The Executive Board of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) took some important decision regarding international tournaments in Rome last Sunday.

Starting with the 2019 international calendar, there will be a change in how three-way ties are broken to determine standings, if national teams remain tied after weighing head-to-head games.

Following the WBSC World Cup/Tournament Commission’s recommendation, the team with the best Team Quality Balance (TQB) will advance or place higher in the final standings. The TQB is calculated this way: runs scored/inning played at bat-runs allowed/innings playing on defense.

International Baseball shifts to 7-inning games

Baseball World Cups will shift from nine innings to seven innings across the board, except for the U-12 Baseball World Cup, which will continue to be played with six-inning games. WBSC’s latest decision means next year’s U-23 Baseball World Cup, which features professional players from around the world, will roll out the regulation seven-inning games for the first time in its history. The U-18 Baseball World Cup, for the first time in its 29-edition history, will be played with seven-inning games in 2021.

WBSC major competitions — Olympic Baseball and Premier12 — will continue to be contested over nine innings.

Softball World Cup implements Instant-replay

WBSC will also introduce instant replay in top-tier softball competitions, the Men’s and Women’s Softball World Cups.

“These changes go in the direction of making international baseball more appealing for the younger generations” commented WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, who added “I believe that softball will benefit from the introduction of instant replay at the top tier level.”

WBSC also awarded New Zealand the hosting rights for the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup 2020.
Another decision that appears relevant to WBSC Oceania is the Wild Card that will allow Fiji to participate in the U-12 Baseball World Cup 2019.

The New Zealand's Haka is well known in international sports

The traditional Haka of New Zealand’s Junior Black Sox

“We are very proud of what we accomplished during the Executive Board meeting in Rome,” said Fraccari on a final note. “National Federations can now start programming their season.”