Softball representatives from China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States have announced the formation of the Pacific Rim Slowpitch Softball Association during the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Championships held here in early November.
“We are creating the Pacific Rim Slow-Pitch Softball Association to help build the sport throughout the Pacific Rim region,” said Terry Hennessy, the American representative and chief executive officer of Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA), based in Sacramento, Calif.
“The beauty of softball – and sports – is that it allows us to transcend a largely imperfect world littered with prejudice, hatred and violence and it lifts us to a pinnacle of human behavior where men and women are judged primarily on athletic performance.
“This allows us to develop friendships based on a common love of a sport, regardless of the country we call home.”
Teams from the four countries played in Beijing last year for an inaugural Pacific Rim Championships. However, the road to this agreement began in 2000 when Senior Softball-USA responded to an invitation to send senior teams to compete in Japan. Over the next 14 years, Japan and the U.S. continued to compete in each other’s senior championships and later expanded to play in Taiwan and China.
SSUSA will host the 2015 Pacific Rim Championships during the World Masters Championships in Las Vegas, which attracted more than 500 teams this year.
In addition to Hennessy, the association charter representatives include Shouji Matsumoto of Japan Softball, Robert Hsu of Taiwan Softball, and Zhang Huazhong of China. Zhaoli Chen, who teaches in Japan and is promoting softball in China, was selected executive director of the new association.
Representatives made it clear that one of the primary goals was to recruit other Pacific Rim countries to join the association.
“The friendships we are forging here are the foundation of international cooperation that provide a beacon of hope for all who witness it,” said Hennessy.
Senior Softball-USA, founded in 1989, is the largest senior softball association in America, with 30,000 registered national tournament players and tournaments in 80 cities. For more information, see www.seniorsoftball.com.