Starting July 9, the Lower Mainland will be treated to nine days of home runs, close tags and rally caps, as the 2011 Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship welcomes women softball stars from British Columbia and the globe.
The championship runs until July 17 and will take place at three diamonds in Surrey.
Softball City will be the premier destination, and games will also be played at Sunnyside Park and Cloverdale Athletic Park.
The Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch championship is one of the top three women’s fastpitch events in the world for 2011, and will feature more than 400 ball games, 1,300 athletes and 80 teams from around the world.
“This event is important to the game on so many levels,” said Softball Canada president Kevin Quinn. “To all the players, through all the divisions, it is a chance to measure yourself against the best at your level of competition in a fun, professionally organized tournament.
“Lifetime memories are made here.”
There will be three divisions of play— Women’s, Futures (under-19); Showcase (under-16.
All the International and Women’s Elite games will be held at Softball City in South Surrey.
Joining Team Canada in the Women’s International division will be top-ranked and 2010 ISF Women’s World Champion Team USA, Team Japan, Team Venezuela and Team Australia.
Canada won the Bronze medal at last year’s ISF Women’s World Championships.
“(We) are pleased that Surrey has the opportunity to welcome the world’s top fastpitch teams to this tournament,” said Bal Gosal, Canada’s Minister of State (Sport). “These young athletes will experience the thrill of participating in an international competition and get to know the true meaning of spirit.”
In the Women’s Elite division, the host club, the White Rock Renegades, will be taking on teams from California, Venezuela, and Nanjing, China.
The host Renegades will have a total of six teams taking part in the Open Championship.
British Columbia will be well-represented at this year’s championship. Joining the Renegades will be the Okanagan Elite Gold, Abbotsford Outlaws, Burnaby Oakeys, Cloverdale Fury, Delta Heat, Duncan Red Hots, Fleetwood Force, Fraser Valley Fusion, Kelowna Heat, Langley Rebels, PoCo Rage, Richmond Islanders, Ridge Meadows Pride, South Delta Invaders, Strawberry Vale Stealth, Surrey Storm and Victoria Devils.
From elsewhere in Canada, Surrey will be joined by clubs from Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as American clubs from Alaska, Arizona, California and Hawaii.
Tickets can be purchased online at CanadianOpenFastpitch.com, as well as at the parks. The action kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 9 with women’s play, as the White Rock Renegades face-off with the California A’s. The third-place and first-place games will be played on Saturday, July 17 at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m., respectively.