Multi-year international broadcast deal signed for World Cup of Softball

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:47 PM by Jairy Otero

Multi-year international broadcast deal signed for World Cup of Softball

OKLAHOMA CITY, USA — The popularity and media coverage of softball continues to grow globally as the WBSC-recognised governing body for softball within the United States — USA Softball — has reached a multi-year agreement with ESPN to broadcast the World Cup of Softball.

Starting with the 2017 World Cup of Softball XII and continuing through 2020, ESPN will hold the production and distribution rights for games featuring the USA Women’s National Team and the Championship Game for each annual edition of the World Cup of Softball.

ESPN’s family of networks will air over 10 hours of live coverage, which will be highlighted by multiple prime time windows and will conclude with the Championship Game on Sunday, 9 July at 12 p.m. local time.

The sports-only television network will broadcast and live stream the games via their network of channels and their mobile app. All other games of the World Cup of Softball will be live streamed for free through USASoftball.com.  The tournament is a round robin format, which will feed into the Championship Playoff Round.

“We’re excited to bring top-level international softball to fans through the ESPN networks for the next four years,” said USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress.  “Fans will have the opportunity to watch the top four ranked teams in the world compete here in Oklahoma City, along with very talented ranked teams like Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and our Junior National Team squad.  As the momentum continues to build towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, we are thrilled to be showcasing the best softball in the world and our sport on the ESPN networks.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the most-watched and streamed NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) finals in WCWS finals history.  Averaging a total live-audience (TV + streaming) of 1.72 million viewers, viewership of the event was up 33% from the first two games of the NCAA WCWS finals in 2016.

“ESPN is extremely pleased to reach an agreement with USA Softball to showcase the World Cup of Softball in the wake of the sport’s return to the Summer Olympics,” said ESPN Vice President of Women’s Sports Programming Carol Stiff.  “The premier annual event adds to our deep softball portfolio that now includes more than 600 college softball regular season games annually across our platforms prior to our comprehensive coverage of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship and the Women’s College World Series. Throughout our entire history, women’s sports have been a vital part of ESPN’s programming content offerings and will continue to be into the future.”

The WBSC-sanctioned World Cup of Softball, which begins 5 July, features World No 1. Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Canada, No. 4 Australia, No. 7 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Mexico, No. 17 Philippines and the USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team.

Canada announces 2017 Women’s Softball National Team

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:46 PM by Jairy Otero

Canada announces 2017 Women’s Softball National Team

OTTAWA, Canada — The WBSC recognised softball national federation in Canada – Softball Canada – has announced the Women’s National Team selected to represent Canada for the 2017 season. The final roster was determined following a Selection Camp held in Mississauga, Ont. this past week.

“The Selection Camp was excellent; it was very competitive as the coaching staff witnessed some strong performances,” stated Mark Smith, High Performance Director and Head Coach of the Women’s National Team program. “We were very pleased to see younger players rise to the occasion and challenge for positions on our roster.”

The Women’s National Team will travel to Chicago, IL (USA) to play an exhibition series against the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF) on 30 June and 1 July, followed by two WBSC-sanctioned events – World Cup of Softball from 5-9 July in Oklahoma City (USA) and Canada Cup from 11-17 July 11-17 in Surrey (Canada).

The Women’s National Team will later take on the Akron Racers NPF team on 31 July and 1 August in Akron, OH (USA) prior to competing in the WBSC Pan American Women’s Softball Championship, which is scheduled to take place 4-13 August in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). The team will later travel overseas to compete in the Japan Cup from 25-28 August.

The athletes who have been selected to the 2017 Canadian Women’s National Team roster are:

  • Jenna Caira
  • Sarah Chow
  • Larissa Franklin
  • Sara Groenewegen
  • Victoria Hayward
  • Karissa Hovinga
  • Kelsey Jenkins
  • Joey Lye
  • Sara Plourde
  • Erika Polidori
  • Kaleigh Rafter
  • Jenn Salling
  • Holly Speers
  • Carey-Leigh Vyse
  • Natalie Wideman

The following athletes from the Junior Women’s National Team and Women’s Elite Team rosters will join the Women’s National Team to compete in the US World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City:

  • Brianna Aguilar-Beaucage
  • Kara Bilodeau
  • Jocelyn Cater
  • Courtney Gilbert
  • Nicole Rivait

Web-streaming announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:45 PM by Jairy Otero

Web-streaming announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

WHITEHORSE, YT, Canada – Fans around the world will be able to watch the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship from their living room, thanks to SportsCanada.TV and Ballpark Broadcasting.

