Press release World Baseball Softball Confederation
PARIS, France. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and its continental body Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) jointly announced the launching of a new European Championship in the discipline of Women’s Baseball, to be first staged in July and contested every year prior to the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup®.
Hosting rights for the inaugural European Women’s Baseball Championship 2019 have been awarded to the French city of Rouen, home of the current French national baseball champions, club Rouen Huskies, in collaboration with the French Federation of Baseball and Softball (FFBS).
The Czech Baseball Association and FFBS are launching Women’s National Baseball Team programmes and will battle with the Netherlands for the inaugural European crown in Rouen.
The best women’s baseball team in Europe will qualify for the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup and compete For the Title of World Champion. The next Women’s Baseball World Cup is scheduled for 2020.
“This is an historic day in the evolution of baseball, reflecting the continued growth of our game internationally and among young players and women here in Europe,” said CEB President Didier Seminet.
“The launch of the European Women’s Baseball Championship reflects modern times, sends a message that baseball can be played by anyone and helps to break down stereotypes associated with women in sport,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said. “The launch of this European championship also adds an exciting new storyline to the Women’s Baseball World Cup, boosting its profile and the sport of baseball in Europe. WBSC commends and congratulates the baseball leaders in Europe for this important initiative, which will be heard worldwide.”
The Women’s National Teams of Czech Republic, France and Netherlands will compete in a double round-robin, with the top two teams advancing to the Final.
The Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB) was the first European federation to launch a Women’s Baseball National Team programme. The Dutch have represented Europe in five editions of WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup, including last year’s edition in Viera, Florida, USA.
France, led by young phenom Mélissa Mayeux who became in 2015 the first women to ever be added to the international eligibility list of Major League Baseball (MLB), has seen a recent boost in the development of Women’s Baseball under the FFBS, with the federation establishing its Women’s National Baseball Team program this year.
Czech Republic, home to some of the best baseball and softball players in Europe, will also launch its Women’s Baseball National Team programme, establishing an important base in central Europe for the development and expansion of the discipline.