Thunder Bay to host 2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup

Thunder Bay will once again host some world-class baseball.

The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association (TBIBA) announced Tuesday that it was successful in its bid to host the 2024 Women’s Baseball World Cup finals.

Thunder Bay will also host the Group A qualifiers next August, which will see six international teams play in the city in hopes of earning a spot in the finals in 2024.

“We know you are reliable partners with Thunder Bay, having hosted the [Canada-USA friendship series] this summer, which really demonstrated just how competitive women’s baseball is, and what a great atmosphere this city can provide for the top women’s baseball players in the world,” said Joan Garcia of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC).

Garcia said the 2024 World Cup is the first to use a two-stage format. Group play will take place next year — the location and dates of the Group B qualifiers have not yet been announced.

The top two teams from groups A and B, and two wild card teams, will earn spots in the 2024 finals.

As of Tuesday, seven teams had already qualified for the World Cup’s group stage, the WBSC said:

  • France
  • Venezuela
  • Cuba
  • Puerto Rico
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Canada

“It’s really such an opportunity for us to be able to host on the international level on our home soil, where our players can see what that looks like,” said Baseball Canada CEO Jason Dixon. “I think that’s really important for our young athletes, to see what that prize is at the end, what the end goal is, and watch some of the best international competition in the world come together.”

“We’re beyond thrilled to host the event.”

Ellie Jespersen eyes up a pitch during late inning action against Team USA at a game in Thunder Bay, Ont. on July 28th, 2022. (Marc Doucette/CBC)

Baseball Canada and the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association will run the local organizing committee.

Nick Melchiorre, TBIBA president, said volunteer recruitment is already starting in Thunder Bay.

“Now that it’s official, we will be recruiting volunteers,” he said. “In the past we’ve had up to 400 volunteers that we’ve used in previous tournaments, and we have a lot of those same contacts.”

“We’ll be contacting them in the near future to welcome them back and use those skills, because there are skills to be a volunteer even though it’s not a paid position,” Melchiorre said. “We do it out of the love of baseball and the love of the community.”

For information about volunteering, visit TBIBA’s Facebook page.

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