August 27, 2020
Wednesday, 26 August 2020
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari chaired an online meeting where he asked all in attendance to "think outside the box" in regards to the future of the sports.
Looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event heard from two new working groups for baseball and softball.
The working groups include WBSC secretary general Beng Choo Low, as well as members of the Executive Board and members of different WBSC National Federations and Commissions.
These include WBSC Athletes' Commission co-chairs Justin Huber from baseball and Maria Soto from softball.
The groups have been created to focus on new ideas and proposals on how to organise WBSC events in the future, taking into consideration COVID-19 health and safety measures.
"Now is the time for change," said Fraccari.
"We need to evaluate our sport and to see how we can modify our sport to adapt to the new norm.
"With this current climate with the coronavirus our sport has many strengths.
"For example, it is a non-contact sport and we are watching how other sports are performing in the coronavirus environment, including the Mexico Prospects Baseball League, which has started successfully in Guadalajara in a bubble environment.
"We have to learn to live in this situation.
"The health of our players, officials and fans is the number one priority – we have to show our National Federations a safe way to play."
The working groups include the United States' Paul Seiler, Venezuela's Aracelis Leon, France's Didier Seminet, Chinese Taipei's Chris Day, Belgium's Mark Moreau and Australian's Huber and Chet Grey for baseball.
Puerto Rico's Tommy Velazquez, Malaysia's Beng, American Craig Cress, the Czech Republic's Gabriel Waage, New Zealand's Rex Capil, South Africa's Mashilo Matsetela and Venezuela's Soto make up the softball working group.
These groups will now meet individually to come up with proposals, which will then be evaluated by the WBSC Executive Board in November.
Five out of eight WBSC events have been postponed this year, with the Under-18 Men's Softball World Cup already held in February in New Zealand.
The WBSC Under-15 Baseball World Cup and the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup are still scheduled to go ahead in 2020 in October and November respectively.