The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Evansville Sports Corporation have secured the 2019 USSSA Girls’ Fast Pitch Great Lakes National Championship. The event will be held in Evansville, Newburgh, and Henderson, July 17-21, 2019. It is anticipated that the event will bring over 200 girls’ fast pitch teams from all over the country to the Tri-State region.
Deaconess Sports Park will be the primary competition venue – play will also be scheduled at Vann Road Park Fields in Newburgh and Newman Park in Henderson, KY. More than 20 fields in total are necessary to determine the national champions in the 8 & under, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U age divisions.
“The USSSA Great Lakes National Championship brings another large national tournament to Deaconess Sports Park. Attracting tournaments of this stature is what this park was built for and we are happy to be partnering with USSSA to host this prestigious event,” said Joe Taylor, Executive Director of the Evansville CVB. “We expect over 8500 total visitors who will generate approximately $1.5 to $2 million in direct expenditures for the Tri-State region.”
This event has been held in Columbus, IN for the last two years and has featured 160+ teams from 15 different states and Canada. Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Maryland, Arkansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada have all sent participating teams to the event.
Steve Schaefer, Board Chairman for the Evansville Sports Corporation said, “Evansville continues to become a destination for sports championships, whether it is a collegiate conference tournament or a national championship for a youth sporting event. USSSA selecting Evansville for this championship is another achievement resulting from the combined efforts of the Evansville Sports Corporation and Convention & Visitors Bureau.”
The World Series will kick off with Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, July 16. Plans are still being finalized but festivities will include a parade, food, music, and other activities celebrating the opening night of the National Championship.
USSSA was established in 1968 and has grown to become a significant amateur sports company in the United States. Originally USSSA stood for United States Slow-pitch Softball Association. However, in 1998, USSSA rebranded the name to United States Specialty Sports Association and expanded into other sports including youth girls’ fast-pitch and boys’ baseball. USSSA governs 13 sports across the US, Puerto Rico, various US Military bases, and Canada, and has a membership of over 3.7 million.
Indiana Fast Pitch State Director for USSSA, Tim Foster said “USSSA is extremely excited to bring the Great Lakes National Championship to the southwest Indiana region and we’re confident our teams are going to enjoy the great complexes, hospitality, and special activities that are being planned. With the age groups we will be offering, we anticipate a record number of teams participating in the event in 2019.”