BSF Executive Meeting Report: 11 May 2017

Wed 17 May 2017

The BSF Executive held a monthly conference call meeting on the evening of Thursday 11 May.  Below is a journalistic report on the key discussions and decisions.


Present:  Jenny Fromer (President) Stella Ackrell (Administrator), Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Liz Graham (Competitions Director),  Jana McCaskill (National Teams Officer), Mike Jennings (General Officer), Chris Moon (BASU Representative).

Apologies:  Steve Getraer (General Officer), Bob Fromer (BSUK).

Guests:  Simon Wareing (BSUK Board).

BSUK Compliance with new Governance Code

It was planned that most of the time at the meeting would be spent on this item.  The context is that in November 2016 UK Sport and Sport England published a new Governance Code that all funded sports are required to comply with.  As BSUK is in receipt of Sport England funding, this applies to the organisation’s structure and has a knock-on effect on both the BSF and BBF in terms of how they relate to BSUK.

The new Code has around 75 specific requirements, many of which BSUK already meet, but the key change required is that the BSUK Board needs to be the body responsible for overseeing BSUK, and its Board needs to have a majority of Independent Directors.

The current arrangement between BSUK and the Federations (the Articles and Agreement) gives each Federation a route to veto any BSUK decision – a power which has never been used -- and it is the Federations who have final sign-off on appointments and significant matters.  Additionally, each Federation directly appoints three Directors to the BSUK Board.  To comply with the Code these arrangements would need to change, and the number of Federation Directors would be reduced.

These changes would have no impact on BSF (and BBF) areas of responsibility, which are broadly to run the sports on the ground and have oversight of competitions, national teams, National Championships and international relationships.

Simon Wareing, who had recently attended a meeting with Sport England on behalf of the BSF, reported on this meeting during the conference call.  The meeting had been an opportunity to ask Sport England direct questions and to gauge the necessity for change.

Following some discussion, the BSF Executive decided unanimously to work with BSUK to ensure full compliance with the Code.  There was also a restatement of the critical importance of BSF and BSUK working in partnership, now more than ever.

It was decided that Jenny Fromer, Mike Jennings and Stella Ackrell will represent the BSF in planning for these changes with BSUK, and with the BBF.  Internally, the BSF will focus on identifying any issues of specific concern that need to be mitigated and will ensure that the softball membership is kept informed as this work progresses.

Financial matters

BSF Treasurer Laura Burkhardt reported on which leagues have made payment for the 2017 season.

National Teams

National Teams Officer Jana McCaskill reported that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow BSUK to represent the BSF (and BBF) on behalf of National Team programmes with external bodies such as UK Sport and the BOA has been redrafted.  The aim is to move this forward as quickly as possible in order that an application can be made to the BOA for grant funding.  However, the Executive will need to see and approve the revised MoU before it can be issued.

The number of GB-based players selected for the Junior (Under-19) Women’s Team that will play in the WBSC Junior World Championship this summer was discussed and the existing policy on selection was to be circulated to all Executive members for clarification.

National Championships and National Softball League

BSF Competitions Director Liz Graham reported that everything was in hand for the first National Softball League (NSL) event of the season at the Diamond Series 1 tournament on 13-14 May as well as for the Single-Sex Nationals in July.

Teams are reminded that when making payments, they should include the team name so that Liz can match payments to entries.

It was noted that the planned 2017 Blitz Tournament has had to be postponed because of venue issues.  This event has been removed from the current calendar, and the plan is to launch the event in 2018.


BSUK has recently purchased camera equipment to be able to offer a webstreaming provision at low cost.

While this would be a basic version compared to more expensive external option used previously – for example at the 2016 Premier Nationals -- the BSF is keen to trial this for the NSL 1 and NSL 2 finals at Diamond 3 at the end of July.

Following this event, the BSF will decide whether they want to commission BSUK to webstream additional events using this technology.

Next meeting

The next BSF Executive conference call will be on Thursday 8 June.

Anyone with items to raise at the meeting should contact BSF Administrator Stella Ackrell (

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