OKLAHOMA CITY — Among the key events and wild cards recently announced by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board at the 2019 Congress in Sakai, Japan, the USA Softball U-18 Men’s National Team was awarded the wild card for the 2020 U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup. After finishing fifth at the 2019 U-17 Men’s Softball Pan American Championship, the Red, White and Blue fell just short of a qualifying berth and applied for the Wild Card bid ahead of the III WBSC Congress.
The U.S., having garnered 24 votes versus Israel’s two votes at the Congress, will join 11 other countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa) at the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup set to take place February 22 – March 1, 2020 in Palmerston, New Zealand.
The U-18 MNT will be composed of members from the 2019 squad that traveled to Guatemala City for the U-17 Men’s Softball Pan American Championship. The U.S. finished the U-17 Men’s Softball Pan American Championship in fifth place with a 3-3 record, just shy of earning a spot in the Playoff Rounds. The Red, White and Blue compiled a .232 batting average, 35 hits and 30 RBI, while the pitching staff issued 22 strikeouts over their six-game outing.
The 2020 U-18 Men’s National Team will look to improve upon the performance at the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship (JMWC) where they finished in eighth place. As a team, the U.S. finished the JMWC with a .226 team batting average, 30 hits and 22 RBI, in addition to the pitching staff issuing a total of 34 strikeouts over the course of six games.
For updates on the USA Softball National Team program and events throughout the 2019-20 season and beyond, visit www.USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball (USAS) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USAS sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USAS is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USAS annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USAS umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USAS is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.