The 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Congress was held last week in Sakai, Japan, and among other happenings, five new national federations joined the WBSC.
Benin, Bangladesh, Palestine, Egypt, and Kosovo made up the quintet of new members, all of whom earned unanimous votes to join the WBSC. All five nations joined the WBSC in both baseball and softball, while two other countries joined in only baseball. Following the WBSC Congress, the number of member federations is at an even 200, with an additional thirteen associate members.
The five new federations that sponsor softball represent three continents, with Benin and Egypt from Africa; Bangladesh and Palestine falling geographically in Asia; and Kosovo representing Europe.
Other happenings at the 3rd WBSC Congress included the departure of the Nauru Federation – Nauru being a Micronesian country, population some 13,000 – due to inactivity, a move that followed a recommendation by the nation itself.
Twenty-three individuals were also inducted into the WBSC’s Softball Hall of Fame, a group that included thirteen players and a collection of umpires, administrators, coaches, and individuals honored for meritorious service. Former Australian star Tanya Harding was among the newly-inducted Hall of Famers.