The Female Game


The Female Game is devoted to profiling and promoting female Softballers that have exceeded nationally and internationally. It promotes female pathways and profiles those that are fortunate enough to gain a US scholarship and play ball through the US college system.

National Women's Programme

The first national women's event dates back to 1940, this tournament was played in Whanganui and won by Whanganui. Since then the game has evolved on and off the diamond where it is now played within 20 Associations by an estimated 12,000 females from t-ball to adults.

The national provincial programme is played at under 15, 18, 23 and at senior level in the form of the National Fastpitch Championship. In addition, teams across New Zealand compete each year to determine the best club in the country at the National Women's Open Championships.

New Zealand Women's International Programme

Our New Zealand White Sox (Women's team) are the 4th most successful nation at World Championships winning one gold (Taiwan, 1982), one silver and two bronze since the competition was initiated in 1965. The White Sox finished 13th at the 2018 World Championships in Japan.

The New Zealand Junior White Sox (Under 18's) have made significant strides over the last several years, and currently ranked 9th in the world. The next Junior World Championship will change from U19 to U18 and will be in Lima, Peru - 2020.
Ellie Cooper (left) - Junior White Sox player and current White Sox Captain, studies at Florida State University. Katrina Nukunuku (right) - Junior White Sox player and current White Sox member.

International Women's Softball

Softball is the most popular participant sport in the USA, an estimated 40 million Americans will play at least one game of Softball at some level each year. 127 countries play the game worldwide. 

US College Softball

College softball in the USA is an extremely popular, exciting and competitive sport.  The US college system have provided around 30 scholarships to New Zealand female Softballers and an opportunity to play the game at an extremely high level, while receiving an education at the same time. For more information on the US college system click here. Or click here to view player profiles of Kiwi’s who have undertaken a degree through the US college education system.
Lara Andrews (left) - White Sox member, studies at University of Delaware and is the first Kiwi to play in the US pro league. Kayla Rangiawha (middle) -  Junior White Sox player studies at Florida South Western State College. Mikayla Werahiko (right) - White Sox player and studies at Florida South Western State College.


International Events

National Events

Olympic Softball
Softball was an Olympic sport from 1996 to 2008. Unfortunately Softball was removed from the programme for the 2012 and 2016 events. Efforts are underway for Softball to be included in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with a decision pending after the completion of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Watch this space!

The New Zealand White Sox attended the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia where they finished 7th. For more information on Softball in the 2000 Olympic Games click here.

At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the Japanese National Women’s Softball Team had to pull out a 4-3 extra-inning win against Australia with Rei Nishiyama belting a home run in the 12th inning to reach the final. In the game prior to that, Japan lost 4-1 to the United States with the Americans scoring four runs in the ninth which allowed the Americans to reach the final.
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Watch an overview of the gold medal game below.
Click here to checkout images of Kiwi women playing abroad