Archive for February, 2005

Google Maps

Saturday, February 26th, 2005

You may have noticed that the link for Holyfield Park in Norwalk, CA in the last post was to Google’s newest application, Google Maps (Beta). We think it might be the best map and directions application around. Take it for a test run. It will even show you where local businesses are located “restaurants near [address]”, “hotels near [address]”, and so forth. We have a feeling this one is going to become a favorite of fastball players and fans. The road trips have just begun.

So Cal Season Gets Underway in Norwalk, CA

Saturday, February 26th, 2005

After a one week delay due to rain, the Southern California fastball season gets underway in Norwalk, California today, at Holyfield Park, 12500 Excelsior Drive, Norwalk, CA. The field of teams is down to 12 from the original 20, with a number of teams unable to make the rescheduled date. The format has changed as a result, with the double elimination bracket being replaced by a 3 game round robin, followed by a single elimination bracket which gets started late Saturday afternoon, and continues on to Sunday.

The field of teams includes the two teams that can arguably raise the claim to being the best team in Southern, if not all of California, Team Rainey and the So Cal Bombers. The two teams faced each other in last year’s final at the Norwalk Tournament, with Team Rainey coming away with the championship trophy.

Team Rainey is the reigning ISC California Area champion, having represented the southland at the ISC World Tournament for the past two years in a row. Team Rainey played the most ambitious schedule for any California team in more than a decade last year, playing a number of top 10 teams, and notching some upsets, including an impressive 9-2 win over Victoria Travelers Inn at the Rose Cup tournament in Portland, OR.

As many of our readers know, the roster has undergone some big changes, with a number of former Rainey players moving over to the So Cal Bombers, including the 1-2 pitching tandem of Travis Price and Tony Peeples, and starters Jason Porto, Nate Devine and Mike Butler.

But with Captain Dan’s shuttering its operation after many years, Team Rainey has reloaded, signing former Dan team members Dwayne Fowler, Neil Sauerheber, and skipper Don Didion. In addition, Rainey has signed British Columbian ace, Bricklen Anderson, who was among the best pitchers on the west coast last year, along with Tony Hunhoff and Sonny Perkins, and looks to be in good shape, despite the loss of Price and Peeples.

The roster changes will make for a great rivalry between the two teams, who are scheduled to play each other today in the round robin portion of the tournament at 3:30pm PST. Tomorrow’s championship game in the single elimination bracket is set for 1:45pm.

Brackets etc. at the SoCalASA website.

GHFL All-Stars to Play Australian Junior Men

Friday, February 25th, 2005

My friend (and broadcast partner) Blair Setford sends the following news from the Ontario province in Canada:

[Niagara Falls, Ontario] – The Golden Horseshoe Fastball League is pleased to welcome the Australian Junior Men’s National Team to Niagara Falls, Ontario on Monday June 13, 2005 when the GHFL All-Stars will play the defending World U19 Champions.

Led by young hurler Adam Folkard, the Aussies will follow a day of sightseeing at one of the seven wonders of the world with a doubleheader at Ker Park in Niagara Falls against the best of the GHFL, one of Ontario top intermediate men’s fastball leagues.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase some high quality fastball for fans of the game in the Niagara Region,” said GHFL President Blair Setford.

Several events are being planned to make the evening a special one for players and fans, including a possible webcast.

Stay tuned to the GHFL’s web site at for further information.

Blair Setford
Golden Horseshoe Fastball League
mail to:

Decatur Shootout Looking for One More (Major) Team

Friday, February 25th, 2005

The Decatur Shootout will expand from a field of 12 teams to 16 if they can get one more major team to commit. So Cal’s own, Team Rainey travelled to the tournament last year and came away with the consolation bracket title. Here is the latest from Doug Gray, Decatur Sports Foundation president:

The 2005 Decatur ShootOut is looking for one more men’s major team to participate in this year’s ShootOut June 17th – 19th in Decatur, IL at the Borg Warner Sports Complex. We have a very strong field of 12 teams set but also have 3 very interested teams on waiting list and have decided that if we can get one additional team to commit we will expand the field to 16. Tournament has cash payouts to top finishers, pool play with top 4 advancing to championship play and finishers 5-8 advance to consolation playoff, Entry fee $500, all teams should expect to play Friday night. Interested teams should contact us immediately as we would like to have scheduling information out very soon.

