The 2017 WBSC Men’s World Softball Championship in Whitehorse will feature the second largest number of countries in the event’s history.
Twenty teams from five regions will compete for the 15th title, July 7th to 16th at the Pepsi Softball Centre. As hosts, Canada is looking to defend their world title after capturing gold in 2015, their first since 1992. New Zealand took home the silver in 2015 while Venezuela claimed the bronze.
Here is the full list of teams from each region:
Africa (2): Botswana, South Africa
Americas (7): Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, United States, Venezuela
Asia (4): Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan
Europe (5): Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain, Israel, Turkey
Oceania (2): Australia, New Zealand
Both India and Turkey will be making their men’s world championship debuts.
“We’re just over 100 days away from first pitch so now the final preparations begin,” said George Arcand, Chair of the 2017 Men’s World Softball Championship Host Committee. “This is a great opportunity to showcase our territory to the rest of the world, while providing local residents with exciting, fast-paced games and a caliber of fast pitch that they don’t normally get to see.”
Arcand added the championship will highlight a two-week long celebration of softball in Whitehorse, with additional community events taking place in the week leading up to the opening ceremony.
In partnership with Softball Yukon, Team Canada will host a clinic for minor softball players on Wednesday, July 5th at the Pepsi Softball Centre. Kids between the ages of 10 and 14 will learn new ways to develop and enhance their skills as they interact with members of the national team, and then enjoy an afternoon barbecue.
The celebration continues Thursday, July 6th as Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans rock the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets for the concert will go on sale on Monday, April 3rd at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office.
Corb Lund will also be making a special appearance at the opening ceremony of the Men’s World Softball Championship the following evening.
“We wanted to offer our local youth a new and exciting opportunity to get engaged in the sport of softball,” explained Arcand, adding that the addition of a concert will bring a truly Canadian element to the championship in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. “We’re thrilled that we managed to secure such a well-known and talented Canadian artist in Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans.”
While 2017 will be the first time Yukon hosts a senior men’s event, Softball Yukon has hosted three previous world softball championships – the Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in 2008 and 2014, as well as the 2012 Women’s World Softball Championship.
The 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship is funded in part by the Government of Yukon Department of Community Services.