Statement from BaseballSoftballUK

Thu 24 Sep 2020

Statement from Chris Greenhalgh, Interim Chair, BaseballSoftballUK:

BaseballSoftballUK continues in its aims and commitments to drive and support the growth of both baseball and softball with our newly-published strategy as the framework to do so. Our focus is on those who play and supporting them to do so safely whilst also looking to grow their numbers across all formats.

Yesterday (23 September 2020), the British Baseball Federation (BBF) Board served notice to quit the existing members’ agreement to both BaseballSoftballUK and the British Softball Federation (BSF). The members' agreement details the working arrangements between the three parties. The agreement, signed in 2017, requires the parties to serve notice by 30 September 2020 to prevent what would effectively amount to an automatic four-year extension. The agreement that was set to renew will now instead expire on 1 April 2021. The agreement can be found here.

BaseballSoftballUK was made aware of this intention at a private meeting with members of the BBF Board on 9 September. We regret that this step has been taken and especially that it has been done in such a public manner today (24 September 2020). However, given the circumstances, the imminent notice deadline and the efforts being made by both parties to discuss and reach resolution, we understand why the BBF Board has given notice.

As part of this process, we would like to address some possible misunderstandings about what today’s termination may mean. Firstly, notice to terminate the agreement does not mean that the BBF has severed its connection with softball or with BaseballSoftballUK. The BBF continues as a Member of BaseballSoftballUK, receiving all membership rights and continuing to be bound by Membership Rules. Secondly, even without the agreement in force,  BaseballSoftballUK's role will not materially change, although we will no longer develop baseball in the BBF’s name. Thirdly, the BaseballSoftballUK Strategy, Development Charter and plans for the creation of sport-specific development plans remain fully in place and will continue to be our focus.

We remain committed to developing baseball at all levels and welcome feedback from all those who wish to give it. Bringing this situation to a positive conclusion and moving forward for the collective good of baseball and softball is our top priority. We have achieved so much together in recent years and we remain committed to doing so much more in the years ahead. We know that there is always more that can be done to develop baseball in the UK and that we cannot do this alone.

Over the coming days, we are planning to meet again with the BBF Board to discuss a way forward. We continue to seek the BBF Board’s commitment to supporting the aims and objectives of BaseballSoftballUK and to working with us to develop the sports. It is also imperative to understand how the vital and statutory services that BaseballSoftballUK provides in Safeguarding and Welfare continue to reach the grassroots BBF membership of the BBF after 1 April 2021.

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