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A NEW FORMAT FOR EURO CLUB COMPETITIONS; 2009 CEB CONGRESS IN SAN MARINO

The 2008 Congress of the European Baseball Federation (CEB) saw very intense working by the delegates in the so called 'workshops'.
The most important was dedicated to the format of European Club Competition. In 2009 CEB will organize a European Cup for clubs, that will see 12 teams (divided into 2 pools) compete in June. The best 2 of the pools will play in the Final Four in Barcelona (that will host the event also in 2010), very likely in late September.
The teams that will finish in the 7th and 8th spot in 2008 competition will fall to the 2009 Qualifiers, while the teams that will finish 6th will have to compete in September with the 4 winners of the 2008 Qualifiers for 2 spots in the 2009 European Cup.
This season Qualifiers will be played in Brno (Czech Republic), Kutno (Poland), Blagoevgrad (Bulgary) and Brest (Belarus).

The European Championship for countries will be played in 2010. Holland, Great Britain, Spain, France, Sweden and Italy are already qualified for the event (that will be very likely played in Germany), while 6 other teams will come out of the July Qualifiers, that will be played in Trnava (Slovakia), Antwerp (Belgium), Abrantes (Portugal), Prague (Czech Republic) and Karlovac (Croatia).

Another important 'workshop' was dedicated to the agreement between CEB and Little League International. Starting from the 2009 season, in Europe 4 regional tournaments will qualify Under 12 teams for the final tournament to be played in Kutno (Poland). At least one team will represent Europe at the Little League World Series.
The teams participating in the Kutno event in 2008 will be decided by CEB in agreement with the Federations.

A final 'workshop' was dedicated to different experiences of Academies.
Boris Rothermundt spoke of the french experiences in Rouen and Toulouse; Martin Brunner explained what he is doing in Regensburg (Germany) and Bill Holmberg talked of the Italian Academy in Tirrenia.

The Congress gave for the first time awards to individuals.
Robert Eenhoorn (Holland) was named Coach of the Year; Anna Maria Paini (Italy) was named Coach of the Year;Fred Van Groningen Schinken (Holland) was named Umpire of the year.

Treasurer Renè Laforce spoke about the budget for 2008. It will be of € 184.000.
Third Vice President Gerard Vaandrager stated that, without the International Federation (IBAF) contribution (USD 45.000, around € 32.000) it would be difficult to organize the work of his Development Commission.
Sam Pelter (Israel) was confimed in the position of Secretary General. He had been the acting Secretary General after the Czech Ditrich resigned in September.

The 2009 Congress will be hosted in San Marino during the third week of March.