ASHLAND, Ky. – A 36-team field that includes all four former champions will battle on Aug. 12 in the fifth annual Amy For Africa Wiffleball Tournament.
The popular tournament has attracted teams from three states and former champions Shepherd’s Fold, Kona Kannon Ballers, The Baseball Bunch and L-Train all have teams entered.
Sam Beason, the tournament manager and field designer, said it will be the most competitive tournament to date.
“There is no shortage of talented teams,” Beason said. “Come and watch ‘The Show’ with probably the most Wiffleball home runs you’ll ever see in a 10-hour span.”
Beason and Matt Vincent were the bracketologists for the tournament.
“We think we’ve put together a pretty good show,” Beason said. “There are some great matchups and some big names coming. This tournament keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Beason promises to have the replica Fenway Park and Camden Yard fields in pristine shape.
“That’s my babies,” he said. “We’ll be ready.”
Tournament sponsor Kona Ice and the Kona Kannon Ballers, which has never won the tournament but were last year’s runners-up, opens play on Saturday morning against Amy For Africa.
A highlight opener comes at 9:40 a.m. with a grudge match between the Ashland Police Department and Ashland Fire Department. The Boyd County Sheriff’s Department will play Build Ashland at 9:20 a.m.
A Home Run Derby that is open to anyone starts at 3 p.m. The start of the Elite Eight Championship Bracket begins at 4:15 p.m. with the championship game scheduled for 5 p.m.
A competitive fast-pitch wiffleball tournament limited to eight teams will take place on Aug. 11 at the same fields. There are still openings available.
The tournament has been a major fundraiser for the Amy For Africa ministries the past four years.
Jay Zornes with “Holy Smokes” barbeque in Ironton will be providing AFA with sandwiches to sell.
“We have so many people helping us with this Wiffleball tournament that it makes me want to cry,” said Amy Compston, a co-founder of Amy For Africa. “We had no idea when we started this in 2013 what it would become but it has been such a blessing! Praise God for everybody that has had a hand in making it so much fun.”
AFA has been part of building schools in Uganda since 2013. The organization is currently working with the El-Shaddai Primary and Nursery School near Jinja. Amy will be returning after a month-long tour on Aug. 9.
“God is doing amazing things here and the money we raise from Wiffleball will further this ministry here,” Compston said. “We’re thankful for every volunteer and every player who comes out. You’re making a difference 8,000 miles away.”
The complete tournament schedule will be released July 28 on Facebook and on Amyforafrica.com