While it’s never easy to pause and catch your breath during the Triple Crown Colorado 4th of July fastpitch event (taking over the state’s Front Range from June 30-July 7 this year), there is a bit of history to note before gearing up and putting on the eye black.
The Fireworks part of the Sparkler/Fireworks/Sparkler Juniors cluster of tournaments hits its 50th anniversary this year. Triple Crown acquired the Fireworks tournament in 2009, but the event played a major role in the development of fastpitch for the company, as it was part of the three-event series in 1992 that soon announced Triple Crown as a major player in youth fastpitch.
There’s no better example when it comes to producing a defining event in the sport, with the level of competition providing the excitement while innumerable college coaches, stretching coast-to-coast and from JUCO/NAIA to D-I, work the complexes to scout for their future rosters.
“The Fireworks is the oldest running (youth fastpitch) event in the United States that we know of. Since we became involved in it in 2009, it has continued to excite and thrill both club teams and colleges with its competitive aspects to college recruiting,” said David King, Triple Crown founder. “It is just great softball with great players and teams, and a whole lot of them. I see it as a true smorgasbord of opportunities for anyone in the softball world.”
Expansion of the event was hardly inevitable, however, as Triple Crown staff spent a lot of time in the laboratory, if you will, cooking up tweaks and spins that helped center the Fireworks, and the 4th of July event as a whole, on the calendar of most every travel team.
“The Fireworks remain a staple for any competitive travel team to get their players seen during a national tournament setting, one that rivals the National Championships around the country,” said Fireworks event director Alyson Carter. “It has grown from a normal tournament of 50 teams to encompassing 252 teams between our Colorado 4th of July Power Pools and supplemental Power Pools, along with the traditional 16u/18u Fireworks Open divisions.
“We now have over 1,000 individuals participating in College Camp Sunday events, and another 1,000-plus individuals in our All-Star games between the events giving everyone more opportunities to play softball at the collegiate level.”
Taken together, the 2019 Colorado 4th of July event will draw close to 900 teams. College Camp Sunday (June 30) and Elite College Camp Monday (July 1) will put athletes shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the nation’s most respected college programs. The Sparkler Juniors gets an early lift from player parties in Colorado Springs (12u) and Loveland (14u) on Monday.
All roads lead to Christopher Complex in Westminster on Wednesday and Aurora Sports Park on Thursday, with are both Festival Nights that are packed with vendors, games and entertainment. FloSoftball will stream wall-to-wall coverage of the Sparkler and Fireworks, with BallerTV on the case for Sparkler Juniors. Championship Day is Sunday, July 7.
Important news and links, including schedules and streaming information, can be found at Tournament Central >> HERE