A five-day seminar for beginner and intermediate softball umpires aimed at improving the standard of officiating in Iran will be held in Tehran in April, it has been announced.
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) softball director of umpires Bob Stanton is set to attend the event, due to run from April 17 to 21.
It is hoped the seminar will evaluate and further enhance the level of umpiring in the Asian nation and neighboring countries in the region.
The event marks the latest installment of a WBSC project launched last May to promote baseball and softball in Iran.
The Iran Federation of Sport Associations, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Iranian National Olympic Committee are also part of the joint partnership.
The first focus of the project was providing support and guidance in training, coaching and umpiring, as well as venue construction.
Increasing participation among young people and women and the establishment of new clubs for national championships were also part of the first phase.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari visited Tehran in January 2016, where he met with Iranian sports leaders and outlined the benefits of developing baseball and softball in West Asia.
Italian national softball team manager Marina Centrone also traveled to the Iranian capital last year to conduct intensive instructional courses at the Azadi Sports Complex.
A feasibility study will be carried out on the construction of a baseball stadium in the city of Isfahan, located in the center of the country.
It is hoped the collaboration could act as a model for countries neighboring Iran, while the governing body is also investigating developing a similar initiative in North Korea, the world’s most secretive country.
The WBSC sent a mass shipment of baseball and softball starter kits to Iran to help launch the scheme.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.