World Baseball Softball Confederation
|Founded||14 April 2013|
|Type||Federation of National Associations|
|Purpose||World Governing Body|
|141 National Federations; 4 Pro Baseball "Associate Members"|
|Affiliations||International Olympic Committee, ARISF, SportAccord|
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for the sports of baseball and softball that was established in 2013 by the historic merger of the International Softball Federation and International Baseball Federation, the former respective world governing bodies for baseball and softball, both of which now serve as "Divisions" under the organizational structure of the WBSC.
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 September 8, 2013.
The WBSC has 208 National Federation Members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. Professional baseball 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 would be extended to the Olympic Games, if baseball and/or softball return on the Olympic Programme. 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 Olympics Games sports program.
- Australia: Australian Baseball League (ABL)
- Japan: Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB)
- South Korea: Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)
- Taiwan (Chinese Taipei): Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL)
Continental Confederation Members
- Pan American Softball Confederation (CONPASA)
- Pan American Baseball Confederation (COPABE)
- Central American and Caribbean Softball Confederation (CONCACAS)
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was formed in 2013 to create a single federation designed to permanently align, merge and manage the baseball and softball at the world level. This partnership between the leaders of baseball and softball 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.
Following the guidance of the IOC members, who indicated the necessity for baseball and softball team up in order to be jointly considered for inclusion in the Olympic programme, the two independent International Federations set out on a path toward a full and complete merger.
In 2012 the WBSC established a memorandum of understanding between the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) that essentially laid out the ground rules for partnership and begin work on a Constitution that would guide the merger and provide a framework for governance, ethics and operations.
At the 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.
During WBSC's start-up, it was co-chaired by then ISF President Don Porter and current IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari.
The first ever World Baseball Softball Congress in Hammamet, Tunisia saw the election of Italy's Fraccari to a seven-year term as the first president of WBSC, along with a fully elected Executive Committee.
WBSC softball tournaments
- Women's Softball World Championship
- Men's Softball World Championship
- 19U Women's Softball World Championship
- 19U Men's Softball World Championship
- 16U Women's Softball World Cup
WBSC baseball tournaments
- Women's Baseball World Cup
- WBSC Premier 12
- World Baseball Classic
- 21U Baseball World Cup
- 18U Baseball World Cup
- 15U Baseball World Cup
- 12U Baseball World Cup
- "Baseball, softball agree on name". ESPN Olympics (ESPN). 17 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Linden, Julian (8 September 2013). "Baseball-softball vow to fight on after Olympic rejection". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Fraccari elected baseball-softball president". AP. Associated Press. May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-15.