2021 in Review: The WBSC - A Year of Amazing Achievement

2021 in Review: The WBSC - A Year of Amazing Achievement
In the final part of the 2021 in Review series, we take a look back at the WBSC's additional accomplishments on and off the field and the exciting future ahead.

After the incredibly difficult year that was 2020, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has reflected on the year 2021 that saw the baseball and softball community come together once again and celebrate a number of achievements, not least baseball and softball’s long-awaited return to the Olympic Games. 

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari thanked everyone for making baseball and softball’s long anticipated return to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 a truly special occasion while WBSC Secretary General Beng Chow Loo celebrated the many achievements accomplished off the field of play.

However, there are many more initiatives creating excitement and opportunities for countries all around the world to be engaged and involved with baseball and softball.

New disciplines

This year the WBSC approved new statutes which included Baseball5 and eSport as official disciplines, opening the door wider for more people to be play baseball or softball. There has been excellent progress in the development of Baseball5, a youth-focused, mixed-gender, urban discipline which fully aligns with the Olympic Movement and principles laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Agenda 2020+5. The five-a-side sport is growing in popularity and has already been a bright spot in the global development of baseball and softball, by making the sport more accessible than ever before. As a result, Baseball5 will be included at the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026.  

The WBSC’s entry to eSports has to also be celebrated. After its hugely successful participation in the inaugural Olympic Virtual Series (OVS) in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the WBSC looks forward to the next edition of the OVS as well as expanding its esports strategy to include mobile, virtual and online gaming in 2022. 

Continental growth

Africa is one part of the world the WBSC took significant steps in growing baseball and softball in 2021, headlined by the partnership with the Olympafrica Foundation and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) to promote baseball, softball, and Baseball5 in Africa. Also, part of the agreement between the three organisations is the encouragement of social, economic and personal development through sport, especially for younger athletes; the promotion of the values and ideals of the Olympic movement; and the promotion of peace through common sports interests, activities and cooperation.

The WBSC also congratulated European Baseball and Softball leaders who came together to approve the new WBSC Europe Constitution and have united the Confederation of European Baseball and the European Softball Federation into one organisation, WBSC Europe, starting in 2022. This new amalgamation sets up Europe for a very bright future with this new governance structure sure to help promote and develop baseball and softball across the continent. 

The WBSC's in-house Marketing Company Base International also agreed terms with the Pan American Baseball Confederation (COPABE, Confederación Panamericana de Béisbol) to be in charge of promoting events and negotiating commercial rights with the aim expansion of the COPABE brand.


A year ago, the WBSC launched the WBSC Academy and it has proven to be a valuable instructional tool for the global baseball and softball community. In just 12 months, a total of 1,391 users have registered from 77 National Federations. 

The WBSC launched the Academy to provide efficient self-learning of the various topics related to Baseball, Softball and Baseball5. The innovative online learning platform has helped provide the necessary tools to further expand the sports’ popularity in traditional and new and emerging baseball/softball countries and territories. Looking ahead to 2022, the WBSC will continue to add valuable learning tools to the Academy. 

Good Governance

As the WBSC continues to strive for a more inclusive and diverse global baseball and softball community, it has this year expanded the Women’s Development Commission into the WBSC Diversity and Inclusivity Commission with the aim to continue to promote gender equality in baseball, softball and Baseball5.

This year the Diversity and Inclusivity Commission worked with the WBSC Integrity Unit to produce two courses dedicated to women’s baseball and gender equality as a resource to the global baseball and softball community. 

The WBSC also continues to strengthen its governance with its continental association and national federation surveys where best practices have been provided to further enhance the governance practices. Furthermore, statutes, policies, rules and guidelines were reviewed and adopted to incorporate high integrity and governance standards. 

New event bidding guidelines for Baseball, Softball and Baseball5 World Cups were also unveiled this year to regulate, simplify and define the awarding process of the WBSC’s future competitions.

So, after another remarkable year of achievement for the WBSC, 2022 promises to offer more opportunities to grow baseball and softball around the world with events and competition continuing to resume in a safe and controlled manner, enhance good practices and embrace change as the WBSC continues to evolve and lead the way forward for millions of baseball and softball fans around the world.  

You might also be interested in:
- End-of-the-year message from WBSC President to global baseball-softball community
- Secretary General Beng Choo Low: Athletes at the heart of WBSC's continued innovation
- WBSC in 2020
- Year In Review 2021
- Year In Review 2020
- Year In Review 2019