Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not playing hardball

There are a number of major sporting events going on at the moment. The Rugby World Cup, of course. The Women's Football World Cup. 20/20 Cricket. Champions League and Euro 2008 Qualifiers.

The Henley Annual Softball Tournament outranks them all.

This is traditionally a hotly contested and sometimes testily fraught nail-biter, with ten-player teams drawn from every section of the College. It is played during early summer on the lovely lawns in front of the main building, with two qualifying groups playing in parallel mini-leagues, the winners of each then facing off in a tense final. However, 2007's tournament was a victim of the floods and rains of the summer and the re-scheduled date fell in September. On a Friday. This reduced the field of teams from 10 to 4, but the resulting competition was noticeable for how little competition there was.

I have to own up to the fact that my team, Kosta's Crusaders, came fourth, which is another way of saying last. This blow was lessened by the twin facts that we were the only team to beat the eventual winners, Top of the Ops, and that the winners won by beating the usually all-conquering IT department team, the e-Invincibles.

Other highlights included several home runs from faculty veteran Emilio Herbolzheimer (he never missed the ball) and some 'quirky' umpiring decisions by our Principal, including the very dodgy 'out' call on my team-mate and his PA, Margy.

Events such as these are part of the glue that sticks the organisation together. It was liberating to listen to the irreverant back-chat (on the field), and the stories of tournaments gone-by (off it). Next year, I sincerely hope that we repeat the experience (though not the coming last bit).

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