Amateur Softball Association
|Type||Sport governing body|
|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA|
|Membership||3 million players, 230,000 teams, 35,000 umpires|
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) is a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was founded in 1933 with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. Shortly afterward the ASA was located in Newark, New Jersey. A world amateur softball tournament was held by the ASA at Chicago's Soldier Field that started on September 7, 1939. The ASA moved to Oklahoma City on January 1, 1966.
The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum is operated by the ASA and is located at 2801 NE 50th Street in Oklahoma City.
ASA now runs competitions in every state through a network of 76 state and metro associations. It has a membership of over 230,000 teams, with more than 3 million players and 35,000 umpires.
National Team Program (USA Softball)
In 1978, the United States Olympic Committee named ASA the national governing body of softball. Due to this designation ASA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Softball Teams in order to compete in international and domestic competitions. in 1996 The Women's Fast Pitch National Team became The first Team to compete in the Olympics. The ASA National Team program is also known as USA Softball.
ASA Youth Program
The ASA youth program, also known as the Junior Olympic program, is among the nation's largest youth sports organization. Over 80,000 teams, 1.3 million players and 300,000 coaches participate in ASA youth softball on an annual basis. It is the single fastest growing program in the ASA, and has had membership growth every year since its inception in 1974.
ASA Adult Program
The ASA adult program has served as the backbone of the association since its beginning in 1934. With over 170,000 teams, 2.5 millions players and 500,000 coaches involved on an annual basis, the adult program is the largest program within the Amateur Softball Association. The ASA provides varied programs of competition for adults including fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch for men and women. The ASA also offers programs in modified pitch and 16-inch slow pitch.
Registration and Membership
The ASA uses its network of 76 local associations covering all 50 states to register its players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and other administrative members. An online application is available to teams and leagues to register their members.
ASA Championship Tournament Program
Annually the ASA conducts over 90 National Championships in each of its major disciplines of the sport - slow, fast and modified pitch. Since each competitor must earn their berth into an ASA national through a network of qualifying tournaments conducted throughout the season, the champion goes home as the unchallenged best team in the nation for their respected division each year.
Qualifying for ASA National Championships begin at the local level with league championships, state championships and eventually national qualifiers. Each year over 30,000 players qualify to compete in an ASA National Championship. Cities from across America annually bid for these celebrated events, largely because of the economic impact they will make on their communities.
ASA Umpire Program
The ASA umpire program is among the nation's largest officiating organizations with over 35,000 officials actively involved each year. ASA officials are nationally recognized as some of the best trained and proficient in the sport, and are involved in competitions which include league play, city, state and national championships. Ultimately, ASA umpires could officiate events such as world championship, Pan American and Olympic competitions. In some areas, select ASA umpires also umpire in little league baseball games.
ASA Certified Equipment
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) has taken great strides to protect the integrity of the sport. Each year, the ASA's equipment testing and specifications committee examines the current rules and specifications governing various items of equipment. This committee makes recommendations to the ASA's council composed of ASA commissioners, select youth and player representatives, umpire-in-chiefs, elite athletes and other affiliated members. The council is the ultimate decision maker of ASA rules and regulations regarding equipment. The ASA Softball official website features a complete listing of ASA certified equipment which most municipal park district and corporate leagues follow, to varying extents, as to what rules are adhered to and what equipment is allowed in play, especially bats.
National Softball Hall of Fame Museum
The National Softball Hall of Fame was officially dedicated May 26, 1973 in Oklahoma City. The building was opened to the public July 1, 1973.
The first of two additions to the ASA Hall of Fame/ASA Headquarters was started July 5, 1976 and completed July 13, 1977 for an additional 4,350 square feet (404 m2) of space. Dedication ceremonies for the expansion were held July 23, 1977. Counting the Hall of Fame/ASA Headquarters and the ASA Hall of Fame, there is 28,406 square feet (2,639.0 m2) of space. The second expansion was added July 1980 for an additional 5,182 square feet (481.4 m2) of space, with total footage 18,140 square feet (1,685 m2) of space. Plans are currently in the works for future expansion and the existing museum is currently undergoing renovations.
The ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum has 337 members with 125 deceased. There are two categories of membership: Players and non-players. A nominee needs 75 percent (nine votes) of the votes cast by the 12 member Hall of Fame Committee to be elected. Annual inductions are held at the ASA Annual Meeting. The members include 182 players and one non player (50 deceased) in the following divisions: men's fast pitch (84); women's fast pitch (54); men's slow pitch (31); women's slow pitch (11); and modified pitch (2). The Hall of Fame has 154 members in non-playing categories including commissioner (39); umpire (36), meritorious service (38), managers (25) and sponsors (14). Seventy-Five are deceased. The Clearwater, FL Bombers, 10 time ASA national fast pitch champion, has the most members in the players category of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame with 22.
The ASA publishes an updated rulebook for Softball each year, which is widely used by many adult and recreational leagues in the U.S, while also being used by many foreign softball organisations. The ASA rules were also used for the softball competition when it was an Olympic sport between 1996 and 2008.
- "History of Softball and the ASA". Retrieved 2009-09-10.
- "Play to Open Tomorrow in Softball Meet". Chicago Tribune. September 6, 1939. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
- "Quick facts about the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- ASA official website
- ASA official registration website
- Video Tour of ASA Hall OF Fame
- ASA/USA Softball Official YouTube Page
- ASA/USA Softball Official Twitter Page
- ASA/USA Softball Official Facebook Page
- Official Web Page of ASA's National Teams Program
- ASA/USA Softball official merchandise website
- ASA official umpire and officials uniform sales and equipment website