By Baseball Softball UK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com
BaseballSoftballUK’s Joint CEO and Head of Development, John Boyd, has been appointed to the newly formed Development Commission of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC).
The WBSC was formed in 2013 by bringing together the International Baseball and Softball Federations to unite the sports on the world stage. Under the leadership of President Riccardo Fraccari, the WBSC seems poised for a historic return for baseball and softball to the Olympic Games programme for Tokyo in 2020, a decision that should be confirmed by the International Olympic Committee this summer.
President Fraccari envisaged a joint WBSC Development Commission for the sports over a year ago and the nine-member panel has been carefully selected.
The appointments show a balance of nationality, gender and sporting background. John Boyd, who has developed a growing reputation on the international scene thanks to his voluntary work supporting Baseball Europe, was appointed alongside members from around the world. The Commission will include:
- Chair: Angelo Vicini (San Marino)
- Servio Borges Suarez (Mexico)
- John Boyd (Great Britain)
- Craig Cress (USA)
- Chris Day (Chinese Taipei)
- Amilcar Estrada (Guatemala)
- Ryan Flynn (New Zealand)
- Mette Nissen Jakobsen (Denmark)
- Ms Taeko Utsugi (Japan)
Riccardo Fraccari, in a letter to the Commission members, said, “Thank you for accepting the appointment and thank you for providing your experience and knowledge for the benefit of our sport and its development…. I am looking forward to having the occasion to meet you and share your views and opinions.”
Long road ahead
John Boyd said: “I’m honoured to be asked to join such a skilled and diverse panel of baseball and softball experts from across the world. The WBSC has made phenomenal strides since its inception and has worked hard to put the building blocks for a bright future in place. Between Olympic re-inclusion, strong international properties like the Premier 12 and the World Baseball Classic and the growing popularity of World Cups in both baseball and softball, the WBSC has a foundation of popular competitions and secure revenues that can help the sports become even more popular across the globe.
“But there is still a long way to go,” John added. “Baseball and softball may be popular in Asia, the Americas and increasingly so in Australia, but the sports have not yet reached their potential in Europe. There are many reasons for this, but Europe has to be a key continent for development work. Europe is the seat of world sport and half of the International Olympic Committee votes are European. There are countless reasons why baseball and softball being recognised as popular in Europe will be good for the sports.”
Commission Chair Angelo Vicini will be calling the first meeting of the new Development Commission in the near future. The WBSC has recently invested in a state-of-the art virtual meeting system that will allow its commissions to meet without the high cost of travel, and it’s expected that the Development Commission will meet in this manner.