Softball in London started over 30 years ago fuelled by the large number of American ex-pats working in the advertising industry. What was initially an informal set up where rival companies would challenge each other to games grew into an organised league.
LASL started as a formally organised league in 1984, so we are now 30 years old. The league has grown from its humble roots of 6 teams to become not only the largest advertising & media league in the world, but also the largest co-ed corporate softball league in Europe.
LASL now comprises 60 teams who play a regular series of games in Regents Park in a season that runs from May to August. The league is made up of 5 divisions, roughly ranked according to ability, and the game play varies from the extremely recreational up to a high standard. Many players who play in the UK’s top weekend teams, and indeed in our national squad, started out as LASL players. In fact we have an unequalled record for creating new players and encouraging people into the sport in general.
From the league we now have 7 teams that compete in regular weekend tournaments as well as national championships - Guerrillas, The Firm, Blitz, The Flames, Riot, Cockney Rebels and the No Balls. Each year we defend the honour of the British advertising industry by competing in a large tournament in America. This is The Players Tournament and is where us Brit advertising types fight it out with our rivals in the American advertising industry.
Finally it is worth pointing out that LASL is the largest group activity in the advertising industry. We have 60 teams, each with about 25 on their rosters meaning nearly 1,500 regular participants. Also, uniquely, this is a mixed sport so all agency personnel can be involved.