Friday 27 October – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has today announced the cancellation of what would have been the first-ever Co-ed Slowpitch World Cup for national teams, which had been scheduled to be played from 5-10 December in Guadalajara, Mexico.
According to WBSC Executive Director Michael Schmidt in a letter informing the eight scheduled participants of the cancellation, “Global circumstances have presented numerous challenges, making it impossible to proceed with the event safely and efficiently. The teams scheduled to participate … have encountered travel-related issues, including visa complications and flight cancellations….. Furthermore, event-related logistics, such as securing appropriate venue accommodations and ensuring the health and safety of participants, have proven to be more challenging than anticipated.”
The cancellation of this long-awaited event just over a month before it was due to start -- an event which the British and European Softball Federations have advocated for over many years --has come as dismaying news both to the BSF and especially to the British players and staff who were preparing to compete.
GB Slowpitch Head Coach Stephen Patterson has made the following statement:
“I believe it will come as no surprise that there is huge disappointment amongst the GB Slowpitch coaching staff, management, and players that the WBSC has cancelled the 2023 Co-ed Slowpitch World Cup. It is very important that we acknowledge and recognise the efforts and commitment all have offered in preparation for the event.
“We are very proud of the players selected to represent Team GB at this tournament, as well as those across the breadth of the GB Slowpitch programme. I am confident that they will each continue to work hard to develop their skills as we prepare during the off-season for two European Slowpitch Championships next summer.
“We also understand and appreciate the support that the BSF and BSUK have offered to get us to this point, and the frustration of this cancellation will be felt right across the Federation.
“As a leading nation in slowpitch softball, we look forward to an event of this magnitude taking place in future. The GB staff and players will be ready to go when this eventually takes place.”
Speaking on behalf of the BSF, Administrator Bob Fromer said, “We echo what Stephen has said, and we hope that the WBSC can move quickly to establishing the conditions where a Slowpitch World Cup can successfully happen, so that slowpitch can take its rightful place among WBSC World Cup formats.”