2020: U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup - Australia, New Zealand confirmed, Africa to determine last two teams

2020: U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup - Australia, New Zealand confirmed, Africa to determine last two teams
13/01/2020
Villa María del Triunfo Sports Complex, venue of the Pan American Games Lima 2019 softball competition, will be the stage for the first edition of the U-18 Women's Softball World Cup, which replaces the U-19 age category.

Australia and New Zealand have been confirmed as the 13th and 14th teams to participate in the inaugural U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup following a decision by the WBSC Oceania Executive, on the back of the cancellation of the region's qualification tournament - due to be held in Canberra, Australia in February - after an outbreak of measles in American Samoa.

The top two Oceania ranked teams join USA, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Peru, Japan, Chinese Taipei, China, the Philippines, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic at the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, which will be held in Lima, Peru, from 21-30 August, with the world’s best 16 countries in the U-18 category competing For the Title of World Champion.

February will finalise the last two teams to participate in the tournament with a U-18 Women’s Softball Regional Qualification event due to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 14-15 February.

The U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup replaces the U-19 Women’s Softball World Championship after 13 editions, as part of a strategic decision by the WBSC Executive Board to boost the Softball World Cup™ brand and further leverage the sport’s popularity among youth.  

It also marks the first time a WBSC Women's Softball World Cup will be held in Latin America. The last men's tournament in Latin America was the U-19 Men’s Softball World Championship played in Argentina in 2012.

Villa María del Triunfo Sports Complex, the venue of the Pan American Games Lima 2019 softball competition, will be the stage for tomorrow's stars of international women's softball.

Three-time world champions and world No. 1 USA qualified at the U-17 Pan American Championship, along with Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico and Peru as the top five teams in the Americas.

Japan, Chinese Taipei and China clinched their tickets to the World Cup as the top three nations of the inaugural U-17 Women Softball Asia Cup, held at the Yilong Baseball-Softball Stadium in Guizhou, China. The Philippines, fourth place in the qualifier, received a wild card.

While Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic will be the European representatives in the World Cup based on continental ranking.

Last year, USA claimed the U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup title in Irvine, California, USA to become the first country to three-peat. They beat Japan, 4-3, in a thrilling eight-innings final.

Overall USA has won the Junior Women’s World Championship seven times while Japan, the winner of the inaugural youth softball world championship in 1981 in Edmonton, Canada, has been victorious five times - the last one in 2013. In 1985 in Fargo, Dakota, USA, China claimed their only world championship in the youth category.

USA and Japan have faced off in the final 11 times, including the last 10, and individually have reached the final in 12 events. China has played the other two final games, in 1985 and 1987, against Japan and USA respectively. Australia have completed the podium five times while Chinese Taipei and Puerto Rico have won the bronze medal twice and Canada, China, Japan and USA having all finished in third place once.

This event has been played in the five Olympic continents, including Africa (Cape Town, South Africa, 2011); Asia (Taipei, Chinese Taipei, 1999; Nanjing, China, 2003); Europe (Enschede, the Netherlands, 2007); and Oceania (Adelaide, Australia, 1991). The tournament has been held in the Americas eight times; however, the 2020 World Cup in Lima, Peru, will be the first edition played in a Latin American country.