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 every 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 our training group where you will meet other people new to the sport who want to learn, have fun and make new friends. You're then likely to play for one of our Minors 3 teams (Indigo, Orange or Green). There are a lot of rules in softball and with the help of our trainers and seasoned players we 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, please come along to one of our training sessions, we we 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 (the area on Bellevue Road, across from The Hope pub). Before joining you should also look at our club rules.
WHO ARE THE LONDON RAIDERS?
We are an amateur softball club with six teams in the London Softball League (which makes us the biggest club in the country!), and a big social diary throughout the year. We have teams of all abilities in all divisions in the 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 for 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.
WHERE DO WE PLAY?
Our home ground is Bellevue Road in Wandsworth Common, opposite the Hope pub. 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. 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 social media feeds 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 one of our Minors 3 teams. 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. Our experienced players 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 once you decided the Raiders is for you, you'll be expected to have a glove for catching the balls when fielding. London Raiders provide a certain amount of equipment to members for training sessions.
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. See links below.