Starting December 6th in Lima, Peru, we will experience the emotions of the inaugural edition of the WBSC U-18 Softball World Cup. Here are 10 things you need to know about this global competition that crowns the sport’s true official world champion.
1. This is the first edition with the U-18 age bracket. Previously there were junior and U-19 World Cups, of which 13 editions were celebrated.
2. The United States with 7 titles is the most successful nation in junior category, followed by Japan with 5 and China with 1.
3. The nine participating teams in this edition are: United States, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Colombia, Chinese Taipei and South Africa. Among the participants, the United States, Chinese Taipei and Puerto Rico are the only ones that earned a medal in a previous edition.
4. The first Junior World Cup was played in 1981 in Edmonton, Canada. In that edition, Japan won the gold medal, United States the silver and China the bronze.
5. This is the first edition organized in South America and also is, along with the Men’s Softball World Cup, the only tournament that was already hosted by countries on the five Olympic continents.
6. Due to the Covid pandemic, this tournament, originally scheduled for 2020, was delayed one year. For this reason, 19-year-old players will be allowed to play this time.
7. 38 games will be played across 7 days of action, all of them at the Villa Maria del Triunfo Softball Stadium, a site of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
8. The 9 teams will play a round-robin, with the two top teams playing for the world title, while the third- and fourth-place teams battle for the bronze. The Finals will be played on December 12th.
9. For the host, Peru, this will be their second participation at this level. The previous one was in 2017, when they finished with 3 wins and 5 losses.
10. United States won the last three editions and five of the last six — so they can be considered as the favorite in Lima.