One week before the Dutch play-offs take place, it turns out the extra if needed weekend became a weekend off. Or not...? As the rules for the Dutch competition try to prevent a pick up system, other European countries can put players on their roster for just one weekend. And the Dutchies defenitely enjoyed those chances this year. By the end of July me and Jessie got invited to play for Atletico San Sebastián in the Spanish Cup and as of right now I'm in Prague to play for Tempo Titans in the Czech Final Four. As much as I think it is a crazy system, I do enjoy all these extra experiences. A crazy system... the pick-up system... only found in softball?! The major advantage of having pick up players is the possibility to have a 17 player roster during the European Cups, with only 12 players it makes it a lot harder on the body and mind to play 10 games in 6 days. Another advantage is the immediate raise in the level of play (since everyone seems to pick up pro or elite players). I think it is more fun to face the pro pitching, but I also think there is a down side to it. I remember so well, a season in the Dutch competition where I got to pitch quite a lot of innings, but once we got to the final part of the season my coach told me I was not ready for these high pressure games and my time would come. We didn't have a pick up player to replace me, just an older pitcher, but the feeling of working all season to be part of the playing team and then missing out on the best experience you can get is not something I see as a good thing. In a softball career the amount of play-offs or finals you get to play are way less than the 'regular' games. Any experience you can pick up in those high pressure games is valueable and of course developing your own players with that is a smart thing to do. On the other side, qualifiyng your team with a pick up to get more experience at a tournament where you play with your own team could be a smart move as well. Oh well, quite Some pro's and con's. I guess we can just enjoy it, but should also be smart about it. I am off, playing in Red and Navy for the weekend!