OOSTERHOUT, The Netherlands, January 1, 2021 – Battle at the Castle baseball today announced that it has decided to conclude its activities on organising international, specific formatted, youth baseball tournaments in Oosterhout, The Netherlands.
In 2013, Battle at the Castle initiated a new format youth baseball tournament, unique in Europe, with a goal to provide a unique baseball experience fo Europe’s best youth baseball players. Initially, Battle at the Castle only ran a U12 tournament; however, by the success of the formula, in 2015 a woodbat U15 tournament was added followed by a woodbat U18 tournament in 2018. In 2018 and 2019 the tournament welcomed 12 teams with 168 of the best youth baseball players of Europe. The tournaments realised a high level of competitiveness, a result of driven players, excellent coaches, great umpires and a great atmosphere created by our parent baseball and softball club Oosterhout Twins. The facilities under the protection of the medieval castle and the care of the groundscrew were the best in the world. Without them it would have been impossible to get it done.
One of the best attributes of the tournament, next to the competitiveness in an everyday baseball environment, was the instant comradery that surfaced in every BATC team. As a result we saw the birth of a great network in which the players found new adventures to take on and new experiences added to their baseball lives. Furthermore, we are seeing a lot of first year BATC players entering the best senior leagues in Europe at this moment and even a couple were signed to professional baseball contracts. We had the privilege of seeing them compete at our tournaments.
In the meantime, as baseball and softball on clublevels as a whole sees difficulty around Europe, BATC has decided to strive for “protecting local club baseball and softball”. This goal will be pursued as part of our foundations priorities to support youth baseball in the Southern part of The Netherlands. Towards this goal we need to funnel our resources to strengthening youth baseball and softball in the Oosterhout area, including recruiting and developing new youth players while upgrading facilities and creating new events.
Toward this end, we made the decision to not pursue new Battle at the Castle tournaments. Baseball and softball are in our DNA, so our team will continue to be passionate about taking on challenges and striving to do the best for baseball and softball as a whole, but now more focused on the Oosterhout, The Netherlands area.
We would like to thank every participant, team manager, volunteer, parent and the best groundscrew in the world to have created the best baseball memories. We are humbled by the energy everybody provided to create the unique daily atmosphere that saw many tears, of joy, extacy, disappointment, pain and pride. Battle at the Castle hopes you had a blast, we did for sure, and we wish you a wonderful and healthy 2021. Please keep sharing your best BATC experiences and stories with the people around you so we truly can keep saying: “yes, that was fun.”