It's Official: Thunder Bay to Host 2017 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup

February 2014.  It’s Official: Thunder Bay to Host 2017 IBAF 18U Baseball World Cup

The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association (TBIBA) is pleased to announce that the International Baseball Federation has chosen Thunder Bay as its host for the 2017 International Baseball Federation (IBAF) 18U Baseball World Cup. Participation from all baseball playing regions of the world, namely Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, Central America (Caribbean) and South America is expected.  The biennial event will take place over eleven days in late August concluding on the Labour Day weekend in September, 2017.

“The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association is proud to have been selected to host this high caliber international event for the second time. This day is a true testimony of the event hosting ability of the TBIBA and is a tribute to the high quality volunteers that step up to assist Thunder Bay event hosts like us to operate high profile events.” stated Larry Hebert, President of the TBIBA. “With the success of the 2010 World Juniors fresh in the minds of our citizens, the TBIBA looks forward to hosting another great event for Thunder Bay residents and visitors from near and far.”

The 2017 International Baseball Federation (IBAF) 18U Baseball World Cup is the re-branded version of the very successful IBAF World Junior Baseball Championships held in Thunder Bay in the summer of 2010. Since 2010, the event has been held twice, once in Seoul, Korea in 2012 and last summer in Taiwan.  The 2015 event was held in Japan.

The event has a long history going back to 1981. Since 2000, the 12 team event has been held every two years with the exception of one occasion and involves the 18 and Under National teams of member countries of the International Baseball Federation.  The tournament is regarded as a launching pad for players aspiring to play professionally. Players such as Larry Walker, Ryan Dempster, Russell Martin and Brett Lawrie are among the more than 50 Canadians who have participated in the event before moving on to sign professional contracts. 

The announcement from the TBIBA comes after many years of preparation and hosting experience that includes the IBAF World Juniors (2010), Warm Up to the Worlds (2008), Baseball Canada Cup (2004), Gore Motors Honda Nations Cup (2002) and the Three Nations Cup (2000) and five previous international bid attempts.