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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 1, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 26
ECSA holds Emerald City Classic tournament
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ECSA holds Emerald City Classic tournament

by Anthony Greer - SGN Staff Writer

The Emerald City Softball Association will host the Emerald City Classic, their annual tournament, this upcoming weekend.

This year, the tournament will consist of 47 teams that reside in Washington as well as Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, and Phoenix.

'Every team will play in two pool games, and how they finish in those pool games will determine what division they will be in,' Frank Pichinini, ECSA's tournament director and director of competition, said. 'From there it becomes a double elimination tournament.'

The first games will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, in three different locations - Celebration Park in Federal Way, North Seatac Park in Seatac, and Underwood Park in Des Moines - and cost nothing to watch. After all of the teams play in their two pool games, they will be divided into four divisions to determine the level of difficulty at which they will play. The first games in the double elimination tournament itself will then be played that afternoon. However, it will not be possible for any of the 47 teams to be eliminated until Sunday.

'I think that the tournament as a whole is a great opportunity for Seattle to showcase what a high-caliber league we have,' Todd Bullock of the Seattle Woodpeckers said. 'Like with many tournaments, I look forward to the people who come from out of town. It is awesome to further relationships every tournament with the people that you saw in the tournament prior. It is much like a nationwide fraternity.'

Holden Knecht, a member of the Portland Swallows, has played in the ECC every year since 2007. 'Seattle puts on a good event,' he said. 'Social activities, welcoming players, etc. It's nice that they've had special recognition in the past for teams who have traveled the farthest to compete. [There's] good sportsmanship all around.' This will be Knecht's first year not playing in the ECC as a Seattle resident.

In addition to playing in the Emerald City Classic, the teams will take part in several events this weekend. On Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. there will be a meet-and-greet and registration at the Baltic Room. Saturday, the roughly 500 tournament players will be at two of the host bars, R Place and Purr, after day one of the tournament. Lastly, the awards party will be at Julia's on Broadway on Sunday at 7 p.m.

'I've been in five tournaments since October, and Seattle is on my top two that I love because of the fact that Seattle players are competitive but exemplify good sportsmanship,' Knecht said. 'I enjoy playing with my new league in Portland, but I look forward to catching up with many ESCAers who I used to play with and against when I lived in Seattle. & I'm also hoping that the good weather that ECC usually has will be here again.'

In addition to gearing up for this weekend's tournament, six of Washington's 27 competing teams will also be participating in the 2011 Gay World Series this year in Chicago. These teams include the Seattle Vendetta, Seattle Dirty Dawgs, Seattle Squadron, Seattle SIN, Seattle Sacrifice, and Seattle Buzz. Knecht's team, the Portland Swallows, will also be participating. The Gay World Series will start in late August.

For more information, visit the Emerald City Softball Association website at www.emeraldcitysoftball.org.

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