World Baseball Softball Confederation
Founded14 April 2013; 11 years ago (2013-04-14)
TypeSports federation
Legal statusGoverning body of baseball, softball and Baseball5
PurposeWorld governing body
HeadquartersPully, Switzerland
  • Av. du Général Guisan 45
Region served
141 national federations; 7 professional league "associate members"
Official language
English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Riccardo Fraccari
Main organ
AffiliationsInternational Olympic Committee, ARISF, GAISF

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for the sports of baseball, softball, and Baseball5. It was established in 2013 by the merger of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF). Under the WBSC's organizational structure, the IBAF and ISF now serve as the confederation's baseball and softball divisions, respectively. Each division is governed by an executive committee, while the WBSC is governed by an executive board.

The WBSC has 208 National Federation members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, the 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. Headquartered in Pully, 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 in 2013.

As the recognised governing body of baseball, softball, and Baseball5, the WBSC is charged with overseeing all international competitions. It holds the exclusive rights of all competitions, tournaments and world championships featuring national teams, including the Olympic Games, and WBSC-associated federations hold the right to organize and select national teams[1]

Discussions to merge the two separate world governing bodies for the sports of baseball and softball 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.[2][3] Baseball and softball were dropped from the 2012 Summer Olympic program and were scheduled to be reinstated for the 2020 Olympics, but the 2020 Olympics were delayed due to the COVID-19 international pandemic. In August 2021, the International Olympic Committee announced that baseball and softball would not be part of the 2024 Paris Olympics.[4] Baseball5 is still set to feature in the 2026 Youth Olympics.


Flag of the WBSC

Following its exclusion of baseball and softball from the Summer Olympics in 2005,[5] the IOC reclassified baseball and softball as two disciplines of the same sport.[6] 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.[citation needed]

The creation of a single federation allowed for the permanent alignment, merger and management of baseball and softball at the world level.[7] 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.[citation needed]

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.[8]

Creation of Baseball5

B5 batter hitting the ball into field.

In 2017,[9] the WBSC introduced a third discipline to be played at an international level, Baseball5 (B5), which is a five-on-five, five-inning game designed to be played with only a rubber ball on a small field. It is targeted at underserved communities,[10] as well as offering a low-cost and fast-paced entry point to baseball and softball in new places around the world.[11] The WBSC introduced it to aid its ultimate goal of having a billion-strong baseball-softball community by 2030.[12] A major difference between B5 and baseball/softball is that the game is played without a pitcher, with the batter starting each play with the ball.[13] It was inspired by various Latin American street games, such as "cuatro esquinas" (four corners) in Cuba,[14] and has been played in some international tournaments in the Americas and Europe,[15][11][16] as well as having been implemented in some schools in various countries.[17][18] It is due to feature in the 2026 Youth Olympic Games,[19] and has two World Cups for youth and senior players alternating each year starting in 2022, with both of these international events being played in a mixed-gender format.[20] The WBSC is also planning to, as part of its general push into E-Sports, introduce a video game version of Baseball5 in the near future.[21]

Coed slow pitch softball

The first official WBSC Coed Slow Pitch World Cup would be greenlit on 9 June during a meeting by the WBSC Executive Board in Pully, Switzerland.[22][23] It was to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in December 2023,[24] but it was cancelled in October 2023 due to logistical challenges.[25]

Organizational structure

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.[26]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The WBSC has four departments: media, finance, tournaments, and marketing. It also has several commissions.[citation needed]


Besides its worldwide institutions, there are five regional governing bodies that oversee the game in the different continents and regions of the world.

