November 23, 2019
（Osaka, Tuesday, Nov. 19） In his opening speech to the WBSC Executive Board, President Riccardo Fraccari looked back at the Premier12 and reinforced how it can further help the continued development with Baseball and Softball around the world.
Sakai, Japan - “The Premier12 was an outstanding success,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari told members of the Executive Board during his opening address at its pre-Congress meeting on Tuesday at the Hotel Agora Regency Sakai. “It is a key tournament for WBSC and it is driving the growth and globalisation of our sport, which is so very important,” he added. “The last two games of the event were watched by over 90,000 fans. Our communication and engagement figures have doubled since the last edition in 2015. So the Premier12 is providing us with a great opportunity to market our sport into territories where we have never been.
“The Premier12 is potentially the biggest Olympic qualifier in any sport and it is a perfect prelude to the Olympic Games next year where Baseball and Softball will be one of the success stories.
“People are talking positively about our events and numbers are showing we are going in the right direction. However we must continue working hard to further develop the sport and ensure that it is reaching more and more people in countries all around the world.
“WBSC is introducing new tools and processes for federations to help in this process. We are constantly evolving and innovating to maintain our relevance in a congested sporting calendar. A key property helping us with this process is Baseball5. It’s taking off all around the world and is proving to be a great opportunity for people to get involved, not only in our sport but in physical exercise in general, which is increasingly important in the current society of video games and e-sport.
“You all have been doing a great job but we must continue and work together to continue this very exciting journey for international Baseball and Softball and the WBSC.”
The Executive Board was joined by members of the Baseball and Softball Division Boards, providing an excellent platform for discussion and ideas.
The WBSC Congress week continues on Wednesday with Open Workshops featuring the Coaching Commission, Baseball5 and the website and scoring application.
Continental Associations will meet in the afternoon before the official Drawing of Lots for the last two Olympic Qualification Tournaments will be held, and live streamed, in the evening.
The WBSC Congress takes place on Thursday