SURREY, CANADA -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced that a record 31 nations will be competing at the 15th WBSC Women's Softball World Championship in Surrey, Canada, from July 15-24.
The 15th Women's Softball World Championship in Surrey will bring together the world's top softball athletes from all five regions, representing the largest global footprint in the event's history, as eleven nations will be making their women's world championship debuts.
Stepping onto the women's softball world stage for the first time are: Brazil, Ecuador, India, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, Serbia, Switzerland, and Uganda.
- Africa (2): Kenya, Uganda
- Americas (10): Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, United States, Venezuela, and host Canada;
- Asia (6): China, Chinese Taipei, India, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines;
- Europe (11): Austria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Switzerland;
- Oceania (2): Australia, New Zealand.
WBSC Softball President, Dale McMann said: "The worldwide interest and development of our sport globally is reflected in the widest field of nations participating in the pinnacle women's softball event, while new nations continue to enrich and emerge upon our sport's global stage."
Round Robin sections announced
The 31 nations of the 2016 WBSC Women's Softball World Championship have been delegated to their respective sections and will open the event with a group round robin:
- Section 1: Japan, Venezuela, France;
- Section 2: USA, Brazil, Austria, Israel;
- Section 3: Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Serbia;
- Section 4: Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Uganda;
- Section 5: Chinese Taipei, Puerto Rico, India, Ecuador;
- Section 6: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Philippines, Pakistan;
- Section 7: China, Cuba, Guatemala, Greece;
- Section 8: New Zealand, Italy, Kenya, Peru.
The Women's National Team of Japan will head to Surrey as the two-time defending world champions, capturing gold medals in Haarlem (NED) in 2014 and Whitehorse (CAN) in 2012.
The United States -- the Eagles -- have won nine total women's world championships and took home the silver medal in 2012 and 2014. Oceania's Australia -- the Aussie Spirit -- claimed the bronze medal in Whitehorse and Haarlem. Host Canada is expected to perform well after their gold-medal win at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
International selection of Umpires
WBSC has appointed 30 umpires from 18 countries from all corners of the world to officiate in the 15th WBSC Women's Softball World Championship 2016.
Officials uniting in Surry will be arriving from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Spain, USA, and Venezuela.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.surrey2016.com.
-- Courtesy of the World Baseball Softball Confederation