Honkbalweek Haarlem will be undergoing changes. After COVID-19 forced the cancelation of the 2020 edition of the event, the tournament will now officially return on Friday 8 July 2022. Honkbalweek Haarlem’s organisation committee has, in dialogue with the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB), decided to implement several changes, in order to further improve the tournament and its attractiveness to fans.
Honkbalweek Haarlem is slimming down and will now be played over eight days, with three games per day. The tournament final will be played on Friday 15 July 2022. The decision to shorten Honkbalweek Haarlem stems from the organisation’s desire to allow as many fans as possible to enjoy the tournament. To accommodate the event, KNBSB has shown itself willing to temporarily interrupt the Dutch baseball league for the weekend of 9 and 10 July.
In accordance with international development and the course set by the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC), all games during Honkbalweek Haarlem will be played over seven innings. This decision allows for the aforementioned three games per day to be played, while adding more possibilities for entertainment with the famous ‘Honkbalweek Experience’.
Honkbalweek is operating under the assumption that the 2022 edition of the tournament will be played with six participating teams. As of right now, four teams have confirmed their presence: Team Kingdom of the Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Italy. Negotiations with two other potential participating countries is in advanced stages.
Guus van Dee, chairman of the tournament, states that changes were inevitable. “The changes mainly stem from our aim to reach more (and new) fans, in addition to our loyal visitors. Also, sponsorship income has fallen slightly over the last years. We have therefore asked sports marketing agency ByBP to look at the set-up of our tournament, with an eye to the future. We have also intensified our collaboration with the KNBSB. These partnerships have led to this new set-up: a tournament during which baseball is the focal point, but also a tournament with room for innovative elements, such as an All-Star Game, a Home-run Derby or other enrichments to our event.”