Sixteen teams from all five Olympic continents will compete in the 15th edition of the men’s softball championship, which will be hosted in Whitehorse, Yukon, July 7 to 16. Live streaming video will be offered for all 76 games played over the 10 days.

SportsCanada.TV will provide the video production for each game while Ballpark Broadcasting will provide the play-by-play and colour commentary. The cost to view all games, including playoffs, is US$29.95. Games will be recorded and archived for on-demand viewing as well. Fans can subscribe to the service through this link: worldsoftball.tv/

Great Britain and Botswana will kick off the world championship at 9:00 am PDT on July 7th. Host Canada begins defence of their title against South Africa, at 7:30 pm, immediately following the opening ceremony.

The full game schedule is available here: www.2017mensworldsoftball.com/schedule/

This will mark the third time that Ballpark Broadcasting and Sports Canada TV teamed up to deliver state of the art, high definition live streaming video broadcasts of a WBSC Championship to a world-wide audience. The two partnered in 2014 in Whitehorse, and again in 2015 in Saskatoon. SportsCanada.TV also produced the streaming for the 2016 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Surrey, Canada.

Tournament ticket passes for the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship are on sale at Sport Yukon. Passes are $200 for adults and $150 for youth and seniors, and they are good for all games – including medal rounds. Day passes will be available at the gate during the event.

Women’s Softball European Championship: DAY 2 includes engagement at home plate

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:44 PM by Jairy Otero

Women’s Softball European Championship: DAY 2 includes engagement at home plate

BOLLATE, Italy — A thunderstorm complicated Monday’s evening program as six games had to be canceled and re-scheduled for the next day.

Day 2 of the 2017 Women’s Softball European Championship started with a beautiful act of love. Before the Sweden against Israel game started, the Swedish head coach proposed to his girlfriend at the home plate.

No surprises on Monday

Most of the potentially deciding games were scheduled to be played in the evening, so fans have to keep their expectations and hopes alive for one more day.

All the other games finished according to expectations. Unlike Ireland in its first two games on Sunday, none of the underdogs surprised their fans with a win.

A one-run game

There was one very tight game – Belgium versus Ukraine. A close game throughout, Belgium finished on top 1-0.

Ukraine was in scoring position in the top of the first inning, but their runner from the second base was tagged out at home plate after a good throw from the center field.

In the second, Belgium had their runner on the third with two outs, but a strikeout ruined their hopes.

Ukraine threatened in the sixth and was close to scoring, again – strikeout was the third out of the inning.

Finally, in the bottom of the sixth, the spectators saw the only run of the game. Ukraine made two errors, and then a sacrifice fly but Belgium decided the game.

Proposal at the home plate

Prior to the start of the Sweden and Israel game, the Swedish National Team Head Coach, Mattias Grimstoft, took his girlfriend to the home plate, kneeled on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Alexandra. Alexandra, a softball player of the Swedish club Skovde, said yes. “I was so nervous,” said Grimstoft.


France and Spain will fight for the second spot in their group. The winner advances to the playoffs, loser remains in the placement bracket.

Austria has its last chance to advance to the top eight in a must-win game against the Czech Republic.

Belgium can complicate the situation in Pool D with a possible win over Russia.

First playoff games are scheduled for the evening — teams finishing first from the round robin pools will take teams finishing second in their pools.

Helpful Links

Official Event Website
Full Game Schedule (pdf)
Play-By-Play and Statistics

Softball Europe – the new brand for promotion of softball was launched

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:39 PM by Jairy Otero

Softball Europe – the new brand for promotion of softball was launched

The new brand for softball in Europe – Softball Europe – was introduced today at the Women’s Softball European Championship in Italy.

“Softball Europe is all of you, coaches, managers, players, volunteers,” said Gabriel Waage the ESF President at the Technical Meeting of the tournament.

The new brand, Softball Europe is being developed as a way to promote the sport of softball rather than the organizations that administer and run the game in Europe.

We all are Softball Europe. The players, the coaches, the umpires, the parents, the fans, the organizers, the volunteers, the managers, the photographers…

Softball Europe was created to be used by everyone who loves softball and wants to see it and help it grow and expand.

“It’s not just a logo, it’s the whole concept, that should help us communicate softball as a sport to everyone, who may not even know our sport yet. The logo represents the one thing that is the most typical for our sport – the yellow softball – but there’s more into it. The stitching is not just a stitching, it shows movement, it shows that we’re developing and moving forward, it’s dynamic. Together with other graphics, the whole concept of introduction of our sport goes together really nicely. We believe, with this strong campaign we’re starting a new era of softball in Europe,” said John Austin, the ESF VP for Marketing.

The new campaign is based on strong graphics, which help people understand the major aspect of softball. The campaign is also using #lovesoftball as its tool.

The European Softball Federation logo will still remain in use for the institutional purposes.

More about the new campaign and all the changes are described in this flyer: Softball Europe digi.pdf

WBSC to launch new Brand Identity, Slogan at Olympic Museum

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:38 PM by Jairy Otero

MEDIA ADVISORY — 27 June 2017

World Baseball Softball President Riccardo Fraccari to hold Media Roundtable



  • Brand Launch: With the upcoming return of baseball and softball at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will unveil its new brand identity and slogan to the media and members of the Olympic Family in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne. There will be a visual presentation and keynote address, including the potential road map to 2020, from WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
  • Media Roundtable: Media will have the opportunity to speak with President Fraccari prior to the brand launch.
  • Cocktail Reception and Dinner: After the presentation, guests will be welcomed to a cocktail reception and standing dinner in the Olympic Museum.
  • Baseball/Softball Zone: Guests will also have the chance to sample a variety of interactive baseball and softball activities, including hitting in a batting cage.


  • Thursday, 13 July 2017
  • Media Roundtable – 17:15 CET
  • Presentation and standing dinner – 18:30 CET

WHERE: The Olympic Museum, Quai d’Ouchy 1, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland

RSVP: Members of the media wishing to attend, please send an RSVP to launch@wbsc.org no later than Monday, 3rd July 2017.

No. 1 Japan wins USA v Japan All-Star Softball Series with dramatic walk-off grand slam

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:37 PM by Jairy Otero

No. 1 Japan wins USA v Japan All-Star Softball Series with dramatic walk-off grand slam

YOKOHAMA, Japan —  In front of over 10,600 fans, World’s No. 1 ranked Japan Women’s National Team defeated No. 2 USA 5-3 after a walk-off grand slam in the seventh inning. The victory solidified Japan as the winner of the three-game WBSC-sanctioned 2017 USA vs. Japan All-Star Series.

Box Scores and Game Stats

After USA evened the series following a 5-4 victory in Game 2 at Shellcom Sendai, fans were treated to a glimpse of what could be the Gold Medal game come the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with the world’s top two teams going head-to-head at Yokohama Stadium.

With both sides kept scoreless through the first frame, Japan struck first in the second inning after an RBI single by Yamato Fujita to left field to give them an early 1-0 lead.

USA evened up the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, following a lead-off home run by Valerie Arioto. Ally Carda then hit an RBI single to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead with one out.

USA extended their lead to 3-1 after Ali Aguilar led off the sixth frame with a solo shot to center field.

In the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded, Yu Yamamoto homered giving Japan the walk-off 5-3 win in the final game of the USA vs Japan All-Star Series.

“Sometimes the toughest three outs to get in a game are the last three,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Our team played well coming from behind and the pitching staff battled all day in an unfamiliar environment. Team USA is finding out a lot about ourselves and we are looking forward to 5 days of rest and recovery before heading to OKC.”

During the Series game in Yokohama, Japan Softball Association’s President Hiromi Tokuda and Vice President Taeko Utsugi met with WBSC Secretary General Low Beng Choo and Executive Vice President Dale McMann to finalise the main terms for the broadcasting and marketing rights for the 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba.

Up next for both Women’s National Teams is the WBSC-sanctioned World Cup of Softball XII, held at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, USA 5-9 July.


(left to right): JSA/WBSC Vice President Taeko Utsugi, JSA President Hiromi Tokuda, WBSC Executive Vice President Dale McMann, and WBSC Secretary General Low Beng Choo


Women’s Softball European Championship: DAY 1

posted Jul 9, 2017, 8:36 PM by Jairy Otero

Women’s Softball European Championship: DAY 1

BOLLATE, Italy – The first day of the Women’s Softball European Championship displayed 22 games and not even a morning storm could ruin the beautiful day.

All expected leaders confirmed their roles – the Czech Republic managed to beat Sweden in a tight game 5:3; the Netherlands didn’t have any troubles against Greece or Lithuania; Italy smashed Spain in the evening game in four innings.


Ireland wins in 13 innings, Greece surprises with a win over Germany, former medalists without a loss, Russia fails badly in the most expected game of the day!

A 13-inning game

Slovakia and Ireland may have played the longest games of their softball lives. It looked like a normal close game with Ireland in the lead 3:1 in the top of the seventh. But one of the most experienced players on the Slovakian roster tied the game with a triple.

It looked like the end of the game when the Slovakian defense broke down and Ireland scored two runs in the top of the 9th. But the Slovaks pulled it together and surprised the Irish with two runs on four hits.

