OKLAHOMA CITY — USA Softball Olympians and National Team athletes are joining communities across the country in celebration of the 33rd Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). NGWSD, held on February 6, will acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of female athletes, their positive influence in sports as well as recognize the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.
The theme for this year’s NGWSD is “Lead Her Forward,” which honors the many ways that sports push female athletes to achieve excellence and realize their boundless potential. To contribute to the awareness of NGWSD, Major League Baseball (MLB), USA Baseball and USA Softball have partnered to host two PLAY BALL events and two clinics for female athletes.
On Saturday, February 2, two-time Olympian and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch along with MLB and USA Softball staff will host a PLAY BALL event followed by a softball and baseball clinic at the New Orleans MLB Youth Academy. The PLAY BALL event is for kids between the ages of 4-13 and participants will receive a free PLAY BALL t-shirt, wristband plus a bat and ball set to take home. The clinic is for female athletes between the ages of 12-17 and will feature first-hand instruction from event staff.
On Saturday, February 9, National Team member Sahvanna Jaquish along with USA Softball alumni, MLB and USA Softball staff will conduct a second PLAY BALL event followed by a softball and baseball clinic at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton. The PLAY BALL event is open to kids between the ages of 4-13 and participants will receive a free PLAY BALL t-shirt, wristband plus a bat and ball set to take home. The clinic is open to female athletes between the ages of 10-17 and will feature first-hand instruction from event staff.
The NGWSD events are the latest in a string of efforts by MLB, USA Baseball and USA Softball to increase participation in bat and ball sports. In June 2016, USA Softball began their partnership with MLB, particularly focusing on “PLAY BALL,” an initiative to encourage widespread participation in all forms of baseball and softball activities. USA Softball and MLB also created the inaugural Softball Breakthrough Series (BTS) in 2016. Similar to Baseball BTS events, the Softball Breakthrough Series is designed to promote softball as a viable collegiate option for youth from underrepresented and underserved communities. The event is completely cost-free for participants, who are selected by invitation only. The 2019 Softball Breakthrough Series will be held May 23-25 in Compton, Calif. USA Softball also participates in the Elite Development Invitational (EDI), which is a five-day camp that features specialized lessons both on and off the field. The 2019 EDI will be held July 12-18 in Vero Beach, Fla.
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 through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations, and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 120,000 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.