THE FINISH LINE: One or two suggestions BSF can consider moving forward


Brent Stubbs



THE Bahamas Softball Federation caught the contagious bug that has rocked local sports in recent times - a decline in the participation of teams - in their 2017 Rozina Taylor National Championships.

The once flagship sporting body in the country was down to just three ladies’ teams and four men’s teams, minus one which decided to pull out because of a constitutional ruling that prevented one of their key players from participating over the rounds.

Normally, fans could look forward to at least six islands being represented in both divisions with games jammed pack at the softball fields at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

Instead, all but two of the games were played away from the Banker’s Field, despite the fact that there was a delay in the action because of the inclement weather for a couple hours.

In the end, the tournament still finished on time in three days.

Now BSF executives, headed by president Ted Miller, are left deliberating on what they should do to get more teams involved in the sport again from around the Family Islands.

At the same time, the challenge might be on the new administration that comes in if Miller decides not to seek re-election.

In any event, here’s one or two suggestions that the BSF could consider as they move forward:

  1. Bring all of the affiliated island constitutions on par with each other. If the NPSA could use a rule that allows players to participate in the postseason once they are on the team’s initial roster, even if they didn’t participate in the regular season, the other islands should be allowed that same option.

Case in point, there were a couple of players who didn’t play in the NPSA regular season but were allowed to participate in the postseason. Yet, the Eleuthera’s Blue Waters were not allowed to let one of their players play in the round robin because he didn’t play in their season.

  1. Players should be able to be drafted to play for their island associations in the round robin, if they were born there if they are not a part of the teams representing the NPSA.

It’s a known fact that many players leave their respective islands either to secure jobs or to engage in a higher learning institution here in New Providence or the United States leaving a depletion of players available to play.

  1. Barring the lack of league play during the regular season, as was the situation on some of the Family Islands, the BSF might want to revert to staging an All-Star Classic within the national championships.

Obviously, it will be unfair to those islands who stage their regular season and crown champions not to give them the opportunity to compete for the national title. They can continue to play for the national title. But in those situations where there is no league play, why not allow the islands to form all stars to compete against other islands that are in the same predicament.

I just think some concession must be given to the Family Islands, who still have the players but are in hard pressed to stage a full season when one considers everything that they have to go through, including the aftermath of the hurricanes that become a priority to playing sports.



Having said that, the C&S Hitmen and the Sunshine Auto Wildcats must be commended for keeping the men and ladies’ national titles in New Providence.

It was the first time in a while that the NPSA champions went all the way to complete the season on a high note.

After falling short in their previous three tries, ace Alcott Forbes was stellar on the mound for manager Darren Stevens as he led the Hitmen, sponsored by Clifford Sands, to their first men’s national title.

Forbes was stingy in the round robin with a .000 earned run average (ERA) in pulling off his two victories on a combined four hits with 19 strike outs before he came back in the final and was almost perfect except for an error by one of his team-mates that limited him to another shutout against the Blazers.

And Forbes was joined by one of his other teammates in centre fielder Rodney Forbes as they shared the most valuable player award as they provided the defensive and offensive spark for the Hitmen.

The Blazers, a youthful defensive-minded team, managed by Desmond ‘Big Country’ Dean, pulled off the upset of the round robin when they dethroned the two-time defending champions Five Star Bulldogs with a 3-2 victory.

On the ladies’ side, the Wildcats proved that age is only a number when it comes down to performing on the field.

Once again the veteran team, managed by Anthony Bullard, produced another victory for sponsor Deanza ‘Sonny’ Cox as they celebrated behind the career-ending performance from mainstay Mary ‘Cruise’ Edgecombe.

Edgecombe helped to crush the spirits of the Diamond Dolls from Abaco, managed by George Knowles, as they came into the game confident to give the Wildcats a run for their money, but were thwarted by an 11-3 decision.

When it was all said and done, Knowles, sharing the MVP honours with shortstop Larikah Russell, put the cap on her long and illustrious career as she went into the sunset as a national champion again. No doubt as she goes into retirement, she will be remembered for her tenacity and ability to get the job done when she needed to. Congratulations on a job well done.

Happy belated birthday

By now Sir Durward ‘Sea Wolf’ Knowles would have blown out the candles on his cake to celebrate his 100th birthday, which was yesterday.

In a well-deserved tribute to his legacy as a sailor, Olympian, administrator and philanthropist, the sailing community came together to participate in the Sir Durward 100 Regatta in Montagu Bay.

While the Olympic-style boats that he competed in sailed without any reservations, there were a number of problems experienced in the work class boats that compete in the normal regattas. But for someone who has given so much to the regattas in support of the skippers and sailors, there could have been a better collaboration with the local organising committee to ensure smooth sailing.

In the end, it all came together and now the “One Bahamas” committee will shift its attention to the Unity Walk from Arawak Cay to Goodman’s Bay and back to Arawak Cay. The event will be held on Saturday starting at 6:30am and will be a good tribute to all Bahamians, who have been touched in some way by Sir Durward, to come out and show their gratitude.


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