Record number of teams battle at the 4th Manchester LGBT Tournament

Mon 18 Jun 2018

BaseballSoftballUK held the fourth annual Manchester LGBT Softball Tournament on Saturday 16 June at Parrs Wood School in Didsbury. 

The tournament has doubled in size since 2015, and this time there were 12 teams competing: seven from Manchester, two from Chester and the others from Liverpool, Hull and Nottingham.  

As well as enjoying a fun day of softball, teams also raised money for Pride Youth Games+, a sporting event for LGBTQ+ youth.  The coconut shy has become a staple fundraiser for the Manchester LGBT Tournament over the years and was as popular as ever. 

Money was also raised by the sale of tickets for the instant raffle, rainbow socks and for the cupcakes kindly baked and donated by Gemma Wallace from the Rippers.

Format

Teams were divided into three groups of four teams each at the start of the tournament, and each group played a round-robin.

Based on the results, teams were then placed into Gold, Silver, Bronze and Spoon groups, completing another round robin, and then the top two teams in each group played a final.

Games were played with safety balls (unless both teams agreed to use outdoor balls), and each inning was capped at six runs to help level the playing field for rookie teams taking on more experienced sides.

Weather

Manchester tournaments always have to battle the weather, and the LGBT Tournament was no exception.

The forecast for the day was varied, with the threat of a thunderstorm in mid-afternoon, but the day started with light drizzle and wind.  By noon it had dried up completely.

This lulled everyone into a false sense of security and organisers took down the gazebos at Tournament Control, only to be faced a few hours later by a scary black sky.  Shortly afterwards, the heavens well and truly opened and a tumultuous thunderstorm stopped play for half an hour around 4:30 pm.

But the sodden teams battled on, with the finals starting at 5.00 pm.

Following the downpour, blue skies re-emerged to help brighten the mood, and rainbow facepaint was re-applied as teams got back into the spirit for the final hour of games.

Results

Final standings were:

1 – St Helens Sabres (Gold Winners)
2 – Tigers
3 – Bombers
4 – Nottingham Sheriffs (Silver Winners)
5 – Chester Drawers Grey
6 – Meat Invaders
7 – Rippers (Bronze Winners)
8 – Titans
9 – Phoenix
10 – Base Invaders (Spoon Winners)
11 – Chester Drawers White
12 – Hull Scorpions

Comments

Luis Arrevillagas, BaseballSoftballUK’s North West Regional Development Manager said, “The growth of this tournament has been fantastic over the past four years.  We’re really happy to welcome not only teams from Manchester and the North West, but from the Midlands and East Yorkshire too.  We see it as a great opportunity to celebrate the LGBT community within softball while supporting a great cause.”

BSUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell said, “A big thanks to our captains, players, umpires and anyone who donated or came along to support.  This is one of the most fun tournaments in our calendar and we are delighted that it keeps growing year on year.  People really get into the spirit of the day -- and a special mention to the tournament winner Sabres, who also won the prize for Best-Dressed Team!  A great effort!”

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