WBSC Men's Softball World Cup - A Tournament to Remember

WBSC Men's Softball World Cup - A Tournament to Remember
The WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022 featured impressive global media coverage, especially in the Philippines where the highlights of their national team's victory over Denmark passed 1.2m views on Facebook.

This time last week, the Australia Men's Softball National team was celebrating its second WBSC Men's Softball World Cup title after beating Canada in a super finale to the 2022 edition at Rosedale Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

And while the celebrations in Australia were huge, there was also plenty to celebrate regarding the 17th edition of the premier international men's softball tournament.

Celebration of Softball

As WBSC Softball Division Board Chairman Craig Cress said, the world had been treated to "world class softball" and "it was a wonderful way for international men’s softball to return to the diamond after so many months away".

All the teams had provided "great entertainment and drama, as they battled For the Title of World Champion. Congratulations to the winners Australia and to all teams who made this 17th edition of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup such a memorable tournament."

Cress made a special mention to the field crews for making softball possible during the event considering the tricky weather and gave a "big thank you" to all the fans and supporters who had been watching via GameTime.sport around the world and in attendance. "Our sport has a great following and it’s that passionate support from all of you which helps our athletes perform on the global stage and inspire the future generations," Cress said.

Memorable Media

In addition to the record-breaking viewer numbers via GameTime, the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022 featured impressive global media coverage, especially in the Philippines where the highlights of their national team's victory over Denmark passed 1.2m views on Facebook. It was one of two games the Philippines won as they finished 10th, their best finish since 2009.

The WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022 was the first ever to have an indigenous host broadcaster and Whakaata Māori TV did an outstanding job. While there was also the celebration of the pilgrims, the heroes of New Zealand's first ever world title in 1976 in Lower Hutt as well as the 2013 world champions to cap a memorable week for New Zealand's heroes of the past.

There were some emotional international headlines as well, with world champion coach Julio Gamarci, who lead Argentina to three World Championships - two at junior level and one at the senior level in 2019 and a bronze medal in New Zealand, retiring, along with his captain and 2019 skipper Bruno Motroni.

Close Competition

The new format, where only 12 teams qualified for the grand finale in Auckland, created increased competition for the honour of becoming world champion. Eighteen games out of 30 in the Opening Round were won by a margin of six runs or less (12 of those by a margin of three runs or less). While the winning margin in the Super Round was four (once), three (five times), two (three times) and one (twice). During the tournament, there were five games which went into extra innings.

And the competition will get even better going forward with the next World Cup featuring more teams (18), spread across three groups of six before eight teams advance to the Finals.

Hosts New Zealand were probably one of the surprise packages. Having won the world title the most number of times (seven), big things were expected of the Black Sox on home soil but they failed to add to their medal collection, recording their worst finish ever in eighth. Losses to USA and Argentina as well as a 1-0 defeat to Cuba in the Opening Round put paid to their hopes of finishing on the podium and defeat to Japan and a 2-1 win over Denmark capped a less-than inspiring performance.

Canada, with its silver medal, has now won the most of WBSC Men's Softball World Cup medals (14) - four gold, six silver, four bronze - one ahead of New Zealand (13) - seven gold, four silver, two gold

Cuba's performance, where they had disrupted preparation, to finish fifth was another highlight along with USA's first podium finish in 22 years.

Fair Play

The wonderful spirit of the tournament was encapsulated by many gestures of fair play by the athletes on the field and by the gesture of one team – Canada, who welcomed bat girl Sarah McMillan onto the podium to celebrate their success during the Awarding Ceremony.

Sarah, aged 14, volunteered to be a bat girl for the World Cup in Auckland and she said Canada made her feel welcome from Day One by not only giving her clothing and souvenirs to look part of the team, but also including her in many facets of their warm-ups, providing her with valuable training tips and getting her to complete numerous activities during games.

“The experience of being a bat girl in a Softball World Cup was great, where I learned a lot and would happily do it again and recommend others my age to do also,” said Sarah, who plays as a pitcher for her local Roosters Softball Club and has represented the North Harbour province since she was 10. “I was lucky to receive pins from the Canadian and other teams, along with signatures and other merchandise, which I will be able to keep as a memory of the 2022 World Cup.

“The best part was getting to know my assigned team (Canada) and learning new skills, which was a very good experience. The Canadian team not only gave me tips about general softball, but they also helped me on skills I needed to work on, which was appreciated.”

Men’s Softball World Cup by the numbers

  • 2 Co-Chairs - Fay Freeman and Bob Levelloff
  • 10 Shut Outs
  • 14 Age of the deejay
  • 17 Edition of the Men's Softball World Cup
  • 18 Age of youngest player - Magnus Kirstein (DEN)
  • 31 Complete Games
  • 35 Technical Commissions, Umpires and Scores
  • 44 Age of oldest player - Alain Roman (CUB)
  • 59 Stolen Bases
  • 71 Home Runs
  • 89 Double Plays
  • 130 Volunteers
  • 191 Athletes
  • 384 Runs
  • 584 Hits
  • 911 Strike Outs
  • 1.2m Views of the most popular video - Philippines v Denmark highlights