Opportunity - Travel & Play

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Softball is a global sport. It not only offers fantastic pathways but it allows Softballers an opportunity to travel the world, discover new cultures, gain new friends and experience the game in a different light. This page focuses on a few popular destinations that some of our talented athletes travel or aspire to during the off-season.  
 

EUROPE
 
There are thirty-three National Federations in the European continent. Each year there are numerous tournaments and leagues played between the months of April and October. The European Cup is the ultimate title for those clubs wanting to call themselves European Champions. Traditionally the Italian and Dutch teams have reigned supreme closely followed by the Czech Republic.

The close proximity of European countries allows for players to travel regularly to test themselves against clubs from different cultures and style of game. European clubs are well supported by players and coaches from North America, Australia and New Zealand.  New Zealand females have a long relationship with the Italian and Dutch clubs, one that has often been reciprocated in that time.
 

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Katrina Nukunuku (top) playing for Tex Town Tigers, The Netherlands.
Katrina also played for Titano Hornets (bottom), San Marino and Forli during her time in Italy.
 

JAPAN
 
The Japan Women’s Softball League is a professional league which hosts some of the best in the world including players from the USA, Australia, China and Brazil.

The 49th Japan Women Softball League will open their season 16-17 April at the QVC Marine Field in Chiba, Japan – the site of the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship. Opening weekend will feature all twelve teams with Olympians and national team athletes competing.


Video (right): Toyota Jidosha vs Bic Camera Takasaki 2015 Japan Women’s Softball League final.
 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

US College Softball
 
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is made up of Divisions I, II and III, and the member Universities are classified under these Divisions. The oldest governing body is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with its own member Universities. The third is the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA). Athlete criteria varies between the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA. The various divisions cater for various levels of school and softball.
 
The NCAA is for those females that want it all; travel, softball and an education. It requires hard work and commitment but the experience is an opportunity of a lifetime with fantastic rewards.

Courtney Gettins(right) currently at Florida South Western State College one of around thirty New Zealander's that have been part of the US college system.

Courtney Region 8 Pitcher of the Wk 032216-402-352(1)

National Pro Fastpitch

National Pro Fastpitch is the only professional women's softball league in the United States. NPF currently features six teams: USSSA Florida Pride, Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion, and the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the Cowles Cup. The National Pro Fastpitch starts in late May and finishes near the end of August.

All though there are more and more New Zealander’s undertaking US college scholarships each year only Lara Andrews has cracked the National Pro Fastpitch league. Lara played for the Pennsylvania Rebellion in 2014 and 2015.

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Lara Andrews - Pennsylvania Rebellion