The Aussie Spirit compete in the ISF Women's World Championships, a fastpitch softball tournament for women's national teams held every 2 years. The inaugural event was hosted by Australia in 1965 with 5 teams participating where Australia won the gold medal. In 1994 the number of participating teams had increased to 28 and the ISF Code now legislates that the maximum number of teams that may participate is 16. There are qualifying tournaments that determine which countries will play in the ISF World Championship.
The Australian Men's Softball Team, Aussie Steelers, compete in the ISF Men's World Championships, a fastpitch Softball tournament for men's national teams held every 2 years. The inaugural event Men's World Championship was held in Mexico in 1966 where the USA won gold. Australia participated in their first Men's World Championship, held in Saskatoon, Canada, in 1988 finishing 7th. The Aussie Steelers returned to Saskatoon in 2009 and won gold, their second medal at a World Championship, the other being bronze in 2004.
The Australian U19 Women's Softball Team, Aussie Pride, compete in the ISF Junior Women's World Championship, a fastpitch tournament for the Under 19 women's national teams held every 2 years. The first Junior Women's World Championship was held in 1981 in Canada. Australia hosted the 4th Junior World Championship in South Australia in 1991. Aussie Pride has medaled at 3 World Championships, winning bronze in 1995, 2003 and 2007.
The Australian U19 Men's Softball Team, Aussie Colts, compete in the ISF Junior Men's World Championship, a fastpitch tournament for the U19 men's national teams held every 2 years. The first Junior Men's World Championships was held in 1981. However, Australia did not make their debut until 1993 at the Junior Men's World Championships in New Zealand, where they placed fourth. Since then, the Aussie Colts have won 4 consecutive World Championships in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2008.
Inbound and outbound tours are an important part of the preparation calendar for each of the respective national teams. Each of the Australian teams identify a number of events leading up to the World Championships that will play a crucial role in providing the experience and knowledge required to maintain the number 1 ranking. Inbound tours are equally important in providing the public an opportunity to see the national teams in action.
The World Masters Games, the summer games for sports people aged from 35 to 100+ years attracts of 50,000 athletes and fans worldwide. Governed by the International Masters Games Association, the Games promote and encourage mature athletes to play sport with a view to continuing lifelong participation and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sportspeople of all abilities take part. Predominantly, the Games host 28 sports across a number of venues of the host city. The event is held every 4 years and in the sector of traditional sports, the World Master Games are 2nd to the Olympic Games as an international event with the highest number of participants.
In the recent Sydney World Masters Games Softball was the 3rd largest participating sport with 190 Softball teams, 2,682 competitors, 1,031 games played, at 4 Sydney venues, over 8 days of competition.
The Pan Pacific Masters Games is a multisport event held biannually on the Gold Coast in November. The Games attract 10,000+ participants from 16+ different countries and every Australian State and Territory. Thirty-four sports are part of the Games program including Softball. Participants must meet the minimum age group for their respective sports which for majority is 30 years of age, no qualifying standards are required.
The World University Games are held every 2 years, comprises 10 compulsory sports and up to 3 optional sports determined by the host. These events are staged in various host cities around the world.
Australian University Sport selects a team to represent Australia in consultation with the relevant National Sporting Organisations. The Australian team will compete in the majority of the sports but not necessarily all of them.
Another element of university sport is the World University Championships a single sport event that complements the World University Games. Thus far there have been 2 World University Softball Championships held in 2004 and 2006.
The Canada Cup was established as annual international women's fast pitch development tournament. The Canada Cup later became known as one of the most competitive tournaments in the world and is now instrumental in preparing many international teams for the World Championships.
The Japan Cup is another highly regarded international women's fast pitch event that provides competing teams with further preparation for ISF World Championships. Australia regularly competes in this event against the top 5 nations in world.
Traditionally the World Cup of Softball is held in the US and hosted by the Amateur Softball Association; it is a 5 day event that attracts the top Softball nations in the world. It predominantly is a tournament that provides valuable match practice for teams and an opportunity for the US team to play in front of their fans.
Updated 27 March 2015
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