WBSC Europe Congress: President Fraccari applauds European growth and unity
11/02/2023 2 Minute Read

WBSC Europe Congress: President Fraccari applauds European growth and unity

The WBSC President highlighted eSport and Baseball5 as two important tools to help continue the growth of baseball and softball across Europe and around the world.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari congratulated members of WBSC Europe for the work done in coming together as one organisation since merging the continental baseball and softball entities two years ago during his opening address at the second WBSC Europe General Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday.

"I believe Europe has a strong image and a solid platform of events that it can consistently convey to its fans," commented Fraccari. "Your work is essential to the growth of our sport, and I applaud what you've done on consolidating your branding in coordination with the WBSC. This is an excellent showcase of the unity of our sport and community and an important step for communicating baseball-softball to the fans. Behind one brand, we are one sport."

Fraccari highlighted that "many changes" have occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic started three years ago. "In 2022, we resumed most of the WBSC events, and I hope 2023 is a year of full recovery for our sport."

A key highlight of the 2023 events calendar sees three European countries, Ireland, Italy and Spain hosting the three groups of the first stage of the Women's Softball World Cup in July. Fraccari described to the European delegates the new format as "exciting".

The WBSC President dedicated a part of his speech to eSport competitions and the strong partnership the organization has with global companies such as Newdin for the Virtual World Cup and Konami for console gaming.

On a final note, Fraccari emphasised the importance of Baseball5 as a key tool for the development of baseball and softball across the continent. "As eSports, it's a 'play everywhere' discipline and a new opportunity the WBSC offers members."

Fraccari said the inaugural Baseball5 World Cup, played in Mexico City last year, exceeded expectations, especially such as performances of European and Africa countries, which both showed a lot of potential. "I was very impressed with the technical level of National Teams, which rarely had the opportunity to participate in WBSC events in the past. Tunisia participated in a WBSC event for the first time and finished sixth. South Africa and Kenya were in seventh and eighth place. France and Lithuania impressed me as well. Let me also congratulate France and Türkiye for qualifying for the first-ever Youth Baseball5 World Cup."

"I encourage every European country to embrace it. As an important initial step, I recommend you all amend your Statutes to include Baseball5, eSports and Para-Sports as disciplines you govern in your countries."

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