World Baseball Softball Confederation

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President Riccardo Fraccari (69) of the World Baseball Softball Confederation has issued his year end address to the members mentioning that “2019 is expected to be the biggest and most important year in the history of international baseball and softball”.

He was elected as the President of the WBSC in 2014 and mentioned that “the past year has seen both baseball and softball “continue to globalise” with more countries than ever represented in the world rankings.”

“Further signalling our sport’s global advancement and health, new baseball-softball and/or new urban Baseball construction projects have been announced or completed this year in Asia, [the] Americas, Africa and Europe, in such places as France, Mozambique, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Tanzania, as well as Argentina and Colombia in South America, to cite a few.”

Fraccari added that there has been an emphasis on development over the past year, using the launch of the new urban five-on-five format Baseball as an example.

New continental governing bodies were also created including WBSC Europe and WBSC Oceania, while Fraccari declared baseball/softball “the biggest sport that is not permanently a part of the Olympic Games”.

Both sports return to the Olympic programme, first in Tokyo (2020) after they were cut or removed following Beijing 2008, but at this date it’s fair to report that they are not guaranteed a spot at Paris 2024.

Fraccari continued to mention “Twenty-nineteen will be the biggest and most important year in the history of international baseball and softball with many international competitions leading to our flagship Premier12 building toward the return of our sport at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Riccardo Fraccari President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation

“Softball in Fukushima will be the opening competition for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and we must do everything we can from now until 2020 to support and show our solidarity with the IOC and Tokyo 2020.