America's Olympic baseball qualifiers: TV, times and how to watch
With the return of Baseball to the Olympic Games in Japan, eight nations from North and South American will face each other in Florida looking for a place at the Tokyo Olympics.
Men's baseball and women's softball make a return to the Tokyo Olympics after it was scrapped in 2008. Japan has a strong tradition of baseball and softball and asked the committee (IOC) to allow them to host the sport once again.
With Japan (host nation), Israel, South Korea and Mexico having already qualified for a place at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, two spaces remain outstanding with eight base-balling nations from South and North America set to battle for a ticket to Japan later this summer.
Two groups of four will begin the Americas Olympic qualifiers this Monday, May 31st. The teams that will battle for the opportunity to reach the Olympics this summer. The groups are host team United States, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and group B, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Canada.
Fixtures for America qualifiers
On the first day of the competition, the United States will face Nicaragua, while Puerto Rico will battle the Dominican Republic. On the other side, Colombia will play Canada, and Venezuela will duke it out with Cuba.
The games will be staged over three days at two venues (West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie) in Florida with the outright winner securing a place in Tokyo with the runner-up heading to a play-off with Australia, The Netherlands, and Chinese Taipei later in June with the event set to be staged in Puebla (Mexico).
Where can I watch the America baseball qualifiers?
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) confirmed just a few days ago that the qualifiers would be broadcast live in more than 70 nations.
ESPN+ will carry the event for the United States with the qualifiers live in Canada via CBC. For viewers in Europe, the in-house Olympic Channel will carry streaming coverage.
Times for opening games
Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic (Group A) along with Venezuela and Cuba (Group B) open the action with a 13:00 ET start for both games on the opening day of 31 May. The highly fancied USA team start their campaign facing Nicaragua in Group A with the Colombia-Canada (Group B) clash also starting at 19:00 ET.