Two brand-new teams -- representing the Philippines and South Africa – will join the more usual entries from UK ex-pat communities and from Europe when the BSF’s 24th annual Softball World Series Tournament is played this weekend, 9-10 September, at Farnham Park.
The team representing the Philippines, called Pinoy Pride, has been organised by Ysa Urquiaga, and the team representing South Africa, called Saffas, has been put together by Bruce Webb.
They will join 14 other teams contesting this year’s World Series, with four teams – Belgium, Guernsey, Ireland, and former winners UCE Travellers from Germany – coming from outside the UK.
Another team in this year’s competition, the Misfits, is made up of players with heritage from various European countries.
Teams from Czechia and the Netherlands have been frequent participants at past World Series, but have struggled this year because the World Series has come soon after the European Co-ed Slowpitch Super Cup. Both countries hope to send teams to the 2024 World Series.
Format and groups
This year, the 16 teams taking part in the World Series will start off in two eight-team round-robin groups. After full round-robins have been completed around lunchtime on Sunday, the competition will split into four sections – Cup, Plate, Trophy and Spoon – with semi-finals and finals in each division.
The final of the top-level Cup competition will be broadcast by BSUK TV on this link -- https://webca.st/235491 -- and will be available afterwards on demand.
The two initial groups, which have been seeded as far as possible based on last year’s results, are:
Some teams have had to be re-named over the past couple of years because the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will not allow teams to call themselves by the names of WBSC member countries unless they are that country’s actual national team.
For that reason, the American team is now called Murica, the Canadian team is the Canucks, and the Japanese team is now Godzillas. Belgium, Guernsey and Ireland are sending national teams to the competition.
At last year’s World Series, Murica won the competition for the sixth time, beating the GB Futures team in the final and giving them a clear lead over four-time winners Africa and the Anzacs.
Come on down
The weather forecast for the 2023 World Series is sunny and hot, ideal conditions to come to Farnham Park and watch one of the best tournaments of the year.
But for those who can’t make it, as mentioned above, the Cup final will be broadcast by BSUK TV.
World Series history
The list of World Series winners since the tournament began in 1999 is:
2022 -- Murica
2021 – GB Masters
2020 – No tournament played due to Covid-19
2019 – UCE Travellers (Germany)
2018 – Murica
2017 – Murica
2016 – Murica
2015 – UCE Travellers (Germany)
2014 – England
2013 – Anzacs
2012 – Anzacs
2011 – Lakenheath Eagles
2010 – Lakenheath Eagles
2009 – England
2008 – Anzacs
2007 – Anzacs
2006 – Rest of the World
2005 – Murica
2004 – Africa
2003 – Africa
2002 – Murica
2001 – Africa
2000 – Africa
1999 -- England