The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has officially launched a new global initiative targeting the long-term expansion of the sport's worldwide population.
Known as WBSC Mini, the initiative focuses on a small, safe and fun version of the game.
It is intended to be used to introduce baseball and softball to boys and girls, aged from six to 10 years old, and develop basic skills that can be applied to all baseball and softball disciplines.
The ball used for the game is soft, with baseball and softball sizes available, and hitters use a batting-tee.
The kit is lightweight and the field-of-play is described as being easy to lay out with plastic bases.
WBSC plans to distribute Mini Baseball Softball starter kits and instruction manuals to schools, sports ministries and other relevant bodies worldwide.
"This new WBSC Mini Baseball Softball global initiative aligns with the vision to reach one billion players and fans over the next decade, taking smaller versions of the game to schools, to the streets, urban areas and other novel places, in order to help make the sport accessible to everybody across the world," WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.
"Our aggressive campaign and growth strategy will ensure and further position baseball and softball among the leaders in the youth sports space, while boosting our credentials to earn a place on the Olympic programme over the long-term, following baseball and softball's upcoming return at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."
WBSC claims to be the only International Federation that stages World Cups for athletes as young as those in the under-12 and under-15 age categories.
The world governing body recently presented Mini Baseball Softball, including a new promotional video, to media, Government officials and sports officials in China's capital Beijing.
The first phase of the WBSC Mini Baseball Softball initiative will target China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
This will be through the collaboration of the Baseball Federation of Asia and Chinese Taipei Baseball Association, alongside partners YY Sports, China's biggest sports chain, and PCG Bros, one of the largest sports marketing firms in Chinese-speaking Asia.
Taiwanese Major League Baseball players Tzu-Wei Lin and Chih-Wei Hu have been named WBSC Mini ambassadors to help launch the initiative.
Lin was the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 WBSC Under-18 Baseball World Cup, while Hu competed at the 2009 WBSC Under-16 Baseball World Cup.
Following the initial launch in 2018, WBSC Mini is due to be promoted in other high-potential territories.
Also set to be explored is the launch of new WBSC Mini Under-10 international competitions and friendlies in 2019.