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.

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.

IWD2021 Player Profile – Sinead O’Leary

Name: Sinead O’Leary
Age: 22
Hometown: Ballina
College: University of Limerick

Why do you think continuing in sport is important for women after school?

I think continuing in sport after school is extremely important. Not only is it amazing for your mental health, it also teaches you determination, commitment and team work qualities that will be useful for life.

What could be done to encourage more women to keep playing sport after school?

We need to keep pushing young girls to stick with their sports after school and teach them the importance of sport in ones life. Sport can open so many opportunities and provide friendships for life.

What does playing Softball for Ireland mean to to you?

I have made so many lifelong friends through playing softball with Ireland. We have so much fun on and off the field while still getting work done. Softball Ireland has provided me with many opportunities.

IWD2021 Player Profile – Maeve Og O’Leary

Name: Maeve Og O’Leary
Age: 21
Home Town: Ballina Co. Tipperary
Profile: Dublin City University

Why do you think continuing in sport is important for women after school?

I think it’s important for young women to stay involved in sport after school for a number of reasons. Not only does it keep us fit, healthy and motivated but it helps us develop over all as people, teaching us skills and qualities for life.

What could be done to encourage more women to keep playing sport after school?

I think a better education surrounding the benefits of sports, knowledge around nutrition and less of a stigma surrounding women and young girls in sport would help keep younger girls playing sport but massive moves are being made to help all of these things.

What does playing Softball for Ireland mean to to you?

Playing for Ireland Softball has being an absolute privelidge and honour. I am so Proud to be able to wear the Irish flag on my back and it has given me amazing opportunities, allowing me to meet so many amazing people along the way. So far it has been unreal and I can’t wait to continue my journey.

Under-19 Women's National Team 2019

International Women’s Day – Play Like a Girl

The aim of International Women’s day is to open a conversation about what each of us can do to challenge the status quo to ensure gender-balance across all aspects of society. International Women’s Day also celebrates the achievements of Women in society.

Fastpitch Ireland are today clebrating the strong Women of our programme who show leadership, skill and dedication to be the best at their sport and showing that we all wish we can play and throw like a girl.

#ChooseToChallenge norms!

Credits and many thanks to Eithne Walsh and Josh O’ Leary (JOSSLE) for the amamzing video.

Italian Coach Enrico Obletter has passed away

Fastpitch Ireland are saddened to learn of the death of the Italian National team head coach Enrico Obletter.

Enrico will be remembered as a great coach and even better person and will be dearly missed by everyone in Softball and by us in Fastpitch Ireland.

The thoughts of everybody in Fastpitch Ireland are with Enrico’s wife Giovanna, his family, his players and FIBS at this difficult time.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Link to FIBS Release

Safeguarding and Fastpitch Ireland

Fastpitch Ireland as a discipline of Softball Ireland have ratified the approval and addoption of the Softball Ireland Safeguarding Policy.

The Safeguarding tab under resources will take to you to the Safeguarding Hub, on this page you will find the Fastpitch Irleand (as a discipline of Softball Ireland) Safeguarding Policies (published 21st January 2021) and all the supporting documentation to keep children and young people safe while playing all disciplines of the sport of softball.

The creation of these policies have been mandated in law, so all clubs, regions and discipines in Ireland are required to familiarise themselves with the Safeguarding Policies and follow the guidance laid out within it.

Any safeguarding issues or concerns can be directed to our National Children’s Officer by emailing safeguarding@softball.ie.

Signed
Melanie Cunningham
Director of Fastpitch

COVID-19 Restrictions Update – February 2021

Island of Ireland Restrictions

In accordance with the restrictions as set out by the Northern Ireland Executive and the decision of the Irish Government set the Republic of Ireland to Level 5, all Softball activities inclusive of training continue to be suspended to at least March 5, 2021.

Please note that during this period no softball activities are covered by the Softball Ireland insurance policy. Please note that the suspension of activities inludes but is not limited to leagues, tournament, inter-team games, practices and training in any sized grouping.

