Heard on the Hill

Practice Begins for 10th Annual Women’s Congressional Softball Game

Members play the media on June 20

The media team celebrates its 2-1 victory in last year’s Congressional Women's Softball game that pits pits female members of Congress and women in the Washington press corps. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Female lawmakers have already begun practice for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20.

The game sees female members of Congress and the Washington press corps battle it out for charity. The member’s team practiced for the first time this year on April 11, and will continue to do so when Congress is in session. The media team, known as the Bad News Babes, started practice this week.

Practices are held at a field just steps away from the Capitol. 

The female members have had Capitol Police officers at prior practices, but they have increased security this year because of the shooting at the Republican team’s practice for the Congressional Baseball Game last year.

[Press Beats Members at Congressional Women's Softball Game, to Record Crowd]

From the Vault: Highlights of the 2017 Women’s Congressional Softball Game

At the time of the shooting, the women’s team still had a week more of practice before their own game, and they continued as scheduled. They played on June 21, with the Bad News Babes winning 2-1.

Last year’s game broke records in fundraising and attendance. It raised more than $300,000 for the Young Survival Coalition, which supports young women with breast cancer, and sold about 2,500 tickets.

The annual sporting event began in 2009 when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz revealed she had beaten back breast cancer.

“I’m absolutely elated to join my bipartisan colleagues for this, our historic 10th year in taking the diamond to strike out cancer in young women. I recently celebrated my own 10-year cancer-free anniversary, so I know firsthand that young women can and do get this life-changing diagnosis,” the Florida Democrat said in a statement. 

In 2009, Wasserman Schultz teamed up with Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Susan Collins of Maine to organize a members team to play female campaign staffers from both parties. In 2010, the game began pitting the lawmakers against women in the Capitol Hill press corps. 

“When I helped co-found this event, it was to give power and hope to these young women,” Wasserman Schultz said. “But I had no idea the amount of personal joy, meaning and friendships it would bring into my own life this past decade.”

Since its launch, the game has raised more than $900,000 for the Young Survival Coalition.

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