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All year round: The new offseason programme and tour up north helping develop NZ softball’s next generation

A new initiative in the north is hoping to develop the next generation of professional softballers through their academy and annual tours to Australia. Auckland Softball Association created the Blue Sox Academy at the start of last season to generate a 12 month training programme for their junior players. ASA General Manager Gareth Teahan said the

Patrick Shannon: A brief return for a timeless legacy

After a highlight-filled softball career, world champion Black Sox catcher Patrick Shannon stepped out of the limelight in a contrasting fashion, disappearing from the diamond suddenly and without much fuss. But despite his best efforts to stay away from the game, he eventually made his way back for a short-lived return last season as part

The Dugout’s seven summer tips to get back into the swing of things…

Summer is approaching fast which means both softball and baseball seasons are on the horizon! Not sure how to get prepared? Don’t worry, we have you covered!   1.Register with your local club: Whether you’re sticking with the same club as last season or transferring for one reason or another, it’s important to get your

Two Years: After disappointment in Prague, Black Sox have small window to get things back on track for Auckland 2021 World Champs

It wasn’t the result we wanted, expected and, frankly, needed. The Black Sox coming fourth at this year’s World Championships in Prague will only fan the flames of the few tunnel-visioned baseball backers who want to see men’s softball die in New Zealand. But everyone else loves a redemption story and the 2021 World Championships

Development with balance: How Softball NZ is creating the next generation of stars without burning them out

  While the spotlight may be on the senior teams preparing to defend their world title or qualify for the Olympics this year, Softball NZ is also busy at work ensuring the next generation of elite men and women will carry on those legacies. For many, winter is a time to put the bat and

Laulu on a desert island, shower tunes and… Shorty Street? Get to know some Black Sox stars away from the Diamond

  Before the Black Sox leave for the World Championships in the Czech Republic later this month, The Dugout managed to wrangle up a couple of them to find out a bit more about their lives away from the diamond with some quick fire questions. 1. If you could only eat one meal for the

Diamondsports in NZ: The rivalry media personalities love but doesn’t exist

Diamondsports in NZ: The rivalry media personalities love but doesn’t exist You would think being the world champions of a sport would garner some support from media in your country, but the opposite seems to keep happening to the Black Sox. Last week, TV personality and former Black Cap Mark Richardson decided to share his

The Rookie Sox Challenge: New under-13s national tournament helping next generation of softballers shine

  Some of New Zealand’s youngest and most promising talent is getting introduced to higher tiers of the game earlier in their careers thanks to a newly-created tournament. The Rookie Sox Challenge was launched this year as an under-13s representative boys and girls tournament that saw associations from all over the North Island come together

Initiatives, icons, and hard working individuals

Lower North Island softball associations experience big growth thanks to initiatives, icons, and hard working individuals: Softball has made great strides both nationally and internationally in recent years, with the introduction of the Little League partnership and inclusion at the Olympic Games springing to mind almost immediately. In the men’s game, games are getting televised

Tournaments: A softballer’s perfect weekend

  The softball season is well and truly underway which means a big focal point of the sport in our country have started to pop up too – tournaments. Tournaments, whether it be at a Premier level, representative level, or club grade level, are special weekends in any softballer’s calender. Whether it be to scope

Junior softballers getting back into the swing of things…

  Junior softballers getting back into the swing of things with new season finally underway… Softball is in full swing around the country now with junior and senior grades joining premier teams on the diamond. It’s an important time for teams. Players change clubs, move up grades or divisions and some sadly leave the game

New season, new competition, new era: How Auckland Softball aims to breathe new life into Premier culture

  For Auckland’s top softballers, the season is already underway with the Premier and Reserve grade competitions kicking off at Rosedale Park over the weekend.   But gone are the days of the Auckland Fastpitch Championship – this year Auckland Softball have unveiled their new competition, the Dynasty NFS, which they hope will take the

We may need a bigger trophy cabinet…

  Firstly, hats off to the Black Sox for their win at the Intercontinental Cup. Any time a trophy goes in the cabinet it’s hard to argue the campaign wasn’t a success. But the team got so much more than just silverware and it’s why this team continues to succeed. The Black Sox departed for

Every dollar counts: turning a raffle ticket into a world championship medal

  They say it takes a village to raise a child. But what happens when that child gets selected together with 16 other talented young men and asked to represent his country on the world stage halfway across the world? Well, then it takes a community to raise a team. The Junior Black Sox finished

Little League, Big Deal – Softball NZ’s new path could have positive impact for next generation

  Little League, Big Deal – Softball NZ’s new path could have positive impact for next generation   OPINION: Softball New Zealand, take a bow. The announcement that you’d managed to set up a new affiliation with Little League was nothing short of a guaranteed investment for future generations of White Sox players. For those

There is no place like Home Plate..

  While softball may not have the mainstream coverage it deserves (yet!) in New Zealand, those in the community should know how great the sport and players are in this country – both on and off the diamond. It’s something you can’t really find anywhere else – the colourful tournaments, the friendly yet fierce rivalries

No rest for the best: Top Softball talent still working on game with world champs and more in sight..

  If the storms around the country haven’t told you already, summer is well and truly over and for most that means packing away the mitt and bat for the winter as softball’s offseason kicks off – for most, that is. While most players around the country are now focused on winter codes or enjoy

Pita Rona – Back in Black

Son of Black Sox legend and Dugout team member Brad Rona is looking to make a name for himself in the Black Jersey. Pita Rona has just been selected in the Black Sox travelling squad to head to Prague in August. We talked to him about what his plans are leading up to the tournament

Brad Rona – The End of an Era

Over the years, the team at the Dugout have supported Brad Rona through his unbelievable career including 4 world championship gold medals! Brad took a second to sit down with us to talk about his final tournament as a New Zealand representative and what the future holds, for one of the all time greats in