Welcome to the London Legal Softball League

2013 Tournament – 17th August 2013

Click here for games schedule | Click here for Tournament Guide and Rules

We are excited to announce that the London Legal Softball Tournament (re-named as the Merrill Datasite Softball Tournament for this year) will take place on Saturday 17 August 2013 in Regent’s Park.  For those who are new to legal softball, the tournament has been an annual one-day event for more than 20 years and it is an opportunity for the firms in the league to compete against each other for the highly coveted London Legal Softball Tournament Trophy as well as the Goblet Trophy and Plate Trophy whilst having a great day out in the park (usually in excellent weather).

Final scheduling is to be confirmed but the day will start at about 10.00am and when softball finishes (late afternoon) all players and spectators retire to the Princess of Wales pub on Chalcot Road where we have hired out the newly refurbished downstairs area and the “Banksy beer garden” for an almighty knees-up.

New for this year is that the tournament is sponsored by Merrill Datasite, however, there will still be a cost involved for each team taking part to cover the pitch hire in Regent’s Park (likely to be in the region of £75 depending on the number of teams).

If you do not think you will have enough players available to form a full team on the day but you have a group of at least 5 players or so that wish to play then please let us know and we can see if we can join some firms together for the day.   

Teams Attending
  • Olswang
  • Clifford Chance
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Allen & Overy
  • Latham & Watkins
  • Simmons & Simmons
  • Dentons/Slaughter & May (joint team)
  • Bird & Bird
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Dechert
  • Freshfields/Sullivan & Cromwell (joint team)

The League

The London Legal Softball League has existed for more than two decades and is one of the longest running softball leagues in the UK.  It is affiliated to Baseball Softball UK and matches take place on Primrose Hill, in Regent’s Park and on Gloucester Green on weeknights during the spring/summer.  We are proud to announce that, for the 2013 season, the London Legal Softball League is sponsored by Merrill Datasite – the leading provider of virtual data rooms to the legal community.  Details of how the sponsorship by Merrill Datasite will benefit the league and those who play in it will be announced shortly but, in the meantime, should you wish to contact Merrill Datasite, please speak to Colin Schopbach on 07920 533 444 or colin.schopbach@merrillcorp.com.  You may also bump into Colin during the season as he will appear as a guest player for Olswang from time to time.

We play 5 innings or as otherwise agreed between the two team captains. The winning team gets 2 points and the losing team gets 0 points. In the event of a draw, the result is a draw and both teams get a point each. In the playoff stages there is no such thing as a draw: extra innings should be played (light permitting) or if this is not possible please refer to the Rules section for the countback rule which will determine the winning team.

Please submit scores to webmaster@legalsoftball.com after each match.

If any team cancels, the other team gets a default win.  The deadline for cancelling a fixture is 4pm on the day of the match but please endeavour to keep the other captain informed throughout the day if it looks like you are struggling to field a team.  Any cancellations made after 4pm will lead to the cancelling team being deducted one point in the league.  If the weather is too bad or the pitches too slippery to play safely, the match will be declared a rain draw and each team gets 1 point.  This should be agreed between the captains (acting reasonably) and note that games should not be called off just because it looks like it might rain.  If any team gives more than one walkover during a season, the LLSL Committee reserves the right to remove them from the league the following season should new teams wish to join.

In the event of a tie at the end of a season between two or more teams, we will look at the head to head record of the teams that have finished in a tie. If that does not work (e.g. if three teams are tied and they each won one and lost one against the two other teams in question), the run difference between the tied teams (in their matches against one another) will determine the league standings.  If this does not separate the teams in question (e.g. if two teams are tied and they played out a draw between one another), the league standings between these teams will be determined on the flip of a coin.

The rule on fielding guest players (affectionately known as “ringers”) in the London Legal Softball League is that there is no rule as the primary aim of the league is to get as many people playing softball as possible so fixture cancellation for not having enough players should be avoided at all costs.  However, each team is expected to consist of a core set of players that work for or have a strong affiliation with the firm that they represent.

Match Start Time

Although individual arrangements will be left to team captains to agree, teams should try to finish warming up and start matches as early as possible, and certainly by 7pm, to allow time for 5 innings to be completed before it gets too dark to play safely.

Pitches

Please see the pitch map and make sure all your players have this. A new pitch map has been released this year, so make sure you print out a copy and throw away all old maps.

League format

There are three divisions of 8 teams each.  Each division completes all set matches, and then the playoffs will take place as follows to determine the winners of trophies as well as promotion/relegation:

Division 1:

Playoff semifinal matches will be played between the side that finishes 1st versus the side that finishes 4th and between the side that finishes 2nd versus the side that finishes 3rd.  The winner of each of these semifinals will play a grand final where the winner takes home the coveted league championship trophy.  Clearly, there will be no promotion system in Division 1.

As for relegation, there will be a playoff between the side that finishes 5th versus the side that finishes 8th as well as a playoff between the side that finishes 6th versus the side that finishes 7th.  The loser of each of these playoff matches will be relegated to Division 2 for the following season.

Division 2:

 

The winner of Division 2 will take home the new Goblet trophy that is being introduced this season.

The promotion system will work so that the team that finishes 1st will play off against the team that finishes 4th and the team that finishes 2nd will play off against the team that finishes 3rd with the winner of each of these playoff matches being promoted to Division 1 for the following season.

The relegation system will work exactly as in Division 1 above with the loser of each of the playoff matches between the 5th and the 8th placed teams and the 6th and the 7th placed teams being relegated to Division 3 for the following season.

Division 3:

 

The winner of Division 3 will take home the Plate trophy.

The promotion system will work exactly as in Division 2 above with the winner of each of the playoff matches between the 1st and the 4th placed teams and the 2nd and the 3rd placed teams being promoted to Division 2 for the following season.

There will also be two end of season fixtures between the team that finishes 5th versus the team that finishes 8th and between the team that finishes 6th versus the team that finishes 7th but (since there is no non-league legal softball!) there will be no relegation resulting from losing these fixtures (only a wooden spoon that will arrive in the post for each losing team).

In case of teams dropping out of the league, firms merging etc we may need to apply some discretion to the promotion/relegation system before the start of each season but this will be at the discretion of the LLSL committee.