by Ho Hoffman 26. April 2012 11:56


NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA Westvaco Park in North Charleston was the site for the 2012 SPA APRIL'S FINEST TOURNAMENT as the event celebrated its 15th year of SPA involvement with 16 teams from the 60,65 and 70 age group taking part.

“It is always a pleasure hosting this prestigious Senior Tournament,” North Charleston Recreation Department Tournament Director CINDY DAMBAUGH said, “In our 15th year of affiliation with SPA we are as excited as year one.”

The SIXTEEN TEAMS were divided into four divisions according to age groups which saw EIGHT TEAMS (first and second place) qualify for the SPA WORLD SERIES of champions in JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA October 31 and November 1,2,3.

'The level of competition continues to be the topic among players and spectators,” DAMBAUGH said, “With only one team going undefeated through the entire tournament , there were many exciting games,.”

Florida's SENIOR MOMENTS 60's claimed the 60's DIVISION title followed by the NORTH CHARLESTON PATRIOTS; Georgia's HUFFMAN ELECTRIC 65's and the VIRGINIA CAVALIERS.

LEVIN FINANCIAL of Florida, North Carolina's FLIP DOW BONDING and SPORTS LETTERING from TENNESSEE finished 1-2-3 in the 65 GOLD DIVISION.

Four teams went at it in the 65 SILVER DIVISION with CUSTOM GRAPHICS II of Georgia coming out on top. The MYRTLE BEACH SENIORS earned the runner-up spot followed by the HAMEL CAVALIERS 70's from Virginia and the TRIUMPHS, also from Georgia,.

RICHMOND CLASSIC won the 70 DIVISION crown with the GA NUGGETS II in the runner-up spot. The CAROLINA CRDINALS from North Carolina; Tennessee's TRI-CITY 70's and LEIDEN'S LEGENDS of Georgia rounding out the field.

The month of MAY will be a busy month for SPA tournaments with ELEVEN scheduled in MARYLAND, GEORGIA, OKLAHOMA, VIRGINIA, OHIO, FLORIDA, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA, MINNESOTA and NORTH CAROLINA.

Detailed information on these events plus all 2012 SPA tournaments can be found on the SPA TOURNAMENT CALANDAR SITE. ::


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by Ho Hoffman 18. April 2012 09:47


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – “Three years ago the SPRING NATIONALS had 11 teams and last year we had 21,” SPA NATIONAL WOMEN'S DIRECTOR JUDY LEE SCHREIBER said, “This year we reached 31 teams. It just shows me the SPA WOMEN'S SENIOR SOFTBALL program has really taken off and is continuing to grow.”

The Pensacola tournament at Exchange Park had thirty-one teams compete in eight divisions. SPA also had it's first 35-year young team, the ARKANSAS SYNERGY/REEBOK team enter a SPA tournament.

We are finally reaching the dream we at SPA have had,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “JUDY LEE and I have always envisioned making the women's program the most player friendly and respected women's program in senior softball.”

With people like JUDY LEE, PEGGY O'NEILL, LAYLA BRYAN, BUDDY CONNELLY and Tournament Director MIKE DESORBO being involved, we have shown the women's teams we listen to their concerns and opinions and act accordingly to make the SPA program the way they (women) would like it to be.”, HOOKS continued, “Senior Softball men's and women's both should be for the player's first and that is what SPA strives to do.”

The SPA approach is apparently working as the past two years, the women's program has seen increases in players, teams and tournament attendance.”

The SPA program is really growing, “ SCHREIBER said, “All tournaments are expecting an increase in entries. I just hear COLUMBUS, OHIO is expecting over forty teams and I am looking for between 50 and 60 teams at the SPA WORLDS in DALTON, GEORGIA

The biggest age group at PENSECOLA was the “65” DIVISION with the Village's GOLDEN GALS taking the title. The KY FILLIES; DREAM CATCHERS from Albaquergue: GOLDEN GIRLS of Virginia; CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS and the West Virginia MOUNTAIN MAMA 65'S also competed in the six-team field.


The big news in the 70's DIVISION was the antics of the Village's GOLDEN GALS' EVELYN HAYES. HAYES not only cleared the 225-foot fence with one shot but did it twice and also hit a pair of ground rule doubles that bounced over the fence.

