Press release World Baseball Softball Confederation
Lausanne, Switzerland; 08 January 2020 — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is delighted with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to approve proposal of Dakar 2022 Organising Committee to add Baseball5 to the Sports Programme of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022.
Baseball5’s inclusion on the Sports Programme was approved today during an IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Baseball5 is the fast-paced and youth-focused urban discipline, first established by the WBSC in 2017, is a five-on-five, five-inning street version of baseball softball that requiring virtually no equipment, can be played anywhere.
Baseball5 provides Dakar 2022 with an excellent opportunity to further increase the number of youth-focused sports at the Games. The discipline is perfectly aligned with a key pillar of Dakar 2022’s vision, which is to engage with Senegal’s young population.
The inclusion of Baseball5 as a medal event on the Dakar 2022 Sports Programme is an unprecedented development opportunity for baseball-softball in Africa. In 2019, the WBSC launched the African Development project which includes the use of Baseball5 as a tool to introduce the sport to a wider audience.
Speaking on the addition of Baseball5 to the Dakar 2022 Sports Programme, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said:
“The inclusion of Baseball5 at the Youth Olympic Games is the goal we had set ourselves since the beginning of the project in 2017. We are proud to have reached it.
“Our newest discipline has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Its accessibility has increased our ability to grow our sport globally and bring the skills and the values of baseball-softball to young people in under-served communities.
“Today’s announcement, together with our spectacular Olympic comeback at Tokyo 2020 later this year, will provide our member federations with new opportunities to continue growing our sport globally.”
Baseball5’s inclusion will be the first time baseball softball features at a Youth Olympic Games and it will also be the first Olympic team sport to feature mixed gender teams.
The competition format, qualification pathway and venue planning will be announced throughout the year and will be determined in collaboration with the IOC and Dakar 2022 Organising Committee.