Fortitudo Bologna won the 2016 IBL (Ezio Ratti-FIBS)

The 2017 IBL will play just two games a week

The Italian Baseball League (IBL) is trying to increase the number of teams from an historic low of 7, and in the process has decided to alter the league formula to help lower budget teams participate. All 7 clubs agreed during a meeting in Tirrenia (Pisa) at the CONI center along with president Fraccari and vice president Fochi.

Fochi opened the meetings asking the clubs to present a shared position, and the results were changing to two games a week played between Thursday and Sunday allowing teams reduced expenses and reduced travel costs. They also agreed to reduce costs further by having two umpires during the regular season, and to lower the costs of registering foreign players to the same as Italian players.

Each team will have four foreign player visas for the season, but only three foreign players can play at the same time, and seven Italian players have to be in the lineup at all times, with one of the two games pitched entirely by Italian players.

They also reached the decision to open up rosters in the middle season to allow teams to acquire up to two players from lower level Italian teams.

Fochi proposed to have the Coppa Italia before the start of the regular season, and if the defending champion wins the Coppa Italia, having the second place team in the standings go to the Champions' Cup as well.

The next IBL meeting will happen once official registration for the 2017 season has been completed with the new rules.