The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and Softball New Zealand today jointly announced the new dates of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup 2022.
The 12-team tournament will open on 19 February at ELE Rosedale Park in Auckland, New Zealand, with the World Championship Game to be played nine days later on Sunday, 27 February.
The WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup was originally slated to take place from 20-28 February 2021, but had to be postponed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic with health and safety measures, and travel restrictions around the world, preventing continental qualification events from taking place.
“With this announcement we continue the legacy of the late Don Porter, whose vision, values and leadership launched the Men’s Softball World Championship in 1966 and turned it into the global spectacle it is today,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
“After the huge success of the 2019 edition in the Czech Republic, we can’t wait to be back in New Zealand, home to one of the leading men’s national softball teams in the world, with the premier tournament for men’s international softball, helping to continue the exceptional growth of the game.”
Softball New Zealand CEO Tony Giles said: “We’ve been working really hard with the Local Organising Committee and the WBSC to get what we think is a really good outcome.”
LOC co-chair Bob Leveloff said: “We are delighted that everyone has agreed to the suggested dates that we put forward for the Men’s Softball World Cup. The teams will have plenty of time to prepare now and we are looking forward to an exciting World Cup in 2022.”
Through the continental championships, which serve as official qualifiers, the global representation of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup will be as follows
- Africa: One (1)
- Asia: Two (2)
- Americas: Four (4)
- Europe: Two (2)
- Oceania: Two (2)
- Wild Card: One (1)
Argentina is the reigning world champion in men’s softball, winning the 2019 edition in Prague, Czech Republic.
Auckland, the largest city in the country, will host the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup for the second time in nine years, after ELE Rosedale Park was the stage of the 2013 edition, becoming the third New Zealand host following Lower Hutt (1976) and Christchurch (2004). In the three global tournaments on home soil, New Zealand finished first to capture the world crown.
Since the event’s launch in 1966 (Mexico City), New Zealand has won the world title a record seven times (1976, 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2013, 2017) in 16 editions, followed by USA with five titles (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1988), Canada (four, 1972, 1976, 1992, 2015), Australia (2009) and Argentina (2019). In 1976, Canada, New Zealand and USA were declared joint champions after the playoffs were rained out.
Throughout its 54 years of history, the Men’s Softball World Championship has been hosted in seven countries on the five Olympic continents, highlighting men’s softball global spread.
Earlier this year in March, the WBSC unveiled the new logo of the rebranded WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, replacing the former World Championships.