To the softball community,
Firstly, I hope you are all healthy, safe and well in these unprecedented circumstances.
From a Softball Australia perspective, I’m pleased to report the Travelodge Aussie Spirit have taken the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games well and are still preparing as best as they can under Head Coach Laing Harrow for the revised dates in July 2021.
There will be two consecutive years of first-class international competition for the Australian Women’s team with the Olympics in 2021, and the World Games in 2022 which is merged with the World Cup.
Our Aussie Steelers will also shift their focus to a 2022 World Cup date following 2021’s postponement.
We wait to see a revised schedule for the Junior World Cups from the WBSC.
At a domestic level, we were unfortunately forced into cancelling this year’s International Friendship Series and U23 National Championships, however dates for National Championships for the remainder of 2020/2021 remain unchanged for now.
A tremendous amount of work is occurring on our junior program, Softball Batter Up. I encourage all Clubs and Associations to offer the program up to our next generation of softballers when we are all permitted to do so.
It’s been encouraging to see so many of you sign up for the Softball Batter Up courses we’ve been offering online for free over the past few weeks.
We look forward to supplying you with more assets to make sure your Clubs and Associations are ready to hit the ground running in both welcoming back existing players, and also growing your memberships at the grassroots level.
Grassroots softball is our livelihood and thank you all for your continued support of the game.
A few of questions have been asked about the potential of the Pan Pacific Masters Games going ahead. Even though this is not sanctioned or run by Softball Australia, The Pan Pacific Masters Games team, has stated while keeping in mind the event is still scheduled for November, they will take a timely approach in assessing the impacts of government recommendations while carefully monitoring this evolving situation before any final decisions are made on the status of this year’s event.
The light at the end of the tunnel is emerging following recent announcements from the Federal Government in regards to lifting isolation restrictions.
While the Federal Government has set out the guidelines, it’s crucial to note that these levels of restrictions are up to State Governments as to when to ease restrictions.
In turn, the decision for softball’s return lies with the Softball Member State offices. We recommend that you all follow their announcements in the coming weeks.
Once restrictions ease, I would also encourage all to be mindful of the current situation and practice good hygiene and social distancing where possible, guidelines are available at the AIS website.
The next step for most states will be returning to a level of training in groups of 10, it’s important for your mental health and wellbeing to get out there and play some softball in these small groups and Softball Australia certainly encourages that if it’s safe to do so.
The Softball Australia team to work as hard as ever with staff working from home where possible. We are still preceding with a full team of staff so if you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.
All the best, and I hope to see you on a diamond soon.