Prague, Czech Republic, to host the European qualifiers for the SUMA Pony League World Series

Prague, Czech Republic, to host the European qualifiers for the SUMA Pony League World Series
Prague is getting ready to host the SUMA Pony League European qualifiers for the U-14 PONY, the U-16 COLT and the U-16 KRCANDA PONY League World Series.

The SUMA Pony League will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, from April 21 to 24, 2022. The winners of the age categories PONY (U-14) and COLT (U-16) in Men's Baseball and KRCANDA PONY (U-16) Women's Softball will qualify for the finals of the PONY League World Series in the USA. The Dutch surprised the Americans in 2017 when they won the COLT World Series as the first European team.

Teams from 11 European countries will play in Prague, Czech Republic. High-quality games are expected for teams to advance to the World Series. Teams of baseball academies, as well as national teams, will participate.

Thirteen teams will battle to win the U-14 PONY European Final divided into four pools:

  • Pool A: NL Angles (NED), German Academy (GER), Poland (POL)
  • Pool B: NL Orioles (NED), Czech Academy (CZE), Stuttgart Reds (GER)
  • Pool C: NL Twins (NED), London Archers (GBR), Lithuania (LTU)
  • Pool D: Future Stars (NED), Aguiluchos de Tenerife (ESP), SBS Baseball Academy (ESP), Vindija International (SRB).

The winner advances on to the Pony World Series in Washington, PA.

In the U-16 SUMA PONY League, thirteen teams will play divided into four pools:

  • Pool A: Czech Academy (CZE), NL Rays (NED), London Archers (GBR)
  • Pool B: German Academy (GER), Future Stars (NED), SBS Baseball Academy (ESP)
  • Pool C: NL Braves (NED), Czech U-15 (CZE), Lithuania (LTU)
  • Pool D: NL Giants (NED), EAST Austrian Academy (AUT), The Dutch Bombers (NED), BK Angels Trnava (SVK).

The winner advances on to the COLT World Series in Marion, IL.

In the U-16 KRCANDA PONY League, eight teams will play to win the access to the World Series: Eagles (CZE), Germany (GER), Joudrs Praha (CZE), Stars (DEN), SaBat Praha (CZE), U-14 Piranhas Beroun (CZE), Storms Praha (CZE), Lithuania (LTU).

WBSC Europe Baseball Vice Present Petr Ditrich remarked: "The PONY competitions are key for the development of Baseball and Softball in our continent and it is a tremendous honour to host these games in Czech Republic. I wish the best to all the teams involved".

PONY League European Zone Director Jan Bagin commented: "We, as Pony League European Zone, are pleased to be part of youth development of both, baseball and softball, within Europe. And massive increase of participating teams from all around Europe give us very positive feedback to move in this direction."

In Europe, in addition to the two categories PONY and COLT, WS European qualifiers are organised in PALOMINO (U18), taking place in Stuttgart May 4-8, and BRONCO (U12) category is located in Gijón, Spain.

In Europe, the very first PONY League tournament took place in Prague in 2001 and was played only in the COLT category, and only 4 baseball teams, three of them from the Czech Republic and one from Slovakia. However, this number grew rapidly, reaching the record in 2019 when 62 teams played in Prague.