Weâ€™ve enjoyed some glorious weather over the last week or so, the type that might be described as â€˜baseball weatherâ€™ in the States. In the UK â€˜baseball weatherâ€™ really covers the whole spectrum from heat waves to hailstorms, but of late teams have been warming up for the season in the sunshine.
Typically, the temperatures are forecast to take a downward turn over the coming weekend so we wonâ€™t quite have the sunny start to the season that we were hoping for. However, thatâ€™s not going to dampen the enthusiasm, nor reduce the temperature of the competitive contests.
The Southampton Mustangs and London Mets will be out to get some revenge over the teams that knocked them out of theÂ play-offs last yearÂ (the Lakenheath Diamondbacks and Harlow â€“ previously Southern â€“ Nationals).
The Essex Arrows and Croydon Pirates will both see their double-header as a decent chance to get an early win or two on the board, while the Herts Falcons have been making plenty of noise in recent months and will want to show in their double-header against the Bracknell Blazers that â€˜winning the offseasonâ€™ is only the start of their ambitions for 2012.
Games will be played at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, Finsbury Park in North London, the Townmead Leisure Centre in Waltham Abbey and â€“ it seems â€“ at Dave Ward Field in Croydon (it looks like the Southampton Mustangs and Lakenheath Diamondbacks will play their double-header at the Croydon Piratesâ€™ ground).
Those who canâ€™t make it to any of the games should be able toÂ catch-up with allÂ the action courtesy of the impressive new GameDay feature on the BBF website (Nationals-Mets example here).
Meanwhile, plenty of other teams around the country will be continuing their pre-season games, including more action at the Herts Spring League and the Leicester Spring League.