PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The 20th annual U.S. Fastpitch Association (USFA) World Series wrapped up with championship games Saturday for the 8, 10, and 12 year old age brackets.
300 teams from 22 states called Frank Brown Park home over the course of two weeks, vying for USFA championship rings and commemorative surfboards.
Normally, this event closes on a Sunday, although not by design. Sunday is the designated rain date, but the rain mostly stayed away. It's the driest world series in recent memory, and depending on who you ask, the best all-around event they've put on here.
"It has been a running joke here at the fields between the coaches, parents, and us that we paid a lot of money for the weather," USFA National Director Roberto Guerrero said. "The crowds were enormous. All the parking lots that we use at the parks were full. The traffic getting in and out was tougher this week. Restaurants were more full. It was just a lot more folks traveling with the teams this week. It has been the best event we've ever had."
Good weather allowed the series to stay on schedule on and off the field.
"The families have been happier," Guerrero added. "They've been able to plan dinner. They've been able to plan functions. There's a lot more stories. 'We got to go ride on the boat, we got to go to this restaurant, we got to go here.' There's just so much stuff being shared [on social media and in conversation]."
An estimated 8,000 fans attended the second week of games, on top of 6,000 during last week's college showcase.
The Grand Slam World Series of Baseball returns Monday for their fourth and final session.