The International Authority of Baseball & Softball.


@wbsc   #Premier12 November 8, 2015 - November 21, 2015 TPE | JPN


TOKYO – Alongside Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari gave a report at the recent NPB Owners Meeting in Japan's capital city regarding the key issues and opportunities of the Olympic baseball tournament in 2020.

It was the first NPB Owners Meeting since the International Olympic Committee unanimously voted in August to add Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball events to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

President Fraccari briefed league representatives on factors that would likely influence baseball and softball’s place in future Olympic Games, including the shared vision, involvement and support from all the world’s professional baseball leagues to further globalise the sport and deliver the best possible Olympic baseball event in 2020.  He further indicated that 2020 will be a historical turning point that can either result in the widespread diffusion and popularity of baseball or confine baseball to the “corner of world sport”.

The world body leader expressed his gratitude to NPB for the strengthened partnership with WBSC, which led to the successful launch of the newest international flagship competition WBSC PREMIER12 in 2015 and helped to solidify baseball/softball’s 2020 Olympic bid.  NPB became an Associate Member of WBSC in 2013.

NPB continues to play a critical role in popularising Japan’s National Team programme, “Samurai Japan”, by having the league’s top stars represent Japan in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions.

Atop the sports industry in Japan, the 12-team NPB is the second-highest attended professional sports league in the world, with over 24 million fans having passed through stadium gates in 2015.

Japan National Baseball Team Photo with Bronze Medals - WBSC PREMIER12 2015