Botswana Softball Association intends to devise a way forward on the restart of league competitions.

This comes after government recently gave a green light for competitive sports to return. The Association Public Relations Officer Boingotlo Marope said they have started stakeholder engagement with their affiliates, adding that the meetings will also give
direction in terms of how they will ensure that competitions are COVID-19 compliant.

“We are currently in discussions with stakeholders to come up with safety measures, as you know that softball or competitive sports has been on hold, so the plan really is to have all ideas put together” said Marope.

She further highlighted that they have made a series of proposals to the clubs for adoption, stating that they are hopeful that the matter will be concluded soon. “Most definitely there is nothing we would like to see than the roll out of the sport, we are eager and ready but that of course will be determined by what the clubs will say in return” added Marope.

She also indicated that the Association will not impose their views on clubs given that most have already suffered financial predicament.

Asked whether the most popular extravaganza softball tournament usually hosted during the winter season will be held this year, Marope declined to commit, adding that all issues will be discussed and communicated.

“We have a fully packed program because the qualifiers of our senior men and U23’s were moved, so we still have that on the table to be discussed as well” “We can only hope that we will all pull towards the same direction so that the sporting code can kick off” added Marope.

Meanwhile, Marope said they expect things to be difficult for the sporting code, indicating that sponsors will also be difficult to be retained. “It is going to be difficult for all of us because companies  took a serious knock as a result of this pandemic”

“We have already started reaching out to the private sector to support us, but what I can tell you is that sponsorship is not going to be easy but we will definitely apply ourselves” said Marope.

Early last year, The Botswana Softball Association (BSA) took a decision to cancel the 2019-2020 BoFiNeT softball season due to the pandemic.

“The Botswana Softball Association (BSA) has cancelled the 2019-2020 BoFiNeT Botswana Softball League due to COVID-19” “No national champions will be declared in either the men’s or women’s leagues” The BSA also announced that there won’t be any official softball competitions in Botswana for the rest of 2020.

The men and women’s leagues opened in February, but only lasted until March when all was put on hold due to the pandemic. A total of 10 teams started the women’s competition: BDF IX, Bears, BMC Rivals, Dinare, Eagles, Panthers, Police IX, Titans, UB Giants and Wells.

The 12-team men’s competition includes BDF IX, Blue Angels, BMC Rivals, Bears, Dinare, Eagles, Gatalamotho, G. Warriors, Panthers, Police IX, UB Giants and Wells.

The BSA Secretary General, Tsuna Makwa, sent a letter to the teams, stating: “The preparation for the next season includes, but is not limited to, clubs compliance to the COVID-19 protocols and to upgrade the National Diamond [softball grounds] to an acceptable standard.”

Clubs will be allowed to train during 2020, but not compete. The next BoFiNeT Softball League will start in January 2021.

Botswana is currently ranked 12th in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings, and 40th in the women’s rankings.