by Ho Hoffman 29. March 2012 14:00


GEORGETOWN, TEXAS – It was nail-biting time at the 2012 SPA GEORGETOWN CLASSIC as the 33 teams saw thirty-four of the fifty games played decided by four runs or less in the nine division (50,55,60,65 GOLD, 65 SILVER,70 GOLD, 70 SILVER,75,80) tournament..

“It was unbelievable how close all the teams were which led to a ton of very competitive games, “ assistant SPA executive director and Georgetown Tournament Director Layla Bryan said,”We also had showed an increase from 27 teams in 2011, which shows we must be doing something right.”

“Except for a windy Thursday, the four-day event was played in “beach days” weather. It was warm and beautiful and just helped to make it a very enjoyable event..” Bryan added.

The 50's Division was a mirror of the entire tournament, especially in terms of its competitive nature. Check out these scores 15-14, 21-20, 24-21,28-25,26-25 and 27-26. The championship went to an “if” game with LONESTAR SOFTBALL besting WILLIE'S WOLVES 19-15 before falling 22-17 to WILLIES allowing the WOLVES to let out a big championship howl as they took the 50's crown... Finishing behind the top two were AUSTIN ROCK, BULLETS, OUTDOOR HOME and MIXED BREED.

GONZALES INSULATION has no skin left on its teeth as it squeaked by DALLAS SPURS 27-18, TEXAS LEGENDS 55'S 22-14, HOUSTON FIRE 18-16 and the TEXAS LEGENDS 55's in the championship game 13-11 to win the 55 DIVISION crown. HOUSTON FIRE was third followed by TEXAS CLASSICS and the DALLAS SPURS.

The TEXAS THUNDER came out of the loser's bracket to take the 60+ DIVISION trophy. After losing to TANEL/360/BUD LIGHT 21-20 in the bracket opener, the champs eliminated OOPS 21-20, got revenge by sending TANEL packing 22-15 and disposed of the DALLAS SPURS 26-14 to win the 60+ Division AAA crown. TEXAS MAKULI'S went undefeated in the AAA/MAJOR bracket to win the 60+ MAJOR DIVISION title.

In the 65+ SILVER DIVISION, the LEFTOVERS ran the table with three straight wins to take the five-team bracket award. HILL CONSTRUCTION claimed runner-up honors with the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS, HARRIS AUCTION and SAN ANTONIO REBELS rounding out the standings.

The TEXAS LEGENDS also ran the table in the 65+ GOLD DIVISION but it wasn't easy. The LEGENDS opened with a 24-23 win over the WILDCATTERS; followed by beating SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS 22-20 and wrapped up the championship with a 19-17 victory against the SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS. The WILDCATTERS took third place.

The RANGERS of NORTH TEXAS kept the “table-running routine” rolling by beating SAN ANTONIO CRACKERS 23-22, the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 13-12 and the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS again in the championship game to win the 70+.GOLD DIVISION trophy.

In the 70+ SILVER DIVISION, HILL CONSTRUCTION beat the TEXAS CLASSIC 14-19, 26-25 and 25-19 for the championship.

The TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 75'S took the 75 DIVISION title followed by the CLEARWATER CRAWFISH and the TEXAN'S 75's.. The TEXAS CLASSICS 80'S were the 80 DIVISION champions.

“This was really an enjoyable tournament,” Bryan said, “ I always enjoy the first tournament of the year because you get to see all of the players and teams again. It is just like a big family reunion.'

All teams who finished first and/or second in the SPA GEORGETOWN CLASSIC earned spots in the inaugural SPA 2012 WORLD SERIES in JACKSONVILLE,FLORIDA October 31 and November 1,2 and 3.

The next SPA TOURNAMENT are the WOMEN'S SPRING NATIONALS, April 12-14 in PENSACOLA, FLORIDA; LONE STAR NATIONAL OPTIONAL RING TOURNAMENT, April 19-22 in PLANO, TEXAS and APRIL'S FINEST, April; 20-22 in CHARLESTOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA. Information on these events plus all 2012 SPA tournaments can be found on the SPA TOURNAMENT CALANDER SITE ::

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General | Tournaments


by Ho Hoffman 23. March 2012 10:20


MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – The SPA SPRING NATIONALS held at LAGOON PARK SOFTBALL complex in MONTGOMERY. ALABAMA March 15-18 kicked off the 2012 SPA Tournament season with 34 teams battling for titles in the 50-60-65-70-75 age brackets.

