Yearly Archives

2016 Archives

The Nationals

The Portsmouth Dodgers headed to Farnham park to play in the 2016 Nationals in August. Looking to bring back a trophy for the league. Facing league winners from around the country, the dodgers were hot all weekend and only lost one game the entire tournament. The final game was a tough one as heading into the final inning, The Dodgers were facing a two run deficit. Digging deep they scored three runs giving themselves a one run lead to defend with their rivals final inning at bat.  Amazing defence shut the opposition down and the Dodgers took the Nationals gold title. Winning this competition means that the Dodgers are automatically moved up to the platinum finals for 2017. 

Summerball 2016

Solent Summerball16 took place at Redbridge lane. It wasn't summery, it rained, we all got wet. Teams won, teams lost (along with the scores hence why there are none) and we are pretty sure the OAPs won. If anyone has the scores, or wants to trawl through Facebook and pass them to us, that would be amazing.

Firstball 2016

The SSL firstball is normally something of an enigma. It has been rained of twice in the last four years. One year it was cloudy in the morning, torrential rain by lunch, and after it was called off, was totally tropical in the afternoon. So teams turned up ready for any eventuality on Sunday the 24th of April.

A lovely surprise greeted the players as they showed up as clear blue sky was all the eye could see. It would stick around for most of the day too, with a slight pattering of rain to cool the air around lunchtime, followed by more sun.
All the usual old faces graced the diamonds, along with some new ones in the guise of one of the leagues new teams the Redbridge Raiders. We were also graced with our friends down the road the Brighton Beachcombers, who came to enjoy the surprise sunshine with us.

Plenty of softball was played, great catches were taken, big hits were made, and some trophies were given out. Congratulations to the OAPs who were tournament winners. Full results are below.

Rookieball 2016

Saturday 30th April.  A bright and sunny start to the bank holiday weekend, and to a brand new tournament held by the league at Redbridge Lane Softball Fields.
Rookieball had been run in 2015 between four of the teams in the lower leagues.  The recreational spirit of the original day made League Chairman Mike Doe and West Region Recruitment Officer Matt Andrews to open up the tournament to teams around the country, in a bid to give game experience to new teams and players, but also inexperienced umpires as well.  The tournament was also aimed to raise money for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust, a charity which the league has supported since 2004.

The 8 teams were split into two leagues to compete in a round robin before heading into the play-offs at the end of the day in the usual 55 minute game format and were divided into:

Group A

Southampton Spitfires MkII (SSL)
Solent Scratch (SSL composite team)
Maidenhead Rebels (Oxford League)
Bat to the Future (GLSML)

Group B

Redbridge Raiders (SSL)
Monmouth Rockets (Cardiff Softball)
Chichester Falcons (SSL)
Baffins Brewers (SSL)

And so the day started at 10am with the play off's once the players had finished their breakfast at the rugby club, and dancing to Matt's awful playlist.

Spitfires MKII 6 Solent Scratch 20                           Maidenhead Rebels 3  BTTF 19
Redbridge Raiders 8 Monmouth Rockets 12        Chichester Falcons 12 Baffins Brewers 7
Spitfires MKII 20 Maidenhead Rebels 3                 Solent Scratch 10 BTTF 8
Redbridge Raiders 6 Chichester Falcons 11         Monmouth Rockets 24 Baffins Brewers 1
Spitfires MKII 7 BTTF 9                                             Solent Scratch 9 Maidenhead Rebels 8
Redbridge Raiders 19 Baffins Brewers 4              Monmouth Rockets 6  Chichester Falcons 7

After a quick tally of the scores, the teams were ranked and it was the time for play off's:

Spoon Final:                Maidenhead Rebels 7 Baffins Brewers 15
Plate Final:                  Spitfires MKII 9 Redbridge Raiders 11
Cup Final:                    BTTF 6 Monmouth Rockets 8
Tournament Final:     Solent Scratch 10 Chichester Falcons 6

With the clouds looming over and the rain setting in, it was time to move into the clubhouse to make use of the bar, where Matt and Mike met with Adele and Clint from the Tom Prince Cancer Trust to present the donation and hand out the prizes from the day.  The tournament received lots of positive feedback from the players and we very much hope to run the tournament again next year.  We also managed to raise a grand total of £520 for the trust - many thanks to the participating teams and to the umpires who donated their fees to add to the total.

