Record 26 teams to play in 2017 Junior Worlds
Thu 20 Apr 2017
The World Baseball Softball Confederation has announced that a record number of 26 national teams will compete in its flagship youth softball event, the 12th Junior Women’s World Championship in Clearwater, Florida, USA from 24-30 July.
The competition will bring together the world's top junior women's softball nations from all five Olympic regions, with 10 teams from the Americas, seven from Europe, six from Asia, two from Oceania and one from Africa.
The GB Junior Women’s Team, fresh from winning last year’s European Junior Championship, will be playing in the Junior World Championship for the third straight time, and will be looking to improve on its 13th place finish at the last competition in Oklahoma City in 2015.
The GB Team played exceptionally well in that tournament, and would have had a significantly higher finish had they not lost a dramatic 12-inning thriller to Brazil in their final game.
This year’s GB Juniors, led by GB Senior Women’s Team Head Coach Rachael Watkeys, will be travelling to Florida with a strong and balanced team and will be aiming for the Championship playoff round, which means emerging from the group stages as one of the top eight teams.
One European team, Turkey, will be making its historic debut in a World Championship competition.
WBSC Softball Division President Dale McMann said: "The largest-ever field of teams competing in this year's Junior World Championship highlights the growing popularity and reach of softball across all regions and ages of the world. This is an important competition opportunity for this age category to be able to continue to test their skills against their counterparts from around the world."
As hosts, the United States will be defending the title they won in 2015 by defeating World #1 Japan in the final.
The WBSC has appointed 30 umpires from 23 countries to officiate at the 12th WBSC Junior Women's Softball World Championship, including two BASU umpires, Bridget Cameron and Jana McCaskill.
The full umpiring staff will be drawn from Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Africa and the USA.
Here is the full list of countries that will take part in this largest-ever Junior Women’s World Championship: