Executive Board meeting: WBSC welcomes two new members from Estonia and Vietnam

Executive Board meeting: WBSC welcomes two new members from Estonia and Vietnam
The WBSC now has a total of 190 Members plus 15 Associate Members.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board, which held it’s first meeting of 2023 on Friday, approved the membership applications of the Estonia Softball Federation and the Vietnam Baseball & Softball Federation.

The Board also approved the merger of the Greece Baseball Federation and Greece Softball Federation into one federation as well one Associate Member: American Association of Professional Baseball to bring the total of WBSC Members to 190 plus 15 Associate Members.

Meanwhile, four federations – Armenia Baseball Federation, Botswana Baseball Federation, Cameroon Baseball & Softball Federation and British Virgin Islands Baseball Federation - were dismissed due to non-recognition by their National Olympic Committee or government, or lack of activity.

The Board also approved to hold an Electronic Congress this year with an in-person Congress set for 2025. It also approved the budget for 2023.

Opening the meeting, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari congratulated the recently elected Athletes' Representatives sitting on the board: Randolph Oduber (Men's Baseball, Netherlands), Cole Evans (Men's Softball, New Zealand), Ayako Rokkaku (Women's Baseball and Baseball5, Japan) and Monica Abbott (Women's Softball, USA). All four were elected on 24 November 2022.

President Fraccari also highlighted the 2023 season, which includes 13 international tournaments. “It has been three years since the pandemic started, and I hope 2023 is a year of full recovery for our sport. We are planning to come back even stronger," said President Fraccari, who emphasized the Olimpic Virtual Series (EOS) and the WBSC Virtual Cup among the events. "Our eSport strategy keeps giving us a lot of rewards. I am sure you saw the launch of a new WBSC-KONAMI game eBaseball Power Bros, available in 62 countries at 99 cents and has already exceeded 200,000 downloads.”

The EOS qualifying rounds started on March 13, and this year's Finals will be in Singapore between 22 and June."

President Fraccari also reflected on the successful WBSC Europe Congress (Belgrade, Serbia) and the WBSC Oceania Congress (Guam) he recently attended as well as the WBSC Oceania Congress, which he was impressed with the interest and drive of the members to learn and do more for the international and Oceania baseball and softball community. Fraccari took his time to congratulate new president Robert Steffy (Guam) and his vice presidents Vaughan Wyber (New Zealand, Baseball) and Rex Capil (New Zealand, Softball).

The WBSC President also spoke about Baseball5 in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan following his visit in February. "In January, we hired a local coach. He has so far recruited 50 kids," said the WBSC President. "I visited the Refugee Camp and attended the inaugural Festival with World Taekwondo. It is an experience all of us should do in our lives, to feel what those poor people are going through daily."