WBSC finalised plans for its Congress next month at its Executive Board meeting ©Getty Images

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Executive Board has finalised its preparations for next month's Congress, while also approving Baseball World Cup rule changes, at its latest meeting.

The WBSC Ordinary Congress is to be held from July 3 to 5 in Taipei.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari opened the meeting by thanking the Board for contributing to the "enhanced image of [our sport and the WBSC] in the eyes of the international sports world and especially the Olympic Movement".

"I thought about the path we walked and the challenges we overcome together during all these years," said Fraccari.

"What we have been doing in recent years has not only given us a clear structure and strategy to guide our movement in this journey of globalising our sport, it has also put us in a position to earn the credibility of the Olympic Movement.

"I would like to thank the Executive Board, our continental associations, our Commissions, all our National Federation members and the WBSC staff for the amazing achievements produced in such a short amount of time and for bringing the professional world inside our organisation."

The Executive Board received a report on the WBSC Congress and confirmed all preparations were going according to plan.

It is the first scheduled Congress to be held since Sakai in 2019.

Taipei is to hold the WBSC Congress next month ©Getty Images
Taipei is to hold the WBSC Congress next month ©Getty Images

It confirmed the 2022 budget submitted by treasurer Angelo Vicini, as well as the WBSC Integrity Code.

The Board also approved baseball tournament regulation changes, accepting recommendations made by the Baseball Tournament Commission, applicable for this season.

The procedure to protest a game will become only verbal, eliminating the need to put the protest in writing; a pitch clock is to be used at the Under-15 Baseball World Cup and the 15-run difference rule after four innings has been eliminated in seven-innings games, with teams having to complete at least five innings.

Pitchers who start the game in the batting order can stay as designated hitters if their game on the mound ends.

Bat regulations for the Under-12 Baseball World Cup will not include a mandatory bat performance factor either.

Otherwise, the inaugural Under-15 Women's Softball World Cup is to take place in Tokyo in 2023; South Korea has been given a wildcard for the Under-23 Baseball World Cup and Venezuela have been awarded a wildcard for the Men's Softball World Cup.