Since 2007, USSSA Tournament grows from 30 teams to almost 400
(SALISBURY, MD) — Nearly 400 softball teams from across the country will travel to Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore for the annual United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Eastern Nationals Championship. What started as a tournament of 30 teams in 2007, has swelled to more than 370 in a little more than a decade. With more than 5,000 players and their families visiting the Delmarva peninsula over the next three weeks, tournament play will be spread out at venues across Wicomico and Worcester Counties, as well as Ocean City.
“For the teams, the event and the location is a perfect culmination of their season – playing competitive softball in arguably the East Coast’s best summer beach community,” said Bill Dowell,USSSA Vice President of Fastpitch/ Maryland & Delaware State Fastpitch Director.
Andrew Kurtz,Wicomico County sports marketing representative, says many families also use the softball tournament as an opportunity to take advantage of the Lower Shore as a vacation destination,“Wicomico and Worcester Counties and the Town of Ocean City will see a boost in tourist activities throughout the three weeks of tournament play.” Kurtz and tournament organizers say teams will be traveling to the region from all across the United States, from as far west as Utah, with some visitors coming from Canada as well.
Ocean City is filled with famous restaurants, mini-golf and 10 miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline, which makes it all the more attractive when bringing amateur and youth events to the area’s largest and most popular park facility, Northside Park.
According to its website, the mission for Maryland Sports is to “enhance Maryland’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion, retention and development of regional, national and international sporting events.”
For Terry Hasseltine, the agency’s executive director, that means casting a wide net.
While Hasseltine worked hard to bring the 2014 and 2016 Army-Navy games to M&T Bank Stadium and the 2011 game to Landover, Md.’s FedEx Field, and just finished working with Johns Hopkins University and Towson University to submit what he called “a robust series of bids” for the 2019-2022 NCAA women’s lacrosse championships, he’s also excited about an event happening at Fruitland Recreation Park Nov. 19-20: The US Quidditch Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships.
For the second consecutive year, the ISSA Eastern Shore Championships made its way back to the Eastern shores of Maryland. Wicomico County and Ocean City were dual hosts this September when 37 teams traveled to Eastern Maryland for the Championships this year. “Wicomico County was very proud to host the ISSA Eastern Shore Championships again for a second year,” said Elle Marks, Sports Marketing Representative for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks, & Tourism. “After a successful tournament last year, we wanted this year’s tournament to be even better!”
Visiting teams came from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and even as far as Ontario, CA to compete.
The USSSA Eastern World Series is back in Maryland and is bigger and better than ever. “We are thrilled to yet again host the USSSA Eastern World Series in Wicomico County, MD. Over the course of three weeks the tournament brings players, coaches, parents and families into our county and allows us to showcase the best of what we have to offer as a sports destination” said Elle Marks, Sports Marketing Representative, Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism.Continue reading →