The U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup, the most important national team event for this age category, will begin on Saturday with all 12 nations taking the field for the inaugural day. Four of the first six games will face teams that currently rank in the top 10 of the World Rankings.
No. 21 Guatemala and No. 11 Denmark will officially open the top youth softball event in the world, with the first of 50 games to be played at Colquhoun Park in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The first pitch is slated for 9:00am AEDT.
One hour later, No. 5 Australia and No. 7 Czech Republic will collide in the first game on the main field. The 2018 Junior Men’s World Champions will take on the top European nation in a cracking match up that could have major impact on the race to the Super Round.
Game number 3 of the tournament will be played on Field 2 at 11:30pm, with world No. 4 Canada facing No. 10 South Africa in the second game of Group A.
At 12:30pm, No. 6 USA and No. 8 Mexico will play on Field 1 in the latest installment of a long rivalry that could be the key game for their Super Round hopes.
The top three nations in the WBSC World Ranking will made their debut in the last two games of Day 1. On Field 2, No. 2 Argentina will take on Singapore at 2:00pm closing the first day in Group A; while the top ranked nation Japan and world No. 3 New Zealand will play the main game of the day at 5:30pm just after the Opening Ceremony.
All 12 teams were represented in Palmerston North as the 2020 U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup began with the official press conference today.
Coaches and players discussed the tournament with members of the media, with Australian coach Adam Rindfleish saying the standard will be high.
“There are no clear top running teams here, which is great for competition,” Rindfleish said.
“It’s going to be exciting to play everybody.”
All 50 games of the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup will be live streamed through the WBSC Official YouTube Channel, and Game Time.
The Junior Steelers schedule across the Opening Round is as follows, all times listed in AEDT.