WBSC Extraordinary Congress: New statutes approved
Hybrid Congress, Term Limits, Baseball5 and eSport amongst key amendments
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) approved new Statutes through an Extraordinary Congress in written form** on Saturday, 18 December, updating them to adapt to the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, while also aligning them with international governance standards.
The new WBSC Statutes (English version, Spanish Version) were approved by 92.12% with 222 votes out of a possible 241, with 18 votes against and one abstention.
The Code of the Divisions (English version, Spanish Version) was approved by 93.36% with 225 votes out of a total of 241, with 12 against and four abstentions.
A total of 189 WBSC Full Member Federations - 73 Baseball-only Federations (one vote each), 64 Softball-only ((one vote each), 52 Baseball/Softball combined (two votes each) - were considered and voted for the amendments to the WBSC Statutes and Code of the Divisions.
The voting process was made via a secure online voting platform with a majority of two-thirds of the votes constituted the quorum for the changes to be approved, which come into effective immediately.
The main changes to the WBSC Statues and Code of Divisions are as follows:
1) Hybrid or virtual congresses
To have the possibility to hold hybrid or virtual congresses, particularly if travel restrictions continue to affect travel.
Article 13.1 a): A Congress or Extraordinary Congress may take place in person, in writing or by way of electronic means (“Virtual Congress/Extraordinary Congress”) or a combination of in person and by way of electronic means (“Hybrid Congress/Extraordinary Congress”).
2) Term Limits
To replace four-year-terms for elected officials with term limits to be inline with the Olympic Charter.
Article 14.2 – Limits of mandates for elected officials: Executive Board members are eligible for a maximum of three (3) mandates. Each mandate is counted as one term. For the purpose of this Article 14, “one term” means the period between two (2) successive Elective Congresses. Only the first mandate of the President is two (2) terms.
Article 14.3 - For elected officials, the following limits of mandates apply:
a) Consecutive: Can serve a maximum of three (3) consecutive mandates in any role before a compulsory break of at least four (4) years.
b) Cumulative: Can serve a maximum of three (3) mandates in any one role.
c) If elected President, the consecutive count resets at one (1).
3) Athlete Representation
The Presidential Council to include Athletes Representatives - one for baseball and one for softball - to join the other eight members:
• the President;
• the Vice President for Baseball;
• the Vice President for Softball;
• the Executive Vice President for Baseball;
• the Executive Vice President for Softball;
• the Secretary General;
• the Treasurer;
• the Executive Director
4) Baseball5 and eSport
To incorporate eSport and Baseball5 as per the decision of the WBSC Executive Board in 2020.
5) Doping Control
Update Article 22 on Doping Control, which includes:
Article 22.3 - All Continental Associations (CAs) and National Federations (NFs) must include in their regulations the procedural rules necessary to effectively implement the WBSC Anti-Doping Rules in order to promote clean sport, fight against doping through prevention and education and adhere to the WADA Code.
6) Change of Nationality
The International Play and the Athletes
To set a stand down period of three years for an athlete who wishes to change nationality, although this can be reduced or cancelled if agreed upon by the two National Federations and is approved by the WBSC Executive Board.
Article 19.9 – A competitor who is a national of two or more countries at the same time may represent either one of those countries, as the competitor may elect. However, after having represented one country in the WBSC Tournaments, in continental or regional games or in world or regional championships recognised by the WBSC, the competitor may not represent another country unless at least three years have passed since the competitor last represented the competitor’s former country. This period may be reduced or even cancelled,
with the agreement of the two National Federations and the approval of the WBSC Executive Board.
As well as an update to the titles (with the former title in brackets) of two WBSC Commissions - the Medical Commission (Anti Doping and Medical Commission) and Integrity Commission (Ethics Commission).
8) Code of Divisions
The main change in the new WBSC Code of the Divisions moves the management of the WBSC Baseball and Softball Divisions to the WBSC head office.
In written form
** As long as the COVID regulations apply, a meeting in writing, by way of an independent proxy or in electronic form, is an available procedure whether the option is mentioned in the company's Statutes or not as per deliberation of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice.