Baseball5 reaches 2,600 students in Turkey, helping to grow the game in key region

Baseball5 reaches 2,600 students in Turkey, helping to grow the game in key region
The country's national governing body introduced the five-on-five discipline in May 2019.

Baseball5 is helping the Turkish Baseball and Softball Federation spread bat-and-ball sports throughout the country.

Baseball5 was introduced in May 2019 through an event at the Bodrum Antique Theatre (Bodrum Antik Tiyatrosu).

"We also aim to show Turkish values at the same time. This is a game that can be played by children, far from technology. We showcase it in what is one of the cradles of humanity," commented federation president Murat Pazan.

The federation's goal is to compete internationally with the midterm goal of participating in the first edition of the Youth Olympics in 2026.

"We dream about our National Teams competing on the World and European stage," said President Pazan. "Moreover, The fact Baseball5 is now on the programme of the Youth Olympics brought huge excitement. Our children have become more enthusiastic while learning Baseball and Softball."

In the short term, Turkish officials are using Baseball5 as a way to target schools, with the objective of reaching about 2,600 students. Different schools around the country have now dedicated Baseball5 spaces.

"We can say that our country has a huge sport potential thanks to the youth population," added Mr Pazan. "We have been trying to improve baseball and softball in Turkey for four and a half years (unfortunately, there has been pandemic in between). However, we could not make huge progress due to the enormous need for equipment. Yet, the fact that Baseball5 does not require that much equipment, we can spread it faster."

According to Pazan, developing Baseball5 will help also introduce more Turkish youth to baseball and softball.

"Our purpose here is to introduce baseball and softball through Baseball5 since it is based on the same fundamental rules. I suggest Baseball5 to everyone who wants to play baseball and softball, and when they ask why, I tell them how Baseball5 can be played in a school garden or a park or a gym, outdoors and indoors.".

On a final note, Pazan addressed the WBSC.

"I send my huge thanks first to the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, Riccardo Fraccari, and then to his team, who had the idea of Baseball5 and contributed efforts to its emergence as a sport and made Baseball5 become known worldwide."