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30 MIN READ TIME

Take me out to the ball game

Hear terms like “making it to third base”, “striking out” or “double play” and you might be forgiven for thinking we were talking about a night out on the pull in Soho. But there’s somewhere else LGBTQ women are scoring home runs, and that’s on the softball diamond.

Often described as a mix between baseball and rounders, and accompanied by the revelation that the ball is not soft at all, slow-pitch softball has had somewhat of a recent and rapid rebirth in the UK. Historically, the sport has been played sporadically, and dominated by cis male players. It wasn’t until corporate teams, filled with expats, boomed in the 80s and 90s that softball became something of a phenomenon here, now played by over 18,000 people on a regular basis. Elsewhere, and in the US in particular, softball has an anecdotal association as a popular game amongst LGBTQ women. Now slow-pitch softball in the UK is predominantly co-ed (mixed-gender teams to us Brits) and played recreationally and competitively in parks up and down the country during the summer months.

Single gender variations do exist but are less common, and are usually made up of players from the mixedgender teams. There are even elite level GB teams who represent at international competitions.

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DIVA Magazine
January 2018
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