December 11, 2020
WBSC President Fraccari says a return to the diamond in 2021, particularly at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will be "will be a strong message of hope" to the world.
The WBSC Executive Board, during its fifth and last online meeting of 2020, reviewed the report of the Baseball and Softball working groups, which discussed plans concerning future WBSC events, especially taking into consideration COVID-19 health and safety regulations, with further discussions planned ahead of the next Executive Board meeting in February.
"We have not stood still," said WBSC President Riccardo FRACCARI during his opening address to the WBSC Executive Board, which met online on Wednesday. "We have continued to operate by getting used to communicating in a different way, using new technologies.
"As you know, in March, we plan to resume our activities, with the Under-15 and the Women’s Baseball World Cups. We will do so using the Bubble Concept, ensuring maximum safety for all participants: athletes, coaches, umpires, staff, etc.
"It will be a strong message of hope. Our activities cannot be suspended any further and it is time to get back on the diamond."
A new Baseball5 international calendar, starting in 2022, was approved, setting the pathway for qualification to the Youth Olympic Games 2026.
In other decisions, the Executive Board approved the new WBSC Strategy and structure, the Integrity Unit as well as the Unit's inclusion in the WBSC Constitution. E-games/e-sports and Baseball5 were also confirmed for inclusion in the Constitution as new disciplines of baseball/softball. All three will be up for approval at the next Congress, scheduled in 2022.
In addition, new Anti-Doping Rules were confirmed while the Board also approved the Independent Auditors Report of the Financial Statements of the 2019 business year.
In further evidence of the continued growth of the WBSC and the sport of baseball and softball around the world, the Executive Board approved the membership of the Cape Verde Baseball and Softball Federation, taking the total of National Federations to 198, including 28 in Africa, and the Italian Association Baseball for the Blind as an Associate Member.
"It will be a challenging and exciting 2021," said President Fraccari on a final note. "We hopefully will be able to forget 2020 soon. There are many reasons to do it. I really can't wait to meet you all in person."
The next meeting of the Executive Board will be again online and will be scheduled on 4 February 2021