The road to the Italian Softball Series for 12 Serie A1 teams divided into two groups is a very long one with sudden stops along the way due to a slew of international players already commited to compete in the European Softball Championship and the Tokyo Olympics. Group A consists of Bollate, Caronno, New Bollate, Nuoro, Old Parma, and Saronno. Group B includes Caserta, Collecchio, Forlì, Pianoro, Sestese, and Thunders.
After Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) President Andrea Marcon and several federal councilors met virtually with the representatives from the participating clubs, it was announced that the Serie A1 Softball season commences on May 22, 2021 and continues uninterupted through June 20, 2021. Then the European Softball Championship and the Tokyo Olympics take the center stage until July 31, 2021, at which time Serie A1 Softball action resumes for three weeks before a second sudden halt. This time the European Cups take precedence from August 16-21, 2021. Italy's Forli and defending champion Bollate are playing in the Women's European Premiere Cup, while developing countries' club representatives battle in the Women's European Cup--the qualifying event for the Premiere Cup.
Serie A1 playoffs between the second and third-place finishers of each group take place in a best-of-three game series from September 11-12, 2021. The winners will advance to the semifinals against the first-place clubs of the respective groups to determine which two teams will face off in the Italian Softball Series, which is slated from October 2-10, 2021. On a side note, the two sixth-place finishers in each group will clash in a best-of-five game series at the end of the regular Serie A1 season. The winner of the cellar dwellers series will earn the right to remain in Serie A1 next season, while the losing team will be relegated to Serie A2 in 2022. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti