The WBSC has published the 2021 edition of the Baseball5 rulebook for the fast-paced five-on-five Youth Olympic discipline.
The main Baseball5 rule change concerns hitting. A modification to the hitting rule now states that a batter/hitter has to raise “the hand he/she intends to use” while entering the batter’s box.
The ball “must be hit/slapped either with a palm or a fist” and have “enough momentum to reach the outfield fence” or, in the case of the U-15 category, “the outfield (passing the line that connects first-second-third base).
The rules consider “illegal behaviour”, and the batter is consequently out, if a hit ball, not touched by any defender, doesn’t reach the outfield fence or if a player slides to avoid a tag. Sliding is now forbidden in Baseball5.
“This latest edition of the Baseball5 Rulebook aims to maintain the dynamism of the discipline while increasing the security of the athletes,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said. “It is yet another sign of the rapid growth of our urban youth-focused discipline.
We keep listening to the feedback, which we receive from around the world and we look forward to keep supporting the development of Baseball, Softball and Baseball5 for many years to come.”
The WBSC had planned to stage the first-ever Baseball5 and Youth Baseball5 World Cups for late 2020.
Baseball5 will become the first mixed-gender Olympic discipline when it makes its debut at the Youth Olympic Games 2026 in Dakar, Senegal.