Baseball5 World Cup: WBSC discusses qualification process with Africa

Baseball5 World Cup: WBSC discusses qualification process with Africa
Baseball5 is the urban version of baseball/softball. The fast-pace, low-cost and accessibility of the discipline is its greatest strength.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) held a first preliminary call with African Nations regarding the qualification process for the Baseball5 World Cup, which will take place in Mexico later this year. The inaugural edition will feature a World Cup and a Youth World Cup played simultaneously.

The first countries to participate on the WBSC conference call were South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda where an update on the qualification process in Africa was provided while the countries updated the WBSC on the progress of Baseball5 in their respective territories.

A total of 12 mixed-gender teams will feature at both events with the breakdown by continent as follows:

  • Africa: 2 teams
  • Americas: 3 teams
  • Asia: 3 teams
  • Europe: (2) France, Lithuania
  • Oceania: 1 team
  • Host Nation: (1) Mexico

So far only Europe has completed the qualification process for the World Cup. France and Lithuania qualified through the inaugural European Championship during the last weekend of February.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, the continental qualification process for the Baseball5 World Cup and Youth World Cup was put on hold until further notice however the WBSC is continuing to liaise with the WBSC Continental Associations and national federations via regular video conference calls to offer support in planning and logistics with the hope the continental qualifiers can be played later in the year.

The number of players per team is eight, equally divided between men and women with five players -- with a minimum of two players per gender -- on the field at one time. Eligibility for the WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup 2020 is reserved for athletes born between 01 January 2002 and 31 December 2005.

Baseball5, the urban version of baseball/softball, was added to the programme of the next edition of the Youth Olympics, to happen in Dakar, Senegal, in 2022, in January this year.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said in February: "Having officially launched Baseball5 as a discipline in March 2018, it was difficult to imagine at the time, all that we would go on to accomplish over the following 20 months. Since then, Baseball5 has exploded everywhere in popularity, enhancing WBSC’s ability to do good around the world. We are now able to introduce the skills and the values of baseball-softball to young people in new communities we couldn’t reach before."