Girls & Boys and Fastpich? In Prague, it’s a time-tested combo
This year’s Prague Fastpitch Spring tournament hosted 14 teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greece, and Croatia. Eight of these included girls as well as boys and no-one enjoyed the game any less for it! The bronze medal even went to a team with fifty-fifty gender balance.
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More and more people in the Czech Republic are discovering fastpitch. Lately, the Intercup tournament series has been facing a reduction in the number of male teams that traditionally made up the bulk of participants. One way to save the day is to embrace girl players, and it seems that this distinctive flavor of softball is attracting players not just in the Czech Republic, but internationally.
“For this year’s Prague Fastpitch Spring, we sent out invites to all corners of Europe, emphasizing that no top male teams play here and that we place no restrictions on the composition of the teams. Guys or girls, we don’t care – but we also don’t cut anyone any slack, we simply play fastpitch. That can be tough for some, but just take Pegasos: they’ve come all the way from Greece for the second time, even though their pitching would hardly earn them any points in the lowest Czech leagues,” says the tournament’s manager Petr Ševčík.
Fastpitch means fun!
Naturally, the teams’ wildly varying skills also meant some pretty wild scores, especially in the initial group phase. Yes, the strongest teams could rely on capable male pitchers and players with some higher-tier fastpitch experience, but just ask yourself: Where else would softball enthusiasts and novices get a chance to meet players of this rank?
“The guys are always very supportive, complimenting us when we do something right, although they should probably expect a certain standard of performance from me personally. For me, playing against them is a challenge. It reminds me of the atmosphere you get with slowpitch. Intercup is a bit more competitive, but the overall point remains the same: to have fun,” says Anna Šeráková, Povaleč team member at Intercup and otherwise an Extraleague player with SaBaT.
Speaking of Povaleč: this more or less gender-balanced team was perhaps the greatest surprise of the tournament. In their match for the third place, Povaleč’s 20-year-old pitcher Johanka Folejtarová showed no mercy with DieHards, the team’s veteran Swiss/Czech/Slovak rivals.
Registration for Intercup tournaments is still open! Get a group of at least nine people of whichever gender, make sure that at least one of them can strike out a batter and another one can throw a straight ball between home base and second, contact email@example.com… and see you – for example – between July 20 and 22 at Baťa Cup in Sezimovo Ústí!
Prague Fastpitch Spring 2018
1. Zagreb Giants (Croatia)
2. Piraně Karlovy Vary
4. DieHards (Switzerland)
5. Crows Košice (Slovakia)
6. Black Panthers (Croatia)
7. Pikes Praha Angry
8. Spectrum Praha
9. Bandits Kaceřov
10. Bulldogs Lednice
11. Giessen Busters (Germany)
12. Pikes Praha Mighty
13. Pegasus (Greece)
14. Ballbusters (Germany)
Remaining tournaments of this year’s Intercup:
|July 20 - 22||Baťa Cup (Sezimovo Ústí)||Hungry Hipposfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|August 11 - 12||Havlíčkobrodská Bečka (Havíčkův Brod)||Hippos Havlíčkův Brodemail@example.com|
|September 8 - 9||Egerland Cup (Kaceřov)||Bandits Kaceřovfirstname.lastname@example.org|