The European Softball Federation (ESF) has announced rankings for the Men’s and Women’s Fastpitch, as well as Slowpitch Softball. It’s a reaction to WBSC’s introduction of worldwide softball rankings, which only includes countries, which have participated in World Championships. This led to only five women’s and three men’s teams being ranked.
Not only tournaments at the senior level, but also youth European Championships get considered for the rankings. The Czech Republic is in first for Women’s and Men’s Fastpitch rankings and second in Slowpitch. Italy and the Netherlands, which dominated at the Women’s level in Europe, come in at second and fourth.
Gabriel Waage, the ESF’s First Vice President, said: “We’re hoping that because this system takes softball development into account, it will encourage all European countries to work on including more categories in their national team programmes. Men’s rankings will expand after this year’s Championship and, hopefully, we’ll also be also able to have an U-16 European Championship for boys in the near future. A simple attendance at any Championship can move a softball nation higher in the rankings.”