted to launch the inaugral Winter HitTrax Slowpitch League which will be played weekly in Strike Zone from February 1, 2022.

The season will consist of 6 teams playing 1 hour double headers over the course of six weeks at the Strikezone complex. There are No restrictions on roster, field as many players as you want in the line-up, however, the league is co-ed, so there will be a minimum number of female players and a player may only be registered on one roster (no borrowing).

Registration is based on first come, first served basis and teams may be registered here – https://www.klubfunder.com/Clubs/Baseball_Ireland/TicketSales

The cost of the six week event is €180 per team (covers the cost of rental).

About HitTrax
Strike Zone, Baseball Irelands indoor training facility, has recently added a HiTtrax unit. HitTrax accurately measures the speed and trajectory of the hit ball while calculating the realistic outcome.

Softball Ireland Launches Slow Pitch Softball Development Plan

Softball Ireland has today launched the Slow Pitch Softball Development Plan 2022-2026.

The Development Plan will be the key policy document that sets out the overall strategy for the sustainable development and growth of Slow Pitch Softball in Ireland for the period 2022-2026 and beyond.

The Plan clearly sets out Softball Ireland’s vision for the sport going forward and will include toolkits designed to provide practical support to Teams and Regional Associations to recruit, develop and retain players in slow pitch Softball.

Commenting on the release of the Plan, President of Softball Ireland, Colum Lavery commented; “The launch of the Slowpitch Development Plan is both an exciting and defining moment for our sport. As we move into a post pandemic world, Softball Ireland has set itself the target that by 2026, Slow Pitch Softball will be a co-ed sport of choice in Ireland providing social, recreational, and high-performance sporting opportunities throughout all provinces and communities.

Colum Lavery added that “Sport relies on strong governance, leaders and decision makers to create a pathway and to develop an environment in which Teams and Regional Associations can grow our sport. Softball in Ireland will rely on the leaders in ours Teams and Regional Associations to drive change in their organisations to ensure we get better governance, better coaching and better development pathways to support the growth and effectiveness of this plan. Sodtball Ireland are already starting the work to implement the Slowpitch Development Plan but if we’re to truly see a step change in the growth and retention of Softball Teams and Players across the sport, then the implementation of the content of this Development Plan is central to that.”

Softball Ireland will now commence the process of co-ordinating with Regional Associations to implement the plan. The plan is available on the Softball Ireland website at the below link:

Softball Ireland Slowpitch Development Plan 2022 – 2026

Acknowledgements

Softball Ireland would like to thank the members of the Development Plan Working Group; Andrew Craven (Chair), Will Gilpin, Vinny McGrane and Amanda Ní Ghabhann for their time and dedication in developing the plan.

Softball Ireland further wish to thank the Development Vision Working Group; Ruth Brady, Declan Carty, Jay Slevin, Eoin Wood, and our external facilitators Katie Sadleir and Myra McGlynn, for creating the vision and principles that underpin the Plan.

Massimo Lepri RIP

With great sadness, Softball Ireland wish to share with our membership that our dear friend Massimo Lepri, Softball Ireland Treasurer, Umpire and co-founder of Wicklow Wolves Softball Club, passed away this morning surrounded by his family after a long and valiant battle with illness.

Massimo will be sorely missed by all of us who have had the pleasure to know him.

The thoughts of the Softball Ireland Board are with Massimo’s wife Louise and son Sean at this time.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Inclusivity is an important part of the Softball Ireland ethos.

Registration for IOST – Open

The previously postponed IOST has been reorganised as a one day event to be held in ALSAA on Saturday September 18, 2021.

Team entry cost is €150 and teams are advised to register as early as possible with registration closing Monday 13th September at 5pm.

Click Here to Register for IOST


Please note any registration for the original date of 21st of August does not carry over to this tournament, you will need to re-register.

Umpires & Game Balls for the tournament will be provided by Softball Ireland.

COVID guidelines are still in place and the latest Return to Play Protocol (RTPP) can be found here:
http://www.softball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/si-rtpp-v3.2.pdf

Teams from Northern Ireland may now travel to the Republic of Ireland for games provided they follow the additional medical advice on page 2 of the RTPP.

All games at the IOST will be streamed live.

If you have any questions please email tournaments@softball.ie

2021 IOST Cancelled – 1 Day replacement tournament to be held

It is with great regret that the Softball Ireland Board, on the recommendation of the Softball Ireland Medical Committee, have agreed to cancel the 2021 IOST Tournament due to be held in Limerick in August 2021.

The decision to cancel the tournament was not a decision taken lightly by the Board. However, the Board believe that the onerous health requirments to host the tournament coupled with lack of social activities would result in the tournament not replicating the high standards set in 2019.

We are delighted to announce that Softball Ireland will host a 1 day tournament on August 21, 2021 in place of the IOST Weekend – details on the August 21 event to be announced in the coming days.

Senan Dormer Appointed Slowpitch National Teams Head Coach

Softball Ireland are delighted to confirm the reappointment of Senan Dormer as the Irish Coed Slowpitch and Men’s Slowpitch National Teams Head Coach.

Senan was originally appointed to the role of Coed Slowpitch National Team Coach in 2015 leading national teams to 2 bronze medals during his tenure to date. Senan has been appointed until December 2023 which will include three European Championships and potentially the inaugural Coed Slowpitch World Cup.

I addition to Senan’s appointment, the Softball Ireland Board also confirmed the appointment of Karen Brady, Peter Mullen and Eoin Coonan as programme assistant coaches.

Senan Dormer said “I am delighted to be reappointed as head coach of the Irish Slowpitch National teams. I look forward to the challenges ahead. I have a coaching team of Karen Brady, Peter Mullen and Eoin Coonan. I look forward to bringing more silverware to Ireland and trying to qualify for the inaugural Slowpitch Softball World Cup.”

Speaking on Senan’s appointment, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “Together with the Board we are delighted to reappoint Senan to the role. Senan has a proved track record at European Championships since 2015 and we are confident he will take the programme forward”. Lavery added “We are entering a challenging period post COVID for national teams and Senan and his coaching team have vast international slowpitch softball experience on and off the field and we are confident that they will bring through the next generation of players at the international level.”

Subject to the approval of the Softball Ireland medical committee, the Coed Slowpitch National Team is scheduled to play in the World Series in London during September 2021.

Softball Ireland have confirmed that the position of Director of Slowpitch National Team remains vacant and will be readvertised shortly.