The ESF executive council approved establishment of a new European Championship in fastpitch softball for men’s youth category - for under-16-years-old boys.
U-16 Men’s European Championship will be held together with the already existing U-19 Men’s European Championship (formerly known as European Championship Junior Men). Both tournaments will take place at the same venue during the same dates. Players of the U-16 national teams will be allowed to be included also on the U-19 rosters.
„Czech club Joudrs Praha has been exploring this category for the past few years by organizing an international tournament for male U-13 and U-16 players. Their tournament keeps expanding every year, so that gives us the positive feel, that this is the right time for such step. There are countries which will be excited to create an U-16 national team. We know, that there are National Federations which were longing for the opportunity of a real European Championship for their young players“ said Gabriel Waage, ESF 1st vice president.
Denmark, one of Europe’s strongholds in men’s fastpitch programmes, contributed to this idea last year. It was Niels Kirstein, who pitched in some of the details to the ESF about how the Championship may look like and here we are, one year later, and the Championship will take place.
“U-16 players will benefit playing-wise by watching the U-19 games, plus they will get motivated to play U-19 in the future. And that way they will keep on playing ball. For every male-softball country in Europe this will create a huge motivation for young players - to know, that there is a national team for their age-group – and a European Championship Trophy to fight for,” said Niels Kirstein from Stenløse Bulls, Denmark.
The ESF is very excited to enter another stage in men’s fastpitch softball history. The event that will combine both Championships this year will definitely be interesting to visit, as it will provide a chance to see where our sport is heading.
-/cover photo by Zuzana Stronerova/