The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board reaffirmed the international federation’s commitment, efforts and campaign to have baseball and softball played at each and every Summer Olympic Games.
During the latest executive board meeting, held virtually on Monday (28 June 2021) from the WBSC’s Headquarters in Pully, Switzerland, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari presented the WBSC’s strategy to secure baseball and softball’s permanent inclusion on the Olympic Games sports programme, starting with the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
Following the unanimous approval of the strategy by the WBSC Executive Board Members, President Fraccari said:
“Baseball and softball are expected to be amongst the biggest and most followed events of the Tokyo 2020 Games and are already generating excitement and support among sports fans in Japan and around the world.
“I am confident that the Tokyo 2020 Games will help display the international growth of baseball and softball that has taken place following their removal after the 2008 Beijing Games, and why they, now more than ever, capture the Olympic ideals and would make great permanent Olympic sports moving forward.
“While we are working to do everything possible to make Tokyo 2020 a great success, the WBSC must act responsibly and plan our sports’ future to best serve our athletes; in this regard, we will hereby be putting our case forward for the LA28 Games, where baseball and softball, like at Tokyo 2020, would be expected to be one of the biggest sporting spectacles.
“Today, the WBSC has all of the foundations in place to be a strong, reliable and flexible partner for future Organising Committee’s and the International Olympic Committee, and so we look forward to future discussions on our ever-evolving and growing role within the Olympic Movement.”
Global Growth of the Baseball-Softball Family
The WBSC Executive Board also approved two new members, the Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association and the Saudi Arabia Baseball & Softball Federation. The two memberships of the national governing bodies, which will be ratified at the next WBSC Congress in 2022, bringing the total number of WBSC members to 213, with 77 National Baseball Federations, 68 National Softball Federations; and 55 combined Baseball and Softball National Federations, and 13 Associate Members, which include professional leagues around the world.
The WBSC Executive Board also received a presentation on the recent activities of the Integrity Unit starting with the approval of four policies – the WBSC Gender Policy (which also includes a Transgender Policy); the WBSC Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (PMC); the WBSC Gift & Hospitality Policy; and the WBSC Medal Reallocation Policy.
The Board was also updated on the inclusion of four WBSC ambassadors in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) campaign on PMC, the collaboration with the International Testing Agency on educational activities and preparation of the testing requirements to meet IOC expectations and the WADA Expert Group’s recommendations before the Olympic Games, as well as the education that the WBSC is doing, together with IOC Olympic Movement Unit, to educate staff, officials and athletes with the aim of maintaining the integrity of the WBSC and its events.
Additionally, an active collaboration with IPACS (International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport) has been recently established to further enhance governance standards, especially in regards to the prevention of conflict of interest.