Little League® Europe and Africa Region Nations Gather in Poland to Highlight Program Initiatives and Best Practices

Continuing to strengthen the relationship between Little League® and the World Baseball and Softball Confederation-Europe (WBSC-Europe), which recently signed a five-year agreement, representatives from 14 Little League Europe and Africa Region nations gathered in Warsaw, Poland, with representatives of WBSC-Europe for a weekend of discussions and presentations at the end of January.  

During the two-day event, Little League International staff led sessions to discuss and receive feedback related to ongoing programs and initiatives, including Little League’s strengthened Organizational Identity. Plus, representatives from the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, and France led presentations showcasing how Little League programs have been established in their countries. 

“We wanted to share best practices because, around the region, countries have different baseball and softball cultures and the various federations are each organized in different ways,” said Beata Kaszuba-Baker, Little League Europe and Africa Region Director. “In each of these countries, we need to be flexible and creative to adjust the Little League program to fit the culture and individual situation. We have learned so much about how to best assist our member countries through various meetings and sharing best practices during these in-person meetings is valuable so that both developed and emerging federations can benefit.”

Beata Kaszuba-Baker, Little League Europe and Africa Region Director; Patrick W. Wilson, Little League Chief Operating Officer; Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Ambassador to Poland; Sandy Alderson, former MLB Executive; and Daniel Velte, Little League Senior Operations Executive, at the two-day event in Warsaw, Poland.

Just a few weeks following their gathering, Little League also named France as the 2023  Europe and Africa Baseball and Softball Country of the Year during the WBSC-Europe 2024 General Congress on February 10.  

“Little League France is a great example of a country approaching their program from different angles to try and create an all-around positive experience for not just the children in their community, but for their families, the volunteers, and the umpires, as well,” said Mrs. Kaszuba-Baker. “Receiving an award like this makes the volunteers in France proud of their program. The award was presented in front of all the European representatives at Congress, so I think it was an important honor for them to stand there and have their hard work be recognized in that way.”  

Little League leadership in France has worked closely with the French Federation of Baseball and Softball (FFBS) to organize and establish the program nationwide. With league boundaries redrawn a few years ago, there are now 12 leagues operating within Metropolitan France under the guidance of the French Baseball Federation and the Little League District Leadership.

Francois Collet, Little League France District Administrator and WBSC-Europe Board Member; Thierry Raphet, French Baseball/Softball Federation President; Kristian Palvia, Little League Sweden District Administrator, WBSC-Europe Board Member, and Little League International Board Member; and Beata Kaszuba-Baker, Little League Europe and Africa Region Director; at the WBSC-Europe 2024 General Congress. 

For the first time in recent years, France sent a team to represent their country at the 2023 Little League Baseball Europe and Africa Region tournament, played in Kutno, Poland. SUD Little League from Nice, France, finished the tournament with one win and two losses. In 2022, France participated in the Intermediate (50/70) Baseball and Senior League Baseball Europe and Africa Region tournaments. 

Outside of the World Series tournaments, FFBS has also hosted the Interligues Little League® France tournament over the last few years. In 2023, La Guerche de Bretagne in Western France welcomed 320 players, 60 coaches, and 50 officials for the tournament and weekend of festivities.  

To learn more about the Little League Europe and Africa Region, including information about this year’s region tournaments, visit