On July 7th in Whitehorse, Canada the World Baseball and Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) Men’s Softball Championship begins. The teams have now been selected for the 15th edition of the tournament.
European teams will represent 1/5th of all participating teams in the pool of 20. The Czech Republic (8th), Denmark (13th), Great Britain (10th) and Israel (21st) will be joined by one other EU nation.
Two new countries have been added to this year’s tournament. Representing Europe will be Turkey. India has also been invited. The Championship represents the highest level of men’s softball played in the world.
Teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Oceanic will participate. Seeing men are only allowed to play baseball in the 2020 Olympics, and only women are permitted on the softball field, this is the closest most competitors will ever get to that level of competition. Played every two years, they’ll have one more shot closer to the games in 2019.
This year’s host is also the defending champion. Canada walked away the winner in 2015 and is looking to take advantage of the home field in this season’s tournament.
Great Britain, getting out ahead of the curve, announced their nearly full squad on Monday. Coach Head Coach Kevin Stockford has already named 15 to the team with two more to be determined closer to tournament time.
Umpires from the Czech Republic and Germany will also be officiating the event. This is the first time the Czech Republic has had two representatives in a single world championship. Both Vladimir Liss and Jiri Dostal will be representing the nation for the first time at the Men’s World Championship. From Germany Galip Soenmez, who also officiated in 2015, returns.