After yet another postponement, the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC), Under-12 Baseball World Cup will now take place in summer 2022 in Tainan, Taiwan. The original tournament was supposed to have taken place in the summer, but it was delayed to late 2021 due to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic before yet again being postponed.The current game plan is to hold the prestigious event next summer, pandemic conditions permitting.
Baseball World Cup Postponed Due To Pandemic
Partly due to COVID-19 prevention measures, Taiwan, the host of the next Baseball World Cup has implemented strict border controls in order to mitigate the risk of further infection in the nation. Taiwan has registered 16,205 positive cases and 842 deaths since the outbreak. And the majority of these cases were due to a spike in May, which subsequently led to more restrictions being placed on the small island nation.
After the WBSC announced that there would not be an exception to the age bracket, players born between 2010 and 2011 will now be eligible to compete at the Under-12s Baseball World Cup. As for the locale, the Tainan Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadium was opened in 2019 and will host the four upcoming editions of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. Next year’s edition of the U-12 World Cup will be its sixth edition.
In recent U-12 Baseball World Cup news, Italy beat the Czech Republic to win the fourth consecutive U-12 European Championship. Both nations have also qualified for participation in the upcoming World Cup. On the other hand, South Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei have also qualified for the Asian leg of the World Cup qualifiers. The results of the fifth U-12 Continental Championship were used to determine qualifications after the postponement of the sixth edition.
Likewise, the qualification rounds from the Americas started on August 29th in Aguascalientes, Mexico and ended on Saturday, September 4th — with the Dominicans earning their first title in this age bracket in 32 years and their first participation in the U-12 Baseball World Cup. They defeated the hosts, Mexico in the finals who along with Venezuela and Panama will also qualify for the event.
The Under-12s Baseball World Cup takes place every two years. And the next tournaments are scheduled for 2023 and 2025, 2027, 2028, and 2029, respectively, after the conclusion of the next summer’s global event.
Chinese Taipei is the reigning champions, having defeated Japan 4-0 in their final. Prior to this, the United States had won three back-to-back World Cup titles.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup is the equivalent of a baseball world championship featuring athletes that are 12-years old or younger. The event is sanctioned by the WBSC and its predecessor, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). It is considered the most elite level of competition in its age category. And unlike similar international youth competitions such as the Little League World Series which involves local clubs, the U-12 Baseball World Cup is the only global event in the sport (and all sports, for that matter) to feature teams from this particular age group.