As the first of its kind in the country, the Vietnam Baseball Softball Federation (VBSF) was established at its weekend congress, where its first head was elected.
Tran Duc Phan, deputy chief of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, was voted in as as president of the VBSF at its first congress held in Hanoi on Saturday.
Four deputy presidents were also elected at the event, while Nguyen Thi Thuy, from the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club, was placed in the position of the VBSF’s general secretary.
Coming into being in the U.S., baseball is a team sports that has had a history of more than 80 years of development.
The two sports were introduced to Vietnam many years ago, mainly through foreign companies that invested and operated in the country.
Currently, the two sports, which are rather new to Vietnam, are played in many localities, including Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.
In Hanoi, the Hanoi Teenager Baseball Club, the oldest club, was established in August 2008.
A year later, the club sent its under-11 team to the Open U11 Tournament of the Little League Baseball Association in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Currently, the club yearly sends its baseball and softball teams to U.S. competitions.
Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City Baseball Association was established in 2011 and the local baseball team regularly practices at Phu Tho Sports Complex with foreign coaches.
In 2011, Vietnam for the first time sent its 20-member national baseball team to attend the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.
The same year saw Vietnam’s U12 baseball team defeat their Indonesian and Philippine rivals, becoming the Southeast Asian champion at the Pony Youth Baseball Tournament held in Seoul, South Korea.
After its inception, the VBSF will boost the development of these two rather young sports in Vietnam and act as the lead agency for conducting international training and competition activities.
The federation will also focus on spurring baseball and softball practice among students, and promoting the inclusion of five-person baseball in school curricula as well as at national sports festivals for K-12 students.
It is very likely for Vietnam’s baseball and softball teams to win medals at SEA Games tournaments or Asian competitions, the VBSF admitted.
Baseball and softball are played in many other countries besides Vietnam, such as Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, and Japan.
In April 2013, the 141-member World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established as a merger of the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation.
At the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics, baseball and softball are included in the list of the event’s official sports.