Jack Mattox Park in Ringgold, along with Camp Jordan Park in neighboring East Ridge, Tenn. will welcome more than 50 top teams from seven states to the upcoming 2012 Southern Softball Association of America (SSAA) Boys' Softball World Series.
This will be the fourth time Catoosa County has hosted the tournament, previously having served as its home in 2002, 2005, and 2006.
"It's good to be in familiar territory," said Tournament Director Mike Mason. "Our teams enjoy the area and are happy to be coming back. We feel at home here and the facilities are well suited to our needs."
The tournament will begin on July 12 and run through July 14. Most games will be played at Jack Mattox, although Camp Jordan's fields will be used due to the number of teams participating.
The Boys' World Series has a range of divisions that include brackets for 10-under, 12-under, 14-under, 16-under, 18-under, and 20-under teams.
"These are some of the best boys' softball players in the country," Mason continued. "The play will be outstanding, especially in the upper age brackets where the guys have played longer and have better developed their skills."
Towns and communities where boys' slow pitch softball is played are deeply committed to their teams and several communities will bring in multiple teams to compete.
One such group from Louisiana is St. Martin Parish in the heart of Cajun Country. The Chez Sidney Youth Bandits, headquartered in Catahoula, will have a team in each age bracket and will be among the favorites to win each division.
Another special attraction of this unique tournament is the presence of several Amish and Mennonite teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. These teams are in the 16-under, 18-under, and 20-under brackets and are perennial champions in the sport.
Mason also said any local teams that have interest are encouraged and invited to enjoy the fun and excitement of the fast-paced sport of boys' slow pitch softball.
"We cordially invite baseball teams from the area to join us," Mason added. "A good number of the teams entered also play baseball and many are very successful in both sports. I'm often asked what makes a championship boys' softball team, and I always say it's a bunch of guys enjoying what they are doing, running, throwing, sliding in the dirt, and getting filthy while enjoying the excitement of playing a team sport and working toward a common goal. Simply put, it's boys being boys."
To learn more about the tournament, or to register a team, visit www.boysworldseries.com.
With more than 50 teams set to descend on the area, the tournament will also be a boost to the local economy. Mason said that a phone survey done for the 2010 tournament revealed that tournament teams and their fans spent nearly $500,000 during the event, a total he called "astonishing".
Mason is currently looking for businesses sponsors interested in buying ads in the tournament's offical program.
"Rates are very reasonable and it's the best way to get your message to the folks visiting for this event," he added.
For more information, contact Mason at (931) 761-5878 or (615) 542-8697.