In response to COVID-19, feedback from Member States and the postponement of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, Softball Australia has made changes to its events calendar for the upcoming 2021 National Championships.
The 2021 Open Men’s National Championship was scheduled to be held in ACT this year from 1-6 December, immediately following the ACT Men’s Skins tournament. This would have allowed extra time (in comparison to a January date) to select an Australian Men’s team for the World Cup and make the necessary arrangements for that event.
With the WBSC announcing earlier this month that the Men’s Softball World Cup will now take place in February 2022, it is now better suited to have the 2021 Open Men’s National Championship in January 2021, with the 2022 Open Men’s National Championship in December 2021.
To allow the 2022 Open Men’s National Championship to be held in December 2021, immediately after the ACT Men’s Skins tournament and in ACT, the hosting rights for the Open Men’s National Championship have been swapped for 2021 and 2022. Softball SA will now host the event in January 2021 at West Beach, whilst Softball ACT will host the event in December 2021 at Hawker.
Over the past three years, the U14 Boys’ Championship (previously U15) has been held as a combined event with the Open Men’s National Championship. There have been significant benefits in running these events together, not least providing an opportunity for talented younger players to watch and learn from Australia’s best men’s softballers.
The 2021 U14 Boys’ National Championship was scheduled to be held in ACT from 3-9 January, as a combined event with the Open Women’s and U14 Girls’ National Championships.
However, given the change of dates for the 2021 Open Men’s National Championship, the hosting rights for the U14 Boys’ National Championship have also been swapped for 2021 and 2022.
Softball SA will now host the event as a combined event with the Open Men in January 2021 at West Beach, whilst Softball ACT will host the championship as a standalone event in January 2022 at Hawker.
Softball Australia would like to thank Softball ACT and Softball SA for accommodating the swap of hosting rights for these events, in the best interests of the sport.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Member States have expressed strong concern about the cost to participants and their families for the upcoming 2021 National Championships.
In response to these concerns, Softball Australia is reducing the duration of each age-grade National Championship, to five-day events.
The Open Women’s National Championship will remain as a seven-day event, given it is a selection event for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, whilst the Open Men’s National Championship will remain as a six-day event.
Each age-grade National Championship will also conclude earlier than usual on the final day, to allow teams and supporters to fly home that day and save an additional night’s accommodation.
In response to feedback from those Member States who are hosting National Championships in 2021, each championship will finish on a Sunday. This will allow the opportunity for more supporters to come and watch the concluding stages of each event on the weekend.
Softball Australia would like to thank each state that is hosting National Championships in 2021 for agreeing to revised dates, again in the best interests of the sport.
The revised dates and venues for 2021 National Championships are as follows:
|National Championship||Previous||Changed to|
|U23 Women||16-22 December||16-20 December (stay at West Beach, SA)|
|Open Men||1-6 December, in ACT||5-10 January, at West Beach, SA|
|U14 Boys||3-9 January, in ACT||6-10 January, at West Beach, SA|
|Open Women||3-9 January||4-10 January (stay at Hawker, ACT)|
|U14 Girls||3-9 January||6-10 January (stay at Hawker, ACT)|
|U23 Men, U16 Girls & U16 Boys||10-16 January||13-17 January (stay at Waverley, VIC)|
|U18 Girls & Boys||17-23 January||20-24 January (stay at Mirrabooka, WA)|
Softball Australia will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and have regular discussions with Member States on the impact this may have on 2021 National Championships.