REMOVAL OF U17 BOYS AND GIRLS NATIONAL TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The naming of national age grade tournament teams has been traditional practice for decades where a Tournament Team (All-Star type team) is named at the conclusion of the tournament.
Moving forward Tournament Teams will no longer be a part of the U17 National Boys and Girls closing ceremony.
Softball NZ is committed to change through the Balance is Better principles, reviewing existing competition structures to ensure our youth are challenged, develop, improve, and be part of a team. The change highlights our commitment to change and alignment to the National Sporting collective.
The naming of tournament teams provides the perception of selecting the best, when in reality it’s a deselection of the rest.
Our youth are speaking with their feet. National data shows that too many young New Zealanders, especially in their teenage years, are walking away from sport. Sport NZ highlights a variety of reasons why youth leave sport. Through research, Sport NZ have identified the main issues contributing to declining participation rates:
Being expected to play like professionals
Believing that you must make the top team or rep’ team
Adult pressure to “be the best” and not make mistakes.
Please note the removal of the tournament teams does not apply to U19 Boys and Girls National Championships. U19 National Championships will remain our pinnacle event for age grade events with a Tournament team being named during the closing ceremony.
Squads or teams selected by national coaches will continue to be part of the closing ceremony if applicable at the time.