FIBS Writing Staff, Rome
RIMINI--For the first time in its history, the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) organized a baseball exhibition involving strictly female athletes this past weekend in Rimini. The athletes were of the 13- and 14- year old youth category, and took part in four complete innings of competition against each other.
FIBS President, Riccardo Fraccari, was on hand to witness the breakthrough game, “The overall goal is to increase opportunity for all athletes. I expect there to be some advances in this field,” he said.
The game’s officiating crew was also female, thus maintaining the theme that baseball continues to move toward the inclusion of more and more diverse populations.
Although this was FIBS’ first officially organized baseball competition strictly for female athletes, youth of both genders in Italy are introduced to the bat-and-ball discipline through the sport of baseball. Many 12U youth teams in Italy have a handful of girls that fully engage in organized competitions. It is at the age of 13 that girls have the opportunity to compete against their female peers in leagues and competitions dedicated to them through softball, as baseball field dimensions at the 13-year old category increase in distance from the traditional 12U baseball/softball dimensions.