The second Congress of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) met in Botswana this week. There are several announcements from the meetings that affect the games in Europe.
The 8th Women's Baseball World Cup was awarded to the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida. The event will take place from August 17-26, 2018. This is the first award to a US city for the event. The Netherlands have sent a team to the last two Cups and are expected to do so again. In 2016, the team placed 9th. The Dutch are currently ranked 8th in the world.
In Men's Softball, Prague was awarded the World Championship for 2019. The event will be hosted by Prague/Havlickuv Brod between June 13-29, 2019. the 2018 Women's Softball World Championship is being held in Chiba, Japan between the 2-12 of August.
Elections were held during the conference and Italy's Riccardo Fraccari, who is already the sitting President of the WBSC, will remain through 2021. He also ran, unopposed, for Chairman of the Baseball Division and now holds that title as well. The Softball Division is will be chaired by Tommy Velazquez of Puerto Rico. Cuba's Antonio Castro was confirmed as a Global Ambassador for the WBSC.
Several awards were handed out to players, coaches, umpires and organizations at the meetings as well. Annual awards from 2014-2017 were announced. Italy's Gianluca Magnani was named Softball Referee of the Year for 2016. The Czech Baseball Association was awarded 2014 National Federation of the Year honors.
14 new members were inducted into the 2017 class of the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame but there were no Europeans amongst them.
The next WBSC Baseball Executive meeting will take place in Paris in March, 2018. During that meeting, the roadwork for building a stronger baseball/softball community across Europe, and ensuring long-term placement of the sports in the Olympics, will be the main objectives according to WBSC Baseball Division Chairman Riccardo Fraccari.