Triple Crown Sports

Friday Focus: Triple Crown Sports

Friday Focus: Triple Crown Sports

David and Annette King have been at the helm of Triple Crown Sports since they created it in 1982. Finding organized, consistent, professional slow-pitch so

Jan 29, 2016 by Sarah Hoffman
Friday Focus: Triple Crown Sports
David and Annette King have been at the helm of Triple Crown Sports since they created it in 1982. Finding organized, consistent, professional slow-pitch softball tournaments with quality facilities was becoming increasing more difficult for the Kings, so they decided to host their own tournament in 1982 in Meeker, Colorado. The event was such a huge success that the couple added two more events in 1983, and thus "Triple" Crown Sports was born. 

Over the last 30 years, the Kings have added sports and events to their Triple Crown Brand, which has made their company a go-to for top-notch events. Triple Crown broke into fastpitch in 1992 and today is a major player in the youth fastpitch scene. The couple's love of softball and Triple Crown's commitment to "build a better tournament" have made them a fitting ally in the mission to move fastpitch softball forward. 

Expect Triple Crown to make signifiant strides in 2016 toward pushing the sport further, beginning with what will be the largest softball showcase ever held in California with over 500 teams and 250 college coaches. The Triple Crown Sports-produced Zoom into June tournament will take place June 10-12, 2016 in Hemet, California and will be a top tournament uncommitted players want to attend to get recruiting exposure. 

Our very own General Manager, Brentt Eads, was invited out to Triple Crown's Headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado this week to talk about the present and future of softball and how FloSoftball and Triple Crown Sports can contribute to the sport's growth.  

What's the fundamental force that drives FloSoftball and your own interest in the sport of fastpitch?
What we're trying to do is tell the story of the athlete. My favorite part of the job is to talk to athletes and find out what drives them. They're not playing for a contract. It's great to reward these girls and their parents and coaches. We have a three-pronged platform: we stream games, we have a web site where we put up content daily, and we have a video documentary series where we can delve into the personalities. Learning about how great these people are on and off the field is what makes me passionate.

What's your own athletic background, and how did you get involved with fastpitch?
I grew up in central Ohio and wanted to play football for Ohio State, but they don't take too many 6-foot, 165-pound athletes with the speed of a table. Softball was by accident; when I started covering it for a website, I fell in love with it. I saw the strategy and the things unique to softball. But I go back to the people -- they are fantastic, and I feel excited by the dedication and passion they have.

Give me your quick-hit opinion on two questions: what about all the early-commit athletes these days, and which D-I college programs are ones to watch?
Let's talk early recruiting -- everybody hates it, but it's a necessary evil and nobody knows how this runaway train is going to stop. It's fascinating in a scary way, 13-year-old girls being asked to decide what college they're going to. It's a lot of pressure. Five years (down the road) there's a good chance that coaching staff will be gone, and you've taken yourself off the market. It's one of the biggest concerns, as are overuse injuries. They are working and working, the same repetitious movements, and that's a concern. As far as the top programs in college -- softball has always been about the West Coast, and Orange County, and how UCLA has won the most titles … but at the last (Women's) College World Series, five of the eight teams were from the SEC. It's become very strong in the South, and I would put my money on the SEC continuing. Florida has won two national championships, Tennessee has finished second twice … everybody is putting money in facilities, so I say keep an eye on the South.

What are you looking forward to seeing in 2016?

We at FloSoftball are streaming two of the top preseason college softball tournaments in the Mary Nutter Classic and the Judi Garman Classic. The top programs will face each other, and that's exciting. There's a lot of new, young talent, and the kids get better and better, younger and younger.