The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) held its annual congress as part of the joint CEB/ESF Congress in Hoofddorp, Netherlands on Saturday, February 13. 29 of the 38 member federations were present.
The guest list included WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, WBSC Executive Director Michael Schmidt, KNBSB President and host Ron Scheel, Charles Hill from MLB Europe, Marco Sforza from ISFD, which will equip all umpires in European competitions with a unified look, Abraham Key and Jan Bagin from PONY, Tom O’Connell from the International Sports Group and a delegation from Little League.
CEB President Jan Esselman looked forward to the 2016 season with World Baseball Classic Qualifiers with European participation, the new formatted European Cups, the youth European Championships and the Senior European Championship in the Netherlands. Monica Corvino made a presentation for the European Champions Cup in Rimini, Italy.
Additionally Treasurer Rene Laforce presented the financial report from 2015 and introduced the proposed budget for the upcoming season, which got approved after some discussions. John Boyd gave more information about the CEB strategic plan, which will start with four national federations in 2016 and also includes the creation of youth leagues in six European towns.
Member at large, Valentinas Bublis from Lithuania stepped down shortly prior to the CEB Congress due to health-related reasons. His position will remain vacant until the elections at the 2017 Congress. Except for the proposal to remove French as second official language of CEB, all the proposed statute changes got approved by the Congress including the reduction of the executive committee from 11 to 9 members.
The 2015 awards were handed out by the Confederation of European Baseball, PONY and Little League:
- Umpire of the Year: Tomaslav Ozimec (Croatia)
- Scorer of the Year: Feiko Drost (Netherlands)
- Coach of the Year: Evert van’t Hoen (Curacao Neptunus/Rotterdam)
- Federation of the Year: Austrian Baseball Federation (ABF)
- CEB Award for outstanding Service to European Baseball: Marco Screti, Pierfranco Leone (both Italy), Johan Brandsma (Netherlands)
- Little League Country of the Year: Spain
- PONY U14 Award: Austria
- PONY U16 Award: Czech Republic
While the actual CEB Congress took place on Saturday, several meetings and workshops took place on Thursday and Friday:
- The executive committee as well as the technical, umpire and scorer commissions gathered for intensive meetings and reported about the 2015 season and looked forward to 2016.
- Tom O’Connell from the International Sports Group and CEB signed an agreement to reinforce the relationship and about the creation of additional clinics and coach courses as part of a certification program.
- Secretary General Krunoslav Karin introduced a mobile app, which will be given to interested national federations and local clubs, which also will include the live play by play from all the CEB competitions.
- Paddy Roemer of the local organizing committee made a short presentation about the European Championship in Hoofddorp in September.
- CEB President Jan Esselman, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari spoke about changes to youth competitions in European Baseball, which will be implemented to get in synch with the WBSC competition calendar.