What Do You Know about Maryland’s First State Sport?

Maryland Stories

1962 was a turbulent year in American History. The Cuban Missile Crisis began, Rachel Carson released her pivotal work Silent Spring, and Tom Cruise was born. In the midst of this national turmoil, a small, but still notable, bill was introduced into the Maryland State Legislature. When signed into law, House Bill 80 would make Maryland the first state in the country to adopt an official “State Sport.”

Maryland House Bill 80 recognizing jousting as the state sport of Maryland. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. Maryland House Bill 80 recognizing jousting as the state sport of Maryland. Source: Maryland State Archives, Archives of Maryland, Volume 651, Page 474.

But what sport to pick? Baseball? Football? Quite unexpectedly, the Bill stated that “The age old equestrian sport of Jousting is hereby proclaimed to be the official sport of the State of Maryland.” That’s right, jousting. The honorable Henry J. Fowler Sr. introduced House Bill 80 to the Maryland’s Legislature in an effort to make jousting a part…

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From Tears to Triumphs, ’14 USSSA E.W.S. had it all!

Nearly 400 girl’s fastpitch softball teams, ranging in age from 10U to 18U, played at various facilities spanning Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore from July 16th to August 2nd. It was a beautiful three weeks of softball, as the weather was in the low 80’s with no humidity, which is unheard of in the month of July! For the 8th straight year, the USSSA Eastern Fastpitch World Series proved to be a marathon of an event for all involved.

With over 5,000 softball players and their families from 15 states and Canada taking part inusssa14_2 the event, Delmarva became the “Softball Capital of the World” as Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt said during the events’ Opening Ceremonies.  The three legged event hosted over 1,300 games with the hub being the beautiful Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex in Salisbury, MD. Over the course of the event, the World Series used a total of 32 fields between 8 different parks spanning between Wicomico County, Worcester County and the Town of Ocean City, MD.
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2014 Cal Ripken World Series Pool Play Recap

As the host team at the Cal Ripken World Series, Harford County is always a fan-favorite in the tournament. However, in past tournaments, the success hasn’t match the fanfare. This year the team on the field has backed up the noise in the stands. The Hickory Youth Baseball 2014: Cal Ripken World Series Semifinals AUG 14Hornets won the Opening Game of the World Series last Friday night against Team Mid-Atlantic from Bear, Del., 5-1. They then racked up wins of 8-1 against Team Ohio Valley from Homewood, Ill. and 8-2 against Team Midwest Plains from Denver, Colo. They dropped their final game of Pool Play to Team Southeast, the eventual Group B Champs, and were forced to play the unbeaten Pool A champs from Prince George’s County, Maryland. In a wild, back and forth affair, Harford County slugged their way to an 11-9 win to advance to their first-ever U.S. Championship.

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“Yours, Mine & Ours” on the Lower Eastern Shore

Most of the country, nay the world, has heard of the Dew Tour and while we in Maryland are thrilled to consistently set and break (our own) attendance records over the past three years in Ocean City- there is another event just west of the beach that has caused a major stir over the last seven years.

Every mid July for the past seven years young girls from all over the US (and parts of Canada) have headed to Salisbury for the USSSA Softball World Series. And as the yearssoftballpic past and the staff in Wicomico/Salisbury proved themselves year after year, they were rewarded with more age brackets- now making the tournament the USSSA Eastern World series. Think about this statistic- over the course of seven years, they went from 56 teams to 400+( after 400, one starts to go cross-eyed!)- that is a growth of over 600%! For the event to expand like this, every event planner knows you need two major things: fields and beds. Fields, no problem for Wicomico; hotels…slight problem. And that is when and where the county jurisdictional boundaries began to crumble (this is a good thing). Enter Ocean City.

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USA Gymnastics Acro competition astounds

This past weekend I had the opportunity to experience the 2013 USAG Acrobatics Gymnastics Region 7 Competition at 1st Class Gymnastics. Competitors from New England to Virginia converged on the facility, Anne Arundel County and State of Maryland for two days of competition. On the line for these athletes and their teams: a chance to qualify for Nationals at the end of July in Louisville, KY.

I was absolute amazed by the skills these competitors, whose ages ranged from 8-18; the discipline and concentration needed to perform these acrobatic feats was remarkable. The event incorporated three sessions and 21 total rotations where the athletes and their teams performed in the disciplines of dynamics, balance and combined disciplines. I witness amazing tumbling, great choreographing, extreme trust and tremendous athletic skills as these athletes performed.

As it is said, a picture can say a thousand words. The pictures shared here only capture a small amount of what these athletes’ capabilities truly are.

I want to congratulate the athletes their performance as my family was truly engaged in their feats and abilities on the floor however I would be remised if I didn’t give a shout out to the team of Juli Eicher, Amy Grear, Sarah Thomas, Emily Ruppert, Kevin Grear, Jackye Herzfeld, Lewyn Garret and the judges for a job well done!

Deep Creek 2014 Announces Schedule for USA Canoe/Kayak Team Trials and Events

2013 USA Canoe/Kayak Whitewater Slalom Team Trials

Adventure Sports Center International in Deep Creek Lake, MD  will host the 2013 USA Canoe/Kayak Slalom Team Trials and Deep Creek Open on May 17-19, 2013.

Athletes from all over the US will be competing along with 3 Olympic Gold Medalists. The USACK Senior Team Trials is open to USA athletes and will serve as the selection for the 2013 National Slalom Team.

Admission is Free and there will be food, beer, great music in addition to Olympic level whitewater action.

This will be an event you won’t want to miss!

In addition to the racing Deep Creek 2014 announces these other activities:

Media Day- May 17, 11 am-2 pm

Open invitation to all regional and local media outlets to come and learn about media opportunities for the World Championships.

General presentation by Exec Director Todd Copley followed by VIP lunch at the Island Tent with brief presentation by Joe Jacobi, US gold medalist and current CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak.

Community Open House- May 18, 11-2 pm

Opportunity for local businesses, civic organizations and Garrett County general public to learn more about the prep for the Worlds and see the infrastructure improvements necessary to host a World Championship.

Presentation by Executive Director of Deep Creek 2014, Todd Copley

Children’s Adventure Series and Kids Day at The Races- May 19, 11 am-2 pm

Chance to meet and see Olympic athletes and paddlers.
Get a great overview of the sport of Slalom Canoe and Kayak.

Free admission
Free Hotdogs and drinks
Access to the Island
Pictures with U.S. athletes

Come out to enjoy the fun action!

Welcome to Maryland, Washington Spirit!

The Maryland Office of Sports is pleased to welcome the Washington Spirit and women’s professional soccer back to Maryland! The Inaugural NWSL home game for your Washington Spirit kicks off on Saturday, April Spirtlogo20th against Western New York Flash. The match is expected to feature the FIFA World Player of the Year Abby Wambach in her professional soccer return to the Maryland SoccerPlex. The Washington Spirit features US National team star Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Lori Lindsey. Discounted tickets are available for Maryland Sports supporters via this email. Order your tickets today to be a part of this historic event in women’s professional sports.

Saturday, April 20th – 7PM
Washington Spirit vs. Western New York
Maryland SoccerPlex – parking is FREE
Cost: $15 (reg. $20) – Away Side & Spirit Hill GA
Promo Code = mdsports (only needed for orders of 1-9 tickets)

To order tickets please follow this link:

For more information or to organize a group outing to another Spirit match, please contact Rob Bartlett (Washington Spirit – Ticket Programs Manager) at 240-394-9758 or rbartlett@washingtonspirit.com. Please visit www.washingtonspirit.com and follow the team on Twitter @washspirit.