First Manchester Indoor attracts eleven teams

Tue 14 Mar 2017


The first-ever Manchester Indoor Softball Tournament, run by the Manchester Indoor Softball League, was held at Powerleague Trafford on Saturday 11 March with 11 teams, and was a hit both with those who took part and further afield on social media.

The entrants included five Manchester-based teams, three university teams, one team from Liverpool, one team from Leeds and one team from further afield in Suffolk, made up of players from US military bases.

The tournament was a great success, and the atmosphere was enhanced by the crowd noise and music coming from an exciting nearby handball competition.  During the breaks in handball, the softball games gained supporters from the bleachers, with spectators getting a perfect view over the softball pitches.

Format

The format ensured that players got their money’s worth of game time, playing each of the teams in their pool, then breaking for a buffet lunch.  Teams were then split into two new groups for another round-robin, based on first-round results.

Games consisted of one 16-minute inning, with teams spending eight minutes batting and eight minutes fielding.   Games were played over five pitches, which meant minimal rest time and maximum game time.

All teams played a minimum of nine games and finalists played up to 11 games over the afternoon.

Included in the entry price was a buffet lunch, which went down well with the hungry players.  An on-site bar, just 30 seconds’ walk from pitches, was also very popular!

Enhancements

Considering that five of the teams were complete novices to this version of indoor softball, teams adapted quickly, realising that line drives are more valuable than big hits (which hit the roof and result in an immediate out.) 

Players from the Suffolk military bases commented on how fast-paced the game was: “It’s like getting a cardio workout in and playing softball at the same time!”

Throughout the day, BSUK’s North West Regional Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas updated social media platforms with videos and pictures, attracting a lot of attention from further afield and spreading the word about indoor softball using Facebook Live and Twitter as well as Instagram.
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Teams were also impressed with the Welcome Screen at the Control Centre, which was updated game-by-game, keeping teams up to date with their placing in the table. 

Winners

At the end of the tournament, teams took to the bleachers behind the pitches for presentations to the winners.  Awards were given for Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper and Wooden places, and the final standings were:

1 -- Multiple Scoregasms (military players from Suffolk)
2 -- Manchester Mavericks (Manchester Indoor Softball League)
3 -- Sefton Loan Sharks (Sefton Softball League)
4 -- University of York
5 -- Fallow-Laws (Manchester Indoor Softball League)
6 -- Thunder (Manchester Indoor Softball League)
7 -- Leeds (Leeds Softball Association)
8 -- University of Manchester Maelstrom (Manchester Indoor Softball League)
9 -- Manchester Meteors (Manchester Indoor Softball League)
10 -- MMUC/Swifts (University of Manchester Crewe campus and University of Salford
11 -- Rippers (Manchester Indoor Softball League)

What’s next?

Since the tournament, videos on social media have sparked a lot of conversation on Facebook and other platforms, with interest in the event from all over the world.  One player from the US military team from Suffolk said: “It’s been a great tournament, and I’ll definitely be taking this back to America with me.”

Following the success of this inaugural tournament and the positive feedback received, Manchester Indoor Softball League organisers have been encouraged to repeat the tournament in the autumn and winter, perhaps with a ‘series’ approach, where teams sign up for four events over the off-season. 

All in all, a very successful day of softball.  And the best bit?  The Manchester Indoor Softball Tournament is the only tournament in the North of England that guarantees no rain!

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