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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 19, 2016
ASA/USA Softball Annual Council Meeting concludes as the organization moves into the 2017 season as USA Softball
SHREVEPORT, La. – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball, the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the U.S., concluded the 85th Annual Council Meeting in Shreveport, La. after a week of evaluating proposed rule and code changes for all divisions of ASA/USA Softball. ASA/USA Softball also announced today its sites for the 2018 Championship season as teams will begin their quest for the ultimate goal in softball: to hold up a USA Softball National Championship trophy.
To see a list of 2018 ASA/USA National Championships, please click here
At the Annual Meeting, the ASA/USA Softball Council Members also voted on a restructuring of the Board of Directors to a Regional representation format following the realigning of the regions of ASA/USA Softball from 15 Regions to 10. Starting January 1, 2017, the USA Softball Board of Directors will be comprised of one Board representative from each Region, the current President, past-President and President-elect, an At-Large Representative and four Elite Athlete Representatives. With the restructuring, Region 1 elected Bev Wiley of USA Softball of Rhode Island, Region 2 will be represented by Andy Dooley of USA Softball of Piedmont, Va., Region 3 elected Carlton Benton of USA Softball of Florida, Region 4 elected E.T. Colvin of USA Softball of Mississippi, Region 5 will be represented by Rodney Cobb of USA Softball of Texas, Region 6 will be represented by Darrin Duistermars of USA Softball of Michigan, Region 7 will be represented by Joe Patterson of USA Softball of Nebraska, Region 8 elected Dick Gulmon of USA Softball of North Dakota, Region 9 elected Bill Parks of USA Softball of Idaho and Region 10 will be represented by Sam Ducato of USA Softball of Northern California.
In Championship Play news, the ASA/USA Softball Council Members voted and approved the creation of a new division of Championship play with the Girls’ Class C Fast Pitch National Championship Finals. This new division created a Girls’ Class C Fast Pitch National Championship for 10-Under, 12-Under and 14-Under in each region. Each tournament will be structured so that each team will play a minimum of four games, two pool play games and a double-elimination bracket. Also added to the 2017 USA Softball code was the creation of a Girls’ Regional Championship Finals for 8-Under fast pitch. All teams within a region that are age eligible will qualify for their Regional Championship Finals through their Local Association. The structure of the 8-Under Girls’ Regional Championship Finals will give teams a minimum of four games, two pool play games and a double-elimination bracket.
The end of the 85th Annual Meeting also marked the official start of the 2017 season, in which ASA/USA Softball will officially rebrand and rename to USA Softball. As one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing sports organizations, USA Softball will continue to sanction competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations. Having grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 160,000 teams today, USA Softball represents a membership of more than two million
“This is an exciting time for our organization as the rebrand to USA Softball reflects our vision for the growth of the sport,” said USA Softball President Warren Jones. “For over 80 years, we have been the driving force behind the sport of softball, and this new logo truly embodies that character and legacy. As the National Governing Body of Softball, USA Softball will continue to serve as the leader in the sport of softball while helping foster the passion and love for the game to all.”
In addition to rebranding, USA Softball has also unveiled a new redesigned logo, which will replace the ASA/USA Softball split logo after the transition to USA Softball. The redesign contains several key elements of previous ASA/USA Softball logos, while clearly identifying the USA Softball brand as the organization evolves towards the future. The home plate shape embodies the sport, while bold, block USA Softball lettering symbolizes USA Softball’s authority as the NGB. Along with the redesigned prominent features of the logo, the stars and stripes pay homage to the U.S. flag and classic American iconography, connecting fans and members with the Team USA brand. Several subtleties also lie within the new logo, as the three red stripes reference 1933, the year USA Softball was founded, and the stars represent the four territories of USA Softball.
The 2017 USA Softball Annual Meeting will head to Greensboro, N.C. October 21-27, 2017 while the 2018 USA Softball Annual Meeting will take place in Oklahoma City, Okla.
About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 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 two million. ASA/USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that 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 10 World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com/.
Codi Warren I Managing Director of Communications
Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball
2801 NE 50th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111
Visit Us Online: ASAUSASoftball.com
Play #USASoftball, where Olympic journey’s begin!
Welcome back softball! Softball and baseball officially added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic program after historic vote of approval from IOC
OKLAHOMA CITY – The hopes and dreams of millions of softball athletes across the globe have been answered today as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted today to approve the addition of five new sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. The decision, which comes after the IOC met in Rio de Janeiro, was made possible after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020, which provides flexibility for the future of the Olympic Movement to encourage innovation in the Olympic program. In addition to softball/baseball, other sports that will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.
“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress. “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world. USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”
Softball and baseball’s global reach, loyal fan-base and positioning across many of the biggest sports markets, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand. The decision today further highlights the growing global appeal of the two sports, particularly among young people and women. In Japan, softball/baseball have remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years. Other factors considered in the sports package include the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Softball spent four “quads” as an Olympic sport debuting in the 1996 Atlanta Games with the last Olympic softball competition taking place in Beijing in 2008. Softball and baseball were ousted from the 2012 Olympics following a vote from the IOC in 2005 in which softball, needing a simple majority of votes (53), received 52. Despite its exclusion from the Olympics for the past eight years, international softball has become increasingly competitive as a record 30 nations competed in last month’s 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada and a record-breaking 12 nations competed at the World Cup of Softball XI in Oklahoma City, Okla. This was also highly showcased during the USA vs Japan All-Star Series in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, where members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team squared off against Japan in a three-game series. A record-breaking 31,448 fans attended Stage One of the series at the Tokyo Dome, while an additional 3,000 fans attended the final two stages at Shellcom Sendai.
“Thank you to the IOC and the WBSC for this tremendous honor for not only our sport, but our athletes and the millions of young girls who dream of one day being an Olympian,” said USA Softball Women’s National Team athlete Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.). “This means so much to not only our USA Softball Women’s National Team program, but to millions of girls across the world. Even if I’m not there, knowing that softball athletes will get to compete on the highest stage against the best competition in the world is amazing.”
In four Olympic Games appearances, the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed three Gold Medals and one Silver Medal finish while setting numerous international records and are one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three-consecutive Gold Medals. In 2012, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team were honored for their accolades with induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team set 18 Olympic records in Athens. Among the team records set were the most hits (73), highest team batting average (.343) and highest slugging percentage (.559). Fernandez set the individual record for batting average with .545 while Crystl Bustos’ 10 RBI and five home runs were also records.
This decision comes just 10 days after the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3 in the Gold Medal finale. As a team, the U.S. finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10. The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.
For more information on the USA Softball National Teams, visit www.ASAUSASoftball.com.
About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.2 million. ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that 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 10 World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com/.