Softball NZ Welcomes Frequency as New Partner for the White Sox - 23 June

Softball NZ is pleased to announce Frequency as a new partner, providing support for our New Zealand White Sox. Frequency will support the New Zealand White Sox as they compete at the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup Qualifier, 22-26 July in Italy. Frequency is a specialist project management and advisory consultancy that delivers and optimises critical infrastructure and built environments across New Zealand. Michelle Clarke Head of Marketing and Bids say's "Frequency is thrilled to be a NZ White Sox sponsor, an exciting year ahead for the team. We wish them the very best for the upcoming tournament."

Softball NZ


21 August, 2021

Below are results for the VOP Club Experience Survey undertaken earlier this year.
The purpose of the project was to understand what is important to players and how clubs are performing. The results of the report have allowed Softball New Zealand to understand the club experience of our members over the 2020/21 season.
Softball members nationwide had the opportunity to participate, with adults aged 16+ completing the questionnaire themselves and parents/guardians completing the questionnaire for children under the age of 16, on behalf of their child.
The survey was carried out by Nielsen, an independent research company on behalf of Softball New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.



8 November, 2022

In May 2020, the New Zealand Government announced funding in the form of a Recovery Package to assist play, active recreation, and sport organisations to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Sport NZ has formulated an approach to assist a group of National Partners to make the best use of the Recovery Package, which includes a National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme.
Softball NZ has been chosen by Sport NZ to be part of this programme because of the impact our strategy is having on the physical activity outcomes of New Zealanders.



8 November, 2021

At its last Zoom hui on Saturday 6 November 2021, the Softball New Zealand Board considered a series of recommendations from the CEO to better support our members navigate the COVID Delta outbreak and associated government response.

Since the outbreak of the COVID Delta strain in August, the Softball NZ Office has been engaging with a number of regional associations to understand the impacts of the outbreak (and the associated government response) on our sport.
As you will be aware, there has been no softball played in the upper North Island this season, and public health requirements have challenged the smooth delivery of softball throughout the rest of the country.
The hosting of national pinnacle events, many of which involve streaming and linear broadcast coverage, is particularly challenging for tournament organisers and the sport more broadly. Further, uncertainty remains as to what the impacts of the new traffic light system will be for hosts of tournaments. Whilst Softball New Zealand can’t provide any additional intelligence with regard to the outbreak and the government response, there are a number of decisions we can take that may help to address some of the concern.

With this in mind, the Softball NZ Board has made the following decisions:

Due to the significant uncertainty and complexity surrounding the safe hosting, covid protocols, security, and event management procedures for national events, Softball NZ will be unfortunately cancelling the Fastball 45® National League this season.

Due to significant concerns around health & safety, Covid protocols, non-essential inter-island travel, and border restrictions, Softball NZ will be cancelling the national age-grade championships in favour of local regional delivery.
Softball NZ appreciates the complexity of this decision and will work with associations to ensure a fair and equitable process of regional hosting as well as looking to support those associations challenged with non-refundable logistics deposits.
Softball NZ acknowledges the disappointment of not being in a position to host national age-grade championships safely at this time and will work alongside associations for representative opportunities such as those presented later in the season like the Easter Classic.

Softball NZ will continue to monitor the health & safety recommendations by government and will provide a further update on NFC and Open Clubs next month. It is the intention of Softball NZ to provide as much opportunity as possible to deliver these events and as currently scheduled, but will be guided by the advice from government to ensure our decisions are formed foremost with health & safety as our priority.

Finally, on behalf of our participants, THANK YOU!
The Softball New Zealand Board wants to thank all members for the resilience and agility they have shown throughout this Delta outbreak and response. We know the fierce commitment you have to supporting our participants and whanau at this time, knowing that for many whanau our sport is their main connection to recreation, community and wellbeing.
Please continue to work with Tony and the team knowing that we are here for you and want to provide any support we can in the interests of our members, our people.

Aku mihi,
Hoani Lambert
Chair, Softball NZ Board


9 August, 2021

Below are results for the VOP Club Experience Survey undertaken earlier this year.

The purpose of the project was to understand what is important to players and how clubs are performing. The results of the report have allowed Softball New Zealand to understand the club experience of our members over the 2020/21 season.

Softball members nationwide had the opportunity to participate, with adults aged 16+ completing the questionnaire themselves and parents/guardians completing the questionnaire for children under the age of 16, on behalf of their child.

