Softball in the School Games
Baseball and softball were added to the School Games programme in January 2012, a major achievement for BaseballSoftballUK. Since then, the growth of schools playing softball in particular as part of the School Games has seen a rapid increase. There are now 12 counties that are including softball in their Level 3 county-level event, with many counties also holding district-level qualifying events. It means that our sports have been chosen at a local level to be part of a major government initiative for school sport, with resources available to ensure that softball or baseball competition in schools is successful.
At a local level, the Sainsbury's School Games will be delivered by schools, clubs, County Sports Partnerships and other local partners. Local Organising Committees (LOCs) are set up, chaired by Head Teachers, to oversee the county festivals. County Sports Partnerships have an important role to play in helping to stage the festivals. The inclusion of softball in county-level finals is determined by a Local Organising Committee that oversees the content and format of the Games in their area.
Why should schools and young people choose to play our sports?
• Softball adds a new element to the school sport offer for young people and will attract a wide variety of young people to participate - many of whom will not have engaged with the School Games in your area to date.
• Softball will broaden the appeal of competitive school sport to a new cohort of students in your school.
• The mixed nature of slowpitch is unique in the School Games - allowing Boys and Girls to play along side each other as team-mates.
• Softball is accessible to all levels of student - any ability can play and succeed. Softball, although a team sport, allows high levels of individuality for students. The team will need to have a variety of skills to succeed and each team member is as valuable as the next.
• Softball will help students develop hitting, throwing and striking skills.
• All students will get multiple goes at batting - the cyclical nature of the game means that one or 2 players cannot dominate the sport.
• The game of softball can be tailored to suit your needs at school. The games can be timed to ensure that organisers can control the duration of play if necessary or played with a reduced number of innings.
• Softball is a global sport - played in all corners of the world.
• Large amounts of specialist equipment are not required to play softball. All you need is a large, level surface to play on. School fields and astro-turf pitches are ideal.
• Softball is easy to organise for teachers and a wide variety of leadership roles can be accommodated. For example, Scorers, Umpires, Team Managers etc.
• BaseballSoftballUK CAN support you in establishing a high quality softball programme at your school in a number of ways including, provision of equipment, support through coaches at your event, links to local clubs etc.
BaseballSoftballUK has developed resource cards for Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the School Games programme to ensure that an appropriate and engaging softball competition programme is offered to participating students. The key aim of the School Games programme is to increase the number of school children playing in competitive school games, and softball is a perfect opportunity for all types of students to represent their schools in a new and engaging sport.
What BSUK can help with
BaseballSoftballUK can help your School Games softball programme through:
- Training for teachers and coaches in the basics of the sport.
- Provision and signposting of equipment for events.
- Links to local clubs and leagues that may be be able to help on the day of your event.
- Offering Young Leaders awards in Baseball and Softball.
- Providing support with umpiring at events.
Where is it currently happening
Counties that are currently playing softball at Levels 2 and 3 include:
The Sainsbury's School Games is a unique opportunity to motivate and inspire millions of young people across the country to take part in competitive school sport. The School Games is a national programme open to all young people aged 5-18, of all abilities and backgrounds, in every school across England. The Games are designed to build on the magic of London 2012 to enable every school and child to participate in competitive sport, including meaningful opportunities for disabled youngsters.
Nationally and locally, the Sainsbury's School Games is delivered through partnerships. The national partnership is made up of: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has overall policy leadership, supported by the Department for Education (DofE) and the Department of Health (DOH), Sport England, which is the Lottery distributor and is supporting the engagement of Sports Governing Bodies and County Sports Partnerships, and The Youth Sport Trust, the lead organisation for school sport, which has been commissioned by Sport England to provide development support to schools, sports and other local partners.
Over £128m of Lottery and Government funding is being invested to support the School Games.
The School Games is made up of four levels of activity: competition in schools, between schools, at county/area level and a National Finals event.
Level 1 = Sporting competition for all students in school through intra-school competition.
Level 2 = Individuals and teams are selected to represent their schools in local inter-school competitions.
Level 3 = The county/area will stage multi-sport School Games festivals as a culmination of year-round school sport competition.
Level 4 = The Sainsbury's School Games Finals: a national multi-sport (Olympic and Paralympic sports) event where the most talented young people in the UK will be selected to compete in well-known sporting venues including the Olympic Park. Level 4 is a stand-alone event, not an extension of Level 3 competition.
Each level features funding support for a package of events that will provide more opportunities for pupils to compete in a dynamic programme of regular intra-school and inter-school competitions.
These competitions will lead to the best performing school teams featuring at county or city-level Festivals of Sport, with the most talented young sports people having the chance to represent their schools in a high-profile national event.
For more information about how your school can get involved in the School Games please contact Chris Rawlings