ISF Launches 2009 Youth World Cup To Promote Softball’s Return To Olympics

In a bid to bring softball back as a sport in the 2016 Summer Games, and buoyed by the hugely successful softball competition at the Beijing Olympics, the International Softball Federation (ISF) launched Friday the 2009 Youth World Cup.

The Youth World Cup will be a girls 16-and-under fast pitch competition and will be held the second week of August next year, with a number of major European capital cities now being considered.

ISF President Don Porter said there is tremendous interest in staging the event but refused to be drawn on identifying candidate cities at this stage. He said in a press release, “this is another fantastic development for our sport and underlines its growing popularity. Softball is incredibly popular among young people and we’re currently in the process of drawing up a shortlist of cities. We are increasing the number of softball federations all the time but we’re not going to be resting on our laurels and hopefully this event will help us further widen the sport’s appeal”.

The softball competition in Beijing had sell-out crowds exceeding 180,000, a high ratio of close games decided by three runs or less with rule changes dramatically increasing the total runs scored, and worldwide media overage of the competition from more than 100 countries.