SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball


The SPA TWITTY SENIOR WOMEN’S NIT TOURNAMENT honored the 25thanniversary of CONWAY TWITTY’s passing with 33 teams participating in the tournament named in his honor.

Held at DRAKES CREEK PARK ATHLETIC COMPLEX at HENDERSONVILLE, TENNESSEE the tournament saw an increase in teams from the previous year.

“I believe there is a bigger and brighter future out there for all women in slow pitch softball,” JUDY LEE SCHREIBER, SPA NATIONAL WOMEN’S DIRECTOR said. “This tournament named for CONWAY is typical of how the program is growing.”

Nine division winners were crowned during the event held MAY 16-20 with two teams EAST COAST GEMS (55) and GOLDEN GIRLS of VIRGINIA (70) the only repeat champion.

Adding another 2018 tournament title after winning the SPA WOMEN’S SPRING NATIONAL, the GEMS also remained undefeated for 2018 taking four team 55 DIVISION crown.

On the way to the title the EAST COAST GEMS downed the SLUGGERS (4-7), SERIOUS FUN (28-10) and SHO ME 24-8..

The SLUGGERS beat SERIOUS FUN 13-11 for runner-up honors.

The GOLDEN GIRLS OF VA took their title beating the CALIFORNIA SPIRIT 20-5 and 18-8 as well as CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS 10-9.

The. Bested the CHARGERS 17-8 for second place.

The three-team 75 Crown went to the OHIO TRI STARS who beat the TENNESSEE STARS 22-4 and FREEDOM SPIRIT 10-2 in bracket play. The STARS beat the SPIRIT 15-12 to reach the finals.

Four teams squared off in the 65+ group with JOLICO SENIORS 65’S taking home the top prize.

JOLICO took care of the OHIO CARDINALS twice (11-10, 10-6) and SENIOR DIAMONDS 10-6 for the title.

The CARDINALS dropped their first game in bracket play to JOLICO but fought back through the loser’s bracket beating DIAMONDS (12-3) and SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS (18-4) to reach the finals.

The JOLICO 60’S followed their sisters’ lead winning the 60 + crown besting five other teams.

JOLICO had a close call in the finals edging HAMEL LADIES 15-14 but had an easier time beating HAMEL 19-6 the first time around. The champs slipped by the NOR’EASTERS 13-10 in their opening round game.

HAMELS beat SUNNY BEACHES 13-1`0 to reach the title game. MD ROADRUNNERS and SHO ME were the others in the bracket.

TN SR STARS downed FIFTY CALIBER 20-8 in the “IF” game to take the 50’s division crown. The STARS lost 11-15 to FIFTY CALIBER forcing the “IF” game. In earlier bracket play the STARS beat FIFTY CALIBER 17-12 forcing them into the loser’s bracket.

The STARS also beat FIRE and ICE 19-4, JWP AR MIX 18-4 and SUNNY BEACHES 17-12 in bracket play.

ARKANSAS ENERGY defeated PITCHES BE CRAZY 40’S 14-13 AND 28-9 for the 40/45 title. PITCHES beat WICKED 21-18 to make the finals.

OUTER LIMITS beat WICKED 13-5 in the “IF” game to capture the 35’s division bracket...

MiIDWEST MAYHEM, SAVE 2ND BASE and PITCHES BE CRAZY rounded out the five-team bracket.

“Two great tournaments and turn out for the ladies,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said about the TWITTY and SPRING NATIONAL. “The SPA women’s program is going great thanks to JUDY, MIKE DESORBO, SHELBY WILLIAMS, the teams and the managers.”

“We look forward to seeing everyone back in TENNESSEE for the ROCKY TOP TOURNAMENT July 5-8 in KNOXVILLE at CASCADE PARK>”


The COLUMBUS HEART OF OHIO enjoyed their new dates welcoming FORTY-SEVEN teams MAY 9-13 to the BERLINER COMPLEX.

“We moved the tournament up from the end of June to the beginning of May and it worked well,” TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR LARRY MILLIRON said, "Based on the initial response this year for the new dates I expect the tournament to top fifty teams in 2019.

Ten teams, also up from 2017, went home with division titles.

The BAD BOYZ won a SPA DALTON TRIPLE CROWN bid winning the three-team 50 MAJOR championship. The BOYZ downed GEM CITY MERCHANTS 39-18 for the crown. AMERICAN METAL RECYCLING was third.

Another TRIPLE CROWN QUALIFIER was the DAYTON LEGENDS by beating OHIO ELITE/CREATIVE STUCCO 33-22 in the championship game. The LEGENDS also beat the LOUISVILLE SLUGGERS twice as well as a second win over OHIO ELITE in their march through bracket play. OHIO ELITE was second followed by JJ FINANCIAL and LOUISVILLE SLUGGERS.

BRICKYARD took the 50AAA six team group crown beating MJ LOWE PLUS 21-13 in the “IF” game. The champs lost 14-20 setting up the “IF” game.

Earlier in bracket play in the BRICKYARD beat MJ LOWE 21-14 and the OHIO HITMEN 29-13.


The ANTIQUE ROAD SHOW beat DETROIT CONNECTION twice 33-12 and 25-21 for the 55 AAA crown. DAN CALMES BULL MOOSE, BUCKEYE CLASSICS and PITTSBURGH NORTH rounded out the five-team division.

Hometown UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL 60’s outgunned three other teams for the 60 AAA title. On the way to the winner’s circle UNIVERSAL beat CINCINNATI 60’s (22-16), BRICKYARD CLASSICS (20-17) and MINUTEMEN/PEPCO 28-17.

MCMAHON-COYNE-VITANTONIO-JUST ONE MORE won two titles. The one for the MOST WORDS IN THEIR TEAM NAME and also the 60 AA championship.

The champs beat long-time 60 AA foe INDY FOG 17-10, 17-16 and DURHAM SILVER STICKS 24-17 in bracket play. DAYTON LEGENDS DIAMOND DAWGS was the fourth team in the group.

SIDELINE BULL MOOSE OUTLASTED five others for the 65 AAA title. BULL MOOSE had to win an “IF” game 25-12 over STEEL DAWGS to do it.

After beating DECLAIRE-LEMMACHIA-ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE 29-16 and STEEL DAWGS 14-11 earlier in bracket play, they lost 9-14 to the DAWGS forcing the “IF” game.


The DAYTON LEGENDS won the SEVEN-TEAM 70 AAA crown going 4-0 in bracket play.

The LEGENDS opened their run beating INDY 70’s (22-4), LIFEGUARD/PEPCO (13-5) and STEEL CITY (15-6) before beating the STEEL CITY 17-14 in the title game.


Five teams battled for the 70AA championship with CHICAGO HITMEN winning the bacon. THE HITMEN downed DAYTON LEGENDS FARM TEAM 24-16, ROCHESTER CLASSICS 17-5 and LEGENDS OF DAYTON 20-18 in the title game.

CENTRAL OHIO COSSA was the fifth team in the bracket.

COSSA 75’S beat FRICKERS twice 15-9 and 13-9 to claim the 75 championship in a best two-out-of-three contest.



The PENSACOLA SOUTHERN NIT saw twenty teams battle it out May 5-6 at Exchange Park with six going home with championships.

Florida's MATADOR CLUB/DAG ARCHITECT bested three others for the 70-75 title.

The MATADORS defeated LA LEGENDS 23-13 AND FOR FREEDOM 17-10 in bracket play to wrap it up while the LEGENDS took second

The LEGENDS edged SOUTHERN LEFTOVERS 18-17 to make it to the title game.

COLUMBUS LXV defeated RPR SOFTBALL (25-19) and TAG (25-14) to win the 65 bracket RPR defeated THE FIRM 4-13 to reach the finals.

Six teams locked horns in the 60 bracket with ELITE SOFTBALL downing SMITH MASON DUDLEY (24-20), SEASONED VETS (18-12) and  GAS (GEORGIA ALABAMA SENIORS SOFTBALL) 24-23 for the crown.

SMITH MASON came out of the loser's bracket with wins over, the VETS, BAND OF BROTHERS and GAS to reach the finals. SEASONED VETS finished third, BAND OF BROTHERS fourth with GAS and ATLANTA RECYCLING rounding out the bracket.

DOC C'S downed RIVERROCK VENTURES for the 50 MAJOR title while WDMS SENIORS was the 50 AAA champs and JAMES R SMITH TRUCKING the 55 AAA top dog.

Others in the combined bracket were SOUTHERN WATER THE SWARM and FLORIDA AUTOMATED SHADE.

"The tournament ran very smoothly with great competition, "DIRECTOR MIKE DESORBO said. "We were expecting thirty teams but we had a rash of last minute cancellations due to weather, injuries and such."


