The Chickasaw Nation will welcome 17 countries to Oklahoma Sunday as its dance troupe performs opening ceremonies at the 11th Junior Softball World Championship Aug. 9-15.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the Chickasaw Nation is pleased to represent Oklahoma and the United States at this prestigious event.
“It is an honor for our dance troupe to welcome competitors from around the world to Oklahoma,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “Sport provides common ground which can help build bridges between countries and between cultures. We hope to build a spirit of friendship and good will.”
The six-day tournament – for girls 19 and under – will be hosted at the American Softball Association Hall of Fame complex, considered one of the best sites in the world for softball tournaments and competition.
Stomp dancing and song have been a tradition with Chickasaws for centuries. It is hoped at least two representatives from each country will dance with the Chickasaws Sunday when the tournament begins. Chickasaws consider it an honor to perform and also for others to join in their dances.
Dance troupe organizers said a “Friendship Song” and “Four Corners Song,” are planned in addition to a Native flute solo by Michael Cornelius to welcome the athletes and their fans to the world-class facility.
Hosted by ASA/USA Softball, Oklahoma City is known for being the softball capital of the world. The ASA Hall of Fame Complex has played host to the world’s finest softball events, including the NCAA Women’s College World Series and the World Cup of Softball.
Teams who advanced to compete in the world championship include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.
Opening festivities get underway at 6 p.m. at the ASA complex, located north of NE 50th after exiting west off Interstate 35. The complex is east of Remington Park.
Umpires will yell “Play ball” at 8 p.m. when the United States takes on Chinese Taipei in first round action. For a complete game schedule go to http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Events/2015/August/09/XI-WBSC-Junior-Womens-World-Championship/Tournament/Schedule