Confederation of European Baseball
|Type||International sport federation|
|Purpose||Sport governing body|
|World Baseball Softball Confederation|
The Confederation of European Baseball (French: Confédération Européenne de Baseball, CEB), is the governing body of baseball within Europe. The CEB was founded in 1953 with 5 members, which were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy and Spain. As of today, there are 38 members, excluding Armenia. In 2010, there were 112,303 players in the CEB countries.
The confederation is responsible for operating the European Baseball Championship, a championship that has been running since 1954 in Europe.
In April 1953 in Paris, France, 5 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) gave birth to the European Baseball Federation, originally named in French Féderation Européenne de Baseball (FEB). The first Executive Committee was formed by President Steno Borghese of Italy, Secretary General Roger Panaye of Belgium and Vice President and head of the Technical Commission Luis Barrio of Spain.
In 1954 the first European Championship was played in Belgium and Italy claimed the victory.
In 1967 the federations of Italy and the Netherlands announced their withdrawal from FEB and founded a new Federation: Fédération Amateur Baseball. On April 1969 the two Federations re-entered FEB.
In 1972 the organization changed its name to European Amateur Baseball Confederation or CEBA, according to the French Confederation Européenne de Baseball Amateur.
In 1974 the first U-18 European Championship for players of age 18 and under was played. The first title went to the Netherlands. The Dutch also claimed the first U-16 title in 1975. In 1979, during the Congress in Trieste, Italy, Denmark was accepted as the 10th member.
There were already 15 member countries when, in 1985, during the Congress in Zandvoort, Netherlands, Guus Van der Heiden of the Netherlands succeeded Bruno Beneck as the president.
When Van der Heiden died, Italian Federation President Aldo Notari was elected as the 4th president of the organization during the 1987 Congress in Barcelona.
During the 1990s the number of member countries increased dramatically up to 33 by 1994, at which time it was decided to drop the word Amateur from the name of the Confederation, known since then as CEB: Confederation Européenne du Baseball in French and Confederation of European Baseball in English. CEB also created the Cup Winners Cup in 1990 and the CEB Cup in 1993.
Martin Miller of Germany, who had been part of the executive since 1995, succeeded Aldo Notari (who was nominated Honorary President) in 2005, during the Congress in Prague. Miller was confirmed as president during the 2009 Congress in San Marino. During Miller's presidency, the number of European Cups for Clubs was reduced to two. Starting in the 2009 season, only a single European Cup for Clubs is played.
Miller resigned from the presidency during the 2012 Congress in Rotterdam. Petr Ditrich of the Czech Republic was the interim president until the 2013 Congress in Bled, Slovenia, that elected Jan Esselman of the Netherlands as the new president.
The CEB currently has 38 member countries.
When the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) first released their world rankings, the Netherlands were the highest ranked team listed. The only continental tournaments recognised at the time were the 2005 and 2007 European Baseball Championship, which were both won by the Netherlands.
The IBAF released their updated rankings list in August 2009, in addition to the most recently contested tournaments being added and their expired counterparts being removed, the results of the 2005 European Baseball Championship were removed. This resulted in the removal of Greece from the rankings list. The Netherlands maintained its position as first of the European teams and sixth of the world.
- Chetwynd, Josh (2008). Baseball in Europe: A Country by Country History. 344 pp. (77 photos). Print ISBN 978-0-7864-3724-5; EBook ISBN 978-0-7864-5175-3