The Vietnam Baseball and Softball Federation (VBSF) on Thursday held a press conference and a draw for a baseball club championship, which is limited to domestic players.
This annual professional tournament is expected to encourage more people to play baseball and enable the national and local baseball teams to seek potential baseball talents.
The 2023 edition, scheduled to take place from July 26 to 30 in Hanoi, has several major changes compared to its first edition held in 2022.
The organizer decided to raise the total number of baseball clubs taking part in the competition to 11 from eight last year.
It does not allow international players to join the championship.
Speaking at the press briefing, VBSF chairman Tran Duc Phan said baseball is among the less popular sports in Vietnam.
“Because the 2022 edition had eight participating clubs, the organizer allowed them to sign foreign players for the competition," Phan said.
“This year’s edition is dedicated to Vietnamese players only.”
These changes could make the 2023 edition less appealing than it was last year and the level of players could differ from last year too.
“But we think these changes will pave the way for domestic players to compete and sharpen their skills,” the chairman elaborated.
International baseballers often play better than domestic athletes, thus the former are given more opportunities to compete while the latter get little chance to practice their skills.
The VBSF plans to organize another competition for international baseball players in the years ahead, he revealed.
When the expertise of Vietnamese baseball players advances further, the VBSF will work out plans allowing baseball clubs to sign both domestic and international players to compete with each other, he added.
According to the VBSF leader, the federation encounters many obstacles to promote the growth of baseball in Vietnam, such as a dearth of land to develop baseball fields which are typically larger than football pitches, as well as the limited number of baseball coaches and referees.
Besides, the VBSF had to seek help from referee teams in South Korea and Japan in order to hold the national championship and has received enormous support from these baseball powerhouses, he said.