2020: President Fraccari - Baseball, softball will be in the Olympic spotlight

2020: President Fraccari - Baseball, softball will be in the Olympic spotlight
31/12/2019
The return of baseball and softball to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 will be one of the key highlights of another exciting year for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) while 2020 will be the first year in which all WBSC world championship tournaments will all be under the World Cup brand. President Riccardo Fraccari provides his international outlook and milestones in 2020.

The return of baseball and softball to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 will be one of the key highlights of another exciting year for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) while 2020 will be the first year in which all WBSC world championship tournaments will all be under the World Cup brand. President Riccardo Fraccari provides his international outlook and milestones in 2020.

"This year will be another critical year for baseball and softball, with all eyes on baseball and softball’s return to the Olympic Games in Japan in August, where our sport is expected to be one of the biggest Tokyo 2020 events. Success at the Tokyo 2020 Games -- and the power of our sport to spread and promote Olympic ideals -- will set the stage for baseball and softball’s reemergence on the Olympic programme in future Games.

As one of the most sacred sports in Japanese culture, Olympic Baseball and Softball will be played in Fukushima, where the world will get to witness the recovery, life and rejuvenation of the area. This is a tremendous honour and responsibility that has been placed upon our sport and International Federation by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo 2020 hosts. Of the 33 great sports being featured at Tokyo 2020, softball will kick off the Olympic Games, with a special opening in Fukushima.

Road to Tokyo

In March and April, the final two spots of the six-team Olympic Baseball event will be complete, as these two teams will join host Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico. Thanks to the Israel National Baseball Team, Israel will carry its biggest-ever delegation of athletes to the Olympics.

The Olympic Softball field has already been finalized, with Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico, USA and host Japan.

Mexico will be making their Olympic debuts in both baseball and softball.

World Cup brand

Aligning international baseball and softball properties, 2020 will be the first year in which all WBSC world championship tournaments will be under the World Cup (“Baseball World Cup” and “Softball World Cup”) brand.

Baseball World Cups in the categories of U-23 (October), U-15 (June) and Women’s (October) will be contested in Mexico, as the nation, has taken on a greater role in both the global and national development of baseball.

Targeting youth and global growth, particularly in new and emerging territories, the WBSC will also be launching the urban, five-on-five Baseball5 World Cup in 2020, which will also be hosted in Mexico.

Softball World Cups will be organized across two categories, the U-18 Men’s (February in New Zealand) and U-18 Women’s (August in Peru).

Staying close to the Olympic Movement

WBSC will move from the Maison du Sport International (House of International Sport) in Lausanne, Switzerland, into its own new headquarters in Pully, just outside the Olympic capital.

The WBSC remains committed to showcasing the values baseball and softball shares with the Olympic Movement and growing sport together. The IOC and Olympic Movement serve as a model and inspiration that brings the world together through sport."