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WBSC shares UN Youth Day values: Baseball/softball only sport to stage U-12 World Cup

WBSC shares UN Youth Day values: Baseball/softball only sport to stage U-12 World Cup
12/08/2020
Raising awareness of today’s United Nations’ “International Youth Day”, the WBSC fully shares the need to engage youth and the next generations. Baseball and softball have long been sports leaders in the youth sector.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the only international sports federation (IF) that stages a World Cup for the U-12 age bracket, which highlights the leading efforts of baseball and softball to engage youth around the world, in the spirit of today's United Nations (UN) International Youth Day.

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day, which is celebrated annually on 12 August, is Youth Engagement for Global Action, including at the local, national and global levels.

The U-12 Baseball World Cup was played for the first time in 2011. Taiwan has hosted the global competition since its inception, with the city of Tainan building a 130 million USD multi-stadium complex to host the biennial WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup through 2027.

Last year, the WBSC celebrated the inaugural edition of the U-12 Mixed Youth Softball World Cup, adding the property to Baseball and Softball World Cups, which span across four youth categories, including U-12, U-15, U-18 and U-23.

In further efforts to target youth, WBSC also launched a new simplified version of baseball/softball in 2017: Baseball5, the new five-on-five, five-inning street version of the game that can be played anywhere and only requires a rubber ball.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari believes that "this faster urban discipline will help drive baseball and softball to new places not possible before," helping to introduce the sport to the next generations of athletes all over the world.

The inclusion of Baseball5 as an official medal event at the next Youth Olympic Games (YOG) showcases the sport’s youth appeal and is an unprecedented development opportunity to grow the game across Africa, where the 2026 YOG will take place.

Related article: World Youth Day 2019-WBSC initiative in Fukushima