One of the top fastpitch events of the summer has arrived in Kansas City this week and the elite level softball players participating are itching to kick up some dirt like never before. With 200 teams vying to compete and be crowned the Top Gun Invitational 2020 Champions, this elite level tournament is bringing out the best of the best softball teams throughout the country across the 18U, 16U, 14U, and 12U divisions.
“The level of competitive play at this tournament is consistently phenomenal and continues to amaze me,” said Robb Behymer, founder of Top Gun Events. “The players are why the Top Gun Invitational has been the elite level recruiting event for this region.”
Making its second annual appearance to the tournament line up is the Viper Division, bringing even more competitive play to the event.
Pool play kicked off Thursday and continues through Saturday, June 13, with bracket play starting later in the afternoon Saturday. The championship games are slated for Sunday afternoon and evening with the 18u Maverick division crowning their champ at 2p.m., the 16u Maverick division at 4p.m. and the 14u Maverick division wrapping up at 4 p.m. The 12U division will crown a champion at 2p.m.
Amid COVID-19 concerns, Top Gun Events has worked alongside Midwest Sports Productions to establish social distancing guidelines with their Take the Field team to ensure player and spectator safety. All guidelines for each park are posted on the tournament website
“For some of these players, this weekend is the kickoff of their competitive season and while we aim to make it an unforgettable experience, we also want to keep it as safe as possible so our teams can continue to play the game they love throughout the summer,” said Behymer.
Although COVID-19 concerns have prevented some of the traditional activities from happening, some have been adapted to ensure player safety and maintain player experience at the tournament. Virtual recruiting, a new technique that coaches have shifted to in response to the pandemic, was introduced to the tournament and players on Tuesday. As the NCAA expanded the recruiting ban for college coaches, this new method will allow players to show off their talents to the coaching community.
“Top Gun and MSP made a commitment to help players reach their goals and potential and to pave the way for college coaches to see what these athletes are capable of no matter the circumstance", Jeremy McDowell, CEO & Founder of Midwest Sports Productions and partner of Top Gun Events, said. “Virtual recruiting powered by AthPro360 ensures that we fulfill our promise, and so far, we have seen successful outcomes from our players. It has been incredible to implement this in the Top Gun Invitational and softball community.”
A full schedule of games can be found at www.topgunevents.com. Recruiters can look at individual players and teams, watch combine clips, see AP testing results and more by logging on to AthPro360. The Tourney Engine Fan App will allow fans to follow game scores, receive event alerts, and video for each game broadcast connected to final scoreboards. Topgunevents.com will have YouTube links for each game broadcast for ease of access.