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Feb. 1, 2010
WOMEN'S CIRCUIT BUILDING STEAM IN THE NORTH EASTSteve Simmons New England & North Regional Director, Clubs & Leagues
NEWTON, Conn. – The New England Classic, the Connecticut SSWC qualifier held at the CT Sportsplex in North Branford, will be five years old this year.
The first year it was held, 2006, eight teams attended. The next year there were 25 teams, the following year there were 33 and last year there were 40 teams. It is expected the number could approach 50 teams this year and that’s just in the men’s senior division.
There have been inquiries from men’s Masters teams, 40-&-older, to provide a Master’s division. There also have been inquiries from women’s senior teams to provide a women’s division. If both these divisions come to fruition this tournament could balloon to around 60 teams.
In anticipation of an increased number of teams the tournament has expanded to two weekends at the CT Sportsplex, May 15-17 (50+, 55+ & 60+) and May 22-24 (65+, 70+, 75+ and women’s).
That’s Saturday to Monday, a deviation from the normal Friday through Sunday tournament. The Saturday and Sunday play will handle the majority of games and Monday will be reserved for a reduced number of games among the teams left fighting for the title. The intent is to minimize the number of vacation days players need to take to play in this tournament.
It is quite likely the tournament will reach 50 teams in 2010, especially if Jan Brown has anything to do with the organization of the women’s division. Brown, who is the Connecticut state coordinator for senior women’s softball for the Connecticut senior games, has virtually given assurance there will be women’s play at this year’s New England Classic.
“I feel confident I can draw two Connecticut teams, two New York teams, one Massachusetts team and one Delaware team to the New England Classic,” Brown said.
Her vision is to not only play in Connecticut this summer but to participate in other Northeast senior softball venues from May to September. After a break for the Christmas holidays Brown said, “I am back on the women's senior softball trail. We (collectively the Northeast senior women’s teams) would be interested in tournaments in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and of course Connecticut.”
She may be targeting the SSWC Rhode Island qualifier in August and the SSWC Northeast Championships in Cape May, N.J., in September. Along with the New England Classic, these are the three biggest SSWC tournaments in the Northeast. Brown may also consider another couple of tournaments to provide the women the same thing the men are realizing this year, a local tournament circuit where teams can play in a tournament a month.
If you want to know more about where the women will play this summer and if you are with a team that would like to be part of this, contact Brown. Her contact information is: