Category Archives: Baseball

Olympic Baseball, Softball, Tokyo 2020 Games Postponed To 2021

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) welcomed the difficult joint decision today of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to a date no later than the summer of 2021.

The IOC stated that the Tokyo 2020 Games will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

Said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari: “The WBSC welcomes and fully supports the joint decision taken by the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to postpone the start of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the postponement is heartbreaking for athletes — and our baseball and softball players — around the world, the ‘Tokyo 2020’ Games in 2021 can be a symbol of global recovery and solidarity, and be one of the greatest worldwide celebrations and most anticipated moments in the history of sport.

“The WBSC stands in solidarity with the Olympic Movement during this difficult time and will work closely with the IOC to manage the completion of the Olympic qualification process for baseball, which now has more time to be conducted, providing an equal opportunity for the teams and their players.”

Baseball and softball will be making their first Olympic appearance since the 2008 Beijing Games, and are expected to be one of the top attractions of the Games in Japan, where baseball/softball is the most popular sport.

official logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball/Softball’s Road Back to the Games

Softball has completed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification process. The six-team tournament will feature host nation Japan, USA (the 2018 WBSC World Champions), Italy (winner of the Europe/Africa Qualifier), Mexico, Canada (winner and runner-up of the Americas Qualifier) and Australia (winner of the Asia/Oceania Qualifier).

Four of six teams have qualified for the Olympic baseball event at Tokyo 2020, including host Japan, Israel (the winner of the Europe/Africa Qualifier), Korea and Mexico (through the WBSC Premier12 2019). The remaining two teams will advance to the Games through the Americas Qualifier and the Final Qualifier.

The eight-team Americas Baseball Qualifier was scheduled from 22 to 26 March and has been postponed. The Final Qualifier, originally scheduled in early April, has been currently postponed to June. It must however take place following the Americas Qualifier. The second- and third-place finishers of the Americas Qualifier will join Chinese Taipei, Australia, China and the Netherlands in the Final qualifier.

Final Olympic Baseball Qualifier postponed to June

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), together with host Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA) and the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League (CPBL), today announced that the WBSC Baseball Final Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, scheduled to take place in Taichung and Dou Liu, TPE, from 1-5 April, has been postponed to 17-21 June due to player, personnel and spectator health and safety measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

After consulting with medical and governmental authorities, a joint decision by the WBSC and the Local Organising Committee was taken to postpone the event.

USA vs NED WBSC Womens Baseball World Cup

The six teams set to compete in the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier include host Chinese Taipei, Australia, China, the Netherlands and the second- and third-place finishers from the upcoming WBSC Americas Baseball Qualifier, which is scheduled for 22-26 March in Surprise and Tempe, Arizona.

The winner of the Final qualifier will earn the sixth and final berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball tournament.

Four nations have already qualified for baseball at the 2020 Olympics: host Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico.

2019: “The Biggest Year In Int’l Baseball, Softball History” – Riccardo Fraccari

This past year was the biggest year ever for the international game and National Team competitions, both from a historical point of view as well as from a total number of events point of view, with players taking away some of the best memories and experiences of their careers.

Over the last 12 months, the flagship Premier12, five World Cups and four dedicated qualifying tournaments for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were staged. This was the highest amount of demand ever placed on our international federation, and it was an honour, duty and absolute pleasure to serve the National Federations, thousands of athletes as well as fans and media across the globe.

While data and reports are still being gathered, it’s likely safe to say that last month’s WBSC Premier12 broke social media records as the most-engaging international baseball tournament ever staged. Samurai Japan, the “home team” of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, captured the Premier12 crown, underlining their ranking as the best National Team baseball programme in the world. While 2015 Premier12 champions Korea were not able to defend their crown, the 2008 Olympic Baseball champions were able to earn a ticket into the Tokyo 2020 tournament, where they will have the opportunity to defend the Olympic gold medal. Mexico’s Premier12 bronze medal win/first-ever Olympic qualification has been described by media as “the biggest win in Mexican baseball history.”

Mexico will also make their Olympic Softball debut at Tokyo 2020. Congratulations to USA Softball, Italian Baseball Softball Federation, Mexican Softball Federation, Softball Canada and Softball Australia for leading your country and athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari With WBSC Treasurer Angelo Vicini and WBSC VP Willi Kaltschmitt at WBSC Congress in Gaborone Botswana

On behalf of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, I would like to thank and recognize all those who helped and contributed to the growth of baseball and softball around the world in 2019.

I would also like to recognize our Local Organizing Committees, WBSC Board Members and Commissions, the Continental Confederations, the National Federations, the athletes, the coaches, the umpires and the WBSC office and staff for their tireless dedication to growing our sport around the world.

This record year 2019 sets the stage for bigger and better success for our sport in 2020.

Riccardo Fraccari
World Baseball Softball Confederation President

Seven New Members Join WBSC Family

The WBSC welcomed seven new members to its family during a dynamic 3rd World Congress held in Sakai, Japan on Thursday.

The new members (listed below) were unanimously voted in by the WBSC Congress, bringing the total number of WBSC member federations to 200 plus 13 associate members:

Bermuda Baseball
Laos Baseball
Benin Baseball & Softball
Bangladesh Baseball & Softball
Palestine Baseball & Softball
Egypt Baseball & Softball
Kosovo Baseball & Softball

The Nauru Federation was earlier elected out of the office following a recommendation by their NOC on the grounds of inactivity.

A total of 330 delegates representing 138 member organisations (including associate members) from 97 countries and regions attended the 2019 WBSC Congress, which received a presentation from the Italian Association Baseball Played From Blind providing federations with a Paralympic opportunity going forward. WBSC also offered to support any federations willing to proceed in this direction.

The WBSC Congress finished with its Annual Awards as per the following:

WBSC Unveils Innovative Game Management System For New 5-on-5 Baseball5

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today launched a new Game Management System (GMS) as well as new guidelines for officials for the new urban five-on-five discipline Baseball5. The new GMS, which was trialled at select 2019 events, is intended to greatly simplify and standardise Baseball5 competitions.

The main innovation is the introduction of a Game Official, who has a complete knowledge of the game and is able to manage all aspects of the competition. The traditional figures of Umpire, Scorer and Technical Commissioner have evolved into the role of Game Official, more accurately reflecting the “all you need is a ball to play” philosophy.

In line with the vision of Baseball5, the competition management has been streamlined to increase accessibility and to allow competitions to be organised, officiated and sanctioned more easily, in response to the wave of new Baseball5 events and competitions that have emerged across the globe.

The new GMS highlights the major features of Baseball5 competitions and games management, and it is intended to be a complement to the WBSC Baseball5 Rulebook 2019. An updated version of the WBSC Baseball5 Rulebook was also released today, in conjunction with the new GMS.

The release of the GMS, includes also the WBSC Baseball5 Scoring System has been developed to meet the following characteristics:

Easy to teach and understand
Intuitive and quick in practice
Allow room for basic stats
Minimize negatives
Reduce interpretation
Highlight positives

The 2019 season also served to finalise the technical specification for the Baseball5 ball, which are presented in the Rulebook. Today the WBSC Baseball5 department also presented the Baseball5 Ball homologation programme.

ISRAEL’S BASEBALL TEAM QUALIFIES FOR OLYMPICS FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY

Israel’s National Baseball Team today qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in history, winning the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Europe/Africa Qualification Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, following an 11-1, eight-inning win over South Africa at Parma’s Nino Cavalli Stadium.

With Israel’s entry into the Olympic baseball event at the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is expected that the nation will break its record for the highest number of athletes ever sent to the Olympics. Israel joins host nation Japan as the only two nations so far confirmed for the six-team Olympic tournament.

“Congratulations to the Israel Association of Baseball and the Israel National Baseball Team, which will make its historic Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games, as the top team across Europe and Africa,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.

Absent from the 2012 and 2016 Games, baseball and softball will return to the Olympic programme next year in Japan, where baseball is a fan-favorite and expected to be one of the main Olympic attractions.

Israel, currently No. 19 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, will represent Europe and Africa in the 2020 Olympic baseball tournament, finishing the Olympic qualifier ahead of the top-ranked nations in Europe and Africa, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 16 Italy, No. 18 Czech Republic, No. 23 South Africa and No. 26 Spain.

The next opportunity to qualify for the Olympic baseball tournament will be this November at the WBSC Premier12, the flagship National Team baseball event on the 2019 calendar. The top 12 nations in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings will compete in this global competition, which will be one of the featured international sporting events of the year.

For box scores, stats, standings and highlights of the WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Qualifier, visit the official website at https://olympicbaseball.wbsc.org.

Social media erupts as Chinese Taipei tops USA in Final of WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019

World No. 4 Chinese Taipei surprised four-time defending World Champions USA in the Final of the XXIX World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup® 2019 Sunday night at Gijang-Hyundai Dream Ballpark, setting off a media explosion in Chinese Taipei.

Politician Tsai Ing-wen, the highest elected official in the respective territory, congratulated the team before her millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter: “Proud of these outstanding athletes and the (Chinese Taipei Baseball Association) for their tireless dedication and love for the sport of baseball.”

The announcement that Chinese Taipei were the newly crowned U-18 World Champions after their 2-1 victory smashed the record for WBSC’s most-liked Facebook post, having registered over 73,000 likes via 2,600 shares at the time of writing, while Tsai’s Facebook post generated over 118,000 likes.

“The record engagement, coverage and social media volume of the U-18 Baseball World Cup, which showcases baseball’s future superstars, further positions it as one of the top youth world championships in sports,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Congratulations to the players and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association on this impressive U-18 World Cup win.”

The Final was broadcast live across Chinese Taipei by the island’s biggest sport’s channel, Videoland, while the island’s biggest new outlets ran extensive pre-game, in-game and post-game coverage.

A hero’s welcome is expected at the airport for the newly crowned World Champions, when the team lands on home soil. Weeks ago, Chinese Taipei also won the U-12 Baseball World Cup.

Meanwhile, the home fans also had plenty to cheer about after Lee Juhyeong homered with one out and a runner on base in the top of the ninth to help Korea came from behind to beat Australia 6-5 and claim the bronze medal.

WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019 – Media Buzz (Reporting period of 30 August – 9 September)
Over 60 million impressions and over 9 million views were registered across WBSC’s official social media platforms, generating more than 30 million minutes of watch time.

WBSC posts on social media generated over 430,000 likes and comments.

The official hashtag #U18WorldCup trended on Twitter, the official social media platform of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019.

The WBSC official website wbsc.org and social media profiles combined to register over 1.2 million visits from users in 168 countries and territories.
Over 200 press credentials were issued, with media presence at the U-18 World cup including Japanese media giant Yomiuri Shimbun, the most widely circulated newspaper in the world, and various wire services, amassing a cumulative potential readership of over 1 billion per day, according to data from media intelligence company Meltwater.

The road to the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019 began with the best young baseball players (15-18 years old) and teams representing 38 countries and territories.

Africa (1): South Africa.

Americas (15): Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and USA.

Asia (7): China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Sri Lanka.

Europe (10): Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands Spain and Ukraine.

Oceania (5): American Samoa, Australia, Guam, New Zealand and Palau.