World Baseball Softball Confederation
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC; French: Confédération internationale de baseball et softball) is the world governing body for the sports of baseball and softball. It was established in 2013 by the merger of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF), the former world governing bodies for baseball and softball, respectively. Under WBSC's organizational structure, IBAF and ISF now serve as the Baseball Division and Softball Division of WBSC. Each division is governed by an executive committee, while the WBSC is governed by an executive board.
|Founded||14 April 2013|
|Type||Federation of National Associations|
|Purpose||World Governing Body|
|141 National Federations; 7 Pro Baseball "Associate Members"|
|English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean|
|Affiliations||International Olympic Committee, ARISF, SportAccord|
Headquartered in Pully, Switzerland, the WBSC was granted recognition as the sole competent global authority for both the sports of baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session on 8 September 2013.
The WBSC has 208 National Federation Members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. Professional baseball organizations as well as youth organizations are also included and form an arm of the WBSC as associate members.
As the recognised governing body in baseball/softball, the WBSC is charged with overseeing all international competitions and holds the exclusive rights of all competitions, tournaments and world championships featuring National Teams. These rights extend to the Olympic Games, with baseball and softball returning to the Olympic Programme for the 2020 games. WBSC's members hold the rights to organize and select National Teams. This exclusive authority of the WBSC and its members in each constituent country to sanction and regulate the sport of baseball applies in the 141 territories in which the WBSC has an associated National Federation.
Discussions to merge baseball and softball world governing bodies were sparked by a Memorandum of Understanding that saw baseball and softball leaders agree to form a joint bid to be added to the 2020 Olympic Games sports program.
Following its exclusion of baseball and softball from the Summer Olympics in 2005, the IOC reclassified baseball and softball as two disciplines of the same sport. As the IOC's guidance indicated the necessity for baseball and softball to be jointly considered for reinstatement in the Olympic programme, the two independent International Federations set out on a path toward a full and complete merger.
In 2012, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) laid out the essential ground rules for partnership and began working on a constitution that would guide the merger and provide a framework for governance, ethics and operations. At a historic IBAF Congress in Tokyo in April 2013, the Constitution was ratified and since it had already been approved by an ISF working group empowered to do so, the WBSC was officially formalized and empowered.
The creation of a single federation allowed for the permanent alignment, merger and management of baseball and softball at the world level. The merger resulted in an immediate boost to the governance, universality and gender equality of baseball and softball, criteria for an Olympic sport that are heavily valued by the IOC.
At the first-ever World Baseball Softball Congress—in Hammamet, Tunisia—Italy's Fraccari was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of WBSC, along with a fully elected Executive Board.
The WBSC is governed by the executive board, which consists of fourteen members: president, secretary general, two vice presidents, baseball executive vice president, softball executive vice president, treasurer, four members at large, athlete representative for baseball, athlete representative for softball, and global ambassador.
The Baseball Division is governed by an executive committee, which has thirteen members: president, secretary general, 2nd vice president, 3rd vice president, treasurer, three members at large, four continental vice presidents (one each for Africa, Americas, Europe, and Oceania), and executive director.
The Softball Division is governed by an executive committee that has twenty-three members: president, secretary general, 1st vice president, 2nd vice president, treasurer, twelve vice presidents (two each for Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and one each for North America and English-speaking Caribbean), two at-large members, two athlete representatives, immediate past president, and executive director.
The WBSC has four departments: media, finance, tournaments, and marketing. It also has several commissions.
Continental Confederation Members and LeaguesEdit
There are six confederation members in the WBSC divided by geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. In total, there are 198 countries affiliated with the WBSC. By region, there are 28 members in Africa, 58 members in the Americas, 34 members in Asia, 54 members in Europe, and 24 members in Oceania.
Unlike the ICC, the WBSC identifies associate members as those who particularly endorse international baseball and softball with their own leagues in partnership with the WBSC. These leagues support baseball and softball to the extent that they are major sports in their respective countries. The table below has all leagues along with the country hosted:
|Tournament||Year||Champions||Runners-up||Third place||Fourth place|
|World Baseball Classic||2017||United States||Puerto Rico||Japan||Netherlands|
|WBSC Premier12||2019||Japan||South Korea||Mexico||United States|
|Summer Olympics||2008||South Korea||Cuba||United States||Japan|
|U-23 Baseball World Cup||2018||Mexico||Japan||Venezuela||South Korea|
|U-18 Baseball World Cup||2019||Chinese Taipei||United States||South Korea||Australia|
|U-15 Baseball World Cup||2018||United States||Panama||Chinese Taipei||Japan|
|U-12 Baseball World Cup||2019||Chinese Taipei||Japan||Cuba||South Korea|
|Tournament||Year||Champions||Runners-up||Third place||Fourth place|
|Women's Softball World Championship||2018||United States||Japan||Canada||Australia|
|Summer Olympics||2008||Japan||United States||Australia||Canada|
|U-18 Women's Softball World Cup||2019||United States||Japan||Canada||Australia|
The following table has the Top 20 men's baseball countries in the world. The Top 20 is here due to the next iteration of the World Baseball Classic, the world's major tournament in men's baseball, anticipating to have 20 countries compete. As such, this table shows the projected teams in the next WBC based on the ranking's algorithm.
The following table has the Top 16 women's softball countries in the world. The Top 16 is here due to the next iteration of the Women's Softball World Championship, the world's major tournament in women's softball, anticipating to have 16 countries compete. As such, this table shows the projected teams in the next WSWC based on the ranking's algorithm.
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