The City of Surrey has been chosen by Softball Canada to be its ‘bid city’ for a 2019 Olympic qualifier tournament. (File photo)

Surrey chosen as Canadian bid city for Olympic softball qualifier

Canadian entry will vie for 2019 tournament with bids from North, South and Central America

The City of Surrey has been chosen by Softball Canada as the country’s choice to host an Olympic softball qualifying tournament next summer.

Softball Canada made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, highlighting the experience that the organizing committee – headed up by Canada Cup chair Greg Timm – has in hosting previous international tournaments.

“We are delighted to be partnering on this bid with the experienced and highly successful organizing committee in Surrey, who have staged 24 Canada Cups and the 2016 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships,” Softball Canada president Kevin Quinn said in a news release.

“With the enthusiastic support of the City of Surrey, we are confident in the strength of this bid.”

Surrey will now compete for the 2019 Americas qualifier against entries from North, South and Central America. A final selection is expected by the World Baseball Softball Confederation next month. The top two teams at the ‘19 event will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – softball’s first appearance on the Olympic docket since 2008.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Timm told Peace Arch News Wednesday afternoon.

Surrey had been chosen earlier in the month, Timm added, but Softball Canada held off on making an announcement until world championships were completed in Japan last week. Canada finished third at worlds; had they won, and thus qualified for the Olympics that way, Softball Canada would have had no need to bid for next summer’s qualifier.

The United States won the world championships over Japan to earn the second of six Olympic softball berths. Japan, as the host country, received the first entry. Next year, two other qualifier tournaments – one in the Europe/Africa region and one in Asia – will be held to determine the final two Olympic participants. The Americas tournament will feature 16 teams, and gets two Olympic berths by virtue of having the most registered nations in the WBSC.

Timm announced that the Canada Cup organizing committee would bid for the qualifier during last month’s Canada Cup at Softball City. The deadline to submit a bid to the WBSC was Wednesday (Aug. 15), and Timm was not sure what other cities would be in the running.

He believes, however, that competing bids may come from Barranquilla, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico, and “possibly” from a city in the Dominican Republic.

“That’s what we think might happen. It’s like when we bid (for the world championships) in 2016 – people tell you things, and then they don’t bid… but if what we’ve heard is factual, we believe Columbia and Mexico are going to come in with quite lucrative bids.”

Stiff competition aside, Timm said the Surrey committee has put together a “solid, professional” bid for the tournament.

“We’ve done our very best. We’re Canadian, so (our tournament) is going to be safe, and we’re going to be honest (with the WBSC) – we will do what we say we are going to do, and we aren’t going to put things in writing that we won’t follow through on,” he said, adding that Surrey’s bid committee has to be fiscally responsible as a not-for-profit entity.

“We’re not going to go into deficit on this… bids from other zones, we don’t necessarily know. You don’t know where their money is coming from… there’s been a history that not all countries fulfil the execution (promises) that were in their bid upfront.”

The WBSC’s final selection will be no later than Sept. 15, Timm said he’s been told.

If Surrey is chosen, the tournament will be held Aug. 25-Sept. 1 next year at Softball City.

Just Posted

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Hights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

Fluterrific returning to North Delta Rec Centre

The annual flute concert will showcase music from all genres on Sunday, Nov. 18

WATCH: Goalie from North Delta scores in AHL hockey game

Tristan Jarry makes history for Penguins by hitting an empty net

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. teacher suspended 5 days for touching colleague’s buttocks

Lancer Kevin Price of Chilliwack has handed the retroactive suspension for 2017 incidents

Most Read