The survey was carried out by Nielsen, an independent research company on behalf of Softball New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.

Click to download the VOP 2020/2021 survey.


23 July 2021

Softball NZ and Ballpark Broadcasting have entered into a broadcast partnership for the 2021/22 season, ensuring all Softball NZ National Tournaments will be streamed live.

The partnership agreement involves a new level of collaboration with both Softball NZ and Ballpark Broadcasting working closely to support and promote the game throughout the country.

For the first time, the national body will stream all events free to air, including the White Sox Quad Series and the Division 1 Secondary School competition.

In an exciting development, 7 national events will also be simultaneously broadcast on the Sky Sport Next platform.
Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles said “This is an exciting deal for the softball community and sports fans alike, and highlights the on-going commitment from Softball NZ to growing our game”.

“It ensures every national age-grade tournament, NFC, and open championship event receives the same level of broadcast quality and production” says Giles.

“We have worked closely over the past 12 weeks to get to this position and I believe the Ballpark Broadcasting deal supplements perfectly the existing Sky Sport relationship and the Fastball 45® National League” says Giles.
Ballpark Broadcasting Managing Director, Jason Gerbes says” It’s simply fantastic to formally cement a multimedia partnership with Softball NZ, which has been the result of continued exposure the last 4 seasons”.

“It’s no secret that Softball holds a special place in my heart, but more importantly now we have the vehicle to promote the game all the way from grassroots to our elite athletes of the Golden Homes Black Sox and Sky Sport White Sox superstars” says Gerbes.


20 July 2021

Softball NZ has again partnered with Exclusive Sports Goods, the supplier of Mizuno and Diamond softballs within New Zealand.  The partnership will see Exclusive Sports Goods supply balls to all Softball NZ National Tournaments for the 2021/22 season.

“We are excited to once again be partnering with Exclusive Sports Goods as our official ball supplier” says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
“The relationship is even more special given we are entering our 28th year of support, the longest commercial legacy partnership in the history of our sport” says Giles.

Exclusive Sports Goods supply the Mizuno 150 softball, the official ball of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), and the official ball used for the return of softball at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Danae Goosman, Exclusive Sports Goods Director says “The Company is proud to continue our support of Softball NZ. Softball has an outstanding record both on and off the diamond, and we are confident this partnership will continue to benefit all within the sport.”


14 June 2021

House of Travel (Christchurch City) have been confirmed as the Softball NZ contracted travel partner.

“We are thrilled to partner House of Travel, a partner who wants to help get our great game moving locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally" says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
“The tourism sector has faced considerable adversity during pandemic times, and this partnership is testament to David and his respected team of experienced consultants, and their significant can-do attitude, in supporting our grassroots game” says Giles.

Locally Christchurch owned and operated for 25 years, House of Travel Christchurch City is an award winning travel company.

House of Travel Managing Director, David Williams says “House of Travel is proud to be associated with Softball NZ and their wider community”.
“We are excited about partnering with a fun and ambitious organisation, and House of Travel wants to help Softball NZ achieve their goals” says Williams.

The new fiscal partnership provides House of Travel exclusivity of travel arrangements to Softball NZ and its pathway teams for the next three years.


11 June

SNZ has confirmed the National Female Battery Programme (NFBP) will be supported by Jetts Fitness.

“We are delighted to have Jetts join our organisation in supporting our female athletes in this critical area of our game" says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.

“Identified pitchers and catchers will have the ability to activate their fitness and wellness goals throughout the Jetts network at both local, and national locations” says Giles.

Jetts Fitness have over 50 clubs throughout New Zealand with 24/7 access, expert trained staff, and flexible memberships to suit your lifestyle.

Jetts Marketing Manager Jana Hurley says “Our vision is to help athletes and everyday people of all ages and abilities to stay healthier, fitter, happier and strive to reach their individual potential”.

“We hope through our state of the art facilities players can improve agility, strength, balance and injury prevention, as well as build their confidence on the field. Together with Softball NZ we look forward to promoting a lifelong love of physical activity both on and off the field for all New Zealanders” says Hurley.

The new partnership includes a special discounted membership offer to the Softball NZ affiliated membership.


10 June

Softball NZ has confirmed Fastball 45® will be supported by Tradestaff.