Fastpitch Ireland woud encourage our members to follow all public health guidelines and continue to work together to reduce the spread of the virus.

Fastpitch Ireland continues to develop contingencies to support our national team players preparations and to host the Irish Fastpitch Leagus in 2021. The Executive Committee wishes continued good health to all our members and their families.

Ireland Softball Logo (Large)

Ireland WNT Entry to Euro 2021 Confirmed

The Irish WNT has confirmed its entry to the 2021 Women’s European Championship (XXII) which will be held in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy from 27 June 2021 to 3 July 2021. Ireland’s participation is subject to COVID-19 conditions and government guidance.

The WNT are the number 8 seeds in the tournament following on from the 2019 tournament. A new tournament format will be introduced for the 2021 Championship. The top 8 teams from the last edition (2019) will enter the tournament Super Round directly. The remaining teams have been drawn into pools with the winners of each pool then joining the top 8 seeds in the Super Round. The Super Round pools A and B are based on standings of the previous championship.

The Irish WNT management team will continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis and will liaise with the Softball Ireland Medical Committee and Irish health authorities before any final decision on Ireland’s participation is made in late February 2021.

Further details on the tournament may be found here: https://www.europeansoftball.org/competitions/detail/318

Softball Europe Logo (Large)

European Championships Postponed

APRIL 2, 2020 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WBSC Europe Softball Division have announced their decision to amend it’s 2020 tournament schedule. The WBSC Europe Softball Division has confirmend the following:

  • European softball international events for 2020 under Softball Europe have been cancelled except for;
  • European Championships which act as qualifiers for World Cups 2021- the events have now been postponed to September.

What does this mean for Fastpitch Ireland?? The amended schedule will see the originally planned European Championships for which Ireland are the #8 seed postponed to September 2020 as follows:

  • Women’s European Championship postponed to September 20 – 26, 2020

The Fastpitch Ireland Board welcome and support the decision of Softball Europe to postpone the European Championships from June 2020 at this time.  The Fastpitch Ireland Board, Coaches and Medical Committee together with WNT players will review Ireland’s participation in the Women’s European Championship as the response to the global pandemic continues.

Any decision on Ireland’s participation in the event will be athelete driven with consideration been given to the health & safety of the atheletes & coaches and whether it is felt the athletes will have adequate time and opportunity to prepare and condition for the tournament. 
Our thoughts continue to be with the Fastptich Ireland family during this difficult time and in particular with the Softball community of Italy who should be hosting this tournament in June.
 
The full statement from the WBSC Europe Softball Division is available HERE

Interested in playing for the ‘Rocks Travel Team

‘Rocks Travel Ball team are looking for players who are interested in joining a team which will participate in the UK and Netherlands in 2020.

 The aim of the ‘Rocks Travel Ball team is to give Irish based female players an opportunity to play Fastpitch at a higher level. The opportunity will provide a platform for players who want a higher level of softball, improve the skills of current and furture Irish based international players and ultimately create a team to travel to European Club tournaments.

MNC Hilversum Tournament, Netherlands (March 21/22, 2020)

Fastpitch Ireland take part in a club tournament in the Netherlands annualy to allow international players an opportunity to knock off some cobwebs and play some higher level games on dirt diamonds.The tournament is an enjoyable weekend of softball. We are opening up the team to league players who may be interested in travelling to the tournament as part of the ‘Rocks to gain more experiecne or just weekend of Softball. The team will combine with some guest players we invite from the Netherlands.

Great Britain Fastpitch League (Dates TBC)

We have spoken with BSF about entering an Irish League select team in the Great Britain Fastpitch League in 2020. The league is run over a number of weekends and we would hope to have enough player interest to enter a team in the tournament (players would not be expected to travel every game week) and would possibly be day trips/one night stays. We are hoping that the BSF would be open to us guesting in a few tournaments in 2020 with a view to becoming full members in 2021.

We are looking to gauge interest in players wishing to be part of the travelling teams in 2020. If this is something you may be interested in travelling to or want more information, please complete the below link.

Click Here to Register Your Interest in Playing for the ‘Rocks in 2020