One of the nation’s most successful girls’ fastpitch softball tournaments returns to Connecticut this week, but this time playing at the largest dedicated fastpitch softball complex in the Northeast in Windsor, Conn. and with 73 teams – the most in the tournament’s five-year history. Starting Monday, July 22 through Saturday, July 27, the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) will host the 2019 Northeast National Championships for 14UB, 16UB and 18UB Divisions at Fastpitch Nation Park at 1001 Day Hill Road in Windsor, Conn.
“More than 875 players are expected from nine states, as far away as Colorado, Illinois, Delaware and Maryland, with 3,000 more family, friends, tournament officials and staff,” explains Tournament Director and Host David Rocha, who is also the USSSA Fastpitch State Director for New England. Rocha built the new 11-field Fastpitch Nation Park during the past year to accommodate the growing numbers of athletes who want to compete in this annual tournament and the more than 25 other tournaments he hosts. The park opened this Spring, and Rocha, his staff and USSSA look forward to welcoming this week’s players, their families, tournament officials, and spectators.
Today/Monday, July 22 at 1 p.m., the Championship’s opening ceremony and parade of athletes will take place outside the entrance of Six Flags Amusement Park at 1623 Main St. Agawam, Mass. The event will feature welcomes from both Tournament Director David Rocha, the Fastpitch State Director for New England for USSSA, the largest multi-sport sanctioning body in the nation, and from Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB).
Tournament play will start on Tuesday, July 23 at 8 a.m. at David Rocha’s newly built 21-acre Fastpitch Nation Park at 1001 Day Hill Road in Windsor, Conn. features 11 regulation fully-fenced fastpitch fields and a 3,200-sq.-ft. barn-like building (to complement the surrounding countryside) for retail, storage and real bathrooms with 11 stalls for women and seven for men. The last games each day begin at approx. 4 p.m. This is a busy month for Rocha and his ballpark team – on July 8-13, they hosted smaller 2019 Northeast National Championships for 10U Open and 12U Open Divisions which attracted 2,000 players on 45 teams.
“These two tournaments feature some of the best fastpitch umpires from all over New England, New York, New Jersey,” explains David Rocha, owner of the new Fastpitch Nation Park and of Fastpitch Nation in Bloomfield, Conn., the state’s largest indoor fastpitch training facility that annually hosts over 450 indoor softball games as well as tournaments, leagues, lessons and clinics. “Teams will face off, first in pool play, then in double elimination for the championship. Trophies will be given to the top four teams in each division, and awards will be given for Sportsmanship, Outstanding Pitcher, Outstanding Offensive Player, Outstanding Defensive Player, and Most Valuable Player.”
“We congratulate David Rocha, the USSSA, and the new Fastpitch Nation Park for building participation and attendance at these popular tournaments,” says Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “This coming week’s tournament alone is expected to generate $2,652,954 for the Greater Hartford region, as players and attendees will visit area restaurants, use local hotels, shop in stores, and visit nearby attractions, benefitting the local economies. “That’s $500,000 more in spending than in 2018, when play was split between East Hartford and Southington athletic fields to meet the demand for space. Add to that, the success of last week’s tournament, when players and attendees generated over $1.5 Million during their stay here.”
“For the fifth consecutive year, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau is managing both of the tournaments’ hotel reservation process and has booked nearly 5,000 overnight room nights at 28 hotels in East Hartford, Manchester, Windsor, East Windsor, Windsor Locks, Glastonbury, Avon, Newington, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Farmington,” notes Murdock. He reports that spending by visitors during the two tournaments will support a total of 770 tourism-related jobs, resulting in a total of $291,584 for the State in Connecticut Sales Tax.
The state-of-the-art Fastpitch Nation Park complex features weather-resilient red Alabama shale infields, natural turf outfields and 100-foot-wide panoramic netted backstops for the best spectator viewing. Other amenities include ample paved parking, LED scoreboards, spacious covered dugouts, more than two acres of team warm-up space, an outdoor food court and live internet streaming of all games played.
For Tournament game schedule and more information, https://fastpitchnation.net/world-series-national-championships/
New England USSSA Fastpitch is dedicated to meeting the needs of the coaches, fans and, most importantly, players that it serves. The organization strives to make USSSA Fastpitch the best tournament and league experience with a professional organization with unmatched customer service, the most qualified umpires, technological advancements to more fully enjoy the sport, a full array of softball merchandise, and the best fields available. David Rocha, the USSSA Fastpitch State Director for New England, is the Tournament Director.
Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked by the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $62,989,859 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating $4,272,596 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 17,331 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, visit www.CTmeetings.org or call 860-728-6789.
(*Destinations International economic calculator FY 2018-19).