The WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup has been postponed to 2023 ©WBSC

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced the 2021 WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup will be postponed to 2023, with the organisation set to recognise the winners of the 2022 World Games softball competition as world champions.

The governing body took the decision to move the Women’s Softball World Cup due to the postponements of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the 2021 World Games in Birmingham in Alabama.

The Olympics will now take place in 2021 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, with the World Games opting to shift back one year to avoid a clash with Tokyo 2020.

"With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 and the World Games to 2022, we wanted to ensure softball athletes had an opportunity for world-class competition in each of the next three years," said Riccardo Fraccari, WBSC President.

"We also wanted to do our part to best harmonise the international sports calendar and ensure the primary spotlight remains on the Olympic Games, particularly with how the Tokyo 2020 Games will now be seen as a universal symbol of hope and recovery."

The 2022 World Games will also see the winners crowned as world champions ©Getty Images
The 2022 World Games will also see the winners crowned as world champions ©Getty Images

The World Games will be held from July 7 to 17 July in the United States.

Women’s softball is one of more than 30 sports set to feature during the 11 days of competition.

The US - world number one - have qualified as the host nation, while Japan received a wild card.

Canada, Mexico, Chinese Taipei, China and Australia have qualified for the event through last year’s Olympic qualifiers.

The eight-team competition will also feature the winners of the 2020 European Championships, which have been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

It will be the first time since the 2013 World Games in the Colombian city Cali that softball will feature.

WBSC said that after the 2023 Women’s Softball World Cup the tournament will be held every two years.

The World Cup was last held in Chiba in Japan during 2018, with the event serving as an Olympic qualifier.

The US won the tournament to secure their spot for Tokyo 2020.