How do you get started in baseball you may be asking yourself? Imagine that “many people discover this sport through the cinema or after trips to the United States”, laughs Julien Merlhe. President of the Stade Toulousain baseball for almost four years, however, the latter regrets that “most people do not know that baseball exists in France. In Toulouse and the surrounding area, this represents less than 5% of the population, and we would like to reach 40%”. “Passionate”, Julien Merlhe struggles to offer the opportunity to those who want to discover, in addition to baseball, softball and baseball 5. “It’s a long-term job, but he has a lot of curiosity,” he smiles. Softball is a variant of baseball and is played on a smaller field with larger balls. “Baseball 5 is a discipline that is under two years old: the flagmen hit the ball with their hand and it is played on a tarred field of 20 with 20. It is in the tradition of street sports, a bit like 3×3 in basketball”, describes the president stadiste. “It is a discipline that lacks visibility, but we are working to develop it,” he says.
Develop the women’s section …
“Baseball is a sport that is not ‘cardio’, it is more explosive and it suits a certain category of people”, continues the president of Toulouse, where the most important work is “training young talents because our coaches have references to.” If children are accepted from the age of five, the rules are obviously adapted to this age, and it is therefore mainly a question of coordination. “We want to develop the women’s section, which currently has between 20 and 25 women and ten children, to have one women’s team at the national level and another in reserve,” explains Julien Merlhe. Member of the Stade Toulousain omnisports, the baseball section, in addition to sharing the same colors, benefits from certain services from the association. In September last year, for example, the first team went to Paris to play the final of the Summer League (lost to La Rochelle) with minibuses in the colors of the Stade Toulousain.
– The origin of this sport:19th century in the United States– Creation of the club: 1987– Licensees: 160– Contacts: toulousebaseball.com– Training location:44 rue Louis Plana, Green Base of Argoulets in Toulouse where the club has a dedicated baseball field.– Rules: a baseball game is played with two teams alternating in defense and attack. The nine players in a team strike successively in a certain order and make up the attack. The nine players of the other team defend on the field, and a game is played over nine rounds consisting of two halves. Half a round ends when three bats are eliminated. A round ends when both teams have moved on to attack and defense.Country dimension: a triangle 100 meters long and 100 meters wide.– Equipment:bats, leather ball, helmet, gloves, three-quarter pants.