Following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria, softball will resume in Puerto Rico. With a total of seven club teams, the Superior National Men’s Softball League will open its 2017 Season with an innovative format within the new WIPR Television Cup.
“Softball will be the first top sport that will play after the impact of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We have made a great effort so that Puerto Ricans have sport as recreation and relief, keeping in mind that the entrance [to all games] will always be free,” said the president of Puerto Rico Softball, Tommy Velázquez, at the press conference.
The participating teams — Leones de Ponce, Mets de Guaynabo, Múcaros de Aguada, Maviceros de Juana Díaz, Mayagüez Indians, Peñuelas and Criollos de Caguas — will go to battle beginning on Sunday, 17 December at two venues, between Juana Díaz and Ponce.
For the safety of all athletes and spectators, all games will be limited to six runs per team with a time limit of two hours to avoid night games or having to travel on the dark unlit roads. Teams will also be prohibited from trading or signing new players once the competition begins, due to the short duration.
“For me it is reason for hope and motivation that the federations are resuming their commitments and activities after the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria. Many of the sports facilities in our country were destroyed. It is important to highlight the effort and dedication of the Softball Federation of Puerto Rico in taking the initiative to go out on the field to present a high caliber tournament such as the Men’s Federation Cup, “said Sara Rosario, President of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee.
For the first time in the history of the federation, every Sunday will be broadcast the first two games of the day (9:00am and 11:00am) on WIPR Channel 6.
“We are pleased to be able to resume the sports broadcasts that the public enjoys. We want to bring joy to our people and what better than through the broadcasting of these softball games, making known the work of the League, as well as the opportunity to closely monitor the performance of each player,” said the President of the Corporation for the Public Dissemination of Puerto Rico, Dr. Rafael Batista Cruz.
The WIPR Television Cup will be played in a round robin format before advancing into a page system for the playoffs. All matches will be held on Sundays beginning at 9:00 in the morning, with the playoffs beginning on 21 January 2018.