International Pride Softball and ASANA Affiliations

2022 was a huge year for us! We built this adult slow pitch softball league as a special place for our LGBTQIA+ and allied community to play our sport together in a safe and respectful environment, while participating in charitable initiatives and enabling funding of other local 501(c)(3) organizations that directly benefit citizens of our city and county. We dreamed big; that we could gain affiliation with the two main national amateur softball associations that focus on LGBT+ softball; after we presented Oak City Softball League to ASANA in April, and NAGAAA (now International Pride Softball) in August, commissioners from member cities across the United States and Canada (along with the executive boards) voted us in as Raleigh’s only member city association for both organizations — we couldn’t be more proud and grateful!

We view these affiliations as companions, yet they are distinct — ASANA is a bit more narrowly centered on our Women’s+ Division, whereas our International Pride Softball membership encompasses all players in our league, in both divisions. At the player level, participation in tournaments associated with both of these organizations is entirely optional; teams that form to play in these tournaments are built on player interest and are subject to any tournament team composition rules that may exist, as each event may have separate and unique requirements.

International Pride Softball
We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Oak City Softball League is Raleigh’s exclusive member city organization of International Pride Softball (formerly known as North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance – NAGAAA). We presented the story of our league and what we have built together in Raleigh to NAGAAA member city representatives and the executive board at the summer meetings in advance of the Gay Softball World Series in Dallas, and we were voted in, along with our great friends in Huntsville (AL), Hamilton (ON), and Sioux Falls (SD). International Pride Softball is the premier international LGBTQIA+ slow pitch softball association, and continues to grow; we are so grateful to have this affiliation and we are excitedly looking forward to continue to introduce our city, our league, and our players to the many other amazing member city leagues in this organization!

(Upper left): Oak City Softball League Commissioner Brian Morris delivers a presentation in Dallas, TX, about our league to NAGAAA member city delegates from across the country; joined by league Sergeant at Arms Jose Bonilla and Assistant Commissioner Josh Kriger, we successfully pitched our league and became NAGAAA’s 52nd member city on August 28, 2022. (Upper right): We joined our friends from Sioux Falls (SD), Huntsville (AL), and Hamilton (ON) as new member cities, and carried flags onstage at the opening ceremony of the Gay Softball World Series on August 29, 2022. (Bottom image): Commissioners from all four new member cities joined NAGAAA’s executive board (blue shirts) onstage for a group photo.

ASANA (Amateur Sports Alliance of North America)
With the formation of our Women’s+ Division in Spring 2022, we determined we had to reach for ASANA membership. There is no higher platform for amateur women’s+ softball, so it stands to reason that we were (and remain) over the moon that our league was voted in in April by city commissioners across North America, as well as ASANA leadership. Oak City Softball League women’s+ players now represent Raleigh on the national stage, eligible to play in member city tournaments as well as the ASANA World Series, which this year took place in DC in August. We sent an all association team comprised of members of our Women’s+ Division’s original 3 teams from Spring 2022, who spent a week in tournament play with teams from across the nation and beyond. We plan on holding a national-level tournament with participation by other ASANA member cities in June 2023!

We are so incredibly proud of the Misfits, our first Women’s+ all-association travel team, who represented our league, our city, and our state at the ASANA World Series in August 2022 in Washington, DC. Our Women’s+ Division co-directors, Melissa (team MVP!) and Lee Simonetti (pictured batting, top left), attended ASANA delegate meetings the first part of the week, then the team arrived to get down to business on the field; they played teams from across the country, had a great time, and they are most definitely already planning for the next ASANA World Series, in San Diego in 2023!