“We are thrilled to have a partner who wants to help us grow the game and support pathways that give talented young athletes an opportunity to represent their communities in this exciting national league format," says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.
Tradestaff are a 100% New Zealand owned and operated company who have been providing industrial recruitment solutions nationwide for over 25 years.
Tradestaff Managing Director Kevin Eder says: “We’re excited to further engage with the softball community of New Zealand, many of whom have supported and worked for Tradestaff over the last 25 years.”
“It’s a truly grassroots sport and fits our family and community values like a glove” says Eder.
The new partnership gives Tradestaff naming rights to Fastball 45® for the next two years. 
Fastball 45® will again be broadcast by Sky Sport and commences its four week programme in Christchurch, from November 20-21.


9 June 2021

Softball NZ has entered into an exciting new partnership with Temperzone.
Temperzone Group is a leading manufacturer, distributor and exporter of air conditioning and ventilation equipment throughout Oceania and Asia. Proudly New Zealand owned and with over 500 employees across the group with office locations in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Shanghai.
“Following a hiatus in 2020 due to the global pandemic, we are delighted to once again be partnering with Les Kendall and the wonderful team at Temperzone”, says Tony Giles, Softball NZ CEO.  
“The support is truly inspiring and provides clarity for the junior pathway as we look to build towards the 2023 Junior Men's World Cup” says Giles.
Temperzone Managing Director Les Kendall says ”Temperzone is proud to be associated with such professional organisation doing good things with our youth players”.
The new 2 year partnership will see Temperzone align itself to the Jarrad Martin led Junior Black Sox programme, as well as naming rights partner to the U17 Boys National Championship.


21 April 2021

Another 10 national sporting bodies have joined NZ Cricket, NZ Football, Hockey NZ, Netball NZ and NZ Rugby NZ in backing the Balance is Better Statement of Intent first announced in September 2019.

They will join the collective and individual action underway to keep young people in sport by putting a stronger focus on fun and development, reviewing existing competition structures and encouraging youth to play multiple sports rather than specialising too early.

The new sports are Athletics NZ, Badminton NZ, Basketball NZ, Golf NZ, Gymnastics NZ, NZ Rugby League, Softball NZ, Touch NZ, Volleyball NZ and Waka Ama NZ.

Sport NZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle says it is great to see these sports formally commit to these important changes.

“We need to change what is offered and how we engage with young people. There needs to be quality opportunities for all participants, not just the best players.”

“Sport is a huge part of our society and important for the wellbeing of so many New Zealanders, however the way sport is delivered has not kept up with what young people are looking for. We know that because they’re telling us and many are also walking away.”

“The original five sports have done some excellent work and we now have ten more making this important commitment. This is another encouraging day for youth sport in New Zealand,” says Raelene Castle.

The commitments outlined in the Statement of Intent are:

  • Ensuring all young people receive a quality experience, irrespective of the level at which they compete.
  • Leading attitudinal and behavioural change among the sport leaders, coaches, administrators, parents and caregivers involved in youth sport.
  • Providing leadership to support of changes to competition structures and player development opportunities.
  • Working with within their sports and schools to keep minds open while identifying talent throughout the teen years, including reviewing the role and nature of national and regional representative tournaments to ensure that skill development opportunities are offered to more young people.
  • Supporting young people to play multiple sports.
  • Raising awareness of the risks of overtraining and overloading.

To join the collective stand, national sports organisations must commit at executive and board level, and put resources behind making changes to how they deliver youth sport.

“This is an important step, but it is not their first. They’ve all been on a journey to get to this point, as are many other national sporting bodies,” says Raelene Castle.

“There is real momentum behind these changes – a widespread recognition that we need to work hard and work differently to create quality and fun experiences that will keep kids in sport. This is great for participants, future talent and for our sector.”

Sport NZ


22 March 2021

Dear Softball Participant

We recognise there is a lot happening at the moment with the recent changes in alert levels due to COVID-19, we hope you and your family/ whānau are doing OK. During this time it is important that the businesses and agencies that are able to work, continue to do so. Therefore, we are continuing to carry out surveys and collect information that helps Softball New Zealand make the best decisions now and to plan for the future.

Softball NZ is undertaking an important research programme to find out how our participants view their experience with us. The project aims to understand your softball experience so we can improve. This is the second time Softball NZ has participated in this research, with the first undertaken in 2018.
NielsenIQ, an independent research company, is carrying out this confidential survey on behalf of Softball NZ and Sport NZ and results will not be reported in a way that will allow you to be individually identified.

