Inside the 2021 NFCA Softball Convention
By Melissa Wickes
December 15, 2021
Convention season is officially here, and we kicked things off with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Convention December 8-11 in Caesar’s Forum in Las Vegas. The NFCA Softball Convention brought together youth and college coaches, players, organizers, and tournament operators to learn from each other in person once again. Here’s are our most important takeaways from the convention.
Over 1,500 people from 138 companies attended, the most the show has ever seen. It was an opportunity for members of the youth softball world from all over the country to learn about the latest in the industry and make up for lost time. Over the three days, we heard from a variety of speakers, watched presentations, participated in courses, and demoed our product for organizers who have yet to try LeagueApps.
What We Learned at the NFCA Softball Convention
Through a variety of courses, sessions, and discussions at the NFCA Softball Convention, our team was able to gather key insights about the world of softball in 2021 and learn what’s really going on, on and off the field. Jessica Scannapieco, Business Development Representative at LeagueApps, recalls discussing the officials shortage in softball and how that impacts the sport and coaches’ and organizers’ jobs. Coaches, parents, and spectators need to focus on treating officials with more respect and politeness, Jessica explains. Shaming them is driving them away from the game.
Another hot topic at the convention was the need for more networking opportunities for coaches. Often coaches are siloed off into their own sect of the sport and don’t have the opportunity to connect with coaches and organizers from other teams or parts of the country to learn how they’re working through common problems—like official shortages and managing the dynamic recruiting calendar. NFCA was a great opportunity for many youth softball organizers and coaches to do this, and we hope next year we will have the opportunity to safely run our NextUp Conference in NYC to bring organizers together once again.
Perhaps the most important takeaway the LeagueApps team got from NFCA is truly how impactful playing softball as a child can be. Softball is a team sport that can’t be won by being selfish. It teaches kids teamwork, patience (it’s a slow game!), strategy, and excellency through habitual training.
NFCA Softball Convention Fun
NFCA wouldn’t be complete without carving out some time for fun with the sports organizers that make all of the youth softball magic happen. LeagueApps is NFCA’s newest sponsor, so on Thursday, December 9th, we were fortunate enough to co-host the official NFCA Happy Hour in the Exhibit Hall. We connected with organizers over drinks, food, and fun giveaways.
We also teamed up with the Alliance Fastpitch to host another happy hour at Top Golf Las Vegas. We don’t take any opportunity to connect with youth softball organizers for granted.