Global Game Podcast: Baseball5 is ‘the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me’ - Cuba star Briandy Molina

Global Game Podcast: Baseball5 is ‘the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me’ - Cuba star Briandy Molina
29/12/2021
Molina was the guest of the December edition of The Global Game, where he spoke passionately about Baseball5 and its origins, its main characteristics and the exceptional growth of the discipline in a very short period of time.

One of the WBSC's fastest growing disciplines - Baseball5 - is taking the world by storm. Easy to play and accessible for all ages, Baseball5 is proving to be a huge hit, especially in schools, around the world.

Briandy Molina, who is one of the top Baseball5 players in the world as well as a coach and an ambassador of the game, is a trailblazer and the 26-year-old Cuban was the guest of the December edition of the WBSC podcast The Global Game, hosted in Spanish by Adriana Flores, where he spoke passionately about Baseball5 and its origins, its main characteristics and the exceptional growth of the discipline in a very short period of time.

The WBSC announced in 2017 the launch of the first-ever Baseball5 official competition, the WBSC Baseball5 Championship, which took place in Havana, Cuba, on 23-24 November that year, also revealing the Baseball5 hashtag #PlayEverywhere.

Today, the five-a-side game has grown in such popularity, especially as an easy to play sport for school children and with its much anticipated Youth Olympic Games debut in 2026, it is now played in more than 80 nations and has become a key tool for communities around the world to stay active and stay healthy.

“Baseball5 is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me,” said Molina, who captained the Cuban National Team to win the Baseball5 Americas Open 2019. “I’ve given clinics in six countries, including Asian nations like China, Thailand, Iran and Japan, and I’m very proud of it.” 

Baseball5 comes from the desire to increase accessibility to baseball and softball, maintaining the uniqueness of the game, while eliminating the structural complexities. “The game is a huge success,” Molina said. “People love it, so the WBSC decided to make it an official discipline.”

Baseball5, which is fully in line with the Agenda 2020+5 of the IOC, the New Norm and the founding principles of the Olympic Movement, meets all the criteria of a modern, attractive, inclusive, mixed-gender, youth-focused and urban sport. The fast-pace, low-cost and accessibility of the discipline is its greatest strength. All you need is a ball and a hard-surface. No dedicated sports equipment or venues are required to play, 

It has already given a boost to baseball and softball development around the world, particularly in Africa and Europe, with Molina explaining how Baseball5 has transcended into one of the most “dynamic and strategic sports in the world”.

“To celebrate the fourth anniversary of Baseball5 in Cuba (on 21 November) we made a skills competition," Molina said. "The fastest runner from home to first, after slapping the ball, stopped the clock in 2.02 seconds. It’s such a short time for a position player to make a play at first base.  

“We also had the fastest double play competition, with the winners clocking at 2.16 seconds. And I was the most powerful hitter with a 74 MPH exit velocity.”

Baseball5 will make its historic Olympic debut at the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games as the only mixed-team sport with the inaugural WBSC Baseball5 World Cup scheduled for 2022.  

“It’s the biggest step ever made by this sport, it’s the biggest experience for any athlete, being part of the Olympic Games,” Molina said.

You might also be interested in:
- More about Baseball5
- 2021 in Review: A year to remember for Baseball5
- Palestine, Tunisia showcase Baseball5 at UTS World Virtual Youth Festival
- WBSC President Fraccari Op-Ed: Baseball5 can help strengthen the Olympic Movement, take sport to new places
- WBSC announces Baseball5 World Cup Calendar 2021-2029