The WBSC Under-12 Mixed Softball World Cup in Taichung has been postponed until 2022 ©Getty Images

The World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) Under-12 Mixed Softball World Cup in the Taiwanese city of Taichung has been postponed until the summer of 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was due to be held from December 1 to 12 this year.

Players born in 2010 and 2011 will be allowed to take part and squads must include between 14 and 16 players.

Each team must have at least four female and four male players on the field at all times.

The batting line-up alternates between five female and five male players.

Taiwan has operated strict border controls as part of its COVID-19 mitigation measures, and has recorded 16,006 cases and 837 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with the vast majority of these coming following a spike in infections on the island in May that saw increased restrictions.

It was confirmed on Tuesday (August 31) that the Under-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan in Taiwan would again be delayed until next summer.

The number of teams competing at the Under-12 Mixed Softball World Cup is to be doubled to eight, with two from each of the Americas and Asia, one from Africa, Europe and Oceania and one spot reserved for a wild card or the host nation.

These will be divided into two groups of four, with the top two in each progressing to a ‘super round.’

The top two in the super round will contest the final, and the bottom two the bronze-medal match.

This tournament’s inaugural edition ran in 2019, with Chinese Taipei earning gold on home turf, while Peru earned silver and Czech Republic bronze.

It became the WBSC’s first mixed-gender World Cup, and the tournament in Taichung next year will be the second time it has run.