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TOP GUN EVENTS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH PREMIER GIRLS FASTPITCH AND PERFECT GAME SOFTBALL
SHAWNEE, Kansas, HUNTINGTON BEACH, California and CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (October 15, 2020)
Top Gun Events (TGE), Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) and Perfect Game Softball (PG) are pleased to announce their dynamic partnership. This new partnership brings together the three biggest names in the industry, changing the landscape of competition for teams and student-athletes across the country.
“It was a natural fit for Top Gun Events to partner with and host PGF/PG Softball events,” said Robb Behymer, founder of TGE. “For many years, PGF has been a leader in the softball community as a tournament and showcase organizer. Their new alignment with Perfect Game only strengthens the opportunities for high level competition through our expanded schedule of events.”
Top Gun Events was founded in 2013 and designed to bring together the best fastpitch competition in a showcase setting. Over time, TGE has evolved into an elite fastpitch tournament brand, hosting close to 20 events each year. The highlight of the TGE schedule is the Top Gun Invitational, a four-day tournament held each June in the Kansas City metro area. The Top Gun Invitational brings together the highest-level of teams in the 12-18 age divisions. What started in 2013 with only 25 teams has grown to more than 125 teams from 25 states. In addition, an average of 130 college coaches from all levels of competition across the country attend the event to scout future talent for their teams.
In July, PGF and PG joined together to create PG Softball, giving amateur softball players a platform to be recognized nationwide through national player rankings, evaluation metrics that are consistent and national scouting reports. With the addition of TGE, a powerhouse in elite level fastpitch has been formed giving student-athletes the ability to reach their dreams of playing at the next level.
“We are thrilled to bring on one of the most prestigious fastpitch event companies in the United States,” said Dan Hay, President/CEO of PGF and PG Softball. “This partnership provides PGF and PG Softball the opportunity to provide Midwest student-athletes the true PGF experience.”
“As the PGF State Directors for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas, Top Gun Events will provide the excellent level of service PGF and Top Gun Events customers have come to expect” said Behymer.
PGF and Top Gun Events have partnered for their first event in the Midwest at the end of this month, the Kansas City PGF National Qualifier, October 30-November 1, 2020 at ballparks across the Greater Kansas City Metro area. Other select Top Gun Events tournaments will serve as qualifiers to the 2021 PGF National Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif. Top Gun Events will also host a regional championship in the Kansas City metro area July 12-17, 2021 which is sure to bring the best student athletes from across the region, giving them the opportunity to qualify for the 2022 PGF National Championships in Huntington Beach.
About Top Gun Events
It is the mission of Top Gun Events to bring together the best competition for teams to showcase their talents, to provide helpful recruiting materials and to award financial college scholarships based on academics, citizenship and community recommendations. Top Gun Events was created in 2013 with its first tournament, Top Gun Invitational. The Top Gun Invitational started as an event with 75 teams (12u-18u) representing 14 different states. Each year since, this event has provided a tremendous recruiting opportunity for both the players and college coaches with more than 130 college coaches in attendance on average each year. As this event grew others were born, Top Gun Events was established and is now considered a mainstay on the Showcase circuit.
PGF was founded in 2009 and today crowns the unquestioned national champion across nine age divisions. In 2019, 635 teams competed across those age groups, with the 17-day event held across parks in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Irvine, California. Premier Girls Fastpitch is where the best of the best play in amateur fastpitch softball. Since 2009 thousands of female student athletes have realized their dreams to play on the college level by performing with top-level competition in front of college recruiters. PGF produces hundreds of tournaments and showcases each year across the country.
Perfect Game is the world’s largest elite amateur baseball and softball platform and scouting service, producing over 1,400 tournaments and showcases each year across the country. Perfect Game is dedicated to giving amateur players exposure to take their game to the next level, whether that be in college or in the professional ranks. At Perfect Game events, players are performing with top-level competition in front of college recruiters and professional scouts from all over the country. Because of this, these events prove to be invaluable to the college coaches and Major League Baseball. MLB scouts watch a large population of talented baseball players in one location and to date, more than 1,400 players that have played in a Perfect Game event have also played in Major League Baseball. In the 2020 Draft, for example, 93 percent of all players selected had played in Perfect Game events, and all but one selected on the Draft’s first day had previously attended Perfect Game events. In the 2019 NCAA Division I College World Series, every player on the roster of national champion Vanderbilt and all but one on the runner-up Michigan roster had played in a Perfect Game event.
TOP GUN EVENTS & PGF/PG PARTNERSHIP FAQ
- When did the partnership between TGE & PGF/PG begin?
As announced on 8/30/20, PGF & TGE established a partnership to produce a high-quality, elite Fastpitch event in the Midwest (KC PGF Qualifier Oct. 30-Nov. 1). Since that first announcement, a more formalized partnership has been established.
- Why is PGF/PG the right partner for TGE?
PGF is a proud partner of Perfect Game Softball and we welcome the opportunity to partner with these outstanding stewards of the game. Our events will be better than ever with a continued emphasis towards a world-class event experience on and off the field.
- What does this mean for the current leadership and employees of TGE?
The ownership structure and day-to-day operations of Top Gun Events has not changed, and we will continue our event production in collaboration with PGF/PG and their staff.
- What are the biggest changes that coaches and club directors will see with this new partnership?
TGE looks forward to now utilizing PGF’s robust and transparent sanctioning system for its events moving forward, which provides standardized rules for all while streamlining rostering and other procedures for coaches and club directors.
This partnership will facilitate the growth of elite Fastpitch softball across the country. We will bring more opportunities throughout the year for student-athletes to play with an expanded schedule of tournaments, showcases, and camps and clinics, including PGF National berths on a regional basis. Berths already secured to the June 2021 Top Gun Invitational will not be impacted.
- How will the new partnership with PGF/PG impact event registrations?
Registration for PGF Regional events will include team registration fees and a coach background check fee. Registration for PGF qualifier events across the country that award berths to the PGF National Championships in Huntington Beach, CA each year include the above as well as fees for insurance and player/parent verification.
- What is the commitment that PGF/PG & TGE have to providing quality officials now that there will be more events across the country?
Top Gun Events and PGF will strive to provide the best officials possible by creating a mentorship program for each qualifier, showcase and national level tournament. The goal of the program is to pair college level officials with a mentee during each game they work. This program will not only provide great officials but continue to build the next generation of officials as well.
- How does this partnership impact the exposure opportunities for student-athletes wanting to play at the collegiate level?
With this elite partnership and our expanded schedule, there will be more opportunities throughout the year for college coaches and scouts to evaluate future collegiate talent. College coaches and scouts will continue to be supported by the consistent and professional service of the PGF/PG & TGE staffs that they have become accustomed to for many years.
- Will there be new events throughout the year in new Midwest markets and what impact will they have?
Yes, by growing our current schedule of tournaments and showcases, PGF/TGE events will add more value to new and current community and facility partners. Our events will bring more people through their gates, more revenue opportunities on site and more revenue into the local economies from new regional audiences.