Second North West Series tournament is a hit in Manchester

Tue 4 Jul 2017

The second instalment of BSUK’s North West Series, a new co-ed slowpitch tournament series for recreational teams, was a smash hit in sunny weather at Parrs Wood High School in Manchester on Saturday 1 July.

In fact, the first two instalments of the event have been so popular that a final tournament – North West Series 3 – will be held on Saturday 16 September to complete the series, and teams can enter here: https://bsuk.wufoo.eu/forms/z1aebp3l0czko88/.


Format and extras

The nine C-grade and D-grade teams from across the region that entered North West Series 2 were split into three groups and competed in two round-robins, then split again into Bronze, Silver and Gold brackets for a final round-robin to determine the tournament standings.

Tournament organisers tried hard to make the day special for players, with fun additions such as a competition to guess the total run tally.  Phil Kirby’s guess of 553 runs was closest to the final total of 560 and he took home the jar of coins.

The instant raffle also went down a treat, with players winning prizes including batting gloves, T-shirts, Prosecco and cupcakes.  All entrants were also happy to receive their complimentary North West Series bottle opener/keyring with their raffle tickets.

Money was also raised by players donating £1 to have 15 swings on BSUK’s brand new SKLZ Hurricane Batting Trainer.  In total, £180 was raised across the day, all of which will go straight back into the North West Series 3 budget and will be used to create more improvements and exciting features for the next tournament.

Results and standings​

On the day, the Gold Cup was won by the Tigers, the Silver Cup by the Whispering Hobos and the Bronze Cup by the St Helens Sabres.

MVPs for the three brackets were David Olsen (Meteors), Ellie Philips (Typhoon) and Ryan Osbourne (Leeds Bobcats).

The table below shows the results of the first two North West Series tournaments and the overall standings before the third and final tournament in September:

Media​

Videos of game play from North West Series 2 were featured on the new Snapchat map feature on the popular app, attracting 500+ views in the 24 hours they were viewable.

Users from all over the world could press on the glowing blue orb over Parrs Wood to see videos from the day.  This is a fantastic way to reach a brand new audience, many of whom may not know that softball is played in the UK.

Sports photographer David Grice took some great action shots, some of which have been used as a vehicle to engage with Facebook users to debate certain rules and umpires’ decisions.

One photo in particular has provoked lots of discussion (92 comments so far) among the softball community online.  This sort of engagement is nothing but positive for the North West Series and it is great that photos from our tournament are being shared and discussed further afield.


Positive feedback

Players from teams that have entered the North West Series are clearly grateful for the opportunity to play in another fun, local tournament.

Becci Wadeson, who captained Typhoon, said, “Our team had a great mix of complete rookies and a few players with a couple of years’ experience.  The focus for us is definitely on enjoying the day and learning.  Players have been really challenging themselves and trying new positions. I ’ve embraced the challenge of stepping up and pitching for the first time and have loved it!  The weather has also been very kind to us, which adds to the enjoyment of the day.”

BSUK North West Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said, “I am really happy with the success of the North West Series so far.  When we sat down to plan the tournaments, the emphasis was to hold a series of tournaments in the North West to cater for teams in Merseyside, Leeds and Greater Manchester.  We work hard to make sure the tournaments are as enjoyable as possible for players, with simple things like umpires giving out sweets to players who have made a great play, hit a home run or taken a great catch.  These kinds of things can make all the difference and can turn a good tournament into a great experience.”

To view more action shots from the day, like you can like the North West Series page here: https://www.facebook.com/NWSoftballSeries/.

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