The ESF (European Softball Federation) recently announced the rankings of the European national teams based on the results of all competitions at the conclusion the 2019 season. The final rankings take into consideration the country’s placement at the conclusion of the European Championships, including youth categories from the last two editions of each competition. As a result, the rankings reflect not only the performance of the best teams in Europe but also the progress and development of youth softball in each European nation.
The Top 5 countries have not changed in the Women’s Fastpitch category. Team Italy maintains control of the #1 ranking after claiming both the 2019 European Women’s Softball Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic and the 2019 U19 Women’s Softball Championship in Staranzano under the leadership of Italian manager Enrico Obletter. While the Team Italy Seniors have received accolades for having qualified for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as the Europe-Africa representative, not enough praise has been offered to the up-and-coming Azzurrine U16 softball squad after placing second in the 2019 U16 Women’s Softball Championship in Zagreb, Croatia. Team Italy is in for the long haul, and the Italians plan on shocking the world when competing against the game's elite. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti