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

An infield softball.

Temporary SL League Suspension

The Softball Ireland (SI) Medical Committee were made aware on Sunday August 8, 2021 that a player in the SL region had received a positive test for COVID that morning.

Softball Ireland understand the player and family are doing well at this time and on behalf of the membership wish the player a speedy recovery in the coming weeks.  

Softball Leinster sought guidance from the SI Medical Committee on the application of the updated COVID RTPP which was issued to the membership in May 2021.

Following notification of the positive test, the SI Medical Committee reviewed games played by the relevant player 7 days prior to Positive test. Following review of all the relevant information and in accordance with the SI RTTP, the SI Medical Committee, SI Board and Softball Leinster (SL) Committee agreed that:

  1. All teams considered as contacts of the positive test would be stood down from all Softball activities for a period of 14 days from the date of the positive test;
  2. All Leinster Softball League games would be be suspended for 2 weeks, to return on August 23, 2021;
  3. Teams may train within in their respective team bubbles, however there should be no friendlies or multi team training;
  4. The Dublin IOST event scheduled for August 21, 2021 is postponed to September 2021.

The SI Medical Committee have subsequently had the opportunity to review updated government advice and the restrictions around item (1) above has been amended to:

  1. * All teams in the club of the player receiving the positive test are stood down from all Softball activities for a period of 14 days from the date of the positive test. All other teams may train in accordance to restriction (3).

Softball Leinster, the SI Medical Committee and SI Board continue to monitor the matter and will update the membership as further information becomes available.

We appreciate that players are disappointed with the joint Softball Leinster and Softball Ireland decision to temporarily suspend the leagues but the health of our members is our number one priority and we hope that this quick circuit break will prevent further spread and play will return without risk to the community.

We encourage all players and teams to adhere to the rules to protect each other, allow the sport to return quicker and prevent further spread in the community. 

The rules set out at the beginning of the season call for the shutdown of the whole region’s league. This is due to the possible mixing of players between premier league and rec league and also the weekend competition.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank teams and players for maintaining the RTPP rules which have allowed so many games to have been played already this year and remind members to maintain social distance in dugouts, Umpires to wear masks and that members do not go to into other team dugouts when games return.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Updated Return to Play Protocol

Softball Ireland have updated the Return to Play Protocol to version 3.2. To view the protocol you can follow this link: http://www.softball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/si-rtpp-v3.2.pdf or visit the COVID-19 Hub using the menu above. The FAQ section of the COVID-19 Hub has also been updated today, with more information on what events are permitted in both ROI and NI.

The significant changes in Version 3.2 of the Return to Play Protocol include:

  • Spectators now permitted at events, provided social distancing is adhered to
  • Tournaments can now have more teams participating, depending on the number of diamonds available
  • Cross-border travel is now permitted, provided a lateral flow test is performed and negative prior to travel

For the full details of the changes, please refer to the RTPP.

For all COVID-19 related queries, you can email covid@softball.ie for more information.

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.

Softball Ireland Board Changes

It is with regret that Softball Ireland announce that further to Amanda Ní Ghabhann’s resignation as Secretary of Softball Leinster, the Softball Ireland Board have reluctantly accepted Amanda’s retirement from the Softball Ireland Board as her mandate as the Softball Leinster Representative has concluded.

Amanda has been an active member of the Board following her appointment in November 2019 during what has been a challenging period due to COVID. In particular Softball Ireland wish to note that thanks to Amanda’s effort and expertise we now have in place a Safeguarging policy and a diversity policy in particular.

We are delighted to confirm that Amanda had agreed to continue her position as Softball Ireland National Childrens Officer and as a member on the Slowpitch Ireland Development Committee who are in the process of finalising the draft Slowpitch Development plan.

The Softball Ireland Board would like to thank Amanda for her contribution to the Board and we look forward to continuing to work with Amanda on key areas moving forward.

Softball players taking hits for Men’s Health Week raise £260 for Cancer Focus NI

Softball Ulster hosted its inaugural Homerun Derby on Sunday, 20th June 2021 raising £260 for Cancer Focus NI as part of Men’s Health Week. 

Over 20 men and women battled it out to reach the final round, knocking as many homeruns as they could in 3 minutes to take home prizes kindly donated by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Sports Development team; First Prize: 2 Golf Passes to Aberdelgy Golf Club and Second Prize: 2 Golf Passes for Castlereagh Hills Golf Club.

Conditions were tough for those in the first round on Diamond 1 with a strong head wind, so we decided to take the top two from both diamonds into the final round where Amelie Viratham and James Calow smashed balls over 200 ft and 275ft respectively to be crowned winners with Barthe McCormick and Tom Napier runners up.

Jocelyn Horton, Vice-chair of Softball Ulster’s organising committee said, “we were very excited to host our first charitable Homerun Derby and give our players a chance to flex their muscles in aid of a good cause. In 2020, the pandemic severely affected our chances to play competitively and connect with our teammates, but when we got the chance, many players told us how much they had missed the game, it’s social aspects, and that taking part in the sport truly helped their mental wellbeing. So the Derby was an opportunity to have a fun contest as part of Men’s Health Week and raise vital funds for Cancer Focus NI.

