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Updated: March 24, 2020
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Baseball Week Haarlem 2020 cancelled!

HAARLEM (Neth.) - The 30th edition of the bi-annual international Baseball Week Haarlem has been cancelled, the Organzing Committee announced on Tuesday (March 24). The 5-team event was scheduled for June 26 through July 5.

On Monday, the Dutch Government announced stricter measures, including the prohibition of group-activities through June 1.

...The Baseball Week Haarlem will be back in 2020...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Today (Tuesday), the Organizing Committee issued the following statement:
,,The measures regarding the risk of infection of the coronavirus are far-reaching and have major consequences. During a press conference on 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Rutte informed the country of The Netherlands that the regulations to combat the spread of the virus need to be tightened even more. All events will be canceled until 1 June 2020.

The board of the HWH is aware of its responsibility and has therefore decided that the Honkbalweek Haarlem will not take place in 2020. All preparations have seized, effective immediately.

We understand that this is a disappointment to anyone who cares about baseball. It is also sad news for us. At the same time, we realize that there are more important issues at the moment. Health and safety have the highest priority.

The thirtieth edition of the Honkbalweek Haarlem, our beautiful sporting event, will now take place in 2020. We will once again go all-out, with a beautiful line up, full stands and you, our enthusiastic fans and visitors. We will be back. For you, by you, and with you!

We wish you a lot of strength, health and wisdom in these difficult times.

Please take care of each other,
Guus van Dee - Françoise Jansen - Dick Dortmundt - Paul Louman - Marleen Zwartkruis - Gerrit Ligtenberg - Léon Ravestein''

A week ago, preparations were still going on and it was then announced that this years field of partipating teams was to be five instead of six. Besides the National Team of the Netherlands, representative teams from Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Germany and Japan also would come to Haarlem. Two years ago, Japan won the tournament for the fourth time. But at the same time, Tournament-President Guus van Dee also stated a week ago that the Organizing Committee knew that it was approaching a moment to take a decision whether or not the event could go on.

The first Haarlem Baseball Week was organized in 1961. Next editions followed in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1971. Since 1972, the Baseball Week has been organized every two years.

The lone exception was 1986. In that year, the World Baseball Championship was organized for the first time in the Netherlands. Haarlem then was the main-site of the event. Games were also played in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven. Teams and officials all stayed in Amsterdam, where also the main press center was located.

(March 24)

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