Category: WNT

Junior Girls Training Continues on July 10, 2021

The next open girls softball training session will be hosted on Saturday July 10, 2021 in Marlay Park from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

The session in Marlay Park on Saturday will be held on one of the soccer pitches and we have attached a map on how to find it from the car park on the College Road side of the park.

We recommend that you park in the Marlay Park, College Road Car Park (https://goo.gl/maps/XT7hbbHGSpYKmryV6) and then follow the map to the field.

As in the previous sessions, we will have all equipment available on the evening, but of course feel free to bring your own gloves or bats if you prefer.

If you have not attended a session previously but would like to try softball, please email us on info@fastpitchsoftball.ie and we will sign you up!

National Fastpitch League 2019 Teams C & D

Fastpitch League is Back

“Guess who’s back, Back again, Fastpitch is back, Tell your friends!”

Following the COVID-19 enforced pause in the Fastpitch Ireland League we are delighted to announce that the league will be relaunching in September 2021!

At this point, we are asking you to save the following dates in your diary with further details to follow.

– September 5, 2021 – Open practice Session

– September 12, 2021 – 2019/2020 Season League final games

We will then launch our 2021/2022 season in October 2021 during which we intend to continue running the co-ed league and launching our single sex league also.

Please feel free to share details of the open session and then the exciting details of our new league which will include competitions for naming teams and details about league sponsorship.

Please save September 5, 2021 and September 12, 2021 in your diaries with more details to follow!

Junior Girls Softball Training Sessions – June/July 2021

Following on from the Intro to Softball Day held on May 29th for girls. Fastpitch Ireland have planned out some additional *free* softball training days through the month of July for returning players or players who wish to attend for the first time (no experience necessary) as follows:

Session Dates & Times

  • Wednesday June 30, 2021 (Evening), Marlay Park @6.45pm
  • Saturday July 10, 2021 – Marlay Park @12Noon
  • Saturday July 17, 2021 – Ashbourne Baseball Stadium @3pm
  • Wednesday July 28, 2021 (Evening), Baseball Ireland Strike Zone Facility (Time TBC)

Fastpitch Ireland are conscious of different activity schedules for players (and parents), and we hope everybody can make as many sessions as possible. We will also be looking to hold further weekend only sessions in September/October 2021.

To allow us get an understanding of the numbers attending each session, we would ask that you complete the sign-up link below:
Sign-up link – https://forms.office.com/r/AENZjS4snX

If you have any friends or family who would like to try softball but did not make the intro session, that is not probllem, they are more than welcome to attend any of the above sessions and we wuld as they complete the link above.

Looking forward to seeing the girls back on the softball field!

Coach Licencing – Grassroots Softball

The WBSC launched a new e-learning platform called the ‘WBSC
Academy’ as part of the WBSC’s broader digitalization offering, which includes several online services and tools available to all its members.

The Academy is intended to be a development tool aimed to facilitate Athletes, Coaches, Officials and National Federations to perform efficient self-learning of the various topics related to Softball.

Fastpitch Ireland will be taking a blended learning approach to the Grassroots Softball Educator course, coaches are asked to view the on-line videos, complete an on-line survey and then attend a 90 minute in person coaching session. The on-line element of the course is available in the Fastpitch Ireland Coaching Hub.

Speaking on the lauch of the Grassroots Softball Course, Fastpitch Ireland Director and WNT Head Coach Melanie Cunningham said “Teaching new players of any age the basic fundamentals of softball is the key foundation to players remaining in the sport and to growing the game in Ireland. We are delighed that the WBSC through the WBSC Academy have provided an outstanding e-learning platform for National Federations. The e-learning platform together with Fastptich Ireland in-person sessions will provide the perfect blended approach to ensure that all new players to our sport are introduced properly to Softball.”

Upon finishing the three stages of the course, a certificate of completion will be awarded and the journey to achieving the coaching qualifications will have begun.

Introduction to Softball – Details

We hope everyone is looking forward to the “Introduction to Softball day” this coming Saturday. In advance of the session, we wished to share the following:

Finding the International Baseball Centre

The session is being hosted with the support of our colleagues in Ashbourne Baseball Club and Baseball Ireland at the International Baseball Centre in Ashbourne. We have listed directions to the fields from Dublin below together with a google maps link. As there is no parking at the field, please park at the Ashbourne Community Centre or Ashbourne Community School and walk to the venue (approx. 5 minute walk).

Directions from Dublin

Driving

Take the N2 North from Dublin
Exit at Junction 3 onto R135
Take 2nd Exit at roundabout to stay on R135
At the Ashbourne Community Centre (RHS) turn Right onto Deerpark.
Turn Right at the Ashbourne Community Centre

Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/BuLHGFLbtSRTCtsT8

What should I wear?

