WBSC shares with Olympic Movement baseball case study on successfully running COVID-secure sports event

WBSC shares with Olympic Movement baseball case study on successfully running COVID-secure sports event
05/11/2020
The case study – presented virtually by WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and the CEO of MGO Events Guillermo Ramírez – presented before members of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) -- was based on a tournament for the ProBeis Mexican Prospects League, which incorporated the WBSC Return to Play Guidelines.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today presented a case study at the virtual International Federation (IF) Forum 2020 on how WBSC event partner MGO Events successfully ran a baseball tournament at the height of the pandemic without returning a single positive case of COVID-19.

The case study – presented virtually by WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and the CEO of MGO Events Guillermo Ramírez – presented before members of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) -- was based on a tournament for the ProBeis Mexican Prospects League, which incorporated the WBSC Return to Play Guidelines.

The MGO-run event was held in Guadalajara, Mexico, and spread over 45 days between June and July 2020. In total, 250 people were involved in the event and 21 games were played.

The event did not record a single positive case of COVID-19 despite taking place at the height of the pandemic in Mexico, with all those involved, including 120 athletes, tested twice a week.

“This was achieved by combining WBSC and MGO Event’s strict COVID-19 protocol and merging it with protocols from Mexican health authorities,” explained MGO Event’s Ramírez.

Having quarantined on arrival and provided two negative PCR tests, all staff and athletes taking part in the tournament were kept in a secure “bubble” until the event was concluded. This helped to avoid the threat of external contamination.

Speaking after the presentation, President Fraccari said: “I want to thank SportAccord for giving us the opportunity to share our learnings on running events during the pandemic with the IF family.

“Although we had developed the theory, putting it into practice enabled us to unearth other challenges, which are hard to predict during the planning phase. I hope that these findings will prove useful to IFs who are looking to get their competitions underway again.

“The WBSC also has a number of other Associate Members that are currently successfully operating professional leagues that feature international athletes and in-stadium spectators, including in Japan, Taiwan and Korea, from which we will be gathering more learnings to share with our Olympic Movement colleagues.”

The event, which saw two Mexican Prospects League players sign MLB contracts, was streamed on the WBSC’s OTT channel – GameTime.Sport.