South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are leading the charge as Social 7s softball continues its rapid growth across the country.
Both organisations have used Softball 7s to boost participation and generate revenue in what is traditionally the softball off-season.
In Adelaide, Diamond Sports SA is in the middle of an 11-week competition being held on Friday nights at the West Beach baseball and softball facility.
The six-team competition has so far involved 82 registered participants, and hopefully more will be added before the program ends on July 29.
Diamond Sports facilities manager Brian Pierce said the new competition was the first of its kind. “There was a traditional slow-pitch softball league here many years ago, but there hasn’t been anything like this before where the games are played on the main fields under lights,” he said.
“We have a good mix of seasoned softball players and players that are new to the game, including a team that is mostly deaf.
“The first two weeks were a lot of fun, with all the teams having a ton of laughs whether they won or lost.”
In the nation’s capital, a Social 7s day in April generated enough interest to enable a competition to be established by Softball ACT.
The six-week competition, held on Wednesday nights, attracted 10 teams and 101 players, most of them new to softball.
The program was so successful that Softball ACT is looking at running some extra games to help maintain year-round interest.