WBSC celebrates ten years on World Baseball Day. WSBC

The year 2024 holds special significance for international baseball, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) as a global governing body. In celebration of this milestone, the WBSC Executive Board has designated 10 May as the official World Baseball Softball Day.

Such institution was born after the first WBSC Congress in Hammamet, Tunisia, in 2014. Stakeholder meetings at the WBSC headquarters in Switzerland were part of the celebrations.

The baseball and softball community celebrated the tenth anniversary of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). "It is a day to celebrate our sport and all that we have achieved as one united team. It is a day not only to reflect on our achievements, but also to look forward to the bright future that lies ahead for the WBSC," said Riccardo Fraccari, President of the WBSC.

"Today marks ten years since the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation were united under one banner. We have witnessed an incredible journey full of milestones and achievements during these years. Together, we have also overcome every challenge that has come our way. And at the heart of this journey has been the spirit of teamwork," he added.

Athletes, coaches, fans and national federations from around the world joined the WBSC to celebrate its anniversary as the international governing body of baseball and softball. In addition, 10 May was declared World Baseball and Softball Day to commemorate the anniversary of the WBSC. In 2014, the first WBSC Congress was held in Hammamet, Tunisia, where Fraccari was elected as the first President.

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) successfully merged. The celebrations included a series of workshops and meetings at the WBSC Headquarters in Pully, Switzerland. These involved various stakeholders such as the WBSC Athletes Commission, Associate Members and WBSC staff. 

The WBSC Athletes Commission hosted its first Athletes Summit at Olympic House, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Prior to the Summit, IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, Monica Abbott, Timothy Atherton and Maria Soto to the Olympic House. The Athletes Summit brought together over 100 athletes from around the world who participated online.

Celebrations continued last week at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. During the day, exhibitions allowed guests and visitors to experience baseball and softball in a batting cage and receive instruction from Olympians Abbott, Pantaleoni and Soto and professionals Atherton, Oduber and Rokkaku.

National federations celebrated World Baseball and Softball Day throughout the day. A prize of a $10,000 (€9,200) equipment grant was awarded to the national federation or club with the most dynamic social media post. The Bhutan Baseball and Softball Association was declared the winner.

"With Baseball5 set to make its debut, at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar and baseball and softball set to return to the Olympic programme at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the future is bright," concluded Fraccari.