Category: News

COVID-19 Restrictions Update (Dublin County – Level 3)

Further to the announcement of the Government (Irish Republic), Dublin County has been moved to Level 3 under the framework for Restrictive Measures.

What does this mean for Softball in Dublin?

With effect from September 19, 2020, to such time as the Government changes the Level applied to Dublin County, no softball matches/friendlies/pick-up games may be played in the County of Dublin. Please note, should any Club arrange/play a match/friendy/pick-up game during this period the participating teams will not be insured.

Can our Club still practice in Dublin?

Level 3 permits for non contact training only in pods of up to 15 for this period. For softball, the Medical Committee has defined a Club as a Pod.

With effect from September 19, 2020 to such time as the Government changes the Level applied to Dublin County, Dublin based Clubs may host outdoor practice to a maximum of 15 attendees who must be Club members only (non-club members may not be invited to practice sessions). All practices must be conducted in accordance with the Softball Ireland Return to Play Protocol.

What about Clubs outside of Dublin County?

For all other Clubs (Irish Republic) outside the County of Dublin, matches and training may be held in accordance with the current Government advice and Softball Ireland Return to Play Protocol.

For Clubs based in Northern Ireland, Softball is permitted if the conditions set out by the Northern Ireland Executive are met

We would ask all our memebers to continue to follow the Softball Ireland Return to Play Protocol and respect the restrictions put in place by the respective Governments.

All the latest information for Softball Ireland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and return to play are available here.

Softball Leinster Return to Play Confirmed

The Softball Ireland Medical Committee has confirmed that Softball Leinster teams may return to training with effect from August 23, 2020 in groups of no more than 15 in accordance with the recently released government guidelines.

The Softball Leinster League will return on August 24, 2020 and teams are encouraged to review the Softball Ireland Return To Play Protocol which is available here. All training and games must be held in compliance with the Softball Ireland protocol.

Spectators

In accordance with the Government Guidelines, spectators are not permitted to attend games or training sessions before September 13, 2020 (this restriction includes player family members or non-rostered players).

Softball Ireland will issue updated guidelines and processes should a player receive a positive test within the next 24 hours.

Slowpitch Umpiring Course – Module 1

The third and final part of Module 1 of the Softball Ireland Slowpitch umpiring course which covered “Basics of Game Management Part 2” was held on August 20, 2020.

If you have missed any of the three session from Module 1, not to worry, they have all been uploaded to the Softball Ireland Youtube TV Channel and can be located in the Coaching section using the below link. The videos can also be accessed via the Softball Ireland homepage. Softball Ireland TV Link

The Module 1 presentations and link to Module 1 on-line exam will be availble in the Umpiring section of the website shortly.

Softball Ireland would like to thank Massimo Lepri and Paul Peake for developing the Module 1 course and presenting it over the last number of weeks.

Statement from Hippetys Softball Club

Please see the below statement issued on behalf of the Hippetys Softball Club

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the player who contracted COVID-19 is doing well and showing no symptoms. The player’s family is also doing well. We would like to thank all the teams and players for taking this news with grace and respect.

The Club would like to assure Softball Ireland members that the contact with COVID-19 does not seem to have come from playing softball or softball related activities. The player, who showed no symptoms, was exposed to suspected contact through work. Everyone at their workplace was tested after COVID-19 emerged there. The player was involved in that testing and tested positive for COVID-19. 

On confirmation of a positive result, the club immediately alerted Softball Ireland (S.I.) who took action and responded with a plan within a few hours at which point all players were informed. We would like to thank S.I. for their help with a very difficult situation.

In regard to rumours and speculation, we were contacted about pictures of players, in a pub, on Facebook. This was done in relation to players not social distancing at a social gathering of softball players. We feel this is unfair to both softball clubs involved as well as the player. While we will never know definitively how the COVID-19 was contracted but as mentioned before it seems highly unlikely that softball or softball related social activities contributed to the positive COVID-19 test.

In relation to the player’s request for anonymity, we realize that some players and teams will know who the player who contracted COVID-19 is. Please keep this information to yourself and if you are asked any questions about COVID-19 or the player, please direct all questions to your COVID-19 officer or Softball Ireland.


Finally, we would also like to thank all the teams and players who sent well wishes and messages of support.