The SPA GLEN BURNIE TOURNAMENT closed in on the 50 mark with 48 teams attending the MAY 2-6 at the BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.

“It went real well this year,” tournament DIRECTOR LONNIE O’HAVER said. “The weather was great and we had a very competitive tournament in all brackets.”

Sixteen teams went home with championship awards.

PEACHTREE RESTAURANT defeated the NEW YORK STATESMEN 19-10 and 10-8 to win the 80’s division. The STATESMEN made it to the finals with a 20-9 triumph over HAMEL BUILDERS.

The HAMEL BUILDERS 75’s avenged the 80’s team defeat by winning the 75 BRACKET with a 15-10 win over MONKEY JOE’S. NEW JERSEY MASTERS finished third.

The 55 MAJOR PLUS crown went to BOB JOHNSON CHEVROLET DOMINOES TJ’S PLUMBING (and they needed two plaques because the sponsor name would not fit on just one,,,just kidding)

JOHNSON’S beat OLYMPIAN ATHLETES twice 29-12 and 26-20 along with SWEET CONSTRUCTION 23-22 on the way to the title in bracket play.

OLYMPIAN ATHLETES beat WOODLAWN FURNITURE 38-19 to reach the championship game and claim the 55 MAJOR title. SWEET CONSTRUCTION was the fourth team in the bracket.

MARYLAND COUGARS downed RUM HUT twice (20-8, 19-13) and SNEAKY PETE SOFTBALL 23-11 to take home the 55 AAA award.

RUM HUT reached the finals with a 19-14 win over SNEAKY PETE. GRIFFITH BROTHERS was the fourth team in the group.

PHOENIX TUBE beat MARK THOMAS LAW 22-21 and TEAM DUDLEY EAST COAST 28-27 to repeat as the 50 MAJOR champ. MARK THOMAS LAW beat TEAM DUDLEY 25-22 for second place.


GTO SOFTBALL downed HIGH STREET 50’S 19-18, 17-12 and MARYLAND CLASSICS 21-12 to run the table in the 50 AAA bracket.

HIGH STREET beat the CLASSICS 25-18 for second. Others in the five-team bracket were BRENCO and TIME BANDITS.

The 50 MAJOR PLUS title went to TEAM USA with 22-7 and 20-6 wins over PROVIDENCE AUTO BODY.

PROMOTION beat the 2017 60 MAJOR champs HIGH STREET BUCS 60’s 36-35 and 29-25 for the 60 MAJOR CROWN. PROMOTION lost to HIGH STREET 15-16 early in bracket play and fought their way through the loser’s bracket to force an “IF” game and beat HIGH STREET in the finals.

SWEET CONSTRUCTION was also in the bracket.


CHESAPEAKE beat ROADHOUSE for second place.

In round robin play HIGH STREET 65’s won the 65 MAJOR handing CAROLINA COBRA 65 their only loss by 19-18 count.

JERSEY MASTER RED beat ROCHESTER BREWERS 17-14 to finish first in the 65 AAA group. SIMMONS DAY ALL STARS and SPRING FORD were also in the 65 AAA contest.

JERSEY MASTERS was the 70 MAJOR champ while HIGH STREET BUCS 70’s went 4-0 to finish


ROCHESTER ROYALS were 70 AA champs.

The tournament was played at BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.


SPA crowned 10 individual team champs in eight age brackets as 30 teams competed in the LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT held April 19-22 at MCMASTERS ATHLETICS COMPLEX in GEORGEOWN,TEXAS.

"It was a great tournament and I know LAYLA was watching and was proud of the tournament in her name," SPA president RIDGE HOOKS said. "There was great competition in all the brackets which made for a great tournament."

Four teams competed on the 65 PLUS bracket with HENDRICKS winning the 65 MAJOR title and HOOKS taking home the 65AAA crown.

HENDRICKS defeated HOOKS 25-17 and DALLAS SPURS 38-19 on their trip to the top spot while HOOKS knocked off HOUSTON CLASSICS 31-21 to reach the finals.

LOUISIANA LEGENDS defeated the AVENGERS 24-14 and the GREY SOX twice (24-9 in the finale) for the 70 AAA championship.  The GREY SOX beat AUSTIN MERCHANTS 26-25 for third place in the four-team bracket.

SAN ANTONIO SILVER STREAKS defeated 2017 champ SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS 17-15 for the 70 MAJOR title.  The LEGENDS reached the finals defeating BOYD METALS 30-12. The OKIES was the fourth team in the group.

In a three-team bracket, STILL took home the trophy defeating the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 26-19 in the title game. The TEXAS CLASSICS was the third team in the group.

The 75/80 Division title went to the TEXAS legends who beat the DESPERADO"S 24-7 and 13-12 along with a 26-23 win over HILL CONTRACTING.

The DESPERADO'S reached the finals with a win over HILL CONTRACTING. The SAN ANTONIO 80's were the fourth team in the bracket.

CARRIAGE HOMES topped the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 60 AAA crown The LEGENDS defeated the DALLAS SPURS to reach the title game. The TEXAS THUNDER rounded out the bracket.

The HOUSTON FIRE downed GONZALES INSULATION twice in the best two-out-of-three battle for the 60 MAJOR CROWN.

ESCOBAR BODY SHOP beat TEAM ARKANSAS 41-19 in the "IF" game to take the top spot in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET, ESCOBAR had beaten TEAM ARKANSA 41-40 and L&R SOFTBALL 28-23 before losing to TEAM ARKANSAS 19-21 to force the "IF" game.


The TENNESSEE COMETS (50 AAA) and GAS (60 AAA) defended their 2017 crowns at the VALLEY, ALABAMA SPA MID-SOUTH NIT.

The April 19-22 held at the VALLEY SPORTSPLEX facility saw 33 teams battle it out for titles in eight divisions.

The TENNESSEE COMETS went undefeated in pool and bracket play finishing it off with two wins over MAJOR LEAGUE (21-17, 24-20) for the 50 AAA title.

MAJOR LEAGUE took runner-up honors in the five-team bracket followed by BLUEGRASS, ATLANTA 50's and KENT"S PLAYERS.

GAS bested ELITE SOFTBALL 21-16 and 20-18 along with a 25-9 win over SEASONED VETS in bracket play for the 60 AAA crown.

ELITE SOFTBALL was second followed by SEASONED VETERANS and SOUTHERN THUNDER in the four-team bracket.

DUDLEY rolled over the competition going 5-0 in pool and bracket play to take the 55 MAJOR CROWN.

The champs beat DT EXPRESS 38-21, MONSTER 55 SOFTBALL 23-19 and MONTGOMERY SWARM 29-27 in bracket action.


DOC'S also went 5-0 in taking the 50 MAJOR title.

DOC'S beat LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS 31-30, 33-24 and RIVER ROCK RENTALS 30-21 in bracket play.


The 65 AAA title went to T.A.G. in the five-team bracket. T.A.G. edged COLUMBUS LXV twice 19-18 and 22-20 in the finals. They also defeated RPR 31-22 in bracket play.

COLUMBUS XLV who only lost to T.A.G. (4-2) in the tournament was second. RPR, (BY) GRACE REDEEMED and THE FIRM rounded out the bracket.

TRAVELERS beat 2017 champ TIME BANDITS in the "IF" game 21-6 to win the 70 AAA title. In the march to the crown, TRAVELERS beat FOR FREEDOM 24-11, TIME BANDITS 17-2 and lost 19-15 to the TIME BANDITS forcing the "IF" match.

FOR FREEDOM was third followed by DEEP SOUTH (who went 2-0 in pool play) and SOUTHERN HEAT.

ATLANTA RECYCLING 60'S took the 60 MAJOR TITLE while JR SMITH was 55 AAA champ. Others competing in the 55AAA/60M bracket were TENNESSEE COMETS, SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS and DARRELL HARRIS.

"After last year's rain problems this was quite an upgrade," SPA CEO RIDGE HOOKS said." PETE (FOWLER) did a great job in setting this year's event up and making it an enjoyable experience for the participating teams and their fans."


The weather all but washed-out the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS TOURNAMENT at COLLEGE STATION. TEXAS April 5-6.

“We had 25 teams set up for the tournament in all ages,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “The weather wasn’t kind and we were only able to get the 65,70 and 75 groups played.”

HILL CONTRACTING won the 75 MAJOR while SAN ANTONIO DESPERADO’S edged out the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 75 AAA title.

The TEXAS CLASSICS out gunned the GREY SOX 25-16 and AUSTIN MERCHANTS 14-11 to take home the 70 AAA crown.

HOUSTON CLASSICS claimed the 65 AAA championship while ROBSON RANCH went home with the 65 AA trophy. The 70 AA title was won by the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS.


