New league a “significant boost” for women’s baseball in Britain: WBSC Women’s Baseball Commission Chair Hiroko Yamada

New league a “significant boost” for women’s baseball in Britain: WBSC Women’s Baseball Commission Chair Hiroko Yamada
30/11/2020
Britain’s first-ever Women's Baseball League will consist of 24 regular-season games plus playoffs and will run from April to August.

The chair of the WBSC Women’s Baseball Commission, Hiroko YAMADA, has congratulated the British Baseball Federation (BFF) regarding Britain’s first-ever Women's Baseball League, which will start in 2021 and will culminate with a Women's National Baseball Championship.

Speaking about the inaugural Women's Baseball League season, which will have 24 games and will run from April to August 2021, followed by playoffs, YAMADA said: “We are thrilled by the BFF’s creation of a new women’s baseball league in Britain. This new league will give a significant boost to the development of women’s baseball in the country. I want to congratulate all those involved in the establishment of the league, which will undoubtedly provide many more opportunities for young girls to take up the sport.

“Britain will definitely be one of the key countries in Europe for women's baseball and I’m very much looking forward to the league.”

The BBF announced in June that Bristol and the Sheffield Bruins became the first two teams to be registered for the new league.

"The BBF aims to recruit, develop women's talent and make it a place where women feel appreciated and enjoy participating in baseball," said Gerry PEREZ, the president of BBF.

Perez added: "We, as the National Governing Body of baseball, value the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion. According to the latest government Census, women and girls made up 51% of the population of England and Wales. We must reflect the sociocultural dynamics of those around us if we are to succeed."

Perez also noted that women "play already some roles in baseball," such as players in senior leagues or as officials running the member clubs.

"The shift now is promoting and investing in women baseball opportunities specifically," added Perez. "While we pride ourselves that our federation is diversified, we must not confuse diversity and inclusion to mean the same thing. Diversity and inclusion are separate terms and have different objectives. By creating the environment, common purpose, culture and opportunities for women to be included in our sport, as it would happen with their League, we expect to motivate women to participate in our sport and know their involvement and opportunities will be equal and inclusive."

To further support the BBF Women's Baseball League, the federation has announced securing through private equity an equipment donation, ranging from elbow guards, helmets, catchers equipment and so on.

The BBF Women's Baseball League is run in association with Women's Baseball UK (WB-UK), now a full member of the Federation.

Amanda HOCKING, a founder of WB-UK, is a BBF Women's Baseball League representative. She announced that team registration will start on 1 December through the BBF website.

Hocking has been named the manager of the British Women's National Team, that will start its activity in 2021 and aims at participating internationally.

"I am pleased that the British Baseball Federation has set a great example in modernising as a National Governing Body without hesitation and have committed to invest in women's baseball by providing equal opportunities such as the women's national team," commented HOCKING.