LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the launch of the first-ever, official five-on-five street baseball competition, “the WBSC Baseball5 Championships”, which will take place from 23-24 November in Havana, Cuba.
WBSC today also revealed the new logo that will mark the identity of the new urban discipline, along with the hashtag #PlayEverywhere (play everywhere).
In collaboration with Cuba’s National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER), the inaugural WBSC Baseball5 Championships will serve as the semi-finals and finals of INDER’s “Cuatro Esquinas” (Four corners) and crown national champions in the Men’s, Women’s, Mixed and Youth categories.
The WBSC Baseball5 Championships in Havana will feature five-inning games played by five on-field players on each side, as opposed to the traditional baseball model of nine players per side and nine innings. Competitors will also be limited to using only their bare hands to hit and field the balls.
The two-day urban competition on the streets of Havana will also serve as a pilot event to further develop and evolve the new discipline, continuing on a successful introduction of Baseball5 “Street Baseball’ at the Friendship Games in Burundi this past August.
“The WBSC is committed to the development of this new Baseball5 discipline, and we believe it has enormous potential to be another key attraction that will further our sport’s position among the leaders in the youth space, while helping to bring more sporting opportunities to underserved communities,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “We are also particularly excited that the Baseball5 Championships in Havana will crown champions across four categories, including mixed — this is something completely new for our sport and follows the Olympic Movement’s forward-thinking and inclusive direction.”
WBSC has been launching new initiatives such as Baseball5 in Havana and Mini Baseball in Taiwan with the aim of building a billion-strong baseball softball community over the next decade.
WBSC’s Baseball5 project at the Friendship Games recently received a nomination for the Peace and Sport Awards in the category of ‘Sport made Simple’.