United States Specialty Sports Association

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United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
USSSA.png
United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) is located in Florida
United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
USSSA location in Florida
Location 5800 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940
Coordinates 28°15′25″N 80°44′22″W / 28.25694°N 80.73944°W / 28.25694; -80.73944Coordinates: 28°15′25″N 80°44′22″W / 28.25694°N 80.73944°W / 28.25694; -80.73944


The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) is a volunteer, sports governing body, non-profit organization based in Viera, Florida. It was founded in 1968, originally in Petersburg, Virginia. It was announced at the 2015 National Conference that USSSA would move to a new headquarters in Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida in the spring of 2017. USSSA took over the Space Coast Stadium complex from the Washington Nationals baseball club. An additional eight multi-purpose all-turf fields will join the existing seven fields, and a new 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) building will house the USSSA National Hall of Fame and Sports Museum.

Originally USSSA stood for United States Slow-pitch Softball Association. However, in 1998, USSSA rebranded the name to United States Specialty Sports Association and expanded into other sports including youth girls fast-pitch and boys baseball. USSSA governs 13 sports across the US, Puerto Rico, various US Military bases, and Canada, and has a membership of over 3.7 million.[citation needed]

In 2015, it generated $13.7 million in revenues.[1]

History[edit]

The USSSA organization was formed in the spring of 1968 after the founders' ideas were turned down at a different national softball association's national meeting. The founders of the organization are Robert Mueller, James DiOrio, Ray Ernst, Frank Ciaccia and Ted Mazza. They used their newly formed organization to implement new developments. These developments include longer fences, 65 foot base paths, a smaller batter's box, widened media coverage, and encouraged greater financial support.[2] Their experimental world tournament in 1968 was a success; there were 50 different teams from 15 states.

The first decade was a turbulent one. Teams flocked to the new association with progressive ideas, and the older organization enacted policies designed to keep teams from participating in USSSA sanctioned events. The battle ended up in a Federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, where USSSA prevailed after a long and expensive ordeal.[citation needed]

By 1971, USSSA was in debt and directors began resigning. In the fall of that year, a meeting was held in Petersburg, Virginia to decide whether to continue with the organization. The decision was made to move forward, and the executive board elected 40-year-old Al Ramsey of Petersburg as Chief Executive Officer.

USSSA grew rapidly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, adding new programs such as Church, Corporate, Women's, Mixed and multi levels of Men's play, along with structured Divisions such as Central, Southern, and Midwest. By 1987, USSSA passed 100,000 teams in total membership.

In 1997, the USSSA became a multi-sports governing body. Currently the USSSA is the largest multi-sport governing body in the world.[citation needed] USSSA offers programs and tournaments in Baseball, Basketball, Fastpitch, Flag Football, Golf, Martial Arts, Lacrosse, Soccer, Slow-Pitch, and Volleyball.

In April of 2017, USSSA moved its national headquarters from Osceola County, Florida to Viera, Florida to the newly renovated Space Coast Stadium and USSSA Space Coast Complex. The USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch league started play in May 2017 in the newly renamed USSSA Space Coast Stadium.

USSSA Space Coast Complex[edit]

In 2017 with the assistance of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) moved into the empty Space Coast Stadium and the surrounding spring training fields and renamed it the USSSA Space Coast Complex, moving its headquarters from Kissimmee to Space Coast Stadium and announcing plans to renovate the entire complex, using US$22 million of its own and US$10 million contributed by Brevard County.[3] USSSA plans to make the complex into an all-turf venue that will host a variety of sports and sports tournaments[4] — advertised by USSSA as "the youth sports capital of the world"[3] — and serve as a center for amateur baseball and softball. Plans called for renovation work to begin in January 2017 and to be complete in the fall of 2017. The new complex, renamed the USSSA Space Coast Complex , will include a renovated Space Coast Stadium with 8,100 seats, 11 suites, a video board, and a turf field for both baseball and softball; a 225-foot (68.6-meter) "Championship Field" with video board; four 225-foot (68.6-meter) NCAA-softball-regulation turf fields; four 325-foot (99-meter) baseball/softball fields; four 385-foot (117.3-meter) NCAA-regulation turf baseball fields; a 175-foot (53.3-meter) "Championship Field" for players aged 8 and under with a video board; an 18,000-square-foot (1,672-square-meter) indoor facility for training, rehabilitation, and clinics; improved lighting; and two new concessions. The entire complex will include 1.3 million square feet (120,774 square meters) of turf.[3][5] A groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation project took place at the USSSA Space Coast Stadium on April 27, 2017.[3]

Baseball[edit]

In 2004, USSSA held its first World Series, now an annual event.[6] The USSSA Wilson DeMarini Elite World Series has seven age divisions: 8U-KP, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U-60/90, and 14U-60-90-BBCOR.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IRS filings according to Time vol. 190 no. 9, p. 35
  2. ^ "United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) - Court & Field Dimension Diagrams in 3D, History, Rules – SportsKnowHow.com". sportsknowhow.com.
  3. ^ a b c d Dave Berman (27 April 2017). "Space Coast Stadium transforming to youth sports hub". Florida Today. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ Janes, Chelsea, "As Nationals frolic in West Palm Beach, here’s what they left behind in Viera," washingtonpost.com, February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ usssa.com USSSA Space Coast Complex
  6. ^ a b "Elite Championships: Elite World Series". USSSA. Retrieved 2017-03-04.

External links[edit]