WBSC will test during the VIII Women’s Baseball World Cup a new set of rules.
“The twelve-second rule between pitches has been in use for some time now,” cleared WBSC Umpire Director Gustavo Rodriguez during the presentation press conference “But we will be using a clock on the field for the very first time.”
Players will have 90 seconds between half innings to get ready and managers will be able to declare an intentional walk.
The big change in the rules will be the introduction of instant replays. Every manager will have the possibility to challenge one decision of the umpiring crew. When a manager loses the challenge, in the sixth and seventh the decision to turn to instant replays will be left to the umpiring crew
Australia’s manager Simone Wearne seemed not too worried about the new rules.
“They are not going to affect the way we play. Baseball is baseball”.
Japan is a five-time defending champion but Megumi Kitta is a first year manager.
“My English is very bad, but my players are very good,” she joked “We have a lot of twenty-year olds on the roster and three High School players.”
Taking over after five World Titles must put some pressure on you: “Well, everybody jokes with me about the possibility I may be the first losing manager after five wins, including my parents…”
Kitta San was joined during the press conference by star pitcher Ayami Sato, who has been the World Cup MVP for the last two editions.
“I am here to be the MVP for the third time in a row. I feel very good. I also have expanded my range of pitches.”
Canada finished second in 2016 and manager Andrè Lachance said: “It’s amazing how much this tournament has grown since the first edition in Edmonton.”
Carlos Torres is the manager of Venezuela, that won a bronze medal two years ago.
“It’s a honour to be here, representing my country. I am sure you are all aware of the sacrifices we had to do, to make this possible.”
Also USA’s Matt Weagle is a rookie manager. But he was on the staff for the last two World Cups as the pitching coach.
“It’s a real honour. I don’t take lightly the fact I am managing on USA soil and I want to thank everyone who made this possible. I can’t promise victories, but I can promise we will play hard.”
The VIII Women’s Baseball World Cup opens on Wednesday, 22 August, at Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The first two games (Dominican Republic-Japan and Chinese Taipei-Venezuela) are scheduled at 10 am (US Eastern time). The opening ceremony will start at 6 pm and will be followed by Puerto Rico-USA to close Day 1 of competition.