Laos was voted in and introduced as a new member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) this week.
On Monday, 133 National Federations attended the first day of the WBSC Congress, which was held at the Marriott Hotel in Taipei City, Taiwan.
The WBSC Congress unanimously approved the new federation members, bringing the total number of WBSC member federations to 210, plus 13 associate members.
New members include the Lao Baseball Federation, Bhutan Baseball & Softball Association, Bulgarian Baseball and Softball Federation, Cape Verde Baseball Softball Federation, Saudi Arabia Baseball Softball Federation and Tonga Baseball Softball Federation.
Meanwhile, Namibia Softball Federation, Cook Island Baseball Softball Federation, Bermuda Baseball Federation, Iceland Baseball Federation, and Sierra Leone Softball Federation all lost membership.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari thanked and praised the WBSC Family for the achievements of the organization and the globalization of the sport, which is now played by approximately 65 million people across more than 140 countries and territories.
“All of you represent our great sport around the world. It’s truly an honor to be in this room with such an active and global movement,” he said.
According to the WBSC congress, the sport of baseball was first established in Laos when a Korean volunteer organized a group of ten people interested in playing the American game. The group first held its practice sessions in one of Vientiane’s car parks.
Laos’ first official baseball team formed in 2013 and, only five years later, the Lao National team competed internationally for the first time.