Softball Ontario mourns the loss of Steve Bedard

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of loyal Softball Ontario Umpire Steve Bedard (SO# 000027).

We send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s family and friends. For service details, click here.

Steve will truly be missed on softball diamonds across Ontario.

Softball Ontario hails Umpire Excellence at 2018 Blue Symposium

Umpires from across the province gathered in Burlington on February 10-11 for the annual Softball Ontario Blue Symposium Weekend! As usual, the event featured daytime information sessions for both Fast Pitch and Slo-Pitch umpires.

Umpire personnel, softball volunteers, and guest speakers gave presentations on umpire-related topics, such as rule changes, concussion protocols, new program updates, and more.

On Saturday evening, the Umpire Awards banquet was held; a night dedicated to commemorating the best Blue Crew in the country. Softball Ontario would like to congratulate the following recipients of the 2017 umpire awards:

Junior Umpire of the Year:
Zakhary Henderson – Zone 7, Toronto

Rookie of the Year:
Fast Pitch: Nathan Lasher – Zone 9, Belleville
Slo-Pitch: Sarah Anderson – Zone 1, Windsor

Home Run Sports Zone Umpire-in-Chief of the Year
Fast Pitch: Justin Van Horn – Zone 1, Chatham
Slo-Pitch: Jeff McKay – Zone 3, Brantford

Doug Cundall Umpire of the Year:
Fast Pitch: Teralyn Coleman – Zone 7, Toronto
Slo-Pitch: Mike Lieff – Zone 8, Stittsville

Jim Bradford Memorial Award
Fast Pitch: Sal Garra – Zone 10, Ottawa
Slo-Pitch: Doug Cundall – Zone 6, Barrie

Thank you to all of the organizers, presenters, volunteers, and attendees who all contributed in making the event such a success. Softball Ontario acknowledges the role that umpires play in the sport, and appreciates the mentorship that they offer to the youth in their communities. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.

We will see you at the 2019 Blue Symposium Weekend!

Trevor Topping Named to 2018 WBSC World Championships

Softball Canada is pleased to announce the selection of four umpires to represent Canada at two WBSC World Championships in 2018.

Frankie Billingsley (Edmonton, Alta.) will carry the flag to Chiba, Japan as she has been selected to the umpire crew at the 2018 WBSC XVI Women’s Softball World Championship from August 2 – 12.

Billingsley also worked the 2016 Women’s World Championships in Surrey, B.C.

A trio of Softball Canada umpires have been appointed to the crew of the 2018 WBSC XII Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Sask. from July 7-15. Clinton Harvey (Valley, N.S.), Frank Fargey (Winnipeg, Man.) and Trevor Topping (Kitchener, Ont.) have been selected for the event on home soil. Harvey previously worked the 2015 WBSC Junior Women’s Softball World Championship in Oklahoma City while this will be the first world championship events for both Fargey and Topping.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the international sport governing body for softball and baseball. Outside of the Olympic Games, umpiring at a World Championship is considered the pinnacle for officials around the world.

Congratulations to all those selected.

Visit for more information

ts 2018 Junior Women’s National Team Combines

Softball Canada is pleased to announce that a series of Technical Combines will be offered to identify athletes across the country beginning in April. Combines will be led by Women’s National Team staff and supported by current and former Women’s National Team athletes and staff.

Each Combine will run a half day in length and include a Technical skills component and Fitness assessment component. This new approach to athlete identification places emphasis on offensive and defensive technical skill and physical fitness.

Attending the Combine is advantageous to those who are serious about playing international softball. In addition to the Combine, athletes who attend will be tracked throughout the 2018 and the 2019 seasons including Provincial and Canadian Championships. In September, a “Prospects List” will be released along with a mandatory winter training program. In the spring of 2019 and 2020, final selection camps will be held to name the respective 2019 and 2020 rosters. Athletes interested in being considered for the 2019 and 2020 Junior Women’s National Team should attend one of the Combines.

The 2019 Junior Women’s National Team will target athletes born in 2000-2002, while the 2020 Junior Women’s National Team will be for athletes born in 2001-2003.

Click here for more

By Gilles Leblanc, Softball Canada

WBSC to launch new ‘Softball World Cup’ Flagship brand

ROME, Italy – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the launch of the Softball World Cup flagship brand.

The new Softball World Cup brand identity and tournament system will replace the current Softball World Championships across all categories: Men’s, Women’s, U-19 Men’s and U-19 Women’s.

The major restructuring of softball’s pinnacle international competitions was decided at the WBSC Softball Division Board meeting in Rome, Italy, hosted in the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

“This new Softball World Cup brand and tournament structure — with continental qualifiers — will be an exciting showcase of the best softball athletes and countries in the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The new Softball World Cups will boost our long-term Olympic potential and help our mission to grow a one-billion global baseball/softball community over the next decade.”

