The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced the 2021-2029 Baseball, Softball and Baseball5 World Cup calendars, including a series of modifications to the competition format of some Baseball and Softball World Cups.
"The pandemic has forced us to rethink our events, innovate and be more efficient with tournament planning," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. "During 2020, working groups for baseball and softball met periodically in order to examine the WBSC competitions and make a proposal to improve them for all our stakeholders, that was approved by the WBSC Executive Committee."
The Women’s Baseball World Cup and all Softball World Cups will shift to a four-year cycle, similar to the WBSC’s flagship event the Premier12, setting up a more balanced and efficient competition calendar for these categories. The U-12, U-15, U-18 and U-23 Baseball World Cups will then continue on a two-year cycle until 2029 and will keep the same format.
As part of the review process, the WBSC Executive Board also approved a new, innovative competition system for the Women’s Baseball World Cup, the Women’s Softball World Cup, the Men’s Softball World Cup and the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, named the "Two-Stage World Cup". An explanation of the new competition for Baseball World Cups can be found here and for Softball World Cups here.
"This new system will help the WBSC family mitigate the economic crisis the world is facing, providing greater opportunities for teams to participate as well as for more cities to be able to host WBSC events," added President Fraccari. "The ‘Finals’ will be a far greater product with lower costs for the organisers and a more intense competition over fewer days."
A new bidding process for Baseball, Softball and Baseball5 World Cups has also been worked on in order to make the bidding process for WBSC World Cups more orderly, transparent and robust, as well as providing all interested members a clear view of the options available. Full details will be announced in a forthcoming release.
"With these improvements, we put the WBSC family and our sports in a stronger position to face the challenges ahead, setting the tone to continue growing the game around the globe by offering quality international events to athletes, fans, sponsors and all the stakeholders of our beloved game," Fraccari said.
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