Prague will play host to the first-ever World Girls’ Youth Softball World Cup August 9 to 16, 2009, less than two months before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes on the 2016 sports program. The sport has been lobbying for reinstatement in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, has been mounting a strong campaign, and is up for election at the IOC session in Copenhagen next October.
International Softball Federation President Don Porter Monday followed up his August 22 press conference in Beijing by revealing the location, dates and title sponsor for the event.
Porter said the tournament will be called the Easton Foundation Youth Softball World Cup. He said, “we’re excited to showcase the youth in our game at this event next year. We’re very confident in Prague as a host site and are most thankful to the Easton Foundation for their participation”.
Porter added the event will consist of ten teams, with a possibility of that number increasing to twelve. Girls 16 and under will be eligible to compete.
According to insidethegames the tournament is being held in Europe to try to emphasize that the sport has a global reach and is not confined to just North America, which reportedly many believe contributed to it being voted off the London 2012 program in 2005.
The Easton Foundation Youth Softball World Cup will be an invitational event and all five regions are expected to be represented, including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.