The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board approved the provisional international events calendar for 2022. The calendar includes four baseball events, four softball events and the inaugural Baseball5 World Cup.
“After the historic year of 2021, which featured baseball and softball’s successful Olympic return and the U-23 Baseball World Cup and U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, we’re looking forward to seeing more of our events return in 2022,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said. “It’s important to maintain our international calendar as much as possible but equally important is the safety and well-being of our athletes, officials and fans, so we will continue to adapt according to the latest situation regarding the global pandemic.”
The WBSC’s softball season is set to open with The World Games 2022, scheduled from 9 to 13 July in the United States. Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, will host the top softball event of the year, which will officially crown softball’s ‘world champion’. Eight of the top teams in the Women’s Softball World Rankings and all six Tokyo 2020 Olympic sides have qualified for the event: No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Canada, No. 4 Mexico, No. 6 Chinese Taipei, No. 7 China, No. 8 Italy and No. 9 Australia.
The U-12 Mixed Softball World Cup is scheduled from 10 to 14 August in Taiwan. Eight squads will participate in the second edition of the youth World Cup, with Chinese Taipei trying to defend its world championship title on home soil.
The inaugural U-23 Men’s Softball World Cup, hosted by Argentina from 22 to 30 October sees the South American nation, No. 2 in the Men’s Softball World Rankings, organise the global event 10 years after first hosting the 2012 Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Parana.
The Men’s Softball World Cup — the flagship men’s softball tournament in the world — will open in New Zealand on 26 November and close the calendar year on 4 December. The Czech Republic and Denmark have qualified for this global event to represent the European continent, with the other 10 teams set to qualify through their respective continental qualifiers.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup will open the international baseball season. The popular youth event, is scheduled from 29 July to 7 August in Taiwan. Chinese Taipei will be joined by other qualifiers the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. One team from Africa, one from Oceania and a wild card team will complete the line-up.
The United States will host the U-18 Baseball World Cup from 9 to 18 September. The event will showcase the future stars of the game, with the best high school aged baseball players in the world in action. Chinese Taipei are the defending U-18 World Champions. American Samoa, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama and USA have qualified with one team from Africa still to be confirmed.
The U-23 Baseball World Cup, which is set to feature top young prospects from various professional leagues/organizations, is scheduled to take place in Taiwan from 14 to 23 October. Venezuela won the last U-23 Baseball World Cup. Germany and the Netherlands have qualified with teams from the Americas (4), Asia (3), Africa (1), Oceania (1) and a wild card still to be determined.
The U-15 Baseball World Cup, which is in the process of confirming a host, is planned to be held in the second half of August. USA are the defending World Champions in the age-bracket. The Czech Republic and France have qualified so far with teams from the Americas (5), Asia (2), Africa (1), Oceania (1) and a wild card still to be determined.
The inaugural Baseball5 World Cup is also scheduled for 2022 with the exact dates and location to be announced at a later stage. The fast-growing discipline will make its debut on the Youth Olympic Games programme in 2026.
Mexico has presented a bid to host both the U-15 Baseball World Cup and the Baseball5 World Cup.