It’s our favorite time of the fastpitch season here at TC headquarters in Fort Collins, CO. We are just days away from 900-plus teams and 16,000 players invading Colorado for the 49th annual Fireworks and the 16th annual Triple Crown Sparkler and Sparkler Juniors tournaments. Our Colorado 4th of July premier events offer a platform for the best athletes around the country to go head to head with other elite clubs and showcase their skills in the presence of more than 600 college coaches.
Before the competition begins, there are numerous opportunities for players to display their talents in front of college coaches, starting with the highly anticipated TC College Camp Sunday on June 24th. This year’s slate features 15 separate camps, including 38 different schools from top-level Division I programs through multiple Division III institutions. A day later, event directors have provided a separate workout tailored to unsigned seniors and players interested in the Junior College level. For the younger athletes, the 14u Elite Camp will take place on Monday, July 25th at The Ballpark at Erie. This sold-out event features eight highly notable Division I universities.
The early part of the week will also include Organization Workouts, On Deck Camp, All-Star Games, All-Academic Games, Unsigned Senior Combine and the National Speed Combine. The goal is for players is to refine skills and develop a deeper understanding of the game, while having the opportunity to work with coaches from a particular school or group of schools.
The All-Star Games are invite-only and feature some of the best athletes in the country. They begin on Monday, June 25th and run through Wednesday at Christopher Sports Complex. The All-Academic games feature girls who meet an incredible standard in the classroom and are equally impressive on the diamond. Schools looking to fill roster spots with those who check both boxes will keep a keen eye on these games.
What’s 4th of July week without a big celebration? The Sparkler Juniors opening ceremony will take place on Monday in Loveland and Sparkler/Fireworks will each host a Festival Night (the first on June 27th at Christopher Complex in Westminster, the next June 28th at Aurora Sports Park). One can expect a slew of vendors, pin trading, Pro/Olympic player signings, 4 the Heroes Flag Ceremony and the highly anticipated TC Idol Singing Competition where we’ll witness the intriguing entertainment talents of several softball players.
Teams will hit the diamond on Monday for two match-up games that are essentially warm-up games and don’t count toward bracket record. Later, teams will face off in two box bracket games that will seed them into elimination brackets. These four total games will be played throughout Monday-Thursday with one of those days as an "off" day so that travel teams can rest and explore Colorado. Double elimination starts Friday, and teams will battle it out over the weekend determined to reach Championship Sunday.
Throughout the week, Triple Crown Sports and ESPN3 have partnered to broadcast four games during the exciting week of fastpitch. Wednesday, June 27 at Christopher Fields during the Sparkler Festival Night, ESPN3 will bring audiences across the nation a showdown between two powerhouse 18u programs. Directly after, the “Best of the Best” game featuring the tournament All-Americans also receives ESPN3 treatment at 9:30 p.m. ET.
When the Fireworks Festival Night kicks off on Thursday, June 28th at the Aurora Sports Park, both the 14u and 16u Power Pool championship games will go live on ESPN3. The 14u Championship is slated for 7 p.m. ET, while the 16u Championship is set to go at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Below is the official TV schedule of the ESPN3 games:
Power Pool Championship (18u)
Westminster, CO | June 27 | 6:30 p.m. ET
Best of the Best All-American Game
Westminster, CO | June 27 | 9:30 p.m. ET
Futures Championship (14u)
Aurora, CO | June 28 | 7:00 p.m. ET
Power Pool Championship (16u)
Aurora, CO | June 28 | 9:30 p.m. ET
The countdown is on and the TCS fastpitch staff cannot wait to see you all in Colorado for the most spectacular week of the summer!