SPY UPDATE MARCH 20, 2014
Hosting rights of historic inaugural World Baseball Softball Congress awarded to Tunisia
LAUSANNE (SUI) — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has awarded the North African nation of Tunisia the hosting rights of the first-ever WBSC Congress, which will be organised in Hammamet, Tunisia 10-11 May 2014.
The historic inaugural WBSC Congress will unite all national governing bodies of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) for the first time under the umbrella of the WBSC, as elections will be held to select all positions within the WBSC Executive Board, including that of the president.
Never before has an IBAF or an ISF Congress been organised in Africa — what is now a primary target of the WBSC’s growth strategy to deepen baseball and softball’s global footprint.
With the decision to award the Congress to Tunisia, WBSC officials have confirmed the focus will be on those emerging territories with high potential for development, and where baseball and softball can be practiced to activate the youth demographic, promote gender equality, encourage greater universality and where the National Federations can build and reinforce their National Teams for international competition.
“This is another key milestone — across many levels — for the global evolution of baseball and softball,” said WBSC co-Presidents Riccardo Fraccari and Don Porter, “and we are not only honoured but we are particularly proud to have Tunisia as the host of the WBSC’s very first Congress.”
In January, WBSC officials hailed the opening of Central Africa’s historic first-ever national baseball and softball stadium in Uganda.
WBSC’s Fraccari and Porter noted that baseball and softball’s union has resulted in increased opportunities and reach — and has raised the potential legacy and value of WBSC’s events so that new hosts like Tunisia are showing serious interest for the first time.
“We are committed to growing the appeal and relevance of baseball and softball in emerging territories across Africa and around the world, and Tunisia’s excellent bid is a key indicator that underscores baseball and softball’s continued worldwide emergence and highlights the attractiveness, benefits and realities of baseball and softball’s partnership,” said the WBSC co-presidents.
The WBSC became officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the sole competent authority for the administration of the sports of baseball and softball at the world level in September 2013, after congresses of the IBAF and ISF took a landmark decision in late 2012 to establish the WBSC as the single body to oversee baseball and softball. Since its establishment, the WBSC has been led by an interim Executive Board.
Spy comment: If the WBSC has been recognized as the “sole competent authority” does this mean ISF, an international governing association long recognized by IOC, no longer has independent status with IOC? What happens to the annual IOC allotment of a reported $8 million to ISF? Will WBSC co-president Porter seek election to the new board or will he stand aside for Dale McMann, who succeeded Porter as president of ISF? What is the timetable if any for Tunisia to field a softball team in international competition? Which nations were the other bidders? How did Tunisia vote on the critical decisions to drop baseball and softball from the Olympics? Are there any combined WBSC events where softball and baseball are simultaneously staged, which could be a factor in future IOC decisions?
Accreditation procedure for the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014
ABOUT NANJING 2014 Over 3,600 young athletes aged 15 to 18 from over 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be in Nanjing, China, from 16 to 28 August 2014 to compete in the second edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
Building on the successful experience of the inaugural YOG held in Singapore in 2010, this year’s event will feature 28 sports, including golf and rugby sevens, which will make their debut before their inclusion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Also on the sports programme will be disciplines such as 3-on-3 basketball and 5-a-side hockey, as well as mixed gender and mixed NOC events.
Some new sports and disciplines not currently on the Olympic programme will also be showcased following an IOC Executive Board decision in December 2013. Sport climbing, roller sports and skateboarding will join wushu, which was already planned to feature in Nanjing.
The young participants will have the opportunity to take part in a unique Culture and Education Programme (CEP) off the field of play that will focus on themes ranging from Olympism and the Olympic values to skills development and how to lead healthy lifestyles.
SPY received an accreditation letter but will not attend.