Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and Taichung City government are set to sign a contract Tuesday to hold a preliminary round of the WBSC Premier 12 Asia/Oceania tournament in Taiwan in November 2019.
The 2019 WBSC Premier 12 is a qualifying tournament for the Olympic baseball event at Tokyo 2020.
At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, baseball and softball make a return for the first time in 12 years. The 2019 WBSC Premier 12 will see the top 12 nations in the final 2018 Baseball World Rankings compete and two Olympic spots will be awarded.
The baseball event at the Tokyo Olympics will include six teams. Japan has a spot in each tournament as the host nation, leaving five available positions and the first two spots will be claimed by the Premier 12 top finishers from the Americas and Asia/Oceania, not including Japan.
The medal round of the 2019 Premier 12 is expected to take place in Japan, with preliminary rounds of four teams each in Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan.
Following next year's Premier 12, the remaining three spots at the Tokyo Games will be determined through Africa/Europe, Americas and Intercontinental qualifiers.
Taiwan won the bid to host the preliminary round of the 2019 Premier 12, which will be staged at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.
Taiwan's national baseball team has two possible routes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics -- winning the Premier 12's Asia/Oceania regional games or finishing top in the Intercontinental games.