China Baseball partners with Tianjin University to establish elite player academy and strengthen national team programme

China Baseball partners with Tianjin University to establish elite player academy and strengthen national team programme
05/11/2020
The Chinese Baseball Association is launching a national academy following the establishment of regional training centres in 2018. The number of youth teams in the country has risen to approximately 700.

The Chinese Baseball Association (CBA) and the Tianjin University of Sport have announced a partnership to establish a Chinese Baseball Academy, with the long-term vision of developing elite talent and building a powerhouse National Team programme.

The academy marks a new direction in player development in China. It follows the Baseball Rejuvenation and Development Plan agreed in 2018, that led to dedicated training centres for the U-18, U-15, U-12 and U-10 age brackets in 2020.

Chen Xu, the president of the Chinese Baseball Association, said that the plan started to develop horizontally.

Baseball has experienced a recent minor boom in China, with development activity pushing the number of youth baseball teams to nearly 700 across the nation, which has increased the pool of elite players from which to build the national team.

CBA plans for the best talent to initially develop through regional training centres before they move to the academy to complete their elite development. The final goal is to build a core of talented baseball players to boost the level of Chinese baseball on the international stage.

Currently, China is 22nd in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, and 4th in Asia, behind perennial powerhouses world No. 1 Japan, No. 3 Korea and No. 4 Chinese Taipei.

China's next opportunity on the world stage will be at next year's WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup.

The new academy will also aim at developing high profile coaches, umpires and officials, and expand the talent search to develop the next generation of elite Chinese baseball players.