FROM THE DESK OF RB THOMAS, JR.
JUST A THOUGHT - My wife Ann and I have enjoyed the opportunity to travel and see many of our "softball" friends at the ball parks this year. As the ISSA began the expansion of a National tournament program, we had the chance to visit the new venues and assist in getting the new tournaments off to the best possible start for the attending players. Each new site presented its unique challenges and we will use the experience to enhance the playing experience for the senior players next year and beyond.
Next on the ISSA tournament schedule will be the United States Championships at Myrtle Beach, SC on September 23-25, 2011. Myrtle Beach is a fantastic resort city and has been a favorite destination for golfers for many years. Now senior softball players will be able to enjoy the Myrtle Beach experience and in 2012 the ISSA will be holding additional tournaments there in the Spring and Fall. Next month Spirit Airlines is offering some unbeliveable flight costs into Myrtle Beach from many major cities throughout the Country. All teams planning on coming to MB next month should submit their Entry Form online now and mail the entry fee by the date on the Fact Sheet.
Our last tournament in 2011 will be the ISSA Winter National on October 7-9 at Virginia Beach, VA, another fun resort city. Participation in this event has grown every year and from the word around the fields this year will set another record for participation. Teams should book their lodging now. The ISSA has blocked some rooms for the event at excellent rates but like always the tournament rates have an expiration date so do not wait to long to book your rooms. Some of the room blocks have been posted on the ISSA Website.
Both the Myrtle Beach tournament and Virginia Beach tournamment are Ring tournaments. At each event two berths will be awarded to the two highest finishing teams that do not currently have a berth to the ISSA/ISF World Tournament of Champions to be held at Tampa, FL on January 26-29, 2012. These tournaments will be played allowing the 2012 roster. This is a great opportunity for teams to get ready for 2012 and the WTOC.
Most of the team pictures of the division finalists at the ISSA World Championships have been posted in the Photo Gallery on the ISSA Website (www.seniorsoftball.org). We still have several hundred action photos taken at the event which will be posted over the coming days. Players and fans who have digital photos from the ISSA tournaments are invited to submit them to post on the Website.
Best wishes to all for a memorable year in Senior Softball.