Do you know that there is an International Baseball Federation? Well I know in the past I have heard of the IBAF, but I never really committed their name to memory, and the IBAF wants to change that.
The IBAF on their website has out lined a list of goals that they want to complete by 2015. They started these goals in 2007. As long as this list is, it is very broad and it is easy to see why the general public does not know who they are yet. A lot of their goals revolve around making the IBAF known. They really want more involvement so one of their goals is to make their meetings more open to the countries they want to serve and increase the democracy in the organization themselves. Through this, they wish to increase their own fundraising to help support their programs like youth leagues around the world and supply equipment. That really is one of the main challenges in baseball because the equipment is expensive and to really play, every child in the field needs a glove.
By increasing the amount of countries that can play, they will increase the amount of prospects from different countries and allow many countries to have their own national teams. This goes right with their number one goal which is to get Baseball back in the Olympics (until further notice, 2008 is the last year Baseball is going to be played).
The main problem with the list is that it is very ambiguous. They do a good job of describing what they want to do, but they really don’t explain how they plan on doing it. I understand that would defeat the purpose of a nice list to add in the “how”, but it could be hyperlinked. Going back to the Olympics, the eight countries that qualified (Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Japan, Korea, Netherlands and the United States) were all in the World Baseball Classing in 2006. The IBF talks about how events like the WBC will be very important in getting baseball back into the Olympics because it shows how prominent baseball is in the world.
This puts even more “pressure” on the success of the 2009 WBC as the first round is being played in four countries (that are not the United States), and their attendance will be monitored. If the tournament can expand the field after the 2009 games beyond 16 teams, the IOC might have to start reconsidering baseball as an Olympic sport. I wish the IBAF all the luck I can to make Baseball more of an international sport. In my eyes, baseball is an International Sport, but people cannot open their eyes and see that it is played in beyond the Western Hemisphere.