By Baseball Softball UK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com
BaseballSoftballUK’s North West development team is gearing up to host the largest-ever Manchester LGBT Softball Tournament on Saturday 16 June at Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury.
The tournament began with six teams in 2015 and had nine teams in 2016 and 10 in 2017. In 2018, the event, which celebrates the diversity of the softball community, is expected to gain further teams.
This year, the Manchester LGBT Softball Tournament is open to players of all standards, with teams allowed to have up to two Manchester Softball League Division 1-standard players per team.
Entry for the tournament is now open via this link: https://bsuk.wufoo.com/forms/z38z3zj1i0w47f/.
The tournament will be played using BaseballSoftballUK’s new Inclusive Softball Rules.
Adapted from the standard WBSC softball rules, these Inclusive Rules give guidance on gender identification with regard to fielding positions and batting line-ups. The rules have been put together over a number of months by the BaseballSoftballUK LGBT Panel.
Other rules that will be in force at the tournament are:
- Indoor balls will be used unless both captains agree to use outdoor balls.
- All walks will be worth two bases.
- Helmets will be compulsory for all batters and runners.
BaseballSoftballUK Regional Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said, “We are excited to bring this tournament back to Manchester for our fourth year in a row, and it’s always a great way to celebrate the LGBT community within softball. Following the success of our previous LGBT tournaments, we are hoping to roll out these tournaments nationally to include Midlands and London events too.”
In 2016, a survey conducted by BaseballSoftballUK suggested that 14% of the softball community in the UK identify as LGBT. Teams have taken previous LGBT tournaments as an opportunity to show support for their LGBT teammates and really get into the spirit of the day, and the tournament promises to be filled with rainbow flags, glitter and fun!
The day will also be used to raise funds for the Pride Youth Games+, and teams will be encouraged to come along with some loose change and get stuck into activities such as a coconut shy, throwing contest and more!
There will be an award for the best-dressed team, so start planning your outfits now!