World Baseball Softball Confederation
|Founded||14 April 2013|
|Type||Federation of National Associations|
|Purpose||World Governing Body|
|141 National Federations; 7 Pro Baseball "Associate Members"|
|English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean|
|Affiliations||International Olympic Committee, ARISF, SportAccord|
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC; French: Confédération internationale de baseball et softball) is the world governing body for the sports of baseball and softball. It was established in 2013 by the merger of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF), the former world governing bodies for baseball and softball, respectively. Under WBSC's organizational structure, IBAF and ISF now serve as the Baseball Division and Softball Division of WBSC. Each division is governed by an Executive Committee, while the WBSC is governed by an Executive Board.
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the WBSC was granted recognition as the sole competent global authority for both the sports of baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session on 8 September 2013.
The WBSC has 208 National Federation Members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. Professional baseball organizations as well as youth organizations are also included and form an arm of the WBSC as Associate Members.
As the recognised governing body in baseball/softball, the WBSC is charged with overseeing all international competitions and holds the exclusive rights of all competitions, tournaments and world championships featuring National Teams. These rights extend to the Olympic Games, with baseball and softball returning to the Olympic Programme for the 2020 games. WBSC's members hold the rights to organize and select National Teams. This exclusive authority of the WBSC and its Members in each constituent country to sanction and regulate the sport of baseball applies in the 141 territories in which the WBSC has an associated National Federation.
Discussions to merge baseball and softball world governing bodies were sparked by a Memorandum of Understanding that saw baseball and softball leaders agree to form a joint bid to be added to the 2020 Olympic Games sports program.
Following its exclusion of baseball and softball from the Summer Olympics in 2005, the IOC reclassified baseball and softball as two disciplines of the same sport. As the IOC's guidance indicated the necessity for baseball and softball to be jointly considered for reinstatement in the Olympic programme, the two independent International Federations set out on a path toward a full and complete merger.
In 2012, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) laid out the essential ground rules for partnership and began working on a constitution that would guide the merger and provide a framework for governance, ethics and operations. At a historic IBAF Congress in Tokyo in April 2013, the Constitution was ratified and since it had already been approved by an ISF working group empowered to do so, the WBSC was officially formalized and empowered.
The creation of a single federation allowed for the permanent alignment, merger and management of baseball and softball at the world level. The merger resulted in an immediate boost to the governance, universality and gender equality of baseball and softball, criteria for an Olympic sport that are heavily valued by the IOC.
At the first ever World Baseball Softball Congress—in Hammamet, Tunisia—Italy's Fraccari was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of WBSC, along with a fully elected Executive Board.
The WBSC is governed by the Executive Board, which consists of fourteen members: president, secretary general, two vice presidents, baseball executive vice president, softball executive vice president, treasurer, four members at large, athlete representative for baseball, athlete representative for softball, and global ambassador.
The Baseball Division is governed by an Executive Committee, which has thirteen members: president, secretary general, 2nd vice president, 3rd vice president, treasurer, three members at large, four continental vice presidents (one each for Africa, Americas, Europe, and Oceania), and executive director.
The Softball Division is governed by an Executive Committee that has twenty-three members: president, secretary general, 1st vice president, 2nd vice president, treasurer, twelve vice presidents (two each for Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and one each for North America and English-speaking Caribbean), two at-large members, two athlete representatives, immediate past president, and executive director.
The WBSC has four departments: media, finance, tournaments, and marketing. It also has several commissions.
- Australia: Australian Baseball League (ABL)
- Japan: Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB)
- Mexico: Mexican Pacific League (Liga Mexicana del Pacífico - LMP) and Mexican Baseball League (Liga Mexicana de Béisbol - LMB)
- Puerto Rico: Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC)
- South Korea: Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)
- Taiwan (Chinese Taipei): Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL)
- Venezuela: Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional - LVBP)
Continental Confederation Members
- Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA)
- Softball Confederation Asia (SCA)
WBSC baseball tournaments
WBSC softball tournaments
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- Linden, Julian (8 September 2013). "Baseball-softball vow to fight on after Olympic rejection". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Michaelis, Vicki (July 8, 2015). "Baseball, softball bumped from Olympics". USA Today. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- Kolatch, Jonathan (September 3, 2013). "Baseball and softball belong in the Olympics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "WORLD BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL CONFEDERATION SETS OUT OLYMPIC VISION". British Baseball Federation. April 3, 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "Fraccari elected baseball-softball president". AP. Associated Press. May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "WBSC welcomes Venezuela Pro League LVBP, PONY and USSSA as newest Members in push to 1 billion players, fans worldwide". WBSC. October 20, 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2018.