Months into training and members of the women's national softball workout squad are still hard at it, wanting to be in tip-top shape for the qualifiers.
Although they still have six months to prepare for the Softball World Games qualifiers, for English-speaking Caribbean countries, president of the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) Burkette Dorsette is not leaving anything to chance. Dorsette, along with the national managers for the program are hoping to get at least one tournament in before the hosting, set for November 27-December 3.
The games will be held in Belize, and will play at the Rogers Stadium. Other participating countries include Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas and host country Belize.
Dorsette said: "Nothing has changed. In fact, the manager of the team, [Godfrey] Burnside has been working out with the team [since] it was selected. That would have been the latter part of last year. The workout squad is still intact. The manager is making sure that the team members are running the beaches, hitting the ball so they can stay in shape. As the season is on the way now, in softball around the country, they will commence their full workout in short order. But the team is scheduled to travel to the tournament."
The qualifier is sanctioned by the International Softball Federation (ISF). All games will be played under the rules and regulations of the international governing body as well as the Confederation of English-speaking Caribbean countries' Softball Federations. The week-long tournament is one of six qualifiers that will be staged around the world. It is also an automatic qualifier for the Pan American Games. The top eight teams will qualify for the Pan American Games.
"We are looking to have them travel to a warm-up or have a team come here so they can test their skills," said Dorsette. "I am not sure when the team will be narrowed downed. I guess they will do that close to the tournament and cut the team down to the required number.
"We have qualified for the World Championships before. I think it was 1983, we finished third in the world. So we have been down that road before. This is two championships in one. The top five teams will qualify for Canada, for the Pan American Games. It also acts as the world qualifier where the top five teams will move on. What I have seen with the younger members and the veteran players, I think that we stand a good chance of qualifying. I think we need to focus heavily on the pitching core of the team. You know that is a big part of the fast pitch game."
The idea of bringing in a pitching coach, to assist with the program is something the federation is willing to explore.
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