Thursday, 21 July 2016

Softball Update #1

The World Softball Championships continue and the games are beginning to get better since the teams were pooled after the third day.  No more 28-0 blow-outs, which was a relief.  It was so agonizing to see Kenya completely annihilated by New Zealand, not being able to even touch the ball.  The stronger international teams usually have expats who play in U.S. colleges, so their level of skill is excellent.


Some further highlights:

  • Some local coaches continue to practice with the weaker teams such as Kenya and Uganda, and it's very encouraging to see their quick improvement.  These teams celebrate the smaller goals, like getting a few runs in a game, or making more intricate plays.  
  • Two Cuban players were found missing a couple of days ago and it appears like they've defected.  I suppose incidents like this can happen at any large sporting event.  
  • Canada lost in an embarrassing 7-1 game versus Venezuela.  Venezuela used to be a very weak team, but a local coach took over their training a couple of years ago and since then, they've become a contender. Nevertheless, a very lacklustre performance by the Canadians.  They seem to do this every year, except for one, when their head coach was off and the assistant coach took over.  Hmmm ......  In any case, they beat Puerto Rico last night 10-0, so in a way, they redeemed themselves.
  • The Israeli team has come complete with bodyguards.  Before each game, dogs scour the park for anything suspicious.  It's quite a serious business, and rightly so since the horrible incident at the 1972 Summer Olympics.  I scored the Israel game yesterday and we had a very muscular, tattooed, imposing bodyguard enter the booth and ask very gruffly why the game had been moved from one diamond to another.  We had to explain that Pakistan hadn't arrived and as their game had been cancelled, this one was moved to the better diamond.  He grunted and left.

And so the tournament contines ........


4 comments:

  1. I am loving your behind the scene incidents!

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  2. that guard thing is a bit scary... a little different from sandlot ball like we kids used to play...

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    1. They take it very seriously. I've also heard rumour of plainclothes agents in the crowd, however it's hearsay. I did see the bodyguards and the dogs with my own eyes though.

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