Music City Softball League opens season

With an expected 13 open division teams and eight women’s division teams, Nashville’s Music City Softball League opened its season in April.

Continued growth for the league has made it one of the fastest growing alternative (gay and lesbian) softball leagues in the U.S., according to Jonathan Turner, president of the league.
“We currently have an estimated 200 members with growth potential up to 350 members this year alone,” Turner said. “Last year the league had six open division (primarily men) teams and five women's division teams. In 2004, we decided that it was long over due for the women to have their own division to participate, therefore, 2004 became the inaugural year for the women's division in Music City Softball League.

Games are held from 1 to 5 p.m. on the softball fields in Shelby Park, in East Nashville. There are several levels of player skill in the open division.

A "D" division is primarily for beginning to intermediate players; a "C" division for intermediate skill level; and a "B" division for advanced skill level of play. The women's division has a similar format however deeming the divisions as recreational, alternative and competitive.

The Music City Softball League (MCSL) is a member of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (www.nagaaa.org).

“NAGAAA is the largest single sports organization,” Turner explained. “The organization is responsible for the World Series in which teams from the United States and Canada participate. MCSL is the single largest sports organization in the state of Tennessee and majority of the surrounding states with the exception of Georgia.

More than 200 teams make it to the Softball World Series each year and thousands of athletes and spectators converge upon the host city. In 2005, the World Series is being held in San Diego; 2006 in Fort Lauderdale.

Turner said his group would be competing to host the 2007 World Series in Nashville.
“It should be decided less than a year from now,” he explained. “The cities bidding against us are Minneapolis, Kansas City, Phoenix and Denver. If Nashville wins the bid for 2007, it would generate an estimated $11 million in revenue for the city and would certainly position Nashville as a tourist destination. It would open up the possibilities for Nashville to receive other conventions and meetings in turn introducing the world to the beautiful city of Nashville and its great people.”

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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