Record growth for Manchester Indoor Softball League
Tue 14 Feb 2017
Since the launch of the Manchester Indoor Softball League in 2014, the original three-team league has boomed to 15 teams for the winter 2017 season. Interest in this adapted version of the outdoor game has grown five-fold in just three years, and is gaining popularity week on week.
As seen on TV
In November 2016, BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell came to Manchester to give indoor softball a go. Bushell’s team filmed his efforts and put together a fantastic piece about the Manchester Indoor Softball League which featured on his Saturday morning sport segment on BBC Breakfast, broadcast to millions across the UK on BBC1.
The two-and-a-half-minute clip has subsequently been viewed more than 64,000 times on the BBC Breakfast Facebook page.
This sort of publicity is fantastic for the League and shows other softball leagues around the country how much fun can be had in the off-season. Click here to have a look at the video.
During both the Autumn 2016 and Winter 2017 seasons, Rookies’ sessions have been run alongside league play. These sessions provide the opportunity to try softball for the first time and get a real feel for the great community atmosphere at the Manchester Indoor League.
Rookie sessions in the autumn were run by Lyndsey Bygrave and featured some innovative techniques to engage new participants, from pitching clinics led by experts to completing their own Mannequin challenge.
After 10 weeks of practice from October through December 2016, rookie players formed their own team -- the Meteors -- and entered the Winter 2017 season.
State of the art
The league is lucky enough to have Powerleague Trafford as its home on Tuesday evenings, playing on state-of-the-art 4G pitches with complimentary post-game chips and the latest feature: video highlights.
On two of the five pitches, cameras record the best parts of each game at the push of a button, so leaping catches, double plays and home runs can be watched over and over on our Facebook page.
Videos are liked, shared and watched by hundreds every week, and our resident videographer, Luis Arrevillagas, also posts funny videos with various story lines such as “Couples in Softball” and “A Bedtime Story about Dave”. These personal touches keep the participants engaged and excited for what is to come each week.
Three new teams have joined the Indoor League for the Winter 2017 season: Meteors, who are players from the autumn 2016 Rookies’ sessions; Salford Swifts, who are students from the University of Salford; and the Fallowfielders, who are staff from the University of Manchester.
If the Manchester Indoor Softball League continues to expand at its current rate, then Powerleague Trafford won’t be able to accommodate the league on just one night a week. For the Autumn 2017 season, it may become necessary to split the league into two divisions playing on separate nights of the week – which will give room for even more teams to be involved.
On Saturday 11 March, the Manchester Indoor Softball League will host the biggest indoor tournament held in the North to date.
Teams will be invited to compete during the afternoon from 1.00 pm, and a buffet lunch will be provided.
For more information on this event, click here.