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.
|Founded||14 April 2013|
|Type||Federation of National Associations|
|Purpose||World Governing Body|
|141 National Federations; 7 Pro Baseball "Associate Members"|
|English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean|
|Affiliations||International 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/Baseball5, 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.