WBSC Baseball5.jpg
Highest governing bodyWorld Baseball Softball Confederation
Team members5 (plus 3 substitutes)
Mixed genderSingle or mixed
TypeSafe haven game
Equipment(Rubber) Baseball5 ball
OlympicYouth Olympics from 2026
World ChampionshipsBaseball5 World Cup Youth Baseball5 World Cup

Baseball5 (B5) is an international variation of the safe haven games of baseball and softball, and is governed by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).[1]

The game revolves around two teams of five players taking turns playing offense and defense, with each of the offensive team's players hitting a small rubber ball with their bare hands into the field of play (which is a 21 m (68.90 ft)-square)[2] and then running counterclockwise around four bases (13 m (42.65 ft) apart) laid out in a square shape to score a run, while the defensive team tries to eliminate ("get out") offensive players before they complete their trip around the bases to prevent them from scoring. Outs occur either when a hit ball is caught before touching the ground, or (in specific situations) when a defender with the ball touches either a base or a runner.

The teams switch roles after three outs are made, with an "inning" being completed when both teams have played offense once. The game is played to five innings, with any ties being broken by playing extra innings as necessary, and games generally lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Unlike baseball/softball, there is no pitcher, with the batter (offensive player who hits the ball) starting each play with the ball, which is the only equipment used in the game.[3][4][5]

The WBSC proposed the game in 2018 with the intention of growing baseball/softball on a global level, claiming that the game's low cost, fast pace, and small field make it a more accessible and appealing entry point to those sports,[6][7] and organizes a mixed-gender B5 World Cup for senior and youth players in alternating years, with teams required to field at least two active players per gender.[8][9][10] The game is also scheduled to be played in a mixed-gender format at the 2026 Summer Youth Olympics,[11] and has started to find adoption in schools, national championships, and other international events around the world.[12][13][14][15][16]


B5 was inspired by similar games that have been played on the streets in Latin America and elsewhere for decades, such as "cuatro esquinas" (four corners) in Cuba[17] and "pelotica de goma" (little rubber ball)[18] in Venezuela.[7][19] In some cases, B5 significantly diverges from the rules of these games;[20] for example, it does not feature a pitcher, as is done in one street variation in Colombia,[21] and players are allowed to run the bases, as opposed to only walking, as is required in "cuatro esquinas".[22]

The WBSC invented B5 in part to increase the odds that a sport similar to baseball and softball will be played in the Olympics,[23] with B5 meant to contribute to an ultimate goal of having a billion fans in the baseball-softball community by 2030[24][25][26] and helping to demonstrate the global reach of the games,[27] as well as to create a game that would be more accessible and cheap,[6] as the only equipment used in B5 is a rubber ball (with a circumference of 208.4 mm (8.20 in)),[8][28] and the field is much smaller than a baseball diamond or softball field,[29] with the game being playable indoors or outdoors,[30] even during the winter.[4] In this respect, as well as the fact that there are fewer players required to play a game,[31] B5 is meant to imitate smaller, more urban variants of other major sports, such as 3x3 basketball, futsal, and rugby sevens.[32][33] Inclusiveness is meant to be another goal of B5,[34][35] with the game having been demonstrated at a refugee camp in Jordan,[36] and being scheduled to be the first mixed-gender team sport in an Olympic event.[11] In addition, the game is meant to be both simpler to learn,[37] and more exciting, with players participating more frequently throughout the game.[32] Another claimed benefit is that with B5 being introduced across the entire world at the same time, no one country is likely to dominate the game;[38] the lack of the pitcher role, which is highly specialized, contributes to this.[29]

The game has been demonstrated and played in various places across the world,[39] such as in the United States during the MLB All-Star Week,[40] in the 2021 Bulgarian Olympic Festival,[41] and on the sidelines of the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Argentina and the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Japan.[42][43] It is being implemented in many schools in some countries, like Australia and France.[44][13][14][45]

Rules and gameplay


The dimensions of the B5 field, which is a 21 m (68.90 ft)-square comprising fair and foul territory.

