FROM THE DESK OF RB THOMAS, JR.
EXCELLENCE is our PROMISE - The ISSA Staff in conjunction with our community partners pledge our commitment to bring to the senior players the highest quality senior tournaments to enhance their playing experiences all across the United States. Our vision for ISSA is to continue to add new senior tournaments as quality venues are identified and experienced local "hosts" step forward to partner with ISSA to insure that the players that visit their community will enjoy the highest level of satisfaction. The success of the ISSA tournament program is predicated upon "player satisfaction" and we appreciate the efforts of so many players who encourage teams to also play in ISSA senior events.
The ISSA has a goal to make participation in our tournaments as easy as possible for the team managers. Having participated at the team level for over 30 years in all associations we understand the process and work to streamline the tournament entry for all managers. Managers can now register their team with ISSA online at no charge and players do not need individual player registration cards, just a drivers license or other government issued identification. Teams are encouraged to complete the online entry form for each ISSA tournament they plan to enter in 2012. The ISSA Roster Form and Entry Fee should be mailed to the ISSA Office by the tournament entry deadline which is 30 days prior to the event. The submitted roster does not have to be signed by the players when submitted with the fee. (The original roster form with player signatures can be brought to the team check-in by the manager at the tournament.) For most tournaments the ISSA has identified "Tournament Hotels" or "Host Hotel" with room blocks for the players. These are listed on the ISSA Website along with addresses for the various softball complexes.
The ISSA tournament program will get underway on January 27-29 next year at Tampa, Florida USA. This world-class event has been organized by the ISSA in conjunction with partners, the International Softball Federation (ISF) and the Tampa Sports Commission. The ISF is headquartered at Plant City, Florida and is the worldwide governing body for the sport of softball representing its 127 member countries. The Tampa Sports Commission has a rich history of bringing championship sporting events to Tampa. The ISSA/ISF World Tournament of Champions will bring together many of the outstanding senior teams in the World to compete for the "Best of the Best" in their respective division. Over 60 teams have entered the competition and others have expressed their interest to compete. Any team wishing to enter the 2012 WTOC should contact the ISSA Office immediately to confirm elgibility and availability.
Following the WTOC the ISSA has organized three (3) early-bird senior tournaments to give teams a fantastic start for the new season. Teams from the northern climates will now have a nice opportunity to take some "swings" in a competitive environment to get their new season underway. The three early tournaments have been collectively called the "ISSA Spring Training Trail." The first "Trail" event will be held at Myrtle Beach, SC on March 30-April 1. Myrtle Beach has now completed the six (6) adult softball fields at Grand Park at Market Commons and the ISSA has secured confirmed reservations for 2012 and 2013. The six new fields at Myrtle Beach have a synthetic turf surface and will offer the teams an outstanding playing experience. To compliment the fields the ISSA has also secured an equally remarkable "Host Hotel" to further enhance the participating player experience. Players can reserve ocean front rooms at the Sand Dunes for $39 and $49 per night. The managers meeting and player hospitality events are being planned to create a memorable tournament experience. The second leg of the "Trail" will be held at a new ISSA venue location at Burlington, NC. The ISSA Burlington National Invitational Tournament will be held on April 20-22 and will use the facilities at Springwood Softball Complex and City Park. The ISSA tournament management staff will be on hand and with the experienced City of Burlington grounds maintenance staff guarantee the teams a special senior tournament experience equal to the ASA Senior National Tournament that will also be held there on Labor Day Weekend. The final leg of the "Trail" will move to a new venue at Columbus, GA. The ISSA has partnered with the City of Columbus officials to hold the ISSA Spring Nationals in this "Olympic Softball City" on May 4-6. The tournament will be played at the South Commons Softball Complex which was built in 1996 to hold the first softball games in the Olympics. The three venues selected by the ISSA for the Spring Training Trail will provide the senior players great facilities and the ISSA Staff will be on-hand to fullfill our promise of EXCELLENCE. To encourage and reward those teams that play in all three of the tournaments on the "Trail" the ISSA will award the teams that do play in all three a PAID berth in the 11th ISF Senior World Cup at Salem, VA in June.
Come June 1 the ISSA Staff will be at Maryville, TN to provide another first for senior teams, the opportunity to play in the Great Smoky Mountain Senior Classic. Many senior players are looking forward to this opportunity to return to Maryville and compete in the "Smoky." The complete ISSA Tournament Schedule is posted on the ISSA Website and other new events are anticipated to be added to the schedule as host communities finalize their field schedules for the coming year. At all ISSA senior tournaments the senior bats and ISSA balls will be in play to meet all players expectations.
As we gather with friends and family during this Holiday Season, we here at the ISSA wish all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a memorable softball experience in 2012. And please encourage all your teammates and/or staff members to also log on to receive our ISSA e-news.