The committee behind the City of Surrey’s bid for an Olympic softball qualifying tournament expects to hear next week – finally – whether or not they’ve been selected to host the event next summer.
In August, Surrey was chosen by Softball Canada as the country’s bid city for the 2019 Americas qualifier – which will determine two of six berths for the women’s softball tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
After being selected to represent Canada back in August, Canada Cup committee chair Greg Timm told Peace Arch News that the World Baseball Softball Confederation was expected to make its decision by Sept. 15 “at the latest.”
However, that decision was delayed from one WBSC board meeting until the next one, which is set for this weekend in Lausanne, Switzerland.
And though organizers here were kept in the dark “for a couple weeks” with regard to the delayed process, Timm told PAN Tuesday he was eventually told by members of WBSC executive board that delays were a result of having to co-ordinate both the softball qualifier and baseball qualifiers at the same time, as both events must be announced concurrently.
Other cities that were expected to make competing bids for the softball tournament were Barranquila, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico, among others.
Two countries have already qualified for the Olympics – Japan, as the host team, as well as the United States, which won the world championships last summer. Teams expected to compete at the Americas qualifier include Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Two other Olympic qualifying tournaments are also being scheduled for 2019 – in the Europe/Africa region, as well as one in Asia. One team from each tournament will qualify for the Olympics.
Timm said Tuesday that the WBSC delays have not affecting organizing efforts for next summer’s Canada Cup softball tournament.
“It does not affect it. Not at all,” Timm said.
Regardless of whether Surrey is chosen for the qualifier, the Canada Cup will run July 6-14 at Softball City, with the international women’s division scheduled for July 8-14.
“We’ve already got teams that have confirmed their attendance for those days, ” Timm added.
Should Surrey win the Olympic qualifier event, the tournament would begin Aug. 25 and wrap-up Sept. 1.
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