The Federal Districts Women’s Softball Association was established in 1959 and was granted statehood by the Australian Softball Federation in 1961 which bought about a name change to the ACT Women’s Softball Association.
In 1973-74 the word women’s was dropped from the title in recognition that the association needed to broaden its horizons to cover softball for both genders.
Incorporation was achieved in 1981 and the association became known as the ACT Softball Association Incorporated which still stands today as its incorporated name, although the trading name of Softball ACT is more commonly used.
To assist the development of softball in the region, the Umpires Association (SUAACT) was formed in 1965 with 10 foundation members. SUAACT has been very successful in its endeavours with a number of its members achieving qualifications at the national and international levels. The early administrators also recognised that the future of the association lay in the promotion and development of softball at the junior level.
With this in mind the Woden Valley Association was formed in 1968, followed by North Canberra in 1970. Over the years junior affiliates have been formed in Weston Creek, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan, Central Canberra and Gungahlin.
The first ACT Junior Championships were held at Mawson in 1978 with teams from Woden Valley, North Canberra, Weston Creek and Queanbeyan taking part.
The Football Park Softball League was formed in the mid 1980’s to foster and promote men’s softball in the ACT and saw games played under lights at Football Park, Phillip.
After moving its activities from Football Park to Hawker, the name was changed to the Fast Pitch Softball League Incorporated. A men’s team was first entered in the Open Men’s Australian Championships in Brisbane in 1987.
This development over the years demonstrates the dynamic nature of the organisation and willingness to move forward with the current times.
The association has had considerable success at national championships. Our women won the first of their titles in Hobart in 1978 and our girls have also won a number of titles at the Under 17 and Under 19 championships.
The men’s teams have also been very successful at national championships and as at December 2012, are the most successful open men’s softball team in Australian history, having won the John Reid Shield a record breaking twelve times.
A bit about us now…
Softball ACT currently has over 1200 registered members, and hoping to grow our numbers each year as it is an enjoyable sport. Our members range from 4 years of age, playing diamond ball to our more mature members in their 50s and 60s who play in masters competitions across the country. In addition to players, there are many coaches, administrators, scorers and umpires who make up the Softball ACT membership.
In addition to our regular junior and senior competitions, Softball ACT plays host to a number of significant tournaments and carnivals each season.
January 2015 continues to attract large numbers of visitors to Canberra hosting the Dual U17 boys and girls national championships as well as our annual Australia Day carnival. The Australia Day carnival is one of Australia’s leading junior sporting events and is the largest junior softball carnival in the southern hemisphere, with 70 teams from Australasia descending upon Canberra every January to participate in boys and girls softball competitions from Under 12s to Under 19s.
The Australian open men’s Skins tournament attracts leading male players from around the country and overseas to compete each December in the country’s most exciting men’s softball competition.
This tournament is used as part of the selection process for the Australian men’s team which will see the final players gaining selection into the Aussie Steelers team who will be competing in New Zealand mid-December playing in the worlds qualifier.
At a local level, our men’s league is home to some of the biggest names in softball and is played on Monday and Tuesday nights. Thursday nights see mixed slow pitch softball played at Hawker and our Saturday fast pitch league brings juniors and women to the diamonds for a massive competition between the months of October and April. Hawker sees the junior north side competition move into the complex.
Which will bring excitement to all these players. Continuing on with the successful twilight league for junior girls and boys who want to get qualified training and games returns again on a Friday evening.
The Hawker International Softball Centre features a fully catered clubhouse and three international standard diamonds, all of which have the required standard of lighting to allow international games to be played at night.