BENTON – The 31st Tournament of Champions comes begins on Friday, May 24, to Sunday, May 26. It is the largest Tournament of Champions ever with a record 179 baseball teams entered this year. There are three legs to the tournament (Everett Triple Crown) played in March, April and early May, and then the TOC will be on Friday.
“We had to shut off registration this week so we could get our pool play times out for the teams traveling hundreds of miles to prepare for their trip to Saline County,” TOC director and organizer Shane Pigue said. “One hundred seventy nine youth teams have entered surpassing last years 154 teams, The Tournament of Champions has been the biggest ball tournament in Arkansas since it was moved to Benton.”
All youth baseball will be played in Saline County. Games will be played at Bernard Holland park, Tyndall Park, Benton High School and Bishop Park. Also, over 50 teams are entered with registration ending May 20.
“This event has raised almost a quarter of a million dollars for local charities and organizations since the TOC moved to Benton five years ago,” Pigue said. “The Boys and Girls Club of Saline County and the Christian Community Care Clinic are two of the main Charities of the TOC.
“The growth of the tournament stems from the awesome support of local businesses that help sponsor this event, including Everett Buick Pontiac GMC, Arkansas Bone and Joint and Jones Heat and Air are just a few of the big sponsors of this event.”
Pigue also said another reason for the growth of the TOC is the prizes, drawings for prizes, “and the extras we do to make this the best tournament to play in,” Pigue said. “Our goal is to have a national championship atmosphere. We have several teams coming from Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana.”