The infield is a 13 m (42.65 ft)-square, with a base in every corner. The fair territory is a 18 m (59.06 ft)-square, with one of the corners coinciding with the home plate (the final base). The batter’s box is a 3 m (9.84 ft)-square. It is placed outside of the fair territory and is built on the extension of the two foul lines (which distinguish fair and foul territory, and sit in fair territory) crossing each other at the home plate corner. There is also a "no-hit zone", which is the area between home plate and a line drawn between two points that are each 4.5 metres (14.76 ft) (or 3 metres (9.84 ft) for the U-15 age category) down the two foul lines from the home plate corner; this area is not part of fair territory.[3]

Ideal shape and size of all bases is a 50 cm (19.69 in)-square, with the bases being marked on the ground (i.e. they are not physical cushions like in baseball/softball.) In order to avoid collisions, the first base is "doubled" in foul territory. The ideal height of the fences bounding the field is 1 m (3.28 ft). However, every league or tournament organisation may decide on other ways of limiting the field of play, such as using existing walls or marking the ground with lines.


Baseball5 hitting

The Visitor team starts the game in offense, with the Home team on defense. The goal of the offensive team is to have each of its players hit the ball and then run counterclockwise around all four bases in order without being eliminated by the defense, thus scoring one run for their team. The act of hitting takes place while a hitter is entirely in the batter's box and shall remain within the lines until the hit ball leaves their hand. The ball has to be hit hard either with a palm or a fist. The first bounce has to be at a minimum distance of 3 metres (9.8 ft) from home plate (i.e. not in the "no-hit zone"), and in fair ground. The batter in the action of running towards first base, after putting the ball in play, has to touch the base in foul territory. In order to stay safe, the batter has to remain in the area included within the base and the 1.5 m (4.92 ft)-safe area extension attached to it in foul territory.

Offensive self-elimination

How the offensive players eliminate themselves due to illegal behaviors/actions:

  • By touching (stepping) on one of the batter's box lines while hitting the ball
  • By hitting the ball on its first bounce into foul territory
  • By being hit by a legally hit ball
  • By completely missing the ball in the attempt of hitting
  • By intentionally faking to hit the ball
  • By not making a hit ball touch the fair ground before touching the fences or going above the fences
  • By not giving the hit ball enough momentum to reach the outfield fence (i.e. the boundary of fair territory which is beyond the infield) after its first bounce(s), unless it is touched by a defender[46]
  • By not respecting the batting order and hitting in place of a teammate
  • By a runner leaving the base before the batter hits the ball
  • By passing a teammate while in the action of running the bases
  • By being tagged while two or more runners are on the same base. The one further down the batting order shall be called "out"
  • By sliding in the attempt to safely reach a base or in the attempt to avoid a tag

Special batting order situation

In a situation with bases loaded and two outs (two offensive players having been eliminated), if the runner at third base has to be the next hitter in the batting order, the runners at first and second bases each advance one base, the runner on third base goes to hit, and a pinch runner is placed on first base. In teams with only five players, the first player "called out" (eliminated) in that inning becomes pinch runner on first base. The batting order shall always be respected.


The Baseball5 day in Rome, team France tried to get a Cuban runner out (May, 2018)

The five players (1st Base, 2nd Base, Midfielder, Shortstop, and 3rd Base, from right to left)[47] of the defensive team shall all be in fair territory when the batter hits the ball.

Elimination methods

How the defense makes "outs" (eliminates offensive players) using the ball:

  • By touching the base (while in possession of the ball) to which a runner is "forced" to run
  • By catching a hit ball before it touches the ground
  • By tagging a runner when he/she is not on a base (touching the ball, held in the defensive player's hand, to the runner)

Ball leaving the field

If the ball leaves the court due to a defensive error (missed throw or missed catch of a thrown ball),[48] each runner is awarded an extra base (i.e. the batter goes to 2nd base, and all other runners advance 2 bases as well). However, no extra base is awarded for a ball leaving the field for any other reason (i.e. the batter only goes to 1st base if the hit ball rebounds out of play off a defender.)[49]

End of the game

The game ends at the end of the fifth inning if one team has scored more runs than the opponent. Should the Home Team be ahead on the score after the Guest Team has completed its fifth offensive inning, the game is over and the Home Team wins. For matches that are played as a best-of-three series of games, the team that wins two games wins the match.