Both teams scored once again in the 10th and remained scoreless until the 13th. Ireland came out as the winner of this “anybody’s game”, having scored once in the 13th.

A surprising win

Only a few Greek players remain on the roster from the 2015 Greek National Team. This year, Greece is represented by a younger group of players than two years ago, and this clearly has already brought them a first important win. Greece, who placed 10th at the last Championship, beat Germany (7th at the last Championship)

An unexpectedly easy win

Great Britain against Russia game was expected to be the most interesting game of the day. Both traditionally compete in the top five and fight for the medal every time, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t.

Russia came ready for the game having scored twice in the 1st. Dasha Shembereva, having returned from maternity leave, started pitching in the fifth, but the British seemed unstoppable at that time. They secured themselves a win in the 6th inning when they turned the game around with six unanswered runs.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was a beautiful celebration of sport. 23 teams and the umpires’ crew were on the field sharing their love for softball. Roberto Fabbricini, secretary general of the Italian National Olympic Committee, attended the opening ceremony, too, and expressed support for softball and baseball in their Olympic status: “The way to Tokyo 2020 is now officially open. We’ve done everything we could to make sure that baseball and softball have the attention they deserve.”


Germany’s only chance to advance to the top eight is to beat the Netherlands – a very demanding task. The game is scheduled for 20:45 in Caronno.

Austria is in a similar situation, they can only make it to the top eight by winning at an 18:30 game against the Czech Republic. Poland, undefeated after the first day, can also make Pool C more interesting – are they strong enough to beat Sweden at 18:00?

Helpful Links:

Official Event Website
Full Game Schedule (pdf)
Play-By-Play and Statistics


Minister Flessel visits baseball and softball stand during Olympic Day in Paris

posted Jun 25, 2017, 6:41 PM by Jairy Otero

Minister Flessel visits baseball and softball stand during Olympic Day in Paris

Paris celebrated the Olympic Day transforming the heart of the Ville Lumière, from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame along the River Seine, into a gigantic sports park. The giant celebration zone offered the chance to sample more than 30 disciplines.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said that the city wanted “to celebrate the values of Olympism in the spirit of celebration and joy”. She added: “Paris is ready to share its love of sports and its enthusiasm to host the Games in 2024”.

Didier Seminet, who is the President of the Confederation of European Baseball and of the French Baseball and Softball Federation, welcomed to his stand the new French Minister of Sport Laura Flessel.
Born in Guadalupe in 1971, Flessel was a world class athlete in fencing: she won 5 olympic medals (2 golds in Atlanta), 6 world titles and 1 european title.
Minister Flessel confirmed: “All of France is mobilised behind the candidature of Paris 2024”

Olympic Day marks the occasion on 23 June 1894, when Baron Pierre de Coubertin established the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Women’s Softball European Championship 2017 begins this weekend in Italy

posted Jun 25, 2017, 6:40 PM by Jairy Otero

Women’s Softball European Championship 2017 will take place in Bollate, Italy, June 25 – July 1 where 23 Women’s Softball National Teams from across Europe will compete over the 8-day event.

National teams have been divided into four groups made of five or six teams.

Pool A: Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, Switzerland
Pool B: Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland, Lithuania
Pool C: Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Israel, Hungary
Pool D: Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine, Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria


Live-streaming from the Women’s Softball European Championship will show the top European softball action again. Playo.tv will provide live broadcasting from the final three days of the Championship for viewers in Europe.

For viewers in Asia and North or South America, tune into FloSoftball here.


  • Four groups A, B, C, and D will play a single round robin.
  • Groups E and F will be created after a single round robin from the teams ranked first and second in their groups.
  • Groups E and F will play single round robin.  E4-F4 will play for 7th place.
  • Teams ranked first, second and third from group E will play teams ranked first, second, and third from group F. Ranking will be created after these games and the 5th and 6th place in the competition will be determined by the ranking.
  • Top four teams will enter the page system to determine places 1 – 4 in the competition.
  • Groups G and H will be created after single round robin from the teams ranked third and fourth in their groups.
  • Groups G and H will play single round robin. Top two teams from both groups will enter the page system to determine places 9 – 13.
  • G3-H3 will play for 13th place.
  • G4-H4 will play for 15th place.
  • Group I will be created from the teams ranked 5th and 6th in their groups.
  • Group I will play single round robin, in which the games already played within groups A, B, C, and D will be considered as played and the previous results will count. The final results of the group I round robin will determine places 17 – 23 in the competition.

Italy is the reigning champions, following their 2015 European Championship win over Netherlands.

Helpful Links:

Official Event Website
Full Game Schedule (pdf)
Play-By-Play and Statistics

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