Kitchener will host the International Softball Congress World Tournament at Peter Hallman Ballyard this August 11th to 18th.
This is “The Show” for fastpitch softball players all over the world. This is the tournament that they want to be in. This is where they can bat against the big name pitchers from the National Teams of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Argentina, and Venezuela.
This is the World Series for Club softball teams that play in leagues from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, from New York to New Mexico, from Fargo North Dakota to South Bend Indiana. Teams such as Pueblo Bandits out of Colorado and Tin Cup from Little Canada, Minnesota travel to the ISCs each year.
This is the “Show” for softball teams that recruit from around the world just to compete in the big Show. And it is the tournament for a team like the Elmira Expos that competes against the top clubs with local guys from within ten miles of their home diamond.
This is the tournament that has been won four times in five years by a powerful team from Six Nations Ontario, the legendary Hill United Chiefs.
This is the tournament that has attracted Dolan and Murphy from Illinois for the past 25 years in a row, from 1993 to 2018, and the tournament that also attracted a team such as the St. Paul’s Generals from Perth County who competed last year in Grand Rapids Michigan for the first time.
Over 50 club teams will come from across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Over more than 70 years (since 1947) the ISC has hosted a tournament somewhere in the USA and Canada. Kitchener will host for the fifth time this August 11th to the 18th.
Kitchener was the host city in 2002 when Frontier Casino of St. Joseph, Missouri won, beating Broken Bow, the home town Twins were 3rd. They hosted again in 2006 when County Materials of Marathon, Wisconsin beat Patsy’s of New York City and once more in 2007 when The Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisconsin defeated the Southern California Bombers.
In 2014 the Six Nations Hill United Chiefs won their second of three ISC championships defeating New York Gremlins, Kitchener Hallman Twins, and the Toronto Gators.
Included in the tournament will be several local fastpitch teams: the Kitchener Hallman Twins, the Hallman Cubs, Kitchener Bell Cartage Outlaws, Elmira Expos, Nith River Monsters from New Hamburg, and the Shakespeare Falcons. You can almost count on seeing a local fastpitch team from the Kitchener Fastball League or the South Perth Fastball League at any time at Peter Hallman Ball Yard during the tournament.
The defending champions are the Hill United Chiefs from Six Nations. “Hill” will have their usual roster of all star players from around the world including Adam Folkard, Jim Todhunter and Nick Shailes from Australia; Pablo Migliavaca, pitcher, and Bruno Motroni, catcher, 2017 MVP Nico Carril from Argentina. Brad Ezekiel, Jason Hill, Jeff Ellsworth, Mark Johnston, and Shane Boland are all members of Team Canada.
Hill United and Team Canada Head Coach John Hill says, “I get super pumped for both the ISC Championships and representing my country in world competition. The ISC attracts the best ball players from all over the world and it is a true test of who is the best of the best.”
Manager Larry Lynch says his team is “thrilled to be playing the 2018 ISCs in beautiful Peter Hallman Ball Yard.” He expects “fierce competition from the New York Gremlins, Toronto Batmen, J and B Bombers, and of course the host team, the Kitchener Hallman Twins. Never count out the Hallman Cubs either.”
Jerry Zimmerman of the J and B Bombers says that finishing second to Hill United Chiefs in Grand Rapids Michigan in 2017 was not enough. “We are looking to move up a spot this year. The Bombers have made a few changes to our lineup this year. We feel that we can beat anyone. Our pitching staff is the deepest in the ISCs, lead by “ace” Devon McCullough. Devon is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and is a power pitcher for Team Canada.”
The Bloomington Stix out of Illinois are always in contention late in the week. They have counted on players from Australia, New Zealand, and Venezuela to take them deep into the bracket.
Toronto Batmen have been to the ISCs big show several times and enjoy taking part in tournaments all around Ontario including the Peter Hallman Memorial Tournament in June and the Cephas Roth Memorial Tournament in Tavistock in July. Sheryl Skelton sponsor/owner of the Toronto Batman loves fastpitch softball.
“The ISC World Tournament is the pinnacle tournament of the season. Every team works hard and assembles their roster to be as competitive as possible!” Sheryl goes on to say, “The Batmen are young team of mostly local players who are not only teammates but have become friends that love the game and come to the Worlds with a goal to be as successful as they can!”
The Kitchener Hallman Twins are the host team and competing with great ball players. Team Canada members Brandon Horn, Andy Skelton, Ryan French, Steve Mullaley, Ian Ferhman, Derek Mayson, Sean Cleary, and Scott Leiph have all played for Team Canada in the World Baseball/Softball Classic championships as well as Pan Am games and ISF championships.
The Hallman Twins have won the title in 2008 and 2009. Coach/manager Steve Kooser, a five time ISC championship coach says, “Expectations are always high with Jim Hallman’s team and especially when the ISCs are in his home town, Kitchener. It brings some added pressure, but bolstered by the solid veterans, the Twins hope to be standing in the winner’s circle in 2018.”
Fans will be interested to see National team players form Team Canada, Team USA, Team Argentina, and players from New Zealand, Australia, and many other countries playing for club teams from all over the USA and Canada. This year a team from
the Dominican Republic will be competing.
Tim Maziarz, well known fastpitch softball fan, knows that this is good ball. “Over the years I have developed some great relationships and friendships with other fans, coaches, sponsors and players. With the best players in the world competing we
will see some really good ball.”
Historically when the tournament has been held in Kitchener, about a third of the teams are from Ontario cities such as Kingston, Toronto, Ottawa, and Kitchener, from towns across Ontario such as Elmira, Shakespeare, Alvinston, Wiarton, New Hamburg, and Waterdown, and from smaller towns such as Hickson, Glanworth, and Ponsonby.
Another third of the teams are from across Canada: teams from British Columbia to Newfoundland Labrador.
And the USA sends teams from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and several from as far west as Colorado and California.
Included in “the Show” are two other tournaments. Twelve Legends (over 50) teams from across North America will compete for the ISC Legends Championship. Local heros from the past including Larry Cox, Sam Forbes, Dana Seiling, Paul Clemons will compete in this division.
Eight Under-23 teams will play on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. New Hamburg Mustangs, Owen Sound Selects, Wellesley, Tavistock, Port Perry, and Alvinston A’s will highlight the upcoming softball stars of the future.
Dave Randerson, the Mustangs coach/manager, reports that, “All 15 members of Team Ontario’s U21 Gold Medal winning Canada Games team and more than a dozen players that have represented Canada at the U19 ISFs in Whitehorse, Yukon, or Midland, Michigan, or Prince Albert, Saskatchewan will be participating in Kitchener” in the U23 tournament.
Co-chairs Bernie Burnett and Larry Cox note that the volunteers are planning an amazing fastball tournament but also lots of fun events, great food, and activities at the Ball Yard to make it an awesome family outing. Community organizations and charities will be a big part of “the Show.”
“The Show” will begin Saturday August 11th at Peter Hallman Ball Yard, at Courtland and Hanson, and wind up with three championship games on Saturday the 18th.
Teams are not completely set. Some are playing in qualifying tournaments around North America.
One of those tournaments is the Peter Hallman Memorial Tournament. Ten of the teams in the ISCs will compete over
the June 22, 23, 24 weekend at Peter Hallman Ball Yard, and that will make for lots of fastpitch softball action for area
See you at the ballyard!