July 2017

The World Series of Beep Baseball Is A Home Run
for The Palm Beaches

The National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) will bring its World Series to The Palm Beaches this summer. The World Series of Beep Baseball offers individuals who are blind or visually impaired an opportunity to compete for a baseball championship. The NBBA World Series is one of the most admired sports events for athletes with physical challenges.   

The NBBA World Series of Beep Baseball will make its Palm Beach County debut on July 24-29 2017.  The games will be played at Village Park in Wellington. The Hilton West Palm Beach will serve as the host hotel and site of the awards banquet.  A total of 22 teams, consisting of more than 500 athletes, will travel from across the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic in pursuit of a world championship.   More than 500 beep baseball players will compete.

During the World Series of Beep Baseball, teams first compete in grouped round robin play to determine seeding. The World Series continues as a double elimination tournament to determine the champion. Under this format, teams are guaranteed a minimum of five (5) games, with most teams playing an average of eight (8) games.

Beep Baseball originated in 1964, when Charlie Fairbanks, an engineer with a telephone company, implanted a beeping device in a softball as a way of encouraging blind athletes to become involved in recreational activities. Eleven years later, Beep Baseball enthusiasts formed the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) in Chicago, and ever since, the league has played a full schedule of games that begins in the spring and ends in late July or early August.

The World Series of Beep Baseball will provide a considerable tourism boost to Palm Beach County.   The abundance of new dollars and rise in hotel occupancy will be welcomed by the hospitality and business community.  Hotels and restaurants will experience a surge of business during the prime of the shoulder season in late July and early August.  

“Beep Baseball empowers individuals to learn about being part of a team, how to build a team, becoming physically fit, increasing self-confidence and competing against others across the United States, Canada, and Taiwan annually, for the honor of being champion," says Dan Greene, President of the NBBA.

“Winning the bid for the 2017 World Series of Beep Baseball was a historic occasion for Palm Beach County”, says George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.  “The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is honored and excited to partner with the NBBA to host its World Series of Beep Baseball.   Its extra gratifying to host the pinnacle of a sport and an event that means so much to so many people”. 

Beep Baseball has many distinctions from the traditional format of baseball.  Below is a quick summary of these differences:

  • A beep baseball contest lasts six (6) innings. Each game involves a 16-inch softball that contains a noisemaking “beep.” When a pin is pulled from the ball, the beeping noise begins, allowing players to better follow the ball. 
  • All players wear blindfolds. While some players are completely blind, others have very limited sight capabilities. The blindfolds serve as an equalizer, a fair way to level the playing field, insuring that all players are essentially sightless when playing the game. 
  • The pitcher throws the ball from 20 feet away. Pitchers are teammates of the hitters, so they try to groove each pitch toward the same spot to maximize the hitter’s rate of success.
  • Each hitter has up to four strikes, instead of the usual three. When a hitter makes contact, he then runs to one of two “goals,” which are located to the left and right of where the first and third base bags would normally be. If the batter reaches one of the two designated goals before the fielding team gains control of the ball, a run is tallied for the offensive team. If the fielding team controls the ball before the batter reaches the goal, the batter is considered out. As in regular baseball, each team receives three outs before having to take its defensive position in the field. 
  • There is no second base. First and third bases, four foot padded cylinders with speakers, are placed one hundred feet down the respective lines and ten feet outside the foul lines. The bases contain sounding units that give off a continuous buzzing noise when activated. 
  • A player does one of three things when batting: hit the ball and be put out by the defense, hit the ball and score a run, or strike out. A batter is allowed four (4) strikes and one (1) pass ball. Each team has its own sighted pitcher and catcher.

For more information, visit www.nbba.org.  The event is free and open to the public.  Games begin at 8:00am, 11:00am, and 2:00pm from Tuesday July 25 to Friday, July 28.  The World Series Championship takes place on Saturday, July 29 at 11:00am.  

 


The Palm Beach County Convention Center will host the
USJA / USJF Grassroots Judo Nationals

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with the Tomodachi Judo Club to host the United States Judo Association (USJA) / United States Judo Federation (USJF) Grassroots Judo Nationals, which is scheduled to take place on July 6-9, 2017 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.  The USJA Grassroots Judo Nationals is one of the larger national judo events taking place annually in the United States.  Over 600 male and female athletes will compete in a variety of age divisions (youth and adults), skill levels (white belt to black belt), and weight classes.  Athletes will travel from across the nation and the globe to participate.

The event features both a Shiai and Kata competition.  Shiai is a contest between two competitors to determine a winner of a match.  The Kata competition allows competitors to demonstrate their form and ability to conduct formal exercises comprising of a fixed sequence of basic self-defense and attacking techniques.  Competitors of all ages will compete.  Youth divisions include age groups that range from 5 years of age to 17 years of age.  Adult divisions range from 18 years of age to seniors.

The USJA / USJF Grassroots Judo Nationals invites competitors that are members of the United States Judo Association (USJA), the United States Judo Federation (USJF), and USA Judo.  These three entities are the leading organizations for promoting Judo and Judo hosting clinics and tournaments.  The USJA and USJF are affiliated with USA Judo, the national governing body for the sport.

The USJA / USJF Grassroots Judo Nationals has a storied history and previously occurred in locations throughout all parts on the United States.  The event most recently took place in Los Angeles during the summer of 2016, Indianapolis in 2015, and Hawaii in 2014.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Palm Beach County Convention Center have joined forces to host a variety of marquee sports events.  This past June, the Palm Beach County Convention Center was home to the Sunshine State Games.  This multisport competition featured eight (8) indoor sports, including Judo. The Palm Beach County Convention Center presents a spectacular setting for indoor sports events.  An architectural masterpiece with state-of-the-art amenities, the 350,000 square-foot center features a 100,000 square-foot exhibit hall, a 22,000 square-foot ballroom and 21,000 square feet of flexible breakout space meeting spaces.   

