WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said the publication of the governance report showed "improvements continue to be made across all areas" ©WBSC

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari has claimed the publication of its first annual Governance Report shows improvements "across all areas".

The report was compiled by the WBSC Integrity Unit as part of the governing body's Strategic Plan 2022-2028, including governance reviews of its seven continental associations.

Each had a self-assessed and moderated score on a questionnaire based on the areas of transparency, integrity, democracy, development and solidarity, and control mechanisms.

None of the continental associations achieved the targeted score of 60 out of 100 under the WBSC's methodology, which is based on that used by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), but all are expected to do so in the next round of governance review.

They generally fared best in the transparency section followed by democracy, with development and solidarity the lowest-scoring section.

Improvements were recorded in all five areas compared to the first round of continental associations' governance review in 2020-2021.

They received praise for more active uses of their website to publish documents and relevant information and clearer definitions of the election process, but a call for improvements was made in development and solidarity, and control mechanism.

Continental assocations fared best in the transparency and democracy sections ©WBSC
Continental assocations fared best in the transparency and democracy sections ©WBSC

A third round of the governance review is expected to start at the end of 2023.

Fraccari underlined the importance of sharing results of the governance report.

"We made strengthening the WBSC’s governance and reputation a key strategic priority in our Strategic Plan 2022-2028, and publishing this annual report is part of our commitment to ensuring that we are transparent and constantly measuring the activities and processes of the WBSC and its continental associations," the Italian official said.

"The report shows that improvements continue to be made across all areas.

"However, we also know that there is more work to be done to ensure we are implementing the latest best practices in good governance and holding ourselves to the highest standards."

WBSC was in the second band of sports bodies in last year's ASOIF Review of International Federation Governance, and was highest ranked of those who were associate members in 2021.

Baseball and softball returned to the Olympic programme as an additional sport at Tokyo 2020.

Although they are absent for Paris 2024, baseball and softball are among the nine options being considered by the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee to add to the programme.