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WBSC Executive Board finalises Congress preparations, approves rule changes to Baseball World Cups and launch of Slow Pitch Softball World Cup

The WBSC Executive Board awarded hosting rights, wild cards and approved rule changes with regards to various WBSC World Cups.

The WBSC Executive Board finalised preparations for the IV WBSC Ordinary Congress during its latest virtual meeting on Thursday (9 June), the last Executive Board meeting before next month’s elective Congress, which will take place from 3-5 July in Taipei City (TPE).

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari opened the meeting by reflecting on the hard work and achievements by the entire Executive Board, which has contributed to the “enhanced image of [our sport and the WBSC] in the eyes of the international sports world and especially the Olympic Movement.” Fraccari said the efforts also helped to modernise and professionalise the WBSC’s global operations.

"I thought about the path we walked and the challenges we overcome together during all these years," said Fraccari. "What we have been doing in recent years has not only given us a clear structure and strategy to guide our movement in this journey of globalising our sport, it has also put us in a position to earn the credibility of the Olympic Movement.

“I would like to thank the Executive Board, our Continental Associations, our Commissions, all our National Federation Members and the WBSC staff for the amazing achievements produced in such a short amount of time and for bringing the professional world inside our organisation.”

Representatives of the Continental Associations participated in the meeting as special guests with congratulations given to recently elected WBSC Americas President Aracelis Leon, the first woman to chair a WBSC Continental Association, and Kruno Karin, the first WBSC Europe President. President Fraccari also congratulated WBSC Athletes Commission co-Chair Maria Soto, who was elected president of the Venezuelan Olympic Committee.

The Executive Board received a report on the WBSC Congress and confirmed all preparations and processes are in good order as National Federation Members from all around the world prepare to meet together for the first time since the 2019 Congress in Sakai, Japan.

In key decisions, the Board approved the 2022 budget submitted by Treasurer Angelo Vicini as well as the WBSC Integrity Code.

It also approved baseball tournament regulation changes, accepting the recommendation of the Baseball Tournament Commission, which will be applicable in the 2022 international season:

  • The procedure to protest a game will become only verbal, eliminating the need to put the protest in writing.
  • A pitch clock will be in use at the U-15 Baseball World Cup.
  • The 15-run difference rule after four innings has been eliminated in seven-innings games, with teams having to complete at least five innings.
  • Pitchers who start the game in the batting order can stay as designated hitters if their game on the mound ends.
  • The bat regulations of the U-12 Baseball World Cup won't include a mandatory Bat Performance Factor (BPF).

Other major decisions taken by the Board included:

In addition, the inaugural the Slow Pitch Softball World Cup was confirmed for 2023, following a Slow Pitch Working Group proposal for a 12-team tournament, split across Africa (1), Americas (3), Asia (3), Europe (3), Oceania (1) and 1 Wild Card.

The original press release can be found here : https://www.wbsc.org/en/news/last-executive-board-meeting-approves-rule-changes-to-wbsc-baseball-world-cups

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