The wait is over. Player registration for the 2017 season has commenced.
In addition to adult and youth baseball, this year will see the launch of the Herts softball programme. This will enable the club to offer playing opportunities to a much wider audience and to women in particular. Slowpitch Softball is the more recreational version of the game, which is equally appealing to male and female players. Softball is a social and enjoyable game that’s easy to learn and play, even for people who are not “athletes” or don’t have much experience of team sports. The fact that men and women play together in the same team and on an equal level gives the sport a social buzz.
There will be four open softball sessions to get the programme started and give as many male and female players the opportunity to give it a try for free. The first session is at 10am on Sunday, 12 February. These first few sessions will be held indoors at the modern sports facilities of John F Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead. All equipment will be provided so anyone aged 14 and over can come and enjoy the day, meet new friends and try a new sport. For more details about the Herts Softball Programme click here. If you are interested to come and try softball at any of the upcoming open sessions contact us and we will provide you with full details and add you to our mailing list.
Herts has already completed the 2017 British Baseball League entry process and will be represented by three teams. The Herts Falcons will be looking to bounce back in the National Baseball League after a season in which they had more losses than wins. Herts Hawks have made the step up to the Double-A League after winning the Single-A National title. The Herts Raptors will be flying the flag in the Single-A League, looking to repeat or even improve on last year’s amazing season in which they reached the playoff quarter finals, eliminating the reigning national champions Tonbridge along the way.
KEY DATES – ADULT TEAMS
5 February – Adult team players report for first Spring Training indoor session
5 March – Adult teams return to Grovehill Ballpark for the first time in 2017
18 March – Start of the 2017 Herts Spring League
2 April* – Opening Day (National Baseball League)
2-9 April*, Opening Day (Double-A and Single-A Leagues)
May – Start of Midweek Evening Baseball
August-September – Postseason Playoffs and National Championships
September-October – Hunlock Series
* – these are preliminary dates. The BBF will be making its official announcements in due course.
The hard work which the Herts youth teams have put in over the last few years is starting to pay off and it must have felt good for all the players and coaching staff to see the teams do so well in 2016. They may have fallen at the semi-final stage in the National Baseball Championships, but those games were worthy of being the Finals of the respective age groups. But the success of the youth programme is not measured only by looking at where the teams finish in the National Championships. The coaches have built something very special which the players and their families enjoy being part of every week.
The British Baseball Federation has provided preliminary details of a model which they hope to adopt in 2017 which is expected to enhance youth baseball further and make it even more attractive to boys and girls of all ages. We will keep you updated as more details come out about the upcoming season.
KEY DATES – YOUTH TEAMS
5 February – U17 and U15 players report for first Spring Training indoor session
11 February – U13 and U11 players report for first Spring Training indoor session
March – First session at Grovehill Ballpark for the youth teams
April – U17, U15, U13, U12, U8 Season Opening Day
June – Little League UK Qualifiers (U17, U15, U13, U11)
July-August – Little League Europe Qualifier (Poland or Italy) and World Series (USA) (subject to qualification)
September – National Youth Baseball Championships (U17, U15, U13, U11)
September – Herts Futures Tournament (U17, U15, U13, U11, U8)
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE 2017 HERTS BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL SEASON
Herts Baseball Club has commenced the 2017 member registration process. For those who already have a Herts Online Club House account they will be prompted to register when they log on next time (click here to go to the Herts Online Club House and log on with your existing username and password). Those who are new to Herts and do not have an online account will be able to register as 2017 members by completing this form.