The survey will only take 10-15 minutes to complete and is an important piece of work for Softball NZ. The results will help us to build an understanding of how we can continue to improve your softball experience, and we would really appreciate your feedback so we encourage you to take part.

Yours sincerely,
Softball New Zealand


24 February 2021

Due to the significant impact of the Covid pandemic around the globe, the government Do Not Travel warnings, as well as the mandatory MIQ process for all returning citizens and the inability to secure Insurance coverage the New Zealand Softball Board decided unanimously in the best interest of player safety and wellbeing to formally ratify the motion to not sanction any international travel for national teams for the remainder of 2021.

The decision unfortunately means the Junior White Sox will not be attending the 2021 WBSC World Cup in Peru. In due course, SNZ will look to develop domestic and international opportunities for all national teams.

Softball NZ would like to acknowledge the achievements of the JWSX group and what they have accomplished throughout this campaign.


10 February 2021

Softball has been honoured at the Māori Sports Awards with former Black Sox captain Nathan Nukunuku named as one of the 30 most influential Māori sports stars of the past 30 years.

The Māori Sports Awards 30-30 TV show is counting down the top 30 Māori sports achievers since 1991 in a three-part series screening on Māori Television and Sky Sports.

Softball - known in Māori as Poiuka - featured prominently in the first episode on Tuesday night, with Nathan (Ngāti Porou) named as the 21st most influential Māori sports star of the past three decades.

Nathan - who will be Auckland's player-coach at this week's NFC tournament at Albany - was described by broadcaster Dale Husband as "coming from a whole line of softball guns'', including brother Dion, a three-time world champion''.

Nathan's parents, Christine and Walter, were also acknowledged, with Husband saying "his mum was one of our top scorers'' and softball commentator Jason Gerbes saying: "The most influential person in [Nathan's] life was his father, who showed him everything to do with the game, not just how to play it, but why to play it.''

Veteran Māori sports broadcaster Hemana Waaka said Nathan was "fast around the diamond, he was vocal, which is good because he encouraged his teammates from afar, but he was someone who would eat, sleep and play softball. In his heart, there was no better sport.''

Tributes were also paid to some of our game's great Māori players of the past, including Jane Te Hira, Naomi Shaw, Nardi Leonard, Chubb Tangaroa, Rhonda Hira, Gina Weber and Nathan's Black Sox world title winning teammates Jarrad Martin, Brad Rona and Thomas Makea.

The 30 in 30 show also acknowledged "there has been strong Māori participation in softball since its introduction to Aotearoa'' in the 1930s.

Watch The Māori Sports Awards 30-30 show here. The softball component starts at 22:13.

The final two episodes - leading to the naming of the most influential Māori sports person of the past 30 years - will screen on Wednesday night and Thursday night on Māori Television (at 7.30pm) and on Sky Sport 1 (a 8.30pm).


30 January 2020

HPSNZ - Coronavirus Update


17 October 2019

Softball NZ have entered into a significant 3 year commercial partnership with New Zealand owned and operated travel agency House of Travel.

House of Travel is the largest privately owned travel company in New Zealand.

The partnership will see House of Travel as the official travel partner to Softball NZ including the key elite brands of the Golden Homes Black Sox, and Sky Sport White Sox.

“It is fantastic to call on local expertise within our community, and work alongside a partner who has supporter and group travel needs at the heart of their business.” Says Softball NZ CEO, Tony Giles. 

In a first for Softball NZ, the partnership will see House of Travel create and facilitate tours for its dedicated softball supporters and provide travel ambassadors for pinnacle offshore events.

House of Travel Christchurch City Managing Director, David Williams says “Our passionate and experienced team specialise in sourcing accommodation in the best possible locations, organising transport and logistics with reputable local operators, managing VIP Hospitality services onsite, and take pride in working with our clients to extend their travel plans”.

“As well as looking after flights and event tickets, we help you create lifetime experiences” he says.

House of Travel and softball NZ are working collaboratively on a model for its (Softball NZ) affiliation, and expect to commence roadshows in the coming weeks.


14 October 2019

Softball New Zealand and Sky Sport have agreed a revolutionary new partnership deal for Softball.

After considerable negotiations, Softball NZ have entered into a multiyear agreement with Sky Television for the naming rights of the New Zealand White Sox softball team.

“This ground breaking partnership represents significant investment of the female game in New Zealand and is a paradigm shift for the elite female pathway programme” says Softball NZ CEO, Tony Giles.

Sport Relationship Manager at Sky, Cathryn Oliver, says: “In line with our commitment to support more women in sport, we’re delighted to be the new naming sponsor of the White Sox. Sky is committed to supporting and enhancing local sports teams, and our sponsorship of the White Sox follows our support for the Tall Ferns, Phoenix, Warriors women, the Kiwis, the Kiwi Ferns, the Junior Kiwis and the Sky Sport Breakers,” says Oliver.

The Sky Sport White Sox just missed Olympic Qualification last month in Shanghai, China, and remain the highest ranked (11) non-funded team in the world.

"We are confident the support of New Zealand’s premier sport broadcaster will assist the step-change required to drive the group towards podium potential for future pinnacle events” says Giles.
The new commercial partnership will see Sky own naming rights of the Sky Sport White Sox for an initial 3 year period, with a multiyear extension opportunity.



24 May 2019

Softball NZ today announced a multi-year partnership extension with Golden Homes which has been extended until 2022.
“SNZ is proud of our long-term relationship with Golden Homes”, says Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles.

Golden Homes have worked hard to stay one step ahead of the game and are now recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading home build companies. “It’s those same values that drive the Black Sox to world-class sporting success.” Says Giles.
This extension phase will see Golden Homes remain as the organisation, and Black Sox naming rights partner, as well as extending their support to talent identification by recently establishing the Softball New Zealand Centurions Trust, for aspiring U15 & U18 gender inclusive pathway talent.

Homes Managing Director Shane Helms says “We are proud to partner with Softball NZ and the 7 time world champion Black Sox. The group continue to set the benchmark for sporting excellence in New Zealand and we are delighted to be a part of their incredible journey,” says Helms.

The Golden Homes Black Sox depart Sunday, May 26 for a series of international games prior to the commencement of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, June 13-23, Prague, Czech Republic.



17 October, 2018

Below are results for the VOP Club Experience Survey undertaken earlier this year.

The purpose of the project was to understand what is important to players and how clubs are performing. The results of the report have allowed Softball New Zealand to understand the club experience of our members over the 2017/18 season.

Softball members nationwide had the opportunity to participate, with adults aged 16+ completing the questionnaire themselves and parents/guardians completing the questionnaire for children under the age of 16, on behalf of their child.

The survey was carried out by Nielsen, an independent research company on behalf of Softball New Zealand and Sport New Zealand.


24 April, 2018

Softball NZ welcomes new commercial partner ELE Group to the softball family.

ELE Group is a family owned and operated company who manage strategic portfolios in recruitment, logistics, construction, and risk management.

Group Managing Director Brent Mulholland has an affiliation with the game and sees similarities between the ethos of ELE Group and that of Softball NZ.

“We are an organization that aligns entirely to the needs of our people and their communities, and this is a position of strength for ELE that I also see in Softball NZ and its own community”, says Mulholland.

“It was an easy decision for us as people are at the core of our decisions in everything we do”. “Softball NZ have strong leadership who are building pathways for its national athletes to compete on the world stage against significant barriers such as funding, geographical location, and competition, yet they continue to perform on so many levels. This is something we relate to” says Mulholland.

The partnership will see ELE Group as the naming rights partner to ELE Stadium at Rosedale Park, Albany and includes the 2021 WBSC Men’s World Cup.

Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles says the relationship is a natural fit.

ELE Group has organizational values that focus on Growing Together, Keeping it Real, and Building Tomorrow Today. “
“This is where I see significant benefit for the softball community” Says Giles. “Like Principal Partner Golden Homes, this new relationship will see ELE work with Softball NZ in an advisory role for mutual benefit to both organizations”.
The multiyear 6 figure partnership commences June 1, 2018.

SNZ and ELE Group Partnership-793


8 Nov, 2017
Softball New Zealand are very excited to announce the affiliation of Bay of Islands to the softball family.

Softball ceased in the far north some 18 years ago but through a number of passionate volunteers committed to the future of their tamariki softball has since been revived.

Mel and Del Rameka are modern day pioneers of softball in the north, they have worked tirelessly over the last 3 years to reconnect softball to the schools and community. Mel and Del are well supported by a working committee of Feron Rogers, Suzee Ross, Trisha Vaka, Cynthia Beattie, Joe Henare and Anne Stillwell who have grown from 15 teams in 2014/15 to 20 teams in 2017/18.

The game has largely grown on the back of preseason road shows. The 14 day events take in 24 schools, 2 schools per day targeting 35-60+ kids per session covering basic drills, skills and fundamentals providing children a taste of the game.

