Official: WBSC Europe
The European Softball Federation (ESF) and Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) are now part of European baseball and softball history.
On November 19, 2021, the WBSC Europe was official signed into existence. On November 20, 2021, the ESF and CEB were dissolved.
The Confederation was created to maximize the coordination efforts of both sports with the World Federation (WBSC). To that end, each organization, WBSC Europe and the WBSC, will now be headquartered in Pully, Switzerland.
The merger plan has been underway since ESF President Gabriel Waage, and CEB President Didier Seminet, took office in 2017. At the 2018 joint Congress between the organizations, the WBSC Europe was established. The next step to making the organization official was to create its constitution. The expectation was that the 2019 Congress would ratify the newly created document.
As with most things over the past two years, the global pandemic changed their plans. Finally able to safely meet once more this month, Congressional members wasted no more time. They were, at last, afforded the appropriate opportunity to merge the entities under the newly designed WBSC Europe Constitution.
The European baseball and softball federations from each nation had to approve the constitution before the merger was completed. The decision was 45 in favor, 5 against and 5 abstentions to unify the structure and governing body of both baseball and softball in Europe.
With the constitution now approved by all parties involved, the joint body has finally been formed. This was not just the desire of the final two presidents, but an effort that was at least a decade in the making. Many Congressional members over the years have laid the inroads that allowed Waage and Didier to make the WBSC Europe their joint legacy. Those efforts do not go unrecognized by the baseball and softball community of Europe. This is a day many in the sports should be celebrated for their efforts and congratulated for the achievement.
The official signing took place in Rome Italy where WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari was on hand. Of the historic moment he stated, "Baseball and softball together can create synergies that will aid the growth of our sport. A Untied body can optimize resources and drive better and more convenient management of its properties, events and development programs. This is also the right time to take this step in terms of promotion, communication and marketing for our sport." He later tweeted of the historical event: "Congratulations to everyone involved. Looking forward to working together."
The meeting was organized by the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation and hosted by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), along with its President and International Olympic Committee member Giovanni Malago.
The first WBSC Europe Congress, formerly the joint Congress, will be held in Bled, Slovenia on the weekend of February 10th. The 2022 WBSC Europe Congress will confirm their very first executive board. The board will be comprised of 13 members, most notably amongst them, two athletes' representatives.
At that meeting, the ESF and CEB will officially become part of the continent's baseball and softball history when each organization's boards are replaced by the newly elected board, the final step in the dissolution process.
You can now find the majority of the baseball and softball historical data for Europe's games, formerly hosted on the ESF and CEB websites separately, collectively on the new WBSC Europe website. Some details are still being transitioned but the majority of historical data has been entered on the new site. The site utilizes the same backend as the WBSC site for ease of use by those already familiar with the organization's platform.