As part of a long-lasting partnership with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the Japanese sports equipment giant Mizuno presented the new softball model to be used in all WBSC Softball World Cups, starting with the WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group Stage in 2023. The Mizuno M170 will replace the M150 as the official softball of WBSC Softball World Cups.
The main change between the two models is the cover of the ball. The new M170 – named after the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 – is made of synthetic leather. As a sustainable material, its properties eliminate variations in the stretch and thickness on the surface of the ball and in the thread height and width of the stitching, resulting in a ball that is more accurate to manufacturing guidelines.
“I am proud of the partnership the WBSC has with Mizuno, an industry leader and key partner for softball around the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Part of the WBSC’s mission and strategic plan is to harness our game to help shape a better and more sustainable world and this development of a new, sustainable ball for softball is a significant step in this process.”
The M150 was the official softball for the last three Olympic Games softball competitions: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and Tokyo 2020. The historic ball was presented in 2001, after the Sydney 2000 Olympics – which was played with the Mizuno M100 ball – and was first used at the X Women’s Softball World Cup 2002 in Saskatoon, Canada. The M150 was the first WBSC (then International Softball Federation ISF) official softball with a yellow optic cover and red stitches, which instantly became an iconic reference of the sport.
Through the partnership between the WBSC and Mizuno, that will run through to 2025, the Japan-based company is appointed as the official softball and umpire equipment supplier for all WBSC softball events, including Men’s and Women’s Softball World Cups. In addition, Mizuno supply the official apparel for WBSC tournament officials and staff members.
The WBSC and Mizuno have a long-lasting partnership and relationship. In 2014, the Japanese brand was announced as WBSC’s first global sponsor, continuing on from more than four decades as an official supplier for Softball World Cups.
The WBSC strategy for sustainable development, which is included in its Strategic Plan 2022-2028, is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.