The Annual Congress of the European Softball Federation took place in Athens, Greece. Four Committee meetings took place; issues of 2018 were presented and discussed where needed, plans for 2019 were also introduced. Reports from these meetings are available in the Congress section here under “ Minutes”. In this article, we’re bringing you some of the major topics only.
The U-18 Women’s Qualifier has not found its host; therefore, this tournament was canceled. The three teams advancing to the WBSC U-18 Women’s World Cup will be chosen based on European Rankings 2018 (Italy, Netherlands, Czech Republic).
An issue of decreasing number of umpires was raised. National Federations are encouraged to work on umpire development and sustainability. The ESF is currently working on a plan to be provided to National Federations to help solve this issue.
A Draw of Championships' Pools was made during the General Congress. Participants of the Coed Slowpitch, U-16 Women's and Women's Championships now know their opponents for the first few days of each tournament.
A complete list of development projects of 2018 was handed out in a form of General Progress Report 2018 brochure which can be found in a digital form here.
These are the highlights:
Turkey showcased some exceptional growth during 2018 as both coaches’ and umpires’ clinics were held there. The Turks were able to start their own production of softball equipment for their own needs, and they are currently working on building a softball field. What an incredible improvement in just one year!
European Softball Coaches Association brought some super-exciting news! A partnership with NFCA was announced. ESCA registrations process is planned to begin in 2019 and it will bring also NFCA benefits to those who register.
The Czech Republic was given the Little League Award and additional financial reward for a great expansion of the Little League program. The Netherlands was given a plaque for their win of the European Pony League tournament.
Marketing and Media
A “How to live-stream on a low-budget” manual was introduced as a tool for organizers, clubs, and all enthusiasts. Anyone can afford to live-stream with a help of this manual, and anyone who wishes to give hand in making this document even better is more than welcome to do so. National Federations were also invited to start cooperation with Sportradar and to have their country's section on the baseballsoftball.tv platform created.
The Super 6 organizers were awarded for exceptional service as hosts of the event. Organizers of EMRYT were also complimented for their exemplary media coverage in the style of Softball Europe’s championships.
Baseballsoftball.tv has offered over 200 softball and baseball games to its followers and recorded over 400k views, in 2018.