WBSC aims to develop baseball and softball into one of the biggest sports in the world

WBSC aims to develop baseball and softball into one of the biggest sports in the world
While the majority of sports activities around the world are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the WBSC takes a look at its development activities which are central to the organisation in terms of growing the sport of baseball softball around the world.

The development activities of the WBSC are one of the most important strategic arms of the international governing for baseball and softball when it comes to developing the game around the world.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari wants to see baseball and softball -- which has approximately 65 million players scattered across 140+ countries -- grow into one of the biggest sports in the world. Fraccari is targeting 1 billion players and fans by the end of the decade, which would position baseball and softball as one of the top global sports and a permanent Olympic fixture.

Thus, within in the opening months of 2020, the WBSC Development Commission had completed six development projects - including the above first WBSC Asia Softball Certification Seminar - prior to activity being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2019 was a record year in terms of international baseball and softball activity, with the highest amount of countries being featured in the WBSC World Rankings.

This comes on the back of one of busiest periods on record with National Federations having submitted a total of 90 different projects to the WBSC Development Commission throughout 2018-2019 of which 75 (83%) were accepted and funded, and only four rejected (the remaining 11 projects were transferred to 2020 for evaluation).

The new five-on-five Baseball5 discipline has added another bazooka to WBSC's development arsenal, particularly following its inclusion at the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal, Africa.

Fraccari says WBSC’s current mission is to grow baseball and softball from an emerging global sport of approximately 200 million fans and athletes to a major global sport of 1 billion over the next decade, and the reality is that this is not possible without Africa.

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2019: Development - Africa Dev Programme & Women’s Baseball lead impressive year of growth