Category: Featured

Women’s National Fastpitch League – Week 1

The 2022 / 2023 Women’s National Fastptich League Season kicks off with a double header Sunday featuring inter-club derby on September 18, 2022.

This will be the first season that the league has moved to a single sex format. The freshman league will start the season with 3 teams, but it is hoped that the St. Catherines ‘Rocks franchise will be able to add an extra league team during the season. Week 1 League Schedule is available here.

The teams consist of both experienced players, players new to fastpitch and younger players starting their career pathway in the sport. Full details on the league schedule are available here:

Games will be played at St. Catherines Park (the venue under development for the World Cup in 2023) the new home of Fastpitch in Ireland and the location of the soon to be developed Women’s Fastpitch Centre of Excellence.

St. Catherines ‘Rocks Teams Confirmed

Newly renamed, St. Catherines ‘Rocks Softball Club which is a franchise in the Fastpitch Ireland League is delighted to confirm its rosters for the 2022 Season. The Club will turn out 2 teams in the Fastpitch Ireland league starting on September 18, 2022 which kicks off with an inter-team derby at 12 Noon in St. Catherines Park. The Rosters for the opening games of the season are listed below. As ever, the club is open to new players wishing to join, any players wishing to join the should email director@fastpitchsoftball.ie

Week 1 Schedule – September 18, 2022:
12 Noon Green ‘Rocks v Blue ‘Rocks
1:10pm Green ‘Rocks v Cork/Galway
2.20pm Blue ‘Rocks v Cork/Galway

Women’s Open Day & Women’s League Season Details Confirmed

Fastpitch Ireland have announced that the expanded Women’s 2022 season will feature three multi-game days of play for Women’s Teams before moving to the National Indoor Arena during the winter months. Details on dates and times for the Men’s League will follow shortly.

Fastpitch Ireland announces that, in partnership with Fingal County Council, the Women’s Fastpitch League will be hosted in St. Catherine’s Park, Lucan, Co. Dublin (http://fastpitchsoftball.ie/st-catherines-park/), at our temporary dedicated Fastpitch field pending the development of the permanent softball diamond and Women’s Fastpitch Softball Centre of Excellence in 2023. Moving forward, St. Catherine’s Park will be the HQ for Fastpitch Softball and youth development in Ireland. Directions on how to get to the park, where to park your car, and the nearest public transport is attached and available on our website.

An open / introduction to Fastpitch Softball day will be held this Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 12pm to 3pm in St. Catherine’s Park. Over the course of the afternoon, we will be explaining / reviewing the slight difference in rules between Fastpitch and Slowpitch, give you an opportunity to practice and to hit off a pitching machine. You will also have an opportunity to meet your teammates for the season and assigned team coaches.

The session will be run by the Women’s National Team coaching staff and all equipment will be provided on the day.

Teams

In the coming days, teams will be formed by the club based on players experience in the hope of creating a balanced league. Once the teams are set this season, we would intend that teams remain unchanged moving forward within the overall club. Of course, we understand that people wish to play with their friends and would ask that if there is anybody in particular you wish to play with, that you let us know in the coming days.

Once selected, each team will be allocated a coach/manager to run the teams and help you through the season, players will receive their team uniform tops whilst other equipment such as bats, helmets etc will be available at training and games.

It would be envisioned that all Dublin based teams will continue to practice at the same time over the course of the season to ensure healthy numbers.

If you have any questions in advance of the open session or the league dates, please do not hesitate to let us know.


Directions

Google Maps – https://goo.gl/maps/bqf7UQJRDZAWsbtC7

Driving –

If you are driving to the fields, you should park your car in the “St. Catherine’s Park Overflow Carpark” (https://goo.gl/maps/NH1RzAJioZkdG7mM9) and the field is a 2 minute walk from there. You should enter the park through the gate located on the Lucan to Clonee Road. Once in the park follow the main road and continue past the BMX track on your left and the playground/car park o on your right to the overflow and then follow the road for a further 400m to you reach the overflow carpark. You will then see a gate with a sign “Urban Market”, go through the gate and walk past the market at which point you will see the temporary field.

Public Transport – If travelling by bus from the City Centre you should take either the No. 52, C3, C5 or L54 to Leixlip. You should dismount the bus on Main Street (https://goo.gl/maps/uCQDrjJkrvzxVgf1A) and follow signs for Leixlip Fire Station and then St. Catherine’s Park (The Black Avenue). Following this route will bring you to St. Catherine’s Park and the fields. It is approximately a 17 minute walk from the bus stop to the fields.

Under 22 Women’s National Team Chase European Gold

After 1,045 days COVID stand down, the Irish Women’s Softball Teams take the international field once more.

A new look Irish Under 22 team will participate in a very competitive tournament with most participating teams including players on their roster who will be on roster for the Women’s European Championships in Barcelona later this month.

Ireland start the tournament as #3 seeds overall and the number one seed in their pool. Ireland are joined by European Softball powerhouses Austria, Belgium and Spain in the group and will need to be at their best to finish in the top 2 and progress to the super round later in the week.

Ireland will field an exciting roster with 9 of the roster making their debut for Ireland in the coming days. (Full roster – http://fastpitchsoftball.ie/2022-u22-wnt/)

Preparations for World Cup 2023 start this week. We have an exciting group of young players with a lot of talent and potential who are ready to get going and very proud to pull on the Green Jersey.

What makes coaching so enjoyable at this age group is that nobody, including the players themselves, know what their limits are and we are very excited as a group to what we can achieve over the next 6 days together.

Melanie Cunningham, Head Coach & Director of Fastpitch

Ireland start the tournament on June 27 against Austria, followed by Belgium and Spain on June 28.

OpponentDateLocal TimeIrish TimeStreaming Link
Austria27 June 202214:3013:30 (1.30pm)Ireland v Austria
Belgium28 June 202209:0009:00 (9.00am)Ireland v Belgium
Spain28 June 202215:4514:45 (2.45pm)Ireland v Spain

European Softball will be providing both Play by Play and streaming for the tournament, details below. The games can also be followed via Game Changer.

Official Play by Play – Click Here

Live Stream – Click Here

Game Changer – Click Here

Ireland awarded hosting rights of Women’s Softball World Cup 2023

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Committee have today awarded the co-hosting rights of the flagship WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup to Ireland, Italy and Spain. Ireland together with Italy and Spain will host a group of the World Cup in 2023, with Italy hosting the Finals in 2024.

Other than the Olympic games, the Women’s Softball World Cup is the most prestigious event in World Softball and will be broadcast globally in 2023. Working closely with its bid partners, the World Cup Organising Committee, Fastpitch Ireland and Fingal presented a successful bid to co-host the tournament in Ireland.

The World Cup Group will be held in Fingal on a purpose built venue for the tournament.

“We’re delighted to bring the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup back to Europe, with Ireland, Italy and Spain co-hosting the biggest international softball event in the globe.” “The Women’s Softball World Cup represents the first WBSC World Cup to be played under the innovative Two-Stage format, that gives more flexibility and opportunities for cities, regions and countries to host and participate in WBSC events.”

WBSC President Fraccari

The hosting of the tournament will be the biggest softball event ever hosted in Ireland, and it is envisoned that it will be the catalyst that puts all disciplines of our sport in the eyes of the nation and begins the re-growth of the sport.

“The awarding of the World Cup to Ireland is a testament to the standing of Team Ireland and the Irish Federation in the WBSC. A lot of hard work has been put into developing the bid with Fingal and we are very gateful for Fingals support and vision to join us in the bid.” “This tournament presents a once in a life time opportunity for our Players to play in a World Cup on their home field and for us to create a strong positive legacy for the game in Ireland, promote all disciplines of the game in Ireland and supercharge the growth of women’s and youth softball.”

Melanie Cunningham, Director of Fastpitch Ireland

The exact dates of the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage and Finals are still to be confirmed and will be announced shortly.

For further media information – please contact Colum Lavery – +353 86 770 8576

Enrolment now open for National Fastpitch League

Enrolment for the 2022 National Fastpitch League is now open.  This year, the expanded league will feature three multi-game days of play for Women’s and Men’s Divisions before moving back indoors in the NSC during the winter months.

The League will be preceded by an open day on August 21, 2022 to allow returning players reacquaint themselves with Fastpitch and provide new players with an introduction to the game.

This year, the Divisions will play league games on Sundays and will offer additional open scrimmage games for any players from inside or outside the league who wish to take part on other dates.

An exciting new venue for the league has been identitified and the location will be shared in the near future. The autumn league dates are as follows:

21 August – Open Day
28 August – League Day 1
September 18 – League Day 2
October 9 – League Day 3

How to enrol

Players can enrol for the Fastpitch League here: https://forms.office.com/r/EV38XkhfmG

No fastpitch softball experience is necessary, and players will be assigned to teams.

Contacts

The National Fastpitch League can be contacted on director@fastpitchsoftball.ie

Decker Sports becomes Fastpitch Ireland Official Kit Partner

Fastpitch Ireland and Decker Sports USA (“Decker”) are proud to announce a new partnership agreement under which Decker will provide fully customised uniforms, apparel, gear and training products to all of Fastpitch Ireland national and representative teams. The partnership marks Decker’s first agreement with an international team and signifies the beginning of Decker’s global expansion.

As part of the agreement, all Fastpitch Ireland players, coaches and fans will also be provided exclusive access to Decker’s ProShop, or fanwear store, as well as the Direct to Player (“D2P”) program, which offers head-to-toe customised uniforms and apparel delivered directly to player’s doors, eliminating the need for any face-to-face interaction, and streamlining the overall uniform and apparel ordering process.

Fastpitch Ireland is excited to announce Decker Sports as our Official Kit Partner from the 2022 season onwards. Decker has a great reputation in the softball world. We look forward to being the first team to wear Decker Sports clothing and equipment in international competition. We are delighted to feature Decker Products as we travel around the world moving forward. Fastpitch Ireland and Decker will be an amazing partnership ensuring our players have the highest-level products as they represent our country!

Melanie Cunningham, Fastptich Ireland Director of Fastpitch & National Teams Head Coach

Decker is honored to partner with the staff and players of Fastpitch Ireland. We look forward to providing a one-of-a-kind experience to the Fastpitch Ireland program and creating a new standard for the international softball industry – customized uniforms and apparel inspired by the female athlete and developed exclusively with the female athlete in mind.

We firmly believe this partnership will help further develop Fastpitch Ireland’s dream of growing the sport and encouraging young female adults to find a sport for life in the game of softball and feel proud to wear the green of Ireland.

Joshua Pollack, VP of Sales at Decker Sports USA

About Decker Sports USA:

Decker Sports USA, based in Omaha, NE, was founded in 1994 from a game of catch between three brothers in their parent’s backyard using a small, toy baseball.  The brothers realized it was much more difficult to catch, throw and hit a small ball as compared to a regular sized baseball.  With this concept of training, Decker Sports USA was born.  After successfully selling to Major League Baseball as well as high schools and colleges across the globe, Decker set out to create a one-of-a-kind experience for all the diamond sports athletes through customization, convenience, and value in its pursuit of inspiring the human in the athlete.

“Become The Shamrock” and join the team on the field

To coincide with St. Patricks Day and our announcement of Decker Sports as our Official Kit Partner, Fastpitch Ireland have today announced the “Become The Shamrock” fundraising campaign.

“Become The Shamrock” provides 100 individuals/families and businesses the opportunity your name printed tone on tone on the body of a limited edition Ireland jersey and within the shamrock on the front of the jersey which will be worn by the team during the opening games of the Women’s European Championships and Under-22 European Championships in 2022. This unique opportunity is limited to 100 names only for a Donation of US$250 per name.

The Irish Senior and Under-22 Women’s Fastpitch Softball Teams will be representing Ireland at the Women’s European Championships in Spain in July 2022 and the Under 22 European Championships in Czech Republic in June 2022. The Irish Women’s teams are 100% self-funded and proceeds from this unique and limited opportunity to have your name on an Irish National Team jersey to be worn in competitive internationals will be used to offset players costs.

The team will proudly wear your name and embrace your support as we push for a gold medal. By choosing to “Become The Shamrock”, you will:
The team will proudly wear your name and embrace your support as we push for a gold medal. By choosing to “Become The Shamrock”, you will:
– Have your name printed tone on tone on the the limited edition jersey
– Have your name printed as part of the Shamrock on front of the the limited edition jersey
– Receive a limited edition replica jersey with your name as part of the Shamrock (only 100 will be made)
– Receive a certificate of authenticity
– Receive a photo of the team wearing the jersey
– Sponsorship donations made in the USA are tax deductible as Fastpitch Ireland is a registered US NGO (501c3).

To reserve your name on the Team Ireland jersey, please click the link below and you will be brought to the registration form:

Fastpitch Ireland gets a new look

Fastpitch Ireland, the governing body for Fastpitch Softball in Ireland, has rebranded with a new identity created by Amy White.

Fastpitch Ireland Logo

The new identity sees the previous pitcher in a homeplate logo replaced with a stylised homeplate, a softball and incorporating the shamrock while keeping the green colour scheme from the outgoing identity.

Fastpitch Ireland describes the new look as “a modernised and progressive logo… the shape of the home plate enclose the logo and uses the softball as the centre point and using the shamrock as a secondary point of interest. The colour palette looks at more muted tones of the tricolour to give it a more sophisticated look and feel.”

Fastpitch Ireland have also updated and re-imagined the National Team logo which will launch on team uniforms, training kit and fanware from today. The updated national team logo takes the home plate used in softball and combines the typeface and shamrock within it. The shamrock is a nod to the previous logo and gives the previous logo a fresh, modern look and feel. The colour palette is taken from the tricolours and updated and fresh with a bold and modern font.

“Supported by a distinctive, optimistic and progressive new brand together with clear values to create opportunities for girls and women of all ages to play softball in Ireland, Fastpitch Ireland collectively has the ingredients and tools to do just that. We want everyone to feel connected with the sport and Fastpitch Ireland’s ongoing success story. Our new brand certainly stands out and enables us to promote our sport in a way that will be more appealing and impactful to the sport’s growing Irish playing and fan base.”

Melanie Cunningham, Director of Fastpitch & WNT Head Coach
WNT Logo

Sinead O’Leary appointed as Strength & Conditioning Coach

Fastpitch Ireland have announced the appointment of Sinead O’Leary as Strength & Conditioning Coach. Sinead will support the Director of Fastpitch, Melanie Cunningham, through creating and implementing a strength & conditioning programme for all levels of Fastpitch Softball in Ireland.

Sinead, who has a degree in Exercise and Health Fitness from the University of Limerick, will bring knowledge and guidance to the national team programmes in particular as they build towards key tournaments in 2022.

Sinead is a current member of the Women’s National Softball Team representing Ireland at the highest level in Europe whilst also winning a bronze U22 European Championship medal in 2018. Sinead is also a talented multi-sport athlete playing soccer, camogie, gymnastics, badminton, rugby and tennis at a high level.

Speaking on the appointment of Sinead, Director of Fastpitch in Ireland, Melanie Cunningham said:

We are delighted to appoint Sinead as our Strength & Conditioning Coach. Core fitness, preparation and recovery are key elements of successful teams and I look forward to working with Sinead to put plans in place that will ensure the Irish national teams are prepared appropriately to peak at major tournaments. Sinead not only adds her considerable strength & conditioning knowledge to our programme but she also adds an in-depth knowledge of what is needed by a player to perform successfully at the top level of Softball. I am also delighted that Sinead will not only help Ireland off the field to prepare for tournaments but she will also continue as a player on the field as we seek to qualify for the 2023 Softball World Cup.

Following her appointment as Strength & Conditioning Coach, Sinead O’Leary said:

I have always had an interest in sport and played a number of sports as I grew up. As I got older I was introduced to softball and I instantly connected with it and I have been lucky enough to play at two European Championships with the WNT, making great friends along the way. Due to my love for sport, I wanted to work in the sector and having earned a degree in Exercise and Health Fitness from UL, I look forward working with Women’s National Softball Teams to share what I have learned in my career to my role in Strength and Conditioning in Fastpitch Ireland and to help the players perform to their best.

Munster Youth Introduction to Softball Session February 26, 2022 – Cork

Fastpitch (Softball) Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of the Munster Softball Academy with an Introduction to Softball Session for girls aged ideally between 12 and 16 in the Munster Region. The session will be held indoors on Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 1.30pm at Nemo Ranger GAA Club Facilites.

The session will be hosted by the Irish Women’s National Team Head Coach Melanie Cunningham together with Munster Development Officer Cindy McGrellis and other National Team Coaches focussing on introducing players to Softball and teaching some basic skills.

Speaking on the planned day, Melanie Cunningham said ”Following on from the success of launching our Dublin Junior Academy in May 2021, the aim of the session is to show an alternative pathway for girls to continue in sport and to hopefully introduce new girls to our sport. We are excited to introduce girls to this fun Olympic sport and we are hoping that we get a great turnout on the day, everybody is welcome!”

Fastpitch Ireland will provide players with all equipment required on the day. The session will be run in accordance with COVID-19 Sporting Conditions.

If you have any questions about the session, please do not hesitate to contact Cindy McGrellis [cindy@fastpitchsoftball.ie].