In case of a tie game, the teams shall play and complete extra inning(s) until one team scores more runs than the opponent. The player scheduled to hit fifth for the sixth inning (i.e. the player who batted last in the fifth inning, and whose name precedes the first batter of the sixth inning) is placed on first base as a runner to start the inning. The players scheduled to hit fifth and fourth in the seventh inning are placed on first and second base, and so on with three runners to start the following innings until the game ends.

Run-ahead rule

A game is over if a team leads by 15 runs at the end of the third inning or by 10 at the end of the fourth. Should a team reach a 10-run (or more) advantage during the top (first half) of the fifth inning, the game shall be completed.

Differences from baseball and softball

  • There is no pitcher or catcher.
  • Defensive players do not have gloves.[8]
  • The B5 field has a standardized size and shape (21 m (68.90 ft)-square).[50]
  • The batter only gets one chance to hit the ball i.e. they are out if they do anything other than legally hit the ball into fair territory.[51]
  • The first bounce of the hit ball must be in the field and in fair territory, and it must have enough momentum to reach the fence (i.e. Out-of-the-park home runs are not allowed.)[52] For youth players, the hit ball need only reach the outfield i.e. pass the line connecting 1st-2nd-3rd base.[46]


At the international level, B5 is administered by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).[53] Within each country, it is administered by the national baseball and/or softball governing body.[54][55]


B5 competitions are played throughout the world, with national championships played in countries such as Tunisia, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic,[56][57][12] and international championships such as the World Cups being played each year.

International Tournaments

The Baseball5 World Cup (B5WC) and Youth Baseball5 World Cup (YB5WC) will be administered by the WBSC, with both tournaments alternating and happening every two years, and following the general format of having 50 games played between 12 national teams over 7 days. Continental qualifiers for each tournament will be played during their off-year.[58][9] The 2025 YB5WC will act as a qualifier for the mixed-gender Baseball5 event to be held in the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).[10]

The B5WC's and YOG event were originally scheduled to start in 2020 (in Mexico) and 2022 respectively, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10][59]

WBSC's premier events:

  • Baseball5 World Cup (Beginning 2022)[10]
    • European Baseball5 Championship (Since 2020) - France and Lithuania qualified for 2022 B5WC[60]
  • Youth Baseball5 World Cup (Beginning 2023) - For players 14 to 18 years old[10]
  • Youth Olympic Games (Beginning 2026)[11]
  • WBSC Qualifier events:
    • European Under-17 Baseball5 Championship (Beginning 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria)[61]
    • European Under-15 Baseball5 Championship (Beginning 2023)[62][63]

Multi-sport events:

  • African Beach Games (Beginning 2023)[64]

Minor events:

Domestic Tournaments

  • Egyptian Baseball5 National Championship (2020)[68]
  • French Open (2020)[69]
  • Lithuanian Baseball5 Championship (2021)[70]
  • India Sub Junior National Baseball5 Championship (2021)[71]
  • Pakistan B-5 National Championship (2021)[72]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Baseball5 |". Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  2. ^ "Spelregels • PLAY BASEBALL5". PLAY BASEBALL5 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  3. ^ a b "OFFICIAL WBSC BASEBALL5 RULEBOOK 2021" (PDF). World Baseball Softball Confederation
  4. ^ a b "WBSC look to grow sport with Baseball5 discipline". 19 April 2018. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  5. ^ "Maurizio Balla leads Italy in Baseball5 European Championship". Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  6. ^ a b "WBSC President Fraccari Op-Ed: Baseball5 can help strengthen the Olympic Movement, take sport to new places". Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  7. ^ a b "History of Baseball5". Retrieved 2021-09-21. The potential of Baseball5 was showcased in the Gambia in January 2018. Run the Bases, a Sport for Development organization, engaged the local community on a beach. At the time of writing, there is no baseball or softball field in the small country on the Atlantic coast of Africa.
  8. ^ a b c Cooper, JJ (March 1, 2018). "WBSC Proposes New Street Baseball Game". Baseball America. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b "WBSC Baseball5 World Cups 2021-2029". Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Inaugural Baseball5 World Cup to take place in 2022". 10 December 2020. Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  11. ^ a b c "High five: baseball5 hits the YOG". Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  12. ^ a b "Dominican Republic to launch national Baseball5 competition in July". 4 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  13. ^ a b "Australian Gov puts Baseball5 in schools, reaching millions of youth". Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  14. ^ a b "La France signe un partenariat pour introduire le Baseball5 à l'école". (in French). Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  15. ^ a b "Bulgaria wins Balkan Baseball5 Championship". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  16. ^ a b "1st Urban Baseball5 international games staged at Foro Italico in Rome « Mister Baseball". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  17. ^ Márquez, Henry Morales (2021-02-26). "Briandy Molina, del cuatro esquinas callejero al Baseball 5". Play-Off Magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  18. ^ Ago, Danieloviedoin #deportes • 2 Years (2019-05-07). "Baseball Five: La calle evoluciona". Steemit. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  19. ^ What is Baseball5? - WBSC, retrieved 2021-09-21
  20. ^ "Baseball5: exportando el "cuatro esquinas"". Progreso Semanal (in Spanish). 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  21. ^ "La pelotica de goma trasciende las calles de los barrios". Crónica Uno (in Spanish). 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  22. ^ The Cuban version of baseball - Red Bull 4Skinas, retrieved 2021-10-04
  23. ^ "Watered-down 'Baseball5' won't do much to broaden baseball's appeal -". Retrieved 2021-10-13. Ultimately, the WBSC won’t be able to lobby for both baseball/softball and Baseball5 at the Olympics and Baseball5 offers it a potential lifeline if baseball/softball again fall off the program.
  24. ^ "WBSC reveals new logo for launch of new Baseball 5-on-5 Street competition in Cuba". Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  25. ^ "New sports formats - Baseball joining growing list - I Trust Sport". New sports formats - Baseball joining growing list - I Trust Sport - I Trust Sport. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  26. ^ "High Hopes for New Sports at Tokyo 2020". infobae. July 12, 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  27. ^ BÉISBOL 5, retrieved 2021-10-20
  28. ^ Baseball5 Ball Certification rules and application process
  29. ^ a b "Fraccari and WSBC fashion their own locomotive". 21 October 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-15. If I start to play baseball now in India or Africa - before, to create one pitcher I need 15, 20 years working. With Baseball5, I take out this problem and they can compete in India and Africa and they can compete with the United States tomorrow.
  30. ^ "Baseball5 Introduced in Sweden « Mister Baseball". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  31. ^ "Baseball5 seminar proves a big hit". The Star. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
  32. ^ a b Baseball5 - Lesson 1: Game, field and differences between Baseball, Softball and Baseball5, retrieved 2021-09-20
  33. ^ "GAISF » World Baseball Softball Confederation going from strength to strength". Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  34. ^ "WBSC vice-president Allen calls for baseball and softball to be more accessible". 9 April 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  35. ^ "Baseball5 goes to PNG". WBSC Oceania. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  36. ^ "WBSC introduce Baseball5 to Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan". 30 January 2019. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  37. ^ "Baseball5 : de la street culture à l'inclusion". The Strike Out - Le Baseball en Français (in French). 2019-08-10. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  38. ^ Baseball Without Bats or Gloves? The World Governing Body Says Yes
  39. ^ "Arnold Classic Africa Festival in Johannesburg includes Baseball5". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  40. ^ "Baseball5 shines at MLB all star week". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  41. ^ "Baseball5 to be included at 2022 Bulgarian Olympic Festival". Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  42. ^ "WBSC hails spread of Baseball5 in Argentina as legacy of Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games". 21 May 2019. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  43. ^ "Baseball5 showcase at Tokyo 2020 FAN PARK a great success". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  44. ^ "Federation Focus: Australian baseball is thriving from youth to pro levels". infobae. July 12, 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-12. Baseball5 has taken up significant growth in our first term of the school year, that in Australia runs in February and March," commented Vale. "A total of 80 schools completed our programme with 7,808 participants. Our previous highest with T-Ball was 58 schools, 4,861 participants."
  45. ^ "Tunisia: Baseball5 to be promoted in schools, backed by Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  46. ^ a b "WBSC publishes new Baseball5 rulebook for the 5-on-5 urban game". Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  47. ^ Baseball5 Rulebook 2021 p.9
  48. ^ Baseball5 - Lesson 2: The Rulebook, retrieved 2021-10-05
  49. ^ Baseball5 Rulebook 2021p.12
  50. ^ "Q: Why are major league baseball fields not standard in size?". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  51. ^ Baseball5 Rulebook 2021 "In Baseball5, unlike in baseball and softball, it is the first bounce of the ball that determines whether the hit ball is fair or not: • First bounce in foul territory = batter is OUT"
  52. ^ BaseballSA - Baseball5 Live Showcase - Round 2 | Facebook, retrieved 2021-10-11, Timestamp is 3:20
  53. ^ "WBSC Organisational Profile". Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  54. ^ "Federation Focus: Tanzania targets schools to boost baseball, softball development in East Africa". Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  55. ^ "Russian government officially recognises Baseball5". Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  56. ^ "Tunisian Baseball5 championship to target youth with 240-team national tourney". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  57. ^ "WBSC's 'GameTime' channel to live-stream inaugural Taiwan Baseball5 Championships on 13-14 Oct, logo revealed". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  58. ^ WBSC Baseball5 World Cups Hosting Bid Outline World Baseball Softball Confederation
  59. ^ "Debut of Baseball5 at Youth Olympic Games postponed as next YOG shifted from 2022 to 2026". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  60. ^ "France win inaugural Baseball5 European title by defeating Lithuania". 1 March 2020. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  61. ^ "​The Super6 and the U-17 Baseball5 European Championship will take place in 2022". WBSC Europe. Retrieved 2021-12-20. zero width space character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  62. ^ "FIBS Press". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  63. ^ "Italian Baseball Softball Federation". Archysport. 2021-10-24. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  64. ^ "Baseball5 to be played at 2023 African Beach Games". 25 October 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  65. ^ "Cuba, France earn wins in Baseball5 International Tournament in Havana". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  66. ^ "WBSC to offer prize money with launch of new 5-on-5 Baseball5 Americas Open in Colombia « Mister Baseball". Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  67. ^ "Cuba wins the inaugural Baseball5 Americas Open, Venezuela second". Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  68. ^ "Baseball5 coaching courses take place in Egypt and Burkina Faso". 14 February 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  69. ^ "Five Things To Know About Baseball5 (Particularly As It Pertains To France)". Le Baseblog. 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  70. ^ "Utena Titans Win First Lithuanian Baseball5 Title « Mister Baseball". Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  71. ^ "Softball Association of India". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  72. ^ Asif, Shiraz (2021-07-19). "Gilgit-Baltistan to host first B-5 National Championship". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2021-10-13.

Media files used on this page

Handmade Baseball5 field diagram.png
Author/Creator: GreekApple123, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
A handmade diagram of a Baseball5 field. Source is from, which is found at Updated to the dimensions of the 2021 rulebook (compare to File:Baseball5 field.jpg, which has some incorrect dimensions near the home plate.)
Baseball5 defense.jpg
Author/Creator: World Baseball Softball Confederation, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Baseball5 showcased in Rome
Cuba Baseball5 game.jpg
Author/Creator: The World Baseball Softball Confederation, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Baseball5 launches in streets of Havana
WBSC Baseball5.jpg
Author/Creator: The World Baseball Softball Confederation, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Baseball5 logo