Team Region League
 United States Americas AA
 France Europe AFBS
 Italy Europe AIBxC
 Taiwan Asia CPBL
 Dominican Republic Americas LIDOM
 South Korea Asia KBO
 Mexico Americas LMB
 Japan Asia NPB
 Puerto Rico Americas LBPRC
 Venezuela Americas LVBP

In total, WBSC recognizes 198 national associations, with 132 national baseball teams as well as 122 women's national teams.[27]

Unlike the ICC, the WBSC identifies associate members as those who particularly endorse international baseball and softball with their own leagues in partnership with the WBSC. These leagues support baseball and softball to the extent that they are major sports in their respective countries. The table to the right has all leagues along with the country hosted:[28]


No Name Country Org. Took office Left office
1 Leslie Mann  United States IBF 1938 1939
2 Jaime Mariné  Cuba 1940 1943
3 Jorge Reyes  Mexico FIBA 1944 1945
4 Pablo Morales  Venezuela 1946 1947
5 Chale Pereira  Nicaragua 1948 1950
Pablo Morales  Venezuela 1951 1952
6 Carlos Manuel Zecca  Costa Rica 1953 1968
7 Juan Isa  Netherlands Antilles 1969 1975
William Fehring  United States FEMBA [a] 1973 1974
Carlos García Solórzano  Nicaragua 1975
8 Manuel González Guerra  Cuba AINBA 1976 1979
Carlos García Solórzano [b]  Nicaragua 1980 1981
9 Robert Smith  United States IBAF 1981 1993
10 Aldo Notari  Italy 1993 2006
11 Harvey Schiller  United States 2007 2009
12 Riccardo Fraccari  Italy 2009 Incumbent


WBSC competitions

Current title holders

See also: Portal:Current events/Sports, 2024 in baseball, and 2024 in sports

For events postponed or cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, see Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on baseball.

Competition Year Host country Champions Title Runners-up Next edition Dates
World Baseball Classic 2023 United States  Japan 3rd  United States 2026 Qualification:
WBSC Premier12 2019 Japan  Japan 1st  South Korea 2024
Olympic baseball tournament 2020 Japan  Japan 1st  United States 2028 July–August 2028
U-23 Baseball World Cup 2022 Taiwan  Japan 2nd  South Korea 2024 6–15 September 2024
U-18 Baseball World Cup 2023 United States  Japan 1st  Chinese Taipei
U-15 Baseball World Cup 2022 Mexico  United States 7th  Cuba 2024 26 August – 4 September 2022
U-12 Baseball World Cup 2023 Taiwan  United States 5th  Chinese Taipei 2025
Women's Baseball World Cup 2018 United States  Japan 6th  Chinese Taipei 2024 8 August 2023
Men's Softball World Cup 2022 New Zealand  Australia 2nd  Canada 2025 12 June – 21 September 2024 (group stage)
8–13 July 2025 (finals)
U-23 Men's Softball World Cup 2023 Argentina  Australia 1st  Japan 2026
U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2023 Mexico  Japan 4th  Mexico TBD
Women's Softball World Cup 2022 United States  United States 12th  Japan 2024 11–26 July 2023 (group stage)
15-21 July 2024 (finals)
U-18 Women's Softball World Cup 2021 United States  United States 8th  Chinese Taipei 2025 2024 (group stage)
2025 (finals)
U-15 Women's Softball World Cup 2023 Japan  United States 1st  Puerto Rico TBD
U-12 Softball World Cup 2021 Taiwan  Chinese Taipei 2nd  Czech Republic 2025
Olympic softball tournament 2020 Japan  Japan 1st  United States 2028 July–August 2028
Baseball5 World Cup 2022 Mexico  Cuba 1st  Japan 2024
Youth Baseball5 World Cup 2023 Mexico Cuba Cuba 1st France France TBD
Youth Olympic Games
First edition will be held in 2026

WBSC World Rankings

Main article: WBSC World Rankings

Baseball5 (Coed)

Top 20 Rankings as of 16 November 2023[38]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Increase 1  France 3037
2 Decrease 1  Chinese Taipei 2775
3 Steady  Cuba 2393
4 Steady  Tunisia 1995
5 Increase 5  Lithuania 1892
6 Decrease 1  Japan 1639
7 Decrease 1  South Africa 1593
8 Decrease 1  Mexico 1560
9 Decrease 1  South Korea 1442
10 Decrease 1  Ghana 1219
11 Increase 5  Italy 1194
12 Increase 7  Netherlands 1179
13 Decrease 2  Turkey 1144
14 Decrease 2  Kenya 1046
15 Decrease 2  China 1030
16 Increase 7  Belgium 952
17 Increase 3  Romania 905
17 Decrease 3  Venezuela 905
19 Increase 2  Czech Republic 885
20 Decrease 5  Malaysia 842
*New Rankings

