(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)
Baseball Week Haarlem this year with five instead of six teams; Organizing Committee follows developments
HAARLEM (Neth.) -
The field of partipating teams will be five instead of the announced six in the 30th edition of the bi-annual international Baseball Week Haarlem, as reported by the Haarlems Dagblad-newspaper on Monday (March 16).
As of now, the event is scheduled to start on Friday, June 26 and end on Sunday, July 5.
The National Team of the Netherlands will be joined by representative teams from Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Germany and Japan.
Two years ago, Japan won the tournament for the fourth time.
Initially, it was planned to have a sixth team in the tournament, preferably from the USA.
In the Haarlems Dagblad, Tournament-President Guus van Dee said:
,,We had almost reached an agreement with the strong team of San Diego State University.
However, local governments installed a travel-ban, as playing baseball abroad will be considered as a study trip and is not allowed under the current circumstances.
We do have some contacts with Mexico, but at the moment, no country wants to make real commitment.
But as organizing committee, we had now said that we will stop searching for a sixth team''.
As of now, the organizing committee continues its preparations for the tournament, but it also knows that there will come a moment to decide whether or not the event will go on.
On Tuesday (March 17), the Organizing Committee published the following statement:
,,The Honkbalweek Haarlem is continually monitoring the developments concerning the Corona virus.
Our government has recently (15/03/2020) imposed stricter regulations which forbid any social activities up to and including 6th April.
This means that we have to take this new reality into consideration in our preparations.
The organizing committee is busy working on various scenarios should these regulations extend beyond 6th April.
The safety of our volunteers, teams and our visitors remains our top priority at all times.
Check our website www.honkbalweek.nl and social media for updates.
For now: take good care of yourself and each other #staysafe''.
It will be the fourteenth time that five teams will participate.
From 1974 though 1998, there were always five participants in eleven of the twelve tournaments organized then.
The lone exeption was 1992 when six teams participated.
From 2000 on, six teams have participated in seven of the ten Haarlem Baseball Weeks played since then.
Except for three tournaments.
In 2010 and 2016, five teams participated, in 2014 four.
During the first edition in 1961, six teams also participated.
But from 1963 on, only four teams participated in the next five tournaments.
In 1972, there were seven participating teams, which were divided into two pools, one of four and one of three teams.
Each pool played its own tournament back then.