Return to play 2.0
On the 29th of March outdoor softball is once again permitted to make its post lockdown comeback and we could not be more excited. Our committee have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to digest the latest Return to Play guidance, as well as assess the feedback from our members in order to come up with a plan that supports as many players as possible to return to our fantastic sport. This has been a complicated discussion involving changes in venue pricing, coaching resources, Covid 19 risk mitigation, and listening to the varied needs of our softball community. However, we are now pleased to be able to confirm details of our plans and get a step closer to welcoming past members and new faces on to the Diamond!
First session – Tuesday 6th April
Timings – 6.15pm until 7.45pm (or a little later in mid-summer when we are enjoying ourselves too much to finish before dusk!)
Venue – Woughton on the Green Playing Fields, MK6 3EA.
How to book (yep booking is still required due to Covid 19 protocol!) – All those wanting to take part will need to complete our MK Softball player registration form before attending, this just needs to be done the once for the outdoor season, however please do notify us if any of the info contained changes. You will then also need to register for each session you wish to attend by 8pm the day before (Monday!) using our online session registration form. If you are unsure if you can make it, please book yourself on and then just drop us an email to cancel if needed, we would much prefer you to do that rather than miss out because you were unable to commit.
What to expect – There are no longer any participant number restrictions on sessions, however we are also acutely aware that not all our players will be keen to jump straight into larger group training. We also know that some players will want to ease themselves back in slowly, while others will be desperate to let all that pent up energy out, and we are also hopeful that we will have some new recruits to welcome. With all that in mind we will be making the most of having participants confirmed ahead of time and will be splitting players into two or three groups, doing our best to match up players’ experience levels and session preferences as much as possible. We will run coaching in these groups for the first hour and then for the final thirty minutes run a friendly game for those that wish to join in. This will give those who wish to minimise their interactions to a smaller group the chance to join us for coaching without any additional pressure to join in with the larger group game.
Money money money
Due to a significant increase in field hire cost we have unfortunately had to increase our fees this year. Our membership fee has now been set at £25 and will cover players’ membership for the whole of the outdoor season (April – September), we would ask returning members to please pay this before the end of April.
Our weekly fee will be charged at £4 per session. However new players are still invited to try two weeks of sessions for FREE so spread the word!
Alternatively, players can opt for our Diamond membership at the cost of £100 which then covers their membership and session fees for the entirety of the outdoor season.
Past members should note that neither membership options cover any league related costs. With the number of teams and fixtures still unknown our committee did not feel comfortable setting these now and they will instead be confirmed once we have a clearer picture of demand and likely structure. Diamond members will be taken into account when setting these league prices to ensure they are not out of pocket on sessions already paid for within their membership.
We would also like to reassure members that should our sessions have to stop at any point due to Covid regulations we will offer refunds (worked out on a pro rata basis) to ensure no one is left out of pocket.
We know that the ongoing pandemic may have caused financial challenges for some potential members and we want to do what we can to reduce the financial barriers to joining. We are therefore happy to offer payment plans to those that need them to spread the cost of joining. If you would like to discuss taking up this option please contact our committee.
Covid 19 Protocol
Other than participant numbers no longer being capped, and travel restrictions being lifted very little else has changed since play last summer so thankfully our committee and coaches are now well versed in all the relevant regulations. For those that did not join us last year we have provided a summary of the main points to be aware of below or you can download full risk assessments which outline procedure from our website here.
All participants must read and follow our player code of conduct.
Players will be expected to bring hand sanitiser to every session they attend and will be required to use it regularly throughout the session.
Where possible players should also bring their own equipment. Any new player without their own glove will be able to borrow a club one for the duration of the session (which will be cleaned post session), and any member without a glove will be able to loan one for use until restrictions are lifted.
Our coaches will be planning sessions that require minimal equipment and will be provided with cleaning equipment for use on any shared equipment pre, and where relevant during, sessions.
All players taking part will be expected to adhere to social distancing rules at all times, and our coaches will plan drills that allow for this.
Each group will train on different areas of the field, and our coaches will be working together to ensure there is no overlap in playing space and equipment.
We are confident our plans conform to public health guidance and mitigate risks as much as possible. If you have any questions or would like to chat through any of the above please do drop us an email and one of our committee will get back to you.
League & tournament provision
The first month of the season will be focused on supporting our members’ return to softball training sessions and recruiting as many new players to the softball family as possible. However, it is our hope that at some point in May we will be able to finally relaunch our league after it’s gap year. The format of this will be very much dependent on membership numbers so watch this space!
With the participation number cap now lifted, tournaments can take place again. We are keeping an eye on the event calendar with the first local tournaments expected in May. Once everyone is settled back in we will send out further communications on our options and start researching the demand for entering an MK Diamonds team.
We look forward to seeing you all very very soon and in the meantime if you have any questions or would just like an informal chat about any of our plans then please do get in touch!