One of the most unique and interesting slowpitch tournaments in Europe is the Softball World Series that takes place every September in England.
The Softball World Series is an 18-team weekend co-ed slowpitch tournament that is played every year on the second or third weekend in September at a high-class private sports club near Heathrow Airport in London.
Every team in the competition represents a country or an area of the world – but while some of these teams actually fly in to London for the tournament, other teams are made up of ex-pats living and playing softball for clubs in the UK.
The tournament has been running since 1999, and in recent years, teams have flown in to represent Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey and Germany, while home-based or ex-pat teams represent England, Scotland, Wales, the USA, Canada, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Japan and Latin America.
Teams coming from outside the UK are always welcome, and overseas teams are given priority in assigning places and are charged a reduced entry fee.
The level among the different teams varies from highly competitive to recreational, but the tournament is set up so that after round-robin play on Saturday, the competition splits into three separate tournaments – Trophy, Plate and Cup – on Sunday, with medals and prizes to be won in each tournament.
All teams that fly in to the UK for the tournament stay at the same budget hotel near Heathrow Airport, which has excellent facilities, including a lively bar area and restaurant, and free transportation is provided between the hotel and the fields where the tournament takes place.
In 2013, the Softball World Series will probably be played on the weekend of September 7-8, though this date has still to be confirmed. The alternative date would be September 14-15.
Any team that wants to register an interest in playing in the 2013 Softball World Series, or would like more information, should email Bob Fromer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Interested teams will be contacted in the spring of 2013 to confirm their entry.