France Launches Softball Tournament
The French Baseball and Softball Federation (FFBS) will host an international fastpitch softball tournament to help teams prepare for the European Championships.
Named the Achille Challenge, after former national team coach Claude Achille, the bi-annual tournament will be held June 16-18 at Boulouris Stadium. Located in the French Riviera city of Saint-Raphaël, the stadium is also home to the French National Softball Academy.
Tournament Director, and French Federation Baseball Softball (FFBS) Secretary General, Thierry Raphet said the tournament reflected “a desire to organize an international women’s softball competition in France and allow the French Federation Baseball Softball members to see the French National Softball Team in international-level games.”
The four team, nine game tournament will take a round robin format. Aside from the hosts, no other teams have been confirmed. The European Championships commences a week later in Bollate, Italy. The French women’s softball team is currently ranked 24th in the world.
In similar fashion FFBS created a baseball equivalent international tournament, the Yoshida Challenge. Likewise, that tournament is dedicated to former manager, Yoshio Yoshida who, during his six-year tenure steered the national team to their first appearance at Baseball World Cup in 1994. France won the inaugural tournament in 2014.
With the addition of the Achille Challenge, France will now host alternating baseball and softball events annually.