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Updated: March 28, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Mastenbroek Tournament cancelled due to cold weather!
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - The 31st edition of the annual and international J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament in Enschede has been cancelled! Organising club Tex Town Tigers announced the decision on Thursday-afternoon, after some of the (foreign) softball-teams withdraw due to the current cold weather conditions. Most of the Dutch teams that were to participate didn't practice or play outdoors yet due to the current cold weather, making it more or less irresponsible to play the 3-day event in the upcoming Easter Weekend.

It marks the first time in its long history that the event, which also hosts a baseball-tournament, has been cancelled due to weather conditions, while being organized at the current site since 1997. In previous years, temperatures also have been low sometimes, but the current cold Eastern-wind makes the conditions unfavorable to play.

So, the webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News did some research. The lowest average temperature in the area on one of the game days during the tournament since 1999 was measured on April 6, 2008 (Day 3) when it was only 3,7 degrees Celsius (38,6 Fahrenheit). But, as mentioned, it wasn't as cold as it is currently in the Netherlands. The highest average temperature was on April 2, 2011 (Day 2) when it was 16,4 Celsius (61,5 F), which was the highest temperature since April 2, 1999 (Day 1) when it was 14,5 C (58,1 F). Since 1999, only two of the tournaments held since then were played entirely under dry weather conditions, which was in 2005 and 2007. During all other tournaments in the last 14 years it rained (sometimes minor, sometimes heavy) on at least one of the game-days. The tournament always took place in the final weekend of March or first weekend of April or a combination of these dates.

The current cold weather sets records almost daily. March 24 was the coldest March 24 ever, breaking the record set in 1916 (which was 2,9 C or 37,2 F). In recent days, the wind-chill has been between -10 and -16 Celsius (between 14 and 3.2 F). Since 1952, it hasn't been as cold this late in March as currently in the Netherlands. For the coming five days, an average temperature between 0,6 and 0,9 Celsius (33 F) is predicted, which will break the record for this period set in 1922 (which was 1,2 Celsius or 34.1 Fahrenheit). Combined with the wind, this will result in a wind-chill of -5 Celsius (23 F).

Participating this year in the softball-tournament were four foreign teams: SK Joudrs Praha, Eagles Praha (both Czech Republic), Carrousel (Russia) and the National Team from Germany. The four other teams were the big league-squad of Hotel Ambassador c.c. Terrasvogels, Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem, Olympia Haarlem and host Tex Town Tigers. Terrasvogels had won the previous two editions and won the event nine teams since 1997 when it was first held on 'De Kroedkotten' (or 'Cottonfields'), the current site of Tex Town Tigers. This Enschede-based club first organized the event in 1982 at its former complex at Stadsveld-Noord.

Dutch champion Alcmaria Victrix and Gryphons initially also were to participate, but they withdraw from the event early February.

The baseball-teams of Dutch clubs Storks, Double Stars, Blue Devils and host Tex Town Tigers all decided to travel to Enschede, meaning their tournament will be played. But Tex Town Tigers announced that now becomes a club-tournament and is no part of the Mastenbroek Tournament, which is a combined baseball- and softball-tournament.

The event is named after J.C.J. Mastenbroek, who in 1955 was named director of the Sports- and Recreation Affairs in the municipality of Enschede. Mr. Mastenbroek took the initiative to introduce baseball and softball (amongst some other sports) on schools in Enschede. As a result, two Enschede-based baseball- and softball-clubs were founded, which eventually merged into Tex Town Tigers, which named Mr. Mastenbroek Honorary Member.

(March 28)

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