Male MVP: Gareth Dunn, Monmouth Rockets
Female MVP: Bronte, Chichester Falcons 
Spoon Winners: Baffins Brewers
Plate Winners: Redbridge Raiders
Cup Winners: Monmouth Rockets
Tournament Winners: Solent Scratch


Tom Prince Charity Tournament

The 2016 Tm Prince charity indoor softball tournament was held at Flemming Park leisure centre on the 9th of April, 10 teams came together to raise money, play some softball and try and win the 1st trophy of 2016.
With two new teams and plenty of new faces, the tournament is seen as a day of fun and the chance to raise as much money as we can for the leagues nominated charity, the Tom Prince cancer trust. Traditionally seen as the season opener for the SSL, teams bat and fielded their way through a group stage, then a final against their opposite number in the opposing group.
Despite being the new kids on the block, the Redbridge Raiders looked like they had been in the league for a good number of years and will give teams trouble in the upcoming out door season. Keep an eye out for them.
At the end of the day, teams won, teams lost and everyone had a great day. We raised a very nice £1110.00 for the charity and hope we pushed it a lot closer to the total they are hoping to get to.

Rookie Ball 2016

SSL AGM Minutes 2016

Solent Rookie Ball is a new tournament held by the SSL for C minus and D grade teams. 
The tournament will be held on the 30th of April at Redbridge lane softball fields and is now full.
Eight teams will battle it out to become the 1st ever champions of Rookie Ball.
Read the minutes from the SSL AGM here. 

Indoor league


This year sees us trying out something new with the indoor training. Rather than just 10 weeks of training, we decided to have a mini league at the end instead. Each team will be a mixture of players from the league, rather than it being league teams, so if your new to the sport, you will fit in nicely.
To take part, either join the relevant racebook events page (each week has its own page) or contact:
Southampton league:
Portsmouth league:

Indoor 2016 has started

Indoor training sessions have now started. Two sessions, Portsmouth and Southampton began on the 17th of January and will continue for the following 6 weekends, before an indoor mini league will take place in both locations. SSL coaches run rookies and existing players through their paces getting them back into shape for the upcoming 2016 SSL season.


2015 Was the leagues 20th anniversary season and what a season it was. Below is just some of the things that we got up to.

Last ball 2015

Lastball is usually played in the rain at Tangiers field. But not this year, after a fog delay of about an hour, Lasball 2015 'pitched' off in glorious sunshine. 
With the usual tournament finals being up for grabs, the Solent Anniversary series was also being played for, with four teams in the hunt.
The OAP's, Sharks, Sluggers and Dodgers West all looking to be crowned the overall winners.
The semi-finals ended up with these four teams in a winner takes it all knock-out. The OAP's faced the Sharks and the Dodgers West faced the Sluggers. In closely fought games, the OAP's and Dodgers West went through to the final. With both teams taking a win a piece in the league this season, the game would be a close battle, played with great banter and spirit. With the OAP's average age being substantially reduced by the young men of the Brockway family, the OAP's took the final with a 10 - 5 win. 
As usual, the series was played with great camaraderie and team spirit, as all SSL games and tournaments are. The new Redbridge Raiders team fitted in perfectly and we will be looking forward to see how they get on in their first season in the league in 2016. Well the series wouldn’t be finished without an injury, and this one went to the unfortunate Shelly Burford of the Sharks managed to stop a throw to one with her head instead of her glove. Shelly is fine, but can apparently now talk fluent Italian.

