roster & staff 2009
HAARLEM (Neth.) - There will no 11th edition of the Haarlem Softball Week this year! On Thursday, February 19, it was officially announced that the Organizing Committee of the event had to decide, with great regrets, to cancel the tournament, which was to be held June 23-28 and make a comeback on the international calender after a 10-year absence.
Earlier, the Organization was confident the event was to take place, officially announcing the comeback less than a month ago, on January 22.
In the press release, it was stated that several sponsors were interested in supporting the Haarlem Softball Week, resulting in a solid budget to work with.
Since the first announcement of the comeback of the international tournament, invitations were send out to the Federations of Japan, USA, Canada, Italy, China, Chinese Taipei, Venezuela, New Zealand and hosting country the Netherlands to send a national team.
Of course, the Dutch National Team was to field a team, but until recently most teams had to inform the organisation that they were unable, mostly due to financial reasons, to send its national team to Haarlem.
Upon request of some candidate-participants, the organisation even moved the dates of the event from August to June, while some countries even had said they would come.
But with only confirmations from the Netherlands and Olympic champion Japan, the Organizing Committee stated that this is no base for a Haarlem Softball Week, therefore announced it would terminate the organization of the event for this year.
...Johan Kluijskens in...
...happier days after...
...announcing the comeback...
...of the 'Week'...
...in July 2008...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The first Haarlem Softball Week was organized in 1980, then the next followed in 1983.
From then on, every two years another edition followed with the last being staged in 1999.
Two of the tournaments had a special status, as the 1993 event als was the Intercontinental Cup and the 1995 edition served as Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
,,I'm very disappointed',, Organization Chairman Johan Kluijskens reacted.
,,I've never been in a tournament which was financially sound, but had to be canceled after all.
Of course, I'm not a happy man right now. But we just couldn't go on. We had to take this decision.
We've had several contacts, but teams just couldn't confirm.
It was an excellent opportunity to promote the sport and therefore I'm also disappointed in some organisations.''
Will Kluijskens bring the event back in 2011?
''I'm not thinking of that right now, first we have to see in what kind of time we live in then, before we can talk about it.''
Dutch National Team Manager Craig Montvidas is very disappointed that the event had to be scrubbed.
,,First of all, it is very sad for the organization, for all those people who have work so hard and put so much time in it the last half year to promote softball.
Like the Haarlem Baseball Week and World Port Tournament, the Softball Week is an exciting happening with a great atmosphere and it was, after so many years, the right time to bring the event back.
To show top-softball in the Netherlands with participation of top-countries, a good way to promote softball, especially to bring the sport back into the Olympic Games.
For us, as a team, it's very unfortunate. For our players, it would have been a great opportunity to play against top teams in front of a home attendance and the first step for a new group in our preparations for the European Championships in July.''