Softball NZ






3 October

Tony Giles has been appointed Softball NZ CEO and will take up his new role on October 14.
Giles (41) comes from Pub Charity, where he has spent the past three and a half years in senior management positions including that of General Manager.
The former professional rugby player brings a mix of sporting passion and business nous to his new position, which comes at a pivotal time for softball in New Zealand.
“Opportunities abound for softball here,” says Giles. “Every child in New Zealand grows up with softball from an early age with rounder’s and T-ball played at primary schools throughout the country. We also need to build on the strong support networks provided by our 23 associations”.
“I intend to spend the next 3-4 months on the ground meeting our softball family and understanding their needs.”
Giles hails from Napier and represented Hawke’s Bay through age-group and provincial “B” level, before pursuing his rugby career abroad in Ireland and Italy.
Upon returning to New Zealand, he served in a management positions with The Laminex Group, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building Products in the lower North Island, before joining Pub Charity.
“I worked closely with venue operators who raised funds providing enduring community benefits for many New Zealanders across all demographics, and managed human and physical resources throughout the length and breadth of the country.
“Giles is excited about softball’s potential after the Black Sox triumph in this year’s ISF World Championships at Rosedale Park.
“I’m very aware of the Sox brand and its strength in the public perception, especially after the world champs. The fact the Black Sox don’t often play in New Zealand is a challenge for us moving forward, but we also have very strong growth potential in other areas of the sport which is extremely encouraging.
“My focus will be very much about improving softball’s business structure and ensuring its sustainability in the long term.” I’m excited about the opportunities and look forward to joining the softball family”

2 July

Click here to view the process and timeline that SNZ will follow for the development of the new strategy for softball.



8 April

Softball New Zealand is progressing in leaps and bounds, as it builds on the Black Sox sixth world title and a successfully hosted tournament at Rosedale Park.
At the organisation’s quarterly meeting over the weekend, attended by the board and association representatives, SNZ general manager Dane Dougan outlined how the on and off-diamond achievements during the world championship were being leveraged for both short and long-term benefits for the sport.
“We’ve had some very promising discussions with broadcasters about getting more softball on television,” he said. “The key to that, though, is to provide more attractive softball products.
“We’re going through the final stages of our world championship debrief and so far, there has been great feedback from our key stakeholders.”
Perhaps the most crucial goal is to have the Black Sox playing more games in New Zealand. Before the world championship, they had not played here since 2008. 
“The first regional meeting since the world champs was inspirational,” said Canterbury Softball chief executive Cheryl Kemp. “The work on rolling out a new plan for our sport has made huge progress, and bodes very well for some exciting products and events next summer.
“These new products will reach across the sport sector and provide opportunity for many in the community.”
One initiative that looks particularly promising is a bid to have a round of the Australian Gilley’s Shield interstate competition for women staged in New Zealand.
The White Sox programme has sent development teams across the Tasman for the past three years to prepare senior and junior national team players for the next level.


3 Sep, 2012

World championship winning captains Mark Sorenson and Jarrad Martin have both been named players of the decades as Softball New Zealand celebrates its 75th jubilee.

Sorenson, who captained the Black Sox to world titles in 1996 and 2000, was voted the best male player for the  1987 to 1996 decade and Martin, captain of the team that won the world crown in 2004, for the period 1997 to 2006.
Honoured for the first decade of the game in New Zealand were Alf Jenkins and Eva Knight. The 1947-1956 decade winners were Brian Wareham and again Eva Knight.  
Recognised for their dominance in the game for the 10 years from 1957 to 1966 was Bill Massey and Bev Makinson.
Knight was not the only player to be recognised for two decades with Kevin Herlihy taking out the award for the 1967 to 1976 and 1977 to 1986 decades.
The women’s player for the 1967-1976 decade was Marilyn Marshall and for the next decade Cheryl Kemp took the honours. The decade from 1987 to 1996 belonged to Gina Weber who preceded Rhonda Hira.
The two players to be recognised from 2007 to now were Thomas Makea, who has played in four world championships since 1996, and Michal Tangaroa, who has played in two world championships.
Decade Female Player of the Decade Decade Male Player of the Decade
1937 - 1946 Eva Knight 1937 - 1946 Alf Jenkins
1947 – 1956 Eva Knight 1947 – 1956 Brian Wareham
1957 – 1966 Bev Makinson 1957 – 1966 Bill Massey
1967 – 1976 Marilyn Marshall 1967 – 1976 Kevin Herlihy
1977 – 1986 Cheryl Kemp 1977 – 1986 Kevin Herlihy
1987 – 1996 Gina Weber 1987 – 1996 Mark Sorenson
1997 – 2006 Rhonda Hira 1997 – 2006 Jarrad Martin
2007 - 2012 Michal Tangaroa 2007 - 2012 Thomas Makea

3 Sep, 2012
Succesful coach Venita Hokai has walked away with the premier honour at the annual Softball New Zealand awards.
Hokai, who was also named SNZ coach of the year, coached Auckland to their national fastpitch title and was also at the helm of the Junior White Sox team which finished a credible fifth placing at last year’s world championship in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been reappointed head coach of that national team for next year’s junior world championship.
Meanwhile, Wellington internationals Wayne Laulu and Jerome Raemaki were named national men’s player and emerging player of the year respectively. The women’s player of the year was Rebecca Bromhead, from Auckland, her provincial team-mate Michal Tangaroa was the pitcher of the year. Te Reo Powhiri Matautia (Auck) the emerging female player of the year.
Umpire of the year was Daph Turner (Hutt Valley), Scorer of the year was Sandy Wallace (Otago), and the administrator of the year was Sharon Kawe (North Harb). Mel England from the Hawkes Bay was named personality of the year, and Aroha Metcalf (Marlborough) was the volunteer of the year.

3 Sep, 2012

Below is the Whole of Sport Plan and feedback form as presented at the SNZ AGM, 1 Sept. Please return feedback by the 28th September to

22 Aug, 2012

Results from the recent SNZ Stakeholder Survey are now available.
The Stakeholder survey consisted of 3 surveys targeting the social player, competitive player and the coach, administrator, manager club official etc category.
The surveys have been hugely successful with 370 completed providing the national body valuable information on the following topics:
1.       Values of the softball community
2.       Strengths and weaknesses of our community both on and off the diamond
3.       Relationship between lifestyle, alcohol and its effect on our community.
Congratulations to Kerry from North Harbour for winning the $300 voucher from Sirius Sports.
Thank you
Softball New Zealand  
01 Nov

Former national softball representatives Chubb Tangaroa and Gina Weber have been inducted into the International Softball Federation's Hall of Fame at the congress meeting in Oklahoma City.

Tangaroa, who made his Black Sox debut in 1987 and played in 30 games in a career that spanned over 15 years. He was a member of the world championship winning Black Sox team in 1996 and then the pitching coach for the side when he defend that crown in 2000 and 2004. He was a member of the Black Sox teams that won the silver medals at the 1988 and 1992 world championships.

Weber, who made her international debut in 1982 and was a member of the world championship winning White Sox team of that year. In all she played in four world championships and during that time the side won gold (1982), silver (1990) and bronze (1986) medals. She then captained the White Sox team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In 2006 she was the White Sox assistant coach at the world championship in Beijing, China.

Both players are members of the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame with Tangaroa in 2004 and Weber in the following year. Weber was also awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 and Tangaroa three years later.

Also inducted into the International Softball Federation's hall of fame was Russell Moffat, who was the Black Sox statistician at five world championships. He was also an official statistician at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the chief statistician a the 2004 world championships in Christchurch. He was inducted into Softball New Zealand's Hall of Fame in 2006.

29 July

It is our pleasure to announce that Softball NZ have appointed Marnie Barber as the Lower North Island Regional Game Development Officer (RGDO) along with Cowley Harris as the Central North Island RGDO. With the redesign of the RGDO geographical areas we have been interviewing some quality people and are excited by the appointment of Marnie and Cowley.
Marnie has been the head administrator for the Wellington and Hutt Valley Softball Associations (Capital Intercity Softball) the past year and so has a good handle of what these associations and others need assistance in. She has coached, managed, and played representative softball for many years and has an extensive experience in owner operator business operations.
Cowley has been on the Waikato Softball Board and President of Waikato Softball for many years until this past week as he has taken this new position with Softball NZ. He also has coached, managed, and played representative softball for many years. His background is in the science field where he has worked for MAF and recently AgResearch in Hamilton.
Marnie will cover Wellington, Hutt Valley, Manawatu, Wanganui, and Taranaki Softball Associations. Cowley will cover Counties-Manukau, Waikato, Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Tairawhiti (Gisborne), and Hawkes Bay Softball Associations.

They officially start their employment in a couple of weeks time on the 15th August, so they will be in touch with their respective associations in due time.  

28 February

This is an official announcement that the Div 1 Sec School tournament will not be held in Christchurch as it was scheduled to in March. We feel for the Canterbury Softball Association (CSA) as they were looking forward to hosting the event and they do a terrific job at it, but with conversation between CSA and management here at SNZ it was agreed that the tournament will have to be moved. Peoples safety, the Christchurch infrastructure, and damage to facilities in Christchurch all accounted to this decision. We are now looking at moving the tournament to another venue and have a few options we are working with.

SNZ would like to keep it in the main centres (Auck & Well) to keep travel costs down for teams and SNZ, and because it is a tournament that has 24 teams we need a large enough facility to host the tournament. One obstable will be that alot of grounds are switching over to winter sports and that may be a challenge gaining those extra diamonds as we want to keep the tournament all together rather than splitting the girls from the boys. The other issue is officials being available for the relocated tournament as a number of the officials were from Christchurch and we are still unaware of their availability.

With all these challenges we will need to ask everyone to be patient as we want to finalise the new venue within 72 hours but there may be some delays with this as well. Thanks everyone...

10 December

Men’s Open Club format for the 2011/2012 season
Recently Softball NZ announced a change to the format of the Men’s Club tournament for the 2011-2012 season. We would like to announce that the format for that tournament will now not be changed, thus it will remain as status quo, same format as in the past.

It was brought to our attention by stakeholders that the current seeding of the teams was flawed and this needed to be reviewed. The current seeding system is taken from the results of the previous season’s tournament. It was noted that teams do change from year to year and that a more accurate seeding system needs to be implemented. We will be talking to stakeholders on the subject and next year a possible solution will be announced.

25 November

The International Softball Federation inducted three of the games greats into the Hall of Fame last week (25/11).
Mike Nichols, Don Tricker and Mark Sorenson were all presented ISF rings and plaques from ISF 2nd Vice President Bob Leveloff.
group-photo.jpg Mark Sorenson, far right, was pleased to be inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame with two other greats, Don Tricker, second from left and Wayne Nichols representing his brother Mike Nichols, third from left. With them at last week's induction was Bob Leveloff president of the Oceania region.
Mike Nichols
He broke into national competition in 1980 and by 1984 Michael was on the first of three New Zealand teams that he would compete with in ISF Men's World Championships. Over that trio of tournaments he had a batting average of .339 and won a gold and two silver medals.
In four other international competitions from 1981-90 his team came in first place each time. An outfielder, Michael was elected to the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2000.
Don Tricker
Don Tricker made his name known through New Zealand men’s softball as both a player and then as a coach. On the diamond he wore the Black Sox uniform from 1987-1990, which included winning a silver medal at the ISF VII Men’s World Championship in Canada in 1988. Following his retirement from playing, Don went on to become the first coach to win back-to-back world titles. From 1998-2004 his New Zealand teams captured the gold medals at the marquee ISF event in 2000 in South Africa and 2004 in their home country.
His technical analysis helped the team achieve success that he was
honoured for with the 2000 Halberg Award (New Zealand Sports Awards)
for coach of the year.
Mark Sorenson
In 1984 Mark Sorenson made his international softball debut at the ISF VI Men’s World Championship at the age of just 16 years old. Twenty-one years later he retired from the game with seven world championship tournaments (one junior) to his credit – all of them gold (five times) or silver medal finishes. In four of the seven he finished with a .400 batting average or higher.
A catcher, Mark played in over 70 games in world championship play alone. He made more than 125 other international playing appearances on behalf of New Zealand over his three decades in men’s fast pitch softball to cement
his legacy in Black Sox history.

Thank you to everyone who completed the online questionnaire which sought valuable feedback from our Stakeholders. Below is the Stakeholder Report which outlines the results of the survey. SNZ is already accomplishing a number of the findings and results but have also targeted other suggestions from our Stakeholders, we will continue to update progress.
Stakeholder Satisfaction Report

15 August

Hello everyone

On behalf of the Softball New Zealand Board, staff and the entire Softball family I would like to congratulate all those that received Softball New Zealand Awards for 2010 which were presented at the SNZ AGM at the weekend. A list of all the winners is attached.

A special congratulation goes to the following people for their overwhelming achievements and contribution to our sport;

Eric Kohlhase, winner of the SNZ Distinguished Services Award, Ross Smith who was inducted to the SNZ Hall of Fame and Ray Tibbits induced as a SNZ Life member.

I would also like to thank all of those that attended the Softball New Zealand AGM on Saturday. It was great to see so many familiar faces and a few new ones, we hope you all got what you wanted from the day. A copy of the presentations from the day will be emailed to all attendees as well as the minutes from the meeting in due course.

Good luck with your preparation for the upcoming softball season, we hope to see you all next year at the AGM.

Kind Regards

Dane Dougan
General Manager

SNZ Award Winners 2010. Download here