(July 19, 2019) The 13th annual United States Specialty Sports Association’s (USSSA) Eastern World Series kicked off for the summer season on Wednesday and will take place for three weeks throughout Wicomico and Worcester counties.
This year’s Eastern Nationals began July 17 and will run until Aug. 3.
During the first week, 10 and under and 12 and under teams will compete from July 17-21. Fourteen and under teams will play from July 23-28, and the final week includes 16 and under and 18 and under divisions from July 29 to Aug. 3.
The event draws nearly 350 girls’ softball teams from 16 states to the region over three weeks. States represented include Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Many participants turn the tournament into a vacation for the whole family,” Andrew Kurtz, Wicomico County sports marketing representative stated in a press release. “Wicomico and Worcester counties and the Town of Ocean City will see a boost in tourist activities throughout the three weeks as a result of the tournament.”
The event generates an estimated economic impact of over $20 million and a hotel demand in excess of 11,000 rooms.
“Over the years we have worked with USSSA East and our partners in the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA) to help grow the Eastern Nationals,” Kurtz continued. “This event is now one of the largest fast pitch tournaments in one location in the nation.”
This is the sixth year USSSA has held games in Ocean City.
During the third and final week, the opening ceremony and team parade will take place Monday, July 29, from 3-5:30 p.m. on the Boardwalk. The theme this year is “Stars and Stripes” and the parade procession will run from the inlet parking lot to Caroline Street.
The Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex in Salisbury has provided the main fields of play for the tournament. Other fields used in Wicomico County include East Wicomico Little League, Eastside Youth Sports Complex, Fruitland Recreational Area and Winter Place Park. In Worcester County, games have been played at John Walter Smith Park in Snow Hill and at Northside Park on 125th Street in Ocean City.
For more information on the Eastern Nationals, visit www.WicoSports.org.