Softball in the UK has a long history of being a welcoming and inclusive sport for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and this is supported by a survey carried out by BaseballSoftballUK in 2016, which suggested that 14% of players identify as LGBTQ+, compared to roughly 8% of the population as a whole.
LGBTQ+ players are spread throughout a baseball and softball playing community of more than 21,200 in cities and towns around the UK.
In 2021, BaseballSoftballUK continues to invest in LGBTQ+ participation growth while expanding programmes for existing players, with our 6th annual tournament in Manchester, new allies and partners such as Pride Tape and You Can Play, the creation of our Out on the Bases group and more!
Strike Out Hate UK
BaseballSoftballUK and Pride Tape are excited to partner together to Strike Out Hate in the UK!
Pride Tape is available in the UK exclusively through our Official Supplier Baseball Outlet.
The LGBTQ+ Steering Group
The purpose of the LGBTQ+ Steering Group is to work as a sounding board for BaseballSoftballUK’s LGBTQ+ work. In addition, the LGBTQ+ Steering Group will help to draft relevant policy and will formally engage more people from the baseball and softball communities in the development of the sports for LGBTQ+ participants. The LGBTQ+ Steering Group oversaw the foundation of the BaseballSoftballUK LGBTQ+ network, Out on the Bases, in November 2020.
The current members of the Steering Group are:
- Abi Battisto - Leicester Diamonds, Leicester
- Thomas Haywood - International baseball umpire, Edinburgh
- Cristian Speroni - London Raiders Softball Club, London
- Holly Ireland - RBI Wales, Cardiff
- George Bartlett - Bristol Softball League, Bristol
- Matt Evans – Coventry Softball Club, Coventry
- Georgie, Sophie & Mia - Glasgow Sunflowers Baseball Club, Glasgow
- Jack Rains - Stingers Softball Club, Manchester
- Gina Amos - Liverpool Softball League, Liverpool
- Alyson Spinas-Valainis - International softball player, Taiwan
- Leroy Lane - RBI Wales, Cardiff
- Helle Sylvest - Softball Denmark, Copenhagen
Out on the Bases is BaseballSoftballUK's LGBTQ+ network, providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ baseball and softball players and their allies.
Request to join the group below.
Steering Group Work and Information To Date
- Steering Group formed in May 2017, first meeting guest was Lou Englefield director of Pride Sport
- Created BaseballSoftballUK LGBTQ+ website page on the BaseballSoftballUK website
- Defined the BaseballSoftballUK LGBTQ+ Steering GroupEthos
- Created Inclusive Slowpitch softball rules
- Supported a team travelling to Paris for the Gay Games in June 2018
- Supported the running of the annual LGBTQ+ tournaments in Manchester
- Member's blogs on the BaseballSoftballUK website (Further blogs always welcome!)
- Katie, founder member, wrote an article for Diva magazine on being a LGBT softball player
- Connected with Stonewall and Sport England through BaseballSoftballUK staff to inform of the Steering Group's work
- Have had 10 members of the playing community as members of the LGBTQ+ Steering Group, including non-LGBTQ+ players.
- We're working on a document ‘Including people who are trans and gender non-conforming in baseball and softball’
- Worked with Markita from Transcan and Brighton Beachcomers Softball club to bring softball to that part of the community.
- Launched Out on the Bases networking group in December 2020.
You Can Play Pledge
In partnership with the international sports-based LGBTQ+ organisation You Can Play, BaseballSoftballUK and clubs around the UK have created You Can Play Pledge videos to show their dedication to inclusion and diversity in baseball and softball.
Want to get involved?
The LGBT Advisory Steering Group is open to new members and welcomes guests at its meetings.
Including Trans and Non-Binary Players
Click below for recaps of our LGBTQ+ tournaments in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool this year. 2023 will feature a fourth tournament - if your club is interested in hosting, get in touch with Luis here.
2022 Events Recap
The LGBTQ+ Steering Group has created a set of Inclusive Softball Rules, designed to assist teams in managing the inclusion of non-binary and transgendered players. You can download the rules below. Please note that these rules are a guide and can be adapted as needed.