The health of our players is important to us, not just their physical health, but also their mental and social health as part of our ‘SAFE: Softball Action For Everyone’ programme which focuses on creating a safe, inclusive, diverse and healthy space for all players. This time, the spotlight was on men’s health, particularly testicular cancer – hence the Derby’s cheeky subtitle ‘Check your Balls!’ So we are thrilled to be able to donate £260 to Cancer Focus NI from the Derby, raffle and donations!”

The Homerun Derby was part of the annual Carrie Trundle Cup being held at Queen Elizabeth’s Playing Fields, Ballymacoss and its success means Softball Ulster be looking to repeat it next year on the condition that we buy a net for our volunteer pitchers, something Phil Wallace will be glad to hear!

A major part of this successful event was the volunteers, from raffle ticket sellers, pitchers, catchers, scorers, timers to Homerun Derby entrants, who all combined their efforts to make for a great, fun and entertaining event.

The funds raised for Cancer Focus NI enables them to continue to provide vital services and support to those who need it, especially as charities struggled to fundraise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Softball Ulster are glad to be a part of that!

Strike Zone

Strike Zone is Taking Bookings

Baseball Ireland’s Strike Zone, the indoor training facility in Dublin, is now available for bookings. The venue includes 3 alleys with pitching machines and may also be opened up for fielding practice on its synthethic field.

There are options to book the full venue (€100ph peak times / €50 off peak times) or just book a stand alone alley for some BP.

The online booking form is now available on line.

Softball Ireland Gender Inclusion Policy Launched

Softball Ireland has launched its Gender Inclusion Policy to coincide with the Sport Ireland and Sporting Pride #LetsGetVisible campaign as part of Pride week.

The #LetsGetVisible campaign aims to recognise and acknowledge the importance of visibility and representation amongst the LGBTQI+ community.

The Softball Ireland Gender Inclusion Policy is a continuation of softball’s support for the LGBTQI+ community and to ensure that softball in Ireland is a welcoming and inclusive space for the community.

Softball Ireland is proud to launch our Gender Inclusion Policy and support the #LetsGetVisible campaign and we encourage the softball community to do the same.

Speaking about the launch of the Gender Inclusion Policy, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “Softball Ireland has always had a commitment to softball being an open, welcoming and inclusive sport to members of the LGBTQI+ community. The purpose of this policy is to ensure there is absolute clarity for everyone involved in softball in Ireland when it comes to the openness and inclusiveness of our sport.

Softball Ireland fully respects the gender identity of players and our policy reiterates our position that softball should continue to be played in the spirit of sport, allowing for a safe and fun environment for all players.”

Click here to download Softball Ireland’s Gender Inclusion Policy

We are also asking teams and players to post their messages of support for the campaign using #LetsGetVisible – you can get creative and post a picture with a pride flag, wearing your most colourful clothing, or you can use any of the graphics available to download on the Sporting Pride website.

To get involved in the campaign all you need to do is go to Sporting Pride’s website https://www.sportingpride.ie/campaign/lets-get-visible  and download a profile picture overlay, which you can add to your profile picture.

Galway to launch inaugral Co-ed Slowpitch Softball League

Softball Ireland wish to congratulate the Committee of Galway Softball Club on the creation of the Galway League which will commence on Monday June 21, 2021. The efforts of the Committee has seen huge growth in the Galway area with membership doubling as Galway exited lockdown.

The four team league will be played at St Marys College between 6 pm and 8 pm on Mondays through to September 6, 2021. Galway Softball Club have also secured local sponsorship for the inaugral league with An PúcánKennys BookshopIrishscores.com & Megadale Automation agreeing to naming sponsorship of each of the league teams.

Speaking on Galway Softball Clubs announcement, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “We are delighted to welcome the Galway Softball League to the Softball Ireland family. The growth of Softball in Galway has been a joy to watch over the last number of years and the efforts of the club members during the lockdown has been phenomenal.”

Lavery added “Galway have shown that there is a need for and demand for social, co-ed sporting activites post COVID, and we believe Softball offers the perfect mix of social interaction together with both recreational and competitive sport depending on the level you wish to play at. Today is about celebrating the succes of Galway Softball Club and celebrating the inaugral league which launches this Monday.

Speaking about the inaugral Galway League, Vinny McGrane Galway Softball Chairman said “It’s a great day for Galway Softball to be able to announce the inaugural Galway League.

Without our sponsors we would have really struggled to get this off the floor so a big thank you to An Púcán, Kennys Bookshop, Irishscores.com & Megadale Automation. The fact that Galway Softball can attract the support of such impressive companies is a great measure of our current success.

There has been huge efforts to make this happen and I would like thank Softball Ireland for their support over the years, the Galway Softball Committee and all the people that kept the club going since 1998. But most of all the players who have made this possible.”

Details on teams and fixtures for the inaugral Galway League are available on the club website and if you are interested in playing details are available here.

Updated Return to Play Protocol

Softball Ireland have updated the Return to Play Protocol to version 3.1. To view the protocol you can follow this link: http://www.softball.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/si-rtpp-v3.1.pdf or visit the COVID-19 Hub using the menu above. The FAQ section of the COVID-19 Hub has also been updated today, with more information on what events are permitted in both ROI and NI.

For all COVID-19 related queries, you can email covid@softball.ie for more information.