OKC and Broken Arrow to host GOLD National Championships
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America/USA Softball announced today that the 2014 ASA/USA Girls’ 18-Under Fast Pitch GOLD National Championship will be held in Oklahoma City, Okla. while the first-ever 16-Under Fast Pitch GOLD National Championship will be held in Broken Arrow, Okla. The 18U GOLD National Championship will take place July 20-26, 2014 at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex while the 16U GOLD National Championship will be held July 21-26, 2014 at Arrowhead Park.
"We are excited to have created the ASA/USA Girls' 16-Under Fast Pitch GOLD National Championship Finals and look forward to having both of the GOLD events in Oklahoma," said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress. "We appreciate Oklahoma ASA and the Broken Arrow Girls Softball League for 'stepping up to the plate' as the host of this inaugural event. Both of these entities have a long standing tradition of hosting quality and successful ASA/USA events."
Sixty-four of the top 18-Under Junior Olympic (JO) athletes will head to Oklahoma City for the 18U GOLD, which will be held at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex. Often referred to as the "Mecca" of Softball, the ASA Hall of Fame Complex has played host to the best softball competition in the world such as the NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) and the World Cup of Softball. The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum, which highlights the achievements of 371 of softball's greatest players, managers, umpires and administrators, and the ASA/USA Gift Shop are also located by the Complex. At the 2013 18U GOLD National Championship in Clearwater, Fla., the Atlanta Vipers - Giles (Kennesaw, Ga.) took home the trophy after remaining undefeated with a 7-0 record. For more information on the 2014 18U GOLD, please click here.
New for 2014 Championship Play is the 16-Under GOLD Division, which will be held July 21-16 in Broken Arrow at Arrowhead Park. Voted on and passed at the 82nd Annual Council Meeting in November, the 16U GOLD National Championship will feature 48 of the top squads in the 16U JO division. To find out how to qualify for the 16U GOLD and for more information, please click here.
"Broken Arrow is thrilled to be chosen as the host site for the first ever ASA/USA 16U Gold National Championship," said Broken Arrow Girls Softball League President Jim Hillman. "We look forward to hosting some of the future stars in fast pitch softball."
The 18U GOLD and 16U GOLD will provide college coaches and the members of the USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC) the opportunity to identify and recruit a large volume of athletes at the two locations. The identification process for the Junior Women's National Team begins with athletes that are identified to the player pool from observations at the ASA/USA JO Championships, the National Identification Program through Softball Factory, recommendations from college coaches, high school coaches and ASA/USA JO Coaches. The player pool is made up of athletes that have been determined by USA Softball WNTSC as an elite softball player in the appropriate age group.
"Having the 16-Under GOLD and 18-Under GOLD in close proximity gives college coaches the chance to scout at both championships, which are less than two hours apart," said Chris Sebren, Director of Championships for ASA/USA Softball. "It also allows members of the Women's National Team Selection Committee the opportunity to identify players at both events for our Junior and Women's National Teams."
Locations of other 2014 ASA/USA National Championships and sites for the 2015 National Championships are available at USASoftball.com.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 200,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.