Hervey Bay's new-look softball competition finally starts
IT IS the day Hervey Bay Softball Association's members have waited for.
Players have participated in small, local, seasons for the past few years, but the addition of three Bundaberg- based clubs has turned it into one of the region's biggest competitions.
Bargara, Brothers United and The Waves shocked the Wide Bay's softball world when they chose to leave the Bundaberg Softball Association and affiliate with Hervey Bay. The decision gutted the BSA's competition, but has given Hervey Bay Softball one of the region's broadest participation bases.
Hervey Bay Softball president Donna Jenkins said she was excited for the first ball of the new-look season to be pitched.
"We've got long-term players who are excited about the new challenges and competitions,” she said.
Two of the biggest coups are the addition of the men's competition, and inclusion of Bundaberg's defending A-grade women's premiers.
"It'd be three years or so since we've had both men's and women's at the same time,” Jenkins said.
"We've tried to get men's competitions going but they've only lasted a few weeks due to numbers.”
An added bonus to the Bundaberg clubs' inclusion is all players from Waves, Brothers and Bargara will be eligible to represent Hervey Bay at rep level.
"It means we should have some pretty strong teams,” Jenkins said.
Hervey Bay will face Bundaberg's defending premiers Bargara Bullets in the first women's A-grade game at 3.05pm, while the clubs' men's teams will play at the same time. Waves face Brothers United in the other games at Bundaberg.
The under-12s will start the diamond's program at 9am, with games in the U17s, U14s and B-grade to follow.
Hervey Bay's U12s and the association's T Ball competitions are held on Thursday afternoons.
Louise Cole, who acted as a liaison for the Bundaberg clubs, said she hoped the change created a positive atmosphere for players,