All housing for the tournament is being handled by Laurie Crook with All Sport Accomodations ( and she may be reached at 847-697-7440 or and she can also assist teams with travel plans.

Contacts for entry or additional information are Doug Gray 217-423-1951 or 217-429-0788 or and Lynne Durham 217-433-2507 or

Maccabi Team Poker Fundraiser Cancelled

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Just a quick note that the Maccabi fastball team poker fund raiser at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, that was scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, February 26, 2005 has been cancelled (not enough people signed up)

OASA Honors Al Doran

Thursday, February 24th, 2005

It’s in our email inbox every morning, waiting for us before the morning coffee is even brewed. It’s our lifeblood, the thing that ties us all together, our daily missives from Al’s Fastball Mailing List. Those five words “by way of Al Doran” tell us that some fastball news is waiting for us from our most reliable, trustworthy source. It’s hard to imagine not getting that “daily dose”, hard to remember when we didn’t. We all depend on his efforts to stay abreast of the fastball world. A couple thousand names on his mailing list say there is still plenty of interest in the game. So it was nice to see someone stand up and let Al Doran know how much he is appreciated. Recently, the OASA (Ontario Amateur Softball Association) honored him, awarding him the President’s Merit Award, awarded for his contributions to OASA, and the game of fastball.

With permission from David Cleugh, President of OASA (Ontario Amateur Softball Association), we are pleased to reprint the annoucement about Al Doran which appears on their website. As is said, we know so much of his work, it’s nice to know a bit more about the man.

Last year the Ontario Amateur Softball Association inaugurated the President’s Merit Award which provides the President the opportunity to recognize a person or persons whom he believes has greatly contributed to the OASA. This years winners include Bea Weber and Al Doran.

Today, if today you wanted to know the results of a softball tournament in Australia or the other side of Ontario, what would you do? You would check out Al’s Fastball List, right?

Tonight we are going to recognize Al Doran and his contribution to our game and our association. Al Doran’s name is synonymous with fastball the world over but he lives in Ontario. Many in this country and world think Al is part of the OASA and tonight I hope everyone in this room will meet him face to face.

Al Doran is President of Phenix Management Int’l, a Toronto-based management consulting firm specializing in the effective use of technology in the management of human resource information.

Until 1996, Al Doran was Director, Human Resources Management Information and Payroll at York University, Toronto Ontario. Al has 30 years of experience in the design, development and application of computer-based information systems with particular emphasis in personnel, payroll and human resource planning functions.

Al is the co-author of two HRMS books, “Human Resources Management Systems” and their new book, “HRMS: A Practical Approach”. These books are used by just about every college and university in Canada with an HRM program as well as by many colleges in the United States and globally.

Mr. Doran is Past President of the International Association of Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) and is currently the President of the Ontario Chapter of IHRIM.

Al writes for a number of professional human resource and payroll publications and he is an international speaker. Al was the keynote speaker in Beijing China last year for their large eHR conference, a speech that was seen on live TV in four other large cities in China. Al has also been the keynote speaker at conferences in Canada, the USA, Germany, and Australia. In Australia he managed to work in a major men’s fastball tournament in Canberra, and then catch the first big tournament of the year in New Zealand on the trip home.

Al moderates a fastball discussion group called “Al’s Fastball List” which reaches over 4,000 fastball softball fans and 60 media outlets daily.

Al has been involved in softball for most of his life, but prefers to be called a “fan” rather than a former player or coach. His first exposure to softball was in his hometown of Windsor, Nova Scotia, which hosted the Senior Men’s Canadian Championships in 1998. Al played recreational ball as a teenager and intersection softball during his days in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). He picked up the glove again later in life when he lived in Aylmer Quebec in the early 80’s, playing mixed modified in a 36-team community league. Al also did some coaching of both boys and girl’s softball in Toronto in the 70’s and 80’s.

Over the years Al has followed top quality men’s ball, getting really interested in the late 80’s when he lived in Nepean Ontario near Ottawa’s Carlington Park, visiting the park for all the major tournaments to hit the area.

On his return to Toronto in 1988, he quickly found out where the major tournaments where and became a regular in the park, especially in places like Waterloo, St. Thomas and Napanee. But according to Al, his passion for the game peaked in 1994 when his beloved Toronto Blue Jays, and all of major league baseball went on strike. Looking for something to do to fill the void, he heard, from Mark Smith, about the I.S.C. World Championships being held in Summerside in August. Al booked a vacation and flew down to the island, to what Al describes as his best tournament ever.

1994 produced some great games in an environment conducive to enjoying it, thanks to the friendly hard working Islanders who put on a spectacular tournament. Ten days of nothing but fastball, great people, and fantastic weather convinced Al that there was no need to ever go back to being a baseball fan. Al notes that during the ten days in Summerside he got his “BA” in softball when he lucked into reserved seats next to Joanie and Rick Hnakuik, the aunt and uncle of Darren Zack. Al got ten days of intensive instruction on the game from a couple of people who really know the game. And to this day he remains a close friend with the Zack family.

By the spring of 1995 Al was all set for another great year of ball, but one of the things he noticed was that it was extremely difficult to find out what was happening in the men’s fastball world. Al had subscribed to the Fastpitch Chronicle while in Summerside the previous summer and it gave him the dates of some of the big tournaments, but getting quick results from those tournaments was frustrating and even more so it was almost impossible to keep tabs on upcoming tournaments in his area. Al took it into his own hands to make use of the Internet technology he had been working with for many years and decided to share what he knew with others. He did not have his own web page yet but he received co-operation from Ray Wood who had started Slugger’s Softball on the web and who posted Al’s reports on a regular basis for visitors to see.

Al went to the I.S.C. World Championship in Sioux City Iowa in 1995 and took his lap top computer with him. Al had a reserved front row seat there, just like in Summerside, and was on top of the action all day every day. He took lots of notes and kept track of all the game results and burnt the midnight oil typing out his reports which he e-mailed to Ray in Illinois and they were up on the web site the next day. And 1995 was a great year to report on, with Darren Zack setting records that may never be broken, taking the Toronto Gators to their second world title.

In the spring of 1996, Al was invited to attend the kick off meeting of the I.S.C Travel League of Eastern Canada. Al’s work in promoting fastball had been recognized and he was asked to stand for the position of Director of Media and Marketing for the league. This was Al’s first exposure to the organizing side of fastball, and he had some good tutors, including Roger May, now a close friend and regular pal in the stands at the tournaments.

In the 1996 season, under Al’s guidance, the ISC Travel League saw ten-fold increases in park attendance at league and tournament games through a concentrated marketing program. Working with radio, television, daily and weekly newspapers, and drawing upon the renewed interest in softball in ’96 due to success stories such as the ISC World Champion (1993 and 1995) Toronto Gators and the Canadian Women’s Olympic team, significant progress was made in promoting softball events before they happened!

In 1996 at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Championships in Midland Michigan, Al acted as media relations for Team Canada, assisting Tour Director Neil Fennell in delivering game summaries and tournament results to the Canadian Press for distribution around the world. Al also reported all this information each day on the Internet, often reaching media outlets and fans not generally covered by the conventional press. By then Al had his own web site up and as many as a thousand people a day would visit his site from all over the world to get the results of the games. Al received notes of thanks and lots of questions from places like South Africa and Argentina.

Al did not attend the I.S.C.’s in Kimberly in 1996 as he was just starting up his own business, having just taken early retirement from York University. But this did not stop Al from reporting almost 24 hours a day on the results. ISC Statistician Gary Baughman faxed the results of each game, as they ended, to Al and he would distribute the results on the Internet, and by fax to all the media outlets in Canada and the USA with a team in the tournament. Most people thought Al was at the tournament.

Al worked with well-known media expert Ray Alviano at the 1996 Canadian Senior Men’s Championships in Waterloo Ontario, delivering an unparalleled media presence across the country. Utilizing the community media contacts of each and every one of the senior men’s teams in the tournament, the media team broadcast game results and standings, as soon as they happened to almost 100 media outlets in Canada via fax and as many again via the internet.

In the Fall/Winter of 1996/97, Al worked with a committee to expand the ISC Travel League from five teams to eleven. Working with the ISC, the Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) and the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA), the expanded league emerged as an alliance of premier men’s fastball teams in the province of Ontario.

In August of 1997 Al flew to Victoria with his good pal Gord Newman (whom he had met in Summerside in 1994) and they enjoyed 10 days of great ball and simply fantastic weather. By then Al had developed his extensive list of fastball fan contacts on the web and sent out game results and summaries to them and his son in Toronto added them to Al’s web site. Al’s site had over a thousand hits a day during the tournament.

While in Victoria Al was asked to speak to the full set of ISC commissioners on the opportunities for marketing that an ISC web page would provide to them. Al encouraged them to get a site up and working well in advance of the 1998 tournament. The ISC took that advice and now have web site that is visited on a frequent basis by fans of the game.

In 1997 Al developed the first web page for the Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) and he personally covered many of their tournaments for them, writing for the media, as well as the OASA newsletter, High and Inside. He also developed the first web site for the PWSA of Ontario.

In 1998 Al was chosen as the team leader for Canada’s National Men’s Softball Team and took them to Valencia Venezuela for the Pan Am Qualifier. Al said this was his most significant and rewarding experience in softball in his life. In 1999 Al attended the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg Manitoba as a fan and watched his beloved team win the Gold.

Al has developed many web sites to promote major tournaments and to report results during those events, including 1998, 1999, and 2003 Canadian Senior Men’s tournaments, the ISC World Tournaments in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. This past summer, Al was the man on the spot with the results posted as they happened at the OASA’s eliminations for senior and intermediate men.

In 2005, Al hopes to take in and cover the ISC World Championships in Eau Claire Wisconsin, and the Canadian Senior Men’s in St. Thomas Ontario, both in August of next year.

Al Doran is a pioneer promoting fastball softball on the Internet. Al’s Phenix Fastpitch page is well known for promoting men’s tournaments and is gateway to fastball on the Internet. Al maintains a large and growing list of internet addresses on his “Al’s Fastball List” that he uses on a regular basis to share stories, signings, tournaments, results, etc. re all aspects of fastpitch softball. To subscribe, just send him a note that says, “subscribe fastball” to his e-mail address at:

Al’s Fastball is at His mailing list archive is at:

Al may be reached on the Internet at

New and Improved Morning Brief

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

No, you’re not seeing things — we have changed the format of our “Morning Brief”. The new look is a result of some new blogging software. (We’ve switched from the basic google blogger software to WordPress) WordPress is a bit more sophisticated in the way the content is presented and organized for our readers, and offers some features not available with the old software. Additionally, you may have noticed that the archives at the old page never quite worked like they were supposed to, and the new software solves that.

The biggest changes that you may note, besides the cosmetic appearance of the page are: (1) Search engine that lets you find anything in our archives; Try it now if you like. Type in the word “poker” and you’ll get a short abstract about Maccabbi poker fund raiser this weekend. Now click the title of the article and it will expand to full text; (2) Categories, which you can click to see postings on only a particular topic; (3) Link bar, for easy access to some of your favorite fastball sites, including a quick link to get back to fastpitchwest; (4) Monthly archives, containing short abstracts for easier reference (click the title of any archive item to see the entire text of the column); (5) RSS Syndication to news readers. (a way to get our Morning Brief delivered as an email each time we add a new item). Don’t worry if your reaction to that last item was “huh?” The techies in the crowd will understand and can plug our RSS URL into their news reader. Those of you who have no idea what RSS is, fear not, as you can continued to read the Morning Brief at this site. We’ll be posting a column on the subject (RSS) for those who are interested. It’s a very cool feature that saves you the trouble of logging in to see if there is anything new posted. Easy route to RSS – click the “Get Thunderbird” link at the right under “Syndication”; (6) Live Bookmarks. Do you see that little orange square in the lower right hand corner? Click it, then choose RSS 2.0. It will place a bookmark for the site in your browser bookmarks that also create a “sub-menu” listing the headlines of the columns from Morning Brief, so you can access any of them from your the Bookmarks. If you don’t see an orange square on your browser, you probably haven’t set up your news reader. Stay tuned, as we’ll cover in a future posting. Want to read a bit more about this? Click here.

We’ve also made Morning Brief easier to find. It’s now on the main menu at Fastpitchwest, as well as a quick link at the bottom of every page at Fastpitchwest. (in that little grey bar quick link bar). And the URL is easy:

Thank you for your feedback about the Morning Brief to date. Judging from the emails we receive, it is becoming one of the more popular pages at our site.

We’re still tweaking the settings of the new software, so you may see some more minor changes in the coming weeks. We will be restoring the archive of prior postings for those who wish to reference them for any reason, and will leave the “old” Morning Brief intact until we do. You can access the old Morning Brief via the link over on the right under “links”.

Click the “Contact Morning Brief” link over on the right, and let us know what you think about the new format. Lastly, if you bookmarked the old site, don’t forget to update your bookmarks.

Rainy, not Rainey Weekend in Southern California

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Just a short note for those out of area readers who’ve been asking: The Panteras Valentine Tournament (Norwalk, CA) was not played this past weekend, due to rain. Plenty of rain, not enough Rainey. As of this morning, (not so) sunny Southern California is approaching an all time record for rain set in 1883-84. (38 inches) We have 32 inches and counting, whereas the norm is 9. Believe it or not, that’s more rain than San Francisco, or SEATTLE! It’s not the first time the tournament has been delayed by rain, but this year’s deluge will certainly challenge the grounds crew once the rain finally stops. The tournament had previously announced this coming weekend (February 26-27) as the rain-make-up date, but the weatherman says more rain due here through Thursday morning, and the ground around here is pretty soggy. No fish in the streets yet, but another few days and who knows.

NAFA Coordinates 2005 World Series with ISC Dates

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

We applaud NAFA for coordinating their 2005 World Series in Mankato, MN with the ISC World Tournament and ISC II dates, designed to save teams a substantial amount of money by piggy-backing their trip to Mankato MN with the one they are making to the ISC events in Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls, WI. (The two host cities are just a few hours drive apart).

The 2005 NAFA World Series will be held in North Mankato and Mankato, Minnesota from August 18-28, with six divisions of play being contested. Important information for each class is available below. You can also visit or contact NAFA via e-mail at with any questions.

NAFA will use Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport as it’s base airport this August. This airport is the same that will be used by the ISC and ISC II for their World Tournament and Tournament of Champions respectively, which begins one week before the start of the NAFA World Series. With this first time occurrence, NAFA will be using flexible scheduling of first round games so teams that wish to play both NAFA AA and ISC II and NAFA AAA or Major/Open will be able to. NAFA AA teams competing in the ISC II Tournament of Champions will start NAFA play later on Friday August 19. Teams competing in the ISC World Tournament and then either NAFA AAA or Major/Open will play their first games later in the day on Saturday August 20.

“This service NAFA is providing will benefit all of mens’ fastpitch and the players who play the game by allowing them to combine two ‘World Events’ into one trip,” says NAFA Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock. “This will save each team several thousand dollars and give them the chance to play in both events, which their finances don’t usually allow.” Hedgecock says teams will be able to fly into Minneapolis to begin their ISC play and then drive to the Chippewa Valley. Upon completion of play in Wisconsin, teams can then drive the three hours to Mankato for NAFA and then complete their travels by driving the 70 miles back to Minneapolis upon the completion of their schedule.

Schedule of Events 2005 NAFA World Series August 18-28 North Mankato and Mankato, Minnesota Caswell Park and Jaycees Park

* 23-Under Division August 26-28 4 games guaranteed-two round robin games that will seed all teams into double elimination Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Friday August 26, 6:30 pm, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Friday August 26, 8:00 pm Championship Game: Sunday August 28, 2:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 6:00 pm
* Class “A” August 25-28 NAFA 3-Game Guarantee Bracket Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Wednesday August 24, 8:00 pm, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Thursday August 25, 9:00 am Tournament Ceremonies: Thursday August 25, 6:00 pm, Caswell Park, games to follow Championship Game: Sunday August 28, 2:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 6:00 pm
Class “A-Major” August 18-21 NAFA 3-Game Guarantee Bracket Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Wednesday August 17, 8:00 pm, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Thursday August 18, 9:00 am Tournament Ceremonies: Thursday August 18, 7:00 pm, Caswell Park, games to follow Championship Game: Sunday August 21, 2:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 6:00 pm
* Class “AA” August 19-22 NAFA 3-Game Guarantee Bracket Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Thursday August 18, 8:00 pm, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Friday August 19, 8:00 am for non-ISC II teams, flexible starting time for ISC II teams Tournament Ceremonies: Thursday August 18, 7:00 pm, Caswell Park, games to follow Championship Game: Monday August 22, 2:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 6:00 pm
* Class “AAA” August 20-22 4 games guaranteed using new format-see below Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Saturday August 20, 10:00 am, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Saturday August 20, 11:30 am for non-ISC teams, flexible starting time for ISC teams Tournament Ceremonies: Friday August 19, 7:00 pm, Caswell Park, for teams present Championship Game: Monday August 22, 4:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 8:00 pm
* “Major/Open” Division August 20 and 21 – 4 games guaranteed using new format-see below Entry fee $400 Coaches Meeting: Saturday August 20, 10:00 am, Caswell Park Firehall First Game Start Time: Saturday August 20, flexible starting time for ISC teams Tournament Ceremonies: Friday August 19, 7:00 pm, Caswell Park, for teams present Championship Game: Sunday August 21, 6:00 pm with “If Necessary” game to follow, done by 10:00 pm

New Format for “AAA” and “Open/Major” at the 2005 NAFA World Series Three round robin games will seed all teams into an elimination bracket. Pool winners are placed into a double elimination bracket. The number three and four seeds will play each other in the first round of the single elimination loser’s bracket, with the number two seeds playing the winner of the first round loser’s bracket games. The format is very similar to the “Double Page” system previously used by the ISC World Tournament and that is currently used by the ISF One change is that the championship game will be double elimination, so if the team out of the loser’s bracket defeats the undefeated team, the “If Necessary” game will follow.

2006 NAFA World Series to Kimberly-Appleton Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

Wisconsin bids to remain the capital of the fastpitch world here in the United States, as yet another National tournament is headed to the Badger state, in 2006 when the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) brings its World Series to Kimberly-Appelton, Wisconsin in 2006.

Kimberly, Wisconsin has been the site of many ISC World Tournaments, including the one held in 2003. This year’s World Tournament and ISC II Tournament of Champions is set for Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, which hosted the NAFA World Series in 2003. The folks in Wisconsin have plenty of experience, and have received great reviews from the fastpitch world, so not surprising that they would be selected by these national organization.

Thanks to NAFA’s new webmaster and media director, Brett Bresnahan for the information provided below on the selection of Kimberly-Appleton for the 2006 NAFA World Series. Brett is from Minnesota, and will play a big role in this summer’s NAFA World Series in Mankato, Minnesota. From NAFA:

NAFA Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock has announced that the 2006 North American Fastpitch Association Men’s Fastpitch World Series will be held in Kimberly-Appleton, Wisconsin in 2006. Specific dates for each class will be set at this year’s World Series in North Mankato, Minnesota after conferring with the teams. Appleton-Kimberly, Wisconsin edged out Des Moines, Iowa for the 2006 event.

Appleton-Kimberly, Wisconsin is part of the Fox Valley which included 15 small cities that have been selected as the second safest cities in the United States. Hedgecock says, “The area has their own airport in town so once you fly in you will be within 10 minutes of just about anything you can think of. This will be a unique setting as it will be the first time in many years that NAFA has held its World Series where the teams could fly directly into the town we (NAFA) are playing in and get a rental car there or take a free shuttle to their motel in under 10

There are over 2,200 motel rooms in the 15 minute area, with over 1,100 two bedded rooms. Hedgecock also states that the host motel, The Radisson Paper Valley, has 400 rooms itself and is located downtown so you can virtually walk to anything you need from nightlife to restaurants to services.

The playing facilities are excellent and have hosted the ISC World Tournament 10 times, most recently in 2003, when they had 80,000 spectators. The two-field Kimberly Facility, Sunset Park, is recognized as one of the finest, if not the finest fastpitch facility in the world.

The seven-field Appleton Memorial Park Complex is very well suited for the NAFA World Series with all seven fields together in a four-field wheel and a three-field wheel. All fields are lit, have very green outfields and very fine infield surfaces according to Hedgecock. These facilities will be host in 2005 to the Wisconsin NAFA Travel League. Food and beverage concessions as well as umpire changing facilities will possibly be the best ever.

