Tag: Board Updates

Board Minutes and Decisions

An infield softball.

Softball Leinster Awarded Umpire Development Grant

Softball Ireland have today announced the awarding of an umpire development grant to Softball Leinster. Following on from the commitment given at the 2018 Annual General Meeting to assist Softball Leinster addressing the umpiring short fall in the Leinster region,  Softball Ireland have agreed to allow the 2019 Brian Walshe Cup to be designated as a training tournament for newly trained umpires to gain valuable experience and feedback. 

In addition to designating the Brian Walsh Cup as an umpire training tournament, Softball Ireland have agreed to provide Softball Leinster with funding to support the following:

  • Allotment of funding for the costs of hosting umpire training courses
  • Allotment of funding for the assessment and guidance of new umpires at the Brian Walshe Cup by experienced and qualified umpires

Speaking on the announcement of the funding, Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery said “Softball Ireland welcome Softball Leinsters push to develop more umpires in the Region and we are delighted that as the National Governing Body we can provided Softball Leinster with both logistical and financial support through the development grant and making the Brian Walshe Cup available to umpires to get experience and positive feedback from other experienced umpires.”

The first of the Softball Leinster umpire beginner’s training courses for 2019 will be on the 13th of April. Time and Location TBD.

Minutes of 2018 Softball Ireland AGM

Softball Ireland AGM

17 November 2018 / 12.00-2.00pm / ALSAA

Board Attendees

Colum Lavery (President – CL), Olwyn Barrett (Treasurer – OB), Conor Sayles (Secretary – CS), Erin Brown (ind. – EB), Melanie Lavery (FP – ML), Jay Slevin (SU – JA)


Jonathan Spielberg (SL – JS), Galway Softball Club


  • Opening
    • CS confirmed that a quorum of members was present (50% of fully paid up teams). CL noted adoption of the standing orders.
    • CL asked for comment on the 2017 minutes, none received. Adrian Foster proposed the minutes and Massimo Lepri seconded.
  • President’s report
    • CL noted that the Presidents report was circulated in advance of the meeting and opened the floor to questions. None received.
    • CL offered further congratulations to Dodder Dynamoes and Belfast Sliders as the Leinster and Ulster league winners respectively. He also congratulated TNT, Dodder, Maarten Blanken and  Massimo Lepri for their participation in the slowpitch, club Euros. Finally CL noted the medal winning success of the U19 and U22 Women’s fastpitch teams at the 2018 European Championships.
  • 2019 priorities
    • Ruth Brady asked how the fastpitch efforts sit alongside the stated goal to prioritise slowpitch. CL explained that fastpitch is ML’s role similar to the regions for slowpitch, and that his contribution to fastpitch is as husband/supporter, not as SI President.
    • CL noted that SI is 30 years established in 2019 and that he plans to celebrate the anniversary, including setting up a hall of fame and tracking national team caps.
    • Massimo Lepri asked about a “grand slam” club. CL responded that once again something of that nature would require volunteers.
    • USA women’s team coach will visit next year for the Brian Walshe Cup (start of season) weekend. There will be a Friday night event, Saturday events at the tournament and Sunday with the national squad.
    • Ruth Brady asked about how it will be made real. CL explained that KPIs will be agreed for each of the priorities circulated in advance of the AGM, and RAG status will be recorded monthly. The board will hold themselves accountable and report on progress at the next AGM. Ruth suggested in response that volunteers could then be sought to take on individual tasks.
    • CL and ML noted that communication is a two way street.  Massimo Lepri complimented the comprehensive AGM pack, but made clear that the momentum needed to be maintained.
    • Massimo Lepri asked about adding a priority around umpire development. Muireann O’Farrell raised concern about requiring Leinster Div 2 teams to have umpires. CS noted this would be a regional decision for SL to pick up on before the new season, CL was simply stating the SI position.
    • Jordan Sylver asked about the intervarsities. CL pointed to players in a number of colleges, focus on restarting a structured competition and direct engagement with colleges.
    • Jordan Sylver complimented the recent open day, and asked about whether more were on the way. CL responded that SI hope to run an indoor open day in the new year plus an event in Galway.
  • Finances
    • CL recognised the contribution of OB as treasurer over the last 4 years.
    • OB circulated updated accounts at the meeting, she took the attendees through the key points and notes.
    • OB explained that €1800 is available for next year’s IOST following UL dates issue this year and a refund of the ground hire cost. Paddy Donnelly asked about the 2017 figures compared to 2018, OB acknowledged the point but decided not to restate last years accounts.
    • Massimo Lepri proposed the accounts and Adrian Forster seconded (subject to auditors).
    • The 2019 budget was circulated at the meeting. CL pointed to the marketing budget and the website improvements.
    • CL also explained the team fee approach for 2019. He noted the “development investment from reserve” balancing figure. He finally noted the merger costs contingency and budget for the additional open days. ML expressed hope that sponsorship will enable refund of the fastpitch grant.
  • Election of SI Board
    • No objection to the nomination of Conor Sayles to a two-year term secretary.
    • No nominations have been received for treasurer, even after the additional time allowed. No nominations were received at the meeting. SI will advertise the role again.
    • The regional representatives, JS, JA and ML, were ratified. EB was ratified as the independent board member.
    • CL noted that EB is leading a good governance group. Massimo Lepri asked what level and CL confirmed A level is the goal.
  • Constitutional Amendments
    • 6 amendments were proposed by the SL committee as set out as APPENDIX TWO. #1 was merged into #2 following feedback from the SI Board.
    • #2 was passed unanimously with one abstention. #3 and #4 were both passed unanimously.
    • Some discussion was had on #5. It was unanimously agreed to amend the wording to “ratified at SI meeting” and the amended version was passed unanimously.
    • CL noted that #6 was not constitutional, but that as previously communicated that an IOST committee is already  in place for 2019.
    • After detailed consideration, the constitutional amendments as set out in APPENDIX THREE were approved.
    • The AGM noted that in additions to the previously circulated amendments, Revenue will require SI to make amendments in order to avail of the tax exemption, the AGM AGREED to approve any such amendments as obligated by the Revenue Commissioner.
  • AOB
  • Jordan Sylver asked about progress with the proposed development working group. CL explained that SI are still waiting on nominations from SL to partake. SU have confirmed there nominations, and an external volunteer Katie Sadlier has agreed to facilitate. The working group role is to develop a plan and hold SI accountable for implementation.

