A Christchurch man caught masturbating at a girls softball game has appeared in court today.

Martin Allan Graham, 35, had been smoking cannabis when he showed up at a softball tournament at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch about 5pm on March 26.

The game involved girls aged between 13 and 17 and police say there were a lot of young children and families watching on.

Christchurch District Court heard today that an unemployed Graham put his hands down his pants and started rubbing himself.

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"He continued to watch the young girls whilst masturbating for approximately five minutes until he was interrupted by a concerned member of the public," the police summary of facts says.

Graham ran off but was later caught by police, who found 0.82 grams of cannabis on him.

He told police that he was "w****** at the park" but did not show his genitals to anyone.

Graham was charged with committing an indecent act and possession of cannabis.

He pleaded guilty today.

Judge Gary MacAskill did not consider a restorative justice conference to be appropriate.

He called for reports and remanded Graham on bail to be sentenced on July 12.