WBSC Softball Division Chairman Tommy Velazquez said: “The Softball World Cup platform will be positioned to realise maximum global broadcast, commercial and audience growth – providing increased prestige, visibility and attraction to the sport and the elite athletes who dedicate their lives practicing it. This Softball World Cup system with qualifiers will also raise the value and marketability of our Continental Associations and their competitions.”

As part of the new brand identity and restructuring, the new Softball World Cups will be played every two years and feature:

  • 16-team tournament formats for Men’s, Women’s and U-19 Women’s categories, discontinuing the previous open format across all categories
  • 12-team tournament format for U-19 Men’s
  • Continental Qualifiers:
    • Representatives by Continent (16-team Softball World Cup)
      • Africa – 2
      • Americas -5
      • Asia – 3
      • Europe – 3
      • Oceania – 2
      • Wild Card – 1
    • Representatives by Continent (12-team Softball World Cup)
      • Africa – 1
      • Americas -4
      • Asia – 2
      • Europe – 2
      • Oceania – 2
      • Wild Card – 1
  • “Junior” category renamed “U-19”

Calendar adjustments for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 


The final edition of the Women’s Softball World Championship will take place this year in Chiba, Japan. The Women’s Softball World Cup will then launch in 2021 and be played in the year before and after the Summer Olympic Games (i.e., 2021, 2023, etc.).

The next edition of the U-19 Women’s category will continue as previously planned in 2019, before shifting to even years in 2020 to be staged in the year prior to and after the Women’s Softball World Cup (i.e., 2020, 2022, etc.).

The final edition of the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship will be held this year in Prince Albert, SK, Canada. The U-19 Men’s Softball World Cup will then launch in 2021 and be played every two years (i.e., 2021, 2023, etc.).

The next two editions of the Men’s category will be played in 2019 and 2021, before shifting to even years starting in 2022 (i.e., 2022, 2024, 2026, etc.).

For more information, visit

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Lesley Pipher features in Softball Ontario

Softball Ontario’s Winter Webinar Series kicks-off a two-episode month with Lesley Pipher on Monday, February 5. NCCP Certified Coaches will earn one (1) Professional Development Point towards maintaining their certification and learn valuable tips from one of Ontario’s top coaches.

Pipher is an NCCP Competition-Introduction, Softball Certified Coach who currently coaches the U14 Girls Port Perry Angels. She played competitive softball within the Provincial Women’s Softball Association for over 30 years, playing on numerous teams and captured many Provincial and National Championship titles. From 1996-2006, Lesley was a member of the Great Britain National Softball team. At age 45 Lesley came out of retirement to play at the World Master Games in New Zealand, winning Gold in the competitive 45+ category. Being a truly Active4Life participant- Lesley is a Softball Canada Level V Umpire and remains involved in our great sport.



2018 Slo-Pitch Border Battle

Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada and Kahunaverse Sports Group – formerly Home Run Sports – are pleased to announce they will be hosting the tenth edition of the Men’s and Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle at Peter Hallman Ball yard in Kitchener, Ont. from July 27-29 featuring the top Slo-Pitch athletes in North America. USA Softball has hosted the event for eight of the last nine years, the only exception being the 2014 Border Battle taking place in Kitchener drawing large crowds.

“Softball Canada is thrilled to be hosting the tenth edition of the Border Battle in Canada,” said Softball Canada President Kevin Quinn. “Kitchener has a long history of hosting successful softball events and I am sure the 2018 Border Battle will be a huge success. We are extremely pleased to be expanding the opportunity for more of our elite Slo-Pitch athletes to be taking part in this event. It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to showcase our champion Men’s and Women’s Team as well as other Canadian athletes competing. I want to welcome all the athletes and fans who will be part of the excitement in Kitchener.”

Kahunaverse Sports Group (KSG) will be hosting the event on Canadian soil. They have been a key partner of Softball Canada since 2007, managing the successful Umpire Apparel program and providing support towards other areas of Softball Canada’s operations including the Canadian Championships and National Teams programs.

“We at the Kahunaverse Sports Group along with Softball Canada are thrilled with the opportunity to host such a premier Slo-Pitch championship” stated Scott Neiles from KSG. “Our past experience of hosting the event in 2014 only encourages us to make this year’s Border Battle bigger and better for both the participating players and the thousands of Slo-Pitch enthusiasts that will be in attendance.”

Team Canada is riding high after winning the inaugural Women’s Slo-Pitch Border Battle against the United States by a score of 12-8, with the Men’s team going on to defeat the United States 31-28 for their second win in nine years in 2017. Both of those games were played in Oklahoma City on Canada Day (July 1st) amidst Canada’s 150th Anniversary celebrations north of the border.

The coaching staff from both teams will return to defend their titles, with Grant Garrett (Georgetown, Ont.) and Mike Hrynenko (Winnipeg, Man.) coaching the Men’s team and Tony Carnelos (Georgetown, Ont.) and Kelly Hryniw (Ardrossan, Alta.) leading the Women’s team. The team selection process will begin shortly.

In addition to the Team Canada and Team USA Men’s and Women’s Slo-Pitch teams, the event is also expected to feature a pair of Canadian Kahunaverse Sports | HRS  teams (East and West), the USA Futures team and the OC club team from Grimes, Iowa in the Men’s division, as well as Kahunaverse Sports | HRS and On Point club (Grimes, Iowa) teams on the Women’s side. The six Men’s teams and four Women’s teams will compete in a series of games leading up to the two annual Border Battle games between Team Canada and Team USA.

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2018 Women’s National Team Final Selection Camp Invitees

Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is very pleased to announce the list of twenty-two (22) athletes who will advance to the second phase of the Women’s National Team selection process following a preliminary Selection Camp held in Fort Myers, Fla. last week. The final Selection Camp will take place from May 30th to June 10th in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

“The first phase of the selection process proved to be extremely competitive with our overall depth having improved significantly” stated Mark Smith, Softball Canada’s High-Performance Director and Women’s National Team Head Coach. “It is clear that the athletes are taking their preparation seriously. Congratulations to those who have advanced. The next phase will determine our final roster for the 2018 WSBC Women’s Softball World Championship.”

In 2018, Team Canada will compete at various events including the World Cup of Softball in Irvine, Calif. and the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C. in preparation for the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship that will take place August 2-12 in Chiba, Japan.

The athletes who will continue to the second phase of the selection process are:

Kara Bilodeau Cumming, GA
Kristen Brown Levittown, NY
Jenna Caira Toronto, ON
Emma Entzminger Victoria, BC
Larissa Franklin Maple Ridge, BC
Kenzie Friesen Saskatoon, SK
Jennifer Gilbert Saskatoon, SK
Sara Groenewegen Surrey, BC
Victoria Hayward Toronto, ON
Karissa Hovinga Edmonton, AB
Kelsey Jenkins Delta, BC
Danielle Lawrie Langley, BC
Janet Leung Mississauga, ON
Joey Lye Toronto, ON
Sara Plourde Baker Lake, NB
Erika Polidori Brantford, ON
Kaleigh Rafter Guelph, ON
Victoria Rumph Mount Forest, ON
Jenn Salling Port Coquitlam, BC
Nicole Schroeder Yorba Linda, CA
Holly Speers Surrey, BC
Natalie Wideman Mississauga, ON

Coaching Staff

Head Coach Mark Smith Falmouth, NS
Assistant Coach/Manager Melissa Basilio Oshawa, ON
Assistant Coach Russell Cooper Tahiti Bay, NZL
Assistant Coach Dave Paetkau Abbotsford, BC
Performance Analyst Glenn Boles St. Catharines, ON
Performance Analyst Hubie Basilio Oshawa, ON
Strength & Conditioning Coach Scott Willgress Halifax, NS
Mental Performance Coach Lauren Tashman Pennington, NJ
Team Leader/Pool Coach Melissa Finley London, ON


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2017-18 Webinar Series resumes with Jessica Mancini

Team Ontario Assistant Coach Jessica Mancini kicks off 2018 as the 2017-18 Softball Ontario Webinar Series continues on Monday, January 15. NCCP Certified Coaches will earn one (1) Professional Development Point towards maintaining their certification and learn valuable tips from one of Ontario’s top coaches.

Jessica played collegiate Softball on a scholarship at Spring Arbor University in Michigan from 2001-2005. During that time, Jessica was a part of winning several regional championships and captured the 2005 National Championship. In addition to Jessica’s playing career, she was a member of the 2013 Team Ontario Training staff, Assistant Coach with University of Waterloo Women’s Fast Pitch Team as well as an instructor at several PWSA Skills Camps, Colour Your Dream development clinics and Softball Ontario’s Softball Performance Centre program. In 2017, Jessica obtained her Competition-Development, Softball Certified status and brought home the Bronze medal with Team Ontario from the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, ON. Mancini is a registered physiotherapist in Hamilton, ON with a special interest in sports injuries and concussion management.

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Mike Newell becomes Umpire Program Coordinator

Softball Ontario is pleased to announce that Mike Newell will be joining Softball Ontario’s team of professional staff – taking on the role as Umpire Program Coordinator.

Mike graduated from York University with a Development Economics and International Development Degree, he then earned a graduate certificate in Sports Business Management from Durham College. In addition to his education, he brings experience in non-profit sport with Special Olympics Canada and Sport Alliance Ontario.

“Mike is the perfect candidate to join Softball Ontario as the Umpire Program Coordinator,” said Christine Parris, Executive Director. “With his background in the non-profit sport environment, I am confident that he will bring a valuable set of skills that will help Softball Ontario build on the success of the Umpire Program.”

Mike joins the Softball Ontario team on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Mike is very excited to start working with program personnel and the Softball Ontario stakeholders.

Please note, Mike can be reached at or 416-426-7150 ext. 104.

For more information about Softball Ontario and the services it provides to the softball community and local softball associations, please visit us at

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