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Village Vision News

Village lands ASA national fast pitch tourney

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Event is in addition to state tournament to be held a week after
Erin Reed, director of sales and sports for the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, paid a visit to trustees at a December board meeting to deliver some happy softball news.

The village, she said, had been awarded an Amateur Softball Association Age 50 and Over Men’s Fast Pitch National Tournament. The event will be held at Forsyth Park the weekend of July 24, 25 and 26.

Reed appeared as a sort of pinch hitter for her boss, Teri Hammel, executive director of the DACVB, who was attending a Decatur City Council meeting that same evening.

Reed said that the DACVB had bid for the tournament at the group’s national convention, The ASA USA Annual Meeting, in Reno, Nev., back in November.

“We won the bid at the national convention in Reno,” Reed told the board.

In person and in a memo to trustees, Reed said that the goal would be to bring 15 teams to town with at least 10 players on each team for a minimum of a two-night stay. The tournament, according to Reed, was held last summer in Ohio, with teams traveling from such far-away places as California, Colorado and Oklahoma. Teams from the Midwest, namely Ohio and Michigan, also came to compete in the event, Reed noted.

The awarding of this national tournament is in addition to the Illinois ASA Men’s Fast Pitch Invitational State Tournament that the village hosted last summer and again hosts this coming summer. This year’s state tournament will fall on the very next weekend as the new tournament, running from July 31 to Aug. 2.

In the competitive world of hosting men’s fast pitch tournaments, the village passed a special event license in 2013 so that alcohol could be sold in the park as a way to make the village competitive in vying for softball tournaments. Before the liquor license could be approved, however, trustees first had to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol on public property.

Hammel had told trustees at the time that when it came to choosing where to hold its tournaments, the ASA would take into consideration a community’s facilities or playing fields, its hotel availability and if it had a park where alcohol could be served.

With two tournaments being played here on consecutive weekends, that puts the village on the map as the epicenter of fast pitch softball for a couple of weeks. According to Reed, last year’s state tourney at Forsyth Park accounted for 28 reported room nights from hotels located in Forsyth. 

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