Who are the Lisburn Hawks?
The Lisburn Hawks is a non-profit sports club that competes in the Softball Ulster League playing adult co-ed slow-pitch softball. The team is a mixture of male and female players, with a wide range of social and ethnic backgrounds, sexualities and ability. The Club trains on Wednesday evenings, and League games are played on Sunday afternoons or a Monday evening at an opposing teams’ home grounds. If we don’t have a game on a Sunday, we’ll have an additional day training day.
What is slow pitch softball?
Softball is a step below Baseball, and a step up from the much loved childhood game of rounders. In Northern Ireland, we almost exclusively play a version called ‘slow pitch’. In Slowpitch the ball is pitched underarm, and at a slower pace compared to Baseball or Fastpitch softball, making it much more of a hitting game and perfect as a recreational sport. The game is played on a ‘diamond’ which is usually laid out ontop of a football or rugby pitch.
The Beginners Guide to Softball by the BritshSoftball Federation gives a more indepth look at the game. Also, have a look at this video, by Mr Animate.
I’m terrible at sport, can I still play? or, I used to play years ago, can I play again?
Absolutely! There is no skill or ability restriction on playing Softball with us. As long as you’re able to bring a winning attitude, we’ll teach you and coach you in the ways of the game. You’ll be rounding bases, scoring runs and catching outs in no time at all. Maybe you’ll even hit a home-run or two!
After all, ‘You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. – Zig Ziglar’
If you’ve played before – Welcome back! We’re always looking for experience players to join the team and increase our competitiveness. You can come down and play, or if you’re super motivated you can join the coaching team and help us lift the Softball Ulster trophy in 2022!
How can I play softball?
Great question Future Softballer! All you need to do is attend a training session, and give it ago. Members of our team have been playing for 12 years and they’ll introduce you to the basics of the sport. Check out our Facebook for latest updates on training sessions.
Do I need any specialist equipment?
No. We have everything you need to get started. The club has a selection of bats and gloves available for your use, so all you need is to be wearing appropriate clothing and footwear (trainers or football boots usually work!). We also have helmets or safety equipment should you need it.
As you play more, and gain more confidence you may wish to invest in your own bats and gloves. We’ve a super relationship with The Baseball Softball Shop to get you started. [Other softball equipment retailers are available!]
What about COVID 19?
The Lisburn Hawks are committed to playing softball in a safe and responsible manner. As such, all games, training and associated events will be undertaken in line with the Return To Play Protocol.
Softball is by its nature socially distant. For starters, we are primarily a non-contact sport, played outdoor in an open field. Defensive players stand around 40 to 65 feet apart, Offensive players step up to the plate one at a time, and advance around bases in 65 feet intervals. To date there have been zero positive cases of Covid connected to a Ulster softball team.