The Chicago Bandits will hold open tryouts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 24 at The Ballpark, 27 Jennie Finch Way, Rosemont.
The Bandits compete nationally in the women’s National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league and begin their 11th season June 4. A pre-season game will be held after the tryouts May 24.
To participate in the tryouts one must be female, 21 years of age and have completed eligibility at a four-year institution.
Players can be offered a contract to play on the spot, according to Bandits General Manager Aaron Moore. However, officials note, if one is offered and accepts a contract from the Chicago Bandits or any team, the athlete will forfeit their remaining college eligibility.
Players from Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Florida and Louisiana have been offered a contract during open tryouts in the past and three were selected last year. Those players include Natalie Hernandez of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Kirsten Verdun of DePaul University and Alex Booker of the University of Illinois. All three are also on the 2015 roster.
There is a fee of $40 to tryout and athletes are encouraged to register early on the Bandits website at chicagobandits.com.
According to Moore, as of Monday, May 11, 15 players had signed up to try out.
“Right now the college championship playoffs have just begun, so most of the players considering participating in the tryouts are competing in the college playoffs,” Moore told the Journal & Topics Monday. “The college tournaments end the first week in June, but we should see more people register for the tryouts in the next week or so.”
Moore said two top players from the area registered to try out May 24 are DePaul University’s Mary Connolly, who plays first base and pitches, and University of Iowa’s Megan Blank, an infielder.
“We have a good roster, but we can always use a spark off the bench, a home run hitter and all around good athlete,” Moore said.
In addition to the Bandits, officials from two other teams, the Akron Racers and the Pennsylvania Rebellion, will also be at the Rosemont tryouts scouting for their teams.
During the open tryouts, players will be judged on hitting skills, base running, arm strength, fielding and knowledge of the game.
The tryouts conclude before the 5:05 p.m. exhibition game pitting the Bandits against the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The regular Chicago Bandits season runs from June 4 through the end of August.