Suspension of Softball Activities in Leinster

Softball Ireland have been advised this afternoon of a positive COVID-19 test from a player who played in the Hippies v Dodder Premier Division game on August 4, 2020.

The Softball Ireland Medical Committee were notified of the positive case and the Committee have considered the impact of the positive result noting in particular player movement within the Softball Leinster League during the 2020 season. 

The Softball Ireland Board recognise the efforts taken by all teams to ensure a safe playing environment for all participants to date and urge clubs to continue following the Protocols available on www.softball.ie. 

The Board, having noted the recommendation of the Medical Committee, this evening AGREED that:

  • Players from Dodder Softball Club and Hippetys Softball Club cannot participate in any Softball Activities for 14 days with immediate effect.
  • Softball activities in Softball Leinster inclusive of practice are postponed from 0700 Saturday August 15, 2020 through 0700 August 23, 2020. 
  • Softball activities in Galway inclusive of practice are postponed from 0700 Saturday August 15, 2020 through 0700 August 23, 2020.

All players are reminded to follow the HSE guidance with regards to COVID-19 and monitor for symptoms. If you concerned that you may require a test, please follow the HSE process detailed on the following link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/how-to-get-tested.html

The Softball Ireland Board appreciate the ongoing support of the Softball Leinster Committee and the impacted teams at this time.

Softball Ireland Slowpitch Umpiring Course – Session 3

The third part of the Softball Ireland umpiring course will be held via Zoom on August 20, 2020. The third sesseion will cover Basics of Game Management Part 2.

If you are interested in attending please contact Massimo on Finance@softball.ie to register your attendance.

If you have missed either of the first two sessions of the course, not to worry, they have been uploaded to the Softball Ireland Youtube TV Channel and can be located in the Coaching section using the below link. The videos can also be accessed via the Softball Ireland homepage.

Softball Ireland TV Link

Softball Ireland Face Masks on Sale

Further to the introduction of mandatory facemasks by the Irish government, Softball Ireland are looking to produce Softball Ireland branded masks to both promote OUR sport and keep members safe during these unprecedented times.

The bottle green mask with the softball Ireland logo has an adjustable fitting and is machine washable.

Protection

The mask includes:

  • High strength woven fabric
  • Inserted surgical wrap filter
  • Sterille Barrier System *EN-ISO 11607
  • Barrier against micro-organisms
  • Two inner layers of microfibres that avoid the penetration of particles and fluids
  • Made in Ireland

Cost

Masks may be purchased individually or in bulk for the following prices:

Individual Mask – €9 per mask

Team Mask Purchases (orders of 10+ mask) – €8.50 per mask

If you wish to order face masks, please complete the order form using the below link:

Order Form: https://forms.gle/y4U1U2BQtAY5rYHm9

To produce the mask our supplier will need a minimum order of 100 masks, once orders have been received, we will keep those who have placed orders updated on the status.

Let’s both promote our sport and stay safe!

Updated Player Restrictions

August 7, 2020

Further to the announcement of revised Government advice on August 7, 2020, any Softball Ireland members who reside in Kildare, Laois or Offaly, are not permitted to attend any Softball Ireland activities until such time as the Government advice is updated.

If a member has visited any of these three counties in the last 14 days or visits (other than commuting through) the three counties during the time of the Government restrictions and experiences any symptoms related to COVID-19, they are advised not to attend Softball Ireland sanctioned activities.

Thank you for you co-operation and support during these quickly changing times.

Champion Green, Champion Softballers

Softball Ireland have today announced an initiative to support the promotion of businesses owned by Softball Ireland members through our website and social media channels.

2020 has been a very difficult year for most small business in Ireland and in support of the national campaign to “Champion Green” we are asking the Softball Ireland community to “Shop Local, Shop Softball”.

Softball Ireland member owned small businesses are invited to send us in details of their businesses, their promotions etc and Softball Ireland will promote them to the Sofball Ireland community through our website and social media channels.

We will be creating a dedicated page on our site to allow members to check the directory of Softball Ireland member businesses.

The Softball Ireland board feel its important to encourage, Shop Local, Shop Softball, to support our community in these challenging times.

If you wish to submit your business name, logo, short explanation of what you do and contact details please send them to president@Softball.ie

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