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 and can be purchased here.
The LGBTQ+ Committee
The purpose of the Committee is to work as a sounding board for BaseballSoftballUK’s LGBTQ+ work. In addition, the Committee 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 Committee oversaw the foundation of the BaseballSoftballUK LGBTQ+ network, Out on the Bases, in November 2020.
The current Committee members are:
- Luis Arrevillagas, BaseballSoftballUK
- Cristian Speroni, London Raiders
- Thomas Haywood, International baseball umpire
- Kate Densley, President of the University of York Softball and Baseball Club
- Katie Hall, London Raiders | Pronouns: She/her/they/them
- Alyson Spinas-Valainis, BaseballSoftballUK | Pronouns: They/Them
- Linni Mitchell, BSUK North West Coach
- Holly Ireland, RBI Wales | Pronouns: She/her
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 here.
Committee Work and Information To Date
- Committee 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+ Committee Ethos
- 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 Committee's work
- Have had 10 members of the playing community as members of the LGBTQ+ Committee, 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– led by Luis Arrevillagas and the BSUK LGBTQ+ panel - has created a You Can Play pledge video, with members of the community pledging to make the sports as inclusive and open as possible.
Want to get involved?
The LGBT Advisory Committee is open to new members and welcomes guests at its meetings.
Including Trans and Non-Binary Players