LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced that baseball continues to break historic ground with the launch of the sport’s newest official championship, the Women’s Baseball Asian Cup.
The Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA), a continental arm of WBSC, together with the Hong Kong Baseball Association will host the inaugural six-nation Women’s Baseball Asian Cup from 2-7 September in Hong Kong, with the top four nations to qualify for the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup® 2018.
The Women’s National Baseball Teams of Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Hong Kong, India and Pakistan will compete for the first-ever Asian crown in women’s baseball.
The women’s baseball continental championship in Asia will be contested every two years, in the year prior to the Women’s Baseball World Cup.
“This is a great and historic day for baseball,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Women’s baseball continues to be one of our sport’s fastest growing areas in terms of player participation, and commercial and media interest. The global broadcast reach of last year’s Women’s Baseball World Cup topped 100 million households for the first time ever and was one of our most watched National Team events of 2016. There is enormous potential in this exciting discipline, and WBSC commends BFA for launching this important new platform in response to our sport’s continued expansion.”
Women’s baseball has seen a recent wave of growth and popularity, and made its historic debut at a multi-sports event at the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games. USA Baseball and Major League Baseball recently organised their first-ever women’s baseball tournament, and new women’s baseball clubs/leagues are being launched in countries like Argentina, Great Britain and Venezuela. The first professional female baseball player to make the major leagues was the subject of the Fox television fiction/drama series “Pitch”.
Japan, Canada and the United States are currently the three top-ranked nations in the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Rankings.