SUPERCUP TOURNAMENT, PRAGUE
SuperCup is organised by the Institute of Baseball Development (IBD) in the Czech Republic and is the biggest international tournament in Coach-Pitch baseball for children under the age of 10 years old.
The format of the tournament sees 24 international and club teams initially compete in group stages. The top 8 ranked teams then compete for the SuperCup in a double elimination contest. The remaining 16 teams are seeded to compete for four minor cups, named Red Cup, Blue Cup, Green Cup and Yellow Cup. Each of these minor cup contests include semi finals, final and a 3rd/4th place match.
Running parallel to the Coach-Pitch tournament is the 'Masters Tournament', which is essentially a skills contest consisting of disciplines such as base-running, hitting, throwing and fielding. Points are awarded across each category and teams are ranked 1-24 based on their skills performance. The Masters results contribute to 50% of the overall SuperCup ranking, with the remaining 50% coming from the Coach Pitch tournament performance.
In 2017, Team UK entered the SuperCup for the first time and exceeded all expectations as the lowest seeded team, to come away with the Yellow Cup beating Lithuania in the final. We also did very well in the Masters tournament finishing 12th overall, along with a final SuperCup ranking of 17th overall in our very first year.
The following year, we did even better in the Coach Pitch tournament. After a strong performance in the group stages, Team UK progressed to the Blue Cup final and came away with it's second successive trophy beating Olympia Blankso in the final. Whilst we dropped down to 17th in the Masters discipline, our overall SuperCup ranking had advanced to 13th.
In 2019, we said goodbye to a core of players who progressed to the Great Britain u12 programme but we also started our Academy, which led to the first open trials for Team UK selection. With a squad of mainly new faces, it did feel a little like starting over again and we emulated our very first year by qualifying for the Yellow Cup final. Sadly on this occasion, we weren't able to make it three trophies in a row after going down to a strong China team. We did almost as well last year at the Masters discipline, finishing 18th in the skills rankings and an overall SuperCup ranking of 22nd.
Our next generation of players now have one years' tournament experience behind them, we expect to improve again in the rankings in 2020 much like we did in 2018. Also new initiatives such as expanding the number of Academy sessions, running a regular season of Coach Pitch fixtures and administered our own Coach Pitch tournaments in the UK can only help improve the skills of our players.
Let's go UK!
Official SuperCup tournament website: https://supercup.baseball.cz/en/supercup/