The SOUTHERN SPRING NIT kicked off the SPA 2018 tournament season March 15,16,17,18 in Montgomery, Alabama with thirty teams taking part in the event which saw winners crowned in eight divisions.

“It was a very competitive tournament,” SPA Director Lonnie O’Haver said. “We also had great weather which made it a very enjoyable tournament.”

The TENNESSEE COMETS won the 50 AAA eight team division going undefeated (6-0) in both pool and bracket play. It wasn’t a walk though as the COMETS edged SE SWARM 21-18 in the title contest and Brickyard 21-18 in the winner’s bracket game.

The SE SWARM (5-3) got their money’s worth in the tournament when after losing their opener in bracket play they had o beat BLUEGRASS, KENT PLAYERS, and BRICKYARD Sunday to reach the finals.

Final standings: 1. TENNESSEE COMETS (6-0), 2. SE SWARM (5-3), BRICKYARD (4-2), KENT PLAYERS (2-3), BLUE GRASS (2-3), MAJOR LEAGUE SENIORS (2-3), ATLANTA 50’S (0-4) AND TEAM ADIKTIVE (0-4)

Eight teams also squared off in the 50 Major with the same result – an undefeated winner.

TEAM ARKANSAS ran the table with wins over RIVERROCK VENTURES (38-25), WALKER BROS (28-24), RESOLVE 50’S (30-14 and 27-14 in the finals.

RESOLVE 50’S (4-3) took runner-up honors. Filling out the bracket were WALKER BROS (4-3), LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS (3-3), DOC’S (3-2, ATLANTA MONARCHS (1-4), SR SOFTBALL SOFTIES (1-3) AND RIVERROCK VETERANS (0-4).

The five-team 55AAA/MAJOR saw AAA MONTGOMERY SWARM beat DARRELL HARRIS 17-12 in the finals for the title. The SWARM also went undefeated in pool and bracket play at 5-0.

In bracket play they earned their way to the finals beating DT EXPRESS 2-19 and JR SMITH 27-21.

AAA DARRELL HARRIS (4-3) took second place after playing four games on Sunday.

The rest of the field were AAA JR SMITH (3-2), MAJOR DT EXPRESS (1-4) AND TENNESSEE CONNECTION (0-4)

The SWARM also took the 207 title going 5-0.

SEASONED VETS (5-1) won the 60AAA/MAJOR crown beating GAS SOFTBALL (5-2) 23-11 in the title game. GAS reached the title game with a 28-27 cliff hanger over ELITE SOFTBALL (3-3).

Also in the bracket were BAND OF BROTHERS (2-4) and SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS (0-5).

The 65AAA,70AAA and 70 MAJOR saw three teams walk away with crowns.

COLUMBUS XLV (4-1) won the 65 title, LA LEGENDS (4-1) were the 70 AAA champions and MATADOR CLUB (2-3) took the 70 MAJOR trophy. DEEP SOUTH (0-5) was the other team in the bracket.

“This was a good way to start off our 2018 season,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “Great competition and great weather. You really couldn’t ask for much more. NATALIE NORMAN and her staff did an excellent job, I really appreciate her effort.”


Eighty-seven Hugh Brotherton is senior softball’s answer to the Eveready Bunny, he just keeps going, going and going. 

It is pretty surprising for someone who never took up the game until he was 62 years old.

“I played baseball when I was a kid but not after high school.” he explained. “I didn’t have time for sports because Carol and I got married and all our free time was raising our five sons and five daughters.”

The Brothertons have been married 64 years and in addition to their ten children, they have 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grand children, with the oldest ten years old.

“I didn’t decide to play senior softball until I was 62,” the Senior Hall-of-Famer said. “I am glad I did, it has been a wonderful experience both on and off the field. I hope I can play another 25 years.”

The Michigan native hasn’t been just a player, he has been an All-Star player.

Logging most of his time with Florida’s Center For Sight team he has received so may awards and honors he doesn’t know what to do with them all.

“I gave each grandchild one of my rings and still have a drawer full left,” he said. “I also have won so many MVP, All-American and All-Star Awards I can’t remember them all. What he does remember are team awards and the players he played with or against.

“That is the biggest thing about playing senior softball, it is the friends you make,” he explained. “Awards are nice but friendships last a lifetime.”

