Today marks one year before the top men’s softball competition in the world, the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, which will be played in Auckland, New Zealand, from 26 November to 4 December 2022. To celebrate this milestone, the Local Organising Committee has released a promotional video and launched a website where fans can sign up to volunteer for the Softball World Cup.
“We are delighted to mark one year before the start of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup in Auckland,” said Fay Freeman and Bob Leveloff, Co-chairs of the LOC Men’s Softball World Cup Board. “As with many international events, the tournament has been impacted by COVID-19, but we are confident the path is now clear for us to celebrate the very best of men’s international softball in 12 months time. We are also sure the tournament will be a huge success and we look forward to welcoming the teams and their fans to Auckland.”
The next WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup will be the fourth time New Zealand hosts the premier event. The New Zealand National Softball Team, the ‘Black Sox’, won the world title in the previous three competitions that were on home soil.
The first world championship in New Zealand was in 1976 in Lower Hutt, with seven participating teams. The tournament had to be canceled early do due rain, leaving New Zealand, USA and Canada to share the trophy in a three-way tie.
The World Championship tournament returned to New Zealand 28 years later, when Christchurch hosted the top softball players in 2004. The host nation won its third straight world title, defeating Canada, 9-5, in the gold medal game.
Auckland was the third New Zealand city to host the top men’s softball event in the tournament’s history, after Rosedale Park staged the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in 2013. New Zealand finished first, with a 4-1 win over Venezuela. The gold medal was the sixth of seven titles for the Black Sox.
A total of 12 teams across five continents will participate in the XVII edition of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. Czech Republic and Denmark are the first nations qualified for the event, after being the respective winner and runner-up of the European Softball Championship 2021. A series of continental championships in 2022 will serve as official WBSC World Cup qualifiers for the event.