Kings Island Baseball Invitational experiences annual team growth
Eric Miller | Sports Editor
America’s pastime is alive and well in Warren County.
From June 29 to July 2, 80 teams from five different age groups descended on Mason Sports Park, Corwin Nixon Park, Fleckenstein Park and CTC Fields for the 8th annual Kings Island Baseball Invitational.
Tournament Director Scott Hofmann has overseen the tournaments growth since the inaugural event in 2010.
“We started this tournament hoping to get 16 teams back in 2010,” Hoffman said. “We ended up with 53 that year, and it has grown ever since. It has become a destination event for Midwest teams. We maxed out at 80 teams this year for our portion, and the other age groups that we work with maxed out at 86. I have had over 50 teams on the wait-list as well, hoping to get into the tournament.”
A majority of teams in the tournament are non-local. In 2016, 50 of 78 teams were from out of town, as far away as New York and Maryland. Hoffman said the quality of play in the tournament and the location of Warren County are big draws for the tournament.
“We are a short drive from a bunch of major cities (Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, etc.), so it is easy for them to get to us,” Hoffman said. “We make sure that teams have time to visit some of our great attractions in the area. We have teams that love to visit Kings Island, The Beach, Cincinnati Reds games and so much more. They know they will have a great time at our tourist attractions, and play some good local teams as well.”
Hoffman said the enjoyment of running such a large tournament comes from the participants.
“We really enjoy running this tournament, and seeing how much fun the kids and parents have while they are in town,” Hoffman said. “We have teams from 8 different states, but they all come together her to enjoy the game, and that makes it a lot of fun for us.”
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Photos by Tanner Pearson.