Softball Asia postpones WBSC World Cup qualifiers

Softball Asia postpones WBSC World Cup qualifiers
Softball Asia has confirmed the postponement of key events in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic including four softball Asia Cups which are qualifiers for WBSC events - U-12 Mixed, U-15 Women, U-23 Men and Senior Men.

Following the postponement of the WBSC 2020 Women’s and U-15 Baseball World Cups, and the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup by the WBSC earlier this month out of consideration of player, personnel and spectator health and safety measures against the spread of the coronavirus, Softball Asia has confirmed the postponement of all of its 2020 activities to later dates still to be confirmed, including four Asia Cups, which act as softball continental qualifiers for different WBSC World Cups.

The announcement comes after Tuesday's video conference, where WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari met with Baseball and Softball Continental Confederations to review the status of the WBSC event calendar. The continental body sent a notification to the National Federations on Saturday announcing the decision and the reasoning behind.

“The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and Softball Asia (SA) have been continuing to monitor the situation all over the world,” said Softball Asia President and WBSC Secretary General, Beng Choo Low. “The health, welfare, well-being and interest of our athletes, officials, spectator-fans, supporters and the entire Baseball-Softball family are WBSC and Softball Asia’s topmost priority.”

The first event of the year was the 1st Baseball5 Asia Cup tournament, a qualifier event for the inaugural WBSC Baseball5 World Cup in the open and youth categories. The event, originally scheduled from 25-28 June in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been postponed and will be tentatively played in mid-September or early-October, with the exact dates to be confirmed. Both the open and youth events will qualify the top three Asian teams to the WBSC Baseball5 World Cup in Mexico.

The four softball Asia Cups postponed are: U-12 Mixed, U-15 Women, U-23 Men and Senior Men. The new dates for all these events, which are qualifiers for the WBSC Softball World Cups, will be announced at a later stage.

The U-12 Mixed Softball Asia Cup, originally scheduled from 2-5 August in Taichung, Taiwan, will qualify the top nation to the WBSC U12 Mixed Team Softball World Cup to be held in Taiwan in 2021.

The Asian qualifier for the inaugural WBSC U-15 Women’s Softball World Cup has been also deferred. The Asia Cup will allocate two tickets for the newly created global softball age bracket. The event was slated to be played in Pingtan, Fuzhou, Fujian, China, from 8-13 August.

Meanwhile, the Men’s Asia Cup and the U-23 Men’s Softball Asia Cup, offering two berths for the respective WBSC World Cups, were postponed as well. The U-23 continental tournament could be played in late 2020 or early 2021, while the dates for the senior event will be announced at a later stage.

Softball Asia also postponed two seminars. The first one dedicated to training game officials (technical commissioners, scorers, umpires) and was planned for late September; while the other was a coaching seminar planned for November. Both courses have been deferred to later dates.