WBSC president meets with Serbian Olympic leaders in global push to grow baseball, softball

WBSC president meets with Serbian Olympic leaders in global push to grow baseball, softball
The WBSC leader met with Serbia’s high-ranking sporting officials and the Novi Sad mayor alongside the presidents of the Serbian Baseball Federation and the Serbian Softball Federation. Targets include a new national baseball/softball facility and the introduction of five-on-five Baseball5.

BELGRADE, Serbia -- World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari met with officials at the Serbian Olympic Committee (OKS) as well as the mayor of the second largest city in the country, Novi Sad, to discuss potential development initiatives, including a new ballpark and the introduction of Baseball5, that could boost baseball and softball’s practice and popularity in Serbia and in Europe.

Together with Serbian Baseball Federation President Milan Zonic and Serbian Softball President Slobodan Djuric, Fraccari met with OKS Vice President Zarko Zecevic and Executive Director Damir Steiner, which generated media interest about the nature of the visit. Talks centered on the future and value of baseball and softball in the Olympics, Baseball5 and a potential project to construct a new baseball/softball facility in Serbia, with the national federations serving as strong partners to grow sport and athletes in the country.

OKS officials noted the “increasing prevalence” of baseball and softball around the world and were supportive of the project to build a new “home” for baseball and softball in Serbia.

Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, would be the proposed cite of the new national baseball/softball facility, if permission to build the complex is granted. Fraccari underlined WBSC’s support for the facility and the Serbian national federations in a meeting with Novi Sad mayor Milos Vucevic.

The WBSC and baseball/softball federations around the world are boosting expansion initiatives as the sport and its new five-on-five discipline Baseball5 are gaining unprecedented international momentum and hitting major milestones, including the return of Olympic baseball and softball at the Tokyo 2020 Games and the inclusion of Baseball5 at the Youth Olympics 2022 in Dakar, Senegal, Africa.

Serbia is currently 42nd in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings and 43rd in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings.