Category: Coaching

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


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.

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 ( by 5pm on Friday February 14, 2020.

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

Major League Baseball Logo

Irish Coach to attend MLB Coach Development Programme

Jonathan Spielberg to attend MLB Coaches Camp

Softball Ireland are delighted to announce that Jonathan Spielberg will attend the MLB Coaches Development Programme in London on May 25/26, 2019.

The MLB camp is part of the legacy programme being ran by MLB in advance of the RedSox v Yankees London Series in June.

Jonathan is currently an assistant coach on the Slowpitch National Co-ed team that will travel to Hungary for the European Championships in July and was Head Coach of the Mens National Team in 2018.

Speaking on the invitation, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said, ” We would like to thank BSUK for the invitation to send coaches to the programme, we are delighted that Jonathan is attending and are delighted we can fund it through a development grant.”

Fun Indoor Skills Day

Great Turnout for Indoor Coaching Session

After a successful skills day and Dublin Indoor Softball Tournament … no better plan that to run both together. With another excellent turn out in Firhouse today, the attending Players were put through their paces by Women’s National Team Head Coach Melanie Cunningham and her coaching team focusing on footwork, throwing fundementals and batting basics.

The day finished with a greatly contested 4 inning indoor game we suspect there will be some sore bodies in the morning but fun had by all.

Next Softball Skills Session: January 13, 2018

Next Indoor Softball Tournament: January 26, 2018

European Softball Coaches Association

The European Softball Federation have asked that we share details of the European Softball Coaches Association, an international instructional training camp for players and coaches from all over Europe. The camp will be held in October 2018.

Launched in 2017 with great success, the training camp is open to Players and Coaches.

ESCA Training Camp 2018

Dates for coaches
October 23 – 28 (Tuesday – Sunday)
To make sure that the Training Camp runs smoothly and the coaches get the most out of it, their Camp will begin one day earlier.

Dates for players
October 24 – 28 (Wednesday – Sunday)

De Nieuwe Erf , Diessen, The Netherlands 2018

ESCA Training Camp fee
Coach (newcomer) – 325 euro
Coach (returning) – 275 euro
Player (newcomer) – 385 euro
Player (returning) – 335 euro

Further details and the registration form are available by clicking here

Home plate with a bat, balls and helmet.

Ashley Carter Appointed as WNT Assistant Coach

Softball Ireland is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashley Carter as a new assistant coach for the Women’s National Fastpitch team ahead of the World Championships in Surrey, Canada .

Ashley Carter is currently in her second season as assistant coach with Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania who play in the PSAC. In her first year as an assistant, Carter assisted Slippery Rock to tie for second in the PSAC in stolen bases with 59, whilst developing patience at the plate with the Rock batters ranking first in the PSAC with only 145 strikeouts. 2016 has seen even greater success with the Rock qualifying for the PSAC Championship finals starting on April 27.

Before coaching, Carter had a distinguished playing career with Division 1 College Cal State Fullerton. Carter finished her college career as the Titans fourth highest leader in all-time triples (9) and eighth in fielding percentage (.988). She was selected to the First-Team All-Big West Conference in 2012 as an outfielder after recording team-highs in hits, batting average, runs scored and extra base hits.

After a distinguished College career, Carter played professionally for the Pennsylvania Rebellion in the National Pro Fastpitch League. Carter further had a short career in Mexico for Team Ruthless with former USA Olympian Crystl Bustos before entering coaching.

Carter will join Team Ireland Head Coach Melanie Lavery and Assistant Coach Sean Mitchell is preparing the Irish team for the World Championships in July.

Speaking of the appointment, Softball Ireland’s President Colum Lavery said

“We are delighted that Ashley agreed to become part of the programme.” “Ashley will bring a wealth of knowledge both from her playing experience at the top level and through her coaching experience with Slippery Rock University” added Lavery.

“Ashley’s appointment will add great support to our already excellent coaching team”. “We hope this appointment shows our commitment to growing the game of Fastpitch softball in Ireland, not just at the elite level but also at the grass roots level by appointing high calibre coaches to our programme” added Lavery.

The Softball Ireland Women’s National Team coaching team are all volunteers, who give up a lot of time to help grow the sport, and we at Softball Ireland are very grateful to them and the team management

As part of her Coaching role, Carter has agreed to act as a scout on behalf of Softball Ireland to identify the next generation of International Players.

Slowpitch Squad Head Coach Sought

Softball Ireland have opened applications for the Slowpitch National Team Head Coach, details of the application process are outlined below.

Slowpitch Head Coach – JOB DESCRIPTION

January 31, 2015

Softball Ireland encompasses both Slowpitch and Fastpitch Softball teams that compete in European and world competitions. Softball Ireland is responsible for administrating the game of softball throughout the Island of Ireland.

The Co-ed Slowpitch Head Coach is a key position within Softball Ireland reporting to the High Performance Commission and the Softball Ireland Board. The Co-ed Slowpitch Head coach will focus on the training and selection of the Slowpitch National Team to compete at the 2015 European Championships and 2015 World Series.


To select and manage an Ireland International Slowpitch Softball team to compete at the 2015 European Championships and 2015 World Series. The objective of the programme is for Ireland to win a medal at the 2015 European Championships. The Slowpitch Head Coach will have a focus on performance and key responsibilities will be:

  • Organisation of Trials, Selection Camps and all pre-tournament training sessions
  • Directing all elements of the Slowpitch programme to provide the highest possible quality experience for all Players
  • Clear and timely communication
  • Clear and defined transparent programme
  • Organisation of all Team travel logistics in a costly manner
  • Timely completion of reports to Softball Ireland
  • Ensures the programme is run to schedule and budget
  • Work closely with the Director of Fastpitch to ensure a consistent coaching approach

The ideal candidate’s will have the following skills and experience:

  • Meticulous planning and organising/attention to detail
  • Outstanding communication skills and manner
  • Team player and ability to work effectively with and alongside others
  • The ability to mentor new and existing players
  • Previous Softball Coaching experience (travel teams an asset)

Key Skills and attributes

  • Excellent coaching and leadership skills
  • Innovative and self-motivated individual able to work effectively on their own or as part of a team
  • Excellent communication skills and confident in dealing with internal and external parties in appropriate manner
  • Excellent Project Management and Organisational skills with a strong attention to detail and clerical accuracy

Application to Include

  • List of Assistant coaches and roles
  • Dedicated administrator

Applicants should note that this role is being offered on a 9 month fixed term basis.

 How to Apply:

Interested applicants should forward your Curriculum Vitae (in confidence), proposed programme and a covering letter supporting your application to Paddy Donnelly at

Closing date for receipt of applications is 1700 on Friday February 13, 2015