Colum Lavery

November 17, 2018

Action Items for SI Board

  1. Review child protection policy in light of merger with Baseball Ireland.
  2. Circulate SI-BI merger MOU to team contacts after it is signed.
  3. Provide details of 2019 coed slowpitch national team trials.
  4. Roll out BSUK coaching programme in January 2019.
  5. Celebrate SI 30 year anniversary, including hall of fame and national team caps.
  6. Agree on KPIs for each priority, report RAG monthly to membership.
  7. Indoor open day in Dublin and open day in Galway.
  8. Update constitution on SI website following amendments agreed.
  9. Advertise the vacant SI Treasurer position again.
  10. Setup a development working group and implement agreed plan.

AGM 2018 Decisions – Treasurer Required

Annual General Meeting 2018 Decisions

The 2018 Softball Ireland Annual General Meeting was held on November 17, 2018. Thank you to all the members who attended and took part in engaged and positive AGM.

Below is a summary of the decisions on the day, the full minutes will be circulated shortly.

  • A detailed update on the proposed merger with Baseball Ireland was provided to the membership in attendance
  • Accounts to year ended September 30, 2018 approved
  • Elections/Confirmation of Appointments as follows
    • Conor Sayles was elected as Secretary
    • Jonathan Spielberg was confirmed as Softball Leinster Rep.
    • Jay Slevin was confirmed as Softball Ulster Rep.
    • Melanie Cunningham was confirmed as Fastpitch Rep.
    • Erin Brown was confirmed as Independent Board member
  • 2019 Softball Ireland priorities were noted
  • Constitutional amendments were approved

Treasurer Required

Softball Ireland are seeking a volunteer to take on the position of Treasurer – if you are interested in the role or need to know more about it please email president@softball.ie 

Softball Ireland Board Meeting Update

As part of Softball Ireland’s commitment to improve communication with our members and keep you informed of areas of focus and decisions, Softball Ireland moving forward will be providing a summary of matters discussed at the Board and decisions taken. The below is a high level summary of the minutes of the

Softball Ireland Board Meeting

16 October 2018 / 7.00-9.00pm / World Rugby Offices


Colum Lavery (President – CL), Olwen Barrett (Treasurer – OB), Conor Sayles (Secretary – CS), Erin Brown (ind. – EB), Jonathan Spielberg (SL – JS), Melanie Lavery (FP – ML)


Jay Slevin (SU – JA)


  • Minutes and updates noted
      • Discussions with Baseball Ireland on the MOU continuing to finalise language.
      • EB is working on TOR for the good governance group with the aim of progressing before the 2019 season.
      • Noted that SU voted against changing the run ahead rule.
      • Softball Skills Clinic and intro to  FP launch was scheduled for 20 October in ALSAA and has been advertised on social media.
  • Softball Ulster
  • JA provided an update in advance and it was taken as read.
  • CL noted the positive progress being made in Ulster following his attendance at the recent AGM
  • Softball Leinster
    • JS circulated minutes from the last SL meeting in advance. He also shared draft, high level accounts on the day.
    • CL noted the long term need to agree a single format for all regional and national accounts to enable aggregation into consolidated “SI Group” accounts.
    • Information for the SL AGM will be circulated shortly. CL offered to meet the SL Board in advance, but JS declined – not required.
  • Fastpitch
      • ML noted the focus of the programme was turning toward bottom-up development, following on from the success of the top-down approach.
      • Finding more volunteers to support coaching and administration will be key to future progress.
      • Continue to work on developing a selection policy that is acceptable to the Olympic Federation of Ireland
      • CL noted TG4 interest in a FP documentary about girls in Irish sport, to be filmed before Christmas.
  • Treasurer
      • Update on Softball Ireland finances was noted
      • Final accounts to September 30, 2018 being prepared
  • Competitions/International
    • Belfast and Limerick are both keen to host a leg of the National Coed League. Galway are more interested in Pick ‘n’ Mix.
    • The advertisements for a Competitions and Events Officer has drawn no volunteers. It will be raised again at the SL and SI AGMs and advertised on Volunteer Ireland. We are however near confirmation on a Communications Officer.
    • CL noted a true slow pitch World Cup is in development with WBSC.
    • CL noted his delight that Julie Trundle had offered to take over the running of the defunct Indoor tournaments over the winter and she has successfully relaunched the November tournament. CL added SI were delighted that Julie had accepted the title Head of Indoors.
  • AGM
      • It is hoped to stream the AGM.  Noted some concerns were raised about the in-person quorum attendance (50% teams).
      • The SI Board reviewed the proposed constitutional amendments from SL. It was agreed that #6 is not constitutional.
      • It was agreed to amend #2 to a set date of of Notice being issued by 1 September and combine an element of #1. Board was in agreement with recommendations #3, #4 and #5
      • OB confirmed that she would not be running for re-election. CL thanked her on behalf of SI for 4 years’ service as treasurer.
  • 2019 priorities
    • The Board were supportive of proposed priorities presented by CL.
    • SI Board asked to review and provide comments in advance of the AGM.
    • SL suggested that responsibility for intervarsity coed slow pitch should reside with SI.


  • October
    • 20 Softball Skills Clinic and Fastpitch League Event, ALSAA
    • 21 Softball Leinster AGM
    • 25 SI Board Con Call (0730)
  • November
    • 17 Softball Ireland AGM, ALSAA
Under-22 Women's Team

Open Letter to Softball Ireland Membership

To: Softball Ireland Membership

Re: Open Letter to Softball Ireland Membership

I am writing to you on behalf of the Softball Ireland Board in advance of the Softball Leinster and Softball Ireland AGMs to provide clarification on some matters, update on progress in 2018 and plans for 2019. We hope that this letter will be circulated to all Softball Ireland members.

The attached letter addresses the following key areas:

  • Clarification of the Role of the Governing Body and the Regions
  • Composition of the Softball Ireland Board
  • Communication
  • Irish Open Softball Tournament 2018
  • Future of Slow Pitch Working Group
  • Softball/Baseball Merger

As a board, we appreciate that we need to improve in a number of areas and our 2019 priorities are being developed to reflect these needs. However, we cannot do this without the support of our membership and most importantly, without volunteers.

As you will note below, the Board consists of three Executive members and representatives from the Regions and Fastpitch. These representatives have their own responsibilities and limited time to give to the national body. As the saying goes, we need you.

We would ask that you take a moment or two to read the attachment so that we may have a robust and positive discussion at the Softball Ireland AGM.

We have had great success on and off the diamond in 2018 and we look forward to sharing these with you at the Softball Ireland AGM, which will be held in ALSAA on November 17, 2018.

Yours in softball,

Colum Lavery on behalf of the Softball Ireland Board


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