July 1, 2020
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), together with the Mexican Baseball Federation and respective Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced on June 30 the postponement of the 2020 WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® to 24 September to 3 October 2021, in consideration of the global health and safety measures and travel limitations pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world-championship event had been set to take place this year from 30 September to 9 October in the Mexican cities of Ciudad Obregon and Los Mochis.
"As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, the WBSC, as well as our hosts and all concerned stakeholders, consider the rescheduling of the U-23 Baseball World Cup to 2021 to be the best and safest course of action," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
"While today's decision is disappointing, I am confident that our Mexican hosts next year will be able to deliver the best-ever U-23 Baseball World Cup, where fans can fill the stadiums and cheer on their favourite National Teams, building upon the wave of momentum for our sport in the weeks following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"The WBSC thanks the local authorities, PROBEIS and CONADE as well as the baseball officials in Mexico -- including our colleagues from the Mexican Baseball League (LMB) and the Mexican Pacific League (LMP) -- for their support and collaboration."
The venue plan of the U-23 Baseball World Cup includes the 16,000-seat Estadio Yaquis, which opened in 2016 and is the home of the Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and the recently renovated Estadio Emilio Ibarra Almada, home of the LMP's Cañeros de Los Mochis.
The 12 qualified teams competing for baseball's world title in the U-23 category will remain as follows:
Africa (1): No. 24 South Africa
Americas (4): No. 5 Mexico (host, defending World Champion), No. 7 Cuba, No. 8 Venezuela, No. 15 Nicaragua
Asia (3): No. 1 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei and No. 22 China
Europe (2): No. 16 Czech Republic and No. 19 Germany
Oceania (1): No. 39 New Zealand
Wild Card (1): No. 3 Korea
Mexico won the last U-23 Baseball World Cup, which was held in Barranquilla, Colombia, in October 2018. It was Mexico's first-ever official world title in the sport of baseball.
Previous U-23 Baseball World Cups have included the top young professional players from clubs affiliated to the Australian Baseball League (ABL), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Major League Baseball (MLB), Mexican Baseball League (LMB), Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), in addition to other leagues around the world.
The WBSC, together with the respective Mexican host, will continue to monitor and review the timing of the 2020 Women's Baseball World Cup (12-21 November in Tijuana) and the U-15 Baseball World Cup (30 October - 8 November in Tijuana).