By the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, R.O.C. (Taiwan)
The 2019 WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup, the fifth edition of this biennial event, was held on July 26 to August 4, 2019. The 12 strongest U12 baseball national teams from around the world gathered hand in hand in Tainan with the event ambassador Pokémon and provide chances for all baseball fans to watch baseball and have a fun summer vacation. The event concluded with the Chinese Taipei team winning the gold medal by defeating Japan 4-0 in the final, and Cuba obtaining the bronze by defeating Korea 2-1.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup is created by the World Baseball Softball Confederation in 2011, and it is an event that features the best U-12 baseball teams in the world. This year marks the fifth edition of the event, with all previous editions been held in Taiwan. Baseball is known as the national sport of Taiwan. The memory of watching little league baseball late at night is shared among the minds of the middle aged citizens. As grassroots baseball is the basis of the sustainable development of the sport of baseball, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and Tainan City Government joined together in 2013 to obtain the right to host three editions of the U- 12 Baseball World Cup (2015, 2017 and 2019) in succession and began to plan the transformation of the existing baseball stadium into the Tainan Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadiums and Training Centers. Moreover, an attempt was made in 2018 to break through the WBSC system by suggesting that Tainan be given the right to host the U- 12 Baseball World Cup on a permanent basis. Despite the unsuccessful attempt to obtain permanent hosting right, the rights to stage the event in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027 were obtained. All the effort is intended to make Taiwan a training base for little league baseball in the Asia-Pacific region and make Taiwan as the Williamsport of the East. With the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup been currently promoted by the Sports Administration as one of the Taiwan-brand international sports events, it is believed that this will become a strong boosting force to make this dream come true.
The U-12 Baseball World Cup took place at the Tainan Asia-Pacific International Baseball Stadiums and Training Centers, Kuei-Jen Stadium and Shan-Hwa Baseball Field during July 26 to August 4. The inaugural WBSC U-12 Softball World Cup was also held at the same time and location; a new attempt by the WBSC to use little league baseball to attract international attention to little league softball. To raise Taiwan’s international profile, the Sports Administration established a task-based assistance group in 2018 and commissioned a professional team to organize various workshops to increase the professional knowledge and marketing skills of sports event organizers so as to optimize the hosting ability and the quality of Taiwan’s international sports events.
A successful event requires the participation and encouragement of the spectators. The Sports Administration not only invited parents across Taiwan to take advantage of summer vacation to take their children to watch baseball games in Tainan and to enjoy a fun vacation with Pokémon, but also encouraged baseball fans that could not make it in person to cheer for these young baseball elites through live broadcasting channels.