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Successful Women's European Tour showcases Baseball-Softball as global, gender-balanced sport

May 4, 2018

Prague, CZ - -   Successful Women's European Tour showcases Baseball-Softball as global, gender-balanced sport

World Baseball Softball Confederation, Maison du Sport International, Av. de Rhodanie 54, Lausanne, 1007 Switzerland
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Successful Women's European Tour showcases Baseball-Softball as global, gender-balanced sport
World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari today cited the quality, attendance and viewership of the 2018 European Professional Softball Series Presented by WBSC as a key indicator that baseball and softball are continuing to emerge as a global, gender-balanced sport with significant growth potential in Europe.

The seven-game series in Europe attracted thousands of fans across host venues in the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands, and generated over 300,000 live-stream views from online audiences across 148 countries and territories worldwide, while surpassing 1 million impressions on social media.
The series featured the Women's National Softball Teams of the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands against professional club USSSA Pride of the US-based National Pro Fastpitch league. The Pride roster included Olympian Andrea Duran, who was on the 2008 silver medal winning U.S. Olympic Softball Team.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said:
"We are very proud that baseball and softball give young people -- and especially girls -- a safe, accessible way to play and stay in sport. The quality of the competition around Europe has been world-class, and these players are inspirational role models for female athletes everywhere.
"The WBSC is building a billion-strong global community of players, fans and followers, and we are excited to be bringing our inclusive team sports to ballparks all over Europe."
USSSA Pride players and personnel also staged training camps for hundreds of top young female prospects and coaches in the three countries to help connect with the next generation and continue growing a strong base of followers and participants in Europe.
Young players' Olympic inspiration

The tour, which started in Italy before heading to the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, officially concludes in France today (4 May) at the Softball Academy of France in Boulouris. There, the Pride will be holding training sessions aimed at France's up-and-coming softball athletes who are eagerly looking forward to the sport's Olympic comeback at Tokyo 2020.
With WBSC targeting a permanent place on the Olympic Programme, softball could even offer these young French athletes a pathway from the ballpark to the Paris 2024 Games.

The Pride players will also hold a Q&A session with the young French players about the lifestyle, dedication and sacrifice it takes to develop into a pro softball athlete, concluding with an autograph and photo session.
The international softball showcase in Europe is a joint cooperation between the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and the respective National Federations.
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For media inquiries, contact media@wbsc.org@WBSC.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 202 National Federation and Associate Members in 143 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Cups, Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women's).

For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
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