The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE) and the Government of Sonora jointly announced today the groups and schedule of the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2023, to be played from 11 to 19 November in Hermosillo, Mexico.
The 12 participating nations have been drawn into two groups to open the World Cup:
- Group A: No. 2 Australia, No. 4 Canada, No. 6 Czechia, No. 10 Mexico, No. 12 Singapore and No. 24 Colombia.
- Group B: No. 1 Argentina, No. 3 Japan, No. 5 USA, No. 7 New Zealand, No. 8 Venezuela, and No. 17 Israel.
The 30-game Opening Round will run from 11 to 15 November with four games at the Fernando M. Ortiz stadium and two at the Mundialistas Hermosillenses every day. The top three finishers from each group advance to the Super Round, while the other six teams will participate in the Placement Round.
See the full schedule here.
All 12 teams will take the field on Opening Day on 11 November. Two-time world champions Argentina will play Israel in the tournament opener at 10:30, in the European’s third appearance in the competition (they played in 2001 and 2016). The opening ceremony is scheduled at 19:30, and immediately after Mexico will take the Fernando M. Ortiz field to play against Colombia, the only debutant team.
The Super Round will run from 16 to 18 November. The top two finishers of the Super Round will compete for the U-18 World Title, while the number three and four place teams will play for the bronze medal. The finals are scheduled for Sunday, 19 November.
This tournament will be the second Softball World Cup played in Mexico. In 1966, the first-ever Men’s Softball World Cup was hosted in Mexico City with 11 participating nations. USA defeated the hosts, 6-0, in the World Championship Final on 1 November, 1966, exactly 57 years and 10 days before the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2023 opening day in Hermosillo.
Originally planned for 2022, the tournament was moved to 2023 to better accommodate the changes in the international calendar. As a result, the eligibility to participate in the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2023 has been extended to players who turn 19 years old in 2023.
Five national teams have claimed the U-18 Men’s Softball World Championship in the past. Australia is the most decorated program with five titles, followed by Japan (3), New Zealand (2), Argentina (2) and Canada (1). Three more nations have won a medal in the men’s softball global youth competition, including USA (2), Mexico (1) and Czechia (1).
Colombia is the only debutant nation in the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup. The South Americans received a wild card to participate in this competition and will become the 23rd country to play this event.