The USJA / USJF Grassroots Judo Nationals will create a significant tourism impact during Palm Beach County’s shoulder season.  The athletes and their families will produce a high volume of hotel room nights and considerable levels of visitor spending for the local community.  

“The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s partnership with the Palm Beach County Convention Center has attracted some of the nation’s most prestigious sports events while significantly elevating sports tourism in The Palm Beaches, said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The USJA / USJF Grassroots Judo Nationals is a renowned event that will bring the judo universe to the Palm Beach County Convention Center.  This is another premier in-door sports event that demonstrates the Palm Beach County Convention Center’s capabilities as a dynamic venue for sports.”  

 

 


The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships Swings Into The Palm Beaches

The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships will return to PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on July 18 through August 2, 2017. This is one of the largest and most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the world, which features boys and girls competing in a variety of age groups.  Over 600 golfers from more than 30 different nations will travel to Palm Beach County to participate in this two-week event.  This tournament will take place on three courses on the property of PGA National Resort & Spa.  The prestigious Champions Course in addition to the dynamic Squire and Fazio courses will host the many rounds of golf that makes up the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. 

The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships has taken place in Palm Beach County for 14 consecutive years.  Boys and girls from 10 & under to 13 & under will compete from July 18-23.  Boys and girls between the ages of 13-15 will compete from July 23-28.  Boys and girls between the ages of 15-18 will compete from July 28-August 2.

No other junior golf tournament quite compares to that of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, which focuses on fair competition and cultural understanding among youth. This unique tournament offers as broad a field and expanded age groups as any other in its class.

Since 1978, Optimist-sponsored golf tournaments have served as a springboard for many of golf’s greatest players. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, Michelle McGann and Nancy Lopez are just a few of today’s elite players who found their humble beginnings with the Optimists. Former champions and top finishers of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships include Lexi Thompson, Beth Bauer, Jonathan Byrd, Jason Day, Bill Haas, Brittany Lincicome, Jeff Overton, Stacy Prammanasudh and Jennifer Rosales

Optimists have been involved in the sport of junior golf for more than 30 years by holding local, regional and international tournaments. More than 5,000 golfers compete in official Optimist District qualifying tournaments. The best of these golfers, along with international golfers from around the globe, advance to the annual Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.

This is one of the largest tourism generators for the summer.   The 2017 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is expected to generate over $2 million of total economic impact for Palm Beach County in addition to nearly 4,000 hotel room nights.  There is no other junior golf tournament in the world that stimulates bed tax revenues and direct spending over a two-week stretch, such as the Optimist’s premier event. 

Optimists have been involved in the sport of junior golf for more than 30 years by holding local, regional and international tournaments. More than 5,000 golfers compete in official Optimist District qualifying tournaments. The best of these golfers, along with international golfers from around the globe, advance to the annual Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.


 

The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Roger Dean Stadium
Will Be A Catalyst for Sports Tourism This July

Florida’s only Major League Baseball (MLB) Spring Training Complexes that accommodates two (2) teams reside in The Palm Beaches. The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which is home to the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals for spring training, is located in West Palm Beach and in the midst of its inaugural year.  Roger Dean Stadium, which is home to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins for spring training, is located in Jupiter.   The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Roger Dean Stadium offers two marquee baseball stadiums and 26 total diamonds, which has transformed The Palm Beaches into one of the elite baseball destinations in the United States.  Due to this incomparable baseball landscape, Palm Beach County will be home to several amateur baseball tournaments this July that will attract visitors from across the nation. 

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with Perfect Game Youth Florida, a subdivision of Perfect Game USA, to create two statewide baseball tournaments that would utilize the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The Perfect Game Florida Classic, which will take place from July 1-5, 2017, will attract an estimated 30 teams and 540 athletes from across Florida.  Participating teams will compete in pool play followed by the bracket play. Each team is guaranteed 4 games. The Perfect Game Florida Tuci Lumber Endless Summer Classic, which will take place from July 14-17, 2017, will attract approximately 50 teams and 900 athletes from across Florida.   Participating teams will compete in pool play followed by the playoff/ bracket play. Each team is guaranteed 4 games. There will also be a skills competition held in conjunction with the baseball tournament.

The Under Armour Firecracker Classic is one of three Team One Baseball National Tournaments taking place at Roger Dean Stadium during the summer of 2017.  This event, scheduled for July 7-11, is a wood composite bat tournament that features both a 16u and 18u age division.   Approximately 80 teams, consisting of more than 1,400 athletes, are expected to compete.  Teams will play three (3) pool play games and a minimum guarantee of four (4) total games. Players will have an opportunity to earn an invitation to the Under Armour National Showcase.  The tournament will attract a large number of collegiate and professional baseball scouts.

Prospect Select Baseball is partnering with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to host “The Wave Invitational” at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches from July 21-25.    Approximately 40 teams are expected to compete in 18U, 16U and 14U age divisions, beginning with three days of pool play and advancing with two days of playoff baseball.  Teams are expected to travel across the southeast region of the United States to participate.  The event is a wood-composite bat tournament.   Each team will play a minimum of 4 games. 

Prospect Select Baseball hosted the Palm Beach Classic at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Roger Dean Stadium, and the Santaluces Athletic Complex this past June.  The Palm Beach Classic is the third largest high school age baseball showcase that takes place in the United States.  This event attracted 270 teams and nearly 5,000 athletes to The Palm Beaches.  


 

 

Highlights from the 2017 NAIA Women's Golf National Championship held at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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