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Updated: February 15, 2018
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(Story & Photos by Marco Stoovelaar)

Mariana Prins named umpire for Softball World Championship

LAUSANNE (Zwitserland) - Mariana Prins-Atanasova is one of 18 umpires named to officiate during this years World Championship Softball Women, which will be held in Chiba (Japan), August 2-12. The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced the names of the umpiring crew on Thursday (February 15).

...Mariana Prins-Atanasova...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At the Championship, Europe will also be represented by veteran Italian umpire Gianluca Magnani and Bridget Cameron from Great Britain.

The WBSC also announced the names of 14 umpires, who have been assigned for the 12th Junior Men's Softball World Championship, which will take place in Prince Albert (Canada), July 7-15. There, only one European umpire will get into action, being Jan Hora from the Czech Republic.

In total, umpires from 18 different countries had been assigned to these two global events. Both will be the final edition of the World Championship in its current format. Hereafter, the events will be renamed and restructured into Softball World Cup in its next edition.

Canadian Bob Stanton will be the Umpire-in-Chief for both events. Stanton is the WBSC Softball Director of Umpires and makes the appointments for the international events. Haruhi Goto (Japan) and Wayne Saunders (New Zealand) have been named Assistant Umpire-in-Chief for the Women's Championship in Japan. The Assistant UIC for Canada will be named later.

...Gianluca Magnani...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
It will be the first time for Mariana Prins and Bridget Cameron to officiate during a World Championship. This brings the total to 37 European umpires, representing twelve countries, who have been active at a World Championship at the senior-level since 1974. In 2015, the two were appointed as umpire for the World Junior Softball Championship in Oklahoma City (USA).

For Gianluca Magnani, this will be his fifth World Championship, which is the most for any European umpire. Magnani made his debut in 2006 when the Championship was held in Beijing (China). Hereafter, he also was an umpire in the previous three tournaments in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Italian is one of only seven European umpires to have been appointed for two or more World Championships. Giuseppe Laudani, also from Italy, umpired at three tournaments. Five others officiated at two World Championships: Raoul Machalet (Germany), Carolien Stadhouders, Rob Veldkamp, Peter Vonk and Dries de Zwaan (all Netherlands).

When Mariana Prins steps onto the field in Japan, it will be a special moment. In 1982, her husband André Prins also represented the Netherlands at a World Championship when the event was held in Taiwan. To make it even more unique, both also have been an umpire during a Junior World Championship, André in 1981, Mariana in 2015.

Mariana Prins becomes the tenth Dutch umpire to be appointed for a World Championship, which is the most for any European country. The first Dutch umpire at a World Championship was Dries de Zwaan in 1974 when the event was held in Stratford (USA). De Zwaan also was an umpire four years later in El Salvador. Hereafter, André Prins (1982), Bert Brebde (1986), René Sterkenburg (1994), Marlies Struyvé (1998), Carolien Stadhouders (2002, 2010), Peter Vonk (2010, 2016), Rob Veldkamp (2012, 2014) and Albert Tolen (2014) followed. Italy follows with seven and the Czech Republic with six. Austria, France, Great Britain, Spain and Sweden had two umpires at the 'Worlds', while Belgium, Croatia, Denmark and Germany had one.

European Umpires on World Championships Softball
1965 - Melbourne (Australia).1998 - Fujinomiaya (Japan).2014 - Haarlem (Netherlands)
None.Jens JakobsenDenmark.Mauro FioriniItaly
1970 - Osaka (Japan).Alfonso OlivieriItaly.Raoul MachaletGermany
None.Marlies StruyvéNetherlands.Gianluca MagnaniItaly
1974 - Stratford (USA).Radomir TumaItaly.Manfred SzieberAustria
Alfio d'AprileItaly.2002 - Saskatoon (Canada).Albert TolenNetherlands
Dries de ZwaanNetherlands.Giuseppe LaudaniItaly.Rob VeldkampNetherlands
1978 - San Salvador (El Salvador).Carolien StadhoudersNetherlands.Michal ŽidekCzech Rep.
Dries de ZwaanNetherlands.Pavel VychodskyCzech Rep..2016 - Surrey (Canada)
1982 - Taipei (Taiwan).2006 - Beijing (China).Sabrina FabriziItaly
Goran HasselstromSweden.Virginia BatsFrance.Jan HoraCzech Rep.
André PrinsNetherlands.Duncan MacLeanGreat Britain.Franck LaurierFrance
1986 - Auckland (New Zealand).Gianluca MagnaniItaly.Raoul MachaletGermany
Bert BrebdeNetherlands.2010 - Caracas (Venezuela).Gianluca MagnaniItaly
1990 - Normal (USA).Pavel KaspercikCzech Rep..Luis PardoSpain
Giuseppe LaudaniItaly.Tomislav OzimecCroatia.Beate UtzigAustria
1994 - St. John's (Canada).Andrea MarconItaly.Peter VonkNetherlands
Giuseppe LaudaniItaly.Carolien StadhoudersNetherlands.2018 - Chiba (Japan)
Geri LindbergSweden.Peter VonkNetherlands.Bridget CameronGreat Britain
Pavel PracharCzech Rep..2012 - Whitehorse (Canada).Gianluca MagnaniItaly
René SterkenburgNetherlands.Juan MaestreSpain.Mariana PrinsNetherlands
Gilbert TobbackBelgium.Gianluca MagnaniItaly.
.Rob VeldkampNetherlands.

(February 15)

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