2015-2019 U12 Baseball World Cup hosting rights awarded to Tainan; U15 & U18 dates announced

Fri 30 Jan 2015

Article originally published at www.wbsc.co on 30 January 2015

WBSC U12 Baseball World Cup

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – World governing body WBSC announced today a landmark agreement that awards Tainan City, Chinese Taipei the hosting rights of the next three editions (2015, 2017, 2019) of the WBSC Under-12 Baseball World Cup, which is the only international baseball tournament in this age group (11-12 years old) to feature National Teams (along with the U12 World Cup continental qualifiers), and is the only world championship tournament in all of sports at this age level.

WBSC also revealed the qualified nations and dates for the 2015 U18 and U12 Baseball World Cups – the highest and most elite competition platforms for baseball players in these age groups.

WBSC leadership hailed the latest breakthrough agreement on the U12 World Cup, which follows last week’s major announcements on WBSC’s new flagship professional world championship – Premier 12™ – as key indicators that baseball and softball’s National Team international competitions, which are exclusive to WBSC and its Members, continue to gain a foothold among athletes, hosts, fans, broadcasters and sponsors in the sporting world’s highly competitive marketplace. 

While traditionally awarding each edition of the Baseball World Cup to new host countries, WBSC leaders cited the sustainability, reduced costs and streamlined operational planning in awarding Tainan the next three editions of the U12 World Cup, which will also maximise returns and the legacy for the host city, WBSC leaders said. 

The new approach, specific to the WBSC U12 World Cup, which WBSC leaders regard as having “tremendous potential to mature into one of the baseball’s biggest international showcases”, will present new opportunities to enhance and tailor long-term partnerships and sponsorship strategies for all concerned stakeholders, WBSC officials highlighted.

2015 WBSC U18 Baseball World Cup XXVII – Japan

It was also announced that the 2015 WBSC U18 World Cup will be staged from 28 August - 06 September, with the "Mecca of Japanese Baseball" – historic Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya built in 1924 – serving as an iconic backdrop for the world’s best 18-year-old baseball players and future superstars.

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is adjusting the Hanshin Tigers’ home schedule at the legendary 47,000-seat (Hanshin) Koshien Stadium to accommodate and further add to the prestige of the WBSC U18 Baseball World Cup – and to honour the best young baseball players in the world and help drive a magical in-stadium fan-experience. 

The nations heading to Koshien Stadium have been finalised after the first-ever U18 World Cup continental qualifiers in Africa (Mera, Kenya) and Oceania (Auckland, New Zealand) concluded this past weekend. The historic qualifiers were regarded by WBSC leadership as “key breakthroughs in baseball/softball’s global evolution that unite the U18 Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania continental championships”. 

The U18 World Cup in Japan will feature seven out of the Top 10 nations in the world, and eleven out of the Top 20, making for one of the most competitive U18 World Cups on record.

The powerful bloc of U18 World Cup qualified nations represents a global footprint that spans across the entire western hemisphere, Africa, Asia, Central and Southern Europe, and Oceania:

Americas (North-, Central- and South America, and the Caribbean): Two-time defending U18 World Champions No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 7 Canada, No. 12 Mexico and No. 16 Brazil.
Africa: No. 29 South Africa
Asia: No. 1 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 South Korea
Europe: No. 11 Italy and No. 20 Czech Republic
Oceania: No. 14 Australia

WBSC officials are confident the 2015 U18 World Cup’s broadcast and online/mobile reach will surpass the record broadcast numbers of its 2013 U18 World Cup predecessor – which had a potential broadcast reach of 144 million homes and potential online/mobile reach of 20 million, based on reports furnished by leading media rights agency and WBSC broadcast partner MP & Silva. WBSC leaders base forecasts on the strength of the 2015 U18 World Cup nations, as well as the current positive audience growth trends for international baseball properties that feature WBSC’s Members’ National Teams.

U18 Global launching pad for future stars

The biennial U18 world championship showcase has featured some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Canada’s Brett Lawrie, Japan’s Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani, South Korea’s Shin-soo Choo, Cuba’s Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman, and USA’s Justin Upton and Buster Posey, among countless others. The most recent generation of rising stars include Cuba's Jorge Soler, USA's Francisco Lindor and Canada's Dalton Pompey, all of whom played at the 2010 U18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay, Canada (which will return as host for the 2017 WBSC U18 Baseball World Cup).

2015 WBSC U12 Baseball World Cup III – Nations and Dates

The third edition of the U12 Baseball World Cup, which will showcase the best 12-year-old baseball players in the world, will take place from 24 July to 2 August in Tainan City, with the United States, “Team USA”, entering as the defending U12 World Champions.

The twelve nations qualified for 2015 U12 Baseball World Cup represent a global expansion that includes a first-ever representative from Oceania:

Americas: No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 12 Mexico, No. 13 Panama and No. 16 Nicaragua
Asia: No. 1 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 South Korea
Europe: No. 27 France and No. 32 Russia
Oceania: No. 14 Australia

Added excitement will surround this year’s U18 and U12 World Cups, which kick-off the 4-year world rankings cycle – as points earned from these events will be the first to go toward the world rankings that will eventually determine the qualified nations for the 2019 Premier 12™ Pro Baseball World Championship.

Logos, groupings and tournament schedules for the U18 and U12 Baseball World Cups will be unveiled in future announcements.

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