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Medford garners national acclaim as tournament host

The City of Medford was awarded the Amateur Softball Association's highest honor for excellence in national tournament hosting.

The city received the James Farrell Award of Excellence after coordinating the 2013 ASA 10-and-under and 12-and-under girls' Western National Tournament at U.S. Cellular Community Park amid smoky conditions July 29 through Aug. 4.

The 57-team event, which attracted squads from as far as San Diego and Spokane, Wash., was the largest softball tournament ever coordinated by the Medford Parks and Recreation Department. The tournament drew 37 teams from California, 14 from Oregon and six from Washington and generated an estimated $997,000 in economic impact.

To attain the award, coordinating organizations must receive an overall rating of at least 95 on a 100-point scale from the ASA tournament representative, the tournament umpire-in-chief and the ASA national office staff.

Medford's event received a 98 rating — its highest to date — while contending with thick smoke from nearby forest fires. The city also earned the award for its first two ASA national tournaments: the 2010 U10A girls' fastpitch and the 2011 men's "D" slowpitch.

U.S. Cellular Community Park will host the Senior slowpitch and the U14B girls' fastpitch ASA Western Nationals next summer as well as the 12B girls' fastpitch tournament in August of 2015.