Australian Baseball Structure
In the 1950's, the Australian Baseball Federation, through its affiliates, introduced T-Ball to Australia. T-Ball is a simple modified version of baseball for young players who hit the ball of a tee. Both boys and girls in the 6-10 age group play T-Ball.
In the mid 1980's, T-Ball became part of the Australian Sports Commission Aussie Sports Program. T-Ball is now one of the most popular and most played modified junior sport played in Australia. For more information, visit the official website of Aussie T-Ball.
2001 saw the introduction of Yard Ball, a 4-on-4 baseball game designed to provide fans of all abilities an opportunity to play at tournament form baseball on reduced-sized fields.
Each event consists of a replica stadium field and 3-5 auxiliary fields. The site provides a baseball atmosphere with music, signage, baseball interactive, stadium bleachers and much more.
Yard Ball originated in the US in 1998 and currently tours 15 MLB markets and additional special event locations. MLB International's first Yard Ball pilot program conducted in January 2001 in Melbourne and Brisbane met with huge success.
Baseball in Australia has healthy participation and acceptance levels as the following statistics indicate:
· 35,000 registered junior and senior players (not including past players).
· In excess of 17,000 children play in recognised competitions.
· Of the 118 primary schools surveyed nationally, 60% had T-Ball sports included in their Aussie Sports Program.
· Government statistics list T-Ball as the top participatory sport in primary schools.
· Based on national statistics, over 500,000 persons attended ABL games in the 1993/94 season. Over 1 million persons watched baseball on television that year.
· Over 42,000 people attended the XIV Intercontinental Cup in Sydney in November 1999.
Spectator surveys indicate that Baseball supporters comprise:
· 34% - Children 6-14 years old
· 23% - Teenagers 14-18 years old
· 62% - Aged 14-29 years old
· 46% - Female
· 62% - Family units (one parent plus two to three children)
The Australian Baseball Federation (ABF) is the controlling body in Australia for all levels of baseball throughout the country.
The ABF is the sole representative of baseball in Australia and is recognised by:
· Australian National Government
· Australian Sports Commission (ASC)
· Major League Baseball (MLB)
· International Baseball Federation (IBAF)
· The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
· The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)
The Australian Baseball Federation consists of the Baseball Associations from seven Australian States and Territories. The seven Baseball Associations are:
· Australian Capital Territory Baseball Association (ACTBA)
· New South Wales Baseball League (NSWBL)
· Baseball Northern Territory (NTBL)
· Baseball Queensland (BQI)
· South Australian Baseball League (SABL)
· Victoria Baseball Association (VBA)
· Baseball Western Australia (BWA)
Each of the seven State Baseball Associations have the responsibility for the development of baseball in their particular State within Australia such as all levels of Junior Baseball, as well as Senior Baseball and as well as the competitions played within that particular State.
The Australian Baseball Federation, both in its own right and in partnership with its seven affiliated State Associations, therefore coordinates, directs, and assists in the development of baseball throughout Australia and in particular has responsibility for the following programs:
· T-Ball and Yard-Ball
· Rookie ball
· All forms of junior baseball
· National championships
· National teams
· Women's baseball
· Masters baseball
· International competition
· International liaison with all international baseball agencies
· Umpire programs
· Coaching programs
· Scoring programs
· Elite development
· College scholarship programs
· Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program
· There are over 80 baseballers attending college in the USA through college scholarship programs.
· There are over 80 Australian baseballers playing in Minor League Baseball in the USA.
· There are 28 Australian Baseballers who have reached the Major League level in the USA.
The primary focus of Australian Baseball Federation is:
(a) The development of baseball at all levels throughout Australia.
(b) National elite development.
(c) International liaison and representation of Australian Baseball at all International forums.
Baseball Australia's mission is to provide national leadership and a national framework for harnessing the energies of the many baseball people and organisations throughout Australia with the aim of building the business of baseball for the benefit of all.