Softball in Victoria

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Softball is played in the Australian state of Victoria.

History and governance

Softball in Victoria grew after the bombing of Darwin and the inclusion of Australia in World War II, when American military personnel brought the game with them.1 The state had its own association by 1946.234 The organisation came about because of the work of two people, American Special Forces Sergeant William Du Vernet and Melbournian Irene Burrows.4 The state federation was one of the foundation federation members of the Australian Women's Softball Council in 1949.25 By 1949, the Victorian association had 22 clubs and 250 players competing in its competitions.4 In 1971, there were 375 teams affiliated with the state organisation, 559 in 1975, 605 in 1976, 760 in 1977, 920 in 1978, 940 in 1983 and 900 in 1984.6 The state association is involved with Softball Australia's Play Ball programme and is working to increase junior participation in the sport in their state.7

National championships

Gilleys Shield

In 1947, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria participated in the first interstate softball competition in the country. The competition was eventually called the Mack Gilley Shield.5 Victoria won the Mack Gilley Shield in 1947, 1949, 1950, and 1951. They won it again in 1954, 1957 and 1958. They did not win in 1959 but won again in 1960, 1961 and 1962. Queensland won in 1963, but Victoria won again in 1964 and 1965 and 1967.58 Victoria went on to win again in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, and shared the title with New South Wales in 1981 They won again in 1982, and 1985.8 The state hosted the Mack Gilley Shield in Melbourne in 1949, 1954, 1960 and 1967.5

Players

National team representatives

Majorie Nelson was a Victorian softball player. She was the first softball player to represent any country at four World Series of Softball. She was the Australian captain in 1974 and 1978 and the World Series.9 Justine Smethurst also represented Australia.10

Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holders

The Australian Institute of Sport first awarded softball scholarships in 1993, after the 1991 announcement that softball would be included on the programme for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Since then, several competitors from this state have been awarded scholarships including Dianne Clark, Peta Edebone, Jenny Holliday, Kellie Loughman, Belinda Lowing and Nicole Richardson who all had scholarships in the programme's inaugural year.11

American university players

Some softball players from this state have played softball for American universities, which depleted the level of high quality players available for local, state and international competitions. They include Ruth Chatwin who played for the University of Nebraska starting in 1987, Ann Sanders who played for the University of Las Vegas starting in 1987.12

Facilities and hosting

Melbourne hosted the first ISF Women's World Championship in 1965.13 Melbourne was the home to Australia's second international competition ready softball diamond, complete with lights. It was built in 1983.14

Men's softball

Victoria was one of the state leaders when it came to men's softball. At the 1979 annual meeting for the national softball association, the Victorian delegation moved the organisation should create a long term plan to improve the men's game. In 1982, the state organisation's newsletter wrote about the distances some of the men in the state were travelling in order to compete, including one player, Mark Buls, who travelled from Swan Hill, Victoria to Knox, Victoria in order to play in Saturday games.15 In 1985, Australia had an unofficial test team of all-stars who played against the New Zealand national team in Melbourne. Team members from Victoria included S. Adams and N. Tsoukalas.16

References

  1. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "Hits and Bunts". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. pp. 69–127. 
  2. ^ a b Vamplew, Wray; Australian Society for Sports History; Australian Sports Commission (1994). The Oxford companion to Australian sport (2 ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. pp. 388–389. ISBN 0195532872. OCLC 27509815. 
  3. ^ Coppell, W G (1995). Sportspeak : an encyclopedia of sport. Port Melbourne, Vic., Australia: Reed Reference Australia. p. 28. ISBN 1875589732. OCLC 35235752. 
  4. ^ a b c Cashman, Richard (2001). Australian sport through time. Milsons Point, N.S.W.: Random House Australia. p. 271. ISBN 1740514459. OCLC 223005022. 
  5. ^ a b c d Pollard, Jack (1968). AMPOL book of Australian Sporting Records. Sydney: The Pollard Publishing Co. pp. 273–274. OCLC 71140. 
  6. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "Appendix H". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. p. 170. 
  7. ^ "Softball: Softball Australia". A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport. Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission. p. 10. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Vamplew, Wray; Australian Society for Sports History; Australian Sports Commission (1994). The Oxford companion to Australian sport (2 ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 521. ISBN 0195532872. OCLC 27509815. 
  9. ^ Australia's wide world of sports. Pymble, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson. 1993. p. 232. ISBN 0207174857. OCLC 38340671. 
  10. ^ "Australian Open Women's Squad 2012". Australia: Softball Australia. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "The Olympics". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. pp. 152–156. 
  12. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "Scholarships: Softball's "Brain Drain"". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. p. 136. 
  13. ^ White, Patrick (2005). Chambers sports factfinder. Edinburgh: Chambers. pp. 542–543. ISBN 0550101616. OCLC 58052551. 
  14. ^ Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism; Australian Sport Commission (1985). Australian Sport, a profile. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publish Service. p. 186. ISBN 0644036672. 
  15. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "Hits and Bunts". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. pp. 69–127 [123]. 
  16. ^ Embrey, Lynn; Australian Softball Federation (1995). "Appendix R". Batter up! : the history of softball in Australia. Bayswater, Vic.: Australian Softball Federation. pp. 214–215. 

See also








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