Japan wins the 2013 Junior Women’s World Championships!

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Overview of the tournament

The JWWC was held in Ontario, Canada this year from July 1st-7th.  Sixteen countries came to the 19-U tournament which included; USA, Canada, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Korea, Venezuela, Japan, Australia, Brazil, China, Botswana, Netherlands, Singapore, and Mexico.  A total of seventy-three games were played in the tournament.  All games are available for viewing at http://www.sportscanada.tv/2013jwwc/index.php/broadcast-schedule.

All of the teams managed to make it to Canada except for Venezuela due to not being able get all the needed passports before the tournament began.

The USA played a solid eight games during the tournament.  After the USA defeated Japan once in the winner’s bracket, Japan came back with vengeance fighting their way to the gold medal game.  Japan managed to pull out a victory over undefeated USA in their ninth game in the tournament.

Final Bracket

Gold Medal: Japan

Silver Medal: USA

Bronze Medal: Australia

How the USA Players are Chosen

Players are chosen by invitation to the USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp.  The players who accept the invite compete for the 17-18 open spots on the Junior Softball Women’s National Team to represent the United States.  This years’ junior team selection included 17 college freshmen all-stars from across the nation.  The roster can be found here http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Team-USA/Junior-Women.

Tournament Future Impact

The tournament added great publicity for the softball community.  The tournament buzz was all over Twitter and Facebook with live updates.  Fans were able to easily keep up with the rain delays and even see and pictures of the field conditions.  The best live-streaming mechanism used was the live-scoring on http://www.jwwc2013.com.  Below is a picture of what the live-scoring looked like where fans can watch updates on all the games being played at once.

US vs PR

Hopefully, all of this new media coverage will help Baseball/Softball to be voted back into the 2020 Olympics!  The age that group played in the tournament include likely candidates to play in the Olympics if the sport is voted back in.  These girls can possibly become the new major faces of softball and be up there with softball idols such as Jennie Finch, Lisa Fernandez, and Jessica Mendoza.

Below Team USA tries to clean up the field during the final game so that they can play the last inning. Picture was found from a live update on Twitter.

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Exciting Moments from the tournament

New Zealand performing game chant.

Interview with the coach of Team Japan. I love that he states that they came specifically to beat the US!

Photo credit: twitter.com

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