The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has awarded Sao Paulo, Brazil the hosting rights for one of the three groups, which make up the Group Stage of the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup. The Brazilian Baseball and Softball Confederation (CBBS) will host the event at the Estadio Municipal de Beisebol Mie Nishi from 23 to 27 July, 2024.
The Estadio Municipal de Beisebol Mie Nishi, located in the Bom Retiro neighbourhood in central Sao Paulo, will be the stage for the 19 games of the group. The stadium was inaugurated in 1958 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Japanese immigration in Brazil and has hosted two major multi-sport competitions: The baseball event at the 1963 Pan American Games, and the women’s softball event at the 2002 South American Games.
In April 2023, the Mie Nishi stadium inaugurated a new, energy-efficient light system to meet high-definition broadcast standards. In addition, the field will undergo a series of renovations to meet WBSC standards for a world-class softball event, including the installation of artificial turf.
Under the newly and successfully implemented Two-Stage format, a total of 18 participating teams will be allocated across three groups to open the tournament in the Group Stage in 2024. The top two teams in each group’s final standings and two wild cards will move to the Finals, to be staged in 2025.
Taking advantage of the Two-Stage World Cups – which has opened new opportunities for more countries to host a WBSC World Cup, broadening the appeal of international softball events – Brazil will host a WBSC Softball World Cup for the first time, becoming the 16th nation to organize a Women’s Softball World Cup (across all categories). Counting also the Men’s Softball World Cups, Brazil will be the 20th host nation of a Softball global event.
At the same time, Brazil will be the fourth South American country, and the sixth nation in Latin America, to host a softball World Cup (in any category), after Mexico (Men’s Softball World Cup 1966 and U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2023), El Salvador (Women’s Softball World Cup 1978), Venezuela (Women’s Softball World Cup 2010), Argentina (U-19 Men’s Softball World Cup 2012 and U-23 Men’s Softball World Cup 2023) and Peru (U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup 2021).
The U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup (previously named Junior Women’s Softball World Championship and U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup), has been hosted in all five continents. The last edition of the most important women’s softball youth international tournament took place in Lima, Peru, in 2021 with USA defeating Chinese Taipei in a 1-0 thriller.
By hosting a group of the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage, world No. 16 Brazil becomes the ninth qualified team for the tournament. World No. 6 Italy, No. 9 Czechia and No. 21 Ireland will represent the European continent, No. 2 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei and No. 15 China will play for Asia while No. 32 New Zealand and No. 10 Australia qualified from the Oceania qualifier. The dates of the Americas and Africa Qualifiers are still to be determined.
The composition of the groups, as well as the hosts and dates for the other two groups of the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage, will be announced at a later stage.