Get in the Game!
You're interested in playing – or finding out more about playing – either baseball, slowpitch softball or fastpitch softball. You've never played before and you don't know where to start. Maybe you're not even too sure about the differences. Or maybe you've played one or more of these sports before and want to find a team to join.
Whether you're a beginner, a relative novice or an experienced player, you'll find information in this section that will help you get involved in the game of your choice. The menu on the right leads to further information and you can use the Diamond Finder to check out what's available in your area.
Maybe you've seen Major League Baseball in America played on television, with those big stadiums, colourful uniforms, pitchers throwing the ball at 90 mph and batters hitting it 400 feet!
Well, in Britain, we don't have the big stadiums, and pitchers and batters here are not quite so scary. But we do have baseball clubs all around the country with adult teams (primarily men but women are also welcome) and with youth teams at different age levels. These teams play in leagues that range from social and recreational to very competitive, and most clubs will welcome new players and teach them the game.
There are also Regional and National Academies for youth baseball players open to anyone who wants to attend.
Find out more about how and where to get involved in baseball.
Co-ed slowpitch softball is a recreational, social and enjoyable game that's easy to learn and play, even for people who are not “athletes” or don't have much experience of team sports – and the game offers particular opportunities for women.
It's a lot like baseball in terms of the rules, but because the ball is pitched slowly to each batter (as the name implies!), it's easy to hit the ball and succeed at the sport's central skill. The fact that men and women play together in the same team and on an equal level gives the sport a social buzz, and most softball games are followed by sessions at the local pub!
But there is also a competitive side to the sport, with serious tournaments and national championships. There is even a Great Britain Co-ed Slowpitch Team that has won six straight European Championships.
There are softball leagues and teams in major cities and town throughout England and Scotland. League play tends to be on weekday evenings after work during the summer, and there are weekend tournaments for keener teams. Most leagues run beginner sessions and offer coaching to help people learn to play and find a team.
Find out more about how and where to get involved in slowpitch softball.
Fastpitch softball in in the UK and around the world is played mainly (but not exclusively) by women and girls and is the international competition format of the sport.
Women's fastpitch softball was the Olympic format while the sport was on the Olympic Games programme from 1996-2008. It is more challenging than slowpitch softball, and requires more skill and game awareness, but fastpitch softball is a tremendously rewarding game and the format is growing in both quantity and quality in the UK.
There is an indoor women's fastpitch league in winter and an outdoor league in summer, and there are Regional and National Youth Academies, open to anyone who wants to attend, leading to national teams at Under-13, Under-16, Under-19 and Senior levels.
Most fastpitch activity is based in the southern half of England.
Find out more about how and where to get involved in fastpitch softball.