Though the ISSA-WBSC World Tournament of Champions is held annually at sites all over Tampa Bay, Plant City is where the heart of the action is.
The Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex and Plant City Stadium hosted 144 of the tournament’s 453 games from Jan. 22 through 27, as well as the all-star game between the ISSA All-Stars and the USA Wounded Warrior Softball Team and the inaugural Mike Macenko Home Run Challenge.
More than 150 teams from the United States and Canada, all with players at least age 50, participated in the tournament and competed in 22 men’s and women’s divisions.
The idea of a home run derby isn’t new to the World Tournament of Champions — they host one every year at Plant City Stadium — but the stakes were raised Jan. 25 with the new event. It was the first of 10 upcoming derbies that serve as qualifiers for the Oct. 18 championship round in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Whoever wins that will be crowned the first-ever ISSA Senior Softball National Home Run King. Andy Purcell won the Jan. 25 Plant City derby and will advance.
Tournament results can be viewed online at quickscores.com/issa.