MANASSAS, VIRGINIA - A number of senior teams have expressed their plan to participate in all three ISSA Spring Training Trail events this year and claim their free berth in the ISF Senior World Cup in June at Salem, VA. Salem a.k.a. The City of Champions is well known in softball circles for the quality of their facilities and the excellent tournament support afforded the teams and players who play in their Nationals. They have an unparalleled history of hosting National Championship events at their award winning complexes. It is true, there are toilets in the dugouts. This year will mark the 11th year for the world-class senior tournament sanctioned by the International Softball Federation, the Worldwide Governing Body for the sport of softball. So play Myrtle Beach, Burlington and Columbus, GA and play free at Salem.
The first leg of "The Trail" will begin at Myrtle Beach on March 30-April 1. The Myrtle Beach Tournament has 48 senior teams now entered and looking forward to the competition on the new synthetic turf fields at Grand Park. Several teams have called the ISSA this week who are considering switching to the tournament given the excellent draw in most of the skill level divisions. The ISSA Office will accept entries this week in most divisions. The preliminary game schedule will be posted on the ISSA Website on Monday, March 26. Teams and players are invited to use the new synthetic turf fields for practice on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the tournament. Several teams have requested "practice time" and there is plenty of room for others. Just confirm your field time with the ISSA Office. If you are visiting Myrtle Beach on Wednesday and Thursday and not on a team, come on out and take some swings on Wednesday and Thursday and experience the newly completed Grand Park at Market Commons.
Participation in the Burlington NIT is looking very promising for a first year event. (While Burlington is new to the ISSA many senior teams have played there in the ASA Nationals the past several years.) Early entries in some of the Major Divisions is a very positive sign for the success of the event. Burlington is an excellent venue to allow both senior teams from the north and south to experience some new competition. Teams planning on playing at Burlington this year should submit their online entry form now to let the ISSA know you are coming. Entry fees are due later by mail.
The Trail will conclude with the ISSA Spring National at Columbus, GA in May. The National Tournament will be played on the excellent fields built in 1996 for the Olympic Games. The ISSA staff is looking forward to working with the officials in Columbus to develop this event as an ongoing tournament and bring to the senior teams in the deep south another quality ISSA Tournament. With this tournament closer to the senior teams in Florida we are looking forward to their participation in this one.
A Word of Warning...do not delay entering the Great Smoky Mountain Senior Classic scheduled for June 1. This first year ISSA tournament will be played on the same fields that will be used later in the month by the younger teams who have been coming to Maryville, TN for over 40 years. With the limited number of fields this tournament could close out early. Maryville is a suburb of Knoxville and near the Knoxville Airport. This tournament will now give seniors the opportunity to play in the "Smoky."
Teams planning on playing in any of the 2012 ISSA Tournaments are encouraged to submit the online entry forms for each tournament now. It helps the ISSA staff to learn early how many teams to plan for at each event. The ISSA now has entries for each 2012 event and we will be monitoring the lists to see your team's entries. Entry fees can be mailed later per the tournament Fact Sheet. Excellence is Our Promise.
Remember.....the ISSA/ISF World Tournament of Champions will return to the softball fields in the Tampa Bay region the last weekend of January 2013. Teams that win these early ISSA Tournaments will be the first to qualify for this outstanding World Championship.
Best wishes to all senior teams for a memorable season on the field. RB