It’s hard to believe we are three weeks away from the 2nd annual World Fastpitch Championship! The USA Elite Select national program entered its second season with high hopes of building off the foundation we created in our inaugural season.
Last year we focused on building the World Fastpitch Championship as our “signature event.” We did so with 178 teams from 25 different states and over 100 college coaches. The WFC united so many of the game’s best from all three levels: amateur, college, and professional. We brought back eight former elite players who are now working in the softball industry to speak to current athletes on how to use their platforms. We brought together over 6000 fans to watch the USSSA Pride vs. the Dallas Charge—many of those watching were future NPF stars in their own right. And finally, we witnessed some of the top amateur players in the sport battle it out for the inaugural championship. Overall, we believe we were able to stick to our mission statement and center the WFC upon our three pillars – competition, education and community.
This year we continue those efforts! We had almost double the amount of teams in our USA Elite Select qualifiers from September to June. Currently, we are closing in on our targeted number of 64 teams per age division and have 32 states represented! Team Mexico is returning as well, this time with two teams (16U and 18U). With the level of talent these WFC teams bring and the growing national awareness of the WFC, we fully expect to add to our college coach list.
This year’s WFC theme is IMPACT and the first impact we want to have is on our WFC coaches. For this reason, we kick things off with professional performance coach Ben Newman. Ben has worked with countless professional and college athletes and teams. His energy is infectious and sure to ignite the fire within our WFC coaches. Ben as well as a panel of former athletes will also be on hand Monday, July 10th to speak with participating athletes and parents all in an effort to impact the game and the people involved.
Additionally, the WFC added FloSoftball to cover the event, one of the leaders in softball media. Flo will cover bracket play games for all age groups (8 fields) and all semi-final and Championship action.
Our goal as USA Elite Select is to continue focusing on giving the game back to the athlete. One of the best comments we heard last year was from our 12U Champion coach who said his favorite thing about the WFC was that he felt we ‘focused on the athlete’. That’s what it’s all about! As a sanctioning body, USA Elite Select is here to be the support system for these elite athletes and to provide them with a platform to compete for a Championship.
As we enter these last few weeks of preparation for the WFC, it is our goal to build off last year’s success and create the best possible Championship experience for all WFC participants. We hope our IMPACT on the game and WFC participants leaves a lasting impression and memorable championship experience.