17/09/2024 - 21/09/2024


Hosted by: USA
XVIII Men's Softball World Cup 2024 - Group C - Official Payoff
Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa to contest two tickets to WBSC Men's Softball World Cup
27/02/2024 2 Minute Read

Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa to contest two tickets to WBSC Men's Softball World Cup

The WBSC Men's Softball World Cup Africa Qualifier is set to begin on Thursday in Limpopo, South Africa.

From Thursday 29 February to Saturday 2 March, world No. 16 South Africa will host No. 33 Botswana and Lesotho in the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup Africa Qualifier, which will award two tickets to the biggest men's softball tournament in the world. The eight games will be played in Limpopo, South Africa, with the opening ceremony on Friday at noon.

The tournament will open with a double round robin on Thursday and Friday. The top team in the standings will advance to the final and qualify for the World Cup, while the second and third place finishers will meet on Saturday in the semifinals with a spot in the World Cup, and the African tournament final, at stake. The final is scheduled on Saturday at 3 p.m. local time.

The schedule is as follows:

February 29

  • Game 1 - 10:00 South Africa vs Lesotho 
  • Game 2- 13:00 Lesotho vs Botswana 
  • Game 3 - 16:00 South Africa vs Botswana 

March 1 

  • Game 4 - 10:00 Botswana vs Lesotho 
  • Game 5 - 13:00 Lesotho vs South Africa 
  • Game 6 - 16:00 Botswana vs South Africa 

March 2

  • Game 7 - 11:00 3rd Place vs 2nd Place
  • Game 8 FINAL - 15:00 1st Place vs Winner Game 7 

Two years ago, South Africa defeated Botswana, 4-3, in the final of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup African Qualifier, securing the only available spot for the African continent in the 2022 World Cup. With the new two-stage format, involving a total of 18 participating teams, Africa now receives an additional ticket for the World Cup.

South Africa, the defending African champions, are aiming to qualify for their 12th World Cup appearance, which would mark their fourth consecutive participation. The green squad has participated in eight of the last nine World Cups; their only absence occurring during the 2015 championship in Saskatoon, Canada, interrupting a streak of five consecutive appearances. Their best performance to date was a seventh-place finish in 1976 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

Botswana has participated in the World Cup eight times, achieving their highest position of eighth place in Whitehorse, Canada, in 2017. From 1992 to 2009, Botswana appeared in five consecutive World Cups. They are eager to return to the global stage after missing out on the 2022 World Cup.

Lesotho has only participated in the World Cup once, 24 years ago in 2000, when the tournament was hosted by South Africa. They finished in 16th place with a 0-7 record in that tournament. The continental event presents Lesotho with an opportunity to re-enter the WBSC/KONAMI Men's Softball World Ranking. Their last appearance in the ranking was on December 31, 2022; however, their points from the 2019 African Championship expired four months later.

A total of 11 teams out of 18 have been confirmed for the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup Group Stage: 

  • Africa (2) TBD
  • Americas (5) TBD
  • Asia (3) No. 2 Japan, No. 11 Singapore, No. 14 Philippines
  • Europe (2) No. 5 Czechia, No. 17 Netherlands
  • Oceania (2) No. 1 Australia, No. 8 New Zealand
  • Hosts (3) No. 3 Canada, No. 6 USA, No. 9 Mexico
  • Wild Card (1) No. 24 Hong Kong, China

The two African qualified nations will be placed in Groups B and C. The final composition of the groups will be announced after the completion of the two remaining continental qualifiers. The Americas Qualifier will take place from 7 to 14 April in Sincelejo, Colombia.