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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The Panama City Beach Sports Complex is trading baseball for softball this week as they host a USFA tournament.

Around 100 teams are competing starting on Tuesday in the tournament and there’s even a local one in the mix, the 12U Florida Elite.

Even though the tournament looks full, there was still around 150 teams that decided not to come this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve never had to deal with anything like we’ve had to deal with this year. If I had to put a label on this year it’s flexibility. We’ve really had to be flexible,” USFA National Director Robert Guerrero said. “The disciplines in running an event have gone out the window. Things that we were doing for this event in years past, a month, five six eight weeks out, we were all doing in a 10-14 day window.”

However, all the teams have been grateful the USFA organization was still able to put the tournament on.

“We had a group of players walk over to us at the check in and said thank you all for not canceling the event,” Guerrero said. “I gotta tell you in all the years we have been doing this it gave me the chills.”

The Florida Elite team feels the same way. They are grateful to play in this tourney and in their backyard too.

“It’s kinda like a home field advantage like in school ball, it’s really nice,” Florida Elite player Clara Martin said.

The team was also excited to face opponents from all over the country as there are teams from Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi competing this week.

“Because I mean the teams from Texas and all that, we’ve never played them before so it’s kinda nerve-wracking that we have no clue how the pitcher is or anything else is,” Martin said.

Florida Elite won their game against Buford Elite 6-2 on Tuesday. The tournament runs until Saturday.

About Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. In addition, Panama City Beach’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. For more information, call 850-233-5070 or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com. Stay connected with Panama City Beach on Twitter (@Visit_PCB), Instagram (@Visit_PCB) and Facebook (@VisitPanamaCityBeach).

About Visit Panama City Beach

Visit Panama City Beach is the official destination marketing organization for Panama City Beach, Florida. The award-winning organization has earned industry accreditation (DMAP) from Destinations International, the world’s leading authority in destination marketing, and exists to drive economic opportunity, job creation, community sustainability and quality of life for its residents through marketing, promotion and stewardship of the destination’s REAL.FUN.BEACH. brand and attributes, tourism development, special event production, and managing beach re-nourishment and maintenance programs.

Media Contacts:

Gina Stouffer / Tori Beth Black                         Jayna Leach / Lacee Rudd

Lou Hammond Group                                         Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

843.408.4360 / 843.647.7389                           850.233.5070 / 850.233.5070      

ginas@louhammond.com                                  jleach@visitpanamacitybeach.com

torib@louhammond.com                                   lrudd@visitpanamacitybeach.com