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Updated: November 19, 2018
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)

WBSC introduces 2 new World Cups Softball; Netherlands gets Wild Card for World Championship Juniors

ROME (Italy) - The Executive Board of the Softball Division of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced on Monday (November 19) that two new youth World Cups will be launched in 2021. The Softball Board met at the Headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Italian capital Rome.

The Board also decided how the structure will look for upcoming events, as well as which countries will be represented in the World Cups for Softball Women and Softball Men. Earlier, it already had been decided to rename the World Championship into the World Cup. The new World Cups will be introduced in the U-15 (women's) and U-23 (men's) categories. It also was decided earlier that the World Cup U-19 in both women's and men's will be changed to U-18.

The new WBSC Women's Softball World Cups will be tournaments with sixteen participating teams. The participants will come via a Continental Qualifying system. The American continent will be represented by five countries. Three countries will come from both Europe and Asia. Africa and Oceania both will have two participating countries. The sixteenth team will be picked by the Board through a Wild Card. The format of these events will be decided on a later date.

The first WBSC Women's Softball World Cup will be played in 2021. The event replaces the WBSC Women's Softbal World Championship of which the last edition in that format was played this year in Chiba (Japan).

...ZOZO Marine Stadium in Chiba was the site of the Final Round...
...of the WBSC Women's World Championship this year in Japan...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
Next year, the last WBSC Women's Softball World Championship U-19 will be played in Irvine, California (USA), near Los Angeles. For that tournament, the Netherlands received a Wild Card to participate. In July this year, the Netherlands finished in fourth place at the European Championship U-19 in Italy after losing the Bronze Medal-game against the Czech Republic, 12-8. In the Final, Italy won the title by winning 7-3 against Ireland, which surprisingly had reached the Final. With that, Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic all qualified for the World Championship, which takes place August 11-17. Now, the Netherlands also will join the field of participants next year in California. This event will be succeeded by the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup U-18 starting in 2020.

The first WBSC Women's Softball World Cup U-15 is scheduled for 2021.

In Men Softball, twelve countries will participate in the new WBSC Men's Softball World Cups. It has been decided that the format for these tournaments will feature two groups of six teams. The top-three of these groups advance to the Super Round. The two best teams of the Super Round then will qualify for the Final. The American continent will be represented by four countries, Europe, Asia and Oceania will have two countries and Africa one. The twelfth team will be a Wild Card-team decided by the Board.

Next year, the WBSC Men's Softball World Championship will be played in the Czech Republic. That will mark the first time that the event will be held in Europe. Cuba received a Wild Card to participate in the event. The first WBSC Men's Softball World Cup will then take place in 2021.

In 2020, the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup U-18 is on the agenda. The first WBSC Men's Softball World Cup U-23 is scheduled for 2021.

(November 19)

Related Article:
Locations announced for European Softball-Tournaments. (November 17)

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