SALISBURY – The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) announced its intent to return to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for the next three years during a presentation last month at the Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The Eastern Nationals has been hosted on the shore since 2007 and has grown to be one of the largest fast-pitch softball tournaments in one location in the nation.
The growth of the tournament is due in part to the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA), a formal sports marketing partnership between Ocean City, Wicomico County and Worcester County. MAASA was formed in 2014 to accommodate the growth of the Eastern National, which had expanded beyond Wicomico County’s borders.
Since 2007, the Eastern Nationals has drawn over 4,200 teams, generating an estimated economic impact of over $200 Million.
“That’s not possible without the partnership that was forged when MAASA was started,” said Andy Wisk, program operations director of USSSA East Coast Events. “It doesn’t happen without all the host communities, with all their oars in the water, rowing together.”
USSSA announced its intent to return to the shore for the next three years and extended the gratitude to MAASA and its surrounding communities for their dedication to the event.
“Without so many people doing what you do — the experience, the sustainability, people wanting to come back year after year — that wouldn’t exist. It’s very special,” said Don DeDonatis III, chief executive officer at USSSA. “It’s about the experience, it’s about showing off what is in the community to have people want to come back. They come back not just for the softball tournament; they come back because this is a great place with so many amenities.”
This year’s Eastern Nationals is set for July 11-29. The three-week event will bring over 350 girls softball teams to the shore.