Record number of teams set for world softball championships

31 countries to be represented at 2016 Women's World Championships in Surrey this summer.

A record number of teams will be stepping on the ball diamond this summer when Surrey hosts the Women’s World Softball Championships.

The World Baseball Softball Federation announced Thursday that 31 teams – a record number – would be competing at the international event, which is set for July 15-24 at Softball City in the South Surrey Athletic Park.

Among the 31 entries taking part are a handful of countries who will be familiar to local softball fans through their past participation at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships – including Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, Chinese-Taipei and Cuba.

As well, a number of countries will be taking part at women’s world championships for the first time – Brazil, Ecuador, India, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, Serbia, Switzerland and Uganda.

“We are thrilled to announce the countries scheduled to participate,” said tournament chairman Greg Timm.

“This is just the beginning of many exciting announcements of what’s to come to Surrey this July, as we host this world-class event.”

Japan will enter the tournament as the two-time defending champions, having won in 2014 (Haarlem, Netherlands) and 2012 (Whitehorse).

The U.S. squad will also be among the top contenders, having won nine total women’s world championships; they’ve finished with silver medals in each of the last two tournaments.

Setting a record for participants – and introducing non-traditional softball countries to the sport – has been a goal of the organizing committee since Surrey was awarded the event bid back in 2013.

Timm led a contingent of organizers to the 2014 world championships in the Netherlands, telling Peace Arch News at the time they were there to “develop some relationships” and explain to all countries, not just the traditional softball powers, how they can qualify for the 2016 tournament.

Thirty umpires from 18 countries were also appointed to the 2016 world championships last week.

For more on the event, visit www.surrey2016.com or follow them on Twitter, @Surrey_2016

Just Posted

Team BC’s having fun, ‘feeling good’ about back-to-back victories

A junior curling team, based out of Langley, has yet to lose a game in the national championships.

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

VIDEO: ‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read