Press release World Baseball Softball Confederation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — 23 April 2020 — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the postponement of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup in New Zealand to 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Important health and safety measures, including travel restrictions, applied by governments worldwide to help stop the spread of COVID-19 have caused modifications to the global baseball softball events calendar. The tournament, which will be staged at ELE Stadium in Auckland, was originally scheduled for 20-28 February 2021.
Following consultations with medical and governmental authorities and the host Softball New Zealand, the WBSC confirmed the decision to postpone the premier international men’s softball tournament. The WBSC and Softball New Zealand are working jointly to confirm new dates for the event.
“The WBSC has been working closely with all Continental Associations, LOCs and stakeholders to ensure we make the most appropriate decision when it comes to the status of WBSC events and their respective qualification tournaments in these difficult times. Our top priority has always been the safety and wellbeing of all participants: players, officials and fans,” said WBSC President, Riccardo Fraccari. “I want to thank Softball New Zealand, the LOC, partners and sponsors for their support with this difficult decision”.
“As New Zealanders, I think we are all very clear about the COVID-19 situation that we are in, and the steps that Governments globally are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Softball New Zealand CEO, Tony Gilles. “Kiwis will need events like this one to look forward to in the coming months and years, and we feel privileged to be able to bring the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup to New Zealand as soon as we can.”
Earlier this month, the WBSC announced the postponement of the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup and WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup, which were originally scheduled to take place in August and early September, due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
WBSC Europe and Softball Asia have also recently announced the postponement of their 2020 events, which were part of the qualification process for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup 2021.
Keeping in mind the latest developments concerning the coronavirus, the WBSC will continue to review the WBSC events calendar, together with the Local Organising Committees and WBSC Continental Associations, including the consideration of potential new dates for postponed events.