Men’s softball will return to the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games this summer for the first time since 2003, which is good news for Canada.
The Canadian men’s team has won all seven gold medals in the sport’s history at the Pan Am Games, each time defeating rivals and Toronto 2015 competitors, the United States.
Other teams include Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. All six teams are among the top softball nations in the world.
Since debuting on the Pan Am Games program in 1979, softball has been a long-time fan favourite. The recently upgraded President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ballpark will be the home of this summer’s competitions.
“Our Canadian men’s softball team is thrilled about the return of men’s softball to the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games,” said John Stuart, head coach of the Canadian men’s team.
“There are many top teams emerging from the Americas and we are very confident with the group of players we have.”
The Canadian men’s team will begin its quest for another title with a game against Mexico on July 12, and will then go head to head with archrival the U.S., seven-time Pan Am silver medallists, on July 13.
Canada’s men’s softball schedule: July 12 vs. Mexico at 7 p.m.; July 13 vs. USA at 7 p.m.; July 14 vs. Argentina at 7 p.m.; July 15 vs. Dominican Republic at 7 p.m. and July 16 vs. Venezuela at 4:30 p.m.
The men’s semifinals will be July 17 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., followed by the bronze- and gold-medal games July 18 at noon and 3 p.m.
In the women’s competition, the U.S. will be the team to beat, having won the previous seven gold medals at the Games and beating Canada in the last four.
The Canadian women’s team, competing with a stacked roster that will include four Olympians and eight returning Pan Am players from the 2011 Guadalajara Games, is expected to be on the hunt for gold as well.
“Our team has a proud history of performing well at the Pan American Games and we look forward to the opportunity to play in front of our Canadians fans,” said Canadian women’s team head coach Mark Smith.
Cuba’s women’s team will also be strong competitors after winning bronze at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Other countries in the women’s tournament include Brazil, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Canada’s women’s softball schedule: July 19 vs. Brazil at 4:30 p.m.; July 20 vs. Cuba at 7 p.m.; July 21 vs. USA at 7 p.m.; July 22 vs. Dominican Republic at 7 p.m. and July 23 vs. Puerto Rico at 7 p.m.
The women’s semifinals will be July 24 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. followed by the bronze-medal game July 25 at 5 p.m. and the gold-medal game July 26, at 11 a.m.
To view the softball schedules or to buy tickets, visit TORONTO2015.org/tickets.