Softball is a fun and incredibly sociable sport. You don’t have to be in fantastic shape to take part, and learning to play softball also challenges you in many different ways. Co-ed slow pitch softball is incredibly accessible and you’ll pick up the rules in no time.
When it comes to playing softball, you have a few different options. There are leagues up and down the country that are always looking for new players to join the sport. If you’ve played before, you could join a team and start playing in league games. If you’ve never played, many leagues have rookie training sessions where you can get up to speed before joining (or forming) a team. And finally, there are also tournaments taking place up and down the country.
If you’re ready to start playing softball, read on to discover your next steps…
Find a team
If you’re looking to join a softball team, head to the diamond finder to find a league close to you.
In addition to these regional softball leagues, there are also 2 national softball leagues. NSL1 and NSL2 compete in league fixtures over three weekends. The top 8 teams then advance to the BSF Premier National Championship and the overall winner heads to the European competition the following year.
In winter, some of these leagues will have indoor training, or an indoor league. This means you can play year round and never worry about the British weather interrupting play.
Kidding! The British weather will ALWAYS find a way to interrupt play!
If you’re completely new to softball, find out if your local softball league runs rookie training sessions. These will usually take place at the same time as league games so you can get an idea of the social side of softball. For example, in the Manchester Softball League, rookie training takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7pm at the same time as division 4 and 5 league games. If there are enough players in the rookie sessions, these players will often go on to form a team.
Play in a tournament
There are softball tournaments happening most weekends throughout the year. Head to the British Softball Federation to find out when and where they are taking place. You’ll need to find a team, but there are often teams looking to pick up spare players on Facebook. Tournaments are usually split into rec and comp. Tournaments are also split into A, B, C and D grade, which gives you an indication of the level of teams competing.
Start a team
If you happen to have 9 softball-playing friends and you’re itching to start a team, head to your local league and find out how to register. You’ll need to register before the start of the season and will usually be required to pay fees. You will also need to check you understand the rules of your local league, pick up all of your own equipment (check it’s legal, first) and then get your team shirts printed.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options for batting practice in the UK. Manchester and London both have baseball batting cages which are meant for more recreational use. Manchester used to have a pitching machine that was available to hire, but this has been out of commission for some time. Perhaps the best option for batting practice is to book out pop up batting cage. Our batting cage is perfect for training and events if you have a large enough space to set it up. You can find out more about booking the cage for softball training here.