National Championships dates and venues released for 2021-2023

National Championships dates and venues released for 2021-2023

The #SummerOfSoftball is set for the next three years with the schedule for the National Championships released for 2021-2023.

Gilley’s Shield

For 2021, the Gilley’s Shield will return to ACT for the first time since 2010. To be held in the first week of January, the tournament will run in conjunction with both the U14 Girls’ and U14 Boys’ National Championships.

With the Australia Pacific Cup anticipated to be held in late January 2021, the Gilley’s Shield will again be a key selection event for Softball Australia’s flagship international tournament.

In 2023 the Gilley’s Shield will be played at West Beach in South Australia for the first time in 18 years. Game one of the championship will be played on New Year’s Eve, with an Opening Ceremony and New Year’s Eve party to be held that evening. All other games, including the U14 Girls’ National Championship, will commence from New Year’s Day.

Open Men’s National Championship

For 2020/2021, the Open Men’s National Championship will be held earlier than usual, given that the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup will be held in February 2021 in New Zealand.

The Open Men’s Nationals will therefore be played from Tuesday 1 – Sunday 6 December at Hawker in ACT. This event will follow the Softball ACT Men’s Skins Tournament, which will be played from Friday 27 – Sunday 29 November.

This will allow Australia’s best male players the opportunity to play in two high quality tournaments across a 10-day period, with a rest day on Monday 30 November.

In 2022, the Open Men’s Nationals will be played at West Beach in South Australia for the first time since 2016, before returning to ACT in 2023.

U23 Women’s National Championship

The 2020 U23 Women’s National Championship will be played at Redlands in Queensland in July, before moving to West Beach in South Australia for the 2021-2023 cycle.

The championship will also move to a new time of the year, to be played in December.

The shift in timing will allow players to train in conjunction with their other state teams, whilst still allowing the opportunity for college players to come back to Australia to represent their state.

The event in July 2020 will be open to players born in 1997 and later, whilst the event in December 2020 will be open to players born in 1998 and later.

U23 Men’s National Championship

The 2020 U23 Men’s National Championship will also be played at Redlands in Queensland in July and then move to Waverley in Victoria for the following three years.

Similar to the U23 Women’s National Championship, the championship will move to a new time of the year, to be played in January, to be played in conjunction with the U16 National Championships.

With the WBSC U23 Men’s Softball World Cup penciled in for mid-late 2021, the 2021 U23 Men’s National Championship will be a key selection event for the Australian U23 Men’s team.

U18 Girls’ and Boys’ National Championships

Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium in Western Australia will host the U18 National Championships as a combined event for the next three years.

U16 Girls’ and Boys’ National Championships

The U16 National Championships will return to Waverley in Victoria for the next three years. The U16s will be held in conjunction with the U23 Men’s National Championship.

U14 Girls’ and Boys’ National Championships

The U14 Regional Championships will be renamed the ‘U14 National Championships’.

Given team entries are now only permitted from states, and not regions or associations, the reference to ‘Regional’ is no longer valid.

Despite the name change, the purpose of the event will not change – the emphasis will remain on participation, development and fun. There will not be individual awards presented at these events.

International Friendship Series

From 2021, the International Friendship Series will return to where it all began, at Blacktown International Sportspark (BISP) in NSW.

First hosted at BISP in 2002, the event will return to NSW for the first time since 2016, maintaining its early July dates for the next three years.

Team Numbers

In addition to the U14s, states will be able to enter more than one team into the U16, U18 and U23 National Championships in the 2021-2023 cycle of events.

This important change will allow the opportunity for emerging players to continue their career in the pathway, rather than missing out on selection or relying on the player draft. Softball Australia recognises that junior players develop at different rates, so providing the opportunity for players to continue playing at National Championships allows for a broader depth in the talent pool.

For these age groups, states who have already entered a team into a championship will also be permitted to enter a second combined team with another state.

For example, if State A has entered a team into a championship, and has enough players for half a second team, and State B only has enough players for half a team in their own right, then State A and B can combine to enter a team, in addition to State A’s original team.

The player draft will still be available for those players who miss out on selection for an event and for those states wishing to add additional players to their team.

2021 – 2023 Calendar of Events

2021

Event Date Venue
Open Men’s Nationals Tue 1 – Sun 6 December 2020 Hawker, ACT
U23 Women’s Nationals Wed 16 – Tues 22 December 2020 West Beach, SA
Open Women’s Nationals Sun 3 – Sat 9 January 2021 Hawker, ACT
U14 Girls’ Nationals Sun 3 – Sat 9 January 2021 Hawker, ACT
U14 Boys’ Nationals Sun 3 – Sat 9 January 2021 Hawker, ACT
U16 Girls’ Nationals Sun 10 – Sat 16 January 2021 Waverley, VIC
U16 Boys’ Nationals Sun 10 – Sat 16 January 2021 Waverley, VIC
U23 Men’s Nationals Sun 10 – Sat 16 January 2021 Waverley, VIC
U18 Girls’ Nationals Sun 17 – Sat 23 January 2021 Mirrabooka, WA
U18 Boys’ Nationals Sun 17 – Sat 23 January 2021 Mirrabooka, WA
International Friendship Series Mon 5 – Fri 9 July 2021 Blacktown, NSW

 

2022*

Event Date Venue
U23 Women’s Nationals Wed 15 – Tues 21 December 2021 West Beach, SA
Open Women’s Nationals Sun 2 – Sat 8 January 2022 Hawker, ACT
U14 Girls’ Nationals Sun 2 – Sat 8 January 2022 Hawker, ACT
U18 Girls’ Nationals Sun 2 – Sat 8 January 2022 Mirrabooka, WA
U18 Boys’ Nationals Sun 2 – Sat 8 January 2022 Mirrabooka, WA
U16 Girls’ Nationals Sun 9 – Sat 15 January 2022 Waverley, VIC
U16 Boys’ Nationals Sun 9 – Sat 15 January 2022 Waverley, VIC
U23 Men’s Nationals Sun 9 – Sat 15 January 2022 Waverley, VIC
Open Men’s Nationals Sun 16 – Sat 22 January 2022 West Beach, SA
U14 Boys’ Nationals Sun 16 – Sat 22 January 2022 West Beach, SA
International Friendship Series Mon 4 – Fri 8 July 2022 Blacktown, NSW

 

2023*

Event Date Venue
U23 Women’s Nationals Wed 14 – Tues 20 December 2022 West Beach, SA
Open Women’s Nationals Sat 31 Dec 2022 – Sat 7 Jan 2023 West Beach, SA
U14 Girls’ Nationals Sat 31 Dec 2022 – Sat 7 Jan 2023 West Beach, SA
Open Men’s Nationals Sun 8 – Sat 14 January 2023 Hawker, ACT
U14 Boys’ Nationals Sun 8 – Sat 14 January 2023 Hawker, ACT
U18 Girls’ Nationals Sun 8 – Sat 14 January 2023 Mirrabooka, WA
U18 Boys’ Nationals Sun 8 – Sat 14 January 2023 Mirrabooka, WA
U16 Girls’ Nationals Sun 15 – Sat 21 January 2023 Waverley, VIC
U16 Boys’ Nationals Sun 15 – Sat 21 January 2023 Waverley, VIC
U23 Men’s Nationals Sun 15 – Sat 21 January 2023 Waverley, VIC
International Friendship Series Mon 3 – Fri 7 July 2023 Blacktown, NSW

*2022 and 2023 dates are provisional only and subject to change.