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WBSC confirm dates for postponed 2022 Men’s Softball World Cup

New dates have been announced for the Men's Softball World Cup ©Getty Images

The Men’s Softball World Cup in 2022 will take place in Auckland from November 26 to December 4, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced.

The premier men’s softball tournament had been due to be held in February before being delayed to next year as a result of COVID-19 safety precautions and international travel restrictions.

Softball New Zealand chief executive Tony Giles said the new dates provide certainty in what had been a very difficult 12 months.

“We are looking forward to getting this tournament underway and are confident that, if the international borders open, it will be a huge success,” he added.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said the new dates would give the Continental Associations more time to organise the necessary qualifiers for the event, and also give New Zealand and the 12 participating nations more certainty about the organisation of the event.

“The entire softball world can’t wait to be back in New Zealand, one of the top men’s softball countries in the world, and showcase the top players and nations in the sport,” Fraccari said.

“On behalf of the WBSC, I would like to thank Softball New Zealand, the Organising Committee, the NZ Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation through the Major Events Fund and Auckland Unlimited for their continued flexibility and commitment to this important event.”

The Americas will have four places at the tournament, while Europe, Oceania and Asia will have two.

One African team will compete at the event, with the final place going to wild card.

Spots will be determined through Continental Championships, which serve as World Cup qualifiers.

Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, will be hosting the top men’s softball event for the second time in the tournament’s 55-year history, with Rosedale Park also being the setting for the 2013 edition, when it was called the World Championship.

Lower Hutt, in 1976, and Christchurch, in 2004 were the other two New Zealand cities to have hosted the tournament.

Softball New Zealand was awarded the hosting rights for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup at the organisation’s Congress 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana.

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