National softball tournament held in Sioux Falls taking safety precautions due to extreme heat

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The USA Class A 16 and Under National Softball Championship Tournament is happening in Sioux Falls this week.

With the extreme heat, event organizers and coaches are doing their best to keep everyone safe.

“Yesterday we canceled our afternoon and then we picked up games at 8 and 10 o’clock hen it was cooler and today, we canceled the four o’clock games and moved them to tomorrow,” said Rudi Vennard, the Tournament Director.

Even not playing when the heat is at its peak, it’s still important for everyone to be safe.

“For our umpires, we have now added ice buckets out there every half-inning we have towels for them to cool off themselves,” said Vennard. “Catchers who are covered in their equipment, have water bottles on the field, and everybody is on the same page of watching for heat exhaustion for both umpires and the players.”

Teams from 14 states have come to compete in the tournament, and some are used to hot weather, but Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s heat felt a little different.

“For us were actually from the desert southwest so the heat isn’t as much of an issue as the humidity,” said Buddy Adams, New Mexico Elite Softball Assistant Coach. “Reminding the girls to stay hydrated that’s the number one thing, resting in-between games, staying cool, getting indoors, and just getting a lot of rest.”

Even with the heat, the goal for those involved is for these young athletes to make memories they never forget.

“First of all, it’s a fantastic experience this is USA Nationals, great teams from across the country, to get to travel and play top-notch competition,” said Adams. “At the end of the day, it’s about the experience, them learning and getting better at the game.”

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