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Softball will be featured at the 2021 World Games in Alabama

Simmone Morrow #26 of Australia makes contact with a pitch from Li Qi #3 of China during their preliminary softball game at the Fengtai Softball Field during Day 6 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 14, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

BANGKOK, April 16, 2018 - Softball will be one of 30 sports on the official programme of the World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) leaders welcomed the decision taken today by the International World Games Association (IWGA) at the IWGA Annual General Meeting.

All 37 international sports federations that are members of the IWGA, including WBSC, applied to have their sports featured at the World Games 2021 Birmingham, where approximately 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries are expected to compete, according to the IWGA.

Staged every four years and endorsed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Games is a multi-sport showcase of non- and potential future Olympic sports. Softball was part of the inaugural World Games 1981 in Santa Clara (CA), USA, and last featured at the World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: "WBSC is honoured by IWGA's decision. Inclusion in multi-sports platforms like the World Games and the Olympic Games -- sport's biggest stage -- is key to WBSC's strategic plan to showcase and grow baseball/softball globally.

"Building upon softball's Olympic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games, the World Games 2021 in Birmingham will be another important international platform for softball athletes to shine on.

"And with our sport's popularity and fan bases in the host nation and worldwide, we will do everything we can to help further grow the World Games brand."

Baseball/softball is the national sport in many countries across the world, making the bat-and-ball sport an appealing asset to multi-sport organisations and hosts.

WBSC will review the qualification system for the World Games 2021 Birmingham.

World sport leaders are currently gathered in Bangkok for the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) annual SportAccord Convention.

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