Nashville, TN - National Pro Fastpitch announced today the site for the 2010 NPF Championship Series. The Series has been awarded to SulphurLouisiana and will be held August 26-29 at McMurrayPark in Sulphur. The event will be hosted by, and with the cooperation of, the Sulphur Parks and Recreation Department and the support of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention &Visitors Bureau.
The NPF Championship Series is the League’s hallmark event and is designed to feature the League’s outstanding talent in a playoff/tournament format. The top four Team finishers in the regular season League standings qualify for the Championship Series. The format is a best of 3 series between the #1 and #4 seed, along with a best of 3 series between the #2 and #3 seeds, with the winners of those two series’ facing off in a best of 3 Championship final. This will be the first time the event will be held in the state of Louisiana.
“Our focus in placing the Championship Series is to find a community and an area that will help in supporting the event to the magnitude that our extraordinary players deserve. I believe the Sulphur/Lake Charles area is positioned to do just that,” commented Commissioner Cheri Kempf of the National Pro Fastpitch League. “Sulphur has hosted some very successful softball events in the past and that is what attracted us to them in the first place.” In 2008 Sulphur hosted a stop for the Olympic Fastpitch Team while on the Bound 4 Beijing Tour and in the spring of 2009 hosted over 13,000 people in less than 3 days at the Louisiana State High School Softball Championships.
“We are honored to be chosen as host site for this world class event and we look forward to welcoming the NPF Championships to Southwest Louisiana next summer,” said Norman Farr, director of Sulphur Parks and Recreation. “Our facilities are rated as some of the finest in the state and nation and the community support and hospitality that tournament participants will experience here will be like none other.”
Last year’s NPF Championship Series was held in Akron, OH, home of the NPF’s own, Akron Racers. The #3 Seed of the Series, Rockford Thunder, captured the title after first winning a best of 3 series from the #2 Seed and host Akron Racers, before moving into the championship round against the #4 Seed USSSA Pride. USSSA Pride earned their way to the finals through an upset of the favored #1 Seed, Chicago Bandits. The Thunder’s Cat Osterman was named the MVP of the 2009 NPF Championship Series.
“We want to create a destination for the softball fans of the world to come watch the most competitive women’s fastpitch softball competition in existence. We are committed to building this event as the place to be in August with a well rounded experience of fun surrounding the best softball, and featuring the most outstanding athletes in our sport. Sulphur and Lake Charles is committed to helping us do that and that will be the difference fans will see,” said Kempf.
The Championship Series will be surrounded by additional promotional events including a Pro-Am Golf Tournament, 5K Race, NPF Challenger Game (for handicapped athletes), NPF 2010 Season Awards Luncheon, a college Exposure Camp, and a Pre-Series Skills Clinic. In addition to that, a series of youth qualifying tournaments that coincide with the Championship Series is expected to be announced soon. Television coverage has yet to be finalized.
“Hosting the NPF Championships will provide a great economic impact for Calcasieu Parish as we hope to attract visitors from the state and region to participate in the promotional events as well as watch the tournament,” said Eric Zartler, athletic/corporate sales manager for the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This area of the state has been known for years as the Youth Sports Capital of Louisiana and we are thrilled to take it to the next level by hosting a professional event.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The League, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).
Southwest Louisiana is known as the Youth Sports Capital of Louisiana with athletic events having a large economic impact on the local economy each year. From softball and baseball to soccer, swim and golf, the facilities are consistently ranked amongst the top in the state. The area has played host to many state championship events for high school athletes including the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Softball tournament, nicknamed Fast Pitch 56, for the last ten years.