FRANCISTOWN: The 2015 Northern Softball League featuring nine teams will start in Orapa on October 17, with former side, Scramblers bouncing back.
Orapa based-teams, Carets and Rebels, will welcome Rail Giants of Mahalapye and Raptures of Serowe respectively in the opening week.
Other teams; Wipers, Motlakase and Francistown powerhouse, Scramblers who are returning to the league after a stint in the wilderness will be in action the following weekend in Selebi-Phikwe.
Two rookies, Ghetto Yankees of Francistown and Maun Deltas will also battle it out in Selebi-Phikwe.
Top four teams in the northern league qualify for the National Championships where they play against the top eight teams from the south, in two pools of six teams each. The champions in both the men and women’s BoFinet sponsored league would pocket P100,000 at the end of the season.
“BoFinet has sponsored this season with P1.5 million. P1 million will cover logistics and prizes, while the P500,000 will be used to improve our facilities.
“In addition we have a running agreement with BoFinet that they will be sponsoring us three more seasons to the tune of P4.5 million, each season at P1.5 million,” northern zone league general manager, Oeme Morupisi said. He said last season they experienced a few challenges, which would help them improve the league going forward.
“The problems we encountered in the previous season were mainly because of lack of funds by teams which resulted in lack of resources to compete effectively. “This season we have simplified our league structure to accommodate those challenges. For example, we will have all teams in our zone travel only twice in a season to reduce costs and we are positive in that way teams will be able to honour all fixtures,” said Morupisi.
Morupisi further added that he is happy with the growth of softball in the north. He said that is evidenced by the increase of teams in the region.
“We are happy with our growth. We have two new teams in our region this season, (Deltas of Maun and Ghetto Yankees) and we have also welcomed Scramblers back.
“Scramblers had left the league because of lack of funds after the BDF decided to stop sponsoring them. Now they have regrouped and they have decided to sponsor themselves. That is positive for development in our regional softball. More teams will help increase competition in the league,” Morupisi added.