State Softball Championship Games Coming to Victory Field

by | Sep 29, 2020 | Press Room, Spotlight

Two championships to be played at The Vic on Saturday, Oct. 10

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Indians and Indianapolis Indians Charities today announced that two Special Olympics Indiana State Softball Championships featuring four teams and nearly 70 athletes will be played on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Victory Field. The first game begins at 11 a.m. and the second contest starts at 1 p.m.

A limited number of spectators will be permitted to attend the games; tickets are free and may be claimed in advance at soindiana.org/victory. Gates will open at 10 a.m.

“We have been proud partners with Special Olympics Indiana for over 50 years and are thrilled to provide its athletes an opportunity to play at beautiful Victory Field,” said Randy Lewandowski, Indianapolis Indians President and General Manager. “We hope to uplift the spirits of the athletes in what has been a challenging summer and give them a memory they’ll cherish forever.”

Special Olympics Indiana softball teams consist of athletes of all ages and compete in one of three classifications: traditional teams including only Special Olympics athletes; unified teams comprised of individuals with or without intellectual disabilities; and designated pitcher teams, which play under modified rules to ensure greater pitcher consistency. The Special Olympics Indiana 2020 State Softball Championships feature gold medal games in the traditional (Johnson County Blue vs. Johnson County White) and designated pitcher (Tippecanoe County Sluggers vs. Shelby County Cardinals) classifications. Both games will be seven-inning affairs.

“In a year that has seen the cancellation or suspension of countless events and even entire sports seasons, the excitement our athletes are now feeling about the chance to compete – not only in-person, but at a professional baseball stadium – just cannot be overstated,” said Special Olympics Indiana President & CEO Jeff Mohler. “So, on behalf of the entire Special Olympics Indiana community, I’d like to extend our gratitude to the Indianapolis Indians and Indianapolis Indians Charities for helping us to get back on the field and for making this a really memorable experience for everyone involved.”

Officially established as a Special Olympics sport in 1983 and based upon rules developed by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), softball is played by more than 70,000 Special Olympics athletes worldwide each year. Softball is Special Olympics Indiana’s fourth-most popular sport, promoting personal growth and development among its athletes, to encourage active lifestyles, and to improve self-esteem among children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout Indiana.

In a typical year, softball is played throughout the summer by thousands of individuals and dozens of teams. Special Olympics Indiana’s annual state softball tournament includes sectional qualifiers in the north, south and central regions of Indiana in mid-August, with state finals taking place in or near Indianapolis each September.

On a national level, Team Indiana earned gold in softball at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle and is preparing to compete once again at the 2022 USA Games in Orlando.

ABOUT THE INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS
The Indianapolis Indians are the professional Triple-A baseball club affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In continuous operation since 1902, the organization believes in creating affordable and memorable experiences for fans so they can grow closer together with family, friends and the community through the game of baseball. The Indians play their home games at Victory Field, a 13,750-seat ballpark located in downtown Indianapolis and White River State Park. The venue opened in 1996 and has received numerous national accolades as one of the best minor league ballparks in the United States. The team has led Minor League Baseball in combined total attendance over the past 10 seasons. In 2018, the organization was recognized as Ballpark Digest Team of the Year. It was also named a 2019 Best Places to Work by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

ABOUT INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS CHARITIES 
Indianapolis Indians Charities is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by the Indianapolis Indians in August 2019. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping youth and families grow stronger together, learn more and live healthier lives by supporting organizations in four key areas: youth development, family success, education and neighborhood development. IIC’s vision of enriching the lives of individuals in Indianapolis and its surrounding communities is made possible through generous contributions from partners and the general public.

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS INDIANA 
Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that is part of the global Special Olympics movement, using sport, health, education, and leadership programs everyday around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. We are a sports organization that uses the power of sport as a catalyst for social change, working for more than 50 years to open hearts and minds toward people with intellectual disabilities and to create inclusive communities across the state. With the support of over 10,000 coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 18,000 athletes and unified partners at no cost to the participants.

CONTACT:
Scott Mingle, Director of Sports & Competition
Nathan Barnes, Manager of Grants & Communication

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