The annual Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship that kicks off in Surrey, B.C., today will play host the some of the best young female softball players in Canada and the World. 

"This event is actually five tournaments within one," says Canadian Open Fastpitch Society chairman Greg Timm.

Canadian Open Fastpitch Society chairman Greg Timm

Greg Timm is the chairman of the Canadian Open Fastpitch Society. (Jason D'Souza/CBC)

"It's an international women's tournament with the best teams in the world that are in preparation mode to go to the Women's World Championship in Amsterdam."

"It's also a tournament for 18 and under elite players at the A and B levels, and the 16 and under girls at the A and B levels," he says.

With the combination of elite players from countries such as Japan and the United States, and a sport almost everyone has played at least once, ‚ÄčTimm expects over 100,000 spectators to takes in the games again.

"These are the Henrik Sedins of women's softball," he says.

Great opportunity for girls

For 16-year-old √Člodie of the Quebec Rebelles, her first Fastpitch tournament is a great opportunity to be seen and be inspired by best teams in the country and the world.

An eight-year veteran of the sport, she says her teammates call themselves 'princesses' until they get on the field.

"Because we are all girly," she explains. "But when we are on the field, we complete each other. We really have a great sense of the game. And we really enjoy the game."

The tournament runs from July 11 to 21.