As the start of the tournament draws closer, there’s not much left for the organizers of 12th annual Junior Men’s Softball World Championship to do but wait for the field to arrive.
“We’re pretty much ready to go here, especially after getting the practice schedules set and having all of volunteer spots filled up,” said Derek Smith, who is an event co-chair along with Felix Casavant.
“We’ve been spending the last few weeks here putting the finishing touches on everything to make sure that we are fully prepared for when the teams start to arrive here over the next few days.”
The first of the 13 teams competing in the tournament arrived Thursday as Argentina made their way to Prince Albert and held their first practice session Friday.
The rest of the field will be arriving over the coming days for practices and exhibition contest before the event gets underway next Saturday.
“I think that’s when will start to see the buzz really take off here in Prince Albert,” Smith said.
“Once we get to have some exhibition games and the other events we have planned leading up to Saturday, it will start to sink in for people that everything’s about to get underway.”
Argentina will be taking to the field at Optimist Field Monday at 4 p.m. to take on the Prince Albert Under-18 Astros.
They will also play Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they’ll face an Under-19 team from Delisle at Shaye Amundson Field.
A triple-header is planned for Wednesday at Optimist Field with New Zealand playing South Africa at 2 p.m., South Africa taking on the Czech Republic at 4:30 p.m. and the defending tournament champion Japan going up against the United States at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s slate of pre-tournament activities will get started at 11 a.m. at Optimist Field, as Team Canada will be hosting a skills clinic for softball players 12 years of age or younger.
The tournament hosts will then travel to Shellbrook to play a doubleheader with Japan.
Optimist Field will host another triple-header, which will start off at 2 p.m. as Australia faces the Saskatoon Selects Under-19 team.
Australia will then play South Africa at 4:30 p.m., while the United States will take on Denmark at 7 p.m.
Argentina and India will take to the diamond twice Thursday at Shaye Amundson Field for games at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Prince Albert Under-18 Astros will also play at Shaye Amundson Field at 6:30 p.m. against the Czech Republic.
Mexico’s lone pre-tournament contest will take place at 7 p.m. that night when they’ll face the Delisle Under-18 team at 7 p.m.
Melfort will also host a doubleheader Thursday as New Zealand will play the 222s Masters.
Those looking for tickets can purchase them online at wsbc.pointstreaksites.com or in person at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy.