Team Italy slugger Federico Celli

Confederation of European Baseball reveals 2021 events calendar

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the vaccine rollout in Europe, the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) Executive Committee announced and approved this year's events calendar on January 19, 2021.

The Seniors European Baseball Championship Qualifier takes place from June 29-July 4, 2021 in Moscow, Russia, where the Russian host team will compete against Utena (Lithuania), Belgrade (Serbia) and Bratislava (Slovakia). The two top countires qualify for the Seniors European Baseball Championship in Torino, Settimo Torinese and Avigliana from September 12-19, 2021. Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Czech Republic, Kingdom of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden have already qualified for the international competition.

The U12 European Baseball Championship is being held in Mortsel, Belgium from July 6-10, 2021. Defending Euro champion Team Italy goes for its fourth straight title against Czech Republic, France, and the United Kingdom in Group A, while Kingdom of the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and Belgium battle in Group B. The two finalists earn the right to participate in the U12 Baseball World Cup, which is scheduled from August 13-22, 2021 in Tainan, Taiwan.

The Italian cities of Macerata and Montegranaro welcome the U18 European Baseball Championship from July 5-11, 2021. The international tournament is of great importance since it serves as a U18 Baseball World Cup Qualifier for the two top teams that will move on to play in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida from September 10-19, 2021. Host Team Italy faces Kingdom of the Netherlands, France, Lithuania and Israel in Group A, while Spain, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany and Austria clash in Group B.

During the the third week of July, the U15 European Baseball Championship ramps up in Brno, Czech Republic and Trnava, Slovakia. Team Italy begins its journey in Trnava, where the Azzurri meet Kingdom of the Netherlands, Austria and Slovakia. Meanwhile, Czech Republic, Germany, Russia and France go head-to-head in Brno. Also in late July is the European Women's Baseball Championship in Montpellier, France from July 28-31, 2021. France, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom are slated to compete.

The 2022 U18 European Baseball Championship Qualifier takes place in Sweden and Ukraine from August 9-14, 2021. Then the U23 European Baseball Championship kicks off from August 24-28, 2021 in Verona and San Martino Buon Albergo. Host Team Italy plays against Czech Republic, France and the United Kingdom in Group A, while Germany, Belgium, Kingdom of the Netherlands and Ukraine round up Group B. The two finalists automatically qualify for the 2022 U23 Baseball World Cup.

International club competitions include the Federation Cup from June 7-12, 2021 in Brasschaat, Belgium and the CEB Cup from July 13-17, 2021 in Sénart, France. However, the most prestigious of all club competitions is the Champions Cup, which takes place in Ostrava, Czech Republic from July 13-17, 2021. Reigning champion UnipolSai Fortitudo Bologna defends the throne against Curaçao Neptunus, Rouen Huskies and Heidenheim Heidekoepfe in Group A, while Parma Clima takes on L&D Amsterdam Pirates, Bonn Capitals and Arrows Ostrava in Group B. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti