The first Try Out happened on Valentine's Day in Tirrenia, on the field of the Softball Academy. Then Marina Centrone, the manager of the Italian Softball National Team and the head of the program of all national teams, flew to Sicily. She will run another try out on February 27th and 28th. One week after, Marina will be in Torino.
"Does it look like a tour of Italy to you?" smiles Centrone "It's a lot of hard work, but it' needed. We want to give a chance to every single player of the 2 categories".
Try Outs are run for the Under 22 (players between the ages of 18 and 22) team (that will defend the title of European Champion in Prague in August) and the University team (players between the ages of 18 and 28) that will play the FISU World Cup later that month in Macerata.
Since Italy didn't qualify for the ISF World Cup, the 2 tournaments will be the main activity of 2010.
"We suffered painful seasons" Centrone admits "But we were aware we had to go through a generational turn over. For sure, nobody thought it would have been such a shock. But we are ready to start over".
Italy will host the ESF European Championship in the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2011 and wants to be ready for that tournament.
Centrone is also working at the grass root level in this off season. During the month of March (10th in Tirrenia, 17th in Forlì, 24th in Parma) she will run clinics on pitching for players between the ages of 12 and 16.