Team Canada won the women’s division of the 2018 Canada Cup. (File photo)

Olympic qualifier news further delayed

Surrey committee now expects to hear news on softball bid in mid- to late-January

Surrey softball fans will have to wait a little bit longer to find out if an Olympic qualifier tournament is coming to their city.

In late July, the organizing committe behind the South Surrey-based Canada Cup announced its intention to bid for the 2019 Americas Olympic qualifer – which would see two national teams from North, South and Central America qualify for the six-team tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In mid-August, Surrey was chosen by Softball Canada as the country’s bid city, where it would go up against expected bids from, among other places, Barranquilla, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico.

At that time, Surrey committee chair Greg Timm told Peace Arch News that he was told by the World Baseball Softball Confederation would make an announcement by no later than Sept. 15, which was the date of the governing body’s next meeting.

However, delays stemming from that meeting pushed the announcement further, and now seemingly, the WBSC has pushed the announcement again.

READ MORE: Surrey-based committee bids for Olympic softball qualifier

READ MORE: Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Despite expecting to hear news in late November, Surrey bid committee member Laura Ballance – whose Laura Ballance Media Group has long been the communications arm of the Canada Cup tournament – told PAN earlier this month that they don’t expect to hear from the WBSC until mid- to late-January now, after the organization meets in Rome.

The delays, both Ballance and Timm have told PAN, stem from the WBSC trying to organize and synchronize all of the softball and baseball Olympic qualfiers worldwide, and announce them at the same time.

Delays on the baseball side of things have therefore delayed any softball announcements.

Progress appears to be being made, however. Last week, the WBSC announced its ‘Premier 12’ baseball qualifer tournament, set for November of 2019, which will see the world’s top-12 ranked baseball countries play a total of 32 games in four countries, with two Olympic berths on the line.

Should Surrey win the softball bid, the tournament would run Aug. 25-Sept 1. Two teams from the event will qualify for the Olympics.

The 2019 Canada Cup, meanwhile, is scheduled for July 6-14.

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