National Championships

PURPOSE

On Diamond

  • To identify and select elite talent for national teams, development squads and tournaments. For this reason, the playing conditions and facilities for National Championships should replicate international standards as closely as possible.

Off Diamond

  • To be a high-profile showcase for the sport that attracts spectators and actively engages with the whole softball community.

 

 

OPEN WOMEN – GILLEY’S SHIELD

Background

The first official interstate carnival was held in 1947, organised by Mack Gilley, inaugural President of the Queensland Softball Association. The Shield is named in his honour, recognising the significant contribution Gilley made to the sport.

Following Australia’s success at the 2004 Athens Olympics (silver medal), it was decided that the Australian Women’s Championship and Gilley’s Shield should be combined, culminating with the final in the last weekend of February. This event retained the name Gilley’s Shield.

Point of Interest

The Audrey McLaughlin Cup is awarded to the team that finishes first at the end of the preliminary round competition.

Today

From 2009 to 2014, the Edebone-Weber Shield was competed in conjunction with the Gilley’s Shield and included the NZ White Sox. The Shield is named in honour of two outstanding national representatives, Peta Edebone (Aus) and Gina Weber (NZ).

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.

 

OPEN MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP, JOHN REID SHIELD

Background

The first Men’s Championship was held in 1984 in Sydney and won by Western Australia. The Shield is named to commemorate New Zealand-born state umpire, John Reid, an internationally recognised journalist who became the inspiration for developing men’s softball in NSW.

Point of Interest

During competition, pitching speeds as high as 135km per hour have been recorded. All the more remarkable is the hitters, who face these speeds from a distance of only 46 feet (14.02m).

Today

This event showcases top athletes with outstanding skills.

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.

 

U19 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP, ELINOR McKENZIE SHIELD 

Background

The inaugural tournament for 18s and under was introduced as an equivalent national event in 1974, to fill the gap identified between the U16 and Open Women’s Australian Championships. The tournament was hosted by Victoria in Melbourne and won by New South Wales. The 18 and under age group officially became the U19 Australian Championship in 1976.

Points of Interest

The trophy was donated in honor of Elinor McKenzie. Elinor had a long and proud history in Softball playing in excess 25 times for Australia in an international career that spanned 12 years. She was a member of the Australian team that won the gold medal at the first Women’s World Softball Championships held in Melbourne, Australia. Elinor was a respected 1st base player held in high regard throughout the Softball world. Sadly, Elinor passed away on the eve of its first presentation on 19 May 1974 before she had the opportunity to present the shield.

Today

This event is a showcase of our future stars, and a major part of the high performance pathway. Many college scouts from the US have identified this event as a recruitment opportunity with many Australian girls being offered scholarships to a number of the top schools in America. The International Softball Federation introduced the U19 Junior World Championship for women in 1981 in which Australia competed.

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.

 

U19 MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP, NOX BAILEY SHIELD

Background

The first U19 Men’s Championship was held in 1989 in Sydney and was won by NSW. The Shield is named to commemorate Nox Bailey’s contribution to softball.

Point of Interest

For more than a decade Australia dominated on the world stage winning four consecutive U19 Men’s World Championships.

Today

The Aussie Colts program continues to produce world-class players who progress to the Aussie Steelers team.

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.

 

U17 GIRLS’ CHAMPIONSHIP, ESTHER DEASON SHIELD

Background

From 1970-2010, the Esther Deason Shield was awarded to the winning U16 girls’ team. In 2011, that Championship transitioned to the U17 Girls’ Championship.

Point of Interest

Esther was a member of the Australian team that won the first Women’s World Softball Championship held in Melbourne, Australia in 1965.

Today

NSW has performed outstandingly at this event, having won the title 24 times from 1970-2017.

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.

 

U17 BOYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP, ARTHUR ALLSOPP 

Background

The first U17 Boys’ Championship was held in 1991 and won by NSW. The Shield is named to commemorate Arthur Allsopp, who umpired 18 consecutive Australian Open Championships between 1950 and 1963.

Point of Interest

Arthur was actively coaching in his early 80s and it is said he coached most of the Victorian players to make an Australian team since the 1960s through his involvement with junior players in the Melbourne and Waverley Softball Associations.

Today

The event exposes Australia’s elite young athletes to highly competitive, international competition.

Read about the history, previous winners and Award recipients.