Late October, the FIBS (Italian Baseball and Softball Federation) announced a new plan in which the Serie A1 would grow from seven clubs (after Rimini withdraw before the start of the 2019 season) to twelve. But yesterday the federation announced the names of the clubs for the 2020 season. The number of clubs was nowhere near twelve.
The new scheme of the league would contain two divisions of six teams each. The top two teams of each league would play in a so-called Scudetto Pool (championship group). The teams in this Scudetto Pool would play three games per weekend. The top two of this Pool would advance to the championship series.
The teams that won’t make it to the Scudetto Pool will play in a consolation round named Salvation Pool. The results of the regular season will be taken to this Pool. The team that ends in last place of this Salvation Pool will be demoted to the Serie A2.
Since the financial situation in Italian baseball is not very rosy one could expect that not many teams were eager to make the step from the Serie A2 to Italy’s top league. As a matter of fact, the FIBS announced only seven teams: Fortiudo Bologna, Godo Knights, Macerata Angels, Nettuno Baseball City (*), Parma, Rangers Redipuglia and San Marino. Macerata Angels is a new club that came from the Serie A2. Castenaso is not among the Serie A1 clubs anymore.
The registration period for clubs to join the Serie A1 is still open. Clubs can apply for a spot through December 10, 2019.
There are still five days to go but the current situation isn’t hopeful. Don’t be surprised if the Serie A1 will start with seven teams again. If the financial situation of Nettuno Baseball City will not allow them to participate in the Serie A1, Italy’s top league may even start with six teams, which may improve the quality of play as the good players will be divided among fewer teams.
To be continued…