Botswana Softball Association (BSA) launched the 2018/19 season on Saturday at the National Diamond. The partnership between BSA and BoFINET continued as they signed a three-year deal worth P1,6 million each season.
BSA vice president, Batsetswe Gontlafetse told Sport Monitor that they want to start looking into the structure of the league because what they have at the moment is quantity rather than quality. He said the idea is to have both a minor league and a major league. He said that would improve the quality and attract spectators to the grounds.
“The BoFINET sponsorship is inclusive of officials, Re Ba Bona Ha Programme, infrastructure and youth. He said with the funds they received they intend to build ablution blocks at the National Diamond.
We also want to improve the field and consider replacing the current turf with an artificial one. At the moment we are using a borehole to water the grass. The borehole always gives us challenges like power shortages. It is a long term project but it would happen,” said Gontlafetse.
BoFINET chief executive officer (CEO), Mabua Mabua said they see great potential in softball than what is happening today. He said some years ago softball used to be popular but as years went by, its popularity took a nosedive. “Maybe it is an issue of structures that they have. The other factor might be change in leadership like this year when they went for elections. There was a lot of politics and that affected progress,” he said.
Mabua said they have informed BSA executive committee that they do
“The reason why the league took longer to start is that we have been busy with negotiations. What has been happening in the past three years is that each season a new club crops up in the league. They grew from 16 to 20 both men and women. We have agreed that they should reduce the number of clubs. That does not mean we would reduce the sponsorship amount, it stays the same,” he said.
Mabua said there would be no provision for infrastructure development in the sponsorship after the complexion of ablution blocks. Meanwhile, the sponsorship amount has P300, 000 for infrastructure development but the following year, the amount would be taken to the prize money pool.
The league would see the arrival of a new club, Tati Bulls and there are new top 10 and 12 venues. The second round is to be played in Orapa and Jwaneng. The league has been on a break since April but the defending champions, Police IX (women) and Wells International (men) are expected to continue with their winning streak from last season. Police started off the season by clobbering Titans 11-2.
Panthers 4-6 Bears
Police 11-2 Titans
Vikings 1-8 Police
Panthers 11-4 Bears