I am sure this might be interesting for some players, coaches, well even fans from the United States even from around the world since this is really something that is so different from what I have seen in other countries or continents.
Remember that Mike Grange from globeandmail.com was asking us about pick up games in Europe? Well I have played pick up games in France, Spain, Germany, Austria even in Poland and it worked as we told Mike. As I just found out this also works in Italy.
As soon as you want to join a semi-professional or amateur team just for fun – or just because you want to prove yourself in another country and don’t make it to the top level right away it is a different story.
We all know about the restrictions in Europe that you only can have a certain amount of American players on your team, mostly two, unless you play in Germany, where the whole team is American. I think it is a good thing because some teams, like in Germany, start to have problems to develop good and productive youth players. If you have never seen any playing time at the highest level – how do you want to be successful?
Italy took care of that. In Italy you have to have at least two native players on the court at any time (women’s 1st division). I have seen teams losing the game because they had four foreign players on the court at a time. This leads clubs to the point that they buy players just for the Euroleague. These players will never play one domestic league game.
If you play professional basketball in Italy’s second division you also just will have four foreign players allowed, which is good compared to Israel where just one foreign player is allowed to play on a second division team.
But what if you want to join a third division team in Italy being a foreigner? Many countries put money into 3rd, 4th and even 5th divison teams to get Americans. They play for a small salary but they get to travel to Europe which is a great experience as some players told me.
I guess you won’t enjoy Italy then. No foreign players at all allowed starting with Italy’s third division.
I guess you are confused now right? Didn’t we all think that the Bosman ruling makes every European player able to play on any team in Europe?
This goes back all the way to December 2006:
What will happen if the policy is introduced?
Sport will become exempt from certain areas of community law. The most obvious example will be that national and international federations will be allowed to set their own rules.
Guess what has happened: Every country got their own rules now about how many foreign and EU-players can be on the league’s teams. That is why marrying a Spanish woman to play in the Spanish league helps – Their rules say that as soon as you are married to a Spanish person you count as a European and don’t take away a US-spot.
Another thing that might sound very strange to anybody is the following story. I have a good friend at an Italian first division team. That friend used to shoot by himself outside of the daily practices. Wow, this person really wants to improve right? Well the coaches did not agree.
They told the player to stop this shooting. Their practice is good enough and no more shooting is allowed. Same for lifting – if you want to get stronger – don’t do this here – not appreciated at all.
Can somebody from Italy please help me out and tell me what this is good for? Aren’t you happy as a coach when you see your players doing extra work to get better?