The British Baseball League, the East of England Baseball League and the North East Baseball League have confirmed their affiliation to the British Baseball Federation for the 2023 season.
They will affiliate under the organisation’s new organisational affiliation model and join the South West and Wales Baseball League as adult leagues that now have a formal relationship with the national governing body.
“As someone who has been involved in a regional league, I have always believed that part of the Federation's mission is to support volunteers to help expand, invest in, and administer baseball in Great Britain, and to develop and implement programmes that can help improve our sport and experiences when playing it,” said Tom Thornhill, the British Baseball Federation President.
“A regional league structure is a powerful model to improve the operational capacity of our sport and helps regions have a voice and control of their own administration and development with support from the NGB.”
The three regional leagues currently administer 19 adult teams and two university teams which will now receive a variety of support from the BBF under a new affiliation and governance model introduced this year.
The British Baseball League covers the North West and Yorkshire and represents seven clubs based in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and Wragby
Kevin Macadam, the league’s commissioner said, “The time is right to re-affiliate to the BBF which has undergone a positive change in the way it is approaching the development of the sport and its clubs. We are set for and exciting time and look forward to being an integral part of a bright future.”
The East of England Baseball League is based around Norfolk and Cambridge and also includes teams from Northamptonshire and Harwich.
This new regional model will help us administer our league in a variety of ways,” said Dan Mara, League Commissioner for the East of England Baseball League. "Our teams voted to affiliate as a region for the 2023 season and we are looking forward to growing and developing our sport and league over the coming year.”
The North East Baseball League covers Newcastle and County Durham and is the newest regional adult league in the country.
Stuart Taylor from Newcastle Knights said, “For this sport to grow and move forward in this country we are stronger as one rather than being fractured.
“As Newcastle grows and take the next steps in our own journey as a club we felt now was the time affiliate with the BBF and join others with the same vision and goal of growing the fantastic sport that is baseball in the UK.”
What is Organisational Affiliation?
Organisational affiliation is the mechanism under which baseball organisations from across the community are able to connect with the Federation under one systematic structure.
It provides a way for every type of organisation in the British baseball community to communicate, coordinate and collaborate with the Federation, and function effectively as they see fit.
Under this mechanism, baseball organisations are able to formally represent a collection of clubs and decide how they affiliate with the Federation as a league.