Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world. However, if we consider its popularity in Singapore, although it has yet to achieve the status the locals have given to sports like basketball or soccer, baseball has a huge fan base on the island too.
So, if you are interested in learning more about baseball in Singapore, this article entails a comprehensive description of the advent of baseball in the country, its evolution over time, and the sport’s current status in the country.
History of Baseball in Singapore
If we trace the history of the advent of sports in Singapore, it will take us back to the 19th century, when Singapore was a colony. It was the British colonists who turned to sports for recreation and to pass their time in Singapore.
This eventually led to the establishment of private clubs for recreation and sports such as swimming, cricket, and other forms of recreation, etc. Some of these entities are even operational today.
When immigrants from neighbouring regions, including India and China, came to the island, they formed their own communal clubs for sports and recreations, which were intended to serve their respective communities.
The clubs hence played a vital role in the growth and promotion of sports in Singapore during those early days.
The Singapore Softball Association (SSA) was formed in 1960. Previously, it was dedicated mostly to softball, and in 1998 the association was named the Singapore Baseball and Softball Association (SBSA). The association goes by this name today. The need for a formal governing body for baseball reflects that the sport was gaining traction in Singapore around that time. Hence there was a need for governance and monitoring to ensure adherence to international rules and promote the growth of sports in the country at local and international levels.
The association is dedicated to governing the two sports in Singapore as the national governing organisation. It is responsible for upholding the rules of both baseball and softball as outlined by the various international authorities, which include WBSC (World Baseball and Softball Confederation), IBA (International Baseball Association), ISF (International Softball Federations), BFA (Baseball Federation Asia), and SCA (Softball Confederation Asia).
Singapore Baseball and Softball Association works to monitor, promote and nurture the growth of softball and baseball in the country. The association is also responsible for promoting and organising domestic and overseas softball and baseball events with the assistance of the affiliated teams, clubs, and relevant associations. It hence safeguards the interests of the game and employs the associated funds for their requisite growth and development.
The Singapore Baseball and Softball Association is also responsible for registering teams from various schools, colleges, and other organisations. Over the years, the Baseball and Softball Association has been instrumental in promoting the two sports in Singapore, encouraging their growth at the root level and strengthening amiability between the groups and individuals via baseball and softball.
Singapore National Baseball Team
While there is a single body for the administration of baseball and softball in Singapore, the teams for the two are separate and are determined by categorising the players according to age and gender.
The Singapore national team represents the country in various senior-level men’s international contests. It is a member of the BFA (Baseball Federation Asia) and regularly participates in competitions held in Asia. As of December 2021, the team ranks 81 in the world.
In 2002, the team participated in the Asian baseball Cup, Eastern Division in Thailand, and was in sixth place. Two years later, the Singapore baseball team participated in the same event in Thailand again and improved their ranking to earn fifth place. It was the first time that the team was able to earn an international win as they beat Sri Lanka. Singapore was fourth in the 2012 Eastern Division’s Asian Baseball Cup.
One year later, the team participated in the IBAF Hong Kong International Baseball Open and was fifth. The event marked a noteworthy achievement for the team as it has secured a no-hit-no-run game against Shenzhen in their final game. In the national team group, the team secured second place in the WBSC Hong Kong International Baseball Open in 2017 and 2018. It also participated in the Southeast Asian Games organised in the Philippines in 2019 and secured fourth place.
Baseball is also widely played at the club level. One such popular club is the Baseball Club Singapore (BCS). It is a volunteer-run rubber-ball baseball club for boys, which was formed in 1998. The club comprises three categories segregating kids from six to fifteen years. The club is intended to promote baseball among younger kids and nurture talent for the future.
Is baseball popular in Singapore?
Baseball has a huge fan base among the locals and is also played on a large scale at a local level. While it may not enjoy as much popularity as soccer, it is certainly one of the most popular sports on the island, and various clubs and organisations are working to promote its growth and develop talent among the youths.
Who regulates baseball in Singapore?
The Singapore Baseball and Softball Association is responsible for regulating baseball in Singapore. It works to monitor, promote and nurture the growth of softball and baseball in the country and ensure that rules are adhered to.
where to play baseball in singapore?
If you’re interested in playing baseball in Singapore, there are several venues where you can hone your skills and enjoy the sport. Although baseball may not be as popular in Singapore as other sports like soccer or badminton, there are dedicated facilities and programs for enthusiasts.
SuperPark Singapore: This is a versatile sports park that offers a baseball batting cage among its many activities. It’s a great place to practice your swing and get a feel for the sport. The facility is equipped with modern amenities like radar and digitalization to enhance your baseball experience. However, there is a height requirement of at least 140cm to participate.
Sportball’s Baseball and T-Ball Programs: Aimed primarily at children, these programs introduce the fundamentals of baseball in a fun and non-competitive environment. Skills like throwing, catching, and batting are taught by experienced coaches.
While there may not be a formal Singapore baseball league, you can still find communities and groups passionate about Baseball Singapore. These communities often organise friendly matches and events, providing a platform for enthusiasts to come together and enjoy the sport.
In summary, while Baseball Singapore may not be as widespread as in countries like the United States, there are still places where you can practice and possibly join a community of enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics or find a Singapore baseball league to join, these venues offer a good starting point.
Is there an international Singapore baseball team?
Baseball is slowly but surely catching on in Singapore. You can see this with places like SuperPark Singapore offering batting cages and programs like Sportball introducing kids to the sport. However, it doesn’t look like Singapore has made it to the big leagues yet—there’s no sign of an international team representing the country at this time.