World Baseball Softball Confederation

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC; French: Confédération internationale de baseball et softball) 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), 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.

World Baseball Softball Confederation
Founded14 April 2013; 8 years ago (2013-04-14)
TypeFederation of National Associations
PurposeWorld Governing Body
HeadquartersPully, Switzerland
  • Av. du Général Guisan 45
Region served
141 National Federations; 7 Pro Baseball "Associate Members"
Official language
English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Riccardo Fraccari
AffiliationsInternational Olympic Committee, ARISF, SportAccord

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 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.[1][2]


Flag of the WBSC

Following its exclusion of baseball and softball from the Summer Olympics in 2005,[3] the IOC reclassified baseball and softball as two disciplines of the same sport.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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]

Continental Confederation Members and Leagues

There are six confederation members in the WBSC divided by geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. In total, there are 198 countries affiliated with the WBSC. By region, there are 28 members in Africa, 58 members in the Americas, 34 members in Asia, 54 members in Europe, and 24 members in Oceania.[8]

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 below has all leagues along with the country hosted:[9]

 United StatesAmericasAABC
 Dominican RepublicAmericasLIDOM
 South KoreaAsiaKBO
 United StatesAmericasPONY
 Puerto RicoAmericasLBPRC
 United StatesAmericasUSSSA

International Tournaments

Men's baseball

Current top four per tournament[10][11]
Tournament Year Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place
World Baseball Classic 2017  United States  Puerto Rico  Japan  Netherlands
WBSC Premier12 2019  Japan  South Korea  Mexico  United States
Summer Olympics 2008  South Korea  Cuba  United States  Japan
U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018  Mexico  Japan  Venezuela  South Korea
U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019  Chinese Taipei  United States  South Korea  Australia
U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018  United States  Panama  Chinese Taipei  Japan
U-12 Baseball World Cup 2019  Chinese Taipei  Japan  Cuba  South Korea

Women's softball

Current top four per tournament[12]
Tournament Year Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place
Women's Softball World Championship 2018  United States  Japan  Canada  Australia
Summer Olympics 2008  Japan  United States  Australia  Canada
U-18 Women's Softball World Cup 2019  United States  Japan  Canada  Australia


Men's baseball

The following table has the Top 20 men's baseball countries in the world.[13] The Top 20 is here due to the next iteration of the World Baseball Classic, the world's major tournament in men's baseball, anticipating to have 20 countries compete. As such, this table shows the projected teams in the next WBC based on the ranking's algorithm.[14]

RankTeamRegionPointsΔPrevious finish
1 JapanAsia41413rd
2 Chinese TaipeiAsia3590 214th
3 South KoreaAsia345210th
4 United StatesAmericas3114 21st
5 MexicoAmericas248313th
6 AustraliaOceania20259th
7 Dominican RepublicAmericas1823 35th
8 CanadaAmericas1713 515th
9 NetherlandsEurope16204th
10 VenezuelaAmericas1619 28th
11 CubaAmericas1607 47th
12 NicaraguaAmericas1100 3DNQ
13 PanamaAmericas1079 1DNQ
14 Puerto RicoAmericas1073 32nd
15 ColombiaAmericas916 111th
16 Czech RepublicEurope812DNQ
17 ItalyEurope65012th
18 BrazilAmericas565 3DNQ
19 ChinaAsia546 316th
20 GermanyEurope545 1DNQ

Women's softball

The following table has the Top 16 women's softball countries in the world.[15] The Top 16 is here due to the next iteration of the Women's Softball World Championship, the world's major tournament in women's softball, anticipating to have 16 countries compete. As such, this table shows the projected teams in the next WSWC based on the ranking's algorithm.[16]

RankTeamRegionPointsΔPrevious finish
1 United StatesAmericas39511st
2 JapanAsia37682nd
3 CanadaAmericas34653rd
4 Puerto RicoAmericas30725th
5 MexicoAmericas28846th
6 Chinese TaipeiAsia28139th
7 ChinaAsia247910th
8 AustraliaOceania21654th
9 ItalyEurope2156 17th
10 NetherlandsEurope1909 18th
11 Czech RepublicEurope1602 1DNQ
12 PhilippinesAsia1575 114th
13 Great BritainEurope142511th
14 BrazilAmericas1379DNQ
15 New ZealandOceania1072 113th

See also


  1. "Baseball, softball agree on name". ESPN Olympics. ESPN. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  2. Linden, Julian (8 September 2013). "Baseball-softball vow to fight on after Olympic rejection". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. Michaelis, Vicki (8 July 2015). "Baseball, softball bumped from Olympics". USA Today. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  4. Kolatch, Jonathan (3 September 2013). "Baseball and softball belong in the Olympics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  5. "WORLD BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL CONFEDERATION SETS OUT OLYMPIC VISION". British Baseball Federation. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  6. "Fraccari elected baseball-softball president". AP. Associated Press. May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  7. "스포츠토토"". Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  8. "WBSC Members". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  9. "Associate Members of the WBSC". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  10. "Directory of WBSC Baseball World Cups". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  11. "About World Baseball Classic". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  12. "Directory of Women's Softball World Cups". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  13. "WBSC Rankings – Men's baseball". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  14. "Qualifying Round brackets set for '21 Classic". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  15. "WBSC Rankings – Women's softball". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  16. "Standings of the 2018 Women's Softball World Championship". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 17 May 2021.