Paced by the play of their tournament MVP, the GOLDEN GALS beat Ontario's SPORTACULARS 65/70 in the “IF” game to take the five-team division crown. Third place went to the FREEDOM SPIRIT OF FLORIDA 70 II. The GOLDEN GIRLS 70's and the TENNESSEE SENIOR STARS 70's were also part of the competitive 70's group.

It was a GOLDEN time in the 60's PAIRINGS as the Virginia GOLDEN GIRLS 60's took the Gold ring with the Missouri FUN BUNCH in the second spot and the Buckeye State OHIO CARDINALS third. Michigan's JOLICO SENIORS and the “Show Me State's” MISSOURI FLASHBACKS completing the five-team bracket.

The Michigan JOLICO SENIOR 50's captured the five-team 50's DIVISION finishing ahead of second place TENNESSEE SENIOR STARS and the third place Chattanooga LADY LOOKOUTS. Louisiana's LA SPORTS and SERIOUS FUN from Tennessee completed the field.

In the 55's DIVISION the MARYLAND ROADRUNNERS raced away from the second place VILLAGE VIXONS and the third place JOLICO SENIOR 55's of Michigan.

The South Carolina CAROLINA SNIPERS out dueled the PENSACOLA LADIES in the two-team 45's DIVISION.

KRYPTONITE from Florida bested Maryland's LADIES FIRST for the 40's TITLE with the Tennessee CHICKS WITH STICKS squad coming in third.


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

The next SPA WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT is the COLUMBUS, OHIO HEART OF OHIO tournament JULY 11-15. Information on this and other women's 2012 SPA events can be found at the SPA women's web site:

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Tournaments | Women


by Ho Hoffman 17. April 2012 10:10


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Move over BABE and HENRY and make room for the newest member of the history making “long ball club.”

EVELYN HAYES of the GOLDEN GALS 70'S Village team joined the group with a pair of shots over the 225-ft fence at  Pensacola, Florida's Exchange Park during the SPA WOMEN"S SPRING NATIONALS. The new “SULTANA of SWAT” also had a pair of ground rule doubles which one-hopped the fences.

That is the first time any woman has hit it out at the SPA SPRING NATIONALS,” SPA National Women's Tournament Director JUDY LEE SCHREIBER said, “and EVELYN isn't on one of the 40-year young teams, she plays in the 70's Division.”

Hayes, who played thirty years with the Fort Lauderdale MIAMI DOTS in ASA competition before getting involved in senior softball six years ago, also added 15 RBI's and a .792 batting average to her fantastic tournament.

In addition it was a “no-brainer” to make HAYES the tournament MVP.

That was a nice honor,” Hayes said, “But it meant more to me that we beat the SPORTACULARS (Ontario, Canada) to win the 70's championship. We had to go to an “IF” game to win the championship and that was a great feeling to win that game.”

Hayes did her part to beat the SPORTACULARS hitting her first home run in pool play against the ONTARIO team and nailing the second one in the “IF” game.

'The first one just barely made it over and I wasn't sure I had hit it out,” Hayes, who used a 27-oz ULTRA II for her homers, said, “The second one I knew was out when I hit it. It was one of the few good pitches I got to see after that first home run and I was waiting for any good pitch to tee-off on. The second one cleared the fence with plenty to spare.”

The GOLDEN GALS' right center fielder isn't even the team's clean-up hitter. Early in the tournament she hit in the third spot but was moved to the second hole in the “IF” game.

Although HAYES was the first woman to hit it over the fence, she thinks that it will eventually become a common thing in the women's tournament.

That was one of the few times we (women) got to play on a woman's 225-foot fence field,” HAYES said, “Usually we play on 300-foot fence fields. Another thing is with SPA going all-out to improve and increase the woman's division, more teams and more players will be participating in SPA tournaments, so I think we will see more home runs but only if we play on the 225-foot fields.”

According to HAYES, the WOMEN'S SPRING NATIONALS was a high point of her softball career.

To have my team win the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP and for me to hit two home runs over the fence and be selected tournament MVP, it just doesn't get much better than that,” she said, “I really enjoyed the tournament and to be able to share the experience with my teammates made it that much more special.”

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General | Tournaments | Women

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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