USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup returns to Spartanburg in 2020

Oct. 28, 2019, 4:25 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — USA Softball is excited to announce that the 2020 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup will return to Spartanburg, S.C. July 26 - Aug. 1, 2020 at Tyger River Park (179 Dillard Rd, Duncan, S.C. 29334). Created in 2015, the USA Softball JO Cup serves as an opportunity for evaluation by the USA Softball coaching staff and the Women’s National Team Selection Committee (WNTSC). The event has a rich history of identifying athletes eligible for USA Softball’s Junior Women’s National Teams (U-17, U-18, U-19) program as 10 athletes from the previous two rosters have been identified at a USA Softball JO Cup.

“We have played all the big tournaments: PGF, IDT, Triple Crown and I would say the JO Cup ranks up there with all of them,” said Tennessee Fury Head Coach, Marc Weekly. “We were incredibly blessed with all of the communication, the level of play and the professionalism of all the umpires. Our girls felt it was one of the best run tournaments they’ve ever been a part of. Lastly, Tyger River Park is one of the best venues on the travel circuit.”

The inaugural USA Softball JO Cup began in 2015 and featured 32 teams in the 18-under division and has grown to include a 16-under division (2016, 2017) and 14-under division for the first time in 2018.

“I’ve had the opportunity to coach and watch high level softball throughout the country. This year’s JO Cup at Tyger Park was as well run as any that I’ve ever seen,” said Hotshots Platinum Head Coach, Greg Carter. “From the coaches meeting to the level of competition and facilities, this tournament was at the top in all areas. The Spartanburg location was easy to navigate with little or no traffic issues and the field conditions were absolutely perfect with every field being dressed before every game. I would encourage any team that is fortunate enough to receive an invitation to this event to take advantage of that opportunity.”

With a total number of 96 teams split across three separate age divisions, the USA Softball JO Cup features a five-game guarantee, three pool play games and a double-elimination bracket into a single Championship Game. A blind-draw is conducted for bracket play with protection given to the first and second-place finishers from the 2019 USA Softball JO Cup.

“We absolutely enjoyed our time at the JO Cup,” said Tennessee Mojo Head Coach, Brooks Cherry. “I will start first with the facilities, by far one of the top complexes in the country. The field crew and staff were first class and the fields were immaculate. The umpires were graded every game, and I don’t think I have ever been to an event where the majority of umpires were UIC’s from their states. The best part for our team was the competition. We got to play some strong teams from across the country and compete against some of the best. I was also pleasantly surprised with the number of college coaches that were there watching our kids.”

Tyger River Park is Spartanburg County’s premier park, containing 13 youth baseball/softball fields, a clubhouse, and a large playground. The facility was built to attract youth sports tournaments, a role that it has played well. The park also hosts baseball and softball recreational leagues. As covered in the capital projects section, Tyger River Park was enhanced in 2014 with a perimeter exercise trail, picnic shelters, new restrooms, a splash pad, disc golf, and other amenities. The park most recently held the 2018 USA Softball Girls’ Class A 12-Under National Championship and was named the 2015 USA Softball Complex of the Year.

“We are honored that Spartanburg has been selected to host the 2020 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup,” said Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Sports Tourism Sales DirectorKristyn Hawkins. “Spartanburg hosted 90 teams at the 2019 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup. Hosting prestigious and successful sporting events such as the USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup is helping build a reputation that Spartanburg is a great place for sporting events and conventions. The Spartanburg community strives to create a unique experience for all players, coaches and families attending sporting events.”

JO CUP HISTORY

In the most recent edition of the USA Softball JO Cup, Hotshots Platinum (14U) and TN Mojo (16U) limited their opponents to just two runs to claim their respective JO Cup trophies while TN Fury (18U) edged out a one-run nail biter to emerge as the winner. In 2018, Fury Platinum (14U), Panthers (16U) and St. Louis Chaos (18U) took home their respective JO Cup titles, with all games decided by two runs or less. USA Softball crowned a pair of champions at the 2017 Junior Olympic (JO) Cup following two close Championship Games. The Louisville Lady Sluggers captured the 18-under title defeating the Williamsburg Starz, 3-0, while Michigan Finesse took home the 16-under title in walk-off fashion, 3-2, against the Gametime Stars.  In 2016, the Atlanta Vipers were able to capture the inaugural 16-under Championship with a 7-0 win over Victory USA, while a late-inning rally helped the East Cobb Bullets – Schnute nab a 6-2 win over the Gold Coast Hurricanes for the 18-under title.  In 2015, the Wichita Mustangs nabbed the inaugural title after defeating the East Cobb Bullets 4-0 in the Championship Game.

About USA Softball
USA Softball (USAS) 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 & Paralympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USAS sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations.  USAS 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.  USAS annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USAS 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, USAS 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 USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, 
www.USASoftball.com.