By Marco Landi, FIBS--Sun 28 Feb, 23:47 CET

PARMA--The Federation President Riccardo Fraccari officially opened the “Offcon 2010” with a statement. 

President Fraccari addressed the capacity audience, "I first want to thank all of you for being here today and for this positive attendance."

Fraccari himself enjoyed a successful career as an umpire and reminisced about matter, "this brings to mind all the things that I have in common with many of you, in the many years of activity on the field. This is the time to repossess of all of our history and of all our dignity. In recent years, we have made some movements, passing many projects as the Academy, VerdeAzzuro and VerdeRosa, the IBL, to mention just a few.  These projects have often seen the game officials on the margins of the change."

The President underlined the large attendance and suggested “it’s a very strong and positive signal, but we cannot hide the fact that one of the two bodies of the CNA*—that when there is an intervention of this type by the Federation, it means that there is a pathological condition. It’s mainly from you that we must expect proposals and solutions; I would like you all during these 2 days to give a crucial voice: and it is the recruitment. To put ones attention on the postive is often easier, but sometimes you must encounter uphill roads; this is the time to operate using the maximum effort towards the foundation, in order to systemize, to oversee the codes of conduct, to get back the dignity of the role."

Fraccari made note that FIBS and Italy are currently at the center of attention. For a league (IBL) without promotions/demotions, which is a revolution in the Italian sporting world; for a programme of expansion with Major League Baseball, which will be conducting inspections of various stadiums to hold some of their Spring Training starting in 2011; tomorrow beholds other major events: a project of for the realization of a baseball complex in Rome; Rome’s municipality has already initiated the procedure for the allocation of the land.

It is a period of great opportunities that will be fully seized only if there is a systematic approach; and in this system, the game officials should be a fundamental pillar.

It was a convention of undoubted success, and according to the numbers, 337 umpire and scorer officials made the visit to Parma. The program of the Umpires and Scorer’s Convention was divided, for the first time ever, between all the official umpires and scorekeepers of Italian baseball and softball.

*CNA --National Umpire's Committee