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Chat with the Kansas Director of the American Fastpitch Association

July 17, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Lawrence is hosting nearly 1,000 teenage girls from 75 teams throughout the United States who are competing in the American Fastpitch Association National Championship tournament, July 16-22. Ed Kimminau, the Kansas director of the AFA, will be here to talk about the competition and what the tournament means to Lawrence and Northeast Kansas.

Moderator:

Good afternoon. This is Dennis Anderson, managing editor of the Lawrence Journal-World. Our guest today is Ed Kimminau, Kansas director of the American Fastpitch Association. The AFA is hosting national championships in Lawrence this week. Welcome Ed.

Ed Kimminau:

Thank you Dennis.

Moderator:

Why did the AFA pick Lawrence to host its championships?

Ed Kimminau:

We have been here in the past and Bob Sanner, of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce made a trip to our National Convention on behalf of the the CVB Sports division asking us to consider Lawrence for the 2007 Nationals and several of the local coaches also had asked us to consider Lawrence as a future site.

Moderator:

How many teams do you have in town this week, and how many games will be played before Sunday's championships?

Ed Kimminau:

There are 106 teams and there will be a total of 370 games played, including pool and bracket play.

Moderator:

For teams to travel across the country to play, this must be a highly competitive level of softball. Do these teams often travel to play their games?

Moderator:

A schedule of tournament games can be found here: afa-region6.com.
Passes for the week cost $24 to $32 and daily passes cost $6 to $8.

Ed Kimminau:

AFA is considered a travel organization, we really don't have leagues like many of the organization do, almost every team travels to compete each weekend. These teams are very competitive, they are in a sense All-Star teams. These girls are heavily recruited.

Moderator:

Here is a question from a reader.

consumer1:

With the rapid growth of fast pitch softball in the United States and KANSAS. I am wondering if there is already a program in place to make these young girls aware of same sex, sexual discrimination/ intimidation from coaches, team mates, etc. How to identify it and how to report it without repercussions??And if not, how do you plan to deal with this event when it happens. In Lawrence, there is a tendency to close our eyes or deny existence of same sex descrimination.
Thank you.

Ed Kimminau:

I would confront the issue locally within the AFA organization, and get legal advice.

Moderator:

How has Lawrence been as a host to the players and families?

Ed Kimminau:

Excellent, an example is one of the Phenix teams was host to the Maryland team this past evening, The Maryland team shared with me the reason they were returning to Lawrence was the hospility they experienced their last trip here 3 years ago. The City as a whole has been very receptive to the teams, another example was Cici's funded the opening ceremonies picnic for approxamately 4500 players, coaches and parents.

Moderator:

We are out of time. I would like to thank Ed for stopping by during this busy week.

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