“We have been doing this for the past 3 years and have found that this works for us and is our form of development, as the interest for the game from the kids, teachers/ parents is over whelming.” Says Bay Of Island Softball Secretary, Del Rameka.
“Our goal 3yrs ago when we formed, was to eventually register with Softball NZ so we can expose and open those pathways for our young ones to see the reality that softball has to offer. After gradually building softball we feel we are now ready to take the next step with our juniors (10-18yrs) and introduce them to another level of softball.
Over the past 3 years we have been entering teams into the NZ Navy tournament. Every year our numbers with children wanting to play and experience this tournament has been massive.

Softball here in the Northland has turned into a real whanau orientated sport with parents, Nans, papa's, aunts, uncles, cuzzy's and older siblings turning up to either coach our children or just to support.” Says Del.


1 Sept, 2017
Following the recent successful partnership extensions with Golden Homes and Temperzone, Softball NZ is to celebrate yet another outstanding commercial partnership.

TAB has signed on as principal naming rights partner to the 2018 Challenge Cup.

The inaugural Challenge Cup was held in February of this year and Softball NZ are now seeking to sustain momentum for men’s fastpitch softball on home soil following the tremendous success of the Golden Homes Black Sox at the recent WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships.

Softball NZ CEO, Tony Giles says “the TAB partnership is a significant milestone for our organisation and provides real opportunity to showcase the Golden Homes Black Sox against the best talent the world has to offer”.

Softball NZ has also taken the opportunity to develop next generation talent by announcing the NZ U23 Major Sox will feature in the 2018 TAB Challenge Cup.

“The opportunity to identify and feature young aspiring New Zealand talent in the same event as the 7 times World Champions is incredibly exciting for the sport” says Giles.

Television schedules and International Federation line-ups are to be finalised the TAB Challenge Cup sets to be an extremely competitive event. The Australian Steelers have been invited in what will see a repeat of their epic encounter from Whitehorse last July. The NZ Black Sox defeated Australia 6-4 to win their seventh men’s world softball crown.

NZ Racing Board Head of Strategic Partnerships, Rowan Swain says “the recent Black Sox world champion success made TAB's continued support very compelling and something the TAB were looking forward to adding to TAB's partnership programme.

The TAB Challenge Cup will take place on February 7-11 at Rosedale Park, Albany.
pictured NZRB CEO John Allen and Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles - Photo courtesy of TAB-907


28 July, 2017

Softball New Zealand CEO Tony Giles is pleased to announce that Travis White is the new High Performance Director.

Travis brings a wealth of experience to the role including Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and non-Olympic management skills.

For the past 5 years Travis has held a lead management role as Program Manager & Advisor – High Performance Sport New Zealand and provides expertise in areas such HP Investment, Campaign Strategy, Support Programs, and Elite Talent Pathway Development.

Travis holds a Masters of Management, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Physical Education and is excited by his opportunity in joining Softball New Zealand.

Travis will commence his position with us Monday, September 11.


19 July, 2017

Softball New Zealand would like to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to a number of people on the back of the Golden Homes Black Sox amazing 7th world title.

Jason Gerbes (Chopper), our man on the mic. Thank you for your efforts, not just the game commentary but the player, coach interviews and passion carried throughout the world championships. The call to commentate the gold medal game was deserved recognition and a true honour. We would also like to thank the Ball Park Broadcasting Crew for inviting Jason to be part of the team and continuing to promote the game through their outstanding work.

Casey-Leigh McMaster, Paul Aitu and Amanda Rona our photographers on the ground. Without these three we would not have been able to capture the Black Sox journey. Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels wouldn’t have had the traffic it has had without the content you have generously provided. Your support has allowed us to feed national media with images to promote the Golden Homes Black Sox and their success across New Zealand.

SOX NATION, your ongoing and passionate support for our national teams is second to none. The uncompromising support for our mighty Black Sox is a true reflection of the family values we hold dearly. Continue to fight the fight and promote our game where you can and be proud of our brand and national teams.

Golden Homes and High Performance Sport New Zealand, thank you for your ongoing generosity and support. Your willingness to support our national team is a key component in allowing the Black Sox to do what they do – win titles. Thank you to BLK, Loaded and Bene Sports Medical for your magnificent support, you are all valued members of the softball family

Golden Homes Black Sox, 7 x CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!! You are the flagship of our sport and carry the fight wherever you play. An unprecedented 7 world titles is mind blowing, something that other codes are unable to comprehend. Thank you for your work ethic and drive to be the best team on the planet!

We would also like to say a few words regarding comments made on social media re lack of TV broadcasting of the 2017 Men’s World Championships. The championships were not broadcast by any TV network in Canada and therefore the feed was unable to be picked up by SKY TV or any other media outlet. Softball NZ were in discussion with SKY TV several months ago in regards to relaying the live streaming feed. However, it was decided that the quality of streaming from Sports Canada TV was not fit for purpose. SKY TV has been very supportive of Softball in New Zealand particularly with the coverage of the TAB Challenge Cup last February. Discussions are underway for the broadcasting of the Cup in 2018.

Once again thank you for all of your support.
Softball New Zealand.

New Zealand Black Sox World Champions: 76, 84, 96, 00, 04, 13, 17
New Zealand White Sox World Champions: 82
New Zealand Junior Black Sox World Champions: 85, 89


12 July, 2017

Following the successful release of the Golden Homes Black Sox partnership extension, Softball NZ (SNZ) are delighted to announce a new 2 year agreement with Temperzone.

Temperzone will continue their successful relationship with the New Zealand Junior Black Sox through to the completion of the 2018 WBSC U19 Junior Men’s World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada.

SNZ CEO Tony Giles stated that as the relationship with Temperzone enters its third championship campaign management can now plan a full assault on going one better in 2018 after finishing 2nd to Japan in Michigan 2016.

"Valued partners such as Les Kendall and the entire Temperzone family are paramount to our success at international pinnacle events" said Giles.

"The New Zealand male programme is now officially ranked the number 1 programme in the world and this success could not be achieved without the wonderful support of Temperzone" said Giles.


The Junior Black Sox have grown to become a major threat internationally since the partnership deal was signed in 2014.

The Thomas Makea and Jarrad Martin led Junior Black Sox have just returned from the Australian U23 State Championships in Brisbane.

Les Kendall (Temperzone CEO) says “there has been a strong relationship between Softball New Zealand and Temperzone. The conduct and professionalism of the Softball New Zealand organisation and the players is something we admire at Temperzone, and it has given us the confidence and belief to back the team for a third shot at the Title.
It has been really satisfying as well to see some amazingly talented young players to have the opportunity to be developed throughout Softball New Zealand's programme and to go on to bigger and better things as their career develops”.

Temperzone is a NZ based designer, manufacturer and exporter of advanced air conditioning and environmental systems, and we compete against massive global corporations, so we are in a similar situation to Softball NZ and other NZ sports teams competing and winning on the world stage against the odds through hard work and dedication.



7 July, 2017

On the eve of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championships in Whitehorse, Canada, Golden Homes has announced it is extending its commitment with Softball NZ (SNZ) in a move that will be celebrated across the entire Softball community.

As principal partner the new 2 year extension is a significant investment into the sport as well as continuing naming rights for the Golden Homes Black Sox.

SNZ CEO Tony Giles said “they'd enjoyed an exceptional partnership with Golden Homes since securing the relationship in 2014”.

"We value Golden Homes as a true partner of our game and not just a sponsor and that journey has been special" said Giles.

"In financial terms this partnership represents the most significant deal in our history and provides real opportunities across all levels through high performance in the men’s game".

Under the agreement with SNZ:

  • Golden Homes secures the position of principal partner to SNZ, and
  • Naming rights and principal partner of the Black Sox .

Golden Homes Director Shane Helms said “we have pleasure in renewing our partnership with Softball New Zealand following a stellar year both on the local and world stage. Since 2014 we have enjoyed the relationship with your organisation and in particular we are proud of our shared values of honesty, effort, achievement, family and opportunity.

We look forward to the coming summer season and wish you well in your preparations, equally we appreciate the profile and support your organisation offers our brand throughout the country and the market opportunities that result”.

20170615 151206


28 May

Softball NZ would like to announce the commencement of a National U23 Men’s tournament to be held at Rosedale Park, North Harbour from Thursday 7th Dec to Sunday 10th Dec 2017. We are excited to have this addition to our National schedule.
Pathways for the men from U19 Boys to the Black Sox needed addressing, and with the WBSC making plans to possibly instigate an U23 Men’s World Champs in 2020 then Softball NZ felt this was the time to bring in this new National tournament.


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, Whanganui, 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