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Updated: March 9, 2020
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2020 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by FIBS)

Start Italian competitions postponed due to coronavirus

ROME (Italy) - The start of the competition in the Italian Baseball League has been postponed until at least April 17. The new season initially was scheduled to open on April 3. The starts of all other competitions are also postponed to the weekend of April 17-19. The postponement is one of the measurements taken to prevent spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy.

...FIBS-President Andrea Marcon...
(© Photo: FIBS)
On March 4, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti issued a decree containing the further provisions of the Government against the spread of the coronavirus. The decree contains stricter provisions for Lombardia and fourteen provinces in Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont and Marche.

Later that day, Andrea Marcon, President of the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS), announced that all activities of the National and Regonal Teams were suspended immediately until at least April 3. This includes all activities of National Teams, Regional Selections, National and Regional Academies, try-outs, meetings, practice sessions and the playing of friendly games.

The FIBS-President also announced that it has informed all clubs to strictly follow the instructions of the decree that was issued by the Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri on March 4. Furthermore, it was recommended to conduct club-activities, including practice sessions and games, without spectators. Besides that, these activities have to be done with the presence of a doctor who can verify that these are done in compliance of the imposed conditions. Amongst these conditions is the minimum distance of at least one meter between all participants (athletes, coaches, managers, officials, etc.).

It was also announced that all meetings conducted by the FIBS and its local bodies will be carried out without getting together and instead will be done by video-conference. Also until at least April 3.

On March 5, it was announced that the start of the season in all leagues in each category was postpned to the weekend of April 17 through 19. This decision was taken as it is not possible for teams and players to practice or have activities until April 4. With that, everyone will have two additional weeks to prepare for the start of the regular season.

On Sunday (March 8), Andrean Marcon added that he calls on everyone to implement full responsibility of these provions. Marcon: ,,Because there is much more at stake than a workout or a friendly game So, work out only when possible and respect the directions of the decree and as announced by the Federation. This situation is certainly new for us, but we are required to contribute to achieve a positive outcome for all. We are in constant contact with the authorities in charge to make decisions that will protect our health. We all contribute to pass the right information. Forza Italy, everything will be fine.''

Today (Monday, March 9), the National Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced that it has asked the Government to issue a decree to have no sports activities through Friday, April 3.

On Monday-evening, the Italian Government decided that the travel-limitations that were ordered for the northern part of Italy have been expanded to the entire country. Also, from Tuesday on, there will be no sports activities or sporting events (as requested earlier by the CONI), while schools and theaters will remain closed until at least April 3.

(March 9)

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