BSUK brings softball to the 2017 UK Corporate Games

Mon 10 Jul 2017

The latest edition of the UK Corporate Games was held on the weekend of 8-9 July in Nottingham, and, with softball featured as one of the core sports, BSUK was on hand to ensure the smooth running of the competition.

Corporate Games, an event where professional organisations compete against one another in up to 23 different sports, are held annually across the globe, with the largest European event being held this year in Nottingham.


Round-robin

On a sunny Saturday morning, eight teams -- from Vodafone, Nationwide, Asda, Places for People, Telstra, and Willis Towers Watson -- assembled to take part in the group stages of the event under the watchful eyes of dedicated BASU-qualified umpires and administrative staff.

With the Nationwide Panthers featuring many experienced softball players, last year’s champions, the Vodafone Meritus, knew that they’d be up against it to defend their title.  This was confirmed when their Group A match up was narrowly won by the team from Nationwide.

In Group B, the Wilson Towers Watson first team, the Wildcats, looked serene as they progressed with a perfect record of three wins from three into Sunday’s elimination tournament.

Meanwhile, a very inexperienced Places for People team improved dramatically throughout the day, culminating in a win over Telstra, which boded well for their chances on Day 2.

At the end of Day 1, the Nationwide Panthers ruled Group A, with the Meritus Vodafone team in second place, the Wilson Towers Watson second team, the Swingers, in third place, and a rapidly improving Asda team in fourth. 

In Group B, the Wildcats held the top spot, with Vodafone again having to settle for second place, this time in the form of their Vixens team.  Places for People looked well set for a medal challenge in third place while the team from Telstra rounded out the group.

With Saturday’s action only serving as seeding for the knockout tournament to be held on Sunday, everyone was still in with a chance of winning the tournament, and along with it, the coveted invitation to represent the UK at the World Corporate Games in Houston, Texas this November.


Playoffs​

After the festivities of the Corporate Games party on Saturday evening, the knockout tournament began on Sunday morning with shocks aplenty, as the Places for People team downed the reigning champions Vodafone Meritus and the Swingers beat the Vodafone Vixens.

With the Panthers moving past Telstra and the Wildcats knocking out the Asda team, the semi-finals were set: Wilson Towers Watson would have two representatives, with the Swingers facing the Panthers and the Wildcats taking on now-dangerous Places for People team.

Asda rounded out their tournament with a win against Vodafone Meritus to capture fifth place.


The final​

Despite the best efforts of Places for People and the Swingers, the Wildcats and the Panthers won through to set up a final between the two best teams of the weekend.

With Places for People adding a final chapter to their Cinderella story by beating the Swingers to the bronze medal in a close game that ended 4-3, all the was left was to see who would be getting the prestigious invite to Houston!

And for all of the Wilson Towers Watson Wildcats’ efforts, the Nationwide Panthers would not be denied, as Team Captain and Texan native Jennifer Harwood led her team to a convincing victory.


Standings

BSUK’s Corporate Games organiser Luke Stott said: “It’s been a fantastic experience for all involved.  Softball, with its intuitive nature, and the mix of genders and abilities, is an obvious choice for any organisation looking to add a sports dimension to its culture, and this event highlighted just how great the sport is for that.”

If you’re interested in setting up a workplace softball league or even just finding a local club, please contact Luis Arrevillagas at BSUK (la@bsuk.com), and our dedicated team will be on hand to guide you through the process!

The final Corporate Games standings were:

1 -- Nationwide Building Society Panthers
2 -- Willis Towers Watson Wildcats
3 -- Places for People
4 -- Willis Towers Watson Swingers
5 -- Asda
6 -- Vodafone UK Meritus
7 -- Vodafone UK Vixens
8 -- Telstra

Luis Arrevillagas added: “BaseballSoftballUK has been running softball for the Corporate Games over the last few years.  From Preston to Stoke and Liverpool to Nottingham, it is always a great event to be involved with.  Some of the players that participate in this event have ended up joining local leagues.  In addition, our sports get publicity over the long weekend when this event takes place, and we also use the opportunity to network with possible corporate contacts.  We are already looking forward to next year.”

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