EDSO - European Deaf Sport Organisation
Belgium, Netherlands, France and Germany took the initiative to found a European Deaf Sport Federation which had the task to provide orderly and regular European Championships. For this reason the delegates of the four countries met a few times to determine the shape and the programme of a European Deaf Sport Federation.
In 1981, a major meeting of the European Deaf Sport Associations took place in which the tasks and aims of a European Deaf Sport Federation could be defined concretely. it was not before 7th July 1983 in Antibes, France, that the organisation was officially founded and was given the name "European Deaf Sport Organisation". Nine countries were present at the foundation. Each European country which is a member of the ICSD is automatically member of the EDSO and has the right to participate in all European Championships of the EDSO.
Since 1983 there have been regular European Championships every four years in each of the seventeen different sport disciplines. It was taken care of that in the year of the Deaflympics (organised by the ICSD) no European Championships take place because all countries are concentrating their preparations on the participation in the Deaflympics.
40 countries with 50.000 athletes in 1.000 Deaf Sports Clubs are members of the EDSO. Apart from European Championships qualification matches have to be carried out in football, basketball (woman and men) and volleyball (woman and men) preliminary to the respective European Championships, since only 12 teams are able to participate in order to observe financial and time frames. A fixed number of the qualified teams are at the same time qualified for the participation in the Deaflympics.