Press Release Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation
While Sweden has had its shares of indoor tournaments over the long, cold, winter, this year marks the first time that Sweden hosts and official Indoor Championship for Softball, Fastpitch Women. On January 25-27, the top four teams from last year’s League will compete at the indoor floorball venue “FaluKuriren Arena” to decide the Indoor Swedish Championship. The tournament is part of the Swedish Winter Championship Week, where 16 differents sports, mainly winter sports, will have their official Championships.
The Swedish Championship Week – or “SM-veckan” in Swedish – is a joint venture between “Riksidrottsförbundet” (The Swedish Confederation of Sports) and the Swedish National Television, SVT, and is hosted annually, one week in summertime and one week during the winter. The 69 different sports federations in Sweden, representing 250 different sports and disciplines, can choose to have their championships in conjunction with this sports week, that is covered intensely by the several media outlets, including the Swedish National Television. Most sports get at the least some TV coverage, with some sports getting live coverage both on TV and via the Internet.
The more common winter sports like Curling, Cross Country Skiing, and Skating are joined by summer sports like Softball (Indoor), Rowing (rowing machines indoor), and motor sports such as Snowmobile Cross, X-trial, and Rally Sprint.
“Since we can’t participate in the Summer Championship Week due to venue and timing issues, we tried to get Indoor Softball on the program and were successful,” says SBSF Secretary General Kristian Pälviä, who is overseeing the tournament.
“We hope – even though it is not any guarantee – not only to have coverage on Swedish TV and additional media exposure, which is very rare for softball, but also to increase the length of the season and give our players more games over the course of the year.”
Sweden has hosted the indoor tournament SIM since the early 1990’s but that tournament is played with major modifications to the official playing rules (at bats start with a 1-1 count, 2 foul balls is an automatic out, and 45 minute games) – this tournament however, is the first tournament where the official rules are more strictly enforced, meaning full length games and no additional speed-up rules.
“We will play with a Flexiball in order not to make damage to the interior of the venue, and balls hitting the roof will be judged as foul balls – but besides that it will be fastpitch softball as normal,” explains Kristian Pälviä who looks forward to an exhilarating week of softball in January.
The game schedule is as follows:
Friday, January 25:
17:00 Leksands BSK – Enköpings BSK
19:00 Sundsvalls BSC – Skövde BSK
Saturday, January 26:
09:00 Enköpings BSK – Sundsvalls BSC
11:30 Skövde BSK – Leksands BSK
14:00 Enköpings BSK – Skövde BSK
16:30 Sundsvalls BSC – Leksands BSK
19:00 Bronze game (3rd vs 4th)
Sunday, January 27:
10:00 FINAL (1st vs 2nd)