USA Softball National Championship season kicks off at GOLD Nationals in Plano

July 15, 2018, 4:51 p.m. (ET)

PLANO, Texas – USA Softball welcomed participants, coaches, and fans to the 2018 16-Under and 18-Under fast pitch GOLD National Championships as they arrived today in Plano, Texas.  Scheduled to run from July 16-21, the GOLD National Championships serve as two of the most prominent tournaments in Junior Olympic (JO) play, with the winner going home as the official champion of their respective division for 2018.

Participating teams in the 2018 GOLD Nationals qualified throughout the season by competing in qualifiers across all of USA Softball’s 10 regions.  The 2018 GOLD Nationals will see 70 teams compete, with 36 teams qualified from the 16U division, and 34 teams qualified from the 18U division. Teams will begin pool play on Monday, July 16 before heading into bracket play that was determined by a seeded draw.  Bracket play will start Thursday and continue through Friday, with Championship play scheduled for Saturday, July 21.

“USA Softball of Dallas/Ft. Worth is honored to host the 2018 GOLD Nationals along with Visit Plano,” said USA Softball of Dallas/Ft. Worth Commissioner Dave Devine.  “Since I became Commissioner, we have been embraced by the city of Plano from day one and are lucky to have some of the most passionate people in softball working with us.  The GOLD Nationals are first-class events and it will be an honor to host them in Plano at their exceptional parks.”

Click here to view a full schedule, live streaming and brackets for the GOLD National Championships

Teams will kickoff the tournament tonight with an Opening Celebration at Jack Carter Park and Pool. The event will include food trucks, photo booths and a DJ at the family-friendly water park from 7-10 p.m.

Returning to Texas for the first time since 1995, the 16-Under GOLD and 18-Under GOLD will be played at Heritage Yards in Plano.  Heritage Yards has nine fields and features grandstand seating on their premier championship field.  With covered pavilions, multiple concessions locations and a central operations building, Heritage Yards also has fenced warm-up areas for teams.

 

“Visit Plano and Plano Parks and Recreation are honored to be selected to host the 2018 GOLD Nationals,” said Sports Tourism Manager for Visit Plano Cissy Aberg.  “We are excited for the opportunity to activate our membership with USA Softball by putting our passion for fast pitch and fabulous facilities front and center. We can hardly wait!”

Fans can follow the action from the 16U GOLD and 18 U GOLD Nationals with live stats and streaming from Plano at USASoftball.com.

The GOLD National Championships are one of USA Softball’s 100 National Championships held each year for all major disciplines of the sport—slow pitch, modified pitch, and fast pitch, to complete their season of play.

About USA Softball

USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.