By RENALDO DORSETT
THE Bahamas will have a presence on the newly formed body to oversee the partnership between baseball and softball at the regional level.
Long time local softball executive and current president of the English Caribbean Amateur Softball Confederation, Burket Dorsett, has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the World Baseball/Softball Confederation Softball Americas.
At the recent Confederation of Pan American Softball (CONPASA) Congress in Valencia, Venezuela, the decision was made to unify all confederations in the region and work for improvements within the WBSC.
This unification and new body is responsible for the administration of softball in the Americas, Canada, the Central, Spanish and English Caribbean and South America. It serves from 2016 to 2020 and its recognition resulted in the expansion of the board to 13, including all the presidents of the major regions.
The board is headed by Tommy Valaquez of Puerto Rico and also includes Amilca Estrada of Guatemala, Kevin Quinn of Canada, Alfredo Perez of Domican Republic, Jan Croes of Aruba, Roberto Castra of Central American, Enriqo Alcarez (South America), Carlos Lopez CONPASA, Danilli Valesco CONCASOF and Antonio Morales, Colombia.
“At the moment discussions are underway with regards to the men’s and women’s CAC and Pan Am Games along with other various regional events throughout 2017. Discussions will also be had on the way forward on the federation putting forth views on teams in the region qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” Dorsett said, “Even though the confederations are amalgamated they still recognised federations responsible for their region but the governing body is now officially the overseer, WBSC of Americas. The federations though would act as an appeal board within their region between member federations and their clubs. It wouldn’t change the way the game is operated locally but they are now just overseen by the WBSC to comply with rules and regulations of the organisation. They will also arrange championships for the different regions.”
Dorsett previously served as president of the New Providence Softball Association and Bahamas Softball Federation before taking the helm at ECASC.
The organisation has hosted a women’s championship in the Bahamas in 2013 and a men’s championship in 2015.
“ECASC is looking at the possibility of having what we call the Caribbean Cup, the original championship where the Champions of their respective countries will compete for this title,” Dorsett said, “We will place a strong emphasis on youth development and the U19 division is highly favoured right now. The WBSC wants to establish specific programs for them because by time the 2020 Olympics roll around they will be in the prime of their careers and as we know, baseball and softball will be in the Olympic fold in 2020.
The WBSC is the world governing body for baseball and softball and was established in 2013 by the merger of the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation.
The WBSC was granted recognition as the sole competent global authority for both the sports of baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee.
The WBSC has 208 National Federation Members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania.
As the recognised governing body in baseball/softball, the WBSC is charged with overseeing all international competitions and holds the exclusive rights of all competitions, tournaments and world championships featuring National Teams.
Discussions to merge baseball and softball world governing bodies were sparked by a Memorandum of Understanding that saw baseball and softball leaders agree to form a joint bid to be added to the 2020 Olympics Games sports program.