OKLAHOMA CITY — USA Softball is proud to join the France and Japan baseball and softball federations in a joint effort to grow and develop grassroots programming in France. Together with the Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ), Japan Softball Association (JSA), French Baseball and Softball Federation (FFBS) and USA Baseball, all federations will aim to strengthen the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) bid to retain softball and baseball’s status on the Olympic program by developing, promoting and enhancing the French Women’s National Softball Team and Men’s National Baseball Team.
“USA Softball has a long-standing commitment to growing the game of softball both here in the United States and globally,” said USA Softball Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Craig Cress.
“By establishing partnerships with our fellow national federations, it is our hope that we can not only develop the game at the grassroots level in France but continue to provide opportunities for their athletes to represent their country at the highest level. We are honored to be able to aid in these efforts and by doing so hope that the Olympic dream will remain alive for future generations of softball and baseball athletes.”
“We’re delighted to have signed an agreement with the world’s two leading baseball and softball nations,” said FFBS President, Didier Seminet. “Our membership is up 50% over the last 10 years and we believe that this partnership will boost these figures even more dramatically over the next three Olympic cycles, as we try to realize the dream of our French baseball and softball athletes to play for their home country in the Olympic Games of Paris 2024.”
USA Softball will send coaching envoys to France in an effort to develop their grassroots programming with a major emphasis in skill development and coaching techniques while also addressing topics such as conditioning and nutrition. Specifics will be announced at a later date.
“This incredible act of international cooperation and sportsmanship can only be inspired by the greatest sports platform on the planet, the Olympic Games,” said WBSC President, Riccardo Fraccari. “The global baseball-softball community embraces the values of the Olympics and wishes to promote the spread of them at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, helping to build immense momentum and continuity for the Olympic Movement from Tokyo 2020 to LA 2028 Games, if our sport remains on the Olympic Program.”
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations, and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fastpitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best-trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.