For those who love watching competitive girls’ fast pitch softball, a great opportunity to take in a lot of games is coming to Nevada this week.
Nevada Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Rhonda Maier said 31 teams will gather in Nevada this Thursday through Sunday to participate in a National "Class A" 14U softball tournament at the SCORE Park. The 14U level of competition generally includes girls ages 13 and 14. Tournament play begins at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The closest teams coming to this event are from the Des Moines area, but in addition to Iowa, the tournament draws teams from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, Missouri and Illinois. "These teams have worked very hard to get here and had to qualify through their state tournaments or national qualifying tournaments," Maier said.
Landing the tournament here in Nevada is the result of a "very special partnership" that Maier said the Nevada Parks and Recreation Department has established with the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB). Through the ACVB, Nevada was able to bid on hosting the tournament. "It is not often that a community the size of Nevada would be awarded a tournament such as this. Through our partnership, we are able to offer excellent accommodations and facilities for these teams, players, coaches and fans."
Putting on this tournament will take many "man hours." Maier said Nevada has an excellent staff and volunteer base that will work diligently to make sure everything is top-notch. "We always do our best to showcase our community and what it has to offer," she said.
This spring/summer season alone, Nevada Parks and Recreation has hosted nine tournaments at the SCORE fields. Among those tournaments were several ASA (Amateur Softball Association) 10U and 12U tournaments, along with some Elite Iowa Sports tournaments.
"We enjoy working with the ASA to host this and other tournaments," Maier said. "Tom Topping with the Iowa ASA is an exceptional individual to work with and is very helpful in making sure that these tournaments are successful."
Maier said there’s no question that hosting an event like this, one that will literally bring hundreds of visitors to the Nevada-Ames area, has a great positive economic impact for area businesses. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the great facilities that Nevada-area people made possible when they supported the construction of a premier sports complex several years ago.
"We enjoy showcasing our facilities and our ability to host an exceptional tournament," Maier said. "Nevada is known throughout Iowa as having one of the best facilities in the state. After this weekend, we hope to be known as having one of the best facilities in the Midwest."
For those wishing to take in the exciting softball action during this four-day event, the cost for a full weekend pass is $40 per person, ages 13 and older. Admission is $10 a day for those ages 13 and older. For youth, ages 7-12, cost of a weekend pass is $20 per person or $5 per day. Children age 6 and younger are admitted free of charge.
For more information about this tournament, visit amesareasoftball.com or tournamentsasa.com.