BSF Executive Meeting Report: 9 February 2017

Mon 13 Feb 2017

The BSF Executive held a monthly conference call meeting on the evening of Thursday 9 February.  Below is a journalistic report on discussions and decisions.


Present:  Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Jana McCaskill (National Teams Officer), Liz Graham (Tournaments Officer), Mike Jennings (General Officer), Chris Moon (BASU Representative).

Guest:  Jenny Fromer (BSUK).

NSL Promotion and relegation

BSF National Competitions Officer Liz Graham proposed – and the Executive agreed -- that one team would be relegated from NSL 1 at the end of the 2017 season and one team would be promoted from NSL 2, and that this would be mandatory.

Two teams will be relegated from NSL 2 at the end of the season to allow the opportunity for new teams to move into the NSL system, but these relegated teams could choose to be added to the waiting list for the following year.

Amendment to AGM attendance regulations

The Sefton Softball League had asked whether a League Head attending the AGM to represent their league could also represent their own team with regard to the Nationals qualification requirement.  It was agreed that they could – but such a person would only have one vote.

AGM attendance regulations have now been amended and are as follows:

Attendance at the BSF AGM is linked to participation in National Championships.  Attendance is now required by:

  • All NSL 1 and NSL 2 teams.
  • All slowpitch softball leagues that wish to send teams to Nationals at any level.
  • All 2016 league divisional winners that wish to take up the place they have earned in the Co-ed Slowpitch Nationals in 2017 at the appropriate grade.
  • All teams that won their grade (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze) at the 2016 Co-ed Slowpitch Nationals if they wish to be guaranteed a place in the 2017 Nationals as defending champions.

In general, a league representative cannot also represent a team at the AGM.  However, a League Head who is a genuine registered playing member of a team from that league that has won a place in the 2017 BSF Co-ed Slowpitch League Nationals can represent both the league and that team.  But such a person will only have one vote, not two.

If you are invoking this clause by representing your league and team at the AGM, please let the BSF know beforehand (email Liz Graham on:

National Teams appointments

National Teams Officer Jana McCaskill reported that GB Under-19 Women’s Team Head Coach Rachael Watkeys has appointed Robbie Robison as Assistant Coach for the team.  Rachael is currently in the process of confirming the rest of the staff for this team and for the GB Senior Women’s Team.

Jana told the Executive that the ESF will introduce a European Championship for Under-16 Boys this year, in parallel with the Under-19 Men’s Championship.  The GB Management Committee has authorised the creation of a GB Under-16 Boys’ programme, with Lee Grafton as the Head Coach – though we may not enter a team in this year’s inaugural competition.

London Charities League

Jenny Fromer told the Executive that the 88-team London Charities League wishes to approach the BSF about the possibility of some form of affiliation, specifically because they are now concerned about insurance.

Up to this point, the Charities League has never collected any money from its teams, and they are therefore looking to discuss a rate that may be lower than the BSF’s standard fee options. There was general agreement that the Executive would be open to discussing this, but would not be in favour of essentially an insurance-only offer, as this could expose the BSF to risk. 

Jenny proposed that any offer could be contingent on compliance with BSF safety regulations, and on progression to full affiliation over an agreed period of time.

It was agreed that the Executive would hold discussions with the Charities League following the AGM.

AGM preparation

The Board discussed preparations for the 2017 BSF AGM, to be held on Saturday 25 February at the Metropolitan Police Sports Club in Bushey, Herts, and final items for the AGM Pack, which has now been published on the BSF website.

There will be no morning workshops or discussion sessions at this year’s AGM, so registration will open at 12.00 noon, with lunch available for purchase, and the AGM will begin at 1.00 pm.

No motions have been tabled for the meeting by the BSF Executive or by members.  In additional to the usual financial and other reports, elections and award presentations, there will be an update on the Structural Review process and a session run by BSUK.

Financial update

BSF Treasurer Laura Burkhardt reviewed the 2016 accounts for the Board and identified variations on planned expenditure.  The 2016 budget had allowed for a £9,000 loss, but instead the BSF had ended up with a £9,000 surplus, so a higher planned loss in 2017 will not impact the agreed reserves threshold.

The 2017 budget was then tabled, and after some discussion of individual items, the budget was agreed with a planned £16,000 loss.

The accounts and proposed budget are included in the BSF AGM Pack, which is available for viewing and download on the BSF website.

ESF update

The 2017 European Softball Federation Congress took place in Belgrade, Serbia from 2-5 February, with BSF President Stella Ackrell in attendance to represent the Federation, Jenny Fromer from BSUK present as an observer and BSF General Officer Mike Jennings there in his role as ESF Technical Director.

Due to a lack of time for a full discussion, it was suggested that Executive members read the report on the BSF website and then direct any questions to Mike, Stella or Jenny.

Next meeting

The next BSF Executive meeting will take place immediately following the AGM on Saturday 25 February.

Anyone with issues to bring to that meeting should contact BSF President Stella Ackrell on:

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