Softball Australia, in conjunction with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will re-brand the Asia Pacific Cup to the Australia Pacific Cup to reflect the tournament’s Down Under flavour on the international stage.
The Australia Pacific Cup, or AP Cup, has been held at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney since 2018 and in 2020 will have extra significance given the Travelodge Aussie Spirit’s return to the Olympic Games.
Outside of the Olympics, the AP Cup will be the biggest elite level international softball tournament in 2020 and the name change will reflect Australia’s status in the game.
“After qualifying for the Olympic Games so convincingly in September, we want to recognise our profile amongst the WBSC nations, and the AP Cup is our biggest platform to do so,” said David Pryles, Chief Executive Officer at Softball Australia.
“Importantly, we’ve worked with the WBSC to ensure all competing nations in the AP Cup are eligible for international ranking points, adding even more significance to what will essentially be an Olympic preview in our own backyard.”
Four of the six nations qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are set to compete in the AP Cup at Blacktown International Sportspark from 30 January – 2 February, 2020.
The Travelodge Aussie Spirit will be joined by Mexico and Italy after they too were successful in their respective WBSC Olympic Qualifiers, while the 2020 Games host nation and World Number Two, Japan, again make the trip Down Under.
A second Australian team, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand complete the field set to compete in Blacktown.
Australia were the final team to qualify for the Olympics with softball to be played from 22-28 July at Yokohama and Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadiums.
The Australians were dominant winning all five games in their Qualifier, scoring 37 runs and allowing only four against, batting at an impressive average of .400 as a team, and defensively perfect with no errors committed in the field.
Only two Olympic nations, Canada and the United States of America, will be missing from the highly anticipated tournament.
International softball holds centre stage at Blacktown with the exciting Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball also taking place at the venue from 3 – 5 February.