A softball event in the Higgs field…

CERN’s two softball teams, the Quarks and the Leptons, held their annual tournament in the "Higgs field" at the Prévessin site on 19 and 20 July. Here, the Bulletin shines a spotlight on a little known sport in Switzerland.

Leptons vs Quarks on the ‘Higgs field’ at the Prévessin site, in 2007.

With summer in full swing, the Bulletin takes a look at some of CERN’s clubs. We invite you to discover the Organization from the point of view of the individuals eager to share their passions and achieve the best performances.

Softball, a direct descendant of baseball invented in the US, was originally intended to be played indoors but soon took off as an outdoor sport and the women’s version is now an Olympic event. More tactical than baseball, softball - a somewhat misleading term as the ball is not especially soft - requires the active participation of a coach who advises the players during play. The coach’s role is to estimate the amount of a time a player has to reach a base while the ball is being fielded. Games are played between two teams, each comprising ten players, which take it in turns to bat and field.

Founded in 1980, the CERN Softball Club today comprises two teams, the Leptons and the Quarks. On 19 and 20 July the Club held its seventh "Bernie Tourney" tournament, named in honour of Bernard Sutton, who founded both the club and the Geneva Softball League. The two teams, who were of course represented in the tournament are made up of both male and female players of all ages.

The Leptons team has been going since 1980, while the Quarks team was created 18 years later to welcome an influx of new, inexperienced arrivals. According to the Quarks, the Leptons take the game much too seriously, to which the Leptons reply, a smile on their faces, that the Quarks are too inexperienced to understand… But on the day of the competition, they put aside their rivalry for a friendly barbecue at the "Boson Chalet", a hut built on the "Higgs field" by the Club’s members.

For more information on the CERN Softball Club, go to: