Team Italy women's softball squad manager Enrico Obletter along with coaches Federico Pizzolini and Lisa Birocci-Banse are doing everything possible to prepare the Azzurre for their all-or-nothing 2020 Olympic bid. Next week Team Italy travels to Australia to compete in the second annual Asia Pacific Cup from January 31-February 3, 2019 and the inaugural Summer Slam competition from February 4-6, 2019 at Sydney’s Blacktown International Sportspark. Playing against some of the best international softball players in the world and facing six of the world’s top 12 softball nations, Team Italy will improve its chances of success for Olympic Qualification by competing with the game's elite.
The road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for Team Italy begins in Ostrava, Frydek Mistek, Czech Republic and Rybnik, Zory, Poland at the European Softball Championship from June 30-July 6, 2019. The top six finishers of the European Championship and the top two softball teams in Africa will compete in the Europe/Africa Softball Olympic Qualifier in Utrecht, Netherlands from July 23-29, 2019 for one spot to the 2020 Olympic Games. Hosted by the Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB), this eight-team competition is the first Softball Olympic qualifier in 2019.
The Americas Softball Olympic Qualifier will follow from August 25-September 1, 2019 in Surrey (Vancouver) and will be hosted by Softball Canada. The international competition will feature up to 16 National Teams, with the top two advancing to the six-team Olympic softball event at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The third Softball Olympic Qualifier is the Asia/Oceania Softball Olympic Qualifier, which takes place in Shanghai, China from September 24-29, 2019. Hosted by the Chinese Softball Association, the final Olympic qualifier will feature six teams from the Asian Games and two teams from Oceania. The winner of the eight-team competition will be rewarded with a ticket to Tokyo 2020.
The USA Softball Women’s National Team was the first to qualify for the 2020 Olympics by winning the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship last year in Chiba, Japan. As the Olympic host country, Japan automatically qualified for the Tokyo games and claimed the second spot. The remaining four spots available for the six-team Olympic softball event will be awarded to Europe/Africa's top team, the Americas' two top teams, and Asia/Oceania's top team. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti