The Golden Homes New Zealand Black Sox finished the Tradestaff WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup in eighth position with 4 wins and 4 losses.
It wasn't to be for our mighty Black Sox, even though we all hoped they would finish higher and play on the last day of the championship. The World Cup has shown the strength of the international game, undoubtedly the strongest field to ever compete at a world championship.
We are a proud softball community and are honoured to have the Black Sox represent us on international stage We have plenty to be grateful for with such young talent and bright futures ahead.
The Black Sox continue to remain the most successful men’s team in the history of the game with 7 world titles to their name. Wining a world title doesn’t happen by chance and the Black Sox know how to achieve this feat more than any other nation. The Black Sox will rise again.
Moving forward a full review will be undertaken to assess, identify strengths and weaknesses of the campaign. Once a review has been conducted Softball NZ will advertise to appoint key positions to oversee a campaign through to 2025. Advertising is likely to commence early February 2023.
We now look ahead to the 2025 campaign qualification process, is as follows:
The following analysis was written by Stuff writer Tony Smith (thank you Tony!)
Black Sox softballers see hope for future despite disappointing World Cup results
Joel Evans - the Black Sox’s best batter at the Softball World Cup - will take time to evaluate his own future , but he’s convinced the young team will bounce back from current disappointment.
The Black Sox finished eighth - outside the medals for the second successive series - at the World Cup in Auckland.
Evans topped the team’s batting averages with .467, a home run, two doubles and six RBIs (runs batted in) and he also made a successful transition from second base to third.
The 31-year-old Hutt Valley stalwart, who hit the final-winning grand slam home run in New Zealand’s last title victory in 2017 - admitted he had earlier been thinking about hanging up his Black Sox cap at the end of this tournament.
How the Black Sox can arrest their softball World Cup slide from grace
A concerted push must be made to get more international competition for the Black Sox and improve the domestic game after back-to-back Softball World Cup failures.
The seven-time world champions have crashed to their worst finish after failing to make the medals round in Auckland this week.
The Black Sox’s lowest previous placing was fifth - at the second world championships in Oklahoma City in 1968.
They are set to finish eighth this time after losing three games in Pool A preliminaries - 7-0 against the United States, 11-5 to Argentina after leading 5-1, and 1-0 to Cuba, and to Japan 7-4 in the placement round.