OCEAN CITY- Nearly 6,000 softball players from all over the country and beyond will descend 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 begins next 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.
The tournament gets underway next week with the first of three legs of the tournament for the under-10 and under-12 open divisions. The second leg from July 23-28 will feature the under-14 open division and the under-14 “B” division. The final leg will feature the under-16 open division, the under-18 open division and the under-18 “B” division.
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.
“Many participants turn the tournament into a vacation for the whole family,” said Wicomico County marketing representative Andrew Kurtz. “Wicomico and Worcester Counties and the town of Ocean City will see a boost in tourist activities throughout the three weeks as a result of the tournament.”