Softball Australia is pleased to announce that Queensland’s Ipswich Softball Association will host the 2021 Under 23 National Softball Championships.
The U23 Women’s and Men’s Nationals will be played as a combined event, from 29 June to 3 July.
The U23 Men’s National Championship will have added importance, serving as the final selection event for the Australian U23 Men’s team that will compete at the inaugural WBSC U23 Men’s World Cup in Argentina later in the year. A host of Junior Steelers stars from the 2018 gold medal winning team and the 2020 silver medal team are age eligible for the 2021 Australian U23 Men’s team.
The U23 Women’s National Championship provides a great opportunity to view the next crop of potential Travelodge Aussie Spirit stars. With baseball/softball in contention to be added to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games program, these players will be pushing their case to be part of the future of the Australian program beyond the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Next year’s event will not be the first time that a National Championship has been held in Ipswich. The Association previously hosted the U23 Women’s National Championship in 2004. Ipswich has three fully skinned diamonds with international standard lighting, the diamonds are located at 125 Chubb Street in the suburb of One Mile.
Home state Queensland will be looking to defend their national titles at these championships. Queensland claimed both the Joyce Lester Shield (U23 Women) and Laing Harrow Shield (U23 Men) on home soil at Redlands in 2019. With the championships cancelled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 events will be Queensland’s first opportunity to defend their titles.