OAP's Tournament Winners

Special thanks to 
   Alan Burgess

Hurricanes Plate Winners

Falcons Cup Winners

Congratulations to the OAP's on winning              the 20th Anniversary series

Brewers Spoon Winners

Male & Female MVP Simmon Tymms & Kat Carter

OAPs 15 - 6 Sluggers
Whacks 5 - 10 Zombies
Falcons 5 - 15 Dodgers West
Hurricanes 12 - 14 Sharks
OAPs 15 - 2 Raiders
Shafters 7 - 6 Spitfires
Falcons 12 - 6 Hurricanes
Brewers 2 - 12 Dodgers East
Sluggers 13 - 9 Whacks
Zombies 8 - 7 Raiders
Brewers 3 - 7 Sharks
Dodgers West 11 - 1 Dodgers East
Whacks 19 - 6 Shafters
Zombies 5 - 5 Spitfires
Falcons 8 - 7 Sharks
Dodgers West 7 - 1 Hurricanes
OAPs 11 - 5 Spitfires
Sluggers 18 - 3 Raiders
Falcons 2 - 4 Dodgers East
Hurricanes 8 - 3 Brewers
OAPs 16 - 4 Shafters
Whacks 9 - 8 Raiders
Brewers 1 - 17 Dodgers West
Dodgers East 4 - 19 Sharks
Sluggers 17 - 4 Spitfires
Zombies 7 - 10 Shafters
Tournament Game 1
Dodgers West10 - 7 Sluggers
Tournament game 2
Sharks 4 - 12 OAPs
Cup game 3
Falcons 9 - 6 Whacks
Cup Game 4
Dodgers East 11 - 9 Zombies
Tournament Final
OAPs 10 - 5 Dodgers West
Plate Final
Hurricanes 10 -5 Shafters
Cup Final
Falcons 8 - 5 Dodgers East
Spoon Final
Brewers 12 - 5 Spitfires

Congratulations to the
Chichester Falcons
for coming second in the Silver final at the Nationals at Farnham Park.

Congratulations to our Solent Mariners for winning the cup at Diamond 3 and coming runners up in the series. Well done team

Summer ball 2015

Solent summer ball was held at a new venue this year. Redbridge lane sports ground is the new home of all the Southampton teams and is a lovely size for a tournament. Giving it a trial run, Solent teams turned out on a lovely sunny day on the Saturday to play some softball. The fields were great (despite a lower leg sized hole between 2nd and 3rd base on one pitch) and the trial run was going great. Camping space was perfect too, the hog roast and free bouncy castle were busy for most of the day and the entertainment for the evening went down a storm. Speaking of storms, that's pretty much what happened from the early hours of Sunday morning on wards. Sunday was a washout. However, with thinking caps on, the organisers booked a hall for anyone that still wanted to play softball, and many took up this clever offer. The rest of the tournament will still be played at Tangiers field on the 13th of September. The facebook event page has more info HERE should you need it.
The leagues latest team, the Redbridge Raiders made their tournament bow and showed great promise. Fielding tightly, and knowing how to base run, the Raiders will be a great addition to the league in the 2016 season.

GB team win 10th Euro title

The GB national team won it's tenth European title in Dupnista, Bulgaria early this August.
One of GB's pitchers was the Knicks very own Brad Gilmour. 
To read a full account of the tournament, visit the BSF website by clicking on the team photo.

SSL Veterans Day

Chris O'Connor receiving 'treatment'
The SSL celebrates it's 20th anniversary this year, and one way of celebrating was to invite some old faces back for a day of glorious softball. And what a glorious day it was too. Played in high spirits, The Shafters, the Sharks, the Dodgers and a mish-mash team that included Some Hurricanes, OAP's, Dolphins and anyone who wanted a game, all came together to hit a few balls and do some gentle jogging from base to base. 
A special turn out by the man that kicked it all off, Chris O'Connor, unfortunately ended quickly with the Ex-Dodger pulling a muscle on his 1st run towards 1st base.  No such issues for Clayton and Emma Prince however, as both of them acquitted themselves well playing for the Dodgers on the day. A lot of old Shafters showed up to play in the famous purple of the University, and some old jerseys were retrieved from the back of the closet too, with the famous Dolphins pin-stripes on show from a couple of players. Scores were not important as banter and laughs were the real winner, as was the BBQ at the club house after the games had finished. A wonderful day to celebrate where it all started. 

