Hello! We know that it can be very nerve-racking to attend an established club when you're new, therefore we have a committee, to help you along. We are here to welcome all new members and answer any questions you may have.
We also hold a social ever year, "Meet the Raiders", especially to welcome new members. Don't worry if you can't make it, we welcome new members throughout the year.
We have a few FAQs on this page to help you find out more about softball and the Raiders. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Please do sign up to our mailing list via the form
Also join our Facebook group. We look forward to seeing you at a training session soon!
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you have never played softball before you should start in the Development Squad where you will meet other people new to the sport who want to learn, have fun and make new friends. There are a lot of rules in softball and our Development Squad will take you from wondering what a ‘forced run’ is to being able to explain the ‘infield fly’ with confidence. Softball is a highly addictive and rewarding sport to play offering great fitness and social rewards. If you have played before, you are still more than welcome to join the Development Squad. If you want to try out for one of our seven League teams, you will need to come to all of the assessment days so the captains can evaluate your ability and select you for the appropriate team. The dates and times will be posted on our website. The venue is Wandsworth Common. Before joining you should also look at our club rules.
WHO ARE THE LONDON RAIDERS?
We are an amateur softball club with seven teams, a large development squad (kind of like a softball school) and an even bigger social diary. We have teams of all abilities in all divisions in the Greater London Mixed Softball League. We always field mixed gender teams and often enter tournaments. If we don’t win on the pitch, we win in the pub.
DO I NEED TO BE LGBT TO JOIN?
No, and you shouldn't expect all our members to be LGBT either. Raiders is all about fun and competitive softball in a supportive, respectful environment. We are a majority LGBT club however we welcome anyone who wants to enjoy the sport. If you’re comfortable with the Raiders, the Raiders are comfortable with you.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TOURNAMENTS?
There are lots of tournaments in the summer at varying competition levels. If you’re new to softball it’s a good idea to come and watch at least one tournament. You can learn a lot about softball from watching back-to-back games all weekend. There are also “D Level” (recreational, or beginners) tournaments and our own Raiders Tournament, which we run especially recreational teams. If you want to know about how to get involved in tournaments, email our tournament manager for more info.
WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES?
London Raiders are a very social bunch. We have a Start of Season Party, we march in London Pride, we have Quiz Nights, an off-season Bowling league, lots of other nights out, an End of Season Party. This may negate any fitness you incur from playing softball. Don't forget to keep an eye on the Calendar and on the Facebook Group. If playing softball isn't your thing but you enjoy our company, we offer a social membership which allows you attend our many social events free of charge.
WHERE DO WE PLAY?
Our home ground is Bellevue Road in Wandsworth Common, opposite the Sainsbury’s Local. We have a handy Pitch Locator on our Members page. The best train station is Wandsworth Common. It’s a very long walk from Wandsworth Town. We practice there on Monday nights as well as Sunday afternoons. Our League games happen all over London and the night depends on your team, for example, Red might play on Mondays and Gold might play on Fridays. Our different teams have different home grounds. Our website will tell you where each team plays and there will be regular updates on weekly games through our twitter feed if you fancy supporting our teams
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF SOFTBALL?
The type of softball we play is called Slow Pitch. It’s bit like baseball but with a bigger, slower ball pitched (or bowled) underarm. If you’re new to the sport, the best thing to do is learn the rules playing in the Development Squad. No one will expect you to understand what “Force is on 2, with 2 down” means until you’ve been here a while.You can search online for “softball rules” to find lots of handy guides, but we will teach you the official BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) rules. BSUK governs our leagues. Most of the club will be happy to help you understand the rules as you go.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Softball, like many sports requires certain items of equipment for the game to be played. You will be familiar with items such as balls and bases which the club supply, however below we have listed those essential or extra items you need to be top of the table. London Raiders provide a certain amount of equipment to members for training sessions. If you decide to play on a league team, or join London Raiders, we recommend you purchase a glove (see below). Some members decide to buy their own bat, however this is personal preference. We get a discount with The Softball Shop. email email@example.com for a discount code.
ARE YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
We certainly are. We use both to keep our members and others up to date on what the club is up to. We even tweet some of the games live from the diamond. We also have an official Facebook group where members post about events and talk. If you fancy liking us or following us…