The SPRING NATIONALS, which showed a gain from last year's tournament, was aided by perfect playing weather and a huge record-breaking turnout in the 50's Division where 16 teams were split into a GOLD and SILVER bracket.

“That was the most 50's teams we have had in the fourteen years of the SPA SPRING NATIONALS, “ tournament director NATALIE NORMAN said, “ We had a great group of teams participating in all the age brackets and we had outstanding weather, everyone seemed to have a great time.”

Alabama's AAA JAMES R. SMITH TRUCKING bested runner-ups Florida's DOC C's, AAA and the AAA MONTGOMERY SWARM for the 50's GOLD CROWN. HERO'S ENERGY SHOT from Georgia; LOUISIANA LEGENDS and the AAA LONGSHOTS from Georgia followed in the fourth spot with the MONARCH'S of Georgia in seventh.

The 50'S PLATINUM TITLE went to Louisiana Major team RANDY SMITH/LA SOFTBALL with South Carolina's TSC/HOWARD'S CONSTRUCTION earning runner-up honors. HOLLIS APPRAISALS from Florida finished third followed by Tennessee's AAA MONSTER SOFTBALL; Georgia Major SOUTHERN ELITE SOFTBALL; C&M SPORTINGS GOODS from Alabama; Georgia Major DT EXPRESS; Major TEAM ARKANSAS and CRYSTAL PHARMACY.

Georgia's COLUMBUS 55's swept fellow 55's AAA Division entry DIXIE SENIOR SOFTBALL from Alabama earning the 55's championship trophy.

FMSI a AAA team from Georgia claimed the top spot in the 60+ SILVER BRACKET while Florida's PENSACOLA 60's took second place. Two AAA teams the STRYKERS (Alabama) and MEMPHIS VETERANS (TENNESSEE) finished third and fourth.

In the three-team 60+ GOLD group EDGE SOFTBALL finished first followed by Alabama's AAA COLUMBUS LX and AAA GA/AL MASTERS.

The 65+ CROWN went to Georgia's SOUTHEAST 65's. AAA with SPORTS LETTERING from Tennessee and Alabama's AAA ORTHOPAEDIC MEDICINE finished second and third.

Three Major teams battled it out for the 65+ GOLD title with SENIOR MOMENTS from Florida winning the blue ribbon. Georgia's HUFFMAN ELECTRIC was second while third place went to Florida's PANHANDLE HITMEN.

ED'S ALUMINUM of Florida out dueled fellow major team SOUTHERN PRIDE of Alabama for the two-team 75+ title.

CENTRAL ALABAMA won the 70+ division with CRYSTAL PHARMACY taking the 60+ major crown.

“This was the first tournament we used the new on-line roster system to check-in players and it was great,” SPA Director on Site, DON CHERRY said, “It cut registration time almost in half and players didn't have to stand in line for an eternity to get registered”

“The whole tournament went smooth, NATALIE just did an outstanding job,”CHERRY continued, “You couldn't have asked for a better tournament atmosphere. The weather was in the 70's and low 80's; the competition was exciting; there was a great collection of teams; outstanding umpires; it was just a great all-around well run tournament.”

All teams who finished first and/or second in the SPA SPRING NATIONALS earned spots in the inaugural SPA 2012 WORLD SERIES in JACKSONVILLE,FLORIDA October 31 and November 1,2 and 3.

The next MARCH, SPA TOURNAMENT is the 2012 GEORGETOWN (TEXAS) CLASSIC followed by the SHAMROCK NATIONAL in DUBLIN, GEORGIA. Information on both events plus all 2012 SPA tournaments can be found on the SPA TOURNAMENT CALANDER SITE :

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About the Editor

Ho Hoffman of Wadsworth,Ohio is a sports writer for the Medina (Ohio) Gazette daily newspaper. Hoffman also has been playing competitive softball for nearly sixty years and 3,000 games starting in the adult fast pitch leagues as a teenager and continuing through into today's 70's senior division.  

Hoffman for the past twenty years has also been playing on senior softball travel teams. In addition, he along with Red Bole are the tournament directors of the highly successful SPA Ohio Buckeye Classic June senior softball tournament which last year drew 77 teams, in the 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 AA and AAA only divisions. 

He is also married. He and his wife Sue have three sons who are also active in softball and baseball. The youngest Matt plays adult slo-pitch softball, Mike plays Roy Hobbs 40-and over baseball and Marc is the founder, owner and president of U.S. Baseball Academy, the nation's largest baseball training program.


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