Catch the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup
Get your baseball caps ready for the 30th edition U-18 Baseball World Cup, with Sarasota and Manatee Counties as the hosts this September
Spring may be for training, but fall is when it's really time to play ball. Come September 9, 2022 to September 18, 2022, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and USA Baseball will host the U-18 Baseball World Cup—its 30th edition of the youth world championship in Sarasota County and Manatee County.
With Sarasota County excited to have its turn hitting it out of the park as one of the hosts, the elite international tournament will be played at Sarasota’s renowned Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton’s LECOM Park—the respective Spring Training homes of the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the off-season.
There will be 50 tournament games played between Ed Smith Stadium or LECOM Park during the course of this 10-day event and will include 12 national teams (including the USA), all teams of which feature the best youth players in their respective countries.
Fun Facts on the U-18 World Cup
The U-18 Baseball World Cup was initially created by the International Baseball Federation (IBF) as the premier international competition for baseball players under 18 years of age. Historically, winners of this event, along with its continental qualifiers, have consistently featured players who have successfully gone on to the major leagues and become some of the biggest names in the sport.
This year marks the first time that event has returned to the United States since being played in venues in Massachusetts, including Fenway Park, in 1995. And the last time the event was held in North America was 2017 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, CA. (The 30th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup was originally set to take place in September 2021, but was postponed to 2022 due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Activities to do in Sarasota Between the Games
Spend the Day at the Beach:
Sarasota's many keys and beaches offer miles upon miles of sand and surf. Enjoy white quartz sand on Siesta Key Beach, and if the public beach access is too crowded for your taste, consider the beautiful scenery and sands at Lido, Longboat, Nokomis and Manasota beaches. If you’d like a souvenir head down to the beaches of Venice, famously know for sharks’ teeth.
Grab Some Local Grub:
Our many award-winning restaurants range from coastal casual to exquisite dining and everything in between. Sit down for a mean overlooking beaches, skylines and downtown streets, with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the Florida sunshine, and, of course, the local cuisine and charm of Sarasota.
Go for a Walk or Rent a Bike:
Several vacation hotels have or are located nearby bike rentals. Enjoy a walk over the Ringling Bridge, a Sarasota landmark, or take a ride down the Legacy Trail — a 10.6-mile (about 17.1 Kilometers) ride between Sarasota and Venice that cuts through wonderful natural Sarasota County.
Visit the Market:
Sarasota Downtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday and features 70 plus vendors offering fresh produce, prepared foods, artwork, plants and more. Sarasota also features several fine arts festivals that often run concurrently with the market, transforming downtown Sarasota into an enormous art showcase.
Hike in Nature:
Take a family or couples hike east of downtown. Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest state parks, spanning 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Activities include airboat tours, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hiking on nature trails and canopy walkways, camping and more.
Shop St. Armands Circle:
Browse through dozens of unique shops featuring everything from swimwear and fishing apparel to hot sauces and artwork. St. Armands Circle is a shoppers oasis with something for everyone. Shop until you drop, and then crawl over to one of several ice cream shops in the area for a sugary recharge before you shop some more!
Sea a Performance or Show:
Despite its relatively small and intimate size, Sarasota is home to a number of performing arts venues—including opera, orchestra, ballet, and two professional theaters hosting plays, musicals and more. That list doesn’t include the several community theater venues, which showcase year-round Broadway and off-Broadway shows.
Visit the Aquarium:
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium remains a worldwide leader in marine research and rehabilition. Its aquarium contains sharks, manatees, sea turtles, sting rays, otters and more than 100 other species of marine life.
Check out The Ringling:
No trip to Sarasota is complete without a trip to the 66 acres of spectacular bay front property at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida and features an art museum, historic museum, circus museum, historic theater, conservation laboratory, research library and more.
Explore Selby Gardens:
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is located just south of downtown Sarasota and features 13 acres of beautiful horticulture. Its collection includes more than 20,000 greenhouse plants and thousands more in outdoor gardens including species of bonsai, cycad, hibiscus, tropical fruits and Florida native plants.
Spectator Block Hotels to Stay
Below are official spectator hotels with room blocks and special group rates available for the 2022 U-18 Baseball World Cup.