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Updated: April 2, 2020
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

European Cup-tournaments cancelled; European Championships postponed

ZAGREB (Croatia) / ANTWERP (Belgium) - The European Baseball Confederation (CEB) and European Softball Federation (ESF) announced on respectively Wednesday (April 1) and Thursday (April 2) that all European Cup-tournaments for club-teams fot this year have been cancelled due to the ongoing fight against the spread of the coronavirus. In June, six European Cup-tournaments in baseball were scheduled. For softball, four European Cup-tournaments were scheduled to be played in August. In total, fifteen European baseball- and softball-tournaments have been cancelled. For all tournaments, the game-schedules and assignments of officials were not yet announced.

The CEB has not yet taken a decision regarding the European Championship-tournaments that were scheduled to be played from July on. The ESF postponed three European Championships that also are Qualifying Tournaments for World Cups. Three non-Qualifying Championships were also cancelled.

From June 2 through 6, Ostrava (Czech Republic) was to be the site for the European Champions Cup in baseball. Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Curaçao Neptunus were to represent the Netherlands in the event. In the same period, the tournament for the CEB Cup was to be played in Sénart (France). Brasschaat (Belgium) was to host the Federations Cup-tournament on June 15-20.

There also were three Federations Cup Qualifiers scheduled in the periode for June 16-21. These events were to take place in Sant Boi de Llobregat (Spain), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria).

From July 7 through August 15, ten European Championships are scheduled in baseball, including the Championship for U12-teams, as well as for U18. There also are European Qualifiers for U12 (one) and U15 (two). Towards the end of July, there are two Championships in the B-Pool and one in the C-Pool. In August, two Qualifers for the U23 Championship are scheduled. These Championships are scheduled to be played in Belgium (Hoboken, Mortsel), Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad), Croatia (Zagreb), Italy (Macerata), Lithuania (Utena), Russia (Moscow) and Slovakia (Trnava).

In a press release, the CEB stated: ,,The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) has announced today the cancellation of the European Club Competitions that were scheduled to take place in June 2020 due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Executive Committee took its decision after consulting the LOCs and the National Federations while keeping in mind that health of athletes, officials and all members of the European baseball-softball community must be put above everything else. As for the European Championships that are scheduled in July and August, CEB is closely monitoring the situation with WBSC and no decision has been made yet. The Executive Committee will meet again in the coming weeks to review the situation and make a decision of postponing or cancelling the events.''

In softball, the first European Cup-tournament was scheduled for July 20-25. That was the Coed Slowpitch European Super Cup in Sofia (Bulgaria).

In August, the European Cup-events for women and men were to be played, preceeded by the annual European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy (August 12-15) in Collecchio (Italy).

In the period August 17-22, the three European Cup-tournaments were to be played in women's softball. Dutch champion Roef! was to made its European debut in the European Premiere Cup in Friuli-Buttrio (Italy), while Olympia Haarlem was to participate in the European Cup Winners Cup in Saronno (Italy). In Dupnitsa (Bulgaria), the European Cup-tournament was to be played.

Later in the month, on August 24-29, the Men's European Super Cup was to be hosted in Prague (Czech Republic). Three teams were represent the Netherlands in that event: Alcmaria Victrix, Hoofddorp Pioniers and Dutch champion Quick Amersfoort.

Also cancelled were three European Softball Championships These events are the Men's Slowpitch European Championship, which was scheduled for June 16-20 in Colorno and Parma (Italy). On July 6-11, the European Championship U-16 / U-18 for men's softball were to be played in Sezimovo Ústí and Tábor (Czech Republic).

At the moment, only four tournaments have been left over on the international calender of the ESF, including three European Championships. Two of these events were postponed to a later date.

From June 7-13, the Women's European Championship was to take place in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in Italy. The tournament has been postponed to September 20-26. This tournament serves as a Qualifier for three events. The three best teams qualify for the WBSC Women's World Cup 2021, the champion also qualifies for the World Games 2021 and the six best teams qualify for the Super6 2022.

Next on the agenda was the Men's European Championship. The event was on the agenda for June 22-27 to be played in Ledenice and Sezimovo Ústí (Czech Republic). This tournament is now scheduled for September 28-October 3. The two best teams will qualify for the WBSC Men's World Cup 2021.

From July 13 through 18, the Under-15 Women's European Championship was to be organized at the site of Tex Town Tigers in Enschede (Netherlands). No new date has been announced yet for this tournament. The winner of this event qualifies for the first-ever WBSC U-15 Women's World Cup.

The last event on the international European softball-calender is the second edition of the European Masters Cup (men/women) to be played in Sant Boi de Llobregat (Spain). The dates for that event are October 28-31.

The ESF, or Softball Europe, issued the following statement: ,,Softball Europe Board has been working in the past weeks on the rescheduling of the European calendar, intending to safeguard the health of everyone involved and make room for our sport and its National movements. The board went over the European softball international calendar 2020 and realized it is not possible to play all of the events in the program. WBSC Europe Softball Division President Gabriel Waage announced that the only events that will run are all European Championships, which are qualifiers for World Cups 2021, and postpone them as follows:
Women’s European Championship new date is September 20 - 26, 2020, Men’s European Championship new date is September 28 - October 3, 2020, U15 Women’s European Championship postponed, a new date will be announced soon.
All the other softball international events for 2020 under Softball Europe are canceled. The only exception is MASTERS, which is scheduled for late October and this event is still on.''

(April 2)

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