1st ball 2015

This year’s 1st ball is not only the usual opening tournament for the SSL season, but is also the opening tournament of a 3 tournament series. 
Each tournament will have an overall winner, and each SSL team will accumulate points for the position they finish each tournament in, and when all three tournaments are finished, an overall winner will be crowned.
Fortunately, dry and slightly sunny weather was on display for the day, which helped put the players in a good mood to play softball, especially as first pitch was at 8:45 so an early start for some teams.
An amazing day of softball was had by all (except maybe Colin Edwards of the Dodgers East who unfortunately dislocated his shoulder) with some real tight games, some large home runs and some amazing fielding. A special mention goes to the Killa Whales who have taken on nearly all the new players from the indoor sessions during the winter. The new players held their own and looked anything but new during their games. The Spitfires who have taken on nearly all of the new players from the Southampton indoor sessions over the winter. They all gelled well and looked like a team that has been playing together for several seasons, let alone their first few games together. And finally the Dodgers east who are a complete new team, borne from the Portsmouth Dodgers who had enough players to play two teams in 2014. Despite not winning a game on the day, the Dodgers East ran the Spitfires close and showed that they can mix it with the big boys of the league.
The Overall winners of the day were the OAP’s who scored double digits in every game they played.
Tournament Winners - OAPs
Cup Winners - Dodgers West
Plate Winners - Chichester Falcons
Spoon Winners - Killa Whales
Male MVP Matt Andrews Southampton Spitfires
Female MVP Rhona Jane Gray Southsea Sharks
Tournament Final
OAPs 18 - 11 Sharks
Plate Final
Shafters 14 - 14 Falcons
Cup Final
Dodgers West 15 - 6 Brewers
Spoon Final
Dodgers East 11 - 20 Whales
Dodgers West 12 - 7 Whales     Sharks 16 - 7 Zombies
Shafters 5 - 20 Knicks                 OAPs 23 - 5 Hurricanes
Dodgers West 6 - 8 Sluggers     Falcons 9 - 6 Brewers 
Shafters 2 - 22 OAPs                   Dodgers East 14 - 25 Spitfires
Whales 6 - 16 Sharks                  Zombies 6 - 13 Sluggers 
Knicks 19 - 10 Spitfires               Dodgers East 7 - 14 Hurricanes 
Sharks 13 - 2 Falcons                  Zombies 8 - 19 Brewers
Shafters 7 - 13 Hurricanes         Knicks 11 - 18 OAPs
Dodgers West 12 - 4 Brewers    Whales 3 - 13 Sluggers
Shafters 4 - 15 Spitfires              OAPs 23 - 6 Dodgers East
Dodgers West 11- 5 Falcons      Sharks 15 - 11 Sluggers
Dodgers East 3 - 23 Knicks         Spitfires 3 - 22 Hurricanes
Whales 3 - 6 Brewers                  Zombies 3 - 9 Falcons
Tournament Game 1
OAPs 20 - 13 Dodgers West
Tournament game 2
Knicks 12 - 14 Sharks
Cup game 3
Hurricanes 11 - 12 Brewers
Cup Game 4
Spitfires 6 - 8 Sluggers

SSL Players and the GB Squad

Brad Gilmour of the Knicks has once again been selected
for the GB slowpitch squad. David Piesse, of the Chichester
Falcons, has made the GB trials team, and Kelvin Harrison
of the Solent Sluggers is back in the development squad.
A massive congratulations to all three players.
Click on the photo to visit the GB website.
  1. James Wheeler
  2. Madelyn Franco
  3. Vicki Cathie
  4. James Wheeler & Jason Mercer
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Chichester Falcons Charity tournament

The 3rd annual Chichester Softball Tournament was a resounding success, raising over £900 for a local charity.
Hosted by Chichester Falcons Softball Club, this years’ event was in aid of The Aldingbourne Trust, who support people with learning disabilities to reach their potential across Sussex.  Six teams from the UK entered and battled it out on the ballfield on Saturday 11thApril at the University of Chichester.
Returning to defend their title were the Vampire Batters from Crawley, noisy neighbours the Brighton Beachcombers, new entrants Maidenhead Softball Club, plus Solent League regulars Portsmouth Dodgers and Solent Sluggers.  The Falcons themselves filled the 6thslot as play got under way despite light rain early in the morning.
On hand to see the teams through was hot food, a raffle, music and a softball themed coconut shy, providing the softballers with a little light relief from the furious pace of the one-hour timed ballgames.
The Dodgers wasted no time and got ahead of the pack early on, despatching Vampire Batters in their first game, whilst the Sluggers and Falcons struggled to find their feet in the early stages.  As the day panned out, the sunshine made for a pleasant day of softball played in good spirits with a hotly competitive edge. Beachcombers and Maidenhead rallied through the afternoon but by now the Vampire Batters were soaring, putting up the highest score of the day against Beachcombers at 21-8.  The Falcons flapped hard but couldn’t catch a break until their final round robin game where they took the Sluggers 9-6.
Maidenhead 12 Beachcombers 12
Dodgers 10 Vampire Batters 4
Sluggers 2 Vampire Batters 18
Falcons 6 Maidenhead 14
Falcons 7 Beachcombers 17
Sluggers 10 Dodgers 5
Dodgers 12 Maidenhead 2
Beachcombers 8 Vampire Batters 21
Vampire Batters 9 Falcons 2
Maidenhead 12 Sluggers 9
Falcons 9 Sluggers 6
Beachcombers 5 Dodgers 14
Spoon Final – Falcons beat Sluggers
Plate Final – Maidenhead beat Beachcombers
Cup Final – Vampire Batters beat Dodgers

