Baseball, softball leaders from around the world gathering for start of WBSC Congress in Gaborone, Botswana

GABORONE, Botswana -- Baseball and softball leaders from approximately 100 countries are expected to arrive in the African nation of Botswana to participate in the II WBSC World Baseball Softball Congress, which opens tomorrow in capital city Gaborone.

In addition to WBSC Baseball and WBSC Softball elections, key agenda items include reviews of the Olympic baseball and softball qualifying system/format, the WBSC Constitution, new applicants for WBSC membership, as well as the awarding of hosting rights for future Baseball World Cups and Softball World Championships.

Hosted at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) by the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) in conjunction with the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), the official WBSC Congress general programme will begin Thursday, 12 October and conclude on Saturday, 14 October, involving delegates and high-ranking decision-makers from over 130 WBSC National Federations and Associate Members.

"The World Baseball Softball Congress in Gaborone will be an important gathering of baseball's and softball's leaders to discuss and shape the future direction and international expansion of our global sport," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. "WBSC is grateful to the Botswana Softball Association and the Botswana National Sports Commission for welcoming the World Baseball Softball family to the great city of Gaborone."

Elections will be held for positions within WBSC Baseball and WBSC Softball:

WBSC Baseball: There are 15 nominated candidates for seven available posts; the candidates represent 14 countries and territories, including Australia, Belgium, China, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Panama, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United States of America.

WBSC Softball: There are 22 nominated candidates for seven available posts; the candidates represent 16 countries and territories, including Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Colombia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Turkey, United States of America and Venezuela.

The WBSC Congress agenda also includes meetings of the WBSC Executive Board, the WBSC Baseball Executive Committee, the WBSC Softball Board of Directors, the Continental Baseball and Softball Confederations, the Francophone Association of Baseball Softball (AFBS), and various Commissions.


Future hosts of the Baseball World Cups and Softball World Championships will be awarded, including the rights to host next year's U-15 Baseball World Cup, U-23 Baseball World Cup and Women's Baseball World Cup.

WBSC will announce the following award winners (2014-2017):
• National Federation of the Year
• Baseball Player of the Year
• Softball Player of the Year
• National Team Baseball Coach of the Year
• National Team Softball Coach of the Year