plan for baseball
• IBAF meeting in Dallas
announces that the Classic in
2013 will be a World Championship
THE International Baseball Federation (IBAF) has
announced a new system of international competitions
beginning in 2012, designating the World Classic as
its principal event.
Meeting in Dallas, Texas, December 1-4,
representatives of 63 national federations
participated in the 26th Congress of the
organization which additionally discussed the
reincorporation of baseball into the Olympic program,
as well as the financial situation.
IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari, from Italy, was
emphatic when he explained on the organization's
website, "There has been talk of the elimination of
the IBAF Baseball World Cup. Not so; the Baseball
World Classic has been redefined as a World
Championship, as opposed to an invitational
The Classic's third edition will take place in
March of 2013. Classificatory competition will be
held in the fall of 2012, with 16 teams divided into
four groups. After a two round elimination series,
winners in each group will join 12 seeded teams to
play for the Championship.
The 16 teams which will attempt to qualify are
Germany, Brazil, Canada, Taipei, Colombia, Spain,
the Philippines, France, Great Britain, Israel,
Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, the Czech Republic,
South Africa and Thailand. The 12 seeded teams are
Japan, South Korea, Cuba, United States, Venezuela,
the Dominican Republic, Holland, Puerto Rico,
Australia, Mexico, Italy and China.
The Congress approved a schedule of competition
for 2012 which includes the AAA World Cup (below
18), the AA World Cup (which has been for players
below 16 years of age, but will now be designated
below 15) and the World Women's Cup.
The IBAF approved two new tournaments, the below
21 World Cup in 2014 - to take place every two years
and the IBAF Premiere 12, a tournament of the best
12 major teams world-wide - scheduled for 2015, to
be held every four years.
Fraccari commented that the challenges facing
baseball at the international level are numerous and
difficult, including the restructuring and
improvement of championships; baseball's return to
the Olympics; the promotion and development of the
sport where it has little presence; as well as the
reorganization of continental federations.
Additionally announced was a message from the
World Anti-Doping Agency which recognized the IBAF's
program combating doping as in compliance with the
International Olympic Committee's expectations. (AIN)