Baseball Development in Kosovo
The summer of 2016 has seen the formation of baseball in Kosovo. While Global Baseball has been active in implementing baseball activities in this country since 2013, this summer is a celebration of the growth of this game. Global Baseball in Kosovo has been very active assisting Kosovars in establishing clubs, the federation, and planning baseball introduction events throughout the country.
The following report documents the work done during recent months to introduce the game of baseball in Kosovo.
An important stage of development has been the formation of multiple Baseball and Softball Clubs. There are currently clubs established in six cities (Prishtina, Peja, Gjilan, Gjakova, Mitrovica, Millosheva) in Kosovo. Three clubs have already received their NGO certificates while the other three have turned in paperwork and waiting final approval.
As these clubs are in the early days of development, they are in great need of support. Global Baseball, with the help of a number of organizations in the states, has been able to ensure that all the clubs have basic equipment to begin play.
These above mentioned clubs have come together to officially form the Kosovo Baseball and Softball Federation. As the sport develops in Kosovo, this federation will be the official governing body for Baseball and Softball. It will represent and promote clubs and athletes in European and international competitions. It will establish and enforce standards of play, discipline, coaching certification, and competition.
Paperwork for this federation was signed by representatives of the clubs on 4 July 2016 and has been submitted for full recognition in Kosovo. After official certification, the FBSK will submit documentation for recognition by the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, and the Confederation of European Baseball.
Recent Baseball Activities
During the week of 27 June – 1 July, Global Baseball conducted a Baseball introduction tour of Kosovo. European Director Michael Johnstone was joined by GB coach Taylor Pica, and Ndrec Domgjoni (member of Gjakova Angels) as they traveled and conducted baseball instruction and met with club leaders in Gjakova, Peja, Gjilan, Millosheve, and Mitrovica.
On 4 and 6 July Johnstone and Pica were joined by Mike Griffin, head coach of the Czech Republic National team, for the first official event of the Kosovo Baseball and Softball Federation. In partnership with the University of Pristina Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Global Baseball instructed 30+ coaches in the basics of the game of baseball, including 4 hours of classroom instruction on theory of baseball and 8 hours of field and skill instruction.
As part of the university program, participants and representatives from all the clubs played in an exhibition match between the Eastern clubs (Peja and Gjakova) and the Western clubs (Gjilan, Milloshevë, Prishtina, and Mitrovicë).