Empowering Federations - WBSC Open Workshops a great success

Empowering Federations - WBSC Open Workshops a great success
Participation proved high for all four Open Workshops - the Coach Commission Project, the Scoring Application, the Website and OTT Platform and above all the development of Baseball5.

Sakai, Japan - Empowering the member federations was the tagline for the WBSC Open Workshops held on Wednesday, on the eve of the third WBSC Congress, at the Hotel Agora Regency Sakai and they responded accordingly with packed rooms across all four topics - Coach Commission Project, Scoring Application, Baseball5 and Website/OTT Platform.

The most number of participants attended the Workshop on Baseball5, the urban version of Baseball Softball that WBSC has developed over the past couple of years.

Baseball5 has enjoyed unprecedented success. The third discipline recognized by WBSC has already spread to 69 countries, 19 developing the new game on their initiative. A total of 29 global coaching programmes have been activated.

Ayaku Rokkaku, a four-time Women's Baseball World Champion and MVP from Japan, has been one of the biggest converts to Baseball5, especially as an instructor. "I took Baseball5 to an elementary school in Japan and I had enthusiastic feed back. Baseball5 offers a great way to teach inclusion. I also believe, as a player, that Baseball5 offers a very good training opportunity."

Cameron Vale, the CEO of Baseball Australia, announced that Baseball5 is part of the range of sports that school teachers may select to get funding from Sporting Schools, a Federal Programme in Australia. "Baseball5, with the training opportunity it offers in hand-eye coordination, can prepare to many different sports, not only baseball and softball."

Various National Federations, including Pakistan, India and Uganda, offered enthusiastic comments about the introduction of Baseball5 in the respective countries.

WBSC will make a presentation during Thursday's Congress about the first ever edition of the Baseball5 World Cup, which was confirmed by the WBSC Executive Board to be held in Mexico next year.

Meanwhile, the WBSC Coach Commission introduced member federations to the Coach Licensing System. WBSC licensed 21 Continental Instructors (11 for baseball and 10 for softball) in October in Viera, Florida, who will train and certify coaches.

The coaches that need to operate at the grass-root level will be trained and certified, but won't go through final tests. These courses will last three days and will be for baseball and softball combined but won't include any instruction on pitching and catching.

The level 1 of certification will be for coaches that need to work at the U-12 and U-15 levels. These courses will have an entry and exit exam and will last four days. Levels 3 and 4 of certification will be for coaches that need to operate at the upper level.

The tests will be run through a digital platform and the WBSC Development Commission will be in charge of approving the requests to host courses by National Federations. "We don't pretend to invent anything," said Coach Commission chairman Marco Mazzieri. "We are trying to put a structure together."

Coach Commission member Andrea D'Auria added: "We need your feedback. We need to have information about your programme, to customize our courses on your actual needs."

The WBSC Scoring Application, Management System and WBSC website were the theme of two more Workshops.

WBSC scorers are using a costumized version of the MyBallclub App. National Federations that want to test it, may download it from the Android and iOS online stores.

The WBSC Management System allows the setup of tournaments, including rosters and games. The whole environment has been developed since 2017 and is now integrated with WBSC website.

The scoring app has been used since the Men's Softball Junior World Championship 2018 and has been tuned to the specific needs of the WBSC Scoring Commission. The goal for the 2020 season is to make more data available.