History in the making: Türkiye to host inaugural WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup in Ankara

Excitement is in the air as Türkiye gears up to host its first-ever international baseball event. This historic occasion follows Türkiye’s introduction of Baseball5 in 2019, a groundbreaking move which the National Federation credits with revolutionising the accessibility of the sport and igniting a passion for baseball and softball among students and teachers alike.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has awarded the hosting rights of the inaugural WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup to the vibrant city of Ankara, Türkiye. This landmark event will mark the country’s first international baseball/softball event in the country.

Ankara will host the tournament from 10 to 15 October at the Sports Complex in the Yenimahalle metropolitan district (Yenimahalle Spor Kompleksi).

“We are excited to organise a WBSC World Cup for the first time in your country,” wrote WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari to the Turkish Baseball Softball Federation. “We are grateful for your commitment to promoting youth sports and delighted to partner up to launch the new urban discipline with the first edition of the WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup.”

“I extend my sincere gratitude to WBSC for their trust and support in choosing Ankara as the host city for this momentous event,” said Nahit Sahin, the Turkish Baseball and Softball Federation president. “Together, let us embark on this remarkable journey, united by our shared passion for the game and driven by the pursuit of excellence. Thank you all for your unwavering support.”

The Youth Baseball5 World Cup marks yet another milestone on the incredible journey of the urban, dynamic and fast-paced sport of Baseball5 after the first WBSC Baseball5 World Cup last year in Mexico. Having quickly gained popularity worldwide, Baseball5 is also set to make its Olympic debut at the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026.

Ankara, situated in the heart of Anatolia, has been the nation’s capital since the establishment of the Republic on 29 October 1923. The city has a 5.1 million population in its urban centre and 5.7, including the provinces.

Ankara’s foundation dates to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) Hattic civilisation and offers various Hattian, Hittite, Lydian, Phrygian, Galatian, Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. It was the capital of the Galatia state (280-64 BC), a Roman province (25 BC-7th century) and an Ottoman capital since 1393.

“Hosting this prestigious event in Ankara holds great significance for the Turkish Baseball and Softball Federation,” added Sahin. “It serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to embracing new forms of the game, nurturing grassroots participation, and cultivating a thriving ecosystem for baseball and softball enthusiasts across our nation. We firmly believe that Baseball5 has the potential to transcend cultural boundaries, fostering unity, teamwork, and healthy competition.”

Türkiye introduced Baseball5 (Beyzbol5) in 2019 through an event at the Bodrum Antique Theatre (Bodrum Antik Tiyatrosu).

President Sahin intends to further develop the five-on-five version of baseball/softball.
“I would like to emphasise the immense importance of Baseball5, a thrilling and fast-paced version of the game that has been gaining tremendous popularity worldwide. This innovative format of baseball and softball has captured the hearts of athletes and fans alike, offering an inclusive and dynamic experience that breaks down barriers and welcomes individuals of all backgrounds to participate.”

Seven national teams have already qualified for the 12-team WBSC Youth Baseball5 World Cup:

Africa (2) No. 8 Tunisia, No. 33 Ghana
Americas (3) The qualifying tournament is scheduled in July in La Guaira, Venezuela.
Asia (3) – No. 2 Chinese Taipei, China, No. 12 South Korea
Europe (2) – No. 3 France, No. 20 Türkiye
Oceania (1)
Wild Card (1)

“This event presents a remarkable opportunity for our talented athletes to showcase their skills on an international stage,” added Sahin. “It allows us to measure our progress, learn from the best, and establish valuable relationships with fellow baseball and softball federations from around the globe. We envision this event as a stepping stone towards creating a vibrant baseball and softball community in Türkiye, nurturing talent at all levels, and paving the way for future champions.”

“As the President of the Turkish Baseball and Softball Federation, I assure you that no effort will be spared to ensure the resounding success of this event,” he said on a final note. “We will work tirelessly to create an unforgettable experience for the participating teams, officials, and spectators. We aim to forge strong bonds between nations, inspire the next generation of baseball and softball enthusiasts, and leave an enduring legacy for developing our beloved sports in Türkiye.”

Credit: WSBC