Whitehorse to host world softball championship in 2017

Yukon is fast becoming a hub for world softball championships. Whitehorse will host the International Softball Federation Men’s World Championship in the summer of 2017, it was decided on Friday.

Yukon is fast becoming a hub for world softball championships.

Whitehorse will host the International Softball Federation Men’s World Championship in the summer of 2017, it was decided on Friday.

Softball Yukon, in partnership with Softball Canada, won hosting privileges for the 2017 championship at the federation’s congress in Cartagena, Colombia.

“We hope the city is excited. We are,” said Softball Yukon executive director George Arcand, speaking from Cartagena. “We hope they look forward to it and the whole thing will become a positive experience for the game of softball.

“Right now it’s open, so we could have 20, 24 teams – it’s yet to be seen … Here at the congress there’s 61 countries represented, so it’s a worldwide effort.”

By the time of the 2017 tournament, it will be the fourth world softball championship Whitehorse and Softball Yukon will have hosted.

Whitehorse was home to the 2008 ISF Junior Men’s World Championship and the 2012 ISF Women’s World Championship last summer.

The Yukon capital will host the ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship a second time next July.

The 2017 tournament will be the first time Whitehorse and Softball Yukon hosts the biennial senior men’s championship.

The final decision came down to Canada and Argentina at which time both potential hosts made a final presentation to the congress.

Softball Yukon stressed the hospitality of Yukon and Canada, Whitehorse’s top-notch Pepsi Softball Centre facility, and the association’s previous hosting experience.

“It’s up on screen and we have pictures and all that, but we sell it with the facility, being a world-class facility, we sell Yukon as a destination, being part of Canada which is very safe, secure and hospitable, and all those good things,” said Arcand. “You’re selling your local region, you’re selling your complex, you’re selling your volunteers.”

Whitehorse has already hosted two world championships, “and that makes a difference for sure. They know you have a proven track record, all the bills got paid on time, so there’s no issues afterwards. The players are treated well, the fans all come out to watch, they love the game.”

It was also decided at the congress that Surrey, B.C. will host the 2016 ISF Women’s World Championship. It was a big week for the B.C. city as Surrey’s Dale McMann was elected president of the ISF.

The 2013 ISF Men’s World Championship was held in Auckland, New Zealand this past March. The hosting New Zealand team took gold with a win over Venezuela in the final. Australia claimed the bronze while

Canada was eliminated in the playoffs with a pair of losses after going 6-1 in the round-robin.

The 2015 ISF Senior Men’s World Championship will be held in Saskatoon, Sask.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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