JUNIOR LEAGUE T/BALL SOFTBALL REGISTRATION
Bay of Islands softball Association will be holding a 8 weeks Junior League T/Ball – Softball competition for our local schools and clubs in our district.
This will be held on a Wednesday night at the Kaikohe Lindvart Park starting on Wednesday 18th October 2016
We would like to invite your Schools / Club to take part in participating in this second year Competition held at Kaikohe Lindvart Park.
Bay Of Islands Softball Secretary /Tournament Administration
Softball takes off in the Far North
The skyrocketing interest in softball which seems to outsiders to have virtually taken place overnight has inspired stalwarts of the bat-and-ball summer game to establish a local competition catering solely to Far North teams.
PICTURE / DEBBIE BEADLESTRIKE ZONE: Batter Lawrence Hemara (Taiamai Tribe) and catcher Michael Freakly (Keri Elite) in action during the pre-season softball tournament in Kaikohe on Saturday.The inaugural championship is set to start in Kaikohe on Saturday, October 31, with organisers operating two diamonds and playing three rounds each Saturday at Lindvart Park. Teams entered so far are Taiamai Tribe, Muriwhenua Diamond, Dargaville, Keri Elite and Kaikohe Rugby Sports in the men’s division, and Otaua, Taiamai Tribe, Kaikohe Rugby Sports, Muriwhenua Diamonds and Dargaville in the women’s league.
Much of the credit for the game’s phenomenal growth can go to Mel Rameka from Ohaeawai. Well known for his involvement in promoting sports such as basketball in the Mid North, Rameka was strongly involved with getting the Bay Marlins side up and running to represent the Mid North/ Bay of Islands region in softball tournaments outside the district over the past year or two.
Last winter, during the ‘offseason’, and aware of softball’s growing interest, Rameka began campaigning heavily to lift the profile of the sport. But even he was still taken by surprise at the eventual response.
“It’s blinking awesome. I was putting everything on Facebook, trying to get some interest going. Now we’ve got teams starting a round robin.”
On behalf of organisers of the inaugural competition, Rameka said the plan was to ensure the sport was affordable so team fees are only $50 a season. However, all games in the opening season will be played in Kaikohe, which will enable organisers to measure the travelling teams’ commitment to the cause.
Rameka had little trepidation that the coming championship will be anything other than a success, judging by the turnout for the invitational pre- season friendly tournament in Kaikohe last Saturday, which was designed to help sides to get up to scratch ahead of the inaugural series starting at the end of the month.
“I think it was brilliant how many people turned up, [it was] just like days of old.”
Results from the event on October 17 were, women: Taiamai Tribe beat Kaikohe, Otaua Combined beat Kaikohe; and men: Keri Elite beat Taiamai Tribe, Kaikohe Rugby beat Taiamai Tribe.
Rameka said he wasn’t too concerned that growth of the game had yet to be acknowledged — never mind being given any form of support at all — by the governing bodies in either Auckland or New Zealand. At this point, he said everybody was happy to keep things at a grassroots level and see how it all panned out over summer.
Also thanked were a small core group of people who have been working behind the scenes to help get the project off the ground including Erin Rogers, Cynthia Beattie and Mel’s wife Del Rameka.