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No-hitters, Increased Participation, and an Olympic Opportunity… Baseball for Girls and Women Growing Quickly in Stature Around the Globe.
April 26th, 2009 • Related • Filed Under

Women's baseball — It seemed like a simple enough idea, or maybe a ploy for extra media coverage to garner an Olympic bid, when a few weeks about International Baseball Federation president Dr. Harvey Schiller announced that baseball would add a women’s discipline to its bid for 2016. After all, the IBAF was rebuffed by the International Softball Federation in January to join forces in a combined bid, so was this announcement a media ploy to get back at softball?

“Not at all,” Schiller said recently. “I was one of the people (at the Atlanta Olympics) who helped bring softball into the Olympics, and I believe both sports belong on the Olympic programme. This move (to add women’s baseball) was long overdue and has been met with a flood of support around the world because the numbers and the opportunity support the growth of baseball as a sport for all…and all means women and girls of all ages who may leave the game now because that opportunity is not there.”

Some of those positive developments have picked up steam following the IBAF’s announcement. Sandra Monteiro of Portugal became the first female president of a baseball federation when she was elected as head of the Portuguese Baseball Federation. Then last month, 16-year-old Eri Yoshida became the first woman to appear in a Japanese professional game, striking out the first batter she faced, and touching off a storm of interest in girls baseball in Japan, where the game is already offered on the high school and collegiate levels. Korea announced the government was putting more funds into growing its baseball programs for both boys and girls, and no less than eight nations placed bids to host the 2010 Women’s Baseball World Cup. Then this past week in Bayonne, New Jersey, 12-year-old Mackenzie Brown threw a perfect game…the first by a girl in Little League…and received national attention in the United States.

Perfect Game — Another interesting development will take place later this week, on Sunday, May 3, when the first baseball game in over 100 years played entirely by college-eligible women’s student-athletes, assembled from over 10 New England colleges and universities, will be held at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The game is believed by historians to be the first all-women’s college baseball game since a game between Georgia College and Alabama College in March of 1900.

“Baseball is a game for all, and over 250,000 girls play the game through their early teens in the United States alone,” said game organizer Justine Siegel, who serves as associate head coach at Springfield College, the only female coach in collegiate baseball. “We think this game will serve as a small sample that if given the opportunity, many young women would continue playing recreationally and competitively in high school and as adults, not just in the United States but around the world.”

The game, dubbed, “The Friendship Game,” will have over 25 players from at least 12 New England colleges and will be played on a regulation diamond, follow all NCAA baseball rules, and last seven innings. Among the participants will be Karen Costes, who played for Team USA in 2008 and Christal Fitzgerald, an Australian who was the first international female to play college baseball in the US and is currently the only woman playing college baseball, now in her third season at Daniel Webster College.

So with all the interest, numbers globally reaching 500,000 and over 30 nations now offering women’s baseball, is this a fad or a growing movement? “We know the growth potential is there, judging by the responses we are getting, and they are all genuine, not contrived at all,” Schiller added. “Baseball offers young girls and women so many of the life lessons that boys and men have already enjoyed, and most girls are introduced to ball sports or team sports through attending a professional game or playing teeball, so why shouldn’t we encourage the growth of the game? It makes perfect sense, not just in the United States and Asia, but in places like Europe and Africa where the game is really starting to grow, and the Olympic platform will help push that growth. It is a great time not just for men’s baseball or women’s baseball, but for baseball in general.”

Now many challenges still remain in growing girls baseball internationally and in the United States. The new book, “Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball,” by Jennifer Ring, details many of the challenges faced, which include limits in coeducational opportunities in the United States, no NCAA plan for women’s baseball and cultural challenges in many countries around the world. The IBAF has added Dr. Donna Lopiano, one of the most respected names in international sport and the former head of the Women’s Sports Foundation, to chair a committee dedicated to growing the women’s discipline globally, and addressing those challenges. That committee will be formed in the coming month.

However the upside and opportunities for growth do exist, and by adding the women’s platform, and garnering media and grassroots support, a simple idea” may have spawned a new growth level of interest and participation in the great game of baseball.


Portland OR. 2/28/2009
Northwest Independent Baseball League

Call for Women's WOOD BAT Baseball Teams

Call for women's wood bat baseball teams announced ....Do you have what it takes to play or manage a new women's team, to motivate a team, to mold their passion into a competitive winning team, email me a short resume on how you would work with your team.     Northwest Women's Independent Baseball League Register Now Here

Do you want to hear the crack of a baseball rocketing off a WOOD BAT? Have you ever played with metal spikes and got dirty diving for that "web gem" play? Can you sling a fastball by a hitter>  Want to be mobbed by your team for that walk off hit that drives in the winning run? You will play hard and play to win but most importantly we have fun. That’s what Women's WOOD BAT Baseball is about.  

Need 28 to 30 Women to make 2 teams. Looking to start in the fall of 2009 

Rose City Angels and the Portland Hollywood Stars
Women's WOOD BAT Baseball Teams are looking for good baseball players.  Teams are in Washington and playing this season. Play Women's BaseballOther Leagues, International women's teams, USA Women Tournament Teams, and Women's Baseball links

So if you are a woman ball player 18 or over (teams will be based on skill level) who has what it takes to compete using wood bats, email We are gearing up for the fall season! Established teams are welcome. See Register Now Here to register on line.






If you have a Team or want Tryout Information call Duane Wangenheim 866.858.1174

The Northwest Independent Baseball League teams are dedicated to helping take the level of play to new heights. To this end, the League coaches and players will conduct clinics and seminars for youth players that will help build on the baseball foundations that they’re developing and give them the athletic and sportsmanship skills that will help carry them to the next level of competition.

Whether it’s helping to improve the facilities in the area, or the building on the skills of local players, the NWIBL is intent on proving that baseball is more than just a spectator sport. Fans of all types are welcome and encouraged to come cheer on teams in the
Northwest Independent Baseball League
Copyright © 2008 Northwest Independent Baseball League, All rights reserved. 04/28/2009 02:21 PM
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