The Sydney Women’s Baseball League has again broken records for new enrolments after attracting an extra 50 players at their open day on April 5.

The influx will allow the league to form an extra team this year, bringing it to a total of 10 teams and a list of back-ups to play in the 2009 season beginning on April 26.

We only wanted to grow to 10 teams this year so we’ve reached our maximum capacity. We’re still taking registrations from people, though. They go on a waiting list, but we’re hoping to slot them in within the first two weeks, SWBL president Oriel Webster told Sydney Star Observer.

We’ve also managed to retain most of our players from last year.

She attributed the league’s ongoing popularity to successful management and a healthy balance of fun and serious competition.

I try to encourage people to talk to new people and make them feel welcome, and let the girls know this is a safe space. I also like to promote women in the league, in terms of what they do off the field as well -” but only for people who like sharing that.

Webster said she tries to combat shyness in women who may not have played baseball since childhood, if at all.

People also want something that runs efficiently, while keeping it social. We make sure people are organised and that it’s all very professional. That’s where the positives come from and it helps us promote the sport in a competitive way.

Maintaining that competitive advantage does not depend on shunting learners to the outfield though, Webster said.

In a team you might have someone who’s an ex-Australia player next to someone who’s never played before. It doesn’t really matter who’s played before or who hasn’t. Ultimately we rely on our coaches to do a good job so girls play hard on the field and can then play hard off the field.

info: Registrations for the Sydney Women’s Baseball League are still being accepted. Visit swbl.org.au.

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