Great Britain national baseball team
|Federation||British Baseball Federation|
|Confederation||Confederation of European Baseball|
|Appearances||2 (First in 1938)|
|Best result||1st (1938)|
|Appearances||10 (First in 1967)|
|Best result||2nd (1967 & 2007)|
The Great Britain national baseball team is the national men's baseball team of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is governed by the British Baseball Federation, and is also a member nation of the Confederation of European Baseball.
The United Kingdom is credited with winning the inaugural Baseball World Cup (BWC) in 1938, beating the United States by four games to one in an international series hosted in England. This series was subsequently declared the first world championship of amateur baseball by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and so Great Britain became the first World Amateur Champions. However, it was over 70 years before the team qualified for another world championship event, reaching the 2009 Baseball World Cup by virtue of its second-place finish at the 2007 European Baseball Championship.
In 2007, the Great Britain team won the silver medal at the European Baseball Championship (EC), finishing top of Group B and only losing two games in the entire tournament. It ultimately finished second overall to the Netherlands. This marked Britain's highest placing in the tournament since its first entry into the event in 1967, when it also finished second.
Prior to 2007 the team's showing in the EC was generally limited to finishing in the lower half of the standings which sometimes meant relegation to the secondary tournament known as the European Baseball Championship Qualifier (sometimes referred to as the 'B-Pool'). In 1988 and 1996 Great Britain hosted and won the Qualifier thereby returning to the main European Championship event the following year (sometimes referred to as the 'A-Pool'). Since the silver medal in 2007, Great Britain has on occasion had to repeat the process of qualification through the B-Pool.
By winning the silver medal in 2007 Great Britain qualified both for the 2009 Baseball World Cup and for the Final Qualifying Tournament in Taiwan for the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, a lack of funding including the refusal by UK Sport to provide any backing, meant it was forced to withdraw from the Final Qualifying Tournament and was replaced by Germany. This was the Great Britain team's last chance to qualify for an Olympic baseball competition due to the earlier decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to remove baseball from the Games after 2008. That decision – announced one day after London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics on 6 July 2005 – also meant that the Great Britain baseball team would not have the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd in the 2012 Olympics and promote the sport in the UK. It also meant that the team ceased to receive elite funding from bodies such as UK Sport.
At the 2009 World Cup – held simultaneously in various countries around Europe – Britain qualified out of the first group stage before eventually finishing 15th overall. Following the World Cup, in October 2009 the IBAF announced a new set of world rankings in which Britain rose to 21st.
Great Britain was invited to compete in the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
World Baseball Classic
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Did not enter||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Did not enter||No qualifiers held|
|2013||Did not qualify||Germany||1||2||14||32|
Great Britain was invited to compete in the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. While the experience was not without its highs, they had the misfortune to be grouped with the powerhouse teams of Canada and Germany. After being routed 11–1 by the Canadians, they picked up their game to issue a similar pounding to the Czech Republic, 12–5.
In the third group game, however, Great Britain were pummelled by a German team scoring for fun. 16–0 down at the 7th inning stretch, they pulled one back before the mercy rule came into effect, and GB exited the qualifiers 16–1. The gulf in class between European and North American baseball was ultimately shown clear with the final game of the group, as Canada handed out another 11–1 mauling to Germany to advance to WBC2013.
Baseball World Cup
|Baseball World Cup record|
|1938||United Kingdom||1 of 2||4||1||20||14|
|2009||Croatia/Netherlands||2||15 of 22||1||9||23||70|
European Baseball Championship
- BaseballSoftballUK. "GB Baseball Team gets mention in Parliament", baseballsoftballuk.com, 6 February 2008
- Great Britain Baseball."Great Britain moves up the baseball world rankings", greatbritainbaseball.com, 20 October 2009
- World Baseball Classic 2013 Qualifiers: Canada 11 – 1 Great Britain
- World Baseball Classic 2013 Qualifiers: Great Britain 12 – 5 Czech Republic
- World Baseball Classic 2013 Qualifiers: Germany 16 – 1 Great Britain (7inn)
- World Baseball Classic 2013 Qualifiers: Canada 11 – 1 Germany
- Team Great Britain (Great Britain National Baseball Team) official website
- Official archive for GB senior team
- Official archive for GB junior team
- British Baseball Federation (BBF)
- Softball UKBaseball – dual sports development agency