Adding Aussie Spirit to Chicago BanditsAussie Spirit girls will train with the Chicago Bandits, current US national fastpitch champions, in a deal signed by Softball Australia.
The deal is “ one of the most pivotal agreements in women’s softball history, for the 2017 season and beyond,” says the peak body.
After months of negotiation between Softball Australia chief executive Chet Gray and NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf, this announcement is another step forward for Australia’s future success in international competition and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The agreement allows Australian athletes to experience the daily training environment and play for the Chicago Bandits in one of the best softball competitions in the world.
The Bandits play home games at the impressive ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the USA built for a women's professional sports team. They have been NFP champions four times, including the past two seasons.
Last year four, Aussie Spirit players participated in the National Pro Fastptitch and eight more players will join this year, to give most of the squad high-level professional training under the guidance of expert coaches in the lead-up to the 2018 World Championship and Olympic qualifying events.
The National Pro Fastpitch is a five-team league that takes place June through August in the United States. The league features the best talent including all active US former Olympians.
In 2017 NPF regular season action starts win June with , 120 games scheduled leading up the Championship Series, held in mid-August.
National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in women’s softball.