The players should wear sports clothing they are comfortable in as there will be lots of movement and a little running on the day. Though the weather is forecasted to be sunny and dry, we would recommend bringing rain wear (we will still play in light rain) and a change of clothes just in case. We would also recommend bringing a cap/visor and sunscreen.

Footwear wise, if you have football boots/cleats they may be worn, alternatively a pair of runners will work fine also.

Equipment

All the equipment needed will be provided on the day for players to use. If you have your own glove/bat or helmet and wish to bring it along on the day, please feel free to do so. Gloves and helmets for the session will be distributed at the check-in desk. We would ask that if any of the players are left handed, can you please let us know in advance so can make sure we have the appropriate number of gloves available.

*In accordance with Fastpitch Ireland COVID-19 protocols all equipment provided on the day is either new out of the wrapper or has been sanitised in advance. All equipment will be sanitised after the session.*

Format

Players will be split into smaller groups to work through different skill stations over the course of the session and the day will conclude with a game. Our ethos is to keep everybody moving and engaged over the duration of the session.

Facilities

The International Baseball Centre has plenty of seating for those of you not playing on the day. In addition, Ashbourne Baseball Club run a snack-bar/coffee shop at the venue to help tide you over. Toilet facilities are also available at the venue.

First Aid

First Aid will be available on the day. If a player needs first aid attention, please bring it to the attention of one of the coaches.

COVID-19 Protocols

In accordance with Fastpitch Ireland’s COVID-19 protocols, we would ask that a COVID-19 symptom checker link is completed on Saturday morning before arrival at the venue – this will be sent out on Friday. On arrival, there will be a check-in desk to note who was in attendance in the unlikely event it is required for contact tracing.

Safeguarding

All Fastpitch Ireland coaches have been vetted by the National Vetting Bureau and have completed the mandatory Sport Ireland Safeguarding 1 Workshop. A link to the Fastpitch Ireland Safeguarding policy is provided below. The nominated Designated Liaison Person for Fastpitch Ireland is Melanie Cunningham (director@fastpitchsoftball.ie).

We look forward to seeing everybody on Saturday and should you have any questions in advance, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Helpful Links

Youth Introduction to Softball Session announced for May 29, 2021

Fastpitch (Softball) Ireland in association with Baseball Ireland are delighted to announce an Introduction to Softball Session for girls aged between 12 and 16. The session will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2021, from 12 Noon in the International Baseball Centre which is located behind the Community Centre in Ashbourne.

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

Speaking on the planned day, Melanie Cunningham said ” 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 Melanie Cunningham or Colum Lavery.

Return of Softball Confirmed

Further to the confirmation of the Government that sports clubs in the Republic of Ireland may return to training in groups of up to 15 from May 10, 2021. Softball Ireland confirmed that having considered the recommendation of the Medical Committee, the Softball Ireland Board have confirmed that softball training may return in Republic of Ireland from May 10, 2021 subject to the following conditions:


(I) The Government continue to permit sports teams to partake in training sessions; and
(II) All teams in the Republic of Ireland to continue to train in accordance with Government advice and restrictions; and
(III) All training sessions are held in accordance with the updated Softball Ireland Return to Play Protocol set out on the Softball Ireland website; and
(IV) Players are only permitted to attend and train with teams (clubs) they are registered with.

Fastpitch Ireland will be in touch with members shortly on the relaunch of training and the FPI League.

Updated COVID-19 Resource Hub

Softball Ireland updated the COVID-19 Hub in advance of the 2021 season. The COVID-19 Hub is accessible from the ‘Resources’ tab above or by clicking here.

The latest updates to the COVID-19 Hub include:

  • Updated Return to Play Policy for 2021
  • A Risk Assessment Template that can be used and modified by the teams
  • A Risk Assessment Guidance Document to explain how to risk assess your team’s activities / venues
  • A status table outlining what events can happen where

The COVID-19 Hub will be updated regularly throughout the season, including document updates and FAQs. If there is anything you would like to see on the hub, please get in touch with us.

For all COVID-19 enquiries, Softball Ireland continue to have a dedicated email: covid@softball.ie.

COVID-19 Resource Hub

The COVID-19 Resource Hub has now been updated for the 2021 season. The COVID-19 Hub is accessible from the ‘Resources’ tab above or by clicking here.

The latest updates to the COVID-19 Hub include:

  • Updated Return to Play Policy for 2021
  • A Risk Assessment Template that can be used and modified by the teams
  • A Risk Assessment Guidance Document to explain how to risk assess your team’s activities / venues
  • A status table outlining what events can happen where

The COVID-19 Hub will be updated regularly throughout the season, including document updates and FAQs. If there is anything you would like to see on the hub, please get in touch with us.

Due to government restrictions, please note that teams in the Republic of Ireland continue to be restricted from training or playing games and the insurance policy remains suspended.

For all COVID-19 enquiries, Softball Ireland continue to have a dedicated email: covid@softball.ie.

Ireland Softball Green Logo

Team Ireland withdraw from 2021 international competition due to COVID

Further to the recommendation of the Softball Ireland Medical Committee, the Softball Ireland Board on March 15, 2021 agreed to withdraw all Softball Ireland National Teams and Club Teams from International Competition up to and including August 2021. The decision of the Board is athlete welfare driven to ensure those representing Ireland may do so in the safest way possible

The rationale for the recommendation of the Softball Ireland Medical Committee and the decision of our Board is as follows:

1. Ireland continues to be in a Level 5 (highest level) lock down which restricts movement and does not permit sport to be played bar for a very l imited number of sports. Softball (and Baseball) does not meet the criteria of elite sport in Ireland. At this point, we do not foresee Softball recommencing in Ireland before May 2021 earliest and therefore do not believe our athletes can be adequately conditioned or prepared to participate in an international tournament.

2. The continued spiking of COVID -19 across Europe together with the inconsistent vaccination roll out (including Ireland) has concerned our Medical Committee who formed the opinion that the risk of inf ection and the subsequent 14 day quarantining of infected player/staff continued to be too high a risk for amateur athletes. The concerns of the Medical Committee have been reconfirmed by the recent snap lockdowns in Italy and other European Countries coupled with the positive tests of an Irish athlete returning from the recent European Indoor Championships in Poland.

3. The on-going uncertainty around travel restrictions for athletes entering and exiting Italy, irrespective of nationality and the financial risk s associated with this.

4. In addition to the medical and logistical risks identified by the Medical Committee, the Irish government has also introduced a €2,000 travel fine ( per person) for non-essential International travel. We have been advised that travelling to compete in Softball European Championships does not meet the requirements to be deemed essential travel.

The decision to withdraw from international competition in 2021 was not a decision taken lightly by the Softball Ireland Board. However after discussions with the Medical Committee, HSE, coaches and athletes, the Softball Ireland Board has taken the position that our decisions would be taken with an abundance of caution and medically led by our Medical Committee.

Softball Ireland can confirm that the following teams have been withdrawn from 2021 events:
• Ireland National Team withdrawn from the Women’s European Championships 2021

• Ireland National Team withdrawn from the Co- ed Slowpitch European Championships 2021

• Dodder Softball Club withdrawn from the Co- Ed Slowpitch Super Cup 2021

IWD2021 Player Profile – Eithne Walsh

Name: Eithne Walsh 
Age: 22
Hometown: Ogonnelloe, County Clare 
College: National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)

Why do you think continuing in sport is important for women after school?
Continuing to play sports is very important for everyone after school. There are countless benefits associated with taking part in exercise- both mentally and physically. As Elle Woods iconically said in the movie ‘Legally Blonde’, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy”. With group sports just like softball, there is also a social aspect related with it. Participating in training and games supplies the opportunity to make new circles of friends, and to catch up with teammates.

What could be done to encourage more women to keep playing sport after school?
I strongly believe in the 20×20 women in sport campaign, where their slogan is “If she can’t see it, she can’t be it”. By providing young girls in sport with strong role models, it lets them see that they too can put their heads down and work hard to become great within their respective sports 

What does playing Softball for Ireland mean to to you?
Describing how much it means to me to have the opportunity to represent my country is something I cant really put into words. But thats what it is, representing my country in a sport I love, and with teammates who have become my family. Putting on that green jersey and competing against other nations is bigger than an individual, a team or even the competition itself, its about competing to the best of your ability and proudly representing your country. 

IWD2021 Player Profile – Caitlyne De Lange

Name: Caitlyne de Lange
Age: 21
Hometown: Co.Meath, Ireland
College: Hanze university of applied science

Why do you think continuing in sport is important for women after school?
I think it’s important to continue sport after school because it improves women’s confidence and self esteem it also gives you amazing new memories with life long friends.

What could be done to encourage more women to keep playing sport after school?
There could be more promotion targeted at women who have played or want to play the sport and there could be open days held to show them there is no discrimination in the sport.

What does playing Softball for Ireland mean to to you?
Playing for Ireland for me means immense pride not only for the country but the team as well and how far we have come together and have now become a family, we not only play for the flag on our shirt but for each other to do the best we can.