OCEAN CITY- Nearly 6,000 softball players from all over the country and beyond descended on the Lower Shore this week for the first events of the U.S. Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Eastern World Series.
This year’s event began on Wednesday and will continue through the end of the month with competition each week in different age brackets. The USSSA Eastern World Series will draw over 400 teams from 15 states and Canada to the Worcester-Wicomico region including Ocean City over the three-week life of the tournament. The event generates an estimated $19 million in economic impact and hotel room-night demand in excess of 10,000.
This week’s early round games brought 95 teams for the first of three legs of the tournament for the under-10 and under-12 open divisions. Next week will feature the under-14 open division and the under-14 “B” division. The last week will feature the under-16 open division, the under-18 open division and the under-18 “B” division. The tournament kicked off with opening ceremonies on Wednesday at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury.
The 2018 event will once again be billed under the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA), partnership formed in 2014 between Wicomico and Worcester Counties and the town of Ocean City. The partnership is the first of its kind in the nation and leverages the combined assets of each jurisdiction in order to attract, retain and build sports marketing events. For example, while Wicomico and Worcester have the athletic facilities to handle the events, the town of Ocean City has the hotel rooms and other amenities to accommodate the players, coaches, families, friends and fans.