Baseball5 being taught in Zambia ©WBSC

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has held four online development courses with officials and coaches of African Federations.

Representatives from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia attended the webinars conducted by WBSC Coach Commission member Andrea D'Auria.

The first session was about Baseball5 with a focus on the set up of the game and was attended by both coaches and officials.

Then, a second session was dedicated to scoring and umpiring, only for officials.

The final two webinars focused on coaching including the fundamentals of discipline, how to warm up before practice, how to organise a session and learning about tactics.

Kenny Matishi, member of the Board of the Zambia Softball Baseball Association said: "I was able to identify the mistakes I make while coaching, I'm looking forward to applying the knowledge with the teams. 

"I think we are heading the right way to develop Baseball5 in Zambia and all of Africa. 

"We are hopeful we can start our player selection for the African Qualifier by mid-June."

Mussa Mbugi, a former exchange student in the United States who introduced baseball in Tanzania in 2012 added: "The pace of the webinar was satisfactory as it did not need me to stare at my screen for a long time and it was engaging. 

"Even when I missed a live session, we were provided with a second chance to attend a repeated live session of the webinar and even if I missed the live sessions I had the ability to go through the recording of the live session and send my questions to the instructor whenever i needed to."

The idea for the sessions came after meetings between the top baseball nations in Africa and WBSC in April.

Africa will have two nations represented at the WBSC Baseball5 World Cup next year with the African qualifiers scheduled to go ahead in December.