Tom Prince indoor tournament

This years annual Tom Prince charity tournament took place at Flemming Park in Eastleigh, a new venue for the tournament, that has always traditionally been held at Mountbatten centre in Portsmouth. It was also the 10th Anniversary of the tournament, that is primarily to raise as much cash as possible for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.
The new venue was a great place to celebrate, with lots of space, larger pitches and the management giving us a great deal, meaning we could raise more for the charity. Ten teams entered with aspirations of taking the first silver ware of the 2015 SSL season. 
Every year, the SSL host free indoor softball sessions in Portsmouth and Southampton to encourage new players to try out the wonderful sport of softball. It is free and coaches are on hand to help the players lean the game. At the end of the sessions, the league then host the Tom Prince tournament and team slot is always saved for those new players to get some game time and see how it feels to play against the league teams. The Underdogs were this years team of newbies from Portsmouth, but with strong performances all round, hunger for the game and no trouble with the rules, they looked anything but ‘new’. Also the Southampton session players also looked the part playing for their new team, the Spitfires. You wouldn’t have known that the players only started playing this year as they fitted in to the team seamlessly.
The Spitfires and Zombies were two new teams from last season’s indoor sessions, and have both come on leaps and bounds from last year. Both teams showed great spirit and camaraderie and looked like they had been part of the league for years. A great season ahead is clearly in the offing for these two teams.
A great day was had by all, plenty of home runs, some amazing catches, plenty of running the bases and most importantly, a massive £1128.50 raised for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.
The Full results are as follows:
Spitfires 18 – 19 Sluggers                       Hurricanes 18 – 18 Zombies
Shafters 19 – 19 Brewers                       Dodgers 19 – 24 Sluggers
Spitfires 11 – 22 Falcons                         Hurricanes 25 – 17 Underdogs
Sluggers 21 – 14 Shafters                       Zombies 18 – 21 Dodgers
Brewers 13 – 22 Falcons                         Sharks 25 – 15 Underdogs
Spitfires 18 - 20 Shafters                        Hurricanes 14 – 22 Dodgers
Sluggers 14 – 8 Brewers                         Zombies 10 – 14 Sharks
Shafters 11 – 14 Falcons                         Dodgers 23 – 19 Underdogs
Spitfires 17 – 25 Brewers                        Hurricanes 14 – 16 Sharks
Sluggers 14 – 19 Falcons                        Zombies 17 – 8 Underdogs
Silver Final:
Sluggers 21 - 10 Dodgers
Bronze Final:
Brewers 20 - 17 Zombies
Plastic Final:
Hurricanes 29 - 12 Shafters
Wooden Final:
Spitfires 18 - 13 Underdogs
Gold Final:
Falcons 23 - 13 Sharks


Over the weekend of the 28th February, 12 players from around the league attended a level one coaching course at Richard Taunton's college, run by BSUK's Liz Knight. The course was the first of its kind to be run exclusively for the Solent Softball League. It covered basic softball skills and teaching techniques, tips on how to make training sessions informative and how to engage with participants. The course participants then had to plan an execute a 10 minute session aimed at new players, each covering a different topic. All course participants successfully achieved their level 1 coaching qualification, and you can look forward to one of the new coaches running coaching sessions at Portsmouth, Southampton or Hursley over the 2015 season.
By Matt Andrews, Southampton Spitfires
Back on the 1st of February, The Southampton indoor session were visited by Harry and Emily who are taking on a charity 50 sport challenge in order to raise the profile of sporting opportunities in Hampshire and raising money for MIND and Macmillan Cancer Support. See Their blog by clicking on their photo.
The BSUK are running a 'Hit the Pitch' programme to bring the sport of Softball to the masses. Patrick Knock as written an article on the BSUK website, read it by clicking on the picture.
The BSF have released their list of legal bats and balls for the 2015 season.
Click here to read more.