It’s Vegas Baby! The Sin City Shootout Is Upon Us
The monstrosity that is known as the Sin City Shootout is here and teams from 17 states, 3 Canadian cities, 28 NAGAAA cities and 5 non-NAGAAA cities will compete in the open division. All told, 160 teams across 4 divisions will compete this coming weekend in Las Vegas. Additionally, the Sin City Shootout is also offering a Women’s Division that boasts 43 teams in 3 divisions.
While the Diamond Dish is covering the softball tournament within the Sin City Shootout, softball is just a part of the entire athletic schedule in Las Vegas this coming weekend. The Sin City Shootout features 18 sports in all including basketball, bodybuilding, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball just to name a few. Tournament Director Eric Ryan is quick to point out exactly what this event truly is. “The event isn’t a softball tournament. It’s a sports festival with 18 different sports. What started out in 2007 with an idea I had to create an awesome softball tournament has morphed into a true winter sports festival with summer and winter sports increasing their attendance and participation each year just like softball has,” said Ryan.
Many teams and participants will arrive in Las Vegas earlier than necessary to get in a little extra rest and relaxation or maybe to get all of their partying done before the games begin. For those early birds in Las Vegas there will be a Welcome Reception on Thursday, January 15th from 6 to 9 pm at the Tropicana Lounge. Drink specials and entertainment will be plentiful throughout the evening as Sin City welcomes you.
While there will be the reception on Thursday, the sports festival officially kicks off on Friday, January 16th with the massive registration party at the Tropicana Hotel Sin City Ballroom. The event will run from 4 to 9 pm with over 7,500 participants attending to get registered with everyone registering getting a ticket and being entered to win show tickets, hotels stays, dinners and possibly a car! You must be present to win your prize so stick around, socialize and give yourself a chance to win big. There will be entertainers on stage, a fashion show and a special appearance by NSYNC member Lance Bass and his husband Michael Turchin at the registration party as well. Friday night’s official host venues will be SHARE Nightclub and The GARAGE Sports Bar. Both venues will have great drink specials so make sure you keep your tournament wristband on you at all times to take advantage and get yourself a tournament cup for even better deals, they’re only $10!
If Saturday’s games weren’t too much for you, the Sin City Shootout has your fun covered for Saturday night. The host bars for Saturday night are Piranha and Charlie’s where once again there will be great drink specials. For all drink special info and other tournament perks make sure you click on the Sin City Shootout logo at the top of the post and check out the tournament website.
Sunday will signal the end of the Sin City Shootout, but the fun will just be beginning once the trophies are handed out on Sunday afternoon. Everyone will want to be present and accounted for at the Sunday Closing Party at the Havana Room! 80’s pop sensation Tiffany will be performing and a very select number of VIP bottle service tables still remain for purchase. Now, the beginning time of this event is 9 pm with the ending time of this event (according to the Sin City Shootout website) being 5 am. Folks, the Diamond Dish wants anybody brave enough to tweet out a picture of any hot messes still hanging on at this event at 5 am to our twitter account, @softballdish. There is no prize, just a Hangover movie type moment to hold over a friend for a lifetime, because we all know that what happens in Vegas…..is posted to Facebook and then shared through social media eventually.
The host hotel if you haven’t caught on yet, is the Tropicana! Along with the Tropicana the Sin City Shootout offered a non-gaming hotel option in the Platinum Hotel where a few King and Queen suites are still available. A total of nine field complexes will be in use to house the competition for the 4 divisions of open teams and the 3 divisions of women’s teams at the tournament. The A Division will start the tournament on Saturday at Doc Romeo and will then join the B Division at Lorenzi Park where the B Division will play the entire tournament. The C Division is split into two divisions due to having 70 registered teams. The Arroyo Grande C Division will split its pool play games at Arroyo Grande and Russell Road. The Shadow Rock C Division will split its pool play games at Shadow Rock and Hollywood Park. The D Division is also split into two divisions due to a 64 team field this year. The Warm Springs D Division will have all of its games at the Warm Springs Complex. The Sunset Park D Division will split games with a handful of games being at Desert Bloom and the vast majority of games being played at Sunset Park. Click on the Sin City Shootout logo at the top of the page to find complex information on the tournament’s official website.
The last paragraph of trying to break down the field complex situation should give you an idea of just how difficult pulling off a tournament with this many teams in such a short amount of time can be. While a tournament like the NAGAAA World Series also has a large amount of teams, the Sin City Shootout has just two days to get all of the games in with more teams. “In some ways it’s easier with just 2 days, but there is no room for mistakes or hiccups that can occur, such as bracket mistakes or protests. So while some things are easier, it’s also harder because there really is no room for error,” said Eric Ryan, Sin City Shootout Tournament Director.
In looking at the tournament field that has been amassed for this year’s edition of the Sin City Shootout, the competition will be as fierce as it’s ever been before. With the upcoming NAGAAA ratings changes the Sin City Shootout is allowing the now “old” ratings to stand for this tournament. This gave players and teams one last chance to play together before players have to move into different divisions for the rest of this year.
The sports festival, nor the softball tournament itself are associated with or ran by the Las Vegas Gay Softball League (LVGSL). The Sin City Shootout is a fundraiser for the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA). The LVGSL puts on its own tournament later in the year called the Duel In The Desert, which has been gaining steam over its short life span so far and why wouldn’t it? It’s Las Vegas, one of the major destination cities in the world. This year’s tournament also welcomes in a new sponsor. The Sparxx App is a featured sponsor for the Sin City Shootout offering a chance at love by downloading their app.
The Sin City Shootout is the brainchild of its Director, Eric Ryan and its success is a reflection of his confidence and perseverance in building an event that is without a doubt second to none. “When I created the tournament I had traveled to dozens of tournaments across the country. What I did was take the things I liked best about all of the tournaments and put them in one event as best I could. If you offer a great ‘product’ people will be drawn to it,” said Ryan.
I think it would be an understatement to say that people are just “drawn” to this event. Athletes from all across North America are flocking to Las Vegas every January in record numbers, more than the year before it in each year of the event. When asked in relation to softball if the tournament committee had thought about starting play a day earlier on Friday to allow more teams to play each other within a division instead of splitting divisions the Director had this to say. “With Friday games, that means more time players would have to take off of work, and at this time we haven’t gotten any feedback of that being desired by teams. If the desire is there, by all means we would do it, but as of now, it’s just not there,” explained Ryan.
The Diamond Dish looks forward to being in Las Vegas to cover the softball tournament portion of the Sin City Shootout and wishes all of the competitors good luck and a trophy to complete their stay this coming weekend. It’s obvious that Eric and his staff are doing a lot of things right to get this many teams to come out for a 2 day tournament and it looks like the sky’s the limit for this event moving forward with a perfect location, a great spot on the tournament calendar and an awesome administrative staff.
Thank you to Eric Ryan, Sin City Shootout Tournament Director for his contributions to this Tournament Spotlight article. Don’t forget to click on all available hyperlinks within a post to get even more information!