We would like to think that the Earth is unique. After all, how many planets can there be revolving around a star with the right atmosphere to sustain water. At most, there may be a few more.
As it turns out, there are a lot more. According to a New York Times article, there are close to 40 billion planets that are similar to earth all over the galaxy, shredding the long held belief that there might only be a few earths around.
Softball tournaments are similar in this regard. Many of us seem to think there are only a few in our area. And yet, there are dozens more that we are not even aware of.
The best method to find these tournaments is to go on websites that specialize in listing sports tournaments. Here are five of the most popular resources that list tournaments:
- SoftballTournaments.com – This is a very popular website for softball tournaments. You can isolate by state and get detailed contact information for getting in touch with the people that are organizing a tournament. The most important feature here is that they also offer an email option so you can get new softball tournaments listed in your area delivered via email.
- AAU – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. As such, they promote a lot of sports, one of them being softball. They also list their district directors here. You can potentially reach out to them to see who you can reach out to in your city.
- ASA – This ASA (National governing body of softball) also lists tournaments on their website. You can isolate your city by the region it is in. When you click on a tournament, they provide contact information of the tournament director.
- USSSA – United States Specialty Sports Association offers a list of softball tournaments on their site as well. You can narrow the list by state and they have a list of tournament directors as well.
- SportsNation – Much like the rest of the websites above, they list tournaments along with contact information.
The above websites provide the names of the tournaments along with contact information for the tournament director organizing the event. The next step is to reach out to them.
There are three options for us as hotels (listed in the order of preference). We can:
Have the tournament director visit the hotel in the hopes that we can be the host hotel
If your hotel is large enough, then you can be the host hotel for the entire tournament. Since most of these tournaments are non-profit, offer to support the tournament based on the number of rooms booked (something like $5 a room). In many cases, these organizations are cash starved for things like equipment, uniforms, rental fees etc. By offering to provide financial support, we could help them while helping ourselves too. It is a win-win.
Block hotel rooms at our hotel
If your hotel is not large enough to host all the teams in the tournament, then ask the tournament director for a list of the teams that participated in the last few tournaments so you can reach out to them on your own. Also, consider following up with the tournament director about 4-6 weeks before the tournament which is when they will be getting registrations for the teams that will be attending the next tournament.
Ask to be added to the list of hotels on their website
Many tournament directors don’t bother to block hotel rooms. Many would rather list nearby hotels on their website. If that is the case, then see if you can get your hotel listed on the tournament website (make sure to provide a discounted rate so they book directly through you). If you are more than a few miles away from the tournament, consider offering a free shuttle to the tournament. Despite the additional cost, if the teams stay with you during a need date, it will still be worth the cost of renting a van.
Finally, here are some things you want to keep in mind
Remember that softball season is March through October. If you are looking for tournaments after October, the list is going to be small due to it being the end of the season. Instead, search for past tournaments. That will tell you what tournaments already happened and who to reach out to for next year.
Some things that really make a hotel stand out is the availability of a pool, free breakfast, and free wifi. And if you have a refrigerator/microwave in the rooms, that’s even better.
Offer a free hospitality suite to teams. It helps contains them to one area of the hotel. As we all know, teams can be rowdy and parents aren’t always the most responsible when it comes to taking care of their kids. So rather than risk having two dozen kids running your hallways, give them a free hospitality suite.
Softball tournaments are great for business because teams take up rooms mostly on weekends leaving our precious Sunday through Thursday crowd alone. And with the websites above, you know how to find them before your competitors do. Happy hunting.
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