Today marks 100 days to go until the first pitch of the XII WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship.
The excitement continues to grow as the city of Prince Albert, Canada, prepares to host the city’s biggest sporting event to date.
A total of 14 teams will compete in the tournament:
- Africa: South Africa
- Americas: Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Venezuela
- Asia: Hong Kong, India, Japan
- Europe: Czech Republic, Denmark
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Guatemala and Hong Kong National Teams will make their historic debut in the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship.
The world championship tournament will be played in the Prime Ministers’ Park in Prince Albert, 7-15 July. This venue will be a full-service softball complex with two international caliber softball diamonds and two practice diamonds.
Prime Ministers’ Park is Prince Albert’s premier outdoor athletic facility. The Park has played host and has been the main venue for local, western, and national tournaments and events.
The city of Prince Albert spent $1.5 million CAD to upgrade the Prime Ministers Park facility. The entire complex features four diamonds with lights on three fields, while each of the four diamonds have also been renamed: Rotary Field (new diamond), Kinsmen Field (formerly PMP#2), Optimist Field (formerly PMP #1) and Shaye Amundson Field (formerly PMP#3).
Japan is the reigning champion, after their second Junior Men’s World Championship title in Midland 2016. The Japanese have played five finals in the history of this event, being a usual candidate for the title.
Australia (four times), Argentina (two), New Zealand (two) and Canada (one), are the other four winning nations in the Junior Men’s World Championship. All of them are called to be main contenders again in Prince Albert, looking to regain the world supremacy.
This will be the seventh time Canada hosts the Junior Men’s World Championship, including the first event in Edmonton, in 1981, where Japan crowned champions over the U.S. Whitehorse and Summerside hosted the tournament twice each, while St. Johns received the world in 1997. The other hosts countries have been USA (Fargo, 1985; Midland, 2016); New Zealand (Auckland, 1993); Australia (Blacktown, 2001); and Argentina (Parana, 2012).
The tickets for the tournament are already on sale. The Early Bird Tournament passes cost $150 CAD, while the regular passes will cost $200 CAD. Children under 12, accompanied by their parents, are free of charge.
Pools and schedule of games will be announced later.
This will be the last U-19 World Championship, since the WBSC Executive Board approved last weekend a restructuration of the age categories of the Softball World Cups. Starting in 2020, the U-19 will become U-18.