Japanese city Chiba will host the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Softball World Championships while the men’s equivalent the following year will take place in Prague and Havlíčkův Brod in the Czech Republic, the sport’s governing body has announced.
The decisions were made at the recent WBSC Softball Congress in Oklahoma City, where the 2018 WBSC Junior Men's Softball World Championship was awarded to Prince Albert in Canada and Irvine in the United States was given the rights to host the 2019 WBSC Junior Women's Softball World Championship.
It was also announced that the 2017 edition of the Congress will be held in Botswana's capital Gaborone.
During the event in Oklahoma City, a new strategic plan was presented, which incorporates four main areas in order to develop the sport following the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel’s recommendation that baseball/softball should be included at the Olympic Games in five years’ time.
Strengthening the organisation, enhancing events, improving athletes and developing coaches and officials were the four pillars of the initiative, which will be rolled out immediately by an Implementation Commission.
After the 2017 Congress in Gaborone, the WBSC Softball Board of Directors will be reduced from 22 to 13 for “streamline governance and financial reasons”, the WBSC claim, though they stressed that regions and athletes will continue to have equal representation on the board.
Elsewhere at the Congress, Tommy Velazquez of Puerto Rico was appointed as softball’s second vice-president following the death of Venezuelan Jesus Suniaga.
Cuba’s Miguel Acosta Serrano was then elected as regional vice-president for Latin America, with the Pan American Softball Confederation also meeting before the Congress took place.
Attendees at the three-day event included WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and WBSC Softball President Dale McMann, who were joined by 42 delegates from five regions.
“The WBSC, through the Softball Division, was pleased to welcome delegates from 42 National Federations to gather together to discuss important challenges facing our sport today,” McMann said.
“With all regions of the world in attendance, our sport can continually evolve to put the best possible sport forward for our current and future generations, bringing a value-added benefit globally."
October 2015: SBS awarded exclusive WBSC Premier12 broadcasting rights in South Korea
October 2015: Baseball to bring Under-15 World Cup to nuclear-hit Fukushima
September 2015: Five sports recommended for inclusion at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
September 2015: European baseball and softball chiefs meet to create closer ties between sports
September 2015: British Softball Federation welcoming applications for women's senior and junior team head coach roles