The Metro Nashville Softball Association (MNSA) will host its annual tournament this weekend. According to Nashville league Secretary Patrick Hamilton, teams from all over the US will travel to Music City for the weekend-long event.
“This is a tournament that we open up to teams outside of Nashville,” he said. “This year we have teams participating from Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Chicago, Dallas. We’re expecting well over 500 people here, nearly 400 players.”
“On Friday night teams will start arriving,” he said. “We are hosting registration at Tribe. From 7 to 10pm players will come in and register. The league is also hosting a post office party that night at Tribe and that will run from 7 to 11pm. That’s not just open to tournament participants. It’s open to the larger community so we’d love folks to come out and meet the softball players that are in from out of town.”
The tournament begins the next morning at Cedar Hill Park, in Madison at 860 West Old Hickory Blvd with a round robin followed by double elimination playoff round that will run through Sunday.
“All teams will play at least two round robin games and those will finish up by 1:30 on Saturday afternoon,” said Hamilton. “At that time all of the teams will be ranked in each division and then the actual tournament will start. It’s double elimination and that will go through Saturday probably early evening and then another full day on Sunday.”
“Tribe and Play are helping to sponsor the tournament,” he said, “and they are offering free admission on Friday and Saturday for tournament players. That’s an added perk and there will be drink specials as well so we’re certainly appreciative of that.”
The MNSA is league governed by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance which hosts an annual Gay Softball World Series tournament. Each year the Nashville league sends four of its teams – two from each division – to participate in the World Series, this year to be held in Dallas. The Nashville Force (in the photo above) will be one of those teams representing Nashville.
Other than the tournament this weekend and the World Series event, the regular season is entirely based in Nashville with local teams and players. “We start playing every year in the Spring,” said Hamilton, “through usually mid-June and then we end the season with this MNSA Classic that we host. Players are sorted based on their skill level so everyone plays with other players that are of similar skill. And it is an LGBT league, so our objective is to promote amateur athletics within the LGBT community around friendly competition. Our teams, in the NAGAA rules, in order to qualify for the World Series are allowed to have three straight allies on your team, so it really is an LGBT league.”