Two preparational tournaments are taking place in Europe. Zeister Slot in the Netherlands, and Softball Fastpich Challenge in Prague.

This weekend, June 8-9, the 35th annual Zeister Slot Tournament will be taking place in Zeist, Netherlands. Started in 1984 by the Phoenix Ball Club, Netherlanders welcome world-class men’s softball to their fields for a weekend of exceptional ball playing. In years like this, where there is a World Championship in the immediate future, it is a sneak peak at the competition for players, and a pressure-free opportunity to experiment with the lineup for the coaches.

It is essentially a hands-on scouting trip for all involved. Seeing most of these leagues are only covered during international events, it is a rare and important look at the opposition’s team dynamics. This year’s schedule will feature 6 of the 16 countries playing in the WBSC Men’s World Championship in Prague the 13th – 23rd of June. 

New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, South Africa, the Netherlands and Australia will all be present. New Zealand, Japan and Australia are currently ranked #1, #3 and #4 respectively by the WBSC. Denmark comes in at #11, South Africa at #12,and the Netherlands at #19. Follow the tournament on its Facebook page or the website. Live-streaming should be available. 

Over in Prague, as last-minute preparations get underway for the big tournament, the city is also hosting their own pre-event tournament. 5th ranked Argentina will join #7 ranked Czech Republic in the Prague Softball Fastpitch Challenge hosted by the Eagles. Czech U23 will also join the tournament together with a team from Great Britan - Lions. 

Schedule and results here

This is a great dry run for the Eagles staff, who themselves will host Prague Baseball & Softball Week immediately following the conclusion of the WBSC Men’s World Championship, June 25th – 28th.