“Carol and I have met so many wonderful people and visited so many different cities and states, it would not have been possible without playing senior softball,’ he added. “We look forward to tournaments where we can renew old acquaintances and make new ones. It is just like a big family reunion.”

Brotherton also proves you are never too old to try new things.

A couple of years ago at the Huntsman Games he had some time before the softball tournament started so he entered some senior running events.

Running in the 85-and up division he set Senior Games records in winning the 500, 1,500 and 3,00 meters.

“Never tried it before but I walk three miles a day and play about 100 softball games each year, so I figured I was in pretty good shape to try it,”he said.

Brotherton figures he has played well over 10,000 softball games since he started playing twenty-five years ago.

“I thank the Lord every day for giving me the ability to participated in athletics at my age,’he said. “Praise be to God for giving me the opportunities.”

The Hall-of-fame athlete also appreciates his sponsor.

“Center For Sight has been with us over twenty years,” he said. “They have not only been an outstanding sponsor but a wonderful and appreciated friend.”

What changes has he seen in his twenty-five years in senior ball.?

“Mainly the growth. When I started, a 67-year old was the oldest players, now 67’s are kids,” Brotherton said. “The players keep getting older and is great to still be playing competitive ball at 85.”

“Organizations like SPA and SSUSA and big tournaments like the SPA Buckeye Classic offer us those opportunities and we appreciate it.”

“Still haven’t figured out why the younger players need those high powered bats and ball to play, must be an ego thing,” Brotherton added. “We started with wooden and single wall bats and were still able to score runs and play the game and it was safer for the pitcher and corner infielders.”.

Brotherton considers the players like himself himself who started playing in the 1990’s as Senior Softball Trailblazers.

“When I started I never dreamed I would  be playing softball at 87 years nor would there be others my age playing in a league or tournament with me,” Brotherton. “I consider myself truly blessed and hope I played a part in growing senior softball so you are never too old to play”


Good news for mid west softball teams as the TROY ILLINOIS JIM WELCH MEMORIAL SPA CLASSIC is back on schedule for MAY 22-27 at GORDY MAC COMPLEX in TROY..

The tourney was dropped earlier in January due to field availability. It is for 65,.70,.75 and 80 divisions..

"The field problem has been handled and we are ready to go," tournament director LENNY SUESS said. "We may change the format this year depending on amount of teams entered."

Last year TWENTY TEAMS took part in a round robin event but SUESS says, "If there is an increase in teams we will probably go to a five game guarantee of three pool and double elimination."

Dates for the tournament are 75 and 80 groups MAY 22-24 while the 65 and 70 divisions square of May 25-27.

The tournament will also provide 1/2 dozen softball to each team. The cost of the tournament is $325.

The host hotel is the BEST WESTERN ($76) with rooms at RED ROOF ($66), MOTEL 6 ($56) and HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ($125) also available.

Contact SEUSS at (618) 791-1380 or

Following is the result of the 2017 tournament.




The second annual Jim Welch Memorial tournament in Troy, Illinois hit the magic 20  number in terms of teams attending.

The round robin event held May 23-24 showed a big improvement from the first year.

"We had a good turnout this year and I expect to see another big increases in 2018," tournament director Lenny Seuss said. "This is only my second year running a SPA tournament so each year you learn a little more about getting teams to attend."Pallet "Retention is the key," he explained. "If we retain at least 18 and add another 12 teams next year there is no reason we can not draw 30 teams.. We also expect to expand our draw to include more 60,55 and 50's teams."

This year's tournament with the emphasis on the older groups was divided into five groups (80, 75, 70, 65, 50-55-60) with five division winners.

US Pallet ran the table going 6-0 to win the 70's group with Bank of Rison, Indy 70's and Mokando finishing 2-3-4.

Dr.Vinyl bested MidState 65's 27-14 in the title game to finish ahead of them and 50 Caliber  65's in the 65 group.

In the 80's the Texas Greyhounds avenged and earlier loss to Antiques of KC to finish 5-1 on top of the group with the Antiques at 4-2 for second. Texas Classics (2-4) and Louisville Thunder (1-4) rounded out the four-team division.

The Senior Redbirds edged Midwest Driving 17-16 in the semi-finals and Indianapolis Classics 25-23 in the finals to win the 75 division crown.

The Central Illinois Chiefs 60's beat the 50 Caliber 55's 17-10 to win the 50/55/60 bracket. Team Illinois 50's was third.

Next year's tournament will be around the same time, so save a space on your schedule.