Two national softball organizations have filed an agreement in U.S. District Court that would allow their 45,000 member teams to compete against each other.
The agreement, which has to be approved by U S. Judge L. Clure Morton, would allow teams to belong to both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and the U.S. Slo-Pitch Softball Association (USSSA). Nearly one million participants are affected.
The pact resulted from a federal suit the USSSA and a Nashville team filed against the ASA last June. It challenged the MA’s suspension of the team for one year for playing in a USSSA tournament.
The ASA has 35,000 member teams and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The USSSA, based in Petersburg, Va claims a membership of 10,000 teams.
Details of the accord were related by The Tennessean, Nashville’s morning newspaper, in a copyrighted story in its editions today.
The agreement would require members of each league to join the other in order to compete against each other. However, a team could compete in only one of the associations’ national tournament competition. It would have to decide by June 15 which com-petition it would enter. The agreement also would prevent governing officials from holding office in both groups.
The ASA uses a “restricted flight” ball, 275-foot fences in most parks and 60-foot bases and gives only trophies for tournament championships.
The USSSA uses a “live” ball, 300-toot fences and 65-toot bases. Sponsors of top finishers in its tournaments are awarded money, in some cases as much as $4,000 for a single tournament champion.