See also


  1. ^ The status of FEMBA, which broke away from FIBA from 1973 to 1975, is disputed.
  2. ^ Elected but did not take office due to the Nicaraguan Revolution. Robert Smith filled the role in an interim capacity.
  3. ^ Dates according to the WBSC. Other sources, including sports researcher Stephan Müller, offer slightly different dates.[30]


  1. ^ "WBSC Organisational Profile". Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Baseball, softball agree on name". ESPN Olympics. ESPN. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  3. ^ Linden, Julian (8 September 2013). "Baseball-softball vow to fight on after Olympic rejection". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Breakdancing (yes, breakdancing) in, baseball, softball, karate out for 2024 Paris Olympics". USA Today. 6 August 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  5. ^ Michaelis, Vicki (8 July 2015). "Baseball, softball bumped from Olympics". USA Today. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  6. ^ Kolatch, Jonathan (3 September 2013). "Baseball and softball belong in the Olympics". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  7. ^ "World Baseball and Softball Confederation sets out Olympic vision". British Baseball Federation. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Fraccari elected baseball-softball president". Yahoo Sports. Associated Press. 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Riccardo Fraccari: WBSC's culture of innovation brings series of firsts to 2022". 17 December 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  10. ^ Mackay, Duncan (19 June 2021). "Fraccari believes Baseball5 can offer refugees new opportunities". Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b "1st Urban Baseball5 international games staged at Foro Italico in Rome – 1960 Olympic venue". 15 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  12. ^ "WBSC reveals new logo for launch of new Baseball 5-on-5 Street competition in Cuba". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  13. ^ Cooper, J. J. (1 March 2018). "WBSC Proposes New Street Baseball Game". Baseball America. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  14. ^ WBSC (19 April 2019), "What is Baseball5?", YouTube, archived from the original on 16 November 2022, retrieved 6 October 2021
  15. ^ "Cuba wins the inaugural Baseball5 Americas Open, Venezuela second". 21 April 2019. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Bulgaria wins Balkan Baseball5 Championship". 19 February 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Australian Gov puts Baseball5 in schools, reaching millions of youth". 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  18. ^ "La France signe un partenariat pour introduire le Baseball5 à l'école". (in French). 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Debut of Baseball5 at Youth Olympic Games postponed as next YOG shifted from 2022 to 2026". 15 July 2020. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  20. ^ "First-ever Baseball5 World Cup set for 2022 as WBSC announces five-on-five international calendar". 2020. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  21. ^ "End-of-the-year message from WBSC President to the global Baseball Softball community". BFJ. 19 December 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  22. ^ "WBSC gives the go-ahead for first Co-ed Slowpitch World Cup". British Softball Federation. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  23. ^ "WBSC Coed Slow Pitch Softball World Cup 2023 awarded to Guadalajara, Mexico; Dates confirmed in December". World Baseball Softball Confederation. 28 June 2024. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  24. ^ "Blu Girls brace for World Cup". The Manila Times. 6 June 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  25. ^ "WBSC Coed Slow Pitch Softball World Cup 2023 cancelled". World Baseball Softball Confederation. 27 October 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  26. ^ "스포츠토토"". Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  27. ^ "WBSC Members". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Associated Members of the WBSC". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  29. ^ "President".
  30. ^ Stephan Müller (16 July 2019). "IBAF - International Baseball Federation (defunct)". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2024.
  31. ^ a b "Directory of WBSC Baseball World Cups". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  32. ^ "About World Baseball Classic". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Directory of Women's Softball World Cups". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  34. ^ "The WBSC World Ranking". WBSC. 18 December 2023. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  35. ^ "The WBSC Men's Softball World Ranking". WBSC. 26 April 2023. Retrieved 26 April 2023.
  36. ^ "The WBSC Women's Baseball World Ranking". WBSC. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  37. ^ "The WBSC Women's World Ranking". WBSC. 10 November 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  38. ^ "The WBSC Baseball5 World Ranking". WBSC. 16 November 2023. Retrieved 16 November 2023.