22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020

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U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

U-18 Men's Softball World Cup: Palmerston North ready to welcome the world

U-18 Men's Softball World Cup: Palmerston North ready to welcome the world
The biggest city in the Manawatu region, Palmerston North will host the first-ever** WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup from 22 February to 1 March.

Less than 20 days from the first pitch of the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup, Palmerston North is ready to welcome the softball world. Two completely renewed fields and a beautiful city will be the stage for the first-ever WBSC Softball World Cup in the U-18 age category.

In January 2019 the WBSC awarded Palmerston North the hosting rights of the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup, and the host community started to work immediately on the renovation of the fields. The infield and outfield have been revamped, and some upgrades have been made in the venue, including the installation of permanent lighting on the main field. The 12 participating countries will play in world-class facilities in Palmerston North.

However, the vision of the local organizing committee goes beyond the World Cup. The upgraded facilities will mean Manawatū and Palmerston North can attract more tournaments. The world-class facilities will boost softball development in New Zealand's seventh-largest city and eighth-largest urban area.

"The World Cup is going to leave a huge legacy for Manawatū softball, which is the most exciting thing," said Alison Kensington, Manawatū Softball Association chairwoman, to New Zealand media. "We'll have top-class facilities for the next 50 years."

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It will be the second youth softball global event to be held in New Zealand after Auckland hosted the 1993 edition of the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship. New Zealand has hosted three senior men's world championships - at Lower Hutt (1976), Christchurch (2004) and Auckland (2013), and will stage another in 2021. 

From 16-19 January the U-18 New Zealand National Championship served Palmerston North and the Organizing Committee as a test event ahead of the World Cup.

Hosted by the Manawatu Softball Association, the week before the World Cup there will be a warm up tournament between Argentina, Australia, Japan, Canada who will be taking on four Manawatu Prem Men`s Teams.

Palmerston North

Located towards the south of the North Island, Palmerston North is the largest city of the Manawatu region and is the seat of the regional council. Palmerston North City, named in honour of a former British Prime Minister called Viscount Palmerston, is near the bank of Manawatu River and the spectacular Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge, and bordered by the Tararua and Ruahine mountain ranges, giving the visitors a unique landscape to enjoy. The Māori name for the city is Papaioea which is believed to mean "how beautiful it is".

Palmerston North is famous for its rose gardens and during the tournament fans can expect temperate and sunny days, with temperatures that rise above 24°C.

** While this is the first WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup, this will be the 13th edition in this age group with Australia the most successful country with five titles, including the last tournament - the XII Jr. Men's Softball World Championship 2018 in Prince Albert, Canada.