Success and growth for the Manchester Indoor Softball League
Tue 5 Apr 2016
On 15 March Manchester softballers waved goodbye to the Manchester Indoor Softball League until it returns later this year in October.
The 2015-16 League, which has run every Tuesday evening from 7-9 pm at the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome since October 2015 (with a short break for Christmas and new year) has been the most successful to date. With twelve teams competing for the title of League Champions and a Cup competition running alongside the league for the Autumn and Winter season.
Baseball and softball players have used the indoor league to stay in shape and as a pre-season warm up. It also provides an opportunity to recruit new players for outdoor teams, but most of all it allowed everyone to have fun and socialise.
The league encourages recruitment by awarding rookies two runs each time they cross home plate. This incentive worked to encourage existing players to bring along colleagues, family and friends to try the sport.
From October to March 212 players participated in the league, 51 of whom were new to the sport. This has helped brand new teams like the Urmston Rippers to add enough players to enter the outdoor league, as well as assisting other teams to expand their existing squads.
Although the Indoor League is competitive, there is a great social element and all teams are invited to stay after games for a drink and chips at the bar. Videos are posted on the Facebook Page every week, including highlights from the night’s games. Awards are given at the end of each season with chocolate trophies for sporting achievement and other unique awards such as funniest moment caught on camera and best catch caught on camera. This has really added to the fun experience that all of the teams have playing in the league.
Sponsors and Partners
The Manchester Indoor League has been welcomed by the local community. There are two teams that play indoors only, which is unusual most teams have a core of outdoor players.
The Manchester Indoor league is also popular with business in the community, we have been very lucky to have been sponsored and supported by Home Estate Agents in Urmston, the Manchester Softball League and by Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome.
Linni Mitchell, Baseball and Softball coach for BSUK in the North West said "The Manchester Softball League [outdoor] acknowledged the impact the Indoor League has on recruitment for their league and have contributed financially towards the running of the league – the funds are going directly into pitch fees, umpire fees and indoor balls. Without this contribution the Indoor League would be very difficult to run efficiently, so big thanks to the MSL for that."
Luis Arrevillagas – BSUK Development Manager commented "It is really encouraging to see that a product that we are developing for the good of the baseball and softball community has the backing of local businesses. Home Estate Agents who have always supported local initiatives, sponsored the league financially, recognising that it provides a very appealing activity for their customers. Similarly Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome has had new clients coming through their doors and have kindly provided the league players with beautiful big trays of chips and wedges at the end of the night to accompany the obligatory well-deserved drink that comes with playing softball."
Coming up - Autumn 2016 and expansion to other areas
When the Manchester Indoor Softball League returns in October 2016, it will be an official Hit the Pitch league which will improve the experience of the teams in the league by adding new features such as league standings and player stats. The BSUK development team in the North West has already received enquires from more teams wishing to participate in Trafford as well as interest from other similar venues wishing to bring the sport to their area in the North West.