The European Baseball/Softball Steering Committee (EBSSC) was created to form a regional alliance which will provide guidance on key issues around the development and operations of the two sports throughout Europe.
ESF executive board meeting took place in Haarlem, Netherlands in November. One of the key points was the members’ nomination for the EBSSC commissions. Jan Esselman, president of the Confederation of European Baseball, joined the ESF Board members to announce the CEB representatives for the commissions.
The Development Commission will be led by Ami Baran (ISR), ESF secretary general and also the head of ESF development committee. He will be accompanied by Youri Alkaly (BUL), who is one of the key people organizing softball development in the Balkan region and he also takes care of some equipment coming to Europe from the USA. Baseball has nominated Mick Manning from Ireland and also John Boyd (GBR), who is working on CEB strategy. The similarity of softball and baseball offers a great chance to cooperate when it comes to development and this commission will try hard to come up with the best ways.
The Development Commission will have its special department, which will focus on expanding BeeBall. Anton Kops (NED) has been the chief of BeeBall in Europe and will be accompanied by ESF treasurer Eddy Van Straelen (BEL) and also Monique Schmitt (SUI). There will be other people – “clinicians” – taking their part in the BeeBall program, as well.
The Operations Commission will look for occasions where the two sports can go similar ways and organize joint events. For cooperation on this level, Gabriel Waage (CZE) will be the chairman of this commission. Mette Nissen Jacobsen (DEN), ESF Vice President for Operations, was nominated as the other softball representative for this commission. CEB’s nominees are Monique Schmitt (SUI) and Kristina Uroic (CRO).
The Marketing and Media Commission will face not only the objective of promoting the two sports in general, but will also collaborate on joint events and support each other’s activities. The chairman of this commission is Peter Kurz (ISR), CEB 1st Vice President, the other CEB member is John Boyd, who was also nominated for the Development Commission. ESF brought two members as well – president of the Serbian Softball Federation – Slobodan Djuric (SRB) and ESF Communications Director, Helena Novotna (CZE).
For the last few years, there had been attempts to work on cooperation between the two organizations and utilize the power and similarity of both sports in advantage. With these commissions appointed, the plans and ideas have become real and concrete.
The commissions have already started gathering their ideas and they will have their first face to face meetings in February, when the ESF and CEB congresses will take place.
The official press release may be found here.