Softball South Africa President Mashilo Matsetela says the various SA national teams need to play against European opposition to close the gap on their more illustrious opponents.

Three SA national teams competed in the major tournaments recently but failed to impress.

SA is ranked number one in Africa, followed by Botswana who are their main competitor on the continent.

Softball SA is looking to implement a development programme that will go a long way in improving the standard of the sport in the country. Softball launched a men and women’s league earlier this year.

Matsetela says they will be looking to go scientific with high performance approach.

The women’s senior team failed to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after they failed to impress in a Euro/Africa qualifier tournament in Netherlands in July.

They lost three matches against the host nation Netherlands, Spain and Japan. Matsetela says it was a top level tournament.

The men’s senior team also went to compete in the World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, also in July.

They won only one match against Botswana and lost to Venezuela, Denmark, USA, Singapore, Australia, Netherlands, Canada and Mexico to finish in 12th position out of 16 teams.

The girl’s Under-19 team also took part at the World Championships in Irvine, USA last month, where they won one match against Botswana and lost four. – Report by Vincent Sitsula