Wisconsin is proud to be the state with the most men’s fastpitch teams in the United States and they are also the largest NAFA State in the U.S. Appleton, 30 minutes south of Green Bay and 90 minutes north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is located very well in the Midwest and very close to many of our Canadian teams.

Site Selection Criteria

The combination of allowing Midwest teams drive from their hometown to Appleton and by introducing direct air flights right into Appleton, NAFA completes its goals as set by the teams and the Executive Committee at the 2004 World Series, when the following items were prioritized through team surveys.

First, almost 100% of the players favored a mild-weather climate to a hot-weather climate. The second priority was to go to an area that had the experience to run our event the right way on the best fields available and that has enough fields to have each team feel like they are important and not sent out to a satellite field. Third was to try and keep the event central to the Midwest The fourth priority was that the NAFA players wanted to go somewhere that they haven’t been before Fifth was to find a destination location with after hours activities for adults and for families The sixth priority was to find a location with a local airport as teams have been flying in and driving 45-90 minutes for many years. The final two priorities were to someday go to Canada and to the East Coast while not giving up the other six priorities listed above. “Obviously, Des Moines, Iowa, the runner-up, provided many of the same benefits that Appleton, Wisconsin provided and should feel proud to be a finalist in this search for the best places to host our NAFA World Series,” Hedgecock says.

Specific after hours items include: Oneida Bingo & Casino, Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers minor league baseball, TDS Players Choice indoor sports park, The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, The Fox River Mall, specialty shops, downtown farmer’s markets, karaoke, restaurants that don’t close until 11, bars that you can walk to safely that don’t close until 2:30 and the flavor of 15 little cities all close enough to be considered on big city,

“The Appleton-Kimberly NAFA World Series Committee is a very strong group led by Chad Mix, a well respected men’s fastpitch player,” states Hedgecock. “He leads a 9-person committee that will oversee the operation and promotion of the event per the NAFA World Series Contract. “

The key volunteer groups that will help to make the 2006 NAFA World Series a success are: first the Kimberly Recreation Association, who is considered the top Softball National Tournament Committee in the Nation, led by Al Schaefer of Kimberly Parks and Recreation. They have successfully operated 10 ISC World Tournaments and second, the Appleton Rockers Fastpitch Association. They successfully handled the ISCII event held in Appleton two years ago. They also hold the largest fastpitch tournament annually at Memorial Park in Appleton.

Hospitality : Businesses already have free coupons and giveaways setup at some great restaurants and bars

Sites Considered

The teams gave us many recommendations for us to evaluate and the top recommended cities for us to evaluate as suggested by the teams were: 1) Denver, Colorado, 2) Niagara Falls (both East Coast and in Canada), 3) Memphis, Tennessee, 4) Des Moines, Iowa, 5) Appleton, Wisconsin, 6) Decatur, Illinois, 7) Ontario, Canada, 8. Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 9) Midland, Michigan, 10) Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 11) Salem, Virginia, 12) South Bend, Indiana, 13) Chicago, Illinois, 14) Omaha, Nebraska, 15) Springfield, Missouri, 16) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 17) Minneapolis, Minnesota, 18) Salem, Oregon, 19) Reno, Nevada, 20) Orlando, Florida, 21) Cleveland, Ohio, 22) Ashland, Ohio, and 23) Sacramento, California.

NAFA would like to offer its appreciation of some people and organizations that assisted in the bid presentation and site inspection by NAFA Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock and Local Wisconsin NAFA Board Member, Kevin Musolf. The Outagamie County Airport for providing the plane ticket to do the site survey, the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel for housing while the survey was conducted, the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sports Commission Manager, Pete Schueppert and Executive Director Lynn Peters, the Vince Lombardi Steakhouse, the Cheyenne Sports Bar & Grill, the Vegas Lounge, the Los Compadres Restaurant, the TDS Player’s Choice Indoor Sports Park, Oneida Bingo & Casino, Mark Miller and the Bar of Appleton.

For more information about Appleton and the Fox Cities contact, Pete Schueppert, Sports Sales Manager, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 920.734.3358 (Local) or 800.236.4114 (Toll Free) or 920.734.1080 (Fax), e-mail Pete at and visit their website at

Brett Bresnahan
NAFA Webmaster and Media Director