July 26,2018 – Ayr, Ontario – Congratulations to the 19-man crew selected by Umpire-in-Chief Bruce Bierman for the 2018 ISC World Tournament to be held this August in Kitchener, ON.
With input from Deputy UIC Lou Davis and Les Novak, the Blue Crew for the 2018 ISC World Tournament is as follows:
1- Alan Blanchard – Lodi, CA
2- Brandon Bluhm – Chehalis, WA
3- Dave Selden – Reese, MI
4- Ed Otterman – Woodstock, ON
5- Fred Malatches – Cambridge, ON
6- Gary Johnston – Eau Claire, WI
7- Jan Hora – Cherny Vul, CI
8- Jon Hand – Maple Park, IL
9- Justin Van Horn – Chatham, ON
10- Kevin Wallace – Shipman, IL
11- Lou Davis – Truro, NS
12- Mike Morrissey – Peterborough, ON
13- Paul Verheye – Kitchener, ON
14- Rob Deakin – Wodstock, ON
15- Rob Straetmans – Bracebridge, ON
16- Robert Durand – Osceda, WI
17- Serge Laflamme – Levis, Quebec
18- Tony Dickson – Oro-Medonte, ON
July 16, 2018 – Brackets and schedules for the 2018 ISC World Tournament, August 11-18, Kitchener, Ontario, are now available for viewing at:
ISC World Tournament http://www.iscfastpitch.com/pdf/isc.world.touranment.bracket.pdf
ISC II Tournament http://www.iscfastpitch.com/pdf/isc.2.bracket.pdf
ISC Legends Tournament http://www.iscfastpitch.com/pdf/isc.legends.schedule.pdf
ISC U23 Torunament http://www.iscfastpitch.com/pdf/2016.u21.schedule.pdf
A record-breaking field of 37 teams will visit Keterson Park in Mitchell the weekend of June 15-17 for the 2018 International Softball Congress (ISC) Canada East Qualifier, the U23 championship and the inaugural Legends (50+) championship.
And it’s anybody’s guess who will come out on top.
At least that’s the view of one of three Canada East Commissioners entrusted to organize the tournament, Blair Setford, in conjunction with the Mitchell Mets intermediate club.
“With the field of teams that we’ve got and for what’s at stake it’s going to be a super competitive weekend across the board,” Setford said, adding the fact that the ISC world championship is being held in Kitchener in August helps draw teams to this qualifying event.
“I think it’s going to be a dogfight in all three divisions.”
Twenty-four men’s teams are vying for what Setford guesses will be 12 berths to the world championships, while five teams will fight for an Under-23 berth at the worlds as well. Adding to the fun, and showing that high level fastpitch softball still is near and dear to many people’s hearts, an inaugural Legends division for players 50-years and over will be held as well, and eight teams have entered seeking that first championship.
“It’s just wonderful to see these guys who literally were legends of the game in their own time and still continue to play,” he said. “They are still out there competing but mostly they are out there to have fun.”
The commissioners met with the Mets last fall about the possibility of hosting this qualifier, recognizing that with the world championships in Kitchener that there would be a lot of teams showing interest and they needed a place with at least four diamonds.
“We’ve got a history of the qualifier being in Mitchell (as recently as 2014) and we know the people there are great ball fans,” he said. “It was a mutual effort where the Mets were interested and certainly where we knew we could be accommodated.”
The defending champion Toronto Batmen will be a contender once again, Setford notes, plus a young up-and-coming squad such as the Nith River Monsters and veteran teams like Elmira Expos, Shakespeare Falcons and Kingston Axemen to keep an eye on. New teams setting foot in the ISC program, such as Milverton and Dundalk as two examples, will get their collective feet wet in the program and look for experience for the future.
“The Toronto Batmen are the defending champions but there’s a half a dozen teams that could upset them,” he said.
Setford commented on the state of the game, as rising numbers of baseball players take to the field with the popularity of the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I like to think it’s holding its own,” he said. “There are pockets in small towns where it’s doing great and there are big cities where it’s not. What we need to do is get the game into the schools and get more people playing.
“It’s an effort but you can say the same for all sports. It’s a challenge to get the young kids off of devices and out on a playing field.”
The host of this qualifying tournament is the Mitchell Mets, who are in their 41st consecutive season of competitive men’s fastpitch softball, a feat that Setford called “impressive.” Although the Mets per se aren’t playing in the qualifier, a handful of their players are playing for various teams, including AJ Moses, Kevin Ward and Scott Lealess (Elmira) and Tyler Pauli (Nith River) while Mitchell-area residents and natives Andrew Medhurst (Shakespeare) and Joe Harris (Ponsonby) are also scheduled to make an appearance. Local teams from Monkton, St. Pauls and Milverton are also entering teams.
Some true legends are also expected to participate, including former all-world pitcher Darren Zack (Sudbury). Longtime Met Jeff Pauli is also playing in this division, suiting up with Waterloo.
Monkton will also host some games in this tournament, primarily the Legends, rekindling some memories for many as the village hosted their own prestigious tournament from 2004-2009.
Action begins on all four Mitchell diamonds, plus Monkton, on Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m., and continues Saturday, June 16 at 8 a.m. and goes all day as well as Sunday. The Legends final is set for 1 p.m. Sunday in Monkton while the U23 championship will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday in Mitchell. The men’s championship game is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
“We think we’ve got the best of both worlds here – the best players, the best umpires, the best sponsors…and it’s that team effort that makes a successful tournament,” Setford said, adding getting involved at the ISC level along with Joe Todd and Kyle Smith as commissioners “is a labour of love.”
Members of the organizing committee have reached out to various organizations for help in running the tournament including the Mitchell Jr. C Hawks (refreshments), Mitchell Legion, br. 128 (food), Mitchell Curling Club (gate/admissions) and the Mitchell Jr. Mets (grounds crew). More volunteer help is still needed in a number of areas. If interested, contact Moses (email@example.com or 519-348-4600).
“I hope there’s some surprises and I know we’ll have an absolutely terrific weekend of ball,” Setford said.
Admission will be $5 for the day or $10 for a weekend pass.
The ISC is saddened to share details on the passing of long-time commissioner Royce Heath. Royce, 91, from Iredell, Texas, joined the ISC in 1953, only six years after the founding, and served in various roles for 59 years prior to retiring in 2011.
Among his many accomplishments within our organization, Royce was the driving force behind the inauguration of the ISC Hall of Fame, and served as chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee for over three decades.
“We hope that the sorrow for the Heath family is lightened by the knowledge that the ISC fastpitch softball family mourns with them,” said Larry Fisher, ISC Executive Director. Royce will be commemorated at this year’s Hall of Fame Breakfast on the opening Sunday of the 2018 ISC World Tournament in Kitchener, ON.
Royce’s ISC Hall of Fame bio can be viewed at
As the calendar gets set to turn to April, now is the time to pre-order your 2018 ISC World Championship Guide.
The ISC Legends tourney is entering its 9th year, started in 2010 by Larry Fisher, ISC Executive Director for the masters teams. It continues to be a very competitive and attracts 12 premier 50 + masters teams from North America each year.
The tourney offers great experience for the masters players and teams to play competitive games and renew past friendships with each other.
Cobourg Ontario Force won the first tourney and repeated in 2012 and 2014. Ohio Battery Ashland Ohio won the tourney 2013 and 2017, the only two teams winning multiple titles. The other winners are Cuba City WI Hindu’s/Sand Prairie 2011, Whitby Ontario Durham Bulls Legends 2015 and Toronto Ontario Toronto Gators Legends in 2016.
December 7, 2017 – Findlay, OH – Recent action by the Executive Committee of the International Softball Congress provides some relief to teams with youth or junior players on their rosters. According to Dean Oscar, ISC President and Executive Committee Chair the Committee voted to empower the appropriate VP, on a case by case by basis, to rule on any exception requests for younger or “junior” players to the ISC rule that requires ‘Approved out-of-region players on all ISC teams to play in at least one approved ISC Qualifying event or in invitational tournaments in both June and July, with their current year’s team to be eligible for World Tournament play.
November 1, 2017 – Mitchell, ON – ISC Canada East and the Mitchell Mets fastball club are pleased to announce that the 2018 ISC Canada East Qualifier Tournament will be held in Mitchell at Keterson Park on the event’s traditional Father’s Day weekend of June 15-17, 2018.
“With the 2018 ISC World Tournament in Kitchener in August, we’re expecting a large contingent of teams will be on hand looking to earn a spot,” said ISC Canada East Regional Commissioner Kyle Smith.
It will be a very busy weekend at Keterson Park with 24 teams or more expected to be on hand. Mitchell last hosted the ISC Canada East Qualifier in 2014, also when the World Tournament was in Kitchener, and there were 16 men’s teams and 8 U21 teams that participated.
As has been the case for the past several years, the event will include the ISC Canada East U23 (formerly U21) Championship. “With the Junior Men’s age category returning to U23, we are going to reflect that in our event,” said ISC Canada East Regional Commissioner Joe Todd.
New this year will be the inaugural ISC Canada East Legends Championship for teams in the 50+ age bracket. “This division is quite popular at the ISC and we’re happy we can provide the teams in our region an opportunity to play together in June, to go along with the events that they have in July and August,” said ISC Canada East Regional Commissioner Blair Setford.
“We’re excited to have teams of all age ranges playing in Mitchell,” said AJ Moses, head of the Mets host committee. “It will be a great opportunity to see up and coming players, today’s stars and Legends of the game all in one place.”
Each winning team will earn a paid berth to the 2018 ISC World Tournament in their division along with travel money. Additional berths and invites to the ISC World Tournament will be available to entered teams.
For further information, please contact:
Blair Setford firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Todd email@example.com
Kyle Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
AJ Moses email@example.com