The National Fastpitch Alliance (NFA)--a newly-formed event organization created to produce lower costing club events with “the same quality exposure to college coaches as events charging $1,000 or more”--has announced it will produce its first National Championship to be held July 15-20, 2019, in Gulfport, Mississippi and surrounding areas.
According to Chad Hewitt, the Director of Camps and Special Events Coordinator for the NFA, “The NFA is an alliance of teams and organizations who want to make elite level softball and college recruiting about getting girls recruited and helping minimize out of pocket expenses.”
NATIONAL FASTPITCH ALLIANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
The first National Fastpitch Alliance Championship will cover ages 8U through 18U and will be held in complexes in Gulfport, Biloxi, D’Iberville and Ocean Springs.
The cost for teams will be $795 for ages 14U, 16U and 18U; $500 for 10U and 12U and $400 for 8U. Hewitt says 90 teams have already confirmed to compete.
“We anticipate our showcase events to range between $100-$150/game guaranteed,” the NFA Director adds.
“The 14U through 18U teams will all play at the Gulfport Sportsplex,” Hewitt said. “Each other age division will have its own complex and we plan to finish all Saturday play at Gulfport.”
The NFA will produce the one event in 2019 with plans for more events in the future including qualifiers and showcases.
EXTENDED PLAYING TIMES FOR GAMES
In addition to the lower cost-per team, the Hewitt says another big advantage to the events will be longer games.
“We will offer complete seven-inning games for bracket play and a 1:40 finish for pool games,” he says.
Other benefits per the NFA executive: no stay-to-play hotel rates and a free recruiting camp for every uncommitted player in the 14U-to-18 age divisions.
“The NFA tournament host may work with local hotels to negotiate a lower rate for those in their event and ask teams to try those hotels first in order to acquire comp rooms,” Hewitt explains, “but these rates will always be lower over the entire stay than what you get walking up off the street.”
“You will not be required to stay here in order to play, but we would appreciate the consideration as we are constantly working to save everyone money while hosting a top-notch event.”
FREE RECRUITING CAMP (Uncommitted Players 14U-18U)
The recruiting camp will be hosted by more than 40 college coaches from Power 5 schools as well as other DI and Div. 2, 3, NAIA and Junior College coaches.
“If your team is in the event, you attend free,” Hewitt continues. “The focus of the NFA is to do what is best for the player and we spend the money made from the event to do what it takes to make that evident for the player.”
PURPOSE FOR THE NFA & ITS EVENTS
In an already crowded fastpitch travel ball market, NFA Executive Director Dale Palmer stresses that the Alliance was created to be run by experienced club coaches who are “focused on getting their student-athletes developed and recruited without the extreme financial burden.”
“We are committed to providing student-athletes, travel organizations, and college coaches a first-class event at an affordable price,” Palmer continues.
“At NFA, our focus is to eliminate the so-called ‘required’ inflated costs that inevitably burdens the parents which include, but are not limited to, third-party stay-to-play mandatory hotel accommodation programs, tournament insurance requirements, player registration costs, and most importantly the overpriced entry fees that originated in the inaugural year around $700 and have since risen to over $1200-to-$2500.”
“Unfortunately, none of these expenses help a travel team or parents get their daughters recruited.”
“At NFA, we are in the kid business and not the bottom line business. Obviously, we will have expenses that must be covered but we are using partnerships and sponsorships to offset most of those expenses and using our low-entry fees to cover only what is left.”
“The choice is up to the travel coaches; however, we’ve seen incredible support from our initial conversations with many of the top organizations and college coaches advising them of our new opportunity.”
CONFIRMED UNIVERSITIES/COLLEGES ATTENDING
Note: A dozen universities and colleges, including programs in the Big Ten and Big 12, are tentatively scheduled to attend. The list will be updated in the future as more schools confirm.
- Adams State University (CO)
- Auburn University (AL)
- Auburn University at Montgomery (AL)
- Ball State University (IN)
- Central Christian University (KS)
- Colorado Christian University
- Columbia State JC (TN)
- Delta State University (MS)
- Geneva College (PA)
- Jacksonville University (FL)
- James Madison University (VA)
- Louisiana Tech University
- Luna College (NM)
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Montevallo University (AL)
- Oklahoma State University
- Regis University (CO)
- Saginaw Valley State (MI)
- Southwest Christian University (OK)
- Texas A&M University-Commerce
- Trevecca Nazarene University (TN)
- University of Alabama
- University of Alabama-Birmingham
- University of California Riverside
- University of Illinois
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- University of Oregon
- University of Pittsburgh (PA)
- University of Texas at Tyler
- Utah State University Eastern
- Virginia Tech University
- Wallace State JC (AL)
For more information on the event, e-mail Chad Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org