Added Picks —> 2016 “Sin City” Classic tournament preview!
"Sin City Classic"
The 2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA season kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada with the 6th Annual "Sin City Classic"! The tournament features 11 of the top 20 teams in the nation and 17 Conference USSSA teams over all. 4 of the 5 Major teams will be in Las Vegas battling it out including last years final 3 teams at the USSSA Major World Series, Resmondo-Specialty Tank Worth based out of Florida, SmashItSports/ASP/H.Auto/Easton based out of New York, and Backman/Shoppe/PowerhouseSportz/J&H/S&S/Louisville Slugger based out of Indiana. There are 38 teams in all.
Teams will begin play on Friday, April 1st and the live internet feed on USSSALive.com should start around the time of the first game at 5:00 PM Pacific time. I will try to place the ipod cameras on all 6 fields. The chat room will also be up on SoftballCenter.com to keep people informed. Live streaming will continue through the championship game which is set for Sunday at 10:30 AM Pacific time. The tournament is being held at the Big League Dreams park at 3151 East Washington street. The fields feature artificial turf infields and each are modeled after the look and feel of a major league baseball stadium.
The weather looks to be very good, warm and sunny with less wind than usual. This year the Conference has a new home run rule where Major vs Major teams hit 16 a piece. AA and A vs anyone is 12 home runs per team. And B and below vs B and below hit 8 homers per team.
Smash It Sports has won this tournament the past 3 years with Combat, Racks, and Classic Glass placing well in recent years. Backman has a revamped team and looks to get out of the gate quickly, and of course Resmondo struggled in Las Vegas a year ago. This tournament should be an interesting one. Teams are scored on their best 6 points events of the year and will be seeded after the Hall of Fame Classic on 2016 points so there is a little more at stake early in the season this year.
– Jose Canseco is listed on the 'B' team SquatchNation/Combat team playing at 6:15 PM Friday. Also on this team are Canadian stars Franc Henry and Jason Legault.
– Denny Crine, Johnny Bailey, Chris Arredondo, and Jay Hill are playing with the 40 and over team JK Inc/Miken. Also hearing Chris Larsen is with them.
– Midwest Hearing and Big Ten who were going to be Conference teams again but decided not to are in the bracket.
38 Teams Overall
17 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
6 'AA' Teams
4 'A' Teams
5 'B' Teams
14 'C' Teams
5 'D' Teams
Las Vegas BLD Field Dimensions
Yankee (main field) 285-308-290-286-286
The Anonymous Picker Mike Beardsley returns for 2016 with his picks for Las Vegas:
The 2016 Conference USSSA season is finally upon us. The season is kicked off at the 6th annual Louisville Slugger Sin City Classic. Viva Las Vegas! For the last several years the race for Conference supremacy has been led by Resmondo / Specialty Tank and Smash It Sports (formerly Laservision). However, this season much of the buzz has pointed at Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger. The main question seems to be whether or not Shoppe can unseat one of the traditional powerhouse teams in the Conference USSSA standings. Shoppe has added Steven Lloyd, Andy Vitcak, and Jeremy Yates to an already potent team. I am not known for going out on a limb when it comes to my predictions, but I do think Shoppe has the talent to compete for the title this season. Shoppe has been the big story in the off-season, but the home run limit change may end up being a much bigger story when it's all said and done. I think the extra home runs will play a huge factor this weekend on some of the smallest fields in Conference USSSA. I'm very excited to see how this change effects the season.
The top half of the bracket features Shoppe and Smash It Sports, and the two teams seem destined to face one another Saturday Evening at 7:30. I'm expecting Team Racks to make a run to Shoppe, but I don't see Racks getting past the revamped Shoppe roster. I'll take Newbreed to get to Smash It after a tough game with Nightmare/Miken. Last season's defending points champion, Smash It, will have all it can handle with Shoppe. This game is hard to predict on the short fields, and it may very well come down to home run management. I love Smash It's line up, and the edition of Kyle Pearson. However, I think the team falls short here. I'll take Shoppe to get to the winner's final.
The bottom half of the bracket could feature some very entertaining early round games. I'm interested to see Team Combat and its revamped roster play Eurotech – Elite Media Design in the second round. I like Combat to get past Eurotech. However, an upset wouldn't shock me. The additions of Curt Stewart and Dennis Fisher from Precision could make Eurotech a sneaky pick here. I like Xtreme/ Miken's draw and foresee them playing Classic Glass to get to the winner of Combat vs. Eurotech. Resmondo should continue its dominating ways this season as it has for the last decade. The defending Major World Series Champion should have an early test with OC Swats or Line Drive / Easton. I expect Rezzy to get through and take on Xtreme / Miken in the lower bracket final. Resmondo should get through with relative ease, but it's always interesting to see how things unfold on "Yankee Stadium" as that sun is going down. It's one of the toughest sun fields for hitters in all of Conference USSSA. A team that jumps out to an early lead could have a big advantage. I'll take Resmondo here, but wear sunglasses.
Resmondo vs Shoppe in the winner's bracket final would be a great match-up. I wish this game would be played on a baseball field. These two teams can really hit, run, and field. The small park will take some of the athleticism out of play here. Resmondo will be favored. However, I'm all in on Shoppe right now. The off-season momentum is with them. The big question on my mind is how well will they gel? This game would mean more to Shoppe, and maybe that's all a team needs to get past the best team to ever play the game. Then again maybe not…
Mike's Final Picks:
1st – Shoppe
2nd – Resmondo
3rd – Smash It
4th – Xtreme/ Miken
Oldscout readers picks
2015 Winner – Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/Easton
2014 Winner – Laservision/Desert Falls/Boombah/Easton
2013 Winner – Laservision/Desert Falls/Boombah/Easton
2012 Winner – Nordkap/Desert Falls/Easton
Past tournament results
1 NY-M Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/Easton
2 WA-M Team Combat/BaughFord.com/Softball.com
3 WY-A Team Racks Easton
4 CA-B Classic Glass/Easton
1 NY-M Laservision/H Auto/JJ's/Easton
2 AL-A Baugh Ford/Doerflinger/National Pawn/Klutch/Easton
3 WA-M Team Combat/Softball.com
4 CA-B Classic Glass/Easton
1 NY-M Laservision/Desertfalls/Boombah/Easton
2 MN-A Nordkap/Suncoast Reebok
3 MI-A Line Drive Sportz/SSS/Miken
4 CA-B OC SWATS/LCP
1 UT-M Nordkap/desert falls/easton
2 WY-A Sonny's / louisville slugger
3 CA-A Famous / Premiere
4 GA-B Down2earthsports.com/sbc/worth
1 WA-M GTL Cartel/DeMarini
2 WA-M Team Combat/laservision/d2e/supreme
3 IL-A ews/shirtsandlogos/drgraphx/easton
4 TX-A Wood Law/mizuno/famous/easton