In reaction to WBSC who informed world regions about changes in categories for World Championships - newly named as World Cups, European Softball Federation announces needed changes in age limits and timings of its championships. European Championships are qualifiers for all Worlds Cups, therefore, both competitions have to be based on the same principles. 

WBSC changes age limits for youth World Cups from under 19  (U-19) to U-18, and from U-16 to U-15 (see in detail at the bottom of the page). The ESF has to respect these changes and make needed corrections respectively.

It is impossible to change all the aspects from day to day, or even year to year, when organizers were confirmed, budgets were approved, and support from government is in play. The ESF announces that the upcoming two years 2019 and 2020 will be the transition period, where all the changes will take place. Starting from 2021, a new two-year championship cycle will commence.


WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS 

Women's Europeans in 2019 will be the Olympic pre-Qualifier; the top 6 teams will qualify for the Olympic Qualifier together with two African teams. 

Women's Europeans will be held in 2020 again as the qualifier for the 2021 World Cup.

Women's Europeans will be held in even years.


MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS

Men's Europeans in 2018 and 2020 remain as qualifiers for Wolrd Cups in 2019 and 2021. 

Starting in 2021, Men's Europeans will be held in odd years. So in 2021 both World Cup and European Championship will be organized.


COED SLOWPITCH CHAMPIONSHIPS

The first Slowpitch World Cup is scheduled for 2020, therefore, there are no changes for the already scheduled Coed Slowpitch European Championship.


YOUTH WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS

U-18: This year's U-19 Women's Europeans (Staranzano, Italy) remains as the qualifier for U-19 Worlds in 2019. 

The first U-18 World Cup will be held in 2020. Therefore, the ESF will announce an extra event, the U-18 European Qualifier in 2019.  

The regular U-18 European Championship will be held in odd years starting in 2021. 

U-15: The first U-15 Women's European Championship will be held in 2021. 

The already allocated U-16 Championship in Zagreb, Croatia in 2019 will be organized according to the original schedule. 

U-15 Women's Europeans will be held in 2020 as a qualifier for the new U-15 Women's World Cup in 2021.


YOUTH MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS  

The ESF has a very difficult situation with the U-18 and the U-15 Men's Championships. Men's European Championships in youth categories are organized as a joint event with the intent to develop our younger men's teams. This project is believed to be a very successful model that the ESF wants to continue. The ESF's priorities are to have the needed qualifier for the U-18 category and to keep developing the U-15 teams. 

Based on an agreement with the organizers in Sezimovo Usti the U-18  and U-15 Men's European will be moved from 2019 to 2020. 

The question of a qualifier for the U-15 World Cup in 2020 is still open and will be discussed with the WBSC as the number of spots for Europe is not known yet..


U-12 MIXED CHAMPIONSHIP

Qualifier for this event has not been set yet and this question will be discussed during this year. Again, the ESF is very happy with its approach to the U-13 categoriy and the European Cup for the youngest, EMRYT, is a project the EST doesn't want to let go of.


WBSC's changes in World Cups

New Age Categories - The EB implemented a revise age category that aligns with overall WBSC World Cup format and will strengthen awareness and reinforce brand consistency and value across all disciplines. The age category for Softball will be as follows:  

• U-23 (Women’s & Men’s)  

• U-19 becomes U-18:  

o Women’s 2020  

o Men’s 2021  

• U-15 begins:  

o Girls 2021  

o Boys 2020  

• U-12 (mixed) begins: 

o 2020


EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS AND WORLD CUPS SCHEDULE

WomenMenU-19 WomenU-19 MenU-15 WomenU-15 MenCoed SlowpitchU-22 Women
2018World CupEuropeansEuropeansWorlds---Europeans
2019Europeans + OQWorld CupU19 World Cup + U18 Europeans-U16 Europeans-Europeans-
2020Europeans + OlympicsEuropeansWorld CupEuropeansEuropeansEuropeans + World CupWorld Cup-
2021World CupWorld Cup + Europeans + World GamesEuropeansWorld CupWorld Cup-EuropeansEuropeans
2022EuropeansWorld CupWorld CupEuropeansEuropeansEuropeans + World CupWorld Cup-
2023World CupEuropeansEuropeansWorld CupWorld Cup-EuropeansEuropeans
2024EuropeanWorld  CupWorlds CupEuropeansEuropeansEuropeans + World CupWorld Cup-