Hawke's Bay could be among the first regions to use a national internet-based system that allows sports clubs to track participation numbers and the growth of their code.
Sport New Zealand is developing the new software as a way of procuring accurate data from clubs, so it can be shared with regional sports trusts and councils to help set priorities such as investment on sport infrastructure.
Sport Hawke's Bay chief executive Colin Stone met Sport New Zealand last week for an update on the project's progress.
"It's been challenging for us as a region to get robust data that sets out and plots the particular trends which show where people are participating in sport.
"That information is vitally important to us, and for councils who are looking to meet the needs of their communities around providing facilities for sports and investment for facility development."
Mr Stone presented Sport Hawke's Bay's annual report to the Hastings District Council recently, where he outlined the problems sports clubs had reporting their participation rates.
"The information we are getting is variable, probably because people are using different methods and the fragility of some parts of the sector in terms of the capacity to be able to provide information of their clubs," he said.
The council heard some clubs had people dedicated to keeping good records of their code, while others struggled because they did not have volunteers with the time to devote.
The new national software program would provide an easy-to-use, streamlined system for clubs to use.
Mr Stone said Hawke's Bay would be "one of the first cabs off the rank" to use the software being tested by Sport New Zealand, which could be released by May next year.
Saints softball club secretary and treasurer Rose Cooper said the club kept "strict registration records," which were put into a catalogue at the beginning of each season in October.
The figures were reviewed following the summer break to see if any new players had joined teams.
"We are probably the biggest softball club in Hawke's Bay and we have a lot of volunteers who give their time to record the information and report back to our committee."
Ms Cooper said she would spend about 20 hours a week on administration duties while junior conveners would give up about 15 hours a week of their time.
Data on participation numbers was shared with the sport's regional body, the Hawke's Bay Softball Association.