The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), together with the Peruvian Softball Federation (Federación Deportiva Nacional Peruana de Softbol, FDNPS) and the Peruvian Sports Institute (Instituto Peruano del Deporte, IPD), today announced the postponement of this year’s WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup to 2021 in consideration of the global health and safety measures and travel limitations pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was taken after a meeting between WBSC Softball Chairman Tommy Velazquez, IPD President Gustavo San Martin and the Peruvian Softball Federation President and CEO, Vanessa Endo and Marisa Matsuda, respectively.
“The WBSC has remained permanently in contact with the LOC and stakeholders, in order to make the best decision for everyone involved,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “We appreciate the support and help from the FDNPS, partners and sponsors for their support with this decision. The health, safety and wellbeing of all participants remain our top priority.”
“Peru stands firm in its commitment to hold the event, and we appreciate the support given by the WBSC and the IPD in support of our Federation. The health of the athletes will always be the most important thing for us, we hope to set a date soon and be able to say: Game Time!,” said FDNPS President Vanessa Endo.
The first edition of the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup – featuring a new age bracket, brand identity and tournament format created to replace the former U-19 Women’s Softball World Championship, which dates back to 1981 – was originally set to take place from 23-30 August in Lima, Peru, but was postponed in April to unconfirmed dates later in the year due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The elite international youth women’s softball event was to be played at Villa Maria del Triunfo Complex, site of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games softball competitions.
The 16 teams qualified to battle For the Title of World Champion in this age-category remains as follows:
- Africa (1): No. 26 South Africa
- Americas (5): No. 1 USA, No. 3 Canada, No. 4 Puerto Rico, No. 5 Mexico and No. 19 Peru (host)
- Asia (3): No. 2 Japan, No. 6 Chinese Taipei and No. 7 China
- Europe (3): No. 9 Netherlands, No. 10 Italy and No. 12 Czech Republic
- Oceania (2): No. 8 Australia and No. 16 New Zealand
- Wild Cards (2): No. 11 Philippines, No. 48 Colombia
Due to the postponement of the tournament, WBSC has decided to make a one-time exception to expand the eligibility age at both ends, allowing all players that would have been eligible to participate in 2020 to represent their country in the 2021 tournament. The decision also allows the possibility of those turning age 14 in 2021 to be included in the roster. Accordingly, those players born in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 will be eligible to participate in the 2021 U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup.
The WBSC and the LOC will continue monitoring the latest developments concerning the coronavirus and travel restrictions around the world and will confirm new dates for the postponed event at a later stage.
The WBSC is also continuing to monitor the global COVID-19 situation in relation to its two remaining tournaments on the 2020 WBSC events calendar – the U-15 Baseball World Cup and Women’s Baseball Cup in Mexico – which last month confirmed their tournament dates from 30 October to 8 November and from 12-21 November respectively.