Softball rivalry will be reignited this winter as top softball clubs are expected to slug it out in the lucrative Selibe Phikwe Extravaganza Tournament. The three day showpiece, which is slated for the mining town from July 16th to 18th, will see the ladies’ defending champions Dinare as well as men’s defending champions BDF IX try to ward off at least seven opponents each who are keen to wrestle the championship from them.
The 16 teams’ tournament will be hosted by Comets that qualifies automatically alongside defending champions. Preliminary qualifiers will be played prior to the tournament to decide participants of the tournament. Top three teams from the Southern and Northern zone will proceed to the finals.
Prize money has been increased from last year’s P60 00 to P75 000. An increment of last year’s P60 000. BDF IX are defending champions but bitter rivals Wells international is the team to beat. Wells is riding the crest of a wave in the wake of a nail biting BoFiNet final during which they hammered BDF IX 5-3.
In the ladies category Police IX and Panthers are expected to give defending champions Dinare a run for their money ring out their impressive form in the league. Dinare will have to give their all to stop on song Police IX to defend the title. Dinare enters the tournament after finishing fourth in the league championships.
The page system will be used in a two bracket set up for the tournament. ‘’ Page System is a combination of double elimination for teams seeded in position one in their bracket and single elimination for number two teams. A team that finishes first gets 2 chances to make it to the final,” said Botswana Softball Association (BSA) spokesperson Kelebogile Seitei. In this case, Positions one from bracket one and two play each other and the winner goes through to the grand finale.
‘’ Position two from both brackets play each other and the winner is knocked out to position four and the winner in this game plays the loser from the number one and the winner goes through to the grand finale,” said Seitei.
Meanwhile, the Under 19 softball national team is currently in camp preparing for the World championships slated for July 24-30 in Michigan, USA. The team have a series of matches against local clubs before leaving for South Africa prior to the championships. ‘’We are the best regionally hence we sought to gauge our young squad against locals teams by playing practice matches. We will also play against some clubs in South Africa to prepare the team and condition players before leaving for the championships,” concluded Seitei.