XXIII Congress Had Record Turnout
Highlight Proceedings from Four Days
The XXIII Congress of the International Softball Federation (ISF), the world governing body for the sport, concluded here yesterday at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel. A record 77 countries were represented during the four days of meetings. (Eighty four had registered but seven had scheduling or travel problems.) The ISF Congress takes place every other year.
While the recurring theme throughout this year’s edition was “Back Softball,” the ongoing campaign to get the sport reinstated in 2009 to the Olympic Games of 2016 (see http://www.backsoftball.com/) – including a workshop two days ago devoted to the effort – numerous other highlights came out of the proceedings.
The ISF announced the establishment of another regional training center. To cater to the European region, existing softball facilities in Rome, Italy, now become the third facility serving a specific part of the world. The ISF’s world headquarters complex in Plant City, Florida, is the initial location, and the softball facilities in Santo Domingo that hosted the competition at the 2003 Pan American Games was announced earlier this year as the second.
Another regional development was the formalization of the African Softball Confederation. That body falls in line with regional softball confederations already in existence for the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
The ISF also awarded two future events at this Congress. The 2011 Jr. Women’s World Championship (19-and-under, fast pitch) was awarded to Cape Town, South Africa. And, the next ISF Congress (XXIV), which will take place in 2009, was awarded to Valencia, Venezuela.
“This was most definitely a successful Congress,” said ISF President Don Porter. “A lot was accomplished over the time we spent here, not the least of which was the finalization of the establishment of the African Softball Confederation. Our various ISF commissions, such as the Athletes Commission, Women In Sports Commission, and Doping/Medical Commission, all made significant contributions as well. We definitely saw a dedicated effort by all of the delegates who attended from the five regions of the world.”
The latest class of ISF Hall of Famers was also elected here. Chosen from the athlete category were: Carlos Cano Gómez (Guatemala), Sheila Cornell Douty (USA), Candice Degregory Culmer (Bahamas), Jane Earnshaw (New Zealand), Richard Johnson (Bahamas), and Michael Nichols (New Zealand). In the umpiring category, Wayne Brown (Canada), Lucie Carmichael (Canada), and Michael Preece (Bermuda) were each elected. The following six individuals are honored under the Administrator category: Dr. Chartchai Essarum (Thailand), Mr. Mikio Kuroki (Japan), Carlos Larrañaga Gomar (Guatemala), Ms. LOW Beng Choo (Malaysia), Mr. Hilberto “Hilly” Martinez (Belize), and Jacques Reinenbergh (Belgium). Both Godfrey Gully Pinder (Bahamas) and Mr. HWANG Chang-Keun (Korea) were elected under the Coach category, while Austin Knowles (Bahamas) is recognized in the category of Meritorious Service.
In addition, ISF President Don Porter also bestowed the ISF Medal of Honor upon Edward T. Colbert (USA), making him just the tenth recipient since it was initiated in 1990. The attorney from Washington, D.C., was recognized for his many years of service to the ISF.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (+1.813) 453 8762 (cell).