The World Baseball Softball Confederation Executive Board, meeting in Pully, Switzerland on Thursday 9 June, has given the go-ahead for the first-ever WBSC Co-ed Slowpitch World Cup for national teams to be held in 2023.

The dates and venue for the tournament have yet to be confirmed.

The competition will be for 12 teams, as recommended by a WBSC Slowpitch Working Group, with places awarded to Africa (1), the Americas (3), Asia (3), Europe (3) and Oceania (1) plus one Wild Card.

The European places will be given to the teams that finish in the medal positions at this summer’s European Co-ed Slowpitch Championship to be played from 11-16 July in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Nine teams have entered the Europeans, seeded as follows: Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Serbia and Slovenia.

Great Britain, winners of the European Co-ed Slowpitch Championship on 11 of the 12 occasions the tournament has been played, will have high hopes of qualifying for the historic first-ever WBSC Slowpitch World Cup, but will take nothing for granted this summer.


Pressure for meaningful international competition in co-ed slowpitch softball began in the 1990s, led mainly by Great Britain, first in Europe and then at a world level.  The European Softball Federation put on the first European Co-ed Slowpitch Championship in 1998, and GB has been helping to prommote the growth of slowpitch in Europe ever since, through sending coaches to other countries and staging the annual Slowpitch World Series.

Pressure on the International Softball Federation (ISF) soon followed, and the ISF responded with events they called World Cups in 2002 and 2005, and then with an annual event from 2014 through 2018, all held at the ISF’s headquarters in Plant City, Florida.  But all of these tournaments were open to a mixture of national, club and composite teams, which meant they could never have official status as a World Championship.

However, next year’s WBSC Slowpitch World Cup will be different, and its status reflects the growth of slowpitch as a serious competition sport over the past two to three decades in Europe and in other regions outside North America.

BSF Administrator Bob Fromer said, “We have been working for a very long time to see a genuine world championship for co-ed slowpitch, and we are very grateful to the WBSC Board for bringing this about.  For GB Slowpitch, it will be an exciting chance to compete on a bigger stage than Europe and to test ourselves in our main format against the rest of the world.”