WELCOME TO THE BIRMINGHAM BOBCATS!
The Birmingham Bobcats Softball Team are an affiliated member of the British Softball Federation, and form part of the West Midlands Softball Championship and upcoming Mercia League. This blog records the informal, social side of the Bobcats, when they are most playful!
This page tells you everything you need to know about the Bobcats.
Who are the Birmingham Bobcats?
The Birmingham Bobcats Softball Club is a volunteer-led club based in Edgbaston. The team consists of 40 members of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. The Bobcats are the only softball team in the city and are leading the way in the sport in the West Midlands. The Bobcats were established in 2010 and are increasing in both popularity and membership. In February 2012 the Bobcats were awarded the British Softball Federation’s President’s Club Award for substantial club development.
What is Softball?
Softball first started in the late 19th century as an indoor version of baseball. It has changed a lot since then - you will have noticed the ball is no longer soft. The Bobcats play a version of softball called slow-pitch ‘co-ed’ (male and female players), which is suitable for all abilities. It is an extremely social sport – team spirit is key. Slow-pitch softball is growing swiftly in the UK - there are 24 teams in Bristol and 30+ teams in Manchester. The teams are graded due to their appropriate skill level from A to D and Recreational. The Bobcats are C/D level. Tournaments of all levels are held outdoor throughout the UK from April to October. Aside from tournaments there are also Leagues, which are held between local or regional teams. These can be competitive, friendly or both!
Who runs the Bobcats?
The club is run by a committee of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. The 2011-12 committee include the following:
- Alex Levine, Chair: The Chair is the principal representative and spokesperson of the club and is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the club.
- Justin Evans, Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for appropriate and accurate documentation of the club.
- Debbie Evetts, Treasurer: The Treasurer oversees the accounts and ensures the financial stability of the club.
- Kate Page-Smith, Tournament and Marketing Manager: The Tournament and Marketing Manager organises tournaments and additional softball events (including leagues and friendly games) and manages the marketing and publicity strategies of the club.
- Sapin Patel, Operations Manager: The Operations Manager is responsible for the general operation of the club (venues, equipment, coaching etc).
Who are the Coaches?
The Coaching team is led by the Head Coach, Quentin Young. The assistant coaches include Meg Gallahan, Sapin Patel, Pete Burgess and Kate Page-Smith.
Who are the Umpires?
In early 2012, the Bobcats sent three members on a BASU umpiring course. These include Alex Levine, Reinout Mildner and Chad Farmer.
Is there a Softball governing body?
Yes. There is a quango attached to SportEngland called BSUK (Baseball Softball UK). You may meet Will Lintern at training sessions – he is our Midlands Regional Representative – and also the GB Junior Baseball Coach. A branch of BSUK is BSF (British Softball Federation). To play with the Bobcats you must sign up for their website - http://www.britishsoftball.org/ This will keep you updated with all the latest news and insure you with BSF.
The Bobcats hold training sessions every Thursday night at Hallfield School Playing Fields from April to October. For further details please go to the Training Page. In 2012, we are starting a new endeavour - the Intra-Bobcat League. For 6 weeks from the end of June the team will be divided equally into several teams, each led by two coaches (captains). Further details about the league and the training sessions will be provided soon. We also hold indoor training sessions in the winter.
Anyone is welcome to join the Bobcats. If you are interested to see what we do please visit our website (www.westmidsoftball.com) for further details. We are always seeking new players and would love to hear from you.
Who are the TourCats?
The TourCats were established in 2011 and are a touring team. Each year the TourCats visit a different European country for a friendly tournament. In 2012 the TourCats are off to Cologne for a three-nation tournament.
The Bobcats are a very sociable team. In addition to tournaments the club also holds other social events including an End of Season Awards and a Christmas party. After training each Thursday the